How to Onboard a New Employee Remotely For Your Sales Team

4 Minutes

COVID-19 expedited the adoption of building remote sales talent quicker than some hoped. Modern businesses and sales teams have had to adapt to the curve balls the world has thrown our way in recent years. However, it’s not all doom and gloom when onboarding remote employees, and there are ways to onboard a new employee remotely.

Building remote sales talent is nothing new and has grown in prominence over recent years. There are already proven methods for businesses to transition to a flexible way of working. From the assessment to the onboarding stage, we have outlined some key considerations to take when building your sales talent remotely, but first, let’s establish what remote onboarding really means. 

What is Remote Onboarding?

Remote onboarding is the process of bringing a new person into your organisation, making them feel welcome and part of the company culture. The process of onboarding remote employees is similar to onboarding talent via more traditional means. A key difference is, and you've probably guessed it already, the person is onboarded via a virtual setting, using video calls and other technology tools. In today's climate, your business must provide both in-person and remote onboarding to keep up with competitors. 

Remote Assessment Stage

Before deciding on the next hire for your sales team, you must assess the candidates to see if they have the skills and personality to empower success for your business. We refer to this part of the remote onboarding process as the remote assessment stage. This stage can be split into three core areas.

Utilise Video Call Platforms

Although face-to-face connections are back in place post-pandemic, using video call platforms to interview candidates remotely is still a viable option. If you’re considering utilising video call platforms to interview candidates, here are a few things you should consider. 

Be mindful about the platform you chose to host the video call, as not all candidates will have access to the tools you’re using. Give the candidates as much information as possible when inviting them to the interview. For example, ensure the candidate can access the video invite and indicate how long the interview will last to ensure any tech is fully charged.

Video interviewing is a core skill, and it’s good practice to test the tools you are using before you begin the interview phase. Conduct the interview in a quiet place with a suitable background and have a plan B if the connection suddenly fails. You can also assess the candidate on where they chose to complete the interview and how they react to problems like connection failures.

Adapt Your Interview Questions

Overall, the questions you present to the candidate during a video interview shouldn’t differ too much from a regular face-to-face interview. Primarily you’ll have to consider if the candidate can work remotely, so tailor some of your questions to this. 

Here are a few example questions you may want to ask your candidate. 

  • Have you ever worked remotely?
  • Why do you want to work remotely?
  • How do you stay motivated and organised when working from home?
  • What challenges have you faced while working remotely?
  • How did you find working in a remote sales team in your previous role?

Introduce a Trial Assessment Stage

Another part of the assessment stage, remaining prevalent to the norm even in a post-pandemic world, is the goal of ensuring the best talent is selected. One way of further ensuring this is by implementing a trial assessment or remote project for the candidate to complete before they come on board.

Yes, the client may tick all the boxes by having a great portfolio, acing the interview and being the perfect cultural fit, but to be sure that the candidate is the right choice, get them to complete a task. Don’t be afraid to prolong the assessment stage to ensure you hire your ideal candidate.

At Pareto, we assess, place and train salespeople for industry-leading companies. So, if you’re struggling to know how to evaluate your potential hires, whether you don’t have the time or resources to do so, we can help. 

Remote Onboarding Stage

Now that you’ve secured your desired candidate, you must pay attention to the onboarding stage to ensure you give your new arrival all the tools to succeed individually and for your business. Like the remote assessment stage, there are three parts to the remote onboarding stage.

Adopt a Virtual Mentor

When a new employee joins the business, it's important to welcome them to the team and make them feel connected to the organisation, be it face-to-face or remotely. Although the current climate has recovered somewhat since the pandemic's peak, it's still the norm to onboard talent remotely. In this case, assigning new individuals to a virtual mentor is an excellent way of embedding them into the team remotely. 

This internal mentor can host daily, or weekly video catch-up calls with your new salesperson and introduce them to the rest of the sales team. The goal here is to make your latest addition feel welcomed, comfortable, and up-to-date with the business philosophy. 

Provide Role-Specific Training

Remote sales training is arguably more challenging than physical one-to-one or group sessions, but there are alternatives.

When onboarding remote employees, you can utilise external interactive courses or internal virtual training programmes to get your new employee up to speed with how your business works. This aspect of remote onboarding will allow your salesperson to grow within your sales team and the company.

At Pareto, we’ve adapted our remote sales training methods, delivering our own online sales courses designed to be completed remotely. Our programmes enable new and experienced salespeople to develop their skills in various aspects of sales.

Review and Set Expectations

It's essential to keep track of your new remote hire to ensure they fit into their new role, the sales team and the business. Additionally, you must ensure that your new salesperson is staying on track and meeting the sales targets they've been set.

From day one, you should set clear expectations for your remote employees and arrange frequent virtual calls to review their progress. You could create an individual onboarding plan lasting 30, 60 or 90 days to monitor the progress of your sales talent.

Without setting expectations, your salesperson may feel lost with little direction. Generally, salespeople thrive off competition, so introducing virtual leaderboards, goals or reward schemes could bring out the best in your new talent.

Upskilling For Your Team and Hiring Superstars

Catch up on our Sales Surgery about 'Hiring Sales Superstars Remotely.' This insightful podcast focuses on business growth during a global pandemic and how to identify the best talent without face-to-face meetings. Additionally, this webinar features insights from special sales guests from UBER Eats and Leyton.

If you are considering how to onboard a new employee remotely for your sales team and want advice from our experts, get in touch today. Together, we will help you realise your potential. 

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