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10 Tips for a Successful Sales Onboarding Plan
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

10 Tips for a Successful Sales Onboarding Plan

Bowen Moody

CEO and Co-Founder, Wonderway
10 Tips for a Successful Sales Onboarding Plan

If you are a business owner or a sales manager, you know all the difficulties you encounter when hiring sales reps. It takes significant time for them to adjust to your business and learn about your products or services. You also need to put a lot of effort into explaining the company culture to new employees. 

You should also consider the following:

  • Changing employees is expensive and can impact your overall sales results
  • Sales reps' turnover rate is significantly higher than the overall workforce. The sales reps are harder to keep as they frequently change jobs 
  • You lose the time on new sales reps you would otherwise use to close deals. It directly impacts your revenue

What if you can reduce the time for their adjustment by setting up a proper sales onboarding plan and training?

Investing in a sales onboarding platform like our Wonderway reduces the time and resources you need to educate sales reps about your sales process, products, and services. Using our software that relies on machine learning and advanced data, you can even reduce ramp time by 50%!

Wonderway provides actionable insights to help you show your team the path to success. You can set ramp targets, build onboarding pathways, automate repetitive training sessions, and measure improvements in ramp time in one place. If you want to onboard your new sales hires and achieve desired sales goals faster, you can start using Wonderway today.

In today's article, we will give you ten valuable tips for creating a sales onboarding plan and explain how Wonderway helps you each step of the way. Let's start with some basic information.

What is sales onboarding?

Image source: ATD

Sales onboarding refers to the process of welcoming new salespeople into your company. It can include everything from setting up a work environment to onboarding training and support. It helps new hires to get up to speed and gain trust with their company and colleagues. 

You can apply sales onboarding at any stage, starting at the very beginning when a new hire first joins the team. It can also extend throughout the sales career, with regular check-ins to ensure your sales reps are still on track.

Even if they are experts, there are many specific things about your company that sales reps must first learn if they want to do their job properly. That takes time. The time between hiring and getting the sales rep productive is called ramp time and can be expensive for a business.

The sales onboarding plan should help speed up the process and reduce costs.

Why is a sales onboarding plan important?

With a sales onboarding plan, you can ensure new employees are adequately trained and supported in their efforts to build successful sales careers. You can also reduce the risk of employee turnover and improve customer satisfaction. Finally, following an effective sales onboarding plan can increase your revenue and improve overall profitability.

An effective sales onboarding process should include training sessions, welcome emails, and other activities to help your new hires become productive as soon as possible. You can use advanced sales onboarding software, such as our Wonderway, to ensure all critical information is stored in one place and everyone is on the same page from day one.

What can you accomplish with smart sales onboarding plan?

Creating a sales onboarding plan is crucial to any successful onboarding strategy. It also outlines the expectations for each step along the way. Here is what you can achieve by creating sales onboarding programs:

  • If you are a sales manager in charge of the hiring process, a smart sales onboarding program can help you turn your new reps into productive workers in the shortest amount of time. In other words, sales leaders can follow a straightforward process when hiring new sales reps.
  • The proper sales onboarding process will also save your experienced reps from being negatively affected by new team members. Getting a new colleague shouldn't affect your sales process. Everyone should synchronize and work towards the same goals.
  • New sales reps will feel more comfortable knowing your performance expectations. They will have defined goals and deadlines, and resources they can use to reduce their ramp time.
  • Reducing the ramp time for new hires will lessen the negative impact of the onboarding process on your revenue.
  • Having new salespeople learn the most important steps at the beginning of the sales process will make the process more efficient.

As you can see, a successful onboarding process helps you ensure that new hires are properly prepared for their role from the start, which will help them succeed faster and avoid potential pitfalls.

10 tips to create a sales onboarding plan that works

Image source: PipeLineCRM

Now that you know why sales onboarding is significant for your business, let's discuss how to create a successful onboarding plan and how Wonderway helps you each step of the way.

