Many sales managers prefer to hire candidates with no previous sales experience, sometimes directly out of college. These inexperienced candidates are like blank slates.
This assures the sales managers that their new recruits do not come with any bad sales habits from previous roles or companies.
These managers test and interview their candidates carefully for Drive, making sure that their new hires will have the passion necessary to succeed as a hunter or a farmer.
However, some sales managers occasionally make a critical mistake when deploying their new troops – one that can spell trouble for even the most motivated salespeople.
Those sales managers put their new high-Drive salesperson on the phone or in his or her territory with minimal training, only to end up disappointed.
Do not fall into believing that as long as an inexperienced salesperson is high in Drive, she is a “natural” who will quickly adapt to the environment and start closing.
New salespeople, even those high in Drive, need some basic sales training before being deployed.
Even the Pros Need Training
Not training a new hire is a play setup for disaster. It would be like a football team drafting gifted athletes, not assigning them designated positions, not giving them any coaching and expecting them to win. Even veteran players are expected to participate in seasonal training and to continually push themselves to become better at their craft.
Just as a football team would never assume that athleticism and power alone will win the game, a good sales manager also knows that inexperienced salespeople need training to successfully prospect, persuade and close.
How to Train Your Dragon High-Drive Salesperson
No high-Drive salesperson likes to sit through weeks of training.
They are typically itching for the chance to get out into the field. But, without basic training, an inexperienced salesperson will struggle, wanting to succeed, but not knowing exactly what to do.
She may eventually become frustrated and leave the company, causing tremendous disappointment and wasted potential – not to mention wasted money spent hiring her and lost by not utilizing her correctly.
So, whether it is through classroom training, ride-a-longs or a combination of both, make sure that your Driven but inexperienced sales hires get the knowledge and nurturing they need to succeed within your company.
Training an average person on the street would be an expense, but training a high-Drive candidate is an investment.
If you have already determined the level of Drive your new recruit possesses by administering a sales assessment test, you should have an idea of which type of salesperson she will likely be.
Results may show that she could best be used as a farmer, cultivating existing clients into repeat customers, or as a hunter, tracking down and closing new leads and clients. When building your training program you may want to design some separate strategies for training new hunters and new farmers.
General Tips for Sales Training
Create a mentor program.
Partner new recruits with your most successful veterans. Have your newest hires shadow and be mentored by more experienced hunters or farmers. This will allow your new hires to network within the company and to experience what the sales process is like within your industry.
Educate salespeople on products, services and maintenance.
Be sure that your salespeople are the go-to guides for basic information on your products, services and anything else the consumer may want to know.
If your sales team does not understand or appreciate what you have to offer, then how can they be expected to convince others of its value?
Educate salespeople on the competition.
The old saying is “know thy enemy” and it is still relevant in the sales world. Arming your new hires with information on the competition and how your company’s product or service outperforms theirs is critical in sales.
Educate salespeople on your target audience.
In order to sell effectively, your sales team needs to know to whom they should be selling. They need to know the basics about clients and potential leads in order to match them correctly with the right service or product.
Train salespeople to know the organization inside and out.
Sometimes clients want to know how the product is made, where it is made and by whom. Sometimes the client will ask about your company’s values and how they align with their own. Training salespeople to know how your organization is ran can be a valuable investment when faced with a challenging client.
Follow up on training
Make sure that your new hire is progressing as time passes. If your newest sales rep is not performing up to your standards, it may be time to look at your training process to see what is and what is not working.
A helpful trick is to cross train new recruits for becoming both farmers and hunters. This allows the new hire to have an understanding of what is involved in both forming new leads and fostering relationships with existing clients.
Salespeople that are cross trained are more likely to have better working relationships with their partners across the company because they will have a better appreciation for what their counterparts’ do and the issues they may come across.
For example, a hunter that has been cross trained as a farmer will have a better understanding of what it takes to convert an existing client into a repeat buyer. With this knowledge, she is better equipped to help her farmer partner out by passing along helpful information about the new clients she brings on board.
How to Find High-Drive Candidates
Consider adding a sales assessment test to your hiring process. SalesDrive offers The DriveTest™ which measures the three key components of Drive: Need for Achievement, Competitiveness and Optimism.
Our sales assessment also measures a candidate’s confidence, ability to persuade and build relationships, as well as her level of organizational skills.
SalesDrive then uses these measurements to determine the candidate’s level of Drive and whether she would succeed as either a hunter or a farmer.
To request a free trial of The DriveTest, please click here.