Sales onboarding is still broken and many companies think they can solve the problem simply by having one rep shadow another. That’s not going to work and it doesn’t work. What good is hiring great people if you don’t do proper sales training?
In this episode, Ryan Reisert, Lead Instructor at Sales Bootcamp, talks about what he’s learned about onboarding sales reps and shares his secrets to success.
Sales onboarding is a process that you need to get right, otherwise you’ll find your pipeline empty at the end of a ramp session with a rep. The first 90 days are crucial to getting this learning process right.
Why Sales Training is Lacking in Many Organization
Ryan has built and led many sales teams and over the years, and he saw a pattern for the problems that sales organizations have, when it comes to sales training.
“ A lot of organizations (…) seem to think that just putting somebody into an organization, listening in on a few calls, and giving them a phone is going to help them be productive,” said Ryan, on the Playmakers Podcast.
While that may work for rockstar employees, most sales reps are not at that level – they need to learn the skills first by practice, in order to excel. Sales reps, especially at an entry level, can fail without roper enablement, says Ryan.
“It’s a big problem. For most organizations that have the sales development function, these are your frontline reps. These are the reps that are talking to your future customers. This is their first experience engaging with your brand, your product, your service. A lot of times, these reps are not prepared for those conversations,” added Ryan.
Sales Is A Learned Craft
The issue stems from the fact that many organizations are not lead by folks with a strong sales background, according to Ryan Reisert. A lot of companies have leadership with technical or marketing background, and don’t really understand the art and science behind sales.
“I just think it’s a lack of understanding that this can be a learned craft. If you invest in your people, you will see that incremental increase in productivity, effectiveness, and ultimately see your revenue grow exponentially. More and more people are buying into it, it’s just taking some time,” told us Ryan.
The Two Things You Need For Proper Sales Onboarding
Sales onboarding is often a mishandled process because companies haven’t done their homework when it comes to solution selling and audience targeting, explains Ryan. These are the two elements you need to get right, before starting sales onboarding.
The Product Doesn’t Matter – It’s The Customer Problem
In many companies, there’s a huge emphasis on making sure the sales reps know every little feature and functionality of the product. In reality, that’s not really the most important thing we need to know, to be successful in sales.
“To be successful in sales, you need to really know what’s the problem that you’re solving. Why did your best customers come to you in the first place? Why do they continue to persist? What are some of the positive business outcomes that they’ve been able to get from your product or service?” said Ryan.
He recommends the book of author Mike Weinberg, “New Sales: Simplified” as a good starting point for anyone who is trying to master sales. The book advises practicing sales starting with your value points in reference to your customer.
“What are their pain points? What are their key challenges? How are you addressing those? If you can start to align your understanding of your business in the eyes and lens of your customers, you’re going to have a lot more success once you go live than being a product savant,” added Ryan.
“The product doesn’t matter. I can’t stress that enough. (…) It just doesn’t. Your customers, aren’t buying your product, they’re buying a solution to a problem they have, so you need to understand their problem first,” says Ryan.
Targeting The Right Customers
Companies often go to a strategy of contacting everyone, regardless of whether they are the right fit or not. This leads to wasted time, resources, and ultimately poor results. Ryan advises that you take the time to figure out your audience segments, and that you do not leave the task of identifying customers to sales reps who have just been hired.
“Who cares about this messaging, what are the best accounts? We identify in this ideal account profile or customer profile, and we start with those companies. Within those companies, who cares about it and who should be receiving this message? Who are our actually buyers? Who’s feeling the pain the most within the organization, so that we know who to engage with?” adds Ryan.
Once you are confident about solution selling and customer targeting in your company, you can practice calls and even face-to-face conversations with your reps to make sure they are on a path to success, told us Ryan.
Listen to the full podcast with Ryan Reisert to learn:
- What are the segments you can use for targeting your audience
- What are coaching moments and how you can implement them in your company
- The one thing that matters for sales training and onboarding