Do you remember your first ever field sales role? Driving around frantically trying to find house numbers or business names in a neighborhood you’d never heard of? If your onboarding wasn’t efficient, you most likely kept this sense of disorientation for a few weeks or even months.
But this doesn't mean you should close the door to new hires and grads. After all, they can eventually turn into invaluable assets for the company, and fresh reps often add perspective and energy to a team. You just need the right tools to mold them into your next top performer.
On our previous blog, we explored onboarding best practices. Now, these 6 tools put those tips into action. Whether you’re a dedicated training manager or a rep who’s taking on a new role, these tools will bring you and your team up to speed in (at least) half the time.
Google sites allows you to build an internal website for free. Here’s where you can put all of those presentations, forms, and documents that trainees need when they join your company.
Especially if you work remotely, having a virtual training platform helps streamline onboarding and make sure you don’t overload a new hire with a huge onboarding email chain.
Building your own training center means you can focus on more important tasks and start giving new hires the independence and responsibility to discover your company, processes and products, as well as that essential paperwork, like PTO requests and employment contracts.
Google Sites is just one free tool to create an internal onboarding hub, but there are plenty of website building programs that could help you do the same.
Problem solved: Organizing all training materials seamlessly.
Trello is another way to organize onboarding materials. Using this virtual notice board, it's possible to get newbies in the know with current projects and company processes. No more need for hundreds of post-it notes littering trainees’ desks!
Trello also allows you to delegate tasks, set deadlines, priority levels, and have internal discussions with your team. Lurking over your new starter’s shoulder to make sure that they know what they’re doing is now also out of the picture: bye bye micromanaging!
Problem solved: Understanding current company projects and processes.
Slack and ChiefOnboarding
Slack is essentially an office social media network. It allows you to keep connected to your team in an easy-to-use interface. You can create group chats, send direct messages to your peers and share documents.
For fresh team members, being able to learn all those new names, team structures, and be included in important project channels via Slack can be incredibly helpful for getting comfy with their new colleagues and receiving updates for every project they’re involved in.
As a mentor who’s juggling tons of projects, there’s no need to shout across the office or take a detour on your way for a quick coffee to see how the newbie is doing. In-person meetings between supervisor and trainees are of course useful. But, it’s also super important to allow new hires to have their own space, and make sure their supervisors are available for them, both of which a network like Slack allows for.
When you combine this platform with an automated onboarding chatbot like ChiefOnboarding, you get a powerful package for introducing your new hires in a personable way without investing huge swathes of your time. The bot takes care of virtual introductions, reminders for tasks and, like Siri, can answer any simple question that your trainee has.
Problem solved: Team integration and mentoring.
This software lets you create real-time integrative product tours. This can be useful both for going over your own products (especially if they are software based) and training your new hires on how they work.
So, instead of giving tutorials every time you onboard a new rep, managers are able to simply include a link to the tutorial, perhaps in a nifty new Google Site...
Problem solved: Getting to know the company product.
Similarly to Slack, Google Hangouts is styled like a WhatsApp for the workplace. Unlike Slack, you can’t share documents via Hangouts, but you can call other users and share your screen.
Not only does this mean remote managers can answer complex questions virtually, but it makes it easy to simulate phone calls or client presentations. New reps can practice their sales pitch with their peers or even join some of their Google Hangouts calls with clients to learn how a sales conversation works in their company.
Problem solved: Practicing client interaction.
Tests and end-of-day checklists have never looked so fancy! A survey builder like Typeform lets you create engaging forms to check in on your trainee’s progress.
Survey-creating software is also useful for that essential end part of your onboarding: feedback. Anonymous forms can ensure employees are fully honest about how they’ve found your onboarding process. You’ll then be able to analyze the results easily through visual representations of your collected data. This allows you to keep improving your onboarding process and make it more efficient.
Problem solved: Guaranteeing progress and gaining feedback
At Badger, we’re seeing more and more clients using mapping software as a core onboarding tool.
A spreadsheet doesn’t cut it for showing new reps the reality of the field. For new reps, being able to see their route on an interactive map makes the first few journeys far less daunting, especially because they can save as many routes as they’d like and get right down to street level. Built-in route optimization and advanced scheduling options cut down the amount of time reps spend on the road. This gives your trainees those important extra hours to get familiarized with their new team and processes.
Fully understanding your customer needs, or what their particular specialty is can be a huge challenge. Again, skimming over a long spreadsheet of 1,000 accounts is hardly fun or interactive. Using Colorization and Filters in Badger, reps can color code leads according to whatever customized fields a manager chooses to include, filtering out the noise on the map and making it easy to remember essential lead information. Plus, it shows where priority accounts are at a glance, so new reps know what to focus on from day one.
Problem solved: Familiarizing with territory and client base.
These are just a few examples of the tech tools available to streamline your onboarding process. Depending on how your company works, some of them might not be essential. It's up to you and your organization to find what to prioritize for your new field reps and get them hitting those targets ASAP.
If making sure that reps know their territory and leads as quickly as possible is important to you, Badger Maps can help you with that! You can get in touch with an Account Manager here to find out more about what Badger can do for your team.
If you want to check out more tech tools to help your team, check out our blog on top sales tools.