Onboarding is such a vast, multifaceted process that it can be challenging to get everything in order and make sure that all the bases are covered. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t understand the right way to get things in order, or that they need to have an ‘order’ to things at all. The first impression of your business starts from the second you greet a potential candidate. If you aren’t letting them in on your company culture and expectations from the start, you’re likely going to see a lot of struggles in training and onboarding. It might not even be limited to your sales department. If your onboarding practices aren’t up to snuff, your entire company could be suffering.
To make the most of your onboarding training, check out the tips below. You’ll find valuable insight on how to make sure onboarding is a success, and how to prepare your team members to be their best from day one.
Guide Your Employees Through the Onboarding Process
One of the biggest problems seen in onboarding is the lack of effort on the part of the company or hiring team to provide a clear path for new employees. Think of this as a journey and make sure that you do what it takes to provide your new hires with a road map so that they can be successful from the beginning. Without a guide, people are left to gather what information they think they will need. If someone is new to your team, how can they be expected to know when to pick up the reins? Employees tend to feel much more valued by companies that are willing to guide them in their early days, rather than just expecting them to figure it out on their own.
Lead Through the Customer Experience Viewpoint
When it comes to onboarding sales reps, you’re doing it all through the lens of the customer experience, and you should use some of those elements in your training to make sure that you are providing a complete, goal-oriented experience for your new hires from the day that you ask them to join your team until they’ve accomplished their goals and completed the onboarding training process. Just as you want to give your customers clear cues and direction to get through the buying journey, you want to provide that same direction to your team members. Make sure that there are phases and stages throughout the onboarding process and clearly define those so that your new hires know that they are on track to complete training successfully in the timeline that has been set forth.
Make the Metrics Human
Business is still a numbers game, but sales are very much a people business today. While your employees will need to understand how to read and analyze sales metrics and data, their focus is going to be on much more human elements than ever before. Make sure that they understand how to turn relationship building into tangible metrics and how to evaluate their own sales efforts based on the human element. More than ever before, people want a connection, not just a sales pitch, so your team is going to have to know how to use that to set their own goals and succeed in both onboarding training and their sales career. Whether you are talking about measuring your training program or measuring the success of your newly-trained sales team, you have to make sure that the metrics match the goals, so that you can monitor and course-correct as needed.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Too often, onboarding training is seen as a sort-of self-serve process where people are supposed to take what they need and leave the rest. The problem here lies in the fact that new hires probably have no idea what they need. When you hand them a veritable buffet of training materials and resources and tell them to help themselves, it can be overwhelming to say the least. Rather than asking people what they want or expect from the training and onboarding process, why not provide a clear set of expectations that tell them what you want and expect? That way, they’ll know which resources to use to keep pace.
Start Before Day One
Any new team member should be considered an employee from the moment that they are hired. Take advantage of all of the time that you have, including before their first day when you can often get a lot of tedious paperwork and red tape out of the way. This is a great time to have conversations about goals and expectations, as well, so that your new hires aren’t walking in on their first day with no idea what to expect or how the day is going to go. If you prepare people, they will respond better and feel more secure in their training, which will make them better employees for your organization. Take the time to walk them through their first days on the team, including what to expect with training, and make sure that you provide an open forum for communication so that you can answer any questions that they might have.
Ultimately, the biggest thing that you can do to increase the success of your onboarding and new hire training is to get involved. Stop giving people so much autonomy and thinking that your new team members are happy to figure things out on their own. This doesn’t prove anything, and it sets new hires up to fail from the start because there are no clear expectations or guidelines to follow.
Don’t just hand people a platter of training materials and information and expect them to choose what they like best. What they like, or what they would choose, doesn’t matter. You need to give them the information and tools that they need to succeed in their specific job role, whether that is in sales, service, or elsewhere. By looking at onboarding as a journey where you are the guide, you can be sure that you accomplish that every time.