You made the decision to replace or bring on new sales talent. Maybe the last hire or group of hires didn’t go so well. Your company’s financial gurus will not accept the costs of bad hires and slow ramp up sales people. You’ve been given lofty goals to attain and you have no time, or patience, for “non-starters”. This time it has to be done right. Period.
Sales Challenge Quiz.
Pressure, pressure, pressure.
Ok, take a chill pill and relax. I’ve got your back, I promise. I know what I’m talking about. Just take a couple of minutes and review my steps below. Act on them with a vengeance and you’ll get to the goals needed. Here’s a recent kudo so you don’t think I’m full of it.
Do you believe you can ramp up sales people in less than thiry days?
Before we get started I need to know one thing. Do you believe this can be accomplished? I mean seriously thirty days Chris? Really? YES! I mean 30 days! I need you to really believe you can ramp someone in thirty days or you’re wasting both our time. Onboard? Ok, let’s get this party started!
5 powerful steps for a quick ramp up.
Step 1 – Hire right, orientation and setting the expectation and expediency. It’s frickin expensive to hire wrong! In a Robert Half, a whopping 41 percent of those that made bad hires estimate costs of a single hire in the thousands. And it gets worse. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates costs equal to 30 percent of the bad hires potential first-year earnings.
Why do I bring this up? Because it’s important that you really understand this. It is also important that your new hires understand this. Day one the results expectation needs to be brought home to them in a way they understand with absolute clarity. There is no “grace period”. It’s now or never. Costs are too high and both your jobs are at risk. And this starts with orientation and day one.
“His ability to coach new sales people to become strong players helps to quickly build strong sales teams and greatly reduces their churn.”
Their HR orientation should be organized, presented and processed before day one. How many hours and sometimes days are wasted on this! Most of the items needed that take up the first day with HR could have been handled prior to them showing up. Their paperwork, computer, phone, business cards, email should all be done before they walk in the door. This is a real pet-peeve of mine. Get organized folks. Day one is a selling day!
So, how do you know you’ve hired the right person that can take on this challenge? That’s the real problem isn’t it? I have a solution however. Just have them take my totallysales™ Sales Challenge Quiz. If they score a 30 out of 50 or less then they’re a dud. Don’t waste your time with them. I have used this for years successfully. It’s not a bunch of shrink questions but real life sales scenarios and attitudes. Take it yourself to see what I am talking about. It’s free.
Step 2 – Understand the product and positioning. Do you? Does your company? If you can’t describe what you sell and who are the best potential clients simply then you don’t understand what you do. Make sure that’s not the case. Not on their ramp up time anyways. One to two weeks of training is ridiculous. PowerPoint after PowerPoint is not only excruciating to sit through but, in most cases, a waste of time.
Again, they need to have done their homework ahead of day one and not on sales time! Do you have a simple talking point training program to get them started? So they don’t look like a deer in the headlamps when they start prospecting? Why not.
Step 3 – Mentor, mentor, mentor. Actually this is where the real training comes into play. If you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves and become attached at the hip to your new recruit then you deserve to fail. At first you have to do this. Later drive alongs, sales engineers, etc. can take your place. This is also where the long-term training really takes place. Answering questions and positioning in front of a customer is the best training ever!
WARNING! Your new salesperson, regardless of how long they have been selling, can not be a “lone wolf” the first 30 days. Discuss this upfront and make sure you implement. Accountability the first 30 days is crucial. It also helps with quick changes and right directions. Take the time and get them started efficiently and successfully.
Step 4 – Define success activity. Again, have you defined success activity for your product and company. I’m not necessarily talking based on the “top dog” either. Many times they are not the example that makes sense to everyone else.
Make sure you have defined this activity and your new salesperson has bought off on it. A good way to get this started correctly is with a sales plan. I designed totallysales™ Sales Playbook which works well if you don’t have something in place. You and your new sales pro can partner on it for quick focus and success.
Go over this everyday and make tweaks as necessary. I would have them fill out the sales plan prior to hire. They need to understand the dollar value of every minute they waste. Hold them accountable.
Step 5 – Give them secret sauce. Listen, the best plans and implementation can still fail unfortunately. So why not hedge the bet with some perks and solid leads. Perks for not only the salesperson based on fast ramp-up but for potential customers purchasing from the new person. Have some leads that are solid and not hand me down busy work crap. Making sales quickly is a motivator and the best training ever for the entire sales process.
I’m in the trenches making this work every day. This is not theory. I’m also a top-ranked sales manager with a 10-year history of sales success. I know what I’m talking about. Implement these 5 steps and you will become the rising star manager desired. More importantly your new sales professional will ramp up fast, become confident, and most likely blow away their quota. A good thing right?
Maybe you have had some ramp up sales successes you would like to share?© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF