Knowing how to get things done for your advertising customers and building credibility with them and your colleagues (who take care of them) is as critical to your sales success as sales training. It requires solid understanding of your products, pricing options, and capabilities to develop customized products. It also helps to know who to go to and how to work effectively with the people and processes that support you and your customers.
We recommend a very structured on-boarding program that includes sales training aligned to your preferred sales approach and tailored to address gaps in the new account executive’s skill set.
We’ve outlined an “on-boarding” model below, assuming some basic steps are completed.
Day 1: Human Resources covers the basics
Element: Standard HR information re: General orientation to the organization, work expectations, benefits, what to expect and what is expected of all employees and how to navigate HR-related services: payroll, tax withholding, vacation, insurance, etc.
Benefit/Purpose: Financial and benefit issues are top of anyone’s mind so having these questions resolved allows the new AE to mentally focus on learning the business and effective selling.
Days 1-2: Sales Manager welcomes new AE to the team
Element: Introduction to the company and products in general:
Benefit/Purpose: Ensure solid knowledge of roles, establish helpful relationships and avoid process errors, establish deep understanding of all products, pricing and packaging options
Days 2 – 3: Sales Manager and AE begin planning and skills assessment
Deep dive into policy, processes, practices expectations
Drill on product information: by product, know the product, targeted demo, appropriate application/benefits for clients, pricing and package options
Benefits/Purpose: Align priorities, Ensure good planning and execution practices, Assess skills and training needs, reinforce previous day’s orientation
Days 3-5: Sales Manager Solidifies product knowledge and assesses sales skills- live environment
Observe AE in action:
Daily Drill on product information: by product, the product description, targeted demo, appropriate application/benefits for clients, pricing options
Provide effective tools: for example, a “symptoms and solutions” quick reference guide. (Customer’s need – product solution)
Benefit/Purpose: Reinforce expectations, assess interpersonal sales skills, solidify product knowledge
Days 4-5: Sales Manager Develops training and support program
Benefit/Purpose: Develop a tailored training and support program for the AE to optimize the investment and likelihood of success; The plan increases likelihood of follow through at all levels
Ongoing: Sales Manager regularly reviews, observes and provides feedback
Elements: Minimum weekly performance review; Formal 30-60-90 day review:
Benefit/Purpose: Strong start and constant feedback to build skills and results, reinforce expectations, address gaps; Congratulate on permanent status or help transition out of position by 90 days
This approach to launching new sales people, coupled with the right incentives plan can help a Sales Manager build a consistently high-performing dream team.
Try it and let us know how it goes. Contact us with questions. We’re happy to help!