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How to Train New Sales People at Your Agency

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.

Hiring a dedicated salesperson is an exciting, but daunting task for most agencies.

The exciting part is the potential revenue gained.

The daunting part is getting that salesperson to a place of high performance. 

So how do we go about getting a new salesperson up-to-speed? We break it down in this episode of Inbound Sales Journey.

Setting Training Expectations

Every hire is going to come in with a different level of experience. How long have they worked in sales? Do they have any agency experience? Are they used to selling products or services?

All of these will play a factor in how it will take to get the new hire up and running.

In our experience, the average time before a new hire is comfortable and closing deals range from 1-3 months. Sales is a continual learning experience and that does not mean that training ends at that point. It simply means they will be capable of selling on their own and adding value directly to the agency.

The speed at which the progress is based more on how well-defined your training process is than on the capabilities of the new hire.

Developing Your Training Process

Just like every other important aspect of your agency, you should have a training process. The last thing you want is for a new hire to come in and feel like there is no structure for learning.

At GuavaBox, we built a structure built around 4 core areas. Let’s break them down.

Why Inbound (Our Services) — The first place we start is general knowledge. This is an area that is particularly important when bringing in a new sales hire from an outside industry. 

As an agency owner are an expert in the space. Many times we take that for granted and need to remember it can take a while to grasp all of the wonderful reasons we offer the services we do.

Allow your new hire to do their own research and point them in the right direction. 

Some of our favorite places to steer people toward are as follows:

Have them do their own research and learn about the industry using these resources on top of personal training with a mentor at your own agency.

Our Agency’s Services — Once the new hire has a firm grasp on the industry we work within, it’s time to educate them on why we offer the services we do. 

Your agency doesn’t offer every service out there, and frankly, that’s a good thing. It is important for your salesperson to know what you do, and do not, offer as a service and why. 

This will help them better understand the advantages of each service that you offer. Walk them through questions like:

  • Why inbound vs. traditional?
  • Why HubSpot instead of Marketo?
  • Why COS vs. Drupal?

These are questions they are likely to be asked during the sales process.

Our Agency’s Work Process — Once the new hire understands why you offer the services you do, it’s time to teach them how you execute on them.

Pair them with a project manager for a couple of days and have them watch how they interact with the customer. How they go about managing the different moving pieces and team members.

Get them familiar with what type of results clients can expect and case studies of previous success stories. This will make them feel more comfortable talking about what results in different prospects should expect. 

Our Agency’s Sales Process — At this point, the new hire is comfortable with the industry and your agency. It’s time to walk them through the sales process you have created to move a new lead from prospect to client. 

Focus on walking them through:

  • The sales process stage-by-stage
  • How do we handle an inbound vs and outbound lead
  • What our best-fit client looks like

Begin to bring the new hire on sales calls. At first, have them observe only. During this time they should be writing down any questions they have or any objections they hear. This will help prepare them for when they are running calls.

After 5-10 calls have them manage the call 50/50. Eventually, have them leading the call with supervision.

Once you feel confident that they are capable of closing a deal on their own, let them try. The best way to build confidence quickly is to not hover for too long over their shoulder. 

If after reading this you have any additional thoughts, feel free to share!

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