For a company ready to hire their first sales person, recruiting the best candidate is only half the battle. Giving that person the best possible opportunity to succeed is equally important. Accomplishing this goal will create a roadmap for adding future sales people, as well as increasing the odds of generating business growth for the company.
Gone are the days when companies can present their new sales people with just their product information, ask them to hit the ground running and expect them to grow their business. The demand for business growth today is too significant and the competition is too strong to allow this to happen. Therefore, a more thorough indoctrination into the company is needed to better position the new sales person to succeed. So what is the blueprint to actually get this done the right way?
Find the Best Possible Fit
The best possible fit should be meaningful inside and outside the organization. Externally, years of experience and strong selling skills are always desirable, but they become even more valuable if they relate directly to the company’s industry, product or service, and especially the customers. Internally, the new sales person should fit easily and seamlessly into the culture and values the company has established. Accomplishing both goals will position all new sales people in a positive light both inside and outside the company.
Honor the Six Ps
Proper Planning and Preparation Prevent Poor Performance: This well-known business adage still rings true when considering how to give new sales people the best chance to succeed. Establishing an effective New Hire Orientation Program for the company will help ensure that sales people, as well as other employees, are well positioned to perform at a high level.
To ensure Proper Planning and Preparation, the New Hire Orientation Program should always include:
- A written job offer to define the start date, salary and other terms of employment.
- A job description specifying all job functions, responsibilities and reporting lines.
- Comprehensive training on company products and services, as well as any needed sales training.
- A statement of the marketing strategy and direction for the company.
- Sales tools to aid in promoting the company's products and services.
- Specific business-related goals that are aggressive but attainable.
- An incentive compensation program that will motivate and empower sales people to achieve their goals.
- An announcement from the company to their customers to introduce new sales people.
Build Internal Company Relationships
Fully indoctrinating new sales people into the people and culture of the company will enable them to create strong relationships with key people in the company and understand how they contribute to the company's business success. This will also demonstrate how well goals are aligned throughout the company and foster an environment in which every employee is pulling in the same business growth direction.