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How to Recruit and Train an All-Star Sales Crew

Featured image by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

One of the most important factors in your organization’s success is your ability to effectively recruit and train a stellar sales crew. However, recruiting managers often mishandle this process and it becomes a massive time drain.

But time is a critical and scarce resource in a sales organization. Therefore, it is essential that you learn how to ramp up new sales crew reps quickly and effectively without compromising on training quality.

In 2021, the average ramp-up rate for junior reps has been somewhere around 10 months. During that time new hires are not yet contributing to their full potential. This forces managers to spend valuable hours every day just to get them up to speed.

However, Attention improves your ability to cut down this period by more than half. With the help of the latest, most cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, our training software provides real-time feedback for junior reps on a variety of metrics so you don’t have to. Plus, it tracks their progress and training goals. The result is radically accelerated onboarding processes. In fact, new reps are ramped up in weeks rather than months. This represents a greatly reduced time burden for managers.


1. Select Outstanding Players for Your Sales Crew

One of the most important steps in the onboarding process takes place before it actually begins. You need a great process in place for identifying and selecting the reps with the most potential. This can make all the other steps on this list so much easier. There is an art and a science to recruiting standout reps. But it starts with identifying and recognizing the key traits that make a great salesperson.

One vital trait to look out for is ambition. Self-motivated, ambitious reps can usually make up for any lack of experience or skill quickly. Another essential characteristic is coachability. This refers to an individual’s ability to take feedback and respond quickly to training. Salespersons who have this trait tend to go above and beyond their coaching goals.

If you find a rep who has ambition, a natural skillset for sales, and strong coachability, hold on to them! These are the kinds of people you want in your team.

Above all, you want to avoid building a team that is dependent on the performance of a few outstanding stars. You want every member to contribute and be valuable.

2. Avoid Common Onboarding Mistakes

There are many recurring mistakes that companies make during onboarding that can drastically affect their long-term results.

For example, quite often, sales leaders don’t take onboarding seriously. Instead, they expect sales crew reps to learn on the job and figure it out by themselves. While this might save a bit of time in the short term, it wastes time in the long term. Moreover, it sets your reps up for failure.

There are many aspects of the sales process that are impossible to improvise or figure out on the fly. Instead, team members must be formally taught. The other risk associated with this mistake is that reps learn and pass on the wrong sales practices. When your reps have learned and practiced the wrong way of doing things, it is difficult to fix the damage.

Another common mistake is giving uniform, one-size-fits-all sales training. Sales is ultimately a very personal practice. Each rep has their own stumbling blocks to work around. Each one should should develop their own style. Training every rep the same way is usually just a cop-out for busy managers. We get it. You’re busy and under huge time constraints. But effective sales training is always as personalized as possible. To be effective, it requires a lot of feedback and frequent adjustments.

Want to know how to achieve this without sacrificing valuable managerial time? You guessed it: Attention can help you do just that.

3. Get Started Right Away

We all know time is precious in the fast-moving world of sales. However, a surprising number of managers waste valuable days by not onboarding sales crew members immediately. Over time, this can translate to wasted weeks or months every year.

Getting your new hires to hit the ground running by starting the training and onboarding process immediately can make a major difference in your long-term results. To do this effectively, you should have systems and processes in place to make sure they get up to speed within a day or two.

Steps you can take include sending emails out before the onboarding formally begins. Start with basic guides, training videos, and FAQs to ensure your reps are ready to start ramping up as soon as they hit the office.

4. Familiarize New Sales Crew Members with Your Mission

Everything about your sales organization should be oriented toward a central vision and grounded in your mission. As soon as onboarding starts, you should begin to familiarize your reps with the company’s mission. This provides clarity and focus for all their training and activities, as they understand what they are working toward.

5. Use Gamification

Gamification has been widely proven to boost and improve training results and motivation. People love games, and incentives such as public acknowledgment and impromptu rewards can be extremely powerful ways to drive your team to do better.

6. Train Sales Crew in Communication Skills

One of the onboarding practices with the highest return on investment is coaching your reps’ communication abilities. Without the basics of engaging communication, all the sales strategies and pipeline skills in the world won’t be of any help. Key areas to focus on include body language training, how to ask good questions, and how to deliver exciting and interesting presentations consistently. A surprising number of salespeople still deliver flat, uninspiring, and overlong presentations. As a result, many businesspeople report feeling bored on sales calls.

Asking great questions is another key area to work on for your reps. Salespeople tend to be chatty and extraverted, which is an asset but can also be a hindrance. The insights and information you depend on as a salesperson are often the result of asking the right questions and listening carefully.

Attention makes it easier than ever to train and develop communication skills in your junior reps. Our software tracks factors like body language, percentage of time spent speaking, active listening cues, and so on.


Develop Your Own Skills with Recruiting, Onboarding, and Training

A good onboarding process for new reps can be the difference between retention and churn. Ramping up new reps can be challenging, but with the right strategy, you’ll have them hitting the ground running.

One of these strategies is to identify their strengths and weaknesses during the selection process. Another way is for managers to start training as soon as possible after hiring someone new. This will ensure they’re able to get on board faster and stay motivated longer. Use gamification to make training fun and train your reps to boost their listening skills. These six steps should help your sales crew members hit the ground running like pros!

If you need help making this crucial process faster and more efficient, Attention can help you do just that.