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Tips for Onboarding and Coaching Your Remote Sales Reps

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Tips for Onboarding and Coaching Your Remote Sales Reps

Andrew Viegas, Senior Sales Development Manager, and CMO, Marc Gassó, offer their tips for ramping up your reps quickly and effectively.

Looking for best practices in preparing a thorough onboarding plan and getting your team ready for results in no time?

Sales Reps play a critical role in bringing your company quality opportunities, that’s why a lack of well-trained reps can bring your entire sales pipeline to a halt.

Our CMO, Marc Gassó, sat down with Andrew Viegas, Senior Sales Development Manager at Powerschool. They offered their best tips to ensure that your Sales Reps team has the know-how and tools it needs for long-term success.

You can watch the full webinar on-demand or read the key takeaways below👇

What you should know about onboarding and coaching:

How do you onboard SDRs?

Onboarding is a critical process when adding Sales Representatives to your team. Andrew shared his situation: “I need Sales Reps to ramp up quicker as the sales team ends up making them part of their own team. This means I need to shorten the ramp and have them ready to go at the end of the onboarding period so they can start growing and learning on their own and become better salespersons in the future.”

Making it scalable

Andrew states how he does it:

“I have 20 SDRs reporting to me and it’s not an easy feat managing them at the same time. Here at Powerschool, we utilize a mentor program. When a new SDR is hired, they are also paired with another senior SDR who will be helping them with their day-to-day tasks during the first weeks.

They all get a built-in buddy and it also helps me as a leader to scale the team as I empower them to be teachers, leaders, and mentors too. It’s been tremendously successful as it helps them develop other skills and helps me as a leader to focus on generating new strategies.v

For mentors to know what to do during these first weeks we have a mentor checklist so they can help their buddies meet their targets making sure it’s progressive at the same time. It’s not a replacement for a manager but in an environment where there are a lot of SDRs, it makes it more efficient and generates a sense of belonging.”

Making sure mentors don’t teach bad habits

I get to know my team first and then decide which mentors have better fit for the role, states Andrew. Apart from that, he runs a monthly mentor meeting. It enables him as a manager to talk about best practices and also make sure everyone is in the same place. The checklist mentioned before also helps to keep track of what mentors are teaching.

How to do it in a remote environment?

Andrew talks about his remote team and how different it is from an in-person environment:

“Zoom is obviously not the same as in-person but it’s our best tool. It’s important not only to have resources in the company to make it possible but also to be able to provide extra ideas to the team as a manager.

My main “concern” is to put focus and emphasis on getting them to know each other and gathering them together. For example, having weekly virtual meetings in which talking about work is forbidden during the first weeks, virtual scavenger hunts and many other ideas.”

I really like using break-out groups in zoom calls so that everyone has the chance to participate.

Andrew Viegas, Senior Sales Development Manager at Powerschool

What’s the ramp-up period?

“Ours is actually between 80 and 90 but we’re trying to lower it to 60 days. I prefer giving SDRs space in their first 60 days and don’t have really aggressive targets cause I want them to focus on experience and development. Even though in this period of time I don’t give them a quote, if they produce something, they’ll get a bonus and results will apply to their annual target. I prefer them to focus on the right habits, and practices.” shares Andrew, and he adds:

“This obviously depends on the industry you’re working on. At Powerschool we provide a lot of different solutions and there’s a lot of knowledge the SDR needs to acquire. For us, there’s a lot they need to know so this is an effective way for them to produce, taking away pressure on numbers and putting it on development.”

Ideal number of Sales Reps a manager can handle?

He manages 20 and assures us it’s a lot. The best number would be between 10 and 12 in order to manage them successfully. When starting to go above 8, the ideal is to have team leads or additional managers that can handle day-to-day stuff.

How to provide ongoing training?

Andrew: “Coaching and training are critical components to retention. Usually, when hiring new Sales Reps they’re younger and inexperienced so they look for skills that are also transferable to any next steps they take.

In order to do this, every Friday we have an optional workshop and also a mandatory one once every quarter. We try to pause and learn in areas that need improvement and also discuss what other topics should be covered. This is hoping to speed up after learning and not only that but we also record them so we can use them as onboarding resources and discuss them afterward.”

What about industry knowledge?

“Remember that they need to have skills to be successful SDRs or salespersons. The first 60 days are to focus on a basic overview of the solution, the industry, etc. Industry knowledge comes with time and it’s a continuous process.”

Marc agrees but also adds: “I believe basic understanding is essential for having success on the phone. It helps understand the target company, target persona, and their main pains before talking to them.”

Summing up…

Andrew’s best practice is to have a centralized place where all documents and training are together. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a learning management platform, online doc, spreadsheet, etc. It’s important to make it easy to find things especially when everything is remote. If things are complex and in many different places it can confuse the new hires.”

Now you’ve seen everything you need to know to onboard and coach your new remote Sales Reps, your next step is to implement a platform that guides them through all their daily steps and Bloobirds can do that for you. It makes sure reps do their best with its task assistant, contactability tools, in-app playbook, and many other features!


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