Rep Onboarding: The Final 30 Days

Tuesday May 27, 2014 by Jim Schuchart - VP of Sales, Privy.

It’s Day 60 for your newly hired sales rep, and while you’re on pace to beat the 4.2 month average ramp, there is a lot of work remaining to get there.

The first 30 days are a distant memory, and our rep stayed on track in the mid-section of the ramp period. Now it’s the home stretch; after this they’re a rookie no longer. Let’s take a look at the final page of the onboarding chapter in your playbook.

Day 61-90

Overview:

Now that your new rep has successfully navigated the first 60 days, you’re starting to get an idea of what you have, but you still haven’t seen them in action. The first 30 days focused on listening and understanding. The next 30 were spent internalizing the sales and practicing on the bumper lane. The final 30 focus on putting it all together and selling something.

Your rep knows the process and has practiced the pitch repeatedly. Now they should be in the normal sales process, getting the same quantity and quality of leads as their peers. This will ensure that next month you can hold them accountable to the same results (i.e. quota). They should be moving some of that pipeline created in the prior 30 days to “Closed Lost”, keeping an honest, well-managed pipeline. And the ramping rep should be an equal contributor in your weekly pipeline and forecast meetings.

The manager’s goal is to get the new hire fully prepared in all facets of being a sales rep at your firm, and that means leaving no stone left unturned. The ramp period is almost over; time for the rep to prove they are up to the task. Put all that learning into action and close a deal (or two?).

Tactics:

Compared to the prior 30 days, dial back the one-on-one meetings slightly in this phase. Typically I recommend 2 meetings per week with your ramping employee, compared to the standard 1 weekly meeting once they are up to speed. More importantly, you should expect your rep to start to take more control of the agenda of these meetings. During the first 60 days the manager is ensuring all of the important topics are covered. Now it’s time for the rep to raise their hand and ask for help where needed. Tell them to come into these meetings with specific process questions where they are unclear, or objections they had trouble overcoming.

As the rep’s pipeline starts to mature, get into the standard cadence of opp inspection. This means once you’ve covered all of the rep’s questions in the one-on-one, dig into individual opportunities. Focus on the early stage opps where you have the greatest ability to influence the outcome. Make sure the rep understands what it takes to go from Stage 1 to Stage 2, and grill them to validate they have it. Do you need BANT? Ask them to give you the details, and if they can’t, move it back to Stage 1. Don’t worry about those late-stage opps; if the rep has a question about those you’ll hear about it quickly.

Continue to conduct sales calls jointly during this phase, but the rep should be doing most of the work. Be ready to jump in and save a call that is crashing and expect that the new rep is increasingly running the show. 30 days ago the manager was doing 95% of the talking. Quickly you should see the new rep doing 95-100% of the talking. Once you have two meetings in a row where the manager doesn’t need to say anything, it’s time to take off the training wheels and let the rep run solo.

Homework:

Have the new rep perform a role play demo call with a colleague. Bring in a new perspective (not the manager) to play the role of a customer and ask them both to provide a brief summary. Look to see if this role play has brought up new areas to work on, or emphasized the weaknesses that you are already addressing.

Now that your rep has opened some opportunities and moved a few to “Closed Lost”, ask them for a post-mortem on 3-5 lost opps. Request a summary of what happened and why the prospect didn’t buy. What else could have been done to win this account? Remember that no rep will win every deal, and that’s not the point. Scrutinize areas for the rep to get better and emphasize learning so they don’t make the same mistake twice.

Once the rep wins their first deal, make sure that becomes a learning point as well. Ask for a debrief on the wins, just like the loses. Just because the outcome was as desired doesn’t mean the opp was run perfectly. Look to highlight where the deal was well managed and dig for areas to improve.

Last, but definitely not least, hit that gong! Your new rep is on track to a successful career. Make sure that doesn’t go without team celebration. 


Jim Schuchart is the VP of Sales at Privy.  You can find this blog post, as well as additional content on his blog located here.  You can also follow Jim on Twitter (@JimSchuchart) by clicking here.

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