Are You Not Training Your New Outbound Lead Generation Reps?
In my last post I introduced the importance of training your outbound lead generation team. In this post I’ll layout my recommendations for what should be included in the new hire onboarding training.
To get your team up and running it’s important that your new hire training — as well as your ongoing campaign-focused training — includes a number of key elements, especially if your new hires are relatively inexperienced in your product market.
Putting a comprehensive training plan together like the one below is a challenge for anyone, even the most experienced lead generation team managers. That’s why in the second column of the table you will find suggestions for roles that can typically help you prepare or present training on that particular topic.
Of course, at expansion-stage technology companies, many of those roles don’t even exist. In that case, the onus falls squarely on the lead generation team manager to deliver a training program that gets new outbound lead generation reps ramped up as quickly as possible.
|Company Overview||Hiring Manager/ Executive||A high-level overview of the company’s mission, vision, and values, and the context in which the company/product were established, as well as the people involved. If you can get an executive to do this, it can be very motivating and inspiring for new employees.|
|Sales Team Structure, Roles and Expectations||Hiring Manager||An initial meeting with the lead generation team manager to explicitly clarify expectations, explain how the lead generation team fits into the overall customer acquisition strategy, the role of the lead generation rep in the process, and how the sales/marketing teams are structured.|
|Customer Overview and Examples||Account Manager/ Sales Engineer||This session is intended to give the new hire some exposure to a handful of customers and explain in each case how customers are using the product and how they have benefited from it. The new hire should be able to present what he or she learned here as a case study and re-tell the customer’s story.|
|Competitive Landscape||Marketing/ Sales Operations||An overview of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and the competitive landscape in which the company/products compete.|
|Market Overview, Segmentation, Buyer Personas||Marketing||This session should provide an overview of the target markets and ecosystems in which the company sells its products. There may be multiple markets and ecosystems to cover in the section if the products have multiple applications. This section should also explain how the target markets are segments and where your company’s sweet spots are within each market. Then, within each target segment, it should explain which buyer personas would be involved with the sales.|
|Review of Campaign/ Segment Assets – Role Playing||Hiring Manager||A more in-depth review of the target market segments and buyer personas, as well as a review of all of the assets and resources that have been developed to prospect into those segments and personas (see my next post on Building an Asset Package).|
|Lead Management Process Training||Hiring Manager/ Sales Operations||This session should cover an overview of the lead management process; including the outreach guidelines and hand-off process.|
|Product Demo||Account Manager/ Sale Engineer||A product demonstration should show what users would see if they were using the product. This will help new hires get a better sense of what they are actually selling.|
|Product Training||Sales Engineer/ Sales Operations||A product training session should go into a bit more depth on how to use the application. There may also be a hands-on element for some products. Make sure to clarify in the session what new reps are qualified to discuss on a call so that they don’t get themselves “into the weeds” on a call.|
|Sales Methodology Training||Hiring Manager/ Sales Operations||If your sales team subscribes to a specific sales methodology, this session should cover the basics of that methodology. At the very least this section should cover the different stages and milestones in the sales process.|
|Sit on Calls and Demos||Lead Gen Rep/ Sales Rep/ Account Manager||This absolutely critical activity should be a big part of their training. New hires should not only sit on call with other lead gen reps, but also with sales reps, account managers, and even sales engineers to hear different peoples selling styles, customer/prospect feedback, and how to respond.|
|Systems Training: CRM, Sales Tool, Content||Sales Operations||Systems training should go over the basic systems that the sales and marketing teams use a daily basis. Particularly important here is CRM training.|
In addition to the sessions listed above, I really can’t underscore enough the fact that there’s no better training than practice. That means plenty of role playing, group outbound calling, and calling into old leads. Practice should make up a significant portion of the new hire’s first couple of weeks on the job.
In my next post I’ll cover another training package that can be used in ongoing training specific to new products, markets, and campaigns. At OpenView Labs we call it an asset package.