By Amanda Wynne
Congratulations! You’ve just landed a great sales role. You’re excited, and your boss is too. Now, what’s your plan for getting up and productive (and earning commission) as fast as possible? For many enterprise reps it can be 6 – 12 months before they’re fully productive when sales enablement isn’t in place. But you’re not going to let that happen! You’ve got the right attitude and sales enablement tools at your fingertips.
Make Sure You Know Your Sales Enablement Resources
Odds are your team has prepared a wealth of sales enablement and training materials. That might be formal training courses or a set of documents, videos, and other key training assets. A great sales enablement team will have compiled this information into a centralized repository for easy access.
But for most larger enterprises with multiple product lines and sales roles, there might be too much information to go through with a standard sales portal. To become an expert you don’t want to have to wade through page after page of training and guidance that has nothing to do with what you’re selling. An effective sales enablement tool will filter content down to what you need based on your role and sales context. That helps you focus on what you need to get up to speed fast.
Take Advantage of the Onboarding
In addition to the sales enablement resource center that you’ve been given, you’re likely enrolled in an onboarding program. That might be a classroom-like setting or a mentoring or maybe a shadowing program. Don’t overlook this opportunity. This isn’t a time to kick back and tune out. This is a great chance to learn the ropes and get access to some of the heavy hitters in your organization that you may need to rely on in the future.
By the time you’re brought on, odds are the onboarding programs has been through an iteration or two or twenty. So, you’ll be experiencing a training that has been refined over time. So dive in and ask questions.
Many companies will bring in product managers and senior technical leaders for training. These are the kinds of leaders that you can go to when you have major customer objections or questions and suggestions down the line.
Plus, your sales trainer is likely informally or formally feeding back information to sales leadership. Don’t be the rep that puts on a bad show with a lack of interest!
Get a Mentor in Sales
You might have twenty years of sales experience under your belt. And you might know buyers in general better than anyone. But how well do you know the realities of what you’re selling into?
In your organization are experts — the people that know your market, your products, and your customers better than anyone else. And they are your sales colleagues. They are a rich resource of what messages work, what hurdles you’ll encounter, and more. Find a mentor and continually pick their brain! And when the next sales hire class comes in — return the favor.
Get a Mentor in Product and Success
In addition to a sales mentor, you should also look to get mentors in other divisions of your company. Consider when you’re selling to a prospect. Do you truly want to be seen as a trusted advisor? Do you want to be valued by your prospects and buyers, or just thought of as the “relationship person”?
By getting mentors in the product and success teams you can learn more about your product and market. You can get a solid feel for your product roadmap and you get a quick understanding of why and how your product was built. That kind of knowledge is invaluable for communicating value to the your targets. Plus, for your product mentor, it has the added benefit of providing them with another ear in the market for feedback!
Dive into Tribal Knowledge
As mentioned above, your organization is filled with experts. Professionals that know your space, your new products, and your competitors. But how do you get access to the insight they have? You can meet with them for lunch, chat electronically, or “get on their calendar”. But no matter how giving and supportive your internal resource is, it’s going to be tough to keep going — reality is going to start consuming their time.
A more sustainable approach is to look to your internal source of tribal knowledge. For instance, many effective sales enablement programs will use a forum or FAQ where sellers can post questions and internal experts respond. That can be a terrific way for you to quickly find answers to some of the most common questions — questions that you’re probably thinking now as you start your new role.
Once you’re done your onboarding program — you still want to be always learning. But what should you learn? A great approach is to reinforce your knowledge based on the situations that you’re in. You’re speaking to a CIO at a bank? A great sales enablement application will recommend assets to you that match that situation. You’re not struggling to find what you need — suggested, reinforcing content comes right to you!
With the right approach and the right tools you can onboard and starting hitting your numbers — fast!
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