article | May 12, 2017
How to Fast-Track New Rep Productivity
It’s every sales leader’s struggle. Your open headcount is eroding your ability to make the number. Getting quality candidates through the interview process has been slow going. You finally source a crop of A-players. HR is done with the new-hire training. Now you need them in the field producing… and fast.
So how do you get your new reps to produce quicker? In some organizations, reps can take up to a year to fully ramp. That’s way too long. In this blog, I will cover five ways to accelerate the onboarding of new talent. It’s difficult to grow revenue faster than your industry’s growth rate and faster than your competitors.Leverage the How to Make Your Number in 2018 to access a revenue growth methodology to hit your number quarter after quarter, and year after year.
Before we jump into the five steps, let’s review the goals of a successful onboarding process.
The five steps to successfully onboarding new talent:
1. Define Success Metric
This may seem obvious, but the first step is defining what good looks like. Most sales managers do not identify the key metric for onboarding success. The key metric is Ramp Time to Full Productivity.
Ramp Time to Full Productivity: The time it takes for a new employee to retire quota at a rate that exceeds 100% of their goal (usually measured in months).
Once defined, it can be tracked. If it’s tracked, it can be improved.
2. Focus on the Right Activities
Most onboarding programs focus on a mixture of internal processes and product training. All necessary, but on their own, incomplete. A sales manager should define a set of onboarding activities that drive the right selling behavior. These activities provide an experiential foundation for the role.
Why are the activities important?
3. Learning Requirements
The best in class onboarding programs combine activities with learning requirements. These provide a knowledge foundation necessary for success. It ensures your new hire acquires the correct role knowledge.
It’s important to develop a framework that is conducive to learning. Best practice is to follow the collegiate system of 101, 201, 301, and 401. Each learning module builds on the previous and grows with complexity. You should work with HR and/or your sales training department to produce the necessary materials. But it’s your role to provide input into essential content. Here are 7 categories to get you started:
4. Mentoring Program
The best sales managers set up a Fast‐Start Mentoring Program. Basically, you pair up your new hire with a tenured, successful rep. Your new hire shadows him/her for 3 months. Nothing beats learning through direct observation. The mentor then serves as a sounding board for the remaining ramp period. Usually, the mentor is someone you are grooming for sales leadership.
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
The best sales managers hold themselves accountable for new hire ramp performance. It’s a matter of pride, but also productivity. Your number is tied to your team’s number. Focusing on new hire success will impact your number. It’s worth the investment. Here are three ways to invest yourself:
Are you struggling to get your new hires productive? Get focused on successful onboarding. Don’t pawn it off on HR or Sales Training. You own it; you drive it. If you need more help developing your onboarding program, simply email Jeff.Grice@salesbenchmarkindex.com and ask Jeff to send you the First 30-Day Onboarding Plan and schedule a 30-minute call with me to review.
Have expectations gone up and left you wondering if you can make your number? Here is an interactive tool that will help you understand if you have a chance at success. Take the Revenue Growth Diagnostic test and rate yourself against SBI’s sales and marketing strategy to find out if:
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