Effective Sales Onboarding can be difficult to get right, but can have a real impact on the ramp times for your teams. Naturally, the more effective your onboarding is the faster people will get up to speed, which for most sales people is their core goal (they want to be closing deals!)
Outside of a great Sales Enablement tech stack, you need to ensure that your onboarding tech stack is also fit for purpose - With some technologies you might be able to find benefits across the entire business, or if you're already a large enough business you might find that you're able to invest in dedicated technologies aimed squarely at sales.
Let's take a look at the 3 core buckets of onboarding technology:
CMS (Content Management Soutions / Repositories)
CMS's are crucial for effective onboarding of sales hires as they provide a centralized platform to store, organize, and share essential training materials and resources. When onboarding new sales team members, it's important to provide them with easy access to up-to-date information, playbooks, product documentation, and sales collateral.
Content repositories enable sales leaders to curate and distribute relevant content, ensuring that new hires have the necessary resources at their fingertips, as well as rolling out new processes to the the existing teams. They also make it easy to maintain consistency in the onboarding process, ensuring that all new hires receive the same foundational knowledge and training materials.
For already onboarded teams, they can also help foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among the sales team, of which new Sales hires can tap into allowing them to learn from their peers and leverage best practices.
If you're a G-Suite company looking for a shoestring solution, Google Sites is a great place to start. Reasonably user-friendly centered around a website builder approach, it allows sales leaders to create and customize content repositories for sales onboarding. It provides a platform for organizing and sharing essential training materials, playbooks, and resources. Sales teams can easily collaborate and access up-to-date information, making it ideal for centralizing onboarding content.
Seismic offers a comprehensive content management platform specifically designed for sales enablement. Along with its content repository capabilities, Seismic provides advanced features like content personalization, analytics, and automation, as well as a plethora of content management tools aimed at marketing. Sales leaders can leverage Seismic to curate and distribute tailored onboarding materials, ensuring new hires have access to the most relevant and impactful content.
Highspot is a sales enablement platform that includes content repository functionality like Seismic, also enabling sales leaders to centralize and organize onboarding content, making it easily searchable and accessible for new hires. Highspot also offers features such as content recommendations, analytics, and interactive content creation, facilitating a more engaging and effective onboarding experience.
Guru is a knowledge management platform that helps sales teams effectively capture, organize, and share information. With Guru, sales leaders can create a dedicated sales & marketing content repository tailored for onboarding new hires. It includes features like real-time knowledge updates, AI-powered search, and integration with other tools, making it convenient for sales leaders to ensure that onboarding resources are always up-to-date and easily accessible.
Structured Learning & LMS
Structured learning technologies play a vital role in effective onboarding of sales hires by providing a systematic and organized approach to learning and development, typically in the form of an LMS (Learning Management System). Onboarding new sales team members involves imparting essential knowledge, skills, and processes to ensure they can perform their roles effectively.
Structured learning platforms offer a variety of tools, such as learning paths, courses, and assessments, that guide new hires through the onboarding process step-by-step. These platforms allow sales leaders to create interactive and engaging content, ensuring that new hires not only receive information but also have opportunities to practice and reinforce their learning.
By implementing structured learning technologies, sales leaders can ensure consistency and standardization in the onboarding experience. Each new hire goes through the same set of learning materials and assessments, guaranteeing that they acquire the necessary foundational knowledge and skills.
Not all LMS's are equal however with many offering a far more generic approach to learning and onboarding, however the one's we've picked out will have dedicated features specifically aimed at Sales Onboarding.
Already featuring as a CMS, Seismic is back again with Lessonly, a leading LMS even without Seismic attached. Specifically for sales enablement, it also branches out into helping other commercial & customer facing roles. It offers structured learning pathways and courses to guide new hires through the onboarding process. Sales leaders can create interactive lessons, assessments, and certifications to ensure consistent and effective onboarding. Lessonly also provides analytics to track learner progress and identify areas for improvement.
Highspot, in addition to its content repository capabilities, also offers structured learning features. Sales leaders can create learning tracks, courses, and quizzes to facilitate step-by-step onboarding for new hires. Highspot's structured learning functionality ensures that new sales team members acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in a logical and organized manner.
Allego is a sales enablement platform that includes structured learning tools for onboarding and continuous training. Sales leaders can create and deliver interactive video-based lessons, microlearning modules, and role-playing scenarios to enhance onboarding effectiveness. Allego also provides coaching and collaboration features, allowing new hires to practice and receive feedback from mentors and peers.
Brainshark is a sales readiness platform that offers structured learning capabilities. Sales leaders can create and deliver onboarding content, including presentations, videos, and quizzes, to new hires. Brainshark provides tracking and reporting features to assess onboarding progress and identify knowledge gaps. Additionally, it offers tools for coaching and reinforcement to support ongoing learning and development.
Call Shadowing & Coaching + Conversational Intelligence
Conversational Intelligence technologies are invaluable for effective onboarding of sales hires as they provide opportunities for observation, feedback, and skill development, as well as providing immediate access to the current talk tracks of current sales team members.
Call shadowing platforms allow sales leaders to record and review sales calls and meetings, where by listening to these recordings, they can assess the performance of new hires, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and provide constructive feedback.
Coaching technologies facilitate ongoing mentoring and guidance throughout the onboarding process. Sales leaders can provide feedback, share best practices, and offer additional training resources to new hires. These platforms often include features such as annotation, sharing of specific call segments, and collaboration tools, enabling a collaborative learning environment and fostering continuous improvement.
One of the biggest names in the CI space, Gong is an AI-powered conversational analytics and sales effectiveness platform. It enables sales leaders to record, transcribe, and analyze sales calls and meetings. Gong.io's call shadowing and coaching capabilities allow sales leaders to review and provide feedback on new hires' calls, helping them improve their communication and sales skills.
Wudpecker is a newly formed but high performing call recording and coaching platform designed for sales teams. It allows sales leaders to capture and analyze sales calls, providing valuable insights for onboarding and coaching purposes. Wudpecker's coaching features enable sales leaders to share feedback, best practices, and training materials with new hires, facilitating their skill development.
Fathom is a video coaching and feedback platform that enables sales leaders to capture, review, and provide feedback on sales calls and presentations. It offers features like call recording, annotation, and sharing, making it easier for sales leaders to mentor and guide new hires remotely. Fathom enhances onboarding by facilitating ongoing coaching and skill development.
Avoma is an AI-powered conversation intelligence platform that helps sales teams optimize their interactions with prospects and customers. It includes call shadowing and coaching features, allowing sales leaders to review and provide feedback on new hires' calls. Avoma's AI capabilities provide insights into call performance, enabling sales leaders to identify coaching opportunities and improve onboarding outcomes.
Onboarding & Ramping new sales reps is no easy task, as there's no real answer to the fastest way to ramp sales hires - Every business is unique with different budgets, and so will find that different technologies may suit them best depending on their own maturity.
It's also worth bearing in mind that the technology is only as good as those using it, with no quick fixes. If there isn't much content for users to absorb, there's probably little value in investing large amounts into a CMS or LMS.
Ultimately, the tech choices come down to both the internal team resources that you have that will utilize and deliver, as well as your growth & hiring ambitions.
Onboarding forms a part of the big planning challenge that comes with capacity planning, and is far more complex than assuming that everyone with have the same ramp time.
Here at Clevenue we believe that accurate capacity planning is as valuable as it is difficult, and are on a mission to make sales team planning as easy and accessible as possible.