In today’s challenging selling environment, onboarding plays an increasingly pivotal role in securing your salespeople’s success.
It prepares new reps to overcome the challenges of remote selling — from getting them familiar with your sales process to developing a deep understanding of your value framework. Backed by effective onboarding, reps can consistently achieve quota and drive revenue for your business, no matter where they work.
So how can you get onboarding right? Leading businesses are leveraging sales enablement platforms to empower their teams to achieve more. Here’s how three enablement leaders from SurveyMonkey, Pitchbook, and Accela are doing just that with their chosen sales enablement platform, Highspot.
Build Onboarding Inside of Your Enablement Platform
One key aspect of onboarding is ramping salespeople the business-critical tools they will use every day, like your sales enablement platform.
That’s why Pam Dake, the senior director of global sales enablement at Accela, uses Highspot’s unified revenue enablement platform to house her sales onboarding content and training: it breeds familiarity with strategic platform reps will be expected to utilize for ongoing training and content consumption.
“Once sellers finish their online onboarding training and see the platform as their single source of truth, it makes the transition to ongoing content delivery and training post onboarding that much easier for them since they already know the platform,” Pam explained.
Take a page out of Pam’s book by building onboarding materials and courses inside of your sales enablement platform. Your reps will get a head start on a key tool and quickly transition from student to expert once their initial training is complete.
Make the Experience Engaging
Onboarding materials have a reputation for being boring and bland, making it difficult for reps to focus on and engage with business-critical assets and trainings. To be effective, your onboarding content should not only clearly communicate learnings, but keep reps actively involved in their onboarding journey.
To achieve this goal, Pam recommends providing “a visually appealing and guided experience” to help reps navigate your onboarding without risk of nodding off. Interactive features, such as in-line quizzes and video challenges, keep reps actively engaged, while guidance places key materials in context, ensuring that reps are not just reading content but understanding how it relates to your company, product, and customer.
Added Pam, a great sales enablement platform should make it easy to “provide the visually engaging and guided experience new hires want.”
Implement Pam’s best practices by contextualizing onboarding materials with guidance and leverage your sales enablement platform to deliver this information in an easy-to-navigate experience, rich with in-line knowledge-checks, contextualized content, and beautiful visuals. This way, you’ll be sure to keep reps engaged and increase retention of key knowledge.
Flip Your Classroom
Face-time with onboarding managers and peers is precious in our new virtual reality. It’s also an essential component of any onboarding program, allowing reps to build community, ask questions, and practice skills live. This means that it’s important that you maximize live engagements, like video calls with instructors or peers.
To up the impact of these interactions, consider using a flipped-classroom approach where learners complete some or all of a lesson before discussing it live with an instructor. This makes sure that reps are prepared for sessions, can ask clarifying questions, and can contribute to group discussions to further reinforce their learning.
JoAnne Baldwin, a senior manager of customer marketing at PitchBook Data, puts this technique into action by assigning “required reading before meeting as a group” via Highspot. She explained, “This ensures that our new reps get the most out of their time with instructors while giving us welcomed visibility.”
Integrate JoAnne’s approach into your onboarding program by requiring pre-read materials via your sales enablement platform. Not only will you be able to quickly see which reps are engaging and use this data to drive more meaningful live sessions — you’ll also maximize reps’ active learning time with company leaders, top-sellers, and other SMEs — ensuring they are getting the most out of live experiences.
Communicate with Stakeholders Before, During, and After
With onboarding comes a deluge of new information — company values, product features, sales process steps. How can you ensure that reps carry this wealth of knowledge into their post-onboarding sales activities?
According to Lisa Duncan, Director of Sales Enablement at Survey Monkey, “Constant communication with new sellers and their managers is one of the best ways to ensure a rep is successful after they complete onboarding.”
Regular communication with reps and their managers keeps both parties up-to-date on the core competencies that your onboarding program aims to teach. Post onboarding, this “allows managers to align their interactions based on skills and tools covered in the program,” Lisa said.
Put Lisa’s advice into action by leveraging your sales enablement platform to organize and distribute your lesson plans, content, and goals. Then, communicate progress updates to both new hires and their managers, flagging any areas where reps may have struggled and could benefit from additional coaching. This way, you can ensure that reps get the support they need during onboarding — and beyond.
Turning New Hires into Top Sellers
With the right onboarding program, your reps will have everything they need to work efficiently and engage customers effectively, allowing your business to leverage the full potential of new hires and achieve sustained growth.