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How To Quickly Create An Effective Sales Onboarding Program

August 20, 2018 / by David Bloom

How do you quickly create an effective sales onboarding program? Hard thing to do for sure, and many times it’s just knowing where to start and what you want to do.

You might be in a situation where you have an existing program that's not driving the results you want to see, or you're in a scenario where reps are telling you that they're completely overwhelmed by everything that's going on.

So imagine being able to quickly build a sales onboarding program that will get things happening that much faster for your team.

I know there's always challenges around sales onboarding, we hear it all the time. But imagine if you could start testing and iterating on your sales onboarding process such that you can start driving the results that you really want to see.

 
Imagine something that's really aligned to the outcomes leadership is tracking, that has the activities and the exercises that you want people to actually align to.

 
It's not as hard as you think to get these things going.

 
We actually have an amazing customer that we work with where they had a pretty overwhelming product that was hard to get new sales hires up to speed fast. They completely changed their onboarding, and not in big ways. They started small iterations at a time, and as a result they were able to see massive, massive impacts on getting their newer reps that they were hiring hitting the results they wanted sooner.

 

 

The Profitable Ramp Quadrant™

 
Let me run you through a real simple framework that you can use right now to start building really effective sales onboarding programs right away.

 
It's called the Profitable Ramp Quadrant™. It's essentially four sections.

 

 

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 In quadrant one, we have milestones. Start here.

 
This is where you want to start to understand the metrics you're driving and the milestones people want to get to.

 
These can include being ready to be on the phone. It can be ready to do a demo, ready to run a discovery. First activity, first meeting booked, or first deal closed. Whatever the milestones important to that role, have those set up first. The beauty and the reason to do it this way is you can work backwards from here. So start with the end in mind in this capacity.

 
Next step is the actual training. The different training required to get to each of those milestones. These can include things like the content that's required, it could be videos, it could be call recordings. For each of these training sections, whether it be getting ready to be on the phone or do the first demo, align different pieces of content or recordings to the milestone you want people to drive through.

 
The third one here is coaching. Now, a lot of people leverage coaching and practice to lead to these specific milestones. You want to have manager feedback, or you can leverage video coaching here. This would be like practicing their pitch, doing a discovery call, it could be doing role plays, objection handling. Whatever it is you want, but have coaching and practice as part of this Profitable Ramp Quadrant™ as well.

 
The last thing behind door number four here is actual outcomes, and this is such a key thing. Part of outcomes would be things like reducing ramp time, but this is all about measuring the time to a specific outcome. Ramping is all about making things happen faster, so what is it that the role requires to be faster? Is it building pipeline? Is it finding new business? Is it hitting a quota target? Choose a timed metric and then measure. We call it TTFDs, so time to first deal, or TTFQ, time to first quota. Whatever the outcome is.

 
This is what makes up Profitable Ramp Quadrant™ framework.

 

Sales Onboarding Is Not Corporate HR Orientation

 
Many leaders will treat sales onboarding almost like an HR function, like it's some orientation, but this can't be the case when it comes to actual sales onboarding.

 
The reason is because sales is a performance-based role, so it can't just be a bunch of check marks that you did things and learned things. You need to know that you're doing the job right and driving the actual performance metrics that you're going to be measured on.

 
As such, these metrics need to be incorporated right within your onboarding program and work backwards on the coaching and training required to drive those types of metrics for performance quickly.

 
Getting an onboarding program for your sales teams up and running can happen quickly and you don't have to over complicate it. The key thing is to figure out what milestones you want to drive and then work backwards from there.

 
Align the coaching and training that's required to get them to those milestones and make sure you know exactly the outcomes you want out of your onboarding program.

 
Also, you want to know your reps are completely in understanding of what those outcomes are, so as they're going through the coaching and training in the back of their mind, they can start thinking of how that coaching and training you're providing will help them get to those outcomes sooner and get ramped that much faster.

 

Check out this webinar to see how Gayle Charach, Director of Sales Enablement at Intelex, used the Profitable Ramp Quadrant™  to reduce ramp time of her new sales hires by 40%. 

 

To learn more about building sales onboarding programs, download our latest ebook here.

 
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

 

Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Onboarding

David Bloom

Written by David Bloom

David Bloom is the CEO & Founder of LevelJump, a sales onboarding and enablement solution built on the Salesforce platform. Prior to founding LevelJump David built and sold a corporate training company and held a variety of sales and marketing leadership roles at Fortune 500 life sciences and technology companies including Salesforce.com, GSK and Pfizer.

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