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I just finished onboarding 3 new AEs, and here is what I learned. (LONG POST)

You may have noticed I've been quiet/absent the past two weeks...and that's because I've been onboarding 3 new AEs to my company. One of the many hats I wear at a small company is onboarding and employee enablement. I learned quite a bit from this round of onboarding, and I'd like to share some specific items with the following WR user-segments: Individual Contributors (e.g. S/BDRs, AEs, AMs), Leadership, and Ops (there are a few of us here).


First Up: Individual Contributors (ICs)


Listen up, and listen good: your creator gave you two eyes, two ears, and one mouth for a reason. Watch what we do, listen to what we say, and drink from this fire hose as much as you'd like...but if you're going to speak during a group training that is lead by myself or a leader from our exec team, then DO IT SPARINGLY.


There are very few things that drive me crazy than "quick questions". If they were quick then we wouldn't spend 10 minutes answering the first one and all of the little follow-ups that come from it. We want to provide you with clarity because our entire world revolves around getting you to production as quickly as we possibly can, but most of the time your questions will be answered if you let us get through all of the material in the training session rather than you butting in after every bullet or screen.


Here is my tip to ICs: make notes, lots of them, and leverage our 1:1 time or end-of-day wrap-ups to ask your questions. Doing so not only allows you to review your questions to see if they were answered already, but it will also give your fellow onboarding classmates the ability to focus on the sessions rather than context switching over and over again.


Second up: Leadership


Let's make one thing clear: I, as your RevOps leader, do not exist to do your job for you during the onboarding phase of new employees. You need to do your part in preparing for training YOUR new employees. The number one mistake I picked up on from this past training class is that the sales leader wanted to sit back and let me do all of the work...but at the end of the day, your training team should not be in charge of introducing things like your sales process or sales management cadence. You will be executing these tasks and holding the reps accountable for the execution of the sales narrative/cadence once they are out in the world doing the job.


Here is my tip for Leaders: Onboarding is the first impression for the new AE, so you have one chance to show them how involved you are in their experience at the company--make the most of it. Take an active role in the training process, and if you have a training/enablement resource, treat them as the coordinator of your sessions, not the sole delivery resource of all of the content. Work with the training team to develop the content, clearly communicate what you would like to present, and ask for others to help deliver the content that can be more universally communicated via another AE, ops leader, etc.


Lastly, Ops (Sales, People, Revenue, etc):


Your job is to ensure that the full onboarding experience is mapped out from day one to the graduation session. Yes, each hour of each day should have a purpose, and here's my trick for that: If you use Google Calendar go create a new "Onboarding Calendar" and start creating your training sessions there. Once things are finalized, add the new reps, the training proctors (who is delivering that session), and all the conferencing or in-person venue information for each session. This will eliminate the "what are they doing today?" question you'll get from leadership if you decide to just "wing it". Be purposeful, be organized.


As I said for the Sales Leader: you should be a partner to the rest of the people in your organization that are going to help train and onboarding these new hires. Prepare them with context, but ask them to bring the content they want to use to train folks with. If they don't have content read, then ask them to help you brainstorm what would work best. If it's simply a product demo then you're not going to have to do much, but if it's an ICP or Customer Journey Mapping session then you should figure out the best way to visualize the content for easy consumption.


Here is my tip for Ops: leverage an AVOMA/Chorus/Gong type platform, to record each session. Helps with recall for current onboarding reps and can be put in a library for future consumption. This not only will save you time in answering "what did we talk about" questions, but will perhaps make future sessions easier by providing reps with a recording of a great session rather than trying to recreate it.


Anyways, if you got this far, tough loss for the Pats this past weekend...and very sad that Max Verstappen tried to murder *Sir Lewis Hamilton rather than yielding some space on the track at Monza.

🥎 Training
👥 Hiring
🧢 Sales Management
37
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+9
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
When @poweredbycaffeine delivers he delivers in droves. 

Great writeup. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Thank you, sir! 2 weeks of silence left me ready for a post.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
The IC scenario irks the living hell outta me. Shut your damn mouth folks. Have a separate notebook for questions, write them down, and ask when it comes to that time. 

