6 Tips for More Effective Sales Onboarding

6 tips for more effective sales onboarding

If you’ve ever hired for a sales position, or even interviewed for one, you know that attracting the right candidates is no easy feat. And once you do find those great sales reps, keeping them happy and getting them to peak performance is even harder. According to a PwC study, one in three newly hired employees leave before the end of their first year, which means companies aren’t seeing a return on their investment. One of the biggest keys to getting reps to peak performance and in turn reducing turnover, is better onboarding.

Here are 6 tips for better sales onboarding to help you get the most from your new sales reps.

1) Make onboarding an ongoing process

Far too often, companies treat onboarding as a one-and-done event, holding some type of boot camp or one-day training session. The reality is that onboarding should be continuous until sales reps hit full productivity. And with more consistent, engaging onboarding, the time it takes for reps to reach peak performance will decrease which means quicker time to value from your reps.

2) Keep track of your metrics

Most companies don’t track onboarding metrics and lack insight into sales rep cost and ROI. It’s important that sales leaders understand the costs associated with hiring and onboarding a sales rep, average ramp time to full productivity, average time to break even, and what the average tenure is of a sales rep. You should also measure scores and completion rates to determine correlations between certain training programs and overall performance. Identify your benchmarks and optimize.

3) Include sales skills training

Onboarding isn’t just educating reps about the company and the product. Actual sales training should also be included as part of the onboarding process. For seasoned reps, this will act as knowledge reinforcement on key sales tactics; and for newer reps, it will give them the confidence they need to hit the ground running. Of course, product training is important, but including fundamentals around relationship building, qualification, closing, etc., will help reduce ramp time and maximize value.

4) Leverage brain science for better knowledge retention

Understanding how people retain and retrieve knowledge is an important, and often underused tactic to improving onboarding effectiveness. Using short video snippets, reinforcement quizzes, and other bite-sized training material can drastically improve knowledge retention and retrieval, not only reducing rep ramp time, but also improving overall performance.

5) Have a single content repository for sales content

By now, we’re all privy to the fact that sales reps spend nearly 1/3 of their time searching for content. Much of that time can be saved by using a single repository that allows for tagging and filtering of content. This will help sales reps find what they need, when they need it, much quicker than before. Whether it’s training material, playbooks, or content for prospects, this will give your reps the productivity boost they need to deliver value quicker.

6) Train reps on technology

Technology can be an invaluable tool to improve everything from productivity, to overall effectiveness of your reps. But for reps to fully utilize the tech resources at their disposal, they’ll need proper training. Without it, all of those shiny, expensive tools your company invested in will not only go to waste, but will slow down your reps as they spend valuable selling time figuring out how to best navigate a piece of software.

At the end of the day, keeping your reps engaged will lead to happier reps that perform better and stick around longer helping you maximize the investment you’ve made in them.

For more tips on better sales onboarding, download our guide “Onboard Smarter, Not Harder”

onboard smarter not harder