Sales Reps Onboarding Process: Preboarding Phase
The day has finally arrived – the employment contract has been signed, the start date has been set and preparations are about to begin. We have arrived at the part of the onboarding process where you, with simple means. Can be the employer who delivers the difference, that makes the difference with preboarding.
Over the coming weeks, we will be writing about onboarding, its elements, statistics, and our own view on how you can set a foundation. Both in terms of structure and thoughts for future hires. Our last blog post was about structure and now it’s time to highlight the preboarding phase.
The onboarding phases:
- Understand, Do, Deliver
Preparing your organization
With that basic structure in place. It’s time to allocate ownership internally within your organization. In addition to allocating ownership, it’s also important that you, as the hiring manager, set clear expectations around any presentations that are about to be presented. Therefore, you need to communicate how the information will benefit the sales rep and make demands around critical information.
Also, depending on the size of your company. Notify the rest of the organization/department that a new colleague will be starting and inform them of what their initial time on the job will be like.
Lastly, something that might seem obvious – make sure all tech and logins are in place from the new hires’ first day.
Preparing your new sales hire
As a new hire, you’re most likely excited about the position. I would even argue that most sales reps are so eager to learn, they want to begin even before they start their new position. Making sure you tap into that commitment and shorten the ramp-up time from new and confused, to productive and profitable is crucial.
Preboarding for the job
- Send your new sales rep an initial schedule for their first period on the job. It doesn’t have to be a detailed schedule with each minute planned out in advance. Start by scribbling down a few headings of what the first few weeks will entail.
- Share basic information about your company so your sales rep can familiarize themselves with the information
- Create your sales presentation and share it to create an understanding of how you sell your solutions (products or services).
- If you can, create a limited user account for your new hire in your internal systems and sales tools. This enables them to begin to orient themselves to your system architecture. Which will ultimately reduce the time it takes for them to understand and navigate the new systems. Inviting your sales rep to your CRM, prospecting tools, sales intelligence systems, etc. are all good places to start.
Preboarding for the culture
- Send out lunch/coffee chat invitations and make sure you also invite your sales rep to any recurring or joint meetings. Getting acquainted with new colleagues before the first day on the job will eliminate many uncomfortable feelings for a new hire.
- Another great option for you to welcome new hires is to send them a personalized video. All you need to do is walk around your office in “selfie-cam mode” and have a few colleagues come to say hi. Maybe you’ve already set up their desk. This would be a great time to show them where they’ll sit and maybe even where the coffee machine is located.
- Giving your new hire a short introduction creates more confidence before their first day and it could even raise their commitment a tad more.
As you can see, it doesn’t take extraordinary efforts to make a big difference. When you keep it simple, and even better simple and personal, you will get greater results.
According to studies made, 90.3% of employees who have completed an onboarding process are satisfied or very satisfied with their first period on the job. While surveying people who didn’t complete an onboarding process, only 20% feel the same way.
With these types of facts and with the relatively small efforts needed. It would almost be ignorant not to prioritize your preboarding. Especially considering the big impact it could make.
Setting up a mentor program
Junior or senior, confident in the industry or completely new. Starting a new job brings nervousness and a plethora of both questions and speculation.
Another way to simplify that process for your new sales rep. Is to assign them a mentor during their preboarding phase.
Their mentor should be a person who will stay with them during their preboarding, but also during their onboarding. It’s someone who will be a bit more invested in answering their questions and who makes sure they’re included in the culture.
Just as it’s important to require internal ownership during onboarding, it’s equally important to set expectations for a mentor. It should be a fun addition to a colleague, not a burden that creates stress or pressure.
There are parts of a position, organization, and business that are complex. So your preboarding doesn’t have to be. Firstly, it’s much more valuable to make it simple and personal. Secondly, it’s best to focus on getting your new sales rep comfortable and helping them feel safe in their new environment. And lastly, remember – sales reps want to show up to their new job prepared.
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