As a sales leader, how often do you optimize your sales pipeline and tools in hopes of speeding the buying cycle along? While many sales orgs are searching for a way to save time and money, what they don’t realize is that one of the most immediate ways companies suffer from loss of productivity is when it comes time to ramp sales reps.
By the time new reps reach the output and success rate of seasoned sales vets, most companies have forgone more than a handful of wins. So how can you help new team members hit the ground running and make the most out of those pipeline and tool optimizations? Here are a few tips to help you ramp sales reps faster.
1. Amplify Your Top Performers
To help bring new reps up to speed and capacity faster, it helps to compare their performance with that of your top performers. What are these reps doing that can be emulated by new team members and reinforced in the training process?
One key way to do this is to segment deals managed by new versus top existing reps, and examine their progress through the sales funnel. Doing this will reveal which areas of the sales pipeline and process new hires need help with most.
For example, maybe top performers move deals through a particular pipeline stage 2x faster than new reps. Dig into their process steps or communications during this period, and work on helping newcomers adopt these tactics.
2. Rethink Your Sales Methodology
Think about it: does your sales team have a “lone wolf” culture where it’s every closer for him or herself? Do you do most of the talking in sales meetings? If your answer is yes, then it’s time to listen to sales expert Mike Weinberg: “We should have meetings where we actually practice selling and do training. Share best practices, read books, discuss difficult opportunities, bring an inspirational guest – the point is to energize your team and equip them to win.”
One way to achieve this goal is to begin to adopt a more agile approach to sales. Agile sales originates from the practice of agile development, which provides teams with a flexible, collaborative framework for solving problems and meeting goals.
To start fostering collaboration and facilitating discussion among your sales team, try beginning each day with a quick stand-up meeting where you talk through a win or a loss. Or, have each person on your team come prepared to the weekly team meeting with a story to share or a question to ask. These anecdotes are invaluable for onboarding new employees and training them around the objections and opportunities they will encounter in the future.
3. Solidify Your Sales Process
As famed professor and business consultant Edward Deming once said, “If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you are doing.” Giving new salespeople a standard, proven set of steps to follow is like being handed a map in a strange city – it helps them navigate deals more quickly and confidently.
Unfortunately, while most companies have some semblance of a sales process in place, they often fail to formalize it and enforce compliance across the organization. In fact, only 51 percent of surveyed sales organizations use a formal step-by-step selling process that guides sales professionals through a variety of sales interactions.
Along with its accompanying exercise sheet, this guide will take you on a step-by-step journey of how to systematically optimize and improve your sales process to strengthen the foundation of your sales organization and help ramp sales reps faster.
4. Simplify Your Sales Stack
How many tools does your sales team have to use on a daily basis to get their jobs done? Dialers, email trackers, reporting dashboards, CRMs, prospecting systems, forecasting software – all of these platforms add up! Every tool your team uses is a new tool that reps must learn during the ramping process.
Are these tools optimized for your unique sales process and requirements? Do they work together? Are they easy to use? Are they even necessary? These are all important questions to consider before adding another layer to your sales stack – and forcing both new and existing reps to adopt it.
To help simplify your stack, keep an eye out for opportunities to integrate your existing tools to limit the number of interfaces reps must access on a daily basis. All-in-one sales platforms also minimize the need for sales point solutions by providing lead scoring, forecasting, dialing, emailing and other sales necessities in a single platform.
Ready, Set, Ramp!
Ramping reps is a learning experience wherein sales managers often find the strategy, materials and cadence that works best for their teams and companies over time. However, trying out these four proven tips is sure to help you get your new reps started off on the right foot.