Onboarding New Sales Hires: The Vital Role of Sales Training

Bringing new salespeople onboard is an exciting time for any business. There is fresh energy, new perspectives, and enthusiasm to drive growth. However, more than simply hiring sales talent is required. A strategic sales training program is essential during onboarding to set your new hires up for success.

Why Sales Training Matters for Onboarding

When new sales reps start, they are eager to hit the ground running. However, most lack the skills and knowledge needed to be effective immediately. Without proper sales training during onboarding, it leads to:

  • Longer ramp-up time: It takes new reps longer to grasp your sales process, messaging, and expectations without structured training. This delays their ability to contribute.
  • Higher turnover: Lack of training is frustrating for new hires. They may become disengaged and leave if not properly equipped for the role.
  • Missed revenue targets: When reps aren’t trained well, they cannot execute the sales plan. This leads to lost opportunities and missed quotas.
  • Poor customer experiences: Untrained reps will struggle to properly qualify, position, and close sales. This reflects poorly on your business.

With a strategic sales training program, you can avoid these pitfalls and set new hires up for faster success.

Key Areas to Cover in New Salesperson Training

The scope of your sales training program will vary based on your business needs. However, most onboarding training should cover:

  • Product knowledge: Educate reps on your product/service offerings and value proposition. Ensure they can articulate details and benefits confidently.
  • Sales process: Provide training on your proven sales methodology so reps understand each step, from prospecting to closing deals.
  • Objection handling: Prepare reps to address common objections and pushback from prospects. Role-playing builds skill and confidence.
  • Presentation skills: If reps pitch, demo, or lead sales calls, public speaking training is critical.
  • Sales tools: Make sure new hires know how to utilize your CRM, sales enablement platform, and other technology tools.
  • Messaging and positioning: Craft your brand story, key messages, and ideal customer profiles. Equip reps to speak to them.
  • Buyer psychology: Training on customer pain points, motivations, and decision-making allows reps to connect better.
  • Consultative skills: For complex sales, teach questioning techniques, listening skills, and needs assessment.

This combination of hard and soft skills builds a well-rounded foundation for sales success.

How to Deliver Effective Sales Training

Simply providing training materials or putting new hires through online or offline programmes won’t ensure retention and application. Well-designed sales training will. This should include:

  • Ongoing microlearning: Short, targeted online lessons provide bitesize training that sticks better than cram sessions.
  • Coaching sessions: Dedicated time with managers or mentors to review learnings and answer questions.
  • Reinforcement: Use activities, quizzes, and discussions to apply new information repeatedly.
  • Real-world application: Include live role-playing for customer scenarios and call reviews to put skills into practice.
  • Assessment: Test comprehension and skill development with regular knowledge checks and observations.
  • Support resources: Provide checklists, videos, worksheets and tools for quick reference.

By incorporating continuous and hands-on elements, new hires will absorb and apply the training faster.

Impact on New Hire Performance and Retention

Making sales training a priority during onboarding pays off exponentially. Data shows structured programs can lead to:

  • 34% faster ramp-up to full productivity
  • 47% higher sales conversion rates
  • 26% reduction in new hire turnover
  • 214% higher revenue attainment per rep

The numbers speak volumes. Thoughtful sales training gets your new team contributing faster, hitting quotas sooner, and staying with your company longer. It’s a worthwhile investment for recruiting, developing and retaining top sales talent.

Bringing on new sales hires is an exciting step for driving business growth. But setting them up for ongoing excellence requires an intentional focus on training. A robust sales enablement program during onboarding equips reps with the hard and soft skills to deliver results and thrive long-term.