The onboarding process for salespeople into your organization is paramount. The first 90 days are the most crucial for an employee – they determine if a sales manager sets up a sales rep for success or failure.
The sales manager’s ability to set the new sales rep up for success is directly related to the sales manager’s limiting or non-limiting beliefs.
A recurring belief for many Sales Managers, Sales Trainers, C-Level Executives, and Business Owners is that it’s harder to sell a product or service today – versus at any time in our history. We have many facts that back this up – life is more interconnected than ever.
Things happen quicker and faster than ever before in our history, making the critical decision-makers busier and busier and more complicated to get in front of. In addition, as the world has morphed into a single global economy, it has created a much more competitive landscape for businesses – turning products and services into “just another vendor.” On top of this – economic downturns can seem to put even more pressure on bottom lines and squeeze margins, causing businesses to lose clients or prospects to the lowest bidder.
In addition to this broad view of the economy – we have a narrow idea of the world we experience a day in and out. Our industry, clients, prospects, and competitors that we interact with daily shape our mindsets based on how well or bad things are going for us.
We have justified reasons why we can or can not do certain things and why we are not obtaining particular business.
We think of ourselves as industry experts, business experts, some of us sales experts – yet all of this knowledge and experience that brought us to these beliefs, that selling is harder today than ever, or cold calling doesn’t work, or a long sales cycle can not be avoided – is all true, if you believe it’s true.
The power of self-fulfilling beliefs is incredible – it allows people to be wildly successful and vice versa. If a salesperson believes something, they are correct. For example, you are right if you think decision-makers and presidents do not have time to meet with you because you are not a priority. When you have a belief like this, your interactions with clients and prospects will be limited by this belief.
For example, you will be much more likely to agree when the president puts you off to someone else, rather than knowing you are someone who meets with the president, not the underlings. Therefore, you utilize unique and creative sales tactics to get in front of the president.
What’s worse – if you are a sales manager and have these limiting beliefs, you will create a team of salespeople doomed to fail. But no sales manager could possibly tell a new sales rep that the challenges are insurmountable? Probably not, but if they have these limiting beliefs, they will rub off on a new salesperson whether they vocalize a belief opinion or not.
I believe that salespeople and sales managers must have the correct “sales thinking” to succeed. For example, someone could be the most outgoing, charismatic individual and an expert in their industry. Still, they will eventually fail without the correct mindset.
The first three months a sales person spends with a new company are the most important. It allows the sales manager to implement a base of ”sales thinking” from that salesperson to grow. For example, a proper mindset to instill during the onboarding process in the salesperson is that justifications mean nothing.
As salespeople, we have one job – bring in business. It is up to us to take on the challenges and implement new selling strategies and new sales tactics to increase our sales, not to come up with justifications for why it is so hard.
As sales managers, if we are successful during the onboarding process, we will not have to battle over a sales rep’s justifications for not meeting revenue, calls, or quotas. Suppose we do our job correctly in the beginning. In that case, we can set a sales rep up for sales success – not an inevitable failure that starts when the sales rep starts telling you, “The President would not meet with me” or “Our competitors beat us on price.”