Starting a new sales job can be daunting, but it can also be a chance to put your learnings to the test.

a man jumping from a mountain to another

You’ve done it! You just signed the dotted line and accepted the next challenge in your sales career. Your next few weeks are crucial. You need to immerse yourself into the new role and gain new skills, knowledge, experiences... the works. At the same time you need to prove yourself, because well, it's a new job. There are expectations that your organization has from you and that you have from yourself. So, how do you set yourself up for success? 

To begin with 

Ask the RIGHT questions - You just started. You don't know everything… yet. As you are learning the role and the tools to be successful, you will have questions. Be curious and don't be afraid to ask. Knowledge is power and if you do not know about something, ASK!  Not clear even after a response? Ask again! 

Your colleagues are a treasure trove of knowledge.

Leverage your mentor - It’s going to take you months to truly soak up the culture yourself, and you can really speed up the process by shadowing your mentor. If you aren’t assigned one, approach someone who’s at the top of the sales leader board. Even better, ask your supervisor to assign someone. Take the time to get to know them - you’ll learn what to do and even more importantly, what not to do.

  • Make a list of key questions to ask: How are they overcoming objections? What’s something they wish they knew when they first started? What is their pitch and what do they say?

Buddy up with your peers: It's not just your mentor who can help you learn the ropes quickly. Your peers are a great resource too. Identify the salesperson who's the best within your company and ask if you can shadow a few of their calls/demos. Learning from your peers is a great way to get better at your job while building strong relationships with your coworkers.

Find out your Sales Engineers' pain points: You know you'll depend heavily on your SE, the more you know about what works and doesn't work for them, the smoother this relationship will be. Start with getting to know them, and be transparent about your intentions - there is no need to 'schmooze' here. Just introduce yourself as the newbie who is looking to learn and develop a strong relationship from the get-go. You'd be amazed at how receptive people are when you state your intention up front!  

  • Ask them what works best for them. Is there a best practice they've already identified? If so, please don't reinvent the wheel before you give their method a try! 

  • See things from their perspective. Is there any grunt work that can be reduced with your intervention? Do you really need another custom demo, or can you get better acquainted with the demo library? 

  • Ask your SE about the failure points in your pitches - what are the areas where most reps mess up? Are there particular areas where your product isn't the best? Do clients regularly raise certain objections? Knowing what you're walking into beforehand allows you to prepare. 

Product knowledge is king

Know your product - Being able to sell is half the battle. Understanding what you’re selling is the other (often under-appreciated) half. In the old days, selling relied on charm (and sometimes..*cough cough*.. snake-oil tactics). Today, prospects have more access to information than ever before and these tactics not only don't work, but are frowned upon. To gain the customers' trust and add value to their lives, you have to truly know your product and why it’s valuable to your prospect.

  • Why you should know your product inside out:  

    • It helps you overcome objections

    • It helps you adapt your pitch

    • It builds your confidence and builds your reputation as an expert

    • It helps you stay honest.

    • Hit and exceed Quota - President’s Club FTW!

  • How to improve your product knowledge

    • Read customer reviews (Pro Tip: Read the negative reviews on G2/TrustPilot - No faster way to figure out objections and how to handle them!)

    • Test drive the product and go through it

    • Spend time with your SEs

    • Spend time with the product team (and understand what went wrong on the most painful deals from their POV). 

Remember that your newbie status doesn't last

 Remember that your newbie status doesn't last

Photo by SevenStorm

When you’ve finally gotten a grasp on things, share your knowledge just as freely. Extend a hand back down the ladder that you just climbed. This is your opportunity to create the virtuous helping culture that we all want to be a part of. Pay it forward. You’ll be surprised at the questions that noobs ask that are important but you don’t have good answers to!

New organizations can be challenging, but also exciting. On days when things are rough, it's good to remind yourself about what attracted you to the job in the first place. Early days are made for teething troubles. So invest in your knowledge and skills, put yourself out there and begin making your mistakes - everyone forgives what you do the first couple of months, but they won't be so forgiving when you're a year in! 

Go make some mistakes and join the President’s Club!