The popularity of working remotely had been growing steadily, but somewhat slowly, in the last decade. In the last few years, hyper-mobility brought new opportunities to flexible working hours and more meaningful (and productive!) working lives. But today, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a massive and imperative change: to comply with social distancing norms, employees are encouraged to stay away from their traditional workplace as much as possible. This means more companies need to adopt a “working from home” mindset as the new normal.
This shift is valid for any function, including sales. And, although sales reps, in many companies, are always on the go or working remotely – whether from home or spread through different office locations, now more than ever there needs to be effective processes in place to handle remote newcomers.
In this article, we are sharing some tips on how to successfully transition to a fully remote onboarding process. There are a few elements in modern learning programmes that you can follow to ramp up remote sales reps.
Tips to onboard remote working sales reps
Invest in a robust onboarding scheme with the right technology behind it
A great onboarding programme will set the tone for a proper integration and a continuous learning mindset you will want to instil from day one.
Make sure that your training platform covers three essential things: 24/7 availability online, mobile access and video content.
A 24/7 access to learning content is absolutely fundamental to ensure your reps can find the content they are looking for when they need it the most, regardless of location or device. For a quicker ramp up you can even pre-board your sales reps, before their start date, meaning they may need to take the training after working hours.
We already know that people prefer video over static presentations: video helps with retention and engagement, and it’s flexible enough to allow for screencasts, animations, role plays or more personable presentations. Choose your video champions based on performance and contributions: they’ll give a credible and human touch to your content easily. We also recommend including a welcome message from your CEO and Sales Lead. They can offer an overview of the company and highlight its mission, vision and culture, contributing to a sense of belonging amongst newcomers.
Also, choosing a training hub that allows for interactivity and Q&A will help close the loop: your newcomers can have their questions answered and be more engaged during the training. It is important to use a controlled environment where corporate branding is not overlooked. Your training platform should be part of your brand, so make sure it’s fully branded experience.
Create the right content during onboarding and beyond
You’ll want your onboarding programme to cover all of your new-starters’ needs, so you will need to start by identifying and mapping the sales skills that are key to be successful in a sales job but that are also relevant to this person’s specific job.
You will want your new sales reps to learn many things as quickly and as effectively as possible: products and services, pricing plans and advantages, competitors, sales processes and methods, tools such as CRM and intranet, sales skills… Your onboarding content must address all of it without becoming overwhelming. After this initial stage, you will also want to provide ongoing training to keep up with company and product updates, help close skill gaps, and keep your salespeople motivated and happy.
Make it personal
Being away cannot mean your new starters will be left alone. We encourage you to schedule a live conversation in which your team can introduce themselves.
Offer office hours with your experts, during which they are available to answer any questions your newbies might have and encourage everyone’s participation.
You can also create a “buddy programme”, in which you pair people up and the more tenured can act as their “company wiki”. And why not add some fun to it, and organise a social event, like a bingo or a quiz, in which people can get to know each other in a more informal setting?
In summary, make sure you choose the right online video training platform to onboard and train your sales team. This will help you reach everywhere in the world, 24/7, and with the same (high) standards and consistency for everyone, while keeping a personal connection through video.
You can learn more about how to setup an effective sales training programme in your company in this guide.
You may also find interesting:
6 steps to set up Sales Training (download guide)
The simple economics of Online Sales Training (article)
Why move your Sales Playbook to an Online Academy (article)
How to leverage video to teach sales skills (article)
How to make the case for a Sales training Academy (article)
7 ways to improve sales training in your company (article)
The sales skills training you should provide in your sales academy (article)
Would you like to learn more about how bugle can help with Sales Training? Let's talk.