1. Define your sales onboarding objectives

It’s essential to define your goals before you begin onboarding new sales reps. If you’re unsure what you want to achieve, throwing everything at them in the first few months could be tempting. Certainly, Wonderway provides a sales enablement consultant to help you with valuable advice and guide you through the process. 

By understanding what you are looking for beforehand, you can ensure that you are not overworking your new hires. Once you have a clear set of goals, tracking progress and seeing where you need to improve will be much easier.

2. Set realistic expectations upfront

To onboard new salespeople, you need to set realistic expectations. If you expect them to make a ton of money on day one, you’ll probably be disappointed when it doesn’t happen that way. On the other hand, if you set too high expectations, your sales reps will feel frustrated. 

To find the right balance between these two extremes, you need to consider their current sales skills, previous experience level in the industry, and overall goal at the company. 

Wonderway helps you make sales reps' skill assessments faster. It relies on machine learning and advanced data analysis you can combine with the sales manager’s feedback to gain insights into your sales reps’ skill levels. 

Once you know what sales skills your reps lack, you can create a realistic onboarding plan and provide them with proper sales training to help them close more deals and increase your profits.

3. Establish success criteria

One important aspect of onboarding is determining what success looks like for each new sales rep. You can do this in many ways, including setting specific targets for metrics such as revenue, closed deals, and customer satisfaction. 

It can also involve defining criteria based on employee performance, such as quality of work or customer retention rate. Whatever the method, it's essential to ensure that everyone understands what they need to achieve, so there's no confusion along the way.

4. Invest in the sales onboarding platform

The sales onboarding platforms differ significantly in the quality of training they provide. Some onboarding platforms, like our Wonderway, provide personalized sales training that keeps your sales reps on track to success.

With Wonderway, your new sales representatives get all the necessary information about the sales process, products, and services to maintain pace with the existing team. 

By signing up for Wonderway, you can:

  • Reduce resources spent on training
  • Create a consistent onboarding process
  • Set clear milestones and development programs
  • Achieve faster ramp time
  • Improve existing onboarding programs
  • Create new onboarding programs using Wonderway content and templates
  • Increase your revenue
  • Train your remote team members

What's best, you can monitor all activities and your overall team performance in one place, saving the budget for your tech stack.

5.  Benchmark current rep productivity

By benchmarking sales effectiveness, you can get a better sense of where sales reps are falling short and what you need to do to help them get back on track. 

You can also compare their performance against industry averages to see where they’re doing well and where they need some improvement. By doing this, you can evaluate whether there are any areas in which they’re significantly outperforming the rest of the sales force or falling behind. If so, you can take steps to address these areas. 

Wonderway offers you advanced analytics that can help you see the current status of your existing sales reps. With automated tracking and detailed insights, you can make sales forecasts, spot patterns in performance, and get recommendations for improvement.

You can also use this data to help you recruit new reps, as you will know from the beginning whether your new hires will be a good fit for your business.

6. Assign a mentor to every new rep

Don't exclude your current employees from the onboarding process. Onboarding new sales reps should include the knowledge and experience of a sales manager and existing sales reps. Since they all went through a similar process, they certainly have precious advice to offer to all new sales hires.

7. Create an interactive training program 

Instead of repeatedly conducting the same onboarding sessions, you can create engaging programs with Wonderway that include video recordings, quizzes, and other content to keep your employees engaged. 

Your sales coaches will have more time to give thoughtful feedback and provide valuable advice to new sales hires and employees who might have productivity issues. 

It is important to note that you should provide regular sales training to all employees, not just new hires. It helps your team gain valuable knowledge they will use for a long time while achieving your sales goals.

8. Harness the power of integration and automation

Integrations are essential when choosing the right software for your business. They allow you to connect multiple products you already use so they can share data and enable you to work more efficiently. Integrations can be simple, like a direct Dropbox connection, or more complex, like an API.

