Reduce New Rep Ramp Time by Developing Your A+ Players 

Lucid is constantly looking for talent to grow our team. In the last quarter, they hired five new reps and a brand-new manager.e

They want to make sure we have a fast ramp time and that the new reps are productive as quickly as possible. They’re looking for ways to do this while still ensuring they get thorough training.

They’ve developed strategies that not only reduce the time it takes for a new salesperson to ramp up, but also provide more comprehensive training so they start selling on solid footing.

In this article, I’m going to share seven sales onboarding tips that will help shorten the time it takes for you to ramp up and set yourself up for success.

  • Develop your A+ players
  • Think about where new reps sit
  • Prioritize product training
  • Create a playbook that contains all the information related to your marketing strategy, including goals and benchmarks.
  • Define the theory and methodology that you use to get people interested in buying something.
  • Train employees in theory and then put that into practical application.
  • Let new employees take calls on the floor so they can learn from experienced reps.

Let’s dive in.

Tip #1: Lessen Ramp Time by Develop Your A+ Players

The first step to getting new salespeople on board is not about them at all. It’s really about the environment they are stepping into with you.

You need to have strong players in order to build a network for them. That’s the core foundation of any future onboarding strategies.

How do you find the top talent?

Develop your top performers by continuing to train them.

Make sure to provide continuing education opportunities for your top salespeople and encourage them in their career development.

This new approach will help me get the best salespeople on my team. I’ll be able to hire experienced people and train them myself, which means that they’re more likely to stay with us long-term.

When it comes to the sales team, I’ve learned that you need a great culture.

On the other hand, your new hires will be able to see what success looks like on a daily basis. Instead of only having access to one executive source for guidance, they will have an entire team ready and available at all times.

Tip #2: Consider the Positions of New Representatives

It was always nice to have a friend within arm’s reach at school because then you would sit together and it’d be more fun. You could share supplies, help each other with problems in class that were difficult for the one person alone.

When you’re making seating arrangements, be mindful of your new reps. Surround them with people who will help their success.

Find a mentor for new reps and have them sit next to each other.

Now you will have someone to turn to with questions on the floor. They’ll be able too for immediate feedback.

After you’ve hired new people, continue with your purposeful seating arrangements.

If you promote one of your reps to a managerial position, make sure they have someone who can mentor them. They will be more willing to take advice and incorporate feedback when it comes from people they’ve watched succeed day-in and day-out.

I keep track of how my team is seated and what changes have been made. I also encourage other sales leaders to do the same.

Bringing in new people from different backgrounds can help with call strategies. They’ll get to know more about each other and work better together.

Note for Remote Teams

Creating a seating chart for remote teams is important. Mentors should take on new reps and help them with their work.

Tip #3: Product Training is a Must For An Improved Time Ramp

Comprehensive product training is a must if you want your reps to succeed. Before they start selling, make sure they go through thorough and detailed product training.

You should teach your new employees four things: what the product is, why it’s important to use, how they can sell and support the products best.

  • What problems does your company’s product or service solve?
  • The features of a product and how they’re used.
  • How the product or service will be useful to a certain demographic of people
  • The people who buy your product and what drives them to purchase from you.

My company requires reps to complete bridge courses that teach them about the product, what it does for our customers, and how they can best sell it. This helps with sales motivation because now they are more confident in their skills.

We also have product-focused courses that require reps to complete hands-on activities and create assets which are graded by our team.

We teach our reps how to use the products and share best practices during training sessions. This way, they know what’s going on inside of them.

After training your reps, make sure they use the product as much as possible. This will reinforce their learning and ensure that they can provide a high-quality customer service.

Lucidchart offers a product designed specifically for sales teams. I make sure my reps use Lucidchart Sales Solution to manage their accounts. If they’re using the software, there’s less of a chance that they’ll lose knowledge about it and be able to better answer questions from prospects and customers.

Tip #4: Create a Playbook for a Single Source of Truth

A sales playbook should be a one-stop resource for all the details of how you sell and what resources are available.

A lot of times, reps don’t have a playbook and it might seem like overkill. But you’re better off providing them with every detail they need to succeed than risking unprepared reps that will be slower at ramping up or won’t know how to use the tools properly.

When it comes to sales, these are some must-haves that will help you at any stage of the game.

  • A clear table of contents
  • The introduction to the book will tell you how to use it.
  • We use a number of software and tools every day, like Google Docs for collaboration or Slack to chat with each other.
  • The rep’s days are outlined in a flowchart.
  • A list of tips and best practices for prospecting people.
  • This is a script for the basics of what to say on an initial phone call with someone you want to do business with.
  • The sales process, which are the steps that your team goes through to complete a sale.
  • A list of your company’s sales team and what they do.

It is important to include visuals in your playbook so that new information can be stored easily. This will help with retention.

Tip #5: Define Your Sales Process's Theory and Methodology

Don’t assume your reps will automatically understand the way you work. Explain why they should follow a certain methodology.

This will help improve the buy-in for all employees.

To start having the right conversations with prospects, we need our salespeople to understand ProActive Selling. This is a theory that focuses on talking about value and not features.

Have each of your reps get their own copy, so they can reference it and make notes in the margins.

A good sales methodology can help your employees more easily learn the ropes. It also gives you a framework to provide feedback on their performance.

Once your reps have a solid understanding of the basics, encourage them to make it their own. The best reps develop their own way of selling within the framework you establish.

Tip #6: Balance Training That Is Practical

As you teach your new reps about the product, make sure to give them opportunities to practice what they are learning. This will help the information stick and gives them a chance to see how things work in real life.

Repetition is important when training and practicing skills. Teach the basics, and make sure your reps practice them over and over again.

For our sales team, we encourage three things: practicing skills like customer relationship management or closing techniques for example.

  • With daily role plays
  • Having reps identify key points or scripts before a call
  • We can hear the calls that they make to customers in our 1:1 meetings.

It’s our duty to enforce the best practices that are established for a specific company.

It’s important to keep your reps sharp and up-to-date, even if they have experience. If you don’t continually train them with new material, it will be easy for them to stagnate.

Tip #7: Encourage New Representatives to Answer Their Phones on the Floor

Encourage your employees to take calls on the floor if they’re able and appropriate. This will help motivate them, as well.

If your reps are afraid to take calls on the floor, they may have a fear of public speaking or something else that needs to be addressed. You might need additional coaching and support in order for them to feel comfortable taking phone calls right next their teammates.

Managers should be available for their team and accessible if they need help. This builds credibility with the team, as well as a coaching opportunity that can lead to higher morale.

There are a few ways to create an environment that fosters sales success. One way is to have the right compensation plan in place.

Lesser Time Ramp Starts With You

A good way to make sure your team is successful is through thorough onboarding.

If you want to be successful, take the time and effort to mentor your A+ players. Write down a comprehensive sales methodology in a playbook.

In addition to the little details, make sure your reps are comfortable with performance aspects of their job. Daily role-plays can help them get used to being on the floor and taking calls.

Hiring a new sales rep is costly, but if you follow these 7 tips to lessen ramp time, your ROI will be good.

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Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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