Sales are the mainstay of success because they fuel revenues and profits for an organization. Not surprisingly, HR managers go the extra mile to find and recruit sales reps for their organizations. Onboarding is an even heftier investment for companies because it determines the average ramp time for new hires. After all, you cannot wait forever to have them start churning deals for your company.
Ramp time is a critical part of running an organization effectively. Although you must stick with the basics, like hiring people with relevant soft skills and finding cultural fits, much more goes into optimizing a ramp strategy. Fortunately, creating a strategy is easier than you imagine, and the results are worth the effort, even if you need to invest some. Let us share a few surefire tips to reduce your sales ramp time.
Put people before the process
Having the right employees in the right roles is the key to making the most onboarding efforts. In fact, the approach enables you to create a robust foundation for your business in the long haul. But bringing the best people on board requires a strategic approach instead of random recruitment. Everything boils down to creating a high-value hiring process that evaluates people according to their soft skills and past performance. Besides picking people with role-related knowledge, prioritize qualities like empathy, creativity, and grit. Such employees are far more receptive to onboarding efforts, so they likely take you toward your sales and revenue targets faster.
Create a sales playbook
Creating a sales playbook for your company puts you in a good place when it comes to ramp time. Consider it the ultimate resource to educate employees on how your company sells, from acquiring a lead to winning new business. You can create it once, and use it for the long haul, managing onboarding cycles one after the other. You may also update the playbook periodically. Do it every time you change the process for your organization. Ensure a holistic view of your sales process for new hires. It should also provide them with insights into mastering the most critical elements to achieve success.
Define an ideal onboarding process
You can get closer to an ideal onboarding process by defining it in the first place. It entails determining your targets, such as a successful ramp-up period, quotes, and revenue targets for new hires. Knowing your targets puts you in a better place to empower team members to work toward achieving them. Remember to provide measurable goals to ensure a clear understanding of expectations from the outset. With everyone on the same page regarding the expectations, both you and your reps will have a better view of how well they are being met. Moreover, you can determine what needs to be done to reach the next level.
Create an onboarding blueprint
Once you have a clear set of goals, you must create an onboarding blueprint mapping the processes, skills, and content to help employees achieve these goals. Implementing repeatable processes can also help you with Automating sales ramp for your team. Typically, you must focus on key knowledge areas such as the addressable market, your customers, product, and sales methodology. Automating the process sets the pace for the company to manage future hires. Moreover, it reduces the managers’ burden and lets them focus on the critical aspects of onboarding instead of worrying about the cumbersome steps.
Implement an effective training program
Another tip to reduce sales ramp time is to implement a robust training program for new hires. The introductory training should be highly rigorous and motivating to prepare them to give their best to the organization. Additionally, it should focus on tackling real-life customer situations they may encounter while interacting with difficult leads down the line. It must include core elements, such as a company overview, industry insights, competitive offering, product knowledge, customer knowledge, selling skills, tools, and sales process. The idea is to ensure that new hires know everything they should to answer questions and address the concerns of potential customers.
Make the training content readily accessible
You can go a step further to minimize the sales ramp-up period by ensuring that new reps can easily access all the training content in one place. It enables them to save time while trying to find information. They need not email co-workers in other departments or wait long hours for in-person meetings. Providing the entire training material on-demand and on mobile-friendly platforms is a good idea, as they can access it on the go. New reps feel empowered and confident with ready access to an on-demand sales education. They can apply the relevant content at the right times to meet quotas and targets sooner than later.
Provide on-the-job coaching and mentoring
Besides creating a proper initial training program, you must provide on-the-job coaching to new hires to cut down the sales ramp time. In fact, mentoring makes employees even better as mentors can easily identify their strengths and weaknesses and work on them. Moreover, new reps can learn about company culture and align with it sooner than later with a mentor showing them the way.
Model successful behavior
After training, coaching, and mentoring, new hires probably have an in-depth understanding of your customer, sales process, and the industry. You can go the extra mile by modeling successful behavior for new team members. The best way to do it is by picking the reps in the business and using them as role models for the new hires. Let them see how these employees interact with customers, answer emails, and manage their time. People can pick and learn a lot if they are receptive enough, so encourage them to make the most of the opportunity.
Organizations often fail to focus on accelerating sales rep onboarding, but it is one of the most crucial aspects of the process. In fact, it can provide a surprisingly high return with low investment. Follow these simple tips to reduce ramp time and get impressive results as fast as possible.