Today’s modern reps move to new companies and roles every few years (or less). With this ever-shrinking sales talent lifecycle, enablement feels increased pressure to maximize productivity. That means finding better ways to focus and deliver readiness efforts (like training or coaching) when, where and how the sales force works.
It's been 18 months since the pandemic sent my team home from the office, which is now a permanent situation for many sales reps and managers in our industry. As a sales manager, the biggest challenge has been maintaining the same team culture we enjoyed pre-pandemic when you had daily face-to-face interactions and social outings to build camaraderie.
Currently, I have an entire team full of engaged and productive reps who express overall satisfaction and happiness with their job, a job that is incredibly challenging but financially rewarding. The key is to hire skilled talent and ensure they fit well with the company and team culture.
Since our company went full remote, I've hired five reps to my team, all of them quickly hit the ground running in their respective roles. These individuals were all talented and successful in previous roles, some at other companies and some from internal promotions. I attribute most of their current success to ensuring they experience a great cultural fit with a collaborative focus that fully aligns with team success. The result is faster ramp-up time to productivity, quota attainment, and overall job satisfaction. So, how do you go about accomplishing this?
Here are a few key areas to focus on:
Involve your team and other key employees in the hiring process
This is a great way to get feedback from the people who will work with them in the trenches.
It gives the new hire a sense of community prior to deciding to join your company and team. You want them to feel comfortable, excited, and passionate about their decision to join.
Peer to peer onboarding
We assign a "swim buddy" as the go-to peer mentor and utilize each individual's expertise, not only on their team, but also other teams they will collaborate with moving forward.
Assign peer experts in prospecting, tech stack, product knowledge, and sales process experts, such as those that know how to control the sale.
Make yourself available
As the hiring manager, you need to be present as much as possible while they are onboarding and beyond. Find ways to connect with them so they feel necessary, wanted and prove you are invested in their success.
- Transparency is critical to building trust. Without trust, you will lose the team culture and alienate reps, likely resulting in a less productive effort, churn, and the inability to hit targets.
Make it fun & enjoyable
Find ways to stay social and keep your team committed to the success of each other.
Coordinate in-person get-togethers, work-related and social when appropriate
- Dedicate a part of each team meeting or standup or even an entire team meeting to a non-work-related discussion.
As a sales manager, you and your reps all need to be on the same page and share individual and team goals. It's critical not to lose sight of this, especially in today's more common remote business world. There are many ways to accomplish this, but you should see an overall improvement in productivity, employee job satisfaction, and team success if you can execute on some of the key areas mentioned above.