Whatever defines your sales training program, there’s no question that training a new sales rep takes a huge amount of time. The question is, are there things going on outside of your training program that is going to be holding you and your new sales reps back from success and undoing all your hard work? Find out here:
Don’t allow your new reps to train with sh*t leads
A new rep comes in, they’re learning, so they get given the lowest value leads to start training with. I understand we’ve got to protect this month’s quota. But be mindful of your definition of ‘low-value leads’. I’ve seen ‘low value’ in terms of ACV get confused with the leads your sales team find hardest to convert, maybe due to size, sector, buyer etc. I understand that makes them low value, but is that really where you want your new reps training? We want our new reps building in confidence every day, it’s so important to their longer term success. I’d argue we want them selling to the best leads, the ones we are guaranteed to win, the ones that will make our news reps feel like they’re sales heroes. Whatever you do, make sure you are balancing your short term sales goals with the speedy development of your new sales reps who will be helping you achieve the longer term sales goals.
Is your commission structure a bigger motivator (or demotivator) than your sales manager?
Depending on your sales cycle it can take weeks or months to start winning deals and even longer to then be hitting high numbers. If you’re working with a commission structure, does it mean your sales reps barely earn a dime in their first 6-12 months in commission? If the answer is yes, re-think it. You’ve been through 15 interviews to find this person, you’ve spent weeks and months onboarding them, you’ve worked hard to make them feel like one of the team, but each day, week and month they spend not earning commission and stress about needing to hit targets to increase their pay, your hard work is being undone. You need to take money off the table when your reps are in training so they’re not worrying about anything other than getting good. And the last thing you want as a sales manager is a commission structure being the biggest motivator or indeed demotivator. You don’t want anything getting in your way of inspiring and leading your team.
KPI the individual, not the team
Why are sales KPIs the same for every single member of the team? Think about your team now, you’ve got your new starters that are really learning the ropes through to your star performers and everything in between. Every single one of them are different, so why do we expect them to fit the mold of our group KPI metrics. As long as they are sensible and deliver business results, why can’t KPIs be unique to the individual from the day they start. I’ve often found that reps have different strengths and weaknesses across the whole sales funnel so wouldn’t it make sense that we provide KPIs that match the individual’s ability? And they should be very different day 1 to day 100, for the simple reason that on day 100, your new rep is 100 days more experienced. Maybe if we created individual KPIs we would see more of our reps hitting their numbers and we would see less scary stats like 50% of sales reps missing quota.
If you’re already doing any of the stuff mentioned in this post, I’d love to hear from you.