Let’s face it: sales onboarding can be challenging for everyone involved. Sales trainers must continuously create, update, and deliver a mountain of company and industry specific materials, and new hires must somehow learn and retain it all. What if there was a way to makes sales onboarding a win-win situation, reducing the time it takes AND increasing effectiveness? Imagine how much better the training experience would be and how much it would add to your bottom line.
Onboarding design and implementation is classic sales enablement. But sales organizations onboard new employees differently now than they did just five years ago. Back then, lengthy in-person “firehose” training sessions were the norm; today, learners require a more personalized approach that’s easily consumable at any time or location.
To meet today’s needs, modern sales onboarding enlists top performers, subject matter experts, managers, and even executives in the learning content creation effort in order to continuously produce fresh, engaging, and concise training material that sticks with learners.
Used as a supplement to traditional training methods, modern learning tools decrease ramp-up time for new hires by as much as half.
Planning your sales onboarding content
Sales training and enablement professionals should think about creating content that conveys top producers’ best practices, market conditions, vertical or horizontal-specific considerations, and ideal customer profiles — to name a few — in learner-friendly formats.
Even with evergreen topics such as researching prospects, call planning, prioritizing accounts, and building rapport, too many variables exist for a one-size fits all approach to be useful when it comes to content planning.
However, here are four high level buckets to think about when planning and designing your sales onboarding content:
1. Market Expertise
Even sales veterans aren’t always experienced in your industry. Market knowledge is one of the most critical things your training can offer.
Who are your customers? How do they profit? What are the prevalent industry trends and market challenges? How valuable is it for buyers to overcome these challenges?
Capture video-based insights from your company’s thought leaders or pull timely subject matter expert update videos into your onboarding curriculum.
2. Company Protocols
Any sale can be quickly derailed if reps misunderstand company processes. Ensure content covers the guidelines for activities like CRM data entry, lead follow-up, finding and using buyer engagement materials, obtaining digital signatures, etc. Sales reps who follow well-defined processes will outperform those who don’t.
3. Selling Skills
No matter how seasoned a new rep may be, it pays to practice the fundamentals. How does your sales team develop leads? What should a basic presentation look like? How do you handle common objections?
Scripts were always part of sales training. But new hires get a better picture of how your sales process really works when they have access to videos of top reps demonstrating for them. Curate the best internal video coaching and collaboration examples, and then make them available on new hires’ mobile devices.
4. Product Knowledge
Once new reps understand your customers’ challenges, your solution will make more sense to them.
How does your product help them address their key business challenges? Who is the competition? What are your points of difference? Videos from Product Marketing or other subject matter experts within your organization can quickly explain the finer points here.
Recent advancements in mobile, video and peer networking technologies have revolutionized the way people share, access and use their knowledge. It’s transformed the way people work, think and function. Modern learning content is now easy to create, retain and access so every new employee can easily get fresh, engaging learning content on the go.
A version of this post was originally published on the Allego Blog. You can read the original post here.