If you’re like most companies, you kicked off this year with big growth plans. And chances are, you’re among the 70% of companies planning to increase the size of their sales team this year. This means a couple of things. First, the battle for high-performing sales talent is on. And second, in addition to the great benefits and perks that attract prospective reps, you’ll need a killer sales onboarding program to bring your new recruits up to speed fast.

While expanding your team is an important step, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the ongoing development needs of your existing sales reps in achieving this year’s lofty goals. Are they on track for continued growth? As a sales leader, in addition to battling for new talent, you’re accountable for keeping your experienced reps satisfied, engaged and prepared to add value to every customer interaction. This is no easy task, but given the high cost of employee turnover, ignoring the development needs of your larger team can be just as detrimental to achieving your goals.

Research from DePaul University estimates the total cost of finding, replacing and training a new rep is well over $100,000. Plus, the added factors of low morale, impact on revenue, and the extra time managers must dedicate to new hires further adds to this whopping six-figure problem.

While onboarding is critical to accelerating time to productivity for new sales hires, ongoing sales development is the key to long-term success for new and veteran reps alike. Since market dynamics are in a constant state of change, reps require a continuous process of “reboarding” to keep abreast of shifting buyer’s needs, changes in your product and service mix, and new competitors.

At Qstream, we work with fast-growth companies where capabilities development is a never-ending process. A typical onboarding program calls for a 90-day plan, broken down into three phases:

1. The first 30 days are focused on how things get done, and usually involves a brief, but intensive,  boot camp.

2. The next 30 days are where good habits are formed. Here reinforcement of core knowledge and skills is critical and mentors, coaches and CRM play a large role.

3. The final 30 days is where everything gets put into practice and certification occurs.

But keep in mind that the majority of your sales team sat through your onboarding program years ago. By applying this same rigor to existing reps, you simply “rinse and repeat” these onboarding phases as market and buyer dynamics require. "Reboarding" ensures reps are consistently prepared to articulate your current value proposition, differentiate from new or emerging competitive threats, and ask good questions when qualifying opportunities.

Here are some tips for reboarding success:

  • Your reps are busy. The old saying time is money rings true here, so they will respond best to the least intrusive process.
  • Make it easy. Go where your reps are to reinforce core information – on their mobile device or within your CRM.
  • Motivation is key. Make them want to participate. If your program is enjoyable and seen as relevant to their role, they will stay engaged.
  • Insights matter. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Today’s applications can provide real-time data on rep proficiency, activity and engagement that translate into more informed coaching actions and remedial training or role-play where needed.

The bottom line is this: we believe that you’re never really done onboarding. Investing in "reboarding" means you’re committed to developing the competencies of your sales force and optimizing performance way beyond those early days on the job.

To learn more, watch our recorded Webcast on the topic.


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