Starting your new sales job off right is essential for a successful career.
On the one hand, you’re eager to meet your colleagues and close your first deal. On the other hand, you don’t really know how to deal with pressure and expectations.
What you’re feeling is perfectly normal. Try to focus on building a good rapport with your team and understanding the business. Get to know your colleagues, ask questions, and set clear goals.
The first six months after a new employee is hired are critical to their overall job performance and longevity at the company. This period will set the tone for your career and determine how you’re perceived by managers and colleagues. It’s also an opportunity to learn and grow professionally. However, trying to do too much, too fast is a recipe for failure. Instead, you should plan things out and take one step at a time.
Remember, everyone has to start somewhere. While it’s important to work hard; you shouldn’t put pressure on yourself to be perfect. Use the tips below to nail your first six months in a new sales role!
1. Plan things out and get organized
The career professionals at Masterclass recommend starting out with a 30-60-90-day plan. This approach would allow you to set realistic goals and get organized during your first three months in a new sales role. After the three months have passed, you may create a more complex plan for the next 30, 60, and 90 days.
This document should outline your priorities and career objectives, as well as the metrics you’ll use to track your performance. It’s a simple, effective way to keep yourself accountable and lay out a clear course of action.
Ideally, you should draft a 30-60-90-day plan in the first week of your new job. Follow these steps to get started:
- Draft a plan—you can either use a free template or create one yourself
- Define your priorities and learning goals for the first 30 days in a sales role—use this time frame to get accustomed to the new position and work environment
- Set realistic objectives for your second month on the job; leverage the knowledge gained during the first month to bring your contribution to the team and meet your quota
- Clearly define your performance goals and development needs for the next 30 days; at this point, you should have a thorough understanding of the company’s culture, mission, and expectations
- Plan things out for the next 30, 60, and 90 days or set long-term goals and then break them down into smaller tasks
Employers expect you to learn the ropes during your first three months on a new sales job. After that, you should be able to build and grow your client base, develop effective sales strategies, and show what you’re made of.
2. Build healthy working relationships
In a 2017 interview with Business Insider, career advice expert Amanda Augustine recommends that new hires focus on building relationships with their peers and finding someone who can show them around. Setting good habits right from the start is just as important.
While it can be tempting to just sit at your desk and do your job, you should prioritize relationship building. Discuss with your manager, colleagues, and cross-functional partners on other teams on a regular basis. Surround yourself with people who are better than you, says Max Altschuler, the CEO at Sales Hacker.
At this point, what matters most is to establish rapport with the people with whom you’ll work closely. Pay attention to their communication style and try to find common ground. Find out what’s expected of you and ask questions.
3. Find out what’s expected of you
A 2015 Gallup survey found that about half of employees don’t know what is expected of them at work. Sure, you can always discuss these aspects with your superiors, but you should also try to find out more about it from your team.
By asking the right questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of the company’s dynamics and internal processes. At the same time, you may find it easier to settle into your new role.
For example, you could ask the following:
- Is there anything they wish they knew when they first started?
- Can they tell you more about the company’s vision and internal processes?
- How do employees prefer to communicate at the office?
- What’s the company policy on telecommuting, time off, lunch breaks, and working late?
- Are there any unwritten rules you should follow?
- How is success measured? What are your expected KPIs (key performance metrics)?
- What should you know about evaluations and check-ins?
- What are the rules on internet and intranet usage during working hours?
- Do employees collaborate or work autonomously?
These questions can help you gain a better understanding of the company’s dynamics and internal processes. At the same time, they’ll allow you to settle into your new role more easily. So, spend extra time getting to know your colleagues and building genuine relationships.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to the pros. Try to build rapport with the top performers in your department. How did they get where they are today? What sales techniques do they use? What has their experience taught them?
Ideally, find a mentor and let them guide you. If you’re not sure who to speak with, ask your team leader or manager for recommendations.
4. Know your numbers and determine how you’re going to measure success
As you settle in your new role, identify a few KPIs that you want to focus on. These could include your contact rate, follow-up conversion rate, close rate, cost of sale, cost per lead, and more. You also want to track lead conversion rates, the average time to conversion, sales targets, and client acquisition per channel.
Review your KPIs weekly during the first six months on a new sales job. Reflect on what’s working and what could be improved. Try to figure out how your results compare with those of other sales professionals on the team.
Keep your manager in the loop so that they can provide timely feedback. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice when you’re facing a challenge; it’s better to stay humble and demonstrate your willingness to learn rather than act like a know-it-all.
5. Fine-tune your selling style and don’t repeat the same mistakes
The best salespeople have an ownership mindset and exude confidence, says Harvard Business Review. But that confidence must stem from a deep knowledge of the market, the industry, and the products or services they’re selling; you cannot expect to achieve this level of competence and performance from day one, and that’s okay.
Most of the time, it takes some trial and error to figure out what works and what doesn’t. That’s why it’s important to focus on gaining industry knowledge and continuously fine-tuning your approach to selling.
Trust yourself and get to know your clients inside out. Be prepared to get a lot of rejection, especially during your first few months on the job. If you let it get to you mentally, you’ll lose your motivation and fail.
“Experiment, try new things, but don’t do the same thing over and over again if it’s not working, expecting different results. Fail, pick yourself up and become a little better. Invest in your own confidence and realize that you can do this,” said Jamie Shanks, the CEO at Sales for Life, in an interview with Close.
Now that you know how to nail your first six months in a new sales role, it’s time to join a company that can help you reach your full potential. If you can see yourself working in the IT recruitment industry, join Frank Recruitment Group to grow professionally and build a meaningful career.