Business for DAVIS didn’t stop when the Coronavirus hit and we started working remotely. We had just hired two new sales associates and we needed to train them while working from home. This presented us with some new challenges. Here are my 7 takeaways to get new hires up to speed which highlight the major challenges and the major wins.
- TRAINING SCHEDULE. Be sure to have a clearly outlined training schedule. It helps to send out calendar invites for each block of training and keep that time sacred. This practice should be routine under any circumstance but is critical during this time working from home, as its easy for folks to lose track of time.
- TOOLS and TECHNOLOGY. We do a blend of classroom, shadowing and role play in our sales training the first two weeks. Having easy to use technology such as Microsoft Teams and our Vonage Phone system has made the remote transition much easier. All classroom trainings are done through Teams and allow for visual aids and group participation. We can shadow using screen-share and the call monitoring feature through the Vonage app for live scenarios. One of the best features is the ability to record via Teams for review later on. There are so many times when you want to share that great role play with more people who may not have been on the call.
- BE INTERACTIVE. Be sure to make your classroom trainings interactive and ask questions to ensure engagement. Its tough to gauge engagement and read body language through video, so make sure people are following along and having interaction throughout is key. Using different media such as presentations, videos and interactive role plays keeps things fresh. Have questions prepared and so you can recap to ensure all the information was absorbed by the team.
- DIFFERENT VOICES. Be sure to have your new reps hear from multiple people throughout their onboarding and training to keep things fresh and gain access to different styles and perspectives. When our new hires shadow other sales reps they get to listen to different people and multiple people will shadow the new reps in turn. This collaborative approach brings a lot of diversity to handling situations and helps the reps build their own voice through the best examples of others.
- ROLE PLAY. This is a must for folks that haven’t made live calls yet. They need to know what they are getting into and practice before they are thrown into the fire. No one can lose when we do role play but build an environment where the team can get vulnerable and embrace peer accountability. We believe iron sharpens iron. Though it may be nerve racking for new hires, properly setting the stage as to why it’s important, can calm the nerves. It is important for everyone to participate including the leader. You should offer feedback on things they did well as well as areas to improve. We finish by ranking ourselves 1-10. The goal is to have a better ranking the next time around. When other folks are critical of themselves, this also calms the nerves of the new hires.
- ASSIGN A MENTOR. Don’t partner new folks up with your most senior reps. Partner new reps with someone who has less than a year in your office. The reason is they just went through the same training recently and are typically still following the process taught to them. They are also looking for opportunities to progress their career and this is a great opportunity to flex their leadership muscle.
- START STRONG. Starting the training off strong was important, so we kicked the week off getting their mind in the right place. BRING THE ENERGY and set the tone. Set expectations early and often. We did it through going over the 7 items below and taking time to write down their thoughts about each item and then discussed in a roundtable.
- Confidence – What’s the one thing you
need coming in the door to be successful in sales? Its confidence! We want folks on our team to be Bad Asses!
- Personal Unique Sales Proposition – What makes them special and different? Ensuring when they sell, they don’t just sell our service and process, they sell themselves!
- Vision – Where do they see themselves in the future?
- Roadblocks – Setting the expectation that things won’t be easy, what are some roadblocks that will get in the way of them accomplishing their vision?
- Attitude – Overcoming the roadblocks depends on whether they have the right attitude. Will they stay positive when things get tough?
- Controllable events – Are they willing to take full accountability and own the outcome? What are the key KPIs?
- Time management– Time is the great equalizer but top reps maximize their time. What’s their dream week look like?
We’ve had great feedback on the blend of classroom, role play and shadowing along with the mix of trainers involved.
Working remotely in the comfort of your home is a great place to start a new role if you have the right coaching and guidance plan in place. You’re in your own domain, you can be comfortable and confident. Even with the unfortunate situation of the COVID pandemic, it is a great time to start in sales and build relationships with folks through empathy. Everyone is dealing with the same thing right now and we are all in this together.
Have you hired any sales folks during this time? Share your ideas with us!
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