Sales is the only profession where we hire someone and expect them to not be fully productive for anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Can you imagine hiring an engineer who didn’t contribute code for that long? How about an accountant who couldn’t do your taxes this year – but next year will be ready to go.
We hire sales reps knowing they are not going to be productive for quite some time. In fact, we hire them knowing they are going to cost us money. So what do we do? We throw training, onboarding tasks, product information, territory plans, and a myriad of other things at them hoping they will absorb it and magically put it all together.
As organizations plan to expand their sales teams to capitalize on the growing economy. Twenty-nine percent of companies expect to expand their sales organizations between 10%-30% in the coming year, with over 6% expecting to grow over 30%.
With this anticipated growth in sales organizations, the burden of onboarding and ramping new sales staff as quickly as possible becomes paramount to sales leaders.
Innovative companies are defining a new approach to sales rep ramp up. No longer driven by HR or training teams, sales leaders are charging sales operations and enablement teams to come up with integrated, systematic ways to decrease the time it takes to get reps fully productive.
Integrate Activities for a Simpler, Streamlined Approach
Look at all the tools, resources, and activities reps need to do in their day-to-day. How many platforms to they need to access? Where is all the content they need – from forms to collateral to selling documents? Where is the customer and prospect data? Studies report sales reps waste over 50%1 of their time every day just trying to access the tools and content needed to do their job.
Reinforce Best Practices & Process
Reps – especially new ones – need to understand what’s working and what’s not with a customer. Too many “lone wolves” are pulling tricks of all kinds to get deals in at the last minute, preventing sales leadership with the visibility they need into predictable pipelines. Innovative companies reinforce best practices and processes in each and every selling situation for reps. Whether it’s leveraging formal sales methodologies, or sharing tips from the field, successful companies ensure reps have access to this at their fingertips.
Just-in-time Information Pushed to (Not Pulled By) the Rep
Are your reps pointed to a sales portal where they can search for information? That requires them to already know what information they need for a situation. It’s counterproductive to give reps a list of things to do, the portals and systems that house the information, and expect them to put the dots together themselves. By proactively serving up information, tools, and coaching to reps just when they need it, it reduces the chance they will forget information (since it’s applied right away) and increases their success utilizing it.
Join Qvidian and the Sales Management Association at 2 PM on April 10th for our live webinar on Accelerating New Salesperson Productivity: Strategy and Best Practices.