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How to Successfully Onboard and Train a Sales Team to Maximize Your Revenue, with Yekemi Otaru

Regardless of your industry, having a talented and motivated sales force can greatly impact the overall success and growth of a company. A good sales team is vital for revenue generation, customer acquisition and retention, market insights, and competitive advantage.

In this episode, I am delighted to have Dr. Yekemi Otaru, an award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder at Doqaru. Yekemi is a Chief Growth Officer, published B2B social media author and inspirational speaker with a significant online presence. Doqaru has recently published an insightful report on sales skills in the UK SMEs market.

Yekemi and I discussed key topics on how sales leaders adapt to digital competencies, critical things to consider when hiring and onboarding salespeople for your team, and how to set your sales team up for success.

Episode Outline and Highlights

  • [01:11] The Sales Skills Report for UK SMEs - Yekemi discusses the recent report they released.

  • [03:45] Why do sales leaders need to adapt to digital skills and competencies?

  • [05:51] What is it about sales skills that Yekemi finds fascinating?

  • [11:01] Key things uncovered: walkthrough on findings on their recent report.

  • [16:06] What you need to know when onboarding and training sales professionals.

  • [23:35] Top tips on investing for the development of your sales team.

  • [25:42] Overcoming the challenge of invalidating opportunities.

  • [31:48] How sales management is different from sales, and what is expected from a sales manager.

  • [32:55] Yekemi shares her thoughts on standing out on LinkedIn.

  • [36:47] The top three things sales leaders need to look out for to maximize their revenue.

The Sales Skills Report for UK SMEs - Key Things Uncovered

If you are building your sales team and hiring salespeople, reading the recent report published by Doqaru is highly recommended. The report will give you clear insights into the current state of sales skills and the things you need to consider when onboarding and managing sales professionals. Some of the key insights covered in the reports are:

  • The nervousness of hiring salespeople overall and the tendency to limit the talent pool to the people you know.

  • The importance of having a structured hiring process when onboarding sales professionals.

  • The need for clarity on what companies need to look for when onboarding salespeople.

  • The need for a proper onboarding process (first 90 days) regardless of sales experience.

Yekemi pointed out specific details and tips on how leaders can increase the chances of success of their sales team. Some of these are about understanding your buyers’ personas, understanding your marketplace, and getting maximum leverage on your CRM. Focusing on these in the first 90 days can give your team a competitive advantage which can translate to maximized revenues.

The Top Three Things Sales Leaders Need to Look Out For

In order to maximize their revenue and retain the talents of their sales team, what are the top three things that sales leaders need to look out for? Yekemi shares her thoughts on the following critical key pointers:

  • Pay attention to your team’s culture.

  • Pay attention to the skills that you need before you onboard someone - make sure that you have a good understanding of the competencies that they need.

  • Help your sales team succeed - give them opportunities to learn and provide tools to help them become successful.

Going Digital - Why Sales Leaders Need to Understand Digital Competencies Required for Salespeople

A key highlight of the report released by Doqaru on sales skills is that: "Salespeople who exceeded their sales targets use social media daily, highlighting a strong correlation between social selling and sales performance. Therefore, SMEs must embrace social media and provide salespeople with the necessary tools and training to use it effectively.”

This is really interesting, as it is somewhat different from what hiring managers have looked for when it comes to hiring salespeople over the last couple of decades. Digital skills, alongside other soft skills and competencies that go alongside that, are indeed what is required in the current market and tech environment.

Yekemi is an outstanding example of a LinkedIn creator. We also talked about this topic - how do you stand out on this platform given the number of contents being published? How do you avoid becoming just another noise and indeed engage with your audience?

“The principles still apply. If you have a good understanding of who your audience is, who you are trying to attract, and you understand their pain points and challenges they are facing from day to day, and what they are trying to achieve, and you also understand the desired outcomes… then you start to create content and have conversations around that, and people that it applies to stop and they read that content,” explained Yekemi.

About Yekemi Otaru

Yekemi is an award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder at Doqaru Limited. She is a GlobalScot, an avid supporter of women in business, and a mentor for businesswomen.

Yekemi is a published B2B social media author who inspires her audience to achieve great things through her significant online presence. She is best known for her authentic personal stories and uplifting content.

In September 2021, Yekemi was appointed Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). She was awarded an honorary doctorate by UWS for her contributions and commitment to higher education and learning in June 2022.

Most recently, she won Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the 4th Scottish Women Awards and Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2022.

Yekemi is an alumnus of the UK LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Programme.


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