RAMPING NEW SALES PEOPLE FAST
As a veteran sales leader, I’ve had the opportunity to hire and ramp a large number of sales people into a variety of different roles. As a consultant, my client’s frequently ask me about best practices surrounding identifying, selecting and ramping new sales people.
The first article in this series, Finding the Right Sales People (http://compendiumadvisors.com/2016/04/finding-qualified-sales-people/) focused on ensuring that the competencies and characteristics desired in candidates are identified as the foundation for the interviewing, assessment and selection process. The second article, The Interview As A Window Into Sales Competency (http://compendiumadvisors.com/2016/05/the-interview-as-a-window-into-sales-competency/) examined how the interviewing process gives companies a unique window into the demonstrated sales competencies of potential candidates. This final article offers four tools to help sales leaders rapidly ramp new sales people into a productive state.
Once your new hire assumes their position, the question is: “How do I get my new sales person ramped and into a productive state as rapidly as possible”? On-boarding and ramping a new person onto the sales team requires time and attention on the part of the sales leader. Unfortunately many sales leaders end up using an unstructured and ad-hoc approach to ramping new resources. This unstructured approach puts unnecessary demands on the sales manager while leaving the new hire with vague expectations and lack of guidance that results in a slower than desired ramp.
Sales leaders can accelerate the ramp of new team members while reducing the impact on themselves through development and use of the following four tools:
Starting with on-boarding, the Ramp Plan is a roadmap that guides your new sales person through their first few of weeks with the company. The plan gives the new employee specific and time-bound direction to accelerate their ramp while setting clear expectations for their early performance. In addition, the Ramp Plan takes some of the weight of the direct sales manager since the new employee is expected to self-manage a good portion of their own ramp process. At a minimum, the Ramp Plans should include what they need to do, when it needs to be done and with whom they need to work for specific activities the new sales person is expected to accomplish.
The Training Plan, which ties directly into the Ramp Plan, details the new sales person’s training curriculum. Whether classroom, computer-based, shadowing, reading or research, the new employee will know precisely what is expected of them to build their company, industry, competitive and product knowledge within a defined period of time. The Training Plan sets clear expectations for early development and performance while taking some of the weight of the direct sales manager.
The Dance Card is used to guide the new sales person through self-introductions and relationship development with key individuals that they need to know across the company. In addition to other sales resources, the Dance Card should include individuals in other functions (e.g. marketing, product management, etc.) that they will need to work with throughout the organization to be successful. Like the Training Plan, the Dance Card should be integrated into your Ramp Plan.
Mentorship pairing involves engaging a seasoned sales person as a mentor and “go-to” person for each new hire. Mentorship pairing is valuable in that it provides the new sales person with direct coaching while also strengthening the skills of the mentor and building collaboration across the sales team. The mentor and new sales person should have a regular cadence of communication during which the mentor serves as a first point of contact for questions and guidance.
Having these tools in place accelerates the ramp of new sales people into a productive state while reducing the time and attention demands on the direct sales manager. Once created, these tools are easily replicated and scaled to accelerate the ramp of future sales hires as well.
For more information contact Compendium Advisors
at Dave@CompendiumAdvisors.com or 925-984-5381
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Aligning Sales Execution With Strategy”