The Myth of Hiring a Trained Sales Rep

At a recent AA-ISP panel discussion among highly experienced, rock star sales reps, what was the top requirement that they had after a strong culture?  Training.  Yep.  The already successful, “trained” sales reps want more TRAINING.  Each of them wanted a couple of weeks to learn the product and a playbook to work from. And a coach to work with on a regular basis to hone their craft. But wait, if you have hired an already trained sales rep who has proven they can make repeated hit quota, why do you need to do all that?

Guess, what.  There is no such thing as a trained sales rep who is going to step into your job, take your product or solution and run with it to crush the next quarterly quota.  This is a myth.

The better the rep, the more training and documentation and content and tools they are going to demand.  That’s what makes them rock stars.

It’s a myth that if they were already successful at (fill in the blank with recognized name SaaS F500 player) that you can just hire that sales rep and they’ll be ready to go for you from Day One.  What, didn’t they get that SPIN SELLING class a couple of years ago? Isn’t that enough?  Didn’t I hire experience?

Here are the flaws with that belief.

Your product is not XYZ’s product.  It’s not the same buyer. Even if you think it’s the same market, there are nuances of where you are in the market and the adoption cycle.  And even so, your case studies and benefits are likely to be different as well, which is, well, your competitive differentiation.

No good sales person is ever “done” with their sales training.  There are many analogies to fitness training so let’s go with that. You are a marathon runner.  You ran a great time 2 years ago.  You don’t stop training, experimenting with diet, pace, shoes, equipment, etc. and just figure you’ll be able to beat the field again this year.  No way!  You get out there every day and drill!  And you don’t do it alone.  You work with a trainer or a coach to observe your gait, your starts, your pace, keep you motivated and on point.

Here is what the panel of sales experts listed as their requirements:

  1. A coach
  2. An understanding of YOUR unique selling proposition
  3. A sales process
  4. Role play
  5. A cadence that helps plan the touches and frequency
  6. Product training
  7. Value content
  8. Tools to make them more efficient with their day
  9. A working relation with Marketing so they can understand the buyer
  10. Annual sales team sales training to keep skills sharp and introduce new ideas.

That’s the top ten things that you need to attract and retain top sales talent.  Even if they are already trained sales reps.  They will need more to continue with their success.