Over half of salespeople will miss their quotas and one in ten won’t even meet half of their quotas. These are the stark predictions of the latest Salesforce report. The reason? Because “sales teams fall short of rising customer expectations” as customers demand ever-more personalization. Telecommunications giant Comcast recognized this and re-intevented their onboarding program to both reduce sales ramp-up time and better prepare their new salespeople for a world of exacting customers.
Delivering on rising customer expectations requires a level of consistent, interactive development for new hires that many businesses simply aren’t providing. It comes down to the context and relevance of the development activities, but as Comcast found if you also engage effectively with new salespeople throughout their sales ramp-up, sales revenue will soar. This was what happened when Comcast rolled out On.Board, our mobile-first, functional onboarding platform in one of their sales divisions.
Comcast sales onboarding
Onboarding activities had a poor record of completion and so in a bid to ensure new hires completed all required development activities, especially those that involved customer interaction, Comcast deployed On.Board. What happened next?
Our functional onboarding platform:
empowered their L&D team to quickly create development tasks such as shadowing, observed calls, manager check-ins and product education using the platform’s user-friendly builder;
native and embedded online content, uploaded documents, PDFs, and multimedia, quizzes, and self-reflection forms were all pulled together in one place for a comprehensive and streamlined development journey.
enabled their new salespeople to engage with Comcast’s corporate culture, brand messaging, tools and training resources anytime, anywhere on any digital device.
connected new hires to their sales manager to facilitate relevant, timely and contextualized feedback on completed development activities as part of the program;
strengths were reinforced and opportunities to improve highlighted and resolved as soon as possible in the sales ramp-up process.
Provided the required reports for operational and L&D leaders to track engagement of sales managers in supporting their new hires with feedback and support.
Feedback is key and this is where engagement becomes tangible, as someone once said ‘support is a verb’. Engagement is where tips, tricks, support and advice that you won’t find in an online module are communicated. This is where training changes from one size fits all to highly personalized and focused on realizing an individual’s full potential. The sales ramp-up results speak for themselves.
Comcast tracked the engagement of their sales managers as 160 new salespeople were onboarded over 6 months. In analyzing the engagement data they identified three categories of sales-managers:
Those who provided feedback and support to new hires in over 80% of required development activities.
Those that engaged with 40–80% of development activities.
Those who engaged with less than 40% of development activities.
Next, the sales performance of the new hires reporting to each of these three groups was evaluated.
Firstly, new salespeople led by managers in the most engaged group delivered 25% more sales revenue per day than those is either of the other groups. Secondly, those with the most engaged managers hit sales ramp-up target six weeks before those in either of the other two groups.
If accelerating your sales ramp-up is important:
Ensure you have a wide range of active development tasks, the group in this study undertook shadowing and observed calls quickly in their onboarding journey.
Engagement is the critical ingredient and identifying ways of ensuring manager engagement accountable is crucial.
If you are wondering what happened after the study, lets just say that those less engaged sales managers were shown the evidence and whilst new hire performance continued to be tracked, Comcast leadership added ‘manager engagement’ to their metrics. If you would like to find out how you could improve line-manager engagement and reduce sales ramp-up, please get in touch or take a deeper look at On.Board by requesting your free demo.
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