This blog is part of a series focused on Sales Enablement, a modern business solution designed to help sales and marketing teams sell more effectively using information, content, and tools. Each blog will focus on a topic in the transformational technology space that can help sales and marketing become more efficient.
High churn is a fact of life in the high-stakes world of B2B sales. It’s likely that one-half (or more) of the sales reps on your team right now plan to look for a new job in the next year. Many sales teams experience high turnover, but there is a way to stop the leakage.
Gallup reports that staff turnover can be as high as 50% without a good onboarding process. One of the reasons your sales team may be experiencing churn is that they are unprepared to sell after the onboarding process is done. Technology can improve the onboarding process and retention; let’s dive into how and why that matters.
Why onboarding matters
- Time – Onboarding is a tool to equip a new sales rep to close deals faster. Research shows that onboarding is one of the most important parts of employee success. It takes employees eight months to reach full productivity, but an effective onboarding process can increase employee productivity by 50%.
- Retention – Gallup also says onboarding is critical for employee retention. Given that it costs six to nine months’ worth of an employee’s salary to find a replacement, taking the time to properly welcome, acclimate, and train a new sales associate is time well invested. However, onboarding is time-consuming. Small companies may not have the bandwidth or organizational structures to do anything but provide on-the-job training.
- Growth – Many companies view onboarding as an inconvenient first hurdle in a race toward an employee’s full-time effort. As forward-thinking businesses pursue a modern sales approach, onboarding is shifting from an inconvenience to an asset toward long-term success. Sales Enablement establishes practices and principals that allows for scalable growth and prosperity for individuals within a team, and there is no better place to start than day one of an employee’s new career.
How technology can help
Every good sales onboarding process has an emphasis on three things:
- Learning the organization’s product offering
- Learning about the target buyer
- Understanding the tools and processes used to do the job
Each of these onboarding steps falls under the umbrella of an important concept that has helped small and large businesses maintain success for decades: knowledge management (KM). The creation, sharing, and usage of information within an organization is arguably the most critical driver of long-term success. Human Resources Today points out the importance of managing knowledge, “we spend our entire lives learning. Moreover, because none of us take the same path in our personal and professional development, we’d expect each of us to develop our own unique knowledge we can use in the workplace.”
As knowledge management and sales enablement products begin to gain traction in the marketplace, each product focuses on some combination of:
- Content repository management
- Content development
- Content delivery and usage analytics
1. Content repository management – Capture
Digital content management applications help sales and marketing leaders distribute valuable sales-oriented and customer-facing materials to salespeople, who use these materials to more efficiently and effectively develop and close business. From an onboarding perspective, content management is critical to the success of new hires. One of the first things a new hire wants to see is marketing assets and information that will help them understand the product and equip them with the leverage needed to close a deal successfully.
As technologies like AI and Machine Learning establish their footing in the marketplace, tools like auto-tagging, image recognition, and natural language processing are making their way into products used today. Auto-tagging, for example, allows for more time to be spent on creating content and the distribution of more relevant content to potential customers.
Introducing a DCMS that leverages transformational technology enables new hires to access relevant content faster and become more efficient at selling – not just learning a new way of finding information.
2. Content development – Access
As personalized sales messaging becomes the norm in B2B and B2C markets, sales and marketing leaders are seeking platforms that are designed to customize sales content for individual recipients. The ability for a new hire to quickly find relevant collateral and distribute it to target buyers with as little resistance as possible is paramount. A new hire is seeking a path to drive results as quickly as possible, and applications that enable the leap from learning to producing results is compelling in the onboarding process.
Many applications support a range use cases, some focus on internal enablement and others support external enablement. Ultimately, the distribution of relevant content to individuals is a significant part of any salesperson’s job. This functionality will enable a sales staff throughout their entire career and keep the organization on the cutting-edge of sales and marketing best-practices.
3. Content delivery and usage analytics – Share
If financial growth is an expectation within a business, educating employees in the long and short term is critical. Onboarding a new employee with marathon sessions, unloading information over a day or so about the company, its products, and processes are tempting considering its time efficiency. But how effective is this method?
Recent studies show that if your goal is to get the knowledge to stick, you have to leverage distributed practice over a long period. This method is less attractive to businesses and schools, mainly because it is inconvenient for their traditional practices and schedules.
Modern businesses are now focusing their efforts on guided coaching and selling education platforms. These products focus less on one-time walkthroughs of a specific topic, but consistent growth and education over time, allowing for uncapped professional development – the essence of Sales Enablement.
A critical component of any application that educates users is analytics and usage data. Measuring how salespeople learn and consume the content delivered to them helps managers improve messaging and internal processes. Additionally, content owners may want usage data around external content as well, which could create correlations between content use and sales acceleration or win rate.
A product designed to Capture, Access, and Share knowledge
The internet is responsible for greater information availability than ever before. Because of this, a customer in the B2B buying process only spends 17% of their time with a salesperson, according to a recent Gartner report. As your organization pursues improved information availability and personalization, ask yourself what you’re doing to automate these processes using modern technology and tools.
Unika’s sales enablement solution uniquely integrates knowledge from systems of record (email, CRM, business apps) and presents this information in a unified platform, accessible to both sales and marketing departments. With Unika, sales teams can reduce time searching for relevant assets, leverage existing knowledge to eliminate rework and find internal subject matter experts to help answer hard questions.
Unika differentiates itself from other sales enablement solutions with an AI-Assistant that can help salespeople in research scenarios, train reps on standardized sales procedures, or find knowledge across corporate systems.
Learn more about Unika’s Sales Enablement solution with a free demo by clicking the button below.
Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.
Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.
Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.
Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.
Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.
Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.
Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.