How To Improve Seller's Ramp-Up Time
If you’ve ever managed a sales team, you know that ramping up new sales reps is a time-consuming task. Ideally, new reps would have been able to train effectively and hit the ground running in no time at all. Sadly, that is not a realistic expectation, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to more successfully, effectively, and quickly ramp up new sales reps.
If you’ve ever managed a sales team, you know that ramping up new sales reps is a time-consuming task.
Ideally, new reps would have been able to train effectively and hit the ground running in no time at all. Sadly, that is not a realistic expectation, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to more successfully, effectively, and quickly ramp up new sales reps.
How long does it take for a sales rep to ramp?
Normally, the ramp-up period ranges from 6 to 9 months.
A ramp-up period is the time duration that begins at the new hire stage and ends at the fully productive stage. Between those two stages, an effective ramp-up period will include sub-stages such as onboarding, training, and coaching. That’s right - ramp-up and onboarding are two separate things.
Simply put, onboarding is only one part of the ramp-up process or period. This means that the ramp-up process is the umbrella under which all the new hire stages, including onboarding, take place.
In addition, it’s worth noting that a ramp-up is also applicable when salespeople change positions and when field reps are tasked with new territories.
How do you reduce ramp time?
Naturally, the longer it takes sales reps to start hitting quotas, the more money and resources companies will need to invest in the ramp-up process, resulting in reduced sales efficiency.
On the other hand, if you move through the ramp-up process too quickly, the reps might be overwhelmed by the overload of information, and all your training efforts will be ineffective.
So, what is the most effective way to approach ramp-up? Here are some steps and strategies that will help you speed up the process and ramp sales reps faster.
1. Standardize the process
To make it easier and more effective, your ramp-up process should be standardized.
For example, let’s look at the first step, which is onboarding - a more technical stage in which you set everything up: the new sales rep’s accounts, their meetings with the rest of the team, company and product introduction, and so on.
To speed this step up, have the entire process digitally outlined and mapped out so that the new rep knows exactly what to expect and allow them to move from one step to the next.
This will allow you to instantly, quickly, and more efficiently onboard new hires.
It’s important to define clear expectations and matric-driven goals so that both your new reps and you can have a realistic picture of how successfully these expectations are met.
In addition, setting short and long-term goals will help motivate the new reps to progress through the ramp-up process.
2. Train new hires with real demos
Training new hires by using your onboarding tools can be the clearest and easiest way to teach sales reps about your service or product and its key features and value, as well as about your company’s overall approach and strategy.
This way, sales reps will be able to fully understand and experience your strategy and processes and, therefore, better apply your best practices and agenda to demo meetings.
In addition, pairing new reps with your seasoned star sellers is best during their initial period, and so is basing your training on your star sellers’ scripts.
Here’s a simple sales enablement best practice that will help you leverage your best-performing sellers’ skills to speed up ramp and training times:
- Identify the practices and content your top sellers use to achieve their highest-performing sellers' status.
- Use these practices to create clear and structured best practices, to let your sales teams know how they should operate.
- Based on these best practices, create accessible winning scripts and sales playbooks.
- Implement these playbooks by training your new hires and allowing them to improve constantly.
By doing this, you will allow all your sellers, of every skill level, to gain access to tried and tested winning plays and ensure consistency throughout your sales department.
Note that the right sales enablement software - one that makes it possible for you to turn the most successful demo scripts into playbooks that are easily available to your entire sales team - can make your life a lot easier and the process a lot faster.
In addition, by making winning playbooks available to all, including your new hires, you turn training into actions your new sellers can implement in real-time.
Finally, such software can also allow you to easily monitor the new rep’s progression through the ramp-up process.
3. Coaching is crucial
The sales ramp-up rate is closely linked to whether or not you continuously coach your new sales reps, compared to training only during the onboarding stage.
By constantly coaching your new reps, you can help them feel more comfortable, which will optimize their performance and speed up their ramp-up times.
While you coach during the ramp-up period, track their sales metrics, identify their strengths and weaknesses and offer opportunities for improvement. This will allow you to provide clear instructions that are individually customized to the sales rep.
4. Easy access to content can speed things up
If you make sure that the new hire has easy access to training content and winning playbooks, you will save them a lot of time whenever they need to find all the relevant information or want to pick the brains of other sales reps.
This will also allow new sales reps to more easily and fully understand your product offerings, follow your best practices, apply the right content in the right sales situations, and, most importantly - meet their sales quotas much faster.
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