The sales on-boarding process can be difficult for new hires who don’t receive proper instruction. Managers must guide their personnel through training to ensure that the agents can contribute to the company’s goals.

Effective sales performance management (SPM) during on-boarding is vital to the success of a vendor and its representatives. Unprepared employees can cause losses due to their lack of training, but an agent who is guided through the process can gradually become one of an establishment’s top salespeople. Supervisors must design extensive on-boarding programs that foster productivity and success to ensure that staffers have the necessary knowledge and tools to work with clients and move merchandise.

Extending the program
Some companies believe that sales agents only require basic skills to succeed, but new hires need to acclimate themselves to a new corporate culture and learn specific methods for pitching products. It may seem counterintuitive, but managers should extend the length of their on-boarding programs to garner success. Forbes writes that the longer a training period lasts, the faster personnel can reach the productivity levels of veteran staffers.

One of the benefits of using an extended program is that it gives trainees time to gradually ease into their roles. New hires can be overwhelmed by responsibilities, but additional time allows agents to find their comfort zones as they ramp up their productivity.

Offer small incentives
Sales incentives keep seasoned employees motivated to sell merchandise, and the solutions can also help trainees work through on-boarding. New hires will work harder if there are rewards for hitting certain benchmarks. Compensation can help managers keep agents on pace and avoid stagnation during training.

That said, the sales compensation shouldn’t be on par with the plans offered to tenured employees. The incentives should match the level of productivity of each worker, so trainees shouldn’t receive the same benefits as veterans who are selling greater volumes of merchandise.

Ask for feedback
An essential part of SPM is seeking feedback from employees. A representative who recently completed the on-boarding program can provide an honest assessment of how the structure aided productivity and what areas require improvement.

Companies should have surveys ready for trainees once they’ve completed on-boarding. Alternatively, managers can conduct exit interviews with agents who are ready to become full-fledged staffers. Both methods allow companies to learn how they can improve their training processes to foster success.