You’ve found (and hired) the right OSC, have a compensation structure that works for both of you, and now the next big step—onboarding your new OSC. So what do you need to do to get your new employee up to speed?
It’s important to remember that you have invested a lot of time, money, and effort in the hiring process—you don’t want to waste all that! Your goal should be to set them up to be successful. Below are some suggestions I’ve given to builders that I’ve used to onboard an OSC.
Build rapport with the sales team
One of the most important things you can do is make sure your OSC spends a lot of time with the people they will be working with the most—agents and others on the sales team. I recommend starting off connecting daily to build rapport and become more familiar with each other’s work styles. As time goes on, it can be scaled back to weekly, but regular communication between the OSC and the onsite agents is a MUST.
It’s important that part of the time is spent learning more about their life outside of work (and their schedules) and any other responsibilities/commitments they have. The OSC will be scheduling appointments for the sales team, so they need to understand any kind of obstacles for evening and weekend appointments (example, daycare drop off/pick up, coaching, volunteer commitments, worship, committees, caring for an elderly parent, any upcoming big events such as wedding/birth/adoption of a child, vacations, extended time off). When you take the time to get to know someone, the relationship is stronger and the OSC understands the salesperson’s schedule (what is flexible and what is not, etc.).
Sales people are not required to share all this with an OSC or an employer, and some people may feel like it is none of anyone’s business or are extremely private. That’s okay. If you can build a strong rapport and have an authentic relationship with your team, it will only help the OSC get the insight they need so they can schedule more appointments for your agents in the timeframes they have.
If geography prevents the OSC and the agents from meeting regularly in person, make sure that they are scheduling a phone or video call to develop the relationship.
Make sure they know your project(s) or communities—inside and out!
The OSC can’t help sell what they don’t understand. Knowledge of your project is essential and providing them with a cheat sheet with all the specs and unique selling propositions will make the onboarding process easier. In a short amount of time, they won’t need it when talking to prospects.
Your OSC will be the first person potential home buyers will be talking to, so they need to have a deep understanding of your project or community. Make sure you go with them to visit site locations or the areas around it and see some of the homes in person. If the OSC is covering an area in another state or region and it’s not geographically possible, Google Maps™ mapping service is a great resource. They can use Google Maps to find out what amenities are close by.
Your new OSC also needs to have a good understanding of the floor plans and what is available. They can do this by spending time either with sales managers or on-site agents to find out why people are buying different ones. By knowing the unique selling features (as well as the options and upgrades) the OSC is better equipped to provide potential home buyers with knowledgeable answers to any questions they may have about the homes. If you have interactive lot maps and floor plans on your website (or AR!), this can also be a great resource that your OSC can take advantage of.
Apart from the features of the home, the OSC needs to know your business story. What makes your company different? What makes your community different? What is the “WHY” of your business. Why should someone buy your homes?
Buying a home is the biggest purchase most people will make, so it’s important for the OSC to share your builder story with potential home buyers to give them peace of mind. The OSC needs to be able to communicate why they should consider your community, your homes, and/or your company and knowing your story is a great way to personalize your company.
Tools of the Trade: Train your OSC on the tools they need to do their job
Just the way you’ve made an investment in your people, you’ve made an investment in your technology. If they don’t know how to use the tools, they won’t be as productive as they could be.
Make sure you have a complete list of tools (and associated processes) and take the time (whether you do it or you get the vendor to do the training), so the OSC can leverage it to the fullest potential. This includes some great communication tools such as CallRail, LiveChat, BombBomb, and of course your CRM!
Sales Training —Handling objections, time management, etc.
So last, and certainly not least, is the actual sales training the OSC requires to do their job. Particularly for those who have the skill set, but not direct experience being an OSC, the training component is really important in making them a success.
Training, of course, leads to a bigger question: does the sales or marketing manager train the OSC or do you hire someone else to do it? Who is better equipped to teach your OSC how to manage their day more efficiently or overcome objections?
If you’ve hired someone that’s been down the road before or you have a manager that has helped launch an OSC program in the past, then you may be good to go. However, I have encountered situations where the manager is spread so thin that they don’t always have the time needed for proper training. So, hiring an outside expert/trainer is a great idea.
In my personal opinion, I think outsourcing training and getting expert advice is going to lead to a greater return on your investment in the OSC role. I watched myself try to do it on my own over a decade ago and it was not as effective as having someone coach me and challenge me in my process. (I stopped halfway instead of building out my emails and follow-up process all the way!) By having support from an outside team/ professional consultant, they helped me build out some of those resources, provided me with best practices, and coached me on those practices.
Build your own checklist
Now the real work begins—building out your own onboarding checklist. Use some of the above suggestions and break them down into specific tasks with timelines.
The checklist will help keep you focused and make sure that your OSC is getting the information (and training) they need to be successful in this role.
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.
About the author…
Sara Williams is the Sr. Sales Director at Lasso CRM. Her 10-plus years of new home marketing and sales experience have included roles such as marketing director, marketing coordinator, new home sales manager, and senior new home consultant/online lead specialist. In January 2013, she won the NAHB National Sales and Marketing Council Gold award for Online Sales Counselor of the Year through her work at Heartland Homes.