Sales Enablement Challenges Series: Sales Onboarding

sales onboarding

This is the sixth post in a series of guest posts from Brian Groth, Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp. Learn how to overcome the challenges of successfully onboarding new sales reps.

As organizations grow, it is inevitable that you will be onboarding new sales reps. This can be a huge challenge for rapidly growing companies, because the onboarding process is being created and streamlined while new team members are being brought on. Enterprise organizations see challenges as well, whether it’s ensuring that all new members are experiencing the same onboarding process, or simply making sure no one falls through the cracks. Below are some ways that sales enablement teams and organizations can improve the sales onboarding process and overcome the challenges associated with it.

What is sales onboarding?

Sales onboarding refers to all of the efforts that need to take place to get a sales rep up to speed and achieving their quotas as soon as reasonably possible. This includes training, coaching, mentoring and access to the content necessary for these tasks. All of this must create a foundation of understanding for the sales rep, with coaching and mentoring happening on a regular basis to make sure the rep is performing adequately. But most importantly, sales onboarding makes sure that reps are at the right place on the learning curve at the right time.

Why is sales onboarding a challenge?

When hiring and onboarding new sales reps, you want them up to speed as quickly as possible so they can begin meeting with customers, working opportunities, and hopefully closing deals. However, if you don’t take the time to train, guide and mentor them properly, they could alienate great prospects or lose deals that an experienced rep would win. It is a considerable amount of work to make sure a new sales rep learns your sales process, accomplishes required activities, understands when to partner with internal teams, and acquires the skills needed to close deals. Most of the time, especially in large enterprise companies, this is done through content created through marketing and sales collaboration specifically for training and onboarding needs. Creating all of this content and the training curriculum for new sales rep takes considerable time and effort.

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What can Sales Enablement teams do about sales onboarding challenges?

Much of the onboarding work needs to land with new reps’ immediate sales manager(s), and ideally a mentor or peer to help on a daily basis. However, sales enablement teams can help by creating a Sales Boot Camp, which is a few days or weeks of training that gives the new reps a baseline understanding of the company, products, processes and tools. Additionally, a checklist of topics (with accompanying documents and videos) for them to learn on their first 30, 60 and 90 days on the job can help them track their own progress. These trainings and guides should be unique for each role, such as SDR versus Enterprise-focused Account Executives.

Investing time and effort into streamlining a comprehensive sales onboarding program will save your team valuable time and money in the long run. There will be less risk of sales rep turnover, because your reps will have the knowledge they need to understand the processes and strategies your sales team uses. While organizing and executing the onboarding process seems like an extensive project, it is one that will help your team grow fluidly and with considerably less bumps along the way.

Brian Groth is the Sales Enablement Manager at Xactly Corp, where he successfully created and manages Xactly’s entire sales enablement program, including the sales process, tools and training.


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