How to Create a Better Sales Onboarding Process

It may seem obvious, but how well you onboard your sales reps will determine their success as well as your company’s. If your sales onboarding plan only takes into account an introduction to tools and doesn’t plan for long-term learning, then keep reading for tips to create a better sales onboarding process.

Sales Onboarding: A Roadmap to Success

Simply put, sales onboarding is the way sales reps receive training to do their jobs, which can include anything from shadowing senior reps and studying customer analytics, to listening to sales calls and learning how to close deals. Training is typically conducted through traditional methods of presentations, webinars, and classroom training. Although this approach often includes valuable information, it also brings about the dreaded learning curve that accompanies onboarding. This frustration can sadly become part of a company’s culture and hold sales teams and the entire organization back.

Because sales training often consists of presenting material in large chunks (think: all-day sessions), managers expect sales reps to need several months to learn their jobs. This long ramp time can cause high turnover and the expense that comes with it, as well as loss of revenue. And, with the rise of remote work, the cons of standard training have only grown. As an onboarding roadmap for your new hires, sales onboarding should be comprehensive but not complicated. If there is too much material, it quickly becomes ineffective.

Traditional Methods: A Brief Primer

Classroom training and job shadowing are two of the oldest types of traditional onboarding methods in existence. For classrooms, all employees gather in one space for presentations and perhaps a bit of group work, while job shadowing involves a new sales hire spending a day-in-the-life with a more experienced member of the team to learn their duties.

Like classroom training, webinars present extensive information at once, just online. And, for those who struggle with auditory learning, it becomes an even bigger hurdle to retain information. 

Group training typically involves employees getting together for mock scenarios. Although this approach is more hands-on, with slightly improved opportunities for retention, creating the content and bringing employees together can become a complicated part of the onboarding strategy, as remote teams with multiple schedules may get in the way.

Challenging the Paradigm

This paradigm, unfortunately, is as widely accepted as death and taxes. But it doesn’t have to be. The dreaded learning curve doesn’t have to dominate your sales onboarding program. Digital enablement platforms like Spekit reduce the onboarding friction by presenting material in small, easily digested bits. Better yet, the best training platforms do this right where sales reps work.

Spekit’s digital enablement platform turns a confusing onboarding roadmap into a set of easy-to-follow directions. With one solution, it’s possible to create better company culture, reduce turnover, save time for managers and trainers, increase employee engagement AND teach employees how to be effective in their day-to-day roles. By making the switch, decision makers can address the knowledge gaps and overcome the obstacles that hold an entire company back.

Digital enablement software replaces aging learning management systems and merges digital adoption with sales enablement to provide an incredible onboarding experience. Sales training doesn’t have to be long, boring, or ineffective. It can be broken down into contextual, bite-size components for reps and trainers to edit and follow as needed.

Unlike the standardized onboarding processes that usually come to mind, contextual learning is much like a GPS. Training appears where reps are working, no matter their physical location and during each phase of the sales process. Much like modern driving directions, this training follows reps across apps, and delivers in-app help throughout the sales cycle.

This new style of learning eliminates the “swivel-chair” approach, or the need to stop and ask a colleague for directions. With in-app training, the answers are available regardless if reps are working in an office or at home, and continue to enable employees long after onboarding ends. 

Digital enablement platforms can also help sales managers and trainers quickly tweak their training content when knowledge and skills gaps surface or change management occurs. Once a change happens, it’s easy to communicate updates through the entire system at once, allowing employees to see change alerts as they work. Reps no longer need to take time out of selling to check emails or attend meetings.

Contextual training is specific as well, delivering information about a specific customer or sales lead directly when and where sales reps need it to complete the task at hand.

Creating a Better Way

With new technology, there is hope for a better way to onboard and extend learning. No longer must we approach the sales onboarding process as something for new hires, but think of it like a continuous GPS tool that helps sales reps navigate their entire time with a company. Once they know their jobs in and out, there is more opportunity for improved sales enablement, increased productivity and better employee satisfaction.

We live in a digital age and a time of instant gratification. So why do so many onboarding strategies feel so archaic? Learning should be fun, easy, and provide multiple opportunities to retain information. Sales reps need reinforcement with reminders and digestible pieces of content, directly at their fingertips. If you’re looking to create a better sales onboarding  process, chat with us today to get started on your journey.

Sales Enablement