On the other hand, automation helps you streamline operations, save money and simplify workflows by following a set of defined rules or instructions. For example, if you’re automating your CRM, you can set up triggers that send notifications when users take specific actions. 

Wonderway provides plenty of integration options you can use to connect your existing tech stack. Using Gsuite, Confluence, Office 365, and Loom, to name a few, you can import your current training material and make it more engaging with the interactive elements we described in the previous section.

Wonderway also integrates with your CRM and provides detailed analytics, automated tracking, and instant notifications about your sales reps' performance. It helps you see which parts of the sales process your employees struggle with the most to focus on through the onboarding process.

Through data sets and machine learning, you will distinguish top sales reps from low-performing ones and work on enhancing their skills necessary for closing the gap.

9. Ensure sales reps collaborate and learn together

Sales reps should work together to learn about products, customers, and your industry. They should also be willing to share their knowledge with other team members. It helps them better understand the market, leading to better sales results. It also allows sales reps to build a stronger relationship with one another, which can foster trust and collaboration.

Making sure that sales reps know what is happening in the company will also help them stay informed and keep up-to-date on their responsibilities.

Wonderway keeps your team aligned and informed 24/7. You can send notifications about product and process changes, track open rates for your important messages, and monitor completion rates for training sessions.

10. Make regular performance assessments

A sales team performance assessment helps sales managers recognize strengths and weaknesses. If you want to improve your team's performance, it’s essential to know where each member stands. By assessing performance regularly, you can spot potential issues early on and take action before things get out of control.

Wonderway provides qualitative and quantitative assessments to evaluate your team's improvement. You can create quizzes, webcam, and screen recordings, role-play and use shadowing scorecards. You can issue certificates for the best team members to motivate them further improve their knowledge.

Sales onboarding plan: Wrapping up

Image source: Great People Inside

In this article, we showed you why having a sales onboarding plan is necessary for your business. We also explained why onboarding is critical in the sales process and how it correlates to increasing your profits.

For a successful sales onboarding plan, you have to set clear goals, measure the productivity of your current employees, get data to benchmark with new hires and create a highly interactive training program that will keep your employees engaged.

Wonderway provides an excellent onboarding feature besides its upskilling and certifications. By using machine learning, Wonderway can offer assessments and advanced analytics that you can use to design successful onboarding training and reduce the ramp-up time.

What's best, Wonderway is available 24/7, making it accessible to remote teams working in different time zones, helping them improve their knowledge continuously and deliver their best work to achieve your sales goals.

To start using Wonderway, sign up on our official website.

Sales onboarding plan: FAQ

What should you include in a sales onboarding plan?

Your plan needs to include the productivity score of your current employees, as you will use it to guide and measure the progress of new workers. You should also provide the latest sales hires with an interactive program involving content like videos or quizzes to keep them engaged.

They should be excited about getting an opportunity to gain new knowledge and not just listen to a thousand-time-told story on the value of the product they have to sell.

How do you measure sales onboarding effectiveness?

Sales onboarding effectiveness is best measured by ramp time. It shows how successfully you integrate new workers into your sales team and how fast they start producing results.

What is a ramp-up period in sales?

Ramp time represents the time between a person is hired, and the moment that person closes the first deal. In other words, it is when your new employee becomes productive.

Why is onboarding so critical for sales teams?

Onboarding is critical for any sales team member as they are the ones who directly increase your revenue. For example, if you fire a sales rep and hire a new one, during the onboarding process, you will lose out on all those deals your former worker would close during that time. That's why your new hires need to become productive as soon as possible.

Based on which criteria should my business choose the right sales onboarding training platform?

The platform you choose must provide advanced features at a reasonable price. Scalability is also important since the platform needs to align with your business as it grows.

Overall, Wonderway represents an excellent choice for any business, as it offers off-the-shelf training, advanced analytics, interactive assessments, and many other features necessary for a successful onboarding program. You can sign up today for Wonderway.

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