Must-Follow Steps for Onboarding Sales Reps in 90 Days

Illustration of a woman wearing a blue shirt pointing at a pie chart and bar graph to a newly hired sales rep

We get it.

You want your sales reps closing deals the nanosecond they start their first day. But you might want to pump the brakes.

Data shows good things happen when you establish a documented process for onboarding sales reps.

A sales onboarding process increases win rates by 14%.

Oh, and…

Onboarding sales reps increases quote attainment by 6.6%.

So, let’s dive into some of those best onboarding practices.

Step 1: Write Better Job Descriptions

Who you hire will determine how they onboard (or if they’re worth onboarding at all).

So, when you’re writing your job description, you’ll want to be crystal clear about a couple of things to set expectations straight:

  • Familiarity with CRMs is mandatory (more on this later)
  • Compensation

Why should you include salary and benefits? Because you might be losing out on the best applicants—talent who are more seasoned, experienced and selling machines.

78% of jobseekers won't apply if there's no salary shown

Step 2: Ask Applicants Different Questions

When you sit down to interview (hopefully) better candidates, you’ll probably ask the expected: “Why are you looking to move?” “What’s a time something didn’t go as planned and how did you respond?”

Sales reps can answer those without flinching.

So, ask them deeper probing questions like these:

  • “How do you keep up with the news or trends that matter to our target market?”
  • “Would you rather close a guaranteed laydown sale or have a shot building value with that tough, on the fence client?”
  • “How do you motivate yourself?”

You’ll have a better idea of who you’re talking to and whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your company.

DAYS 1-30 of Onboarding Sales Reps

Step 3: Ease Them In

Whoever you hire will want a chance to prove themselves, especially when commissions are part of their salary.

But sales reps should spend those first 30 days learning about your business and its values. Learning about your customers.

And yes, learning about your products.

Taking it slowly makes a positive first impression that can pay off in the long run.

88% of employees don't believe their company onboarded well.

Not to mention…

Companies with an onboarding process have 69% retention rate of 3 or more years.

Step 4: Cast a Bigger Shadow

They won’t ever admit it, but even the most seasoned sales rep could benefit from shadowing.

Why?

Sure, they may have sold everything from paperclips to Porsches but let’s face it, the extended warranty industry is fairly niche—so don’t let their pride get in the way. Have them shadow someone from every department:

  • Other sales reps
  • Customer service staff
  • Even the owner

They’ll hear questions and comments they’ll experience one day plus multiple perspectives on how to address them in an industry they probably haven’t worked in before.

DAYS 30-60 of Onboarding Sales Reps

Step 5: Challenge Them

What goals do you have established for your new hires?

Do you want them to focus on making a certain number of calls per day? Sell ten VSCs and five home warranties per week?

Whatever they are, maybe you should make them harder to attain. Yes, you want the goals to be more challenging.

Here’s why.

One study that reviewed 10 years’ worth of goal setting and performance outcomes show that challenging goals lead to higher performance than easy or “do your best” goals 90% of the time!

Step 6: Train Them How to Use Your CRM

Yes, we’re a little biased, but CRM training needs to be part of the process you have for onboarding sales reps.

Don’t believe us?

Consider this:

CRMs shorten sales cycles by up to 14%.

And…

CRMs increase sales by up to 41%.

That’s why we said familiarity with CRMs should be mandatory as part of your hiring process!

And with Inline CRM, your reps’ tasks are loaded in their dashboard when they log in so they know where to focus. Ideally, those tasks align with the challenging—but attainable—goals you’ve set for them.

More importantly, you’ll want to document your sales process digitally or physically.

84% of sales training is forgotten within 90 days.

Don’t worry, though. Inline CRM clients receive ongoing training whenever they need it, for as long as they need it.

Step 7: Surprise Them

Ever wonder if your sales reps literally stick to the script? Here’s a way to find out.

Cast yourself (or another team member) as a lead… without your rep knowing. Have them go through the introduction, information gathering and all the other steps your company has created using Inline CRM’s script building tool.

Pepper them with questions and objections to see how they respond.

If it turns out they are using the script, you can coach specifics.

And if they were winging it? Well, they probably won’t anymore (for one reason or another).

DAYS 60-90 of Onboarding Sales Reps

Step 8: Help Them Improve

Once your new hire gets more comfortable with your process, you’ll want to give them more nuanced suggestions to help them sell more extended warranties.

Some of your suggestions will take a little practicing, like “Say X when your lead says Y”

But some of the things you ask your reps to do can be automated—and they’ll love this functionality:

  • Buy now email templates (they can literally sell in their sleep)
  • Email templates after they leave a voicemail
  • Our Follow-Up Management (FUM) tools to prioritize warmer leads
  • Monitoring their commissions for each sale in real time
  • Managing and selling all products, from extended home warranties to commercial truck policies, from the same record to book more deals easily

And if you hired a real go-getter, you can show them how to create their own custom sales reports that can reveal all kinds of data to help them sell more:

Closing ratios per policy type, postdate throughputs, cancel ratios.

Those are just a few of the almost infinite types of reports they can use to sell more. And it might just be the most useful part of your sales onboarding process.

Want to Train Up Your Sales Reps Faster?

Book a walkthrough or get access to a demo of Inline CRM, for free with no obligation!