The first step in alleviating time from your sales manager and existing development reps is to implement good hiring practices. It wastes time and money to hire an employee only to see them leave a few weeks later. At XANT we have a fairly strenuous hiring process. We require all new development reps to be prescreened by our HR team. This includes a resume screening, phone interview, and in person interview.
If the development rep passes these steps, then they are interviewed by the sales manager. Next, if the sales manager likes the candidate, they are interviewed by our VP of Sales. Finally, if they are able to make it pass the VP of sales, they are ready to be interviewed by our CEO.
This process ensures the new development rep will fit in with the current leadership. By having a process that includes multiple inputs, you insure that the new rep will mesh with the existing development reps and managers
Another ingredient that is a must have for the sales floor is a scrappy sales manager. It’s vital that your manager is engaged and passionate about their work because this passion will rub off onto the new rep. A scrappy sales manager will also have the work ethic needed to keep a sales team focused and working together through the good and the bad.
The lengthy, most time consuming, and costly part of educating new development reps is the technical and process training. At XANT we spend eight full days educating new development reps through sales onboarding on how our company and our products work. We educate them on every aspect of our product even if the product does not directly correlate with the individual’s position.
This education allows us to prepare all new development reps and make sure they know the product. Because this education is fairly intensive and long, it allows us to determine if the new employees are tech savvy and driven. These two factors help establish whether the new reps will make it in our company.
After the eight day technical and process education on our products, we spend one to two days educating the development rep on their specific jobs. This specific education includes more in depth technical training pertaining to the individual’s position within the company, compensation plan, and how to communicate and work with the existing development reps. This departmental training is designed to prevent the sales manager and current employees spending their valuable time training the new reps.
Before we implemented this new training technique, all new employees were trained by existing managers. This took a lot of valuable time away from the managers and prevented XANT from really growing the way we wanted. Our new education process has allowed us to educate new development reps faster and has allowed our sales managers to spend more time on the sales floor.
What techniques have you found successful when training new development reps? Do you use an onboarding training technique like XANT, or have you found something else to be more effective?
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