How to Build an Effective Remote Sales Onboarding Process
Although the global pandemic has stabilized, the ability to work remotely has become another significant benefit applicants look for when considering a company. In 2021, 48.4% of global respondents indicated that the ability to work remotely is crucial when evaluating future employment decisions.
Knowing how much it took to set up work processes for existing salespeople, adapting new employees may seem difficult in a remote format. Many nuances are worth paying attention to. Onboarding determines how quickly an employee will assume their duties and whether they will decide to stay with your company.
As a sales team leader, you need to eliminate challenges in an employee’s online onboarding experience. The remote format has cut down on live communication, so the approach to employee onboarding has changed. This article will help you make remote onboarding really effective.
What is Remote Sales Onboarding?
Onboarding is a set of actions for bringing new employees up to speed: introductory training, instructions on using the company's product, and welcome meetings. The purpose of the onboarding process is to integrate new sales department employees into their work duties as quickly and comfortable as possible.
Remote onboarding is not only training and socialization of a new employee. Effective onboarding also allows the salesperson to get to know the product as much as possible and lays the foundation for retention and a good relationship with the team.
Remote onboarding is a part of the employee's adjustment as if the work were taking place in the office. Nevertheless, the remote format adds complexity and challenges for you, as team leader, and your new sales rep.
Remote Sales Onboarding Challenges
The most apparent disadvantage of the remote format is the lack of live meetings. You want to give your new employee a warm welcome and show that their role is essential to your company. If you think this is impossible in the post-pandemic remote work world, don’t worry! With some tips and key know-how, you can do it remotely.
Since remote team members may never meet in person, developing a culture of remote communication is crucial. To create warm relationships within the team, start with a virtual introduction of the new sales rep to the entire team. The department leader should create a friendly atmosphere and warmly accept the newcomer.
In addition to introducing the team and demonstrating work instructions, ensure the new employee has access to the company's cloud-based tools and knowledge base. Working in the office, the new salesperson could just ask an employee nearby. In a remote format, however, many people don't want to bother their coworkers with such trivial questions.
5 Tips to Build an Effective Remote Sales Onboarding
To make the process of remote onboarding as productive as possible, we have prepared some helpful tips for you.
1. Invest in Virtual Tools
Remote work tools are the ace in your sleeve. With their help, you can erase the boundary between live and virtual workflow. The more convenient remote work is for the employee, the better the results will be.
Choose a corporate messenger, for example, Slack. You can use it to structure teams’ communication by departments and create a common channel for news. For video calls, use Zoom or Google Meet. You'll be able to connect newbies with mentor salespeople through video calls, so onboarding goes more efficiently. Video meetings will shorten the distance in the working relationship.
To optimize onboarding, you need a handy tool to plan and streamline the process from start to finish. Try Gradual. Use our sales online learning platform to create easy-to-use onboarding templates. Keep all the information in one place, and supplement it with interactive files. Imagine the time you will save!
2. Use Mixed Learning
Every sales representative learns differently. You can't predict what training format will work for everyone. In a remote form, the choice of onboarding methods is limited. We recommend combined learning.
How does it work?
Prepare a schedule of calls with the mentor, a list of documents, pages, and processes for the new employee to read through on their own, and a selection of training videos and podcasts. This way, you use multiple adaptation formats at once. There are several benefits here. This way, the new sales representative will memorize the information faster without getting bored because the information will be presented in different formats. Finally, you can always replace one element with another if you analyze that this approach doesn't work for a particular employee.
3. Centralize Company Data and Processes
Newbies spend a lot of time searching for the correct information. You can help a new sales representative by collecting all the information about the work processes in one place.
Create a database. Collect all documents and other materials about your company. It should be something like an internal corporate Wikipedia for your company. This type of knowledge base is crucial in the remote work format. That way, they don't have to write requests to their colleagues every time they need to review a sales document.
Make sure that this database make it easy to find the information you need. Structure the data by the company department to make it easier for employees to navigate. Remember that structured details will save time on searches. Saving time is the name of the game:your new sales representative will be able to adapt to the company and get to work faster.
To find out what you require first, you can interview your team. Ask the team what information they started with. What difficulties do they encounter in finding information? That way, you can build a good database.
4. Share the Detailed Adaptation Schedule
Onboarding goes smoothest when both the employee and the team leader have a structured plan for the process at their fingertips. As a team leader, you’ll create a detailed 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan, set goals, and outline tasks. With this in hand, your new employee will know what is expected of them and the plans for their onboarding.
Don’t forget: you lose the advantage of live communication in a remote format. Therefore, a structured and planned adaptation schedule is another great way to erase the boundary between you.
5. Simplify Learning
Overloading a sales beginner with a ton of new information is a terrible idea. Break down the training into stages according to a 30-60-90 plan. This structure will make learning easier. You risk burning the employee out if you give them a lot of information at once. It is better to provide it in portions and carefully consider what material should be next in this task. Start with the simple and move on to more complex topics.
Bring the Remote Sales Onboarding Process to the Next Level
Remote work has become commonplace for many of us. Nevertheless, not all companies have been able to adapt their work processes to the new normal. Onboarding a sales representative is an important part of working for your company, so take advantage of these helpful tips to make it easier to train and adapt a newcomer to your company remotely.
Sign up for a demo to see how Gradual can help you with remote onboarding!