Biz Dev Managers Offer 12 Tips For Onboarding New Sales Staff

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Creating a dynamic sales team doesn’t just happen overnight. If you are trying to increase your brand reach in the marketplace, then it takes time to select the right new hires who can successfully contribute to your sales department’s goals and objectives.

One of the most important things is finding someone who is the best fit for your department and company culture. By the same token, when it comes to learning to close the deal with potential clients and gain the interest of other sales prospects, it’s key to encourage them to grow at their own pace with confidence and their own unique style. Below, 12 Forbes Business Development Council members each share one best practice they’ve implemented when hiring and onboarding new sales professionals.

1. Focus On Cultural Fit And Adaptability

A best practice for business development leaders in hiring and onboarding new sales professionals is to focus on cultural fit and adaptability. Utilize a structured onboarding process that emphasizes the company’s values and strategic goals while providing training and mentorship. This approach ensures alignment with organizational objectives and enables long-term success in a dynamic environment. – Eddy Vertil, Vertil & Company

2. Give New Hires The Right Tools For Success

Hiring and onboarding sales professionals will either make or break your go-to-market efforts. Hire sales professionals who demonstrate grit both professionally and personally. One best practice to set sales up for success is to empower them with the most holistic market intelligence on the client attributes, competitors, territory, gatekeepers and key decision makers to effectively drive revenue. – Archana Rao, Innova Solutions

3. Incorporate Situational Role-Play Opportunities

While not every sales professional is built the same, one best practice for hiring and onboarding is to not only think beyond traditional sales enablement programs and training tools but to also incorporate as many situational role-play opportunities as possible. This might include assigning a mentor or buddy whom they can shadow and gain insights from alongside feedback from their manager. – Joe Wykes, Vention

4. Reemploy A Former High-Performing Staff Member

I value personal experiences with talent and referrals from people I trust. Often targeting a competitor that you know has beaten you for the business is a good example of leveraging personal experience. Likewise, hiring a channel partner that you have collaborated with is another good example. Finally, the boomerang hire (hiring back someone who used to work with the firm) often works well. – Joe Nocera, PwC


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5. Be Transparent About Role Requirements

Coming from someone who hired over 100 team members last year alone, it’s critically important to explain the role, expectations and opportunities clearly to potential new hires. If there’s a misalignment in the process, it can lead to disappointed team members and supervisors. It’s better to over communicate rather than leave it up to chance that they understand what the job entails. – Allison Walsh, Charlie Health

6. Offer A Quarterly Incentive Bonus Structure

With the invention of AI, resumes are past their time in business. Strong biz development candidates should have quick rapport skills, likability and authenticity. This can ultimately lead to trust and the foundation for relationship building. Once you have hired the new salesperson, create a quick incentive runway with a quarterly bonus structure for measurable goals that will create a faster ramp-up time. – Angie Barnes, NAVCO

7. Ensure Their Core Values Align With The Company’s Mission

See what questions a potential sales professional asks of the hiring leader. Is the individual seeking to understand the organization’s needs or are they focused on themselves and their accomplishments? Great salespeople first seek to understand and then to be understood. This fundamental observation shares much about whether the individual is a good fit or not. – David Adams, Adams Advisors, LLC

8. Let Them Do The Work And Learn From Their Mistakes

Empower new sales professionals to do the work. Theory and sales training can only get you so far, but the quickest way a new sales professional will learn is if they are making the calls, sending the emails and establishing contacts. They need to fail and say or do the wrong things until they find what works best for them. If you hold them back from “doing,” then you’re slowing down their learning process. – Kane Carpenter, Daggerfinn

9. Provide A Structured, Comprehensive Onboarding Process

Establishing a structured and comprehensive onboarding process, which includes clear expectations and goals. This would include performance metrics, sales targets and mentorship or support. – Matt Coyle, Commercial Restoration Company

10. Invite Them On Sales Calls To Observe Their Colleagues

Before your new sales professionals come in for their onboarding and new hire training, ensure that they spend at least one week out in the field with an experienced sales professional, visiting customers and observing the sales process and use of their product or service. It helps immensely with context and supports learning and retention. – Michael Smith, Align Technology

11. Ask To Speak With Satisfied Customers

Check their references—but instead of asking for former bosses, ask to speak with customers your future salesperson has sold to. If they can name three people who might be happy to provide a reference, that’s a good sign. When speaking with one or two of them, find out what their experience with your prospective salesperson was like. – Kaspar Fopp, Wondersign

12. Empower Staff To Execute The Sale In Their Own Style

Remember that not everybody is you. Everybody has a different style and a different personality. Just because you can pull it off, doesn’t mean they can. If you hired them, then you must have faith in their ability, so let them use it. My trick is to tell them how I would handle a situation and then allow them to execute the plan but in their own style. Empower your people. – David Strausser, Stellar One Consulting

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