What factors influence salesforce productivity (SFP) at your organization? More than ever, sales onboarding is viewed as the answer to improving productivity, employee retention, and as a key driver in meeting revenue targets.
But we’re not talking about the typical data dump during an employee’s first few days. Modern sales organizations are spending more time and resources on creating structured, organized onboarding programs that provide comprehensive training to new hires and beyond. And hard work pays off: research from Glassdoor found that organizations with strong onboarding programs improved new hire retention by 82 percent.
Are your onboarding strategies doing enough to prepare new sales hires for success? Here are four top sales onboarding trends that you should know.
Sales onboarding that’s organized and consistent
There’s plenty of data on the advantages of a strong onboarding program. The Sales Management Association found that organizations with organized sales onboarding programs had ten percent greater sales growth and 14 percent better sales and profit objective achievement. So what sets these organizations apart?
Like many sales processes, consistency is key to successful onboarding. Every new sales hire should walk the same path and share the same foundational knowledge about your organization, selling process, and other key learnings. It all starts with identifying goals for your onboarding program by asking a few simple questions:
- What does everyone in the organization need to know in order to be successful?
- How will they learn what they need to know?
- How will you know if the program is successful?
We’ve just described the three key components of a strong sales onboarding program: content, structure, and measurement (yes, the platform you use to execute all of this matters!). Formalizing a consistent program not only gets everyone on the same page, it also makes better business sense. The average US employer spends $4,000 and 24 days hiring and onboarding a new employee, while the average cost of replacing a sales rep is a whopping $115,000.
Data-driven sales onboarding
One of the greatest gifts of technology is the abundance of data it puts at our fingertips. You’re probably using all kinds of data to improve your sales process and customer experience, but don’t overlook onboarding data. Check out the analytics dashboard on your sales onboarding platform—how can you use that information to make onboarding sales reps more targeted and efficient?
That unsuspecting analytics dashboard holds a treasure trove of information about onboarding sales reps (and if it doesn’t, find a better sales platform!). As new hires progress through your onboarding program, you can keep tabs on their performance and identify learning gaps in real-time. When they struggle to pass an assessment, you can intervene early and provide personalized training support. Plus, you can use onboarding data to zoom out and connect what skills and strengths lead to high-performers—those are the learnings you want to reinforce throughout the organization.
Onboarding sale reps and beyond with microlearning moments
Here’s the reality: studies show that people forget as much as 65 to 70 percent of what they learned within 24 hours. That means sales onboarding can’t be a one-and-done event: you have to reinforce, repeat, and refresh what you’re teaching. But onboarding a new sales hire requires significant time and energy, so how do you keep what they’ve learned top of mind?
Microlearning is a new, tech-driven strategy for supporting new hires well beyond their first 90 days. You can think of microlearning as bite-sized training opportunities, delivered on-demand via your sales enablement platform. The whole idea is that training is always within reach and short enough that it never throws off a rep’s productivity. It’s a self-driven approach to training that makes short videos, relevant articles, quick exercises, and even coaching available when your salesforce needs it most.
A library of digital content
The top sales organizations know that the future is accessibility. During onboarding and beyond, your salesforce can easily search for the resources they need by keyword or subject matter and find it instantly, they can take advantage of a more structured approach via folders, or they can lean on AI recommendations.
Your digital content library is all about empowering salespeople to keep learning and seek out the information they need. Whether it’s pitch variations, market research, or games that put their skills to the test, your salesforce won’t use it if it doesn’t have a great user experience. Look for a platform that is mobile-ready, available offline, and allows for custom navigation.
There are so many exciting ways to upgrade your sales onboarding program, and all roads lead to stronger results for your organization. When you build a program that supports new sales hires as individuals from the start, selling confidence will soar—and you’ll cultivate a happier, more productive salesforce.