Hiring salespeople is not always an easy process. Companies ideally want to bring on talented reps with relevant industry experience and a track record of success. These are the people who can hit the ground running and start contributing as soon as possible. While bringing on the right people is extremely important, the truth is, no matter how much experience someone might have, every company operates differently and every salesperson has unique strengths and weaknesses. A different learning curve exists for every new rep. Because of this, the importance of the sales onboarding process cannot be overlooked. Sales enablement teams can help by defining, managing and measuring this process to ensure that new sales reps are having their competencies and performances measured and enhanced early and often.
What role can sales enablement teams play?
Let’s be honest: salespeople don’t like spending time on tasks that don’t involve selling. So when new hires are brought on, sales managers don’t always have the time or energy to create a proactive onboarding experience. Here’s where sales enablement teams can step in. Just as sales enablement should support sales reps with the right content at the right time, it’s also important for them to support new reps with the tools they need in order to learn and succeed as quickly as possible. SiriusDecisions suggests 3 core competencies that sales enablement can structure an onboarding and training process around: knowledge, skills, and process. Creating a framework and defining exactly how to actively measure a rep’s learning and progress is essential to ensure a successful onboarding system.
How can sales reps’ progress be measured?
Sometimes it can be very difficult to gauge a sales rep’s learning and progress early in their tenure. A typical benchmark for measuring a rep’s performance is to look at their sales and meetings booked. In the first few months on the job however, these metrics cannot really be used. Again, this is where sales enablement teams can be responsible for evaluating and measuring how new reps are developing. Having a sales enablement team responsible for this can prove to be beneficial, as they can design measurable goals and checkpoints based around reps’ knowledge of the industry and product, the different skills necessary in selling the specific product or service, and even the necessary processes utilized by the sales team (CRM use, content usage, etc.). Sales enablement teams can do things like create checklists with onboarding goals, or even have “graded” sales role play situations or demos. By evaluating based on these competencies, sales enablement teams can give active and relevant feedback to reps early in their tenure to ensure that they are up to speed and productive as quickly as possible.
At the end of the day, sales enablement managers are charged with supporting their sales team as best as they can. Supporting new reps from day one with a structured and measurable onboarding process helps the organization understand early on what the strengths and weaknesses of reps might be, and sales enablement has the ability to then help adjust their onboarding and training to fill in the gaps.