You like hearing yourself speak. We get it. But you're hindering others in the training. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
SAY IT LOUDER!!!
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
This is……. Fucking amazing. 

we are not worthy Sir Caffeinated Coors Knight! 
Incognito
WR Officer
+11
Master of Disaster
Also, I have no idea why there is a unicorn emoji attached to my comment but……kinda appropriate because posts of this quality are rare as fuck 🤷‍♀️
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
I...want that emoji something fierce.  Too bad you don't know how you got it.
Show 2 more replies
WCK
Notorious Answer
+13
Padre de Tequila, General of the Coors Knights
Can I pay you to be my Sales Sherpa cause this is MONEY
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
Im here for the F1 content but also great write up. Good reminder for me as I am onboarding 4 new AE's over the next 2 months. 

The only thing you left off was copious amounts of Coors Light for the new hires to get them up to speed on the culture as well. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
"We are a 'Blue Mountains' family. If you don't like it, there's the door"
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
+12
EVP - RevOps
Hey fuck Lewis Hamilton.
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
*Sir Lewis Hamilton...and he gave way to my second favorite driver to get a win yesterday. Haters gonna hate.
GrizzleMcThornBody
Arsonist
+12
EVP - RevOps
hey fuck him
Show 17 more replies
Diablo
Politicker
+7
AE
Commendable captain!
Mobi85
Politicker
+5
Regional Sales Manager
Thank you for this post and this is extremely valuable with on-boarding.  You Sir are 100% spot on with everything. 
FamilyTruckster
Politicker
+9
Exec Director, Major Accounts
I need to re-read this about 4 times. Then share with the world. 

and @poweredbycaffeine pats looked solid… Fumble drills at practice and we’re in the hunt…
MichaelScottKnowsBest
Good Citizen
+2
Sales Executive
great post - I agree with everything here! Having been in leadership for 10 years, you can see that this is seasoned advice that is rooted in reality - particularly the 'quick questions' part. Believe it or not, there is a plan, and probably a schedule - so you asking one off questions with ultra-scenario specific parameters probably does not apply to anyone but you. Find time to delve into those specific situations when you aren't taking from everyone else!

Go Pats! 16-1. You heard it here first. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
MAC ATTACK!
Sunbunny31
Politicker
+5
Sales Executive
I'd add "I may have missed it but..." to the section about ICs.   Dude, could you make your inattention/the fact that you're checking out social media or watching reruns of Monza any plainer?  If you missed it, wait for the recording and figure out if you did.  Then send an email.  Hate that redundant crap, and I'm an IC.
Full_Send
Valued Contributor
+3
Mid Market AE
Fantastic advice for AE’s, even as an IC sitting in an onboarding session it’s incredibly frustrating when folks ask questions so early on when we haven’t got a chance to learn anything.
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Top quality post here! Even though most of this tips are for roles I’ve never taken it gave me a good glimpse of how I should react once I get there! Thanks @poweredbycaffeine you the boss!
closingANDposing
Opinionated
+1
Account Executive
Good stuff. I have to add weight specifically on the "quick question" one.. There's always going to be these people, and it drags out the whole process for everyone. Again, listen throughout the whole call, take notes and then reach out or add in the end if it hasn't been answered already.

It's the same feeling like sitting in a team meeting, and you're already dragging over the time when the manager asks, "Anyone got any more questions?". Everybody is literally sitting ready to click "leave meeting" and get on with their lives, where you have one dude that still got a fucking question, about something that is only relevant to him. Fuck you. And your question. Ask your manager to stay on with your or ping afterwards, don't take the time of your whole team. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
YAS!
Th
TheIncarceration
Opinionated
+3
SDR Manager
The "onboarding calendar" is fucking genius
cw95
Politicker
+6
Sales Development Lead
Informative and easy to takeaway, cheers. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Lieutenant
+10
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
What is this?
Zo
Zoombini
Senior AE
Awesome discovery call template - helped me fully onboard my new SDRs in 7 days
Show 4 more replies
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