This book is about thinking differently about salespeople. As the business environment changes and advances in technology allow buyers to adapt how they interact with suppliers, sales people need to adjust their approach. The old ways of selling are ineffective and the evolution in the sales cycle is forcing change in how a supplier, through their sales people, interacts with their customers.
Every time a sales hire fails, there's a ripple effect throughout a business. Management time, sales colleagues' time, customer confidence, loss of productivity, increased workload for the team, a drop in sales contacts and loss of potential conversions. Despite the rate of failure, many businesses repeat the same mistake when they recruit for a replacement, because they make no changes to how they hire.
There has been a lot of research into why so many sales hires fail. The results show that one of the reasons most quoted, is poor onboarding. While this might have been accepted as the cost of doing business in the past, it's critical to address it and not accept it now. This book sets out a proven methodology, which will minimise the risk of failure in a new starter, by showing step by step how thinking differently about sales people increases the opportunity to support their success.
Good onboarding matters and is most effective if it's started before the first day on the job. In my experience, this huge period of opportunity is commonly ignored or not considered important. It's always good practice to introduce a new hire to your business products and process, ahead of their first day. You can make a good impression on your new recruit and show them how serious you are about their success in your sales team.
Get them started before they join you, as soon as they've signed their letter of agreement and while they're serving out their notice. Embed them quickly into your culture and your business, make all appropriate information available to them and include them in general communications to staff.
Early onboarding gives them the luxury of time to absorb what you do, how you do it and what will be expected of them. It gives them the chance to be familiar with your products and services and speak your language ahead of their first day.
Buyers are increasingly able to satisfy their needs independently, making it even more important for every new sales hire to be up to speed with company values, behaviour, products and best practice in the shortest time possible. Businesses shouldn't accept waiting months to see a return on their investment and risk their customers learning to do without them. It is imperative to reinforce the value of a sales person's expert guidance to customers, to offer solutions not readily available without specialist knowledge and build loyalty to retain current market share.
This book tells you all you need to know about how to give your new starters a head start and relieve the pressure. They have time to learn your business in the safety and calm of their own space. No first day stress, no interference, no juggling new personalities and trying to fit in. It gives them a real advantage over regular onboarding that only starts on day 1.
Every business is able to practice good onboarding with a structured plan that includes built in assessments and milestones. When you give your new starter the confidence and ability to succeed by giving them the tools they need, before they start, you're also giving your top performers support and helping your business to grow.
Now, more than ever before, it's vital to make sure every pound spent is meaningful. There's no economic room for risky behaviour and good onboarding will help ensure every new hire pulls their weight and adds value to your business as quickly as possible.