How do you measure the effectiveness of your sales onboarding program? What are the metrics you want to show to prove that what you're doing from an onboarding and training perspective is actually having an impact on the business?
You might have a long ramp time. Maybe you want to show that you're improving it, cutting it down. But you can't always wait six months to stand in front of your VP of sales to show, “Hey, our onboarding is getting better.”
So how do you do that?
What Metrics Are Important During Onboarding?
Imagine having a set of metrics, both from a qualitative and quantitative perspective, that can actually show early indicators of success.
Imagine having your training tied to real sales outcomes, so you can actually show revenue generation tied to the onboarding and training. And all making it easily accessible to your VP of Sales and other members of leadership, so they can show how reps are ramping.
The Sales Onboarding Metrics Architecture™
I'm going to walk you through a framework right now, which we call the Sales Onboarding Metrics Architecture™. This is going to help you have a really strong understanding of how to prove that the actual onboarding you're running is having an impact and driving the metrics that matter. So here's where we start.
It starts with certifications. This is really all around making sure your reps are ready. Can they deliver the value proposition? Can they do a demo effectively? Can they handle the objections and can they do this in such a way that it's consistent?
So you want to have a scorecard here when you do these types of certifications to ensure everyone is doing things in the same consistent manner. This is a qualitative measure for onboarding.
The second piece is on actual sales activities. The metric we want to track here is how fast do they get to that first activity? Is it getting on the phone? Is it doing a demo? Is it having a conversation? How fast can they get onto that activity, number one? And then the second piece is how many activities can they do? So what's the frequency of doing it?
The third one is sales conversations, and really understanding if the sales rep is proficient at having a great conversation with your customers and prospects. So one of the things we talked about doing are using call recordings to do it. But what you want to understand is are they following your sales methodology? Are they using your call scripts? Are they using your discovery framework? And are they following the key steps such that these sales conversations are being done the way you want them done to drive the metrics that matter? This one is more qualitative as well.
The next piece here is actual number of meetings. So are they booking meetings? Are they having the meetings? This is a pure quantitative metric for sales conversations because, ultimately, these meetings will lead to pipeline. So we can measure these very specifically.
And the final circle I'm going to add here is actual deals. Are they closing deals? How many proposals do you have them send out? What's the time it takes to get to that first deal, that second deal, to third deal? To getting to that first time on hitting quota, hitting quotas for a second time? You choose, depending again on the nature of your sales cycle, average deal sizes, of what this metric should be. But what you have here in the middle are the core metrics architecture from a sales onboarding perspective that are driving the outcome that you want.
Don’t Cut Reporting Too Early, Or Too Late
I typically see two spectrums when it comes to onboarding metrics. Often times, they're cutting them off too soon or they're reporting what's happening too late.
So here's what I mean by that:
Some enablers will have a sales readiness certification, which is great. But that's their main onboarding metric. So they have reps do some type of a pitch certification or whatever it is, and that's it, they're ramped. They're ready to roll.
But at the end of the day, let's be honest - it's the feel good that the new reps are all certified, but VPs of Sales need new sales hires driving metrics, and they need to be hitting milestones. It doesn't mean they're going to close business just because they're certified. It's definitely an important starting point, but that is not going to really be the important piece alone to hitting quota and driving the metrics.
On the other side, you have enablers who are tracking time to first deal, and they know that. That's important too, but it could be too late depending on your deal cycle size.
If it takes you three months, four months, you need to be tracking in between. What's happening in between? What are the metrics? You can't just rely on first deal.
There are the little steps and milestones in between that you need to be tracking that are not just about quota, but also about the other indicators that can help you predict whether or not a ramp is going to happen, and give you insights into when coaching is required so that we can ensure people hit those ramp metrics.
If you've got a long ramp time and you want to be able to show that your onboarding is actually being really effective, then make sure you're spending time on both the quantitative and qualitative metrics and indicators for ramp.
Don't overcomplicate these metrics. We've kind of walked through a bunch of simple ones today.
The important thing is don't undershoot or overshoot reporting, so meaning don't just focus on the certification and the last metric of time to first deal. Make sure you're spending time on what we call that big fat middle, all the stuff that's happening in between, say your second week on the job and that first, second, or third deal.
What are the things that are happening in there? Make sure you're tracking them, giving reps feedback, and iterating and tweaking which of those activities, training, and milestones in that area are helping to get your reps up to speed and making your entire onboarding that much more effective.
If you want to learn how to build an effective onboarding program, you can download our latest ebook here.