Onboarding a sales team: here’s what you need to know

by James Ker-Reid - March 16, 2022

Once you have a sales team in place, you’ll need to begin the process of onboarding them. Onboarding can be tricky for many companies, especially startups that might not have vast amounts of experience setting up new hires. With that in mind, we’ve put this quick guide together with the key points of onboarding a sales team. Read on and make sure your new team member starts as they mean to go on. 

Onboarding a sales team in a nutshell

  • Keep them engaged
  • Establish expectations quickly
  • Don’t waste time
  • Put everything in writing

Make it engaging 

No matter how eager your new sales rep might be, at times, the onboarding process can be a tad boring. If there are many processes to go through, it’s not unreasonable to think that a rep might lose interest, even if they have the best intentions. 

Studies have shown that engaged team members are more productive and less likely to look for employment elsewhere, and the onboarding process offers the perfect opportunity to show them how the job will keep them engaged at all times. Make it interactive, encourage plenty of communication with other team members and keep it fun so that new hires stay switched on throughout the process.

Establish expectations

The sooner your sales reps know what’s expected of them, the better. The onboarding process offers the perfect opportunity to show what defines success at your startup, meaning you can communicate expectations early in the hire. 

Of course, to meet expectations, reps need support. This stage of onboarding a sales team should also show team members how the company will help them achieve their goals. Setting expectations shouldn’t be a warning of what they need to do to stay in their role; instead, it should involve showing all the support mechanisms in place and giving them a transparent view of the company’s goals. 

Don’t waste time

There’s no need to spend an entire day onboarding rep and going through processes. Use the time to get them pursuing leads and trying to make a sale. This approach ties in with keeping onboarding engaging and helps embed sales reps into the team faster. 

While it might feel like you’re throwing them in at the deep end, the long-term benefits can be fruitful. You’re showing reps that you trust their ability, even if the first day’s calls are merely reading from a script. By all means, do training. But it should coincide with real-life sales from the get-go. 

Put it all in writing

Starting a new role can be daunting and a little nerve-racking, even for sales reps with bags of confidence. That’s why you should have written copies of the onboarding process. 

A sales rep can’t be expected to retain every single piece of information. Give them resources and reference guides they can refer to and refresh their memory when need be. Build a document filled with FAQs about the company and role so reps can use it as their encyclopaedia for the first few weeks and months at the company. 

Onboarding a sales team

Onboarding a sales team doesn’t need to be a laborious process. You can make it fun and engaging and get reps up and running as quickly as possible, so they’re contributing, feeling appreciated and helping your business reach its sales targets. 



Further Reading

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