hiring-resized-600There are many sales managers and business leaders who believe that if you hire the right salesperson you can just turn them loose and they will excel.  Not true.

The first 90 days (if not longer) are nearly as critical as following a solid recruiting and hiring process.   First, “A” players will not settle for “B” management so you need to have a disciplined approach to onboarding and ramping up.  Second, you need to be able to articulate why customers buy from you, and how you are differentiated (or not) from your competitors.   Then be able to equip them with a massive list of great questions.  Not good questions, but great questions.  Help them quickly learn how to get inside the prospect’s mind and heart.  Do this with good, thought-provoking questions.  Share with them what the typical obstacles are and how to discuss that.

Once you have given them the basics with regard to your company, your industry (if necessary) and followed my advice above, be sure to have an action plan and an expectation plan.  What specifically should the new rep do the first week?  What should they do the first month and so on?  Make sure to set specific expectations to go along with those activities.  For instance, a typical plan for your business might include expectations regarding setting  a certain number of appointments, so you should determine at what point the new salesperson is capable of trying to set appointments and build into the program a specific expectation regarding this requirement.  And, then finally, you should also articulate specific expectations with regard to when they should be closing their first pieces of business and what the ramp up expectation is.

The more specific and precise you can be about expectations, the easier it will be for your newly hired sales reps to have success, because they will know what to do, and the easier it will be for you to manage their progress.