Studies suggests that a new sales employee takes approximately 11 months to be at par with an organization’s existing performers. To reduce this time, the first few days of sales onboarding are relatively intense. There is a high reliance on instructor-led induction programs to bring sales reps up to speed on products or processes. The end objective is to enable the newly onboarded salesforce to start clocking revenue for the organization in the shortest time span possible!

Sales enablement journeys have the potential to improve the win rates for sales reps by 14%. Leveraging technology to create sales enablement training can offer multiple tangible benefits to an organization such as boosting sales productivity, reducing the cost of training logistics significantly etc. For example, many organizations now use game-based learning to onboard new hires. This make every onboarding step feel potentially exciting and relevant.

Building effective sales training programs helps an organization to make a great first impression and enable continuous engagement for the salesforce. Below are six key trends for creating a state-of-the-art sales onboarding and enablement process to maximize sales productivity & ramp up your salesforce.

Trend 1: Pre-boarding on sales enablement

Sales onboarding doesn’t necessarily have to begin with a salesperson’s start date. Even without mandating or controlling what work they do before their official joining date; sales hires can be given the option to kick start their learning process. If done right, pre-boarding can help to reduce the duration of induction programs & improve sales productivity through better engagement!

A large private insurer in India leveraged Master-O’s game-based sales enablement platform and recommended sales onboarding curriculum, to onboard 3,000 new sales hires before their official joining date. By aligning them on basics concepts like the overview of the life insurance industry, the organization was able to reduce the induction training from 7 days to 2 days. Additionally, this approach to pre-boarding reduced their time span between joining to actually generating leads by approximately 35%!

Trend 2:  Creating bite-size sales onboarding content

Research shows that without planned re-enforcement of information, we can lose up to 75% of the learnings within the first week of receiving it!

A newly recruited salesperson requires access to selling skills content that can be consumed on the go without disrupting their daily workflow. Microlearning design helps to package content that can be consumed easily and even revisited for refreshing knowledge on product knowledge, process adherence or selling skills.

Offering on-demand personalized sales trainings can help new reps refresh themselves on key benefit messages just before they need to meet a customer. In 2020, we’ll increasingly see organizations ditch the “data dump” and focus more on actionable & ongoing information that is readily available for their sales reps to consume.

Trend 3:  Creating a digital learning repository

A great way of getting new sales reps aligned on your organization’s way of selling is to crowdsource winning calls from your top performers. The digital repository of high-quality calls for new hires can help to reduce their onboarding time. These calls could address the following topics for new sellers:

• How do I represent & position my new organization & myself?
• How do I respond to a customer objection?
• How do I address comparisons with competitors?
• How do I negotiate a deal?
• What are the unique nuances of our sales cycle?

Using Master-O, we developed mock calls to address customers of different personality traits using our communication profiling tool for a large private bank in India. This library of digital content served as reference material for new hires to tune their communication styles based on certain conversation cues and consequent pitch variations adapted by their senior counterparts.

Trend 4: Inculcating selling skills in sales enablement training

Often, sales enablement journeys focus heavily on one type of training, like product, over other important training that can have a direct impact on sales quota attainment. Providing training on selling skills can be a useful approach to improve productivity of a sales onboarding journey.

For example, new sellers can be trained on key aspects of sales planning such as customer segmentation and prioritization. This allows sales reps to profile customers in four quadrants based on their revenue potential for the organization, thereby significantly improving the probability of achieving sales targets.

This can be further fine-tuned by using a data driven approach that builds learning journeys on existing skill gaps for a learner. Master-O’s dashboard & learning analytics have served as an important starting point to create such outcome-oriented sales enablement journeys along with improving on-the-job training or coaching inputs that line mangers can share with new sellers.

Trend 5: Building sales readiness platform

Along with having a comprehensive sales enablement strategy in place and the right team to execute it, an on-the-go sales readiness platform can be the fuel to keep the sales enablement engine running seamlessly.

Within such a platform, content authoring capabilities allow sales training teams to create or repackage existing training content in an engaging format, which can be customized for each step of the sales onboarding process. Content that can be easily customized and distributed is a useful tool for creating a role-based onboarding strategy.

Such a content authoring tool can empower sales enablement teams to repackage onboarding content in bite-sized content on digital flashcards and two-minute short, game-based assessments.

Trend 6: Strengthening sales enablement through data

An effective sales enablement strategy also focuses on how sales leaders can use data to coach their teams. Analytics and dashboards provide sales managers and the sales enablement team with key insights on how the onboarding content was viewed, the time spent on each topic and the outcome of the assessments. This ability allows managers to track individual as well as team progress and make more informed decisions about team members who need special training or specific performance inputs.

Sales manager dashboards are not exactly a new idea. However, increased reporting insights will revolutionize how managers measure and manage sales productivity of the sales reps and improve their sales performance. For example, this data can help managers get insights on:
• Which sales tactics are strengths and weaknesses for employees?
• Which employees are most agile learners, hence potentially high performers?
• Which sales concepts correlate to improvement in business performance?
• How effectively are sales reps able to handle customer objections?

Sales onboarding in today’s fast-paced work environments can be effective if they leverage the implicit evolution of behavioural psychology. Through a well-planned combination of digital content and interactive learning platforms, organizations can create winning sales onboarding journeys that improve sales productivity!

Click here for more information on how your organization can leverage these trends using Master-O.