Sales new hire success is a critical component in achieving ongoing and consistent sales performance. New hire training requires much sales manager involvement to bridge the gap between what sakes managers expect and what sellers need to close their first sale. Sales enablement leaders need to ensure sales new hire programs are aligned to measurable outcomes and work across the organization to equip new hires with the right content, skills, and tools they need to have relevant customer conversations.
To be successful, you need to understand both the the initial and the ongoing resource needs for new hire training programs. You’re going to have to make trade-offs between what you need to do to make hire programs work and what other groups contribute. In other words, you have to make it work with what you have, while at the same time laying the foundation.
Key Challenge: Is New Hire Training Strategic or Tactical?
Commercial enablement leaders are often asked to provide inputs into the annual planning and budgeting process to ensure new hire training programs are funded. Or, they’re just told to “make it happen.” That usually means bumping into resource and focus constraints.
For example, great new-hire training programs require teaming, meaning commercial enablement leaders must delineate who is working on what. They need to orchestrate and create clarity, while securing budget, and enrolling team members to get the job done.
At a minimum, commercial enablement leaders must:
- Define and manage resourcing as a process to ensure adequate support for initiatives.
- Clarify the outcome of new hire sales training to ensure resources have focus and clarity.
- Define the scope and work required for new-hire training success.
- Identify resource needs from various groups.
To secure the right resources necessary to support new hire programs, commercial enablement leaders must engage others up and across the organization to provide direction and clarify asks. That means orchestrating business-centric conversations that align support groups to sales leadership requirements while setting and managing expectations. For example, team members from product, marketing, sales, human resources, and operations teams need to work in alignment to create the right content, and skills sellers get what they need. Sales enablement leaders find the most success in resourcing new hire training when they:
- Manage new hire program resource needs in an ongoing manner
- Document expected scope and impact of new hire training
- Create a well-defined inventory of new hire training resources to clarify scope, roles, and responsibilities.
There is no shortage of expectations and requests for new hire training. When it comes to new-hire training, commercial enablement leaders face an uphill battle securing resources due to:
- Increasing demands on salespeople. Communications and requests inundate sales teams regarding product messaging, marketing updates, and new corporate mandates. While new hires haven’t yet received these inputs, sales enablement leaders are expected to cut through the noise and get new hires up to speed.
- Multiple perspectives. There are many points of view on what new hires need to know and do to be successful. Commercial enablement leaders are often required to meet these expectations leading to over-engineering sales new hire training, creating an unnecessary burden on build-team resources.
- Higher expectations. Sales new hire programs are a great way to test new technologies, learning approaches, and roll out messaging. New hires also bring expectations into the program based on their experience with the hiring process, as well as their learning journey. Commercial enablement leaders find they need access to technically skilled designers and production team members as well as performance consultants and learning experience architects to meet or exceed these evolving expectations.
- Lost focus. While the company, products, features, and the vision of the company are important, the primary objective of sales new hire training is to help new reps sell. New-hires need to get access to the right buyers and have relevant sales conversations to be successful. Commercial enablement leaders must remind people that new hires have a finite ability to learn everything needed to be a top rep during their new hire training experience. That means resourcing new hire training with an approach not only decreases time to the first sale but also factoring in the cognitive load of new hires.