Ideas for training Sales Reps

Hi everyone! In preparation for the holiday season and new year, I am in the process of adding a couple of new sales reps to my team. I have an onboarding process that I usually stick to, but I am looking to improve it this time around. I currently manage a small team of outside sales reps that sell medical devices.

My onboarding process really only includes a presentation about our company’s history and what types of customers we sell to. After that they are pretty much shadowing our current reps until they are able to sell on their own.

While this method is adequate for eventually getting my reps up to speed, I really want them to buy into our company culture and mission this time, so they truly believe in what they’re selling and they understand how they’re generating value for their customers. We’re seeking to improve the health and quality of life of the people we sell to. Perhaps emphasizing this more throughout the onboarding would help them start off on the right foot and spark more excitement and motivation? Are there any onboarding tips and/or strategies that you’ve found to be effective for motivating new hires in this industry? Thank you!

Good question,

  1. Maybe ask them if they know somebody that your product could help. A personal understanding and connection may help them believe in the product. A good sales rep has a connection and believes in what they sell, even if it is just for show.

  2. Onboarding is an important processes. Set goals for the first 6 months and check in with your reps on progress. In the first 45 days check in every week to see where they’re at both on learning the product and meeting sales goals. Then start spreading out checkins to once per month.

  3. This process will show your new reps that you have invested in their success and also set the standard for what you expect. And finally you will find the reps who will not succeed.

If you take extreme ownership through this process they will succeed and be great reps.

Good Luck


I’ve always found the buddy/mentorship system to be helpful. One suggestion would be to pair up one of your new reps, with one of your experienced/successful reps. More than just shadowing for a couple weeks until they can bumble through a sales call - maybe they grab lunch once a week for an extended period of time to discuss the new reps experience and issues they’re trying to overcome. Maybe provide some kind of incentive (doesn’t have to be much, maybe a $50 gift card) to the “experienced buddy,” based on the new reps performance. You could define those parameters, but tie them together somehow.

Really, its more than just shadowing. It’s mentorship. Someone for your new reps to feel comfortable reaching out too, and asking the stupid questions they’re too afraid to ask the boss. In addition, it incentivises your workforce to band together and form permanent bonds.

Thank you so much for the advice. That makes a lot of sense - setting up goals for each stage of the onboarding process will make it more efficient and will show my reps that I'm invested in their progress, which can be an effective motivating factor. Asking them if they know someone that our product could help is also a great way to frame our company mission from a personal standpoint. I'll definitely apply these tips. Thanks again!