It is understandable that many companies are skeptical when engaging a new relationship for outsourced inside sales. Management naturally assumes that all their years of industry experience and product familiarity cannot be transferred over to a new person very quickly.
I often think about how NFL players are able to adapt quickly to new teams after a trade. After all, every team has its own systems and playbooks. And those playbooks can be ginormous! So how do they do it? I’m guessing it’s a combination of raw talent and compressed onboarding.
Managers worried about onboarding new talent are right, of course, in one respect: There’s no substitute for experience. But they are wrong in another, more important respect: Experience is not as important as they think.
That’s why it’s possible to compress outsourced inside sales staff onboarding so much that a fresh salesperson can hit the ground running in 10 business days and start logging “quality calls” on the first day of calling. A quality call is a call that creates a genuine connection and exchanges useful information. And yes, quality calls can start happening that fast. To that end, here are six ways to speed up onboarding for companies contracting outsourced inside sales.
1. Be Open to Sharing
At The Alias Group, our compressed onboarding process includes three intensive 2-hour sessions where we keep the discussions wide open and rolling. There can be a lot to learn, but we can eliminate many of the barriers to success when clients are open to sharing what they know.
2. Transfer Specific Knowledge
What are the critical benefits of your product or service? What are the key talking points that a salesperson should stress? What are the current buzzwords? Tell your new salespeople the hurdles that you’re trying to overcome. Tell them what works; tell them what hasn’t worked.
3. Define Success
Outline your level of expectations for the processes you are investing in. However, don’t become too fixated on hard sales numbers or targets for qualified leads. Even if those don’t ramp up immediately, the right processes always deliver valuable market intelligence.
4. Create New CRM Fields
Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) are powerful tools that are almost always underutilized by the companies that invest in them. A CRM’s usefulness increases dramatically when companies take control of their CRM, customize its features, and define new fields.
5. Use Call Scripts
As it turns out, practice actually does make perfect. Good call scripts create “jumping off” points that lead to more substantive conversations. We call substantive conversations “quality calls” because they are establishing a relationship while also delivering market intelligence.
6. Segment Industries
Separate your target demographics into more narrowly defined industries. Define the differences in the messages that you will be conveying to each segment. Then you can discover the pain points of each segment and better target your efforts.
And, to reiterate, always be open to sharing and learning. Onboarding should be a two-way street and a collaborative process. Laying a foundation of sharing and trust allows new salespeople to hit the ground running at full speed. Then, when they really hit their stride, they will be able to adapt because the processes will return market intelligence, which in turn directs new sales strategies.
A version of this article appeared in the Delaware Business Times.