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“This method not only provided excellent tools, it also helped us build the habit of criticizing our own process so we can make it better.”

David Scronce,
Director Strategic Initiatives
University of California, Berkeley

 

Structured Onboarding Means Faster Revenue: Case Example

Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 11.41.03 AMAs interest in big data and analytics grew, this company (now mid-sized) started to grow dramatically. They were hiring 10% more people a quarter, sales were strong, and the company was planning to go public. But product releases were erratic—sometimes every three months, other times only once a year. Then the CEO started to run the company as though it were already a public company. That meant it was important to have a steady product release rhythm and continue to sell the product.

They needed to get new sales and presales technical resources onboard in a way that enabled them to sell faster. They developed a customized blended training; it had an online virtual path beginning Day 1, then onsite immersion training with a certification test, and practical face-to-face evaluation. New sales reps are now closing their first deal (over $100,000) 62% faster.

Each year, the organization enhances the onboarding process. They maintain continuous improvement with weekly enablement calls, and now provide leadership training to coach and develop sales leaders to train their people.

The company is operating at a stage I describe as “Make it the Way You Do Business Every Day”. It started at Make It Small and Simple stage (Stage 1) with the concentration on sales and pre-sales onboarding, but extended that area and maintained continuous improvement. Because of the impetus to go public they also concentrated on product development. They stabilized and coordinated product releases. Releasing new software regularly enhanced product launches, enabled better customer service, and strengthened sales promotions—all part of the EMBED stage (This is the shortened name for the company that does make the process the way they do business every day.). All this meant faster growth for the business and more committed customers.

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8 comments to Structured Onboarding Means Faster Revenue: Case Example

  • Emerson

    Great post! It shows us how important is an effective training method. I have seen companies spending lot of money in training and it does no difference or had just a little impact. But when you do that in the right way the revenue comes for sure.

  • Jade

    This makes a lot of sense to me and I’ve seen the need for improved onboarding at the organization I currently work for. Without a well-developed onboarding process and training materials, we experience problems with getting new staff up to speed. Even once trained we often experience difficulties when they’ve inherited incomplete understanding and incorrect ways of doing things from their predecessors who trained them, who were themselves similarly disadvantaged by the lack of structured onboarding. Too many unnecessary problems are caused when bad habits and inappropriate shortcuts are allowed to persist because new employees don’t know any better.

    • Jade

      I’d be interested in a blog that digs deeper into the specific ways process improvement tools can be used to identify the best structure and methods for conducting onboarding within a particular organization, and the different types of technology based solutions that can be employed to assist with onboarding new team members.

  • You are so right, Emerson, and they kept the data to prove the results.

  • Claudia Oceguera

    Great post! This article is very insightful! I agree with the importance of having an effective onboarding and training process as it will improve the outcome of the organization as a whole. I really like the idea of the customized blended training program and was astonished by the results! Enhancing the onboarding process is important in an organization of any size and industry. It is also extremely important and helpful in rapidly growing, new business models, such as shared economy ones.

  • Thanks for highlighting the importance of the onboarding process in a sales environment. A structured training environment will not only have positive immediate sales results through higher pitch success rates or deal closure rates, but also have a positive impact on the external profile of the company due to more professional behavior of sales personnel. A structured training program also increases fairness: all starters should have similar starting conditions independent if they start in a large sales office with better training infrastructure (e.g. availability of classroom trainings) and many co-workers that may be approachable if a new employee has potential questions vs. a starter in a smaller satellite office where a lack of approachable co-workers reduces chances of having questions answered immediately.

  • Kurt Schieszer

    Thanks for the post! Sales training seems to be an ever changing issue, especially depending on the business growth and strategy. It would be great to see more companies take on the responsibility of developing an adaptable and practical training strategy that provides the necessities to make a deal happen without all the industry knowledge that usually comes after a few years of experience. I’ve seen a lot of offices in my industry struggle to keep sales roles filled because they fall behind quickly without proper training and then the pressure to get caught up increases unnecessary stress which leads to them jumping companies. Having a training process that targets understanding the sales process first, then the industry knowledge, could help cut back on the turnover rate.

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