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September 7, 2018

Sales Onboarding Content that Cuts Ramp Time in Half

What if you could reduce sales onboarding time while increasing its effectiveness? How much better would the training experience be, and how much would it 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.

But even with evergreen topics such as researching prospects, call planning, prioritizing accounts, and building rapport, too many variables exist for a cookie-cutter 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. 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, then make them available on new hires’ mobile devices.

  1. Market knowledge

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 make money? 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.

  1. Product information

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, and what differentiates your product from theirs? Videos from Product Marketing or other subject matter experts within your organization can quickly explain the finer points here.

  1. Company processes

Any sale can be quickly derailed if reps misunderstand company processes.  Make sure 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 your well-defined processes will outperform those who don’t.

The advent of mobile, video, and peer networking technologies has transformed the way people share, access and utilize knowledge.  Modern learning content is now easy to create, absorb, and access so every new hire gets fresh, engaging learning content they can use easily on the go.

Want to learn more about content agility?  Read our blog on how to give sellers access to great content and people to kick start success.

 

 

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