Devising a Sales Training Induction Programme
How to design an effective inductive programme?
Research carried out by the Internal Recruitment Division at Parker Bridge discovered that 1 out of every 25 employees has walked out within one week of starting a new job citing a poor induction. It is therefore extremely important that inductions are well planned and executed effectively and professionally.
The main objective for having an effective induction programme is to introduce, familiarise and integrate a new recruit into the organisation as quickly and painlessly as possible (being paraded around the office whilst everyday gawks at you is not effective or necessary). It should familiarise new employees about the culture, accepted practices and performance standards of the organisation.
Inductions set the correct tone for the relationship between the employer and the employee. A bad induction could be the catalyst for why someone leaves (especially if the employee had previous doubts about the job).
A survey conducted by the Centre of Creative Leadership has proved that a 'fresh' hire does not meet the expectation of an organisation for the first few months. However 'fresh' hires are able to learn the processes quickly as long as the induction programme and efforts are carried out in an appropriate manner.
The Importance Of Induction Programmes
Induction training is extremely essential for any company as it helps a new recruit to grow within an organisation and it will motivate him/her. It inculcates in the employee more confidence to progress and develop. It is within the induction when a new recruit gets to learn and understand many attributes of the organisation such as employment philosophy, physical work environment, employee's rights, employee's responsibilities, organisation culture, values along with key business processes. It is then that they can get to find out where the coffee can be made and where the toilets can be found!
A new entrant should not only have the capability to do the job but they should culturally fit into the organisation. Interaction at this stage shapes an individual's disposition and outlook for work. The importance of an effective induction must not be be underestimated!
The Benefits For You!
New joiners are able to achieve initial targets and really make an impact having been given the appropriate tools in which to do the job. The employee will also be able to perform better if they are more familiar with the company, its systems and the candidate's team. This consequently helps with staff turnover and retention. A comprehensive and systematic induction in conjunction with training allows sales employees to have the ability to earn commission... and plenty of it!
What Should The Induction Cover?
- Company History, Mission and Vision
- Your values, Goals & Objectives
- The company's equal employment policies such as diversity, equal opportunities etc. This policy applies to recruitment, placement, promotion, training, transfer, retention, rate of pay and all other details and conditions of employment.
- Home working Policy
- Attendance Policy
- Hours of operation/work schedules/attendance policy/leave of absence/family medical leave
- Pay and Compensation
- "Holidays - sick days/funeral leave/Jury Duty/Military Reserve duty/Overtime
- Health Benefits
- Flexible Spending Accounts - Health Care Spending Accounting & Dependent Care Spending Accounting
- Drug & Alcohol Policy
- Safety Policy
- Workplace Security Policy
- Telephone and Computer Use Policy - Explain that you understand that it is occasionally necessary to conduct personal business during office hours but do make it clear that employees should limit their personal use of both the telephone and computer during office hours. Further clarify in greater detail that email and telephone systems are provided by the company and therefore the company reserves to right to access and disclose the messages that are sent and received.
- Dress Code Policy
- Smoking Policy
- Business Expense Reimbursement
- Q & A
Top Tips For a Sizzling Induction
Corporate Family Tree
Joining a new corporation often means that new sales employees are overwhelmed with a sea of new faces, relationships and what's more names! To ease their transition, providing a corporate family tree complete with photos, names, hometowns, professions and most importantly how they like their tea (only joking!) will help familiarise new hires. This could also help avert embarrassing situations such as being the new hire whom asks a friendly member of staff walking past for help with the fax machine, only to horrifically discover later that he was in fact the CFO.
Avoid Death by PowerPoint
How is the induction being delivered? PowerPoint, PowerPoint and surprise surprise more PowerPoint?!! Exchange death by PowerPoint and screen shots for practical, brain-friendly activities and interactions to help new starters not only stay awake but learn most effectively about how the company works.
