3 Simple Strategies for Onboarding Remote Sales Reps

Sophia Obrecht
October 27, 2020

Need help moving optimizing your virtual onboarding. Check out these 3 strategies.

With working from home becoming increasingly normal, if not mandatory in some parts of the world, the process of onboarding new hires has gone virtual. For many companies, this move to digital onboarding has proven tricky, after all, information exchange, one on one mentoring, and sales coaching, though possible in digital formats, can feel less engaging and effective than in-person training. But never fear, the Ciara team has put together 3 simple strategies that will help move your onboarding online and up productivity in your new hires.

1. Structure, standardize and be specific with online onboarding

When you’re onboarding remote sales reps it is important to be specific with your lessons and goals. It is likely that video will be a key tool during your remote onboarding, whether that is a live video or prerecorded. So, make sure the content and the goal of each video is specific, much like a section of your onboarding presentation, a video should focus on one topic with key learning outcomes. Where possible it is great to have interactive online onboarding, however, such environments are not always great for information exchange, which is why preparing FAQs and pre-recorded videos are good resources for ongoing onboarding.

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management companies with a standardized onboarding process see 50% greater productivity in new hires. Remote onboarding makes it easier to standardize onboarding, however, with resources and videos moving online each rep can access a set stream of important information which means each is receiving the same quality, quantity, and identical information. This means their pitches will hopefully reflect a standardized product, company, or brand identity. Perfect!

2. Use tech and allow learning to be reinforced

Together with initial onboarding activities, it is important to create a steady stream of information exchange and reinforce learnings from the initial onboarding process. This can be done with monthly sales coaching sessions, though virtual coaching sessions can lack the energy of in-person workshops.

You can also use technology and sales tools such as an in-call assistant to make sure remote sales reps are continually in touch with key points, information, and suggested next steps. Send each sales rep off with a collection of in-call templates tailored to your team.

Each smart template works in real-time to guide sales reps through the perfect conversation, complete with key talking points and objection handling cards to pull up when needed. Added to this each sales rep will receive an automated call summary after each call allowing both the sales rep and their sales leaders to look back and analyze what went well and what needs work.

This way remote sales reps always have some form of support and continue to reinforce the lessons from their initial onboarding. As a result,  standards are less likely to slip.

3. Encourage ongoing information exchange between peers and superiors

Onboarding should be a continuous process of information exchange and mentoring and peer exchange should be a key part of this process. It is important that remote new hires get the chance to learn from their peers and superiors to get a glimpse into how successful sales reps work. Make sure senior reps get the chance to have informal virtual coffee chats with new hires in order to pass on important inside information.

If you already use an in-call assistant, you can also ask more experienced reps to share summaries and recordings of some successful sales calls with the rest of the team for inspiration. Or why not ask the top-performing sales reps to prepare their own in-call templates and share them with new hires, that way they are in a safe pair of hands even when they are flying solo.

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