Imagine it is the first day of the new hires in your sales team. Some of them are experienced while others are fresh. They walk in at your office. However, the question remains are they really prepared to take up the new role? Are you confident to assign them their responsibilities with full confidence?
Employee onboarding fills this gap by helping new hires to acquire new skills, tools and knowledge required to integrate into their working to succeed within the organization. Formal training, process and accountability, all part of the onboarding program, drives the team to move closer to the organization goals.
A poor onboarding experience is hard to come back from and is the fastest way to lose a customer. It’s critical to actively think about the entire customer journey.
Define it, Map it, Document it.
Importance of Onboarding
An employee gets introduced to your company through an onboarding program, and so it is even more salient to offer them a successful experience that makes them feel valued from the start. Through this program, they don’t only develop a feeling of belongingness towards your brand but also get to understand how their role will eventually contribute to the overall success of your organization.
Here are just a few more additional reasons to why you should optimize an effective onboarding program:
#1- Boosts Productivity
Who do I need to report to? What are the parameters on which my performance will be measured? Do I need to follow some tips when I work on some specific projects? These are few of the common questions that go around in the mind of the employee at the time when he joins a new organization. Employee onboarding helps to eliminate these doubts, thereby leading to satisfaction in his mind. Consequently, when a positive image of your organization is inculcated in the mind of the new hire, productivity tends to increase.
#2- Brings a Clear Picture of the Role
Training of the employees with a proper explanation of the job is a major part of the onboarding program. Thus, the motive at the end of it should be that the new employee is well familiarized of how his role will fit into the team and the entire business. Additionally, he should feel a valuable part of your business so that he remains motivated to keep doing his job to the best of his ability.
#3- Reduces Employee Turnover
You wouldn’t agree less that turnover is an expensive affair and it is not just limited to paying to recruiters for the hiring process. When an employee quits, other members of the team need to pick up the slack and do extra work, draining organization’s time, energy, and resources. Therefore, it’s importance cannot be neglected. By providing an efficient onboarding program, you can actually retain 50% new hires than they would otherwise.
#4- Causes Low Stress in Employees
We have all experienced it that joining a new company is extremely stressful. However, you can minimize the effect of negative emotions by making the new hire feel welcomed by the team and providing him with all the tools & information required to do the job. Employee onboarding should not only result in happier new hires but also the establishment of relationships between the team members. Good relationships between members at the early stage itself increase the chance of building strong teams in future.
Top Employee Onboarding Challenges
You must have often heard people saying ‘first impression is the last impression’. This is even true when onboarding a new hire. Below is a list of the biggest challenges which, if proactively avoided, can boost the overall productivity of the organization:
#1- Information Overload
Let’s agree to it that joining a new company is no less than the adult version of the first day at school. A new workplace, culture, colleagues, everything is unfamiliar with all sort of uncertainties running through our mind.
With this being the case, it is highly insensitive to expect a new hire to learn and retain everything about the company on the first day itself. A new employee is bombarded with so many tasks such as to fill dozens of documents, learn several applications, memorize names and so on. Accomplishing all this is a strenuous task and should be given considerable time.
#2- Role Ambiguity
Most new hires come across this challenge of facing a lack of clarity of their role for which they are signed up. They often may even get disappointed by the same. Thus, the HR of your organization should ensure that the team leaders meet the new employee and give him a clear understanding of his role.
#3- Having High Expectations from Employees
You hire new talent and provide all the necessary training to them, and boom!!! Your expectation from them to perform outstandingly and deliver favourable results for the organization’s growth starts from the very next day. This is where you go wrong. Why? Because it is normal for even the most promising talent to face a knowledge drain. However, it is your responsibility to train them regularly by enabling on-demand, micro and virtual form of training.
#4- Delivery of Right Content
Imagine you have hired an employee for software development and along with training on how to customize the product, he is also being told about how the selling of the product will work.
Onboarding program should be tailored according to specific job roles. The training should be pertinent to the new employee and he shouldn’t be inundated with the tasks he has to perform. He should only be given the necessary information that could help him to increase the efficiency of his work.
Best Techniques to Deliver World-Class Sales Onboarding
Great onboarding programs are a continuous process, with the best ones lasting at least 90 days. To ensure the desired outcome, it takes a leader’s support to identify and transfer the various skills, knowledge, and abilities for new hires to succeed.
After learning how an effective onboarding sales onboarding can work wonders and the challenges, which if not addressed can be proved detrimental for the organization’s growth, it would make sense to know the powerful techniques that can help in delivering world-class sales onboarding program.
#1- Team-focused Approach
Sales are all about developing and maintaining relationships and this relationship serves meaning when it is between the client and the company. The training to achieve this objective should start from the very beginning of the initial onboarding.
The way to do this is by involving the entire team throughout the onboarding program so that the team mentality starts building up in their mind. The seasoned sales reps may even introduce the new hire to the established clients so that as they move ahead, the clients start welcoming them with open arms.
#2- Share Collected Data for Fast Learning
A new hire’s chances to grasp better increases when he has a clear understanding of your company’s target market, processes, and products. This is possible when you share all the client-related data easily and quickly with him. As a sales manager, you should ensure easy access to all the relevant information to him with controlled permissions. The added advantage of seamlessly doing this exercise is that it helps in maintaining a positive brand image. When you train your salesperson well by sowing the seeds of the necessary information, it allows him to win the trust and make a long-lasting impression in the mind of your valued customers.
#3- Create a Smooth Brand & Culture
You will obviously want every single employee to be an extension of your organization’s brand & culture. This means that all the interactions should radiate the same vibes across the board. An effective mission statement, which is more than what you write in your ‘About’ section of your home page, can give your clients the ability to understand and make wise decisions based on your shared values. So, instead of leaving everything to the new hire, you can use this statement to become a source of all information so that after reading it thoroughly, your clients can know about what they can expect from your brand.
#4- Communicate Benefits & Compensation
A clear understanding of all-important benefits and compensation from the start is a must. It should be ensured during the onboarding program that everything is clearly communicated. A well-communicated compensation package provides the new hire with the right level of motivation, as well as establishes that everyone is on the same page of expectations.
#5- Set Realistic Goals
It is obvious that every domain will bring a different set of challenges and opportunities, and so setting one common goal for the new hires is no logic. It is imperative to assess the sales territory after careful evaluation of the market potential and then devise the best course of action for each demographic. A customized approach to sales prospecting and lead generation for each territory is definitely bound to give desired results.