It's The Little Things That Count
Not having a security pass for days (or even weeks!) resulting in new employees begging to borrow a pass from someone else to leave the room or go to the toilet is not the right way to go about introducing and helping settle in a new recruiter.
We have all at some point or another been new to a team and we all know from our previous experiences that we like to feel as though we belong to a team (starting from our first day). Therefore make sure that the sales line manager greets the new employee on their first day and further welcomes them with a personalised induction pack - it will create a great first impression for the new recruiter.
Avoid 'Welcome To The Nursery'
Be careful what you call the induction training room and your new starters. Degrading terms such as the 'the nursery', 'newbie' and 'rookie corner' are never welcoming. Think about how these terms make the new starters feel and consider the status these labels give from the start.
Involve The Big Dogs
Involving senior managers and directors during the induction (this could be through welcome speeches, Q&A sessions or even just joining the group for lunch) will provide a great opportunity for your organisation to send the message that you value your employees and specifically the new starters.
Best Billers Build Brillant Breadwinners
An effective technique that often works for sales employees is passing over the trainee into the safe and capable hands of one of your company's best billers (BB).
A simple justification for this technique is that whatever is working for your BB can be passed on and consequently adopted by the trainee.
However what might work for me, might not work for you. Being the human beings that we are, each and every one of us learns, works, understands and yes sells in our each unique way. There is a chance that the techniques that your BB is using would not work for your new starter.
Of course the trainee may pick up some killer hints, tips and lines - but without fully understanding the context, knowledge, and relationships that make them successful and the appropriate times to use them, they could in fact hinder the sales process rather than enhance it. For example, if a new recruit only regurgitates what they have been taught from the BB the selling process will appear to be more like a cringe worthy scene from Dragon's Den rather than a sales pitch.
Never, Ever Underestimate The Importance Of Evaluations
Once the induction programme has been completed it is extremely important that the new sales recruits are given the opportunity to be able to provide feedback to their line manager. This will help the programme to be continually evaluated and modified. Analysing both the performance and retention of new starters can highlight how effective and successful the induction process has been.
It can be extremely difficult for a new employee to know exactly what has and what hasn't been useful for them as they will be bombarded with information within their first few months. It would be much more effective if new starters are asked to complete an induction evaluation form after two months when they have had the opportunity to settle in.
Crash And Burn (What Induction programs must not include!!)
As if starting a new job wasn't hard enough... Rushed and poorly carried induction programmes that only consist of a quick tour around the office will simply de-motivate and de-moralise new employees and you may discover that what was your welcome mat has transformed into a revolving door.
Good sales professionals will need knowledge and skills otherwise if you put your new starters on the open road too soon (without giving them a good introduction) it is likely (no matter how good of a sales employee they have been, are, or shall be) they will crash and burn.
Induction programs must not include much of a theoretical part on the new employee's behalf. Arriving for a new job and receiving a bad induction can leave a new starter stressed, de-motivated, anxious and unable to perform their duties. A bad induction will further lengthen the time in which the entrant will be able to become an effective member of staff resulting in increased workload and damaged brand identities.
Too Hasty, Too Boring, Too Impersonal, Too Personal, Too Neglectful!
A ten minute brisk walk allowing the candidate to familiarize about the entrance and exists should not be part of the induction as neither should all the theoretic and long presentations with high amounts of figures. Try and avoid hour's worth of speeches and presentations including voluminous policy manuals and information packages. The induction must also not be related to the complete life cycle of a new entrant it should be a varied programme.
Whomever conducts the induction should have complete knowledge of the new entrant position and the company overview to save embarrassment for them self. It could be worthwhile having a representative from each department to introduce and explain exactly what their department does to new starters.
A good induction will help you acquire loyal employees who feel integrated into the culture of the company and whom are likely to be more productive and stay with the company longer.
If your recruitment and induction processes are carried out carefully, accurately and honestly these new starters are the future of your organisation - make sure you are treating them as such.
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