Getting new salespeople up to speed quickly is a pivotal factor separating Best-in-Class organizations from their less productive peers. Research from The Sales Management Association indicates that these firms have 10% greater sales growth rates, and 14% better sales and profit objective achievement.
But actually getting new sellers performing at their highest potential is easier said than done, with one in three salespeople lacking proficiency in about a dozen skills by the time onboarding is complete, according to the same research.
You can improve the effectiveness of your ramp-up efforts by introducing new sales team members to your sales organization’s common language. The sooner they can talk-the-talk, the faster they will be walking-the-walk—and contributing to the sales effort with full force.
Here are 4 ways a common language helps get new sales reps up to speed quickly.
1. The entire team can offer consistent advice for how to go to market
It takes a village to get your new people operating at full capacity.
You can increase the speed to productivity exponentially if your entire team contributes to the onboarding process. But this group-mentoring strategy really requires that everyone communicates with a consistent language in order to reap the benefits (and avoid confusion from conflicting information).
Take Action: Collaborate with your team to develop a list of best practices within each stage of the selling process. Rotate through your reps each week to have everyone give a 10-15 minute presentation during your sales meeting on one best practice.
2. Tribal knowledge is shared more easily, and with greater frequency
Salespeople are typically more likely to pay attention to direction from their peers than from their managers. If you have created a culture of loyalty and collaboration on your team, your players will be open to sharing their most successful strategies and tactics—it’s finding the time and the platform for sharing that tribal knowledge that can be challenging.
When everyone understands the shorthand language, sharing best practices becomes much more efficient.
Take Action: Carve out a dedicated time in your sales team meetings for success sharing. Have a different rep share each week and keep the stories on file for future onboarding efforts.
3. Sales messaging is clearly understood throughout the organization
Your brand message can easily get lost in translation if it’s not communicated and reinforced with consistency. A common language allows marketing and sales to stay tightly aligned, ensuring that brand messaging is always clear to prospects—and to new reps that are just getting acclimated.
Take Action: Train your marketing team with your sales process. That way, the resources and tools they create will be consistent with the way your people sell, reducing the learning curve for new reps (and providing the best experience for your customers).
4. Coaching is targeted and highly-efficient
Having a clear sales process—and a language to describe activities within the sales process—eliminates confusion and allows sales managers to have targeted, high-yield coaching conversations with reps. Without a tight common language, the effectiveness and time-to-benefit of deal coaching runs astray.
Take Action: Define your sales process vocabulary and include it in every new sales rep’s training. That way “Pre-Call Planning,” for example, is always referred to in the same way—not “Call Planning” or “Sales Call Prep,” etc.
The average time to productivity for new-hire salespeople is 9.1 months, according to SalesForce. This ramp-up time can be reduced significantly when new salespeople are introduced to the common language used in your day-to-day operations.
A clearly defined sales process functions as your “operating system” and integrates into the tools, schedules, and procedures you use on a daily basis. When everyone is speaking the same language, confusion is replaced with efficiency and increased productivity.
A solid sales process is the foundation of a common language. Visit an upcoming IMPACT Selling Seminar to test drive the system and see if it’s right for your team. Either you like what you see, or you receive a full refund. Learn More.