How do you reverse engineer the building of a sales onboarding program, such that it completely aligns with your company goals?
You need to cut ramp by a significant amount and aren't sure how to do it. Are you wondering how you take what you have and chunk it up, such that your reps are not feeling overwhelmed and they're ramping quickly? Or do you want to continue to iterate, build your onboarding progressively such that sales knowledge is always sticking as you continue to deliver it to your new sales hires?
If that's the case, you definitely want to watch what I have to say today.
Align Training To Outcomes
Imagine having a sales onboarding program developed that has your entire executive team talking because it's so aligned with the mission and the goals of the organization for the current quarter or current year everyone wants to know what you’re doing in your sales enablement lab.
Imagine having a simple onboarding program where you can very quickly plug training into it, be able to change things on the fly, and ultimately leads to your reps hitting the milestones they need to be hitting in a consistent fashion where you can always build these types of programs in under an hour.
Wouldn’t this be powerful?
Real quick story, and unfortunately, this is not a good one. It's actually a sad story.
It's a sales enablement professional I know from my network, who has great experience but after 90 days of starting a new role, that professional was actually let go. Why would someone get let go that quickly?
Well, they came in and they put together an amazing, amazing onboarding program for new reps that completely revolutionized how to upsell customers, how to take a book of business and grow it by 30%, and squeeze more revenue out of an existing customer base.
Sounds good, does it not?
It does, but the problem was that it had nothing to do with where the company wanted to go. Their number one priority that was spoken from the board level was to actually grow net new business revenue - new logos.
Here was this great onboarding program built, but completely misaligned with what the objectives were for the company.
What I want to do is give you a framework on how you build an onboarding program that's reverse engineered from the company objectives discussed at an executive and even board level, and how you can do it quickly.
Okay, so let me walk you through this framework of how to do create a sales onboarding program quickly. We call it the Sales Onboarding Mixer™.
This particular framework will go really well with frameworks we've discussed in the past, like the Profitable Ramp Quadrant™ as an example, and also the Sales Onboarding Content Loop™.
What you want to do is start at the bottom with outcomes. Choose what the outcome is first. Let's say, as an example, it's full ramp (consistent quota) by month five, as an example. Being fully productivity, hitting quota by month five.
Then, what you want to do is map out the five different key milestones to get to this outcome. Here's how we're going to do it. What you want to do is make sure each of these milestones build into the next one.
What I mean by that is, let's say the milestone five is hitting your third deal, so now we go backwards from closing three deals. So before the third deal, so step four, would be when you close your first deal. And then step three prior to that would be building $300k, in pipe. I'm just making an average deal size of 20k, so 300k in the pipeline, 15 opportunities. Then prior to that, we'll go to step two as the number of meetings we need booked.
Again, we're emphasizing the milestones we need reps to hit. We're telling them we want them to close three deals but we're now working backwards. Like I say, step two, here are the meetings booked. It could be, depending on your sales process, say 25 discovery calls or demos. These milestones can be quantitative, they can be qualitative. It's really, again, totally up to you. But they all have to be measurable. Either with a number or a did they do it or they did not do it checkbox. And the first milestone should be sales activity. That would be getting on the phone, etc..
Now, between each one of these, you now want to add activities, like training and practice. I'm just going to make it simple. Under each of the different milestones choose 5 to 10 training activities. There's not a rule of thumb that it must be 5 to 10, but the idea here is you want reps to learn different things, like reading a case study, it could be listening to a call reporting, it could be speaking to a product leader about how you want to do a demo, whatever it is.
The key is mapping from the outcome and going backwards, showing all of the milestones that are going to be required to hit this outcome, and the training activities required in between these milestones to get to that outcome more effectively and more consistently. Then the last piece of tis you want to add dates and timeframes for when new sales hires need to hit each.
When you get really good at this, you’ll challenge yourself when you see this working. You’ll ask yourself, “Okay, so now we've got this outcome of quota in five months, what areas and which different milestones can we start to squeeze such that we can get to the outcome faster?"
That's where some of the magic comes in when you’re actually tracking these milestones and have insights to pull all this together quickly.
Now, it's always better to start off with some type of skeleton or framework than starting from scratch. But when it comes to onboarding, you really want the skeleton to be based on some of the milestones people need to hit in order to achieve the outcome.
You can't just have an outcome alone. You want to have the milestones mapped to the different timelines of training that are required to ultimately drive to that outcome, and then the scheduling of these training activities will become completely obvious as you move through it.
If you want to reduce ramp time in such a way that's going to get you completely aligned, and really some presence at the executive level, what you want to do is make it outcome based.
You want to work backwards, engineer this such that what type of metrics the executive team or the board are going to be super impressed with.
If you had two minutes to come in and they say, "Hey, how's our onboarding thing going?" You want to be able to come in and say, "Here's the outcome. This is what we've done," and start with that.
If then, they say, "How did you do that?" You want to be able to say, "Well, we work backwards. We showed these five milestones and then put the training in between each of those milestones, such that we ultimately got to the outcome. And by the way Mr. President, Mrs. Board, Ms. Executive Team, we're actually analyzing this current onboarding program to take it a step further to get the outcome from five months to four and a half, or four months."
Start doing that and they’ll definitely be impressed, and sales enablement will get a seat at the executive table.
If you want to learn more about building effective sales onboarding programs, you can download our latest ebook here.
David Bloom is the CEO & Founder of LevelJump, a sales onboarding and enablement solution built on the Salesforce platform. Prior to founding LevelJump David built and sold a corporate training company and held a variety of sales and marketing leadership roles at Fortune 500 life sciences and technology companies including Salesforce.com, GSK and Pfizer.