By Kyle Dougherty, Published November 2, 2014
Being a newcomer in a company often means struggling to familiarize yourself with management and new systems. A new hire is like a lot of the other investments a company makes; the goal is to get value out it as soon as possible. With a new sales rep that means speeding up the “ramp process.” Ramping up a new sales rep is a phrase often associated with gradually increasing your quota to that of your veteran reps, but you also need to help them ramp up socially, to fit in with your culture. After all, having a workplace BFF actually makes you more productive.
Here are some ways in which you can help a new team member assimilate both socially and professionally:
1. A peer-mentoring program
Most new sales reps struggle to fit in within the first few weeks. Set up a few sessions where the new rep can talk one on one with more experienced, long-time members of the team. By providing them with a few different “vets” they can find someone they’re comfortable with to ask about anything from company policies to sales tips.
2. Orientations or “boot camps”
Learning a company’s culture, systems and organizational hierarchy WHILE trying to hit goals is a tall order. Provide new reps with detailed information on the workflow process and any other processes that they may encounter while performing the job. This can save time and effort from the sales rep and from other departments involved. If you are bringing on a few people (including new-hires from different departments) around the same time, a brief, but jam-packed orientation around the aforementioned elements of your organization can prove invaluable. Additionally, it provides an arena for new-hires to meet and bond with people from other departments.
3. Communicate and be clear with roles
Nothing beats open, clear communication on any business day. Constant communication between the sales manager and the new rep can also help clarify expectations and concerns. The more hands-on time a sales manager spends with a new hire, the less time they will have to spend down the road breaking bad habits and having those dreaded “what the hell is going wrong” type meetings.
4. Boost morale and confidence
Anyone new to a company will usually be nervous and cautious with the new environment and management. If a new sales rep is too cautious for too long after hiring, they may end up underperforming and possibly feeling disheartened. Boosting sales reps’ confidence is an essential ingredient in having them perform optimally and close deals. Managers can boost morale by first helping the rep to identify and close on the low-hanging fruit within their pipeline/territory to give the new rep momentum upon starting. This can lead to more confident reps that feel good about themselves and believe they can perform well, attracting more customers and enhancing sales numbers in the long run.
Whether a new-hire sales rep succeeds can depend upon a number of different variables. The old cliché is that sales success depends on the three T’s: Timing, Territory and Talent.