One of the unfortunate truths of the sales landscape is the amount of turnover that occurs within sales teams. Reps typically stay with one company for less than two years before moving on to their next endeavor. For this reason, reducing your sales ramp up time is one of the most important aspects of maximizing your sales potential. The cost of employee turnover can take a toll on a business that isn’t prepared and maximizing the time each sales rep has with the team. There are a few things that you can do to really reduce that ramp up time and make sure you are getting the most out of your sales team.
Reducing sales ramp up time
Reducing sales ramp up time means you are reducing the time it takes reps to produce their first dollar for your company. When you take on a new rep, they will obviously need to be trained on the product they will be selling, general sales coaching, and the voice you want your sales team to take on when selling your product. Developing ways to streamline this process will be huge for your ability to maximize each rep’s time with your company.
While this initial training is an important step in getting the new hire up to speed, there is more to it than the simple onboarding process. Everboarding, or the ongoing learning of each rep while on the job, as well as live coaching for reps during sales interactions, are other methods we will discuss.
Effective onboarding and training
One of the most effective things you can do when developing training habits for new hires is to make the training process easily consumable for your reps. When a new sales rep is added to a sales team, they are expected to learn a vast amount of information in a short period of time. This inevitably means they will forget most of this information once they need to put it into practice. Training and onboarding your new sales reps is more effective if you break up the information and deliver it in small doses, over a period of time.
With this strategy, it will be easier for your reps to digest the smaller amounts of information instead of having to labor over huge binders full of details about your company’s process. We’ve all had the experience of having to cram for a test, trying to consume as much information as possible in order to do well. A week later, that information is typically forgotten. In sales, your reps need to retain the information they are consuming in order to remain confident through all sales interactions.
Everboarding refers to the ongoing learning for sales reps. This is where taking those smaller pieces of content and introducing it to reps over time comes into play. It allows the reps to really focus on certain portions of their learning while putting it into practice. For a lot of people, learning by doing is the best way to get a grasp on something new. Everboarding allows this to happen seamlessly and keeps your reps learning throughout their ramp up time and beyond.
Continued sales coaching
New hires will need more than just feedback from sales managers. They need to know how to reverse some of the shortcomings they may be experiencing so that they can continue to improve. Too many sales managers take the simple approach of just handing out feedback to their reps with no substance behind it. Instead, managers should take this feedback as coaching opportunities.
Sales coaching is too often looked at as a “nice to have” luxury and not often enough as a necessity for maximizing a rep’s abilities. As the sales manager, you want to develop your reps skills and be able to show them exactly how they can improve. This is where live coaching can be a huge factor in reducing ramp up time and developing your reps.
At SalesTalk Technologies, we offer our Coaching4U™ module to help with this. It allows for real-time coaching opportunities, within sales interactions. It has the added benefit of remaining a non-intrusive way of developing your reps in live situations. Again, putting things into practice is one of the best ways to reduce the time it takes to get up to speed. Sales coaching will inevitably accomplish this.
Offer updated training videos
A variety of teaching methods always makes for a more effective learning experience. Consider using training videos to supplement the manuals you hand out to new hires and the live coaching that you utilize. Videos are an easier medium to consume for most people. It’s good to have the documents there to reference and read through, but having actual video available is a more digestible form of training for most.
The key to these videos is to keep them updated and relevant. When your product updates and analytics start showing certain trends, videos should be updated and swapped in for the old videos. Customized content will be a huge factor in reducing ramp up time for reps.
Practice makes perfect
You can hammer home all of the information and content you want to sales reps, but actually allowing them to put all of this into practice is where reps will really start to progress. By practicing, reps will retain information better because they are seeing what they’re learning being put to use. Off the bat, it may seem counterintuitive to give your reps time to practice as this isn’t producing revenue. But in reality, you are giving them the opportunity to weed out mistakes that may result in a loss of sale on the backend. By taking the time to sure up any shortcomings in a reps repertoire is going to get better results when it counts.
The right technology
Sales enablement technology is an overarching solution to reducing ramp up time. It sures up every aspect of the sales process and makes it easier to provide relevant information, consume that information, and put it into effective practice. A 2019 study showed that 42% of sales reps felt as if they did not have enough information going into a sales call and 84% of sales executives refer to reps’ content searching as the top impediment for sales. Having the right technology in place to circumvent these issues is going to reduce the ramp up time for new reps. Giving them the ability to reference the relevant information before going into a sales call and reducing the time they need to seek out answers will get them to where they need to be in order to start making money.
Find out how SalesTalk Technologies can improve your sales ramp rate
At SalesTalk Technologies, we have a suite of sales enablement tools to help you with your entire sales process. This includes the process of taking on new sales reps and getting them up to speed quickly and efficiently. Through tools like Coaching4U™, What2Know™ and What2Say™, you have what you need to keep the learning process going in the right direction. Head over to our website and request a demo to start reducing your sales ramp up time, and start maximizing your sale opportunities.