There is no sales rep in the world who can hit the ground running as soon as they start in a new job. In fact, a recent study by Accenture* suggests that 42,5% of sales reps take ten months or longer to become productive enough to contribute to company goals.
This ramp-up time is the reason why most companies invest in robust sales onboarding programmes. These onboarding sessions, also known as induction training, are usually fairly intense: in addition to the company-specific knowledge they must acquire (common policies, organisational charts, heads of departments…), new reps must go through a long admin checklist (filling in HR forms, email account setup…) while also figuring out floor plans and where to get coffee.
While onboarding is important, it also has some significant downsides. On one hand, it means pulling a motivated employee away from the tasks they were hired to do. On the other hand, traditional onboarding programmes usually start on their first day of work. To reduce the ramp-up time, companies are increasingly inviting new sales reps to start their onboarding in the time between they accept the offer and their first day on the job.
In order to do this efficiently – and effectively – online video training is a great solution.
Investing in pre-boarding
Pre-boarding is an increasingly common practice in which the downtime period before someone’s start date is used to promote learning and engagement, boosting productivity and momentum. The pre-boarding period offers organisations a great chance to interact with their new employees without wasting valuable time: new employees can gain a feel for the culture of the organisation and understand their importance to the business even before they begin. An effective pre-boarding process will reduce onboarding time while also improving sales productivity through better engagement and confidence due to knowledge acquired.
Leveraging an online training platform
If you create your pre-boarding programme online, you will give your new sales reps the opportunity to go through your content at home or on the go, which would be essential as they may be still working in their previous employer, for example.
As the content will be permanently available, they will also be able to refer back to it even after they join. On the management side, having your sales training content online means easier updates and the end of different versions: you can be sure the newest version is always the one available.
You can use your pre-boarding programme to highlight your company’s mission and value proposition for the new sales reps and help them feel like they belong.
Video is a great way to make your training feel personal, as you can have your leadership team present the videos – for example include a welcome from the CEO and / or VP of Sales, and other members of the different teams presenting other content. This means, even before your new reps meets everybody, they will already have a sense of familiarity with the new colleagues.
You can also use video very effectively through sharing client testimonials, for training on your sales tools like the CRM you use, to offer training on skills with role playing, to share knowledge on things like how to handle common objections, about your sales processes, on your technology and so on.
Your learning programme can comprise many bite-sized videos that are easy to digest and can be mixed and matched according to each new starter’s needs.
Creating targeted content
You can pre-board your new sales reps on anything you see fit: from compliance and policy to office space and key points of contact, but also any platforms, skills and challenges that you already know are specific to their role, seniority, customer base, and so on. Another great way to personalize their onboarding and training journey to define learning paths, based on the same criteria as the content selection.
Guaranteeing confidentiality and security
When it comes to security, you don’t want to make all the company’s information publicly available, so having a gated academy that is protected by log in and password, and available only to invited users is important to ensure confidentiality and data security.
Monitoring and Reporting
With a gated video training academy, you will have access to insights and analytics you can use to fine-tune your content and manage your staff’s training consumption and results. You can track individual or group achievements, define learning paths per user, correlate performance with training completion, and more. An in-built feedback system allows you to collect feedback from your reps on the training but also on additional needs.
Creating a digital Sales Playbook
Create or transform your Sales Playbook into a digital Sales Playbook using your Online Sales Academy. This will allow not only your new team members but everyone in your team (including leadership) to have easy 24/7 access to everything they may need to know, even when they are on the go.
In summary, sales onboarding can hugely benefit from a pre-boarding period. Through a well-planned combination of digital content and an interactive learning academy, your organisation can create an awesome sales onboarding journey that will improve productivity, performance and happiness. An online video-based academy is the best tool to enable your sales team onboarding and continuous training. Here are some tips to choose the right training platform.
*Accenture Study mentioned above
You may also find interesting:
6 steps to set up Sales Training (download guide)
The simple economics of Online Sales Training (article)
Why move your Sales Playbook to an Online Academy (article)
How to leverage video to teach sales skills (article)
How to make the case for a Sales training Academy (article)
7 ways to improve sales training in your company (article)
The sales skills training you should provide in your sales academy (article)
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