The growth of your company is dependent on hiring sales reps who are going to do a great job at bringing on lots of quality customers. As we all know there are women and men sales reps. Since I am a woman working in sales I am going to try and talk about my experience in how mentoring and teaching younger, newer sales reps (who are women) can help your company employ more women sales reps as well as retain them.
More senior women sales reps at tech companies need to know why it is so important to teach and guide your newbie women sales reps as they work their way through the training process and up the chain as a sales rep at your company.
The growth of your organization should be something you naturally care about. As a woman working in tech and especially as a woman working in sales it is my duty to encourage more women to want to work in sales in the tech space. I love what I do and I think more women would find joy in being in sales in tech. It is my goal to empower, educate and teach the younger generation of women what it is like to be a woman working in sales in the tech and software space. I hope that my lessons will help more women see why working as a sales women in tech is awesome and can lead to a rewarding career that can really change your life.
Why should you as a more senior sales rep spend time mentoring the newbie women sales reps?
Because it matters. Your guidance, your mentorship and advice will help other newer reps become better at their job faster. That should matter to you because you should care about the growth of your company and by helping the newer sales reps get better faster your sales team should do better as well.
I naturally just feel the urge to help people. I was helped along the way as I started my career in sales so I feel a natural energy and responsibility to help others in sales.
If you think you don't have the time and think that you are too busy to help, you are wrong. You do have the time, find the time, make the time. You were helped at one point too as a young, new sales rep. It is your duty as an employee of your company to help others. Spend your time with those that you think you can help and with those newer sales reps who you can tell are eating up what you are saying.
At HubSpot we have a "figure it out factor" that our newbies of all departments are taught from our trainers during the 1st month here at HubSpot. The figure it out factor means just what you think it probably means. We want our employees (new and old) to figure things out on their own. No one is going to hold your hand for you as you start your new job. But, what we make sure of here at HubSpot is letting our newbies know that we are there to help them if they want the help. That is key...I am going to say that again.
If a new employee on your team is reaching out for help, help them. It is your responsibility as a employee of your company to ask for help. If you ask for help, the senior people should help you and want to help you. But, on the flip side if you don't ask for help then you probably won't get the help.
Those who ask for help, will get the help they want.
As newbie in a sales org you should focus on meeting with as many people that you think you can learn something from.
If you are a newbie sales rep and you want to meet with a more senior sales rep on your team here is a guide for approaching them and getting the most out of your time with them.
- Make sure you tell the senior sales rep why you want to meet with them and what you are hoping to learn from the meeting.
- Be persistent. I get probably 2 emails a day from people around my company (newer people on teams) that want to meet with me for some reason. Guess what? I can't meet with all of them so it would be smart if that person reaching out explained to me flat out why they want to meet with me and why they think I can help them. If from what I read about why they think I can help seems like I am not the best person I will recommend someone else who I think can help them more. The more people you know at your company, you will see over time the easier things will be for you. You will know who to go to for questions you have and you will build mutual, respectful relationships with people that will benefit both sides over the course of your career there and maybe outside of that company later on in life.
- Ask when the sales rep would want to meet with you. Think about their territory (for example) and what times they are usually busy. Suggest that you meet when they are not typically the busiest. If someone works PST hours suggest maybe that you will stay late at night to talk to them when they are typically done for the day. Make sure you are working around their calendar and not your own. You are asking for their time so be respectful of their time.
- Be appreciative of their time. Thank them for their time and mean it. Really show that you are thankful for their time they are giving you and for the help that you are giving them. That goes a long way. I can't tell you how many of these kinds of meetings I have had where I actually feel like what I am telling someone is going to be used. People might say, "wow, Ali this is so awesome and helpful." Okay, great...but are you going to actually do what I am telling you? The most important thing for me to feel as a senior sales rep helping and spending time with newer reps is that the time I spend with them is going to mean something to them and be helpful for them.
- Show that you are listening and that you really care about what the senior sales rep is teaching you. If you show up and aren't engaged in the meeting, the senior sales rep will likely notice that and they will probably be hesitant to help you in the future. If the senior sales rep feels like you are wasting their time and not taking their advice then they might not want to help you or others again. Make sure that when you show up, you really show up.
Here's how I would suggest the senior sales rep should run the meeting with a newbie sales rep.
- Be excited to meet with them. They are likely going to be a little scared of you and intimidated. Make the younger, newer sales reps know that you care and that you are there to help them.
- Talk to them about what they want to learn from you. Focus on what you are good at and make them aware of what makes you good at your job. Don't try to do too much in one meeting. Make sure you get out what the newbie is wanting to learn so you know how to talk to them and what to show them about your process. Stay focused on what they are trying to learn from you. Be specific with good tidbits they can take away from the meeting.
- Do real live examples of what they want to learn. For example in a meeting with 2 newer BDR/SDRs yesterday I was going over how to source a cold lead and what to say when you reach out to them. I told them I would call the lead right then and there to show them. I did and I got a call back and they heard the phone call and saw the whole process revealed right there in the conference room. Real time work is so effective and is so helpful for your new sales reps.
- If the newbie sales reps want you to mentor them ask the newer sales rep why and how they think you can help them? Ask them how it will benefit both of you. Let the newer sales reps know that you like to help and that you enjoy helping them. The newbies will talk with their other friends at work about how you helped them and gave them perspective. This helps with morale of the new reps and gets them excited about what they are doing.
- Happiness as a newer sales rep comes from learning and development. A little bit of outside perspective goes a long way. Even if that newbie sales rep doesn't directly impact your number or your results as a sales rep you have the ability to impact the overall performance of sales as an organization by helping them. If other sales reps do well then overall your company will do better and that will likely impact you in a positive way as well. It is your duty to help other people in your company. As an employee of a fast growing company you should truly believe that part of your role there is helping others to be as good as you are. Part of your duty as an employee there is teaching and mentoring the newer reps on what you know. Help others to become the best.
Share your knowledge. Share what works and what doesn't work. At any level of sales rep the help and advice that you can give others is valuable for your organization.
One side note on the women in sales part too...as a woman who worked her way up and through sales here at HubSpot it is so important to have mentors and other women that inspire you. It is important to understand why other women at your company do well. As a newer sales rep it is important to see why a sales rep say of 5 years there still loves what she does. It is important to see why they get excited to make a call or pick up the phone. Having women mentorship in sales is a great way to keep your newbie sales reps engaged and developing. It will motivate them and inspire them to do better and work harder.
The little things make a big difference. If your more senior sales reps are showing that they care about the overall success of the newer sales reps everyone will be happier and everyone will do better at their job overtime. It will keep the newer sales reps motivated because they will feel empowered from what they learned. It will also keep the more senior reps engaged because they will feel valuable and like they are helping a good cause.
How does mentorship work at your company? Please share in the comments below. Would love to hear how your company empowers the newer sales reps to grow.