Online Training, Key to Ramping Revenue, Employee Productivity
The Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to a remote workforce has exposed the weaknesses of organizations that have relied on traditional, outdated employee training and onboarding processes including shadow training and "event" training in which employees are lectured to by a department head, manager or corporate trainer. While these methods are created with the best of intentions and contribute to a positive and engaging learner experience, there is also no data indicating that they increase overall team quota attainment or revenue per sales rep/recruiter or that they accelerate time to quota attainment for new hires.
One of the single most important responsibilities for leaders responsible for revenue growth is ensuring that tenured employees continue to grow and develop and ramping up new employees to quota attainment. We've all heard the scary statistics regarding the high cost of sales turnover (Brad Smart, author of Topgrading for Sales, states that the average cost of a failed ramp-up is six times the base salary for a salesperson). So it goes without saying that the sooner you are able to ramp your new hires (and those tenured recruiters you move into sales), and improve the productivity of your tenured employees, the easier your job becomes.
Since 2009, I’ve personally worked with leaders from over 400 different staffing firms across the country examining, designing and redesigning their employee training and onboarding programs. This includes content creation, sequencing of courses, creation of custom/personalized learning paths, quiz and gamification design and more. What I have learned, and what the data shows us is that traditional employee training and onboarding rarely produce quantifiable business results nor do they move the needle on accelerating new hire time to quota attainment.
What does work for accelerating time to quota attainment, and reduces employee turnover is moving training online and adopting sales enablement software. Just check out our customer case studies for living proof! There is a reason why all of the most successful companies in the world-companies like SAP, J&J, Starbucks, Disney, Patagonia, LinkedIn, Apple, Alphabet, etc. deploy their training in the cloud for their employees to consume over their PC or mobile device. Upgrading to a modern online training platform is an amazing opportunity for today’s staffing leaders because it affords you the opportunity to turn an organizational weakness into an organizational strength.
To truly grow and scale revenue growth, staffing firms need to develop the internal capability of improving employee performance at scale, across the entire team. Having an online training platform with video capability allows you to quickly and easily replicate top performing behaviors across your entire organization which fosters peer-to-peer learning. Something all of us can benefit from as we remain hunkered down working from home.
The super-hero model on the other hand, a staffing firm that pulls 70%+ of it's revenue from a few key performers is not sustainable. At some point you have to figure out how to replicate success company wide. Moving your training online and adopting sales enablement software is your vehicle.
Firms who have moved their training online and leverage a SaaS based sales enablement platform are equipped to support their remote workforce and experience improved productivity from their tenured workforce, and speed up time to productivity for their new hires as compared to those firms who rely on traditional training methods. Not only that, firms with online training reduce training expenses, drive employee engagement and improve employee retention by empowering teams to train and learn remotely.
Deploying a modern training program that supports your remote workforce is not as daunting as it may seem. Here are three technological advantages to online training that every staffing leader can benefit from. All of which demonstrate that online training, key to ramping revenue, employee productivity.
1. Online Training Make Learning Easy to Access and Consume
The objective for any sales training or recruiter training program is to help reps and recruiters become more productive by improving their sales and recruiter effectiveness. Identifying the skills and knowledge required for success is key. Sales reps and recruiters need to learn many things quickly: buyer personas, customer buying journey (how your customers buy), buyer aligned sales processes, sales methodology, value propositions and customer case studies, pricing, competitive landscape, industry trends and outlook and more. Your training content needs to communicate these topics in a way that’s quick and easy to access, consume and retain. Not only that, each learner comes from a different background, possesses different experiences and skill sets. So not only do you need to make your training easy to access and consume, you need to personalize it. Unlike traditional training methods, this easy to do with an online training platform and it can be automated.
Takeaway: With an online training platform you can create personalized learning paths with highly structured courses to lay out your content on visually rich themes with immersive gamification to engage reps and recruiters throughout the learning experience. You can also measure a learners understanding of shared knowledge using assessments and quizzes.
2. Stop Repeating Yourself! Learning Is Continuously Reinforced
- 42% of the information we learned within 20 minutes
- 56% of the information we learned within 1 hour
- 64% of the information we learned within 9 hours
Modern training technology uses machine learning to push automated reinforcement exercises to each rep’s mobile device, using spaced repetition for maximum retention. Continuous spaced reinforcement improves knowledge retention using an intuitive and adaptive system including short, personalized, and gamified challenges that are delivered to the learners mobile phone at spaced intervals helping them convert short term memory into long term knowledge.
Takeaway: Stop repeating yourself over and over and let the technology do the work for you! Automated spaced reinforcement can reinforce skill and knowledge retention and drive adoption. Promote a culture of continuous improvement and knowledge sharing with adaptive, intuitive reinforcement.
3. Upskill Your Reps and Recruiters with Video Recorded Skills Practice
Model what "good" looks like via video and then drive predictable performance across your sales and recruiting team by challenging team members to "do better." Video recording skills practice builds team confidence and enables them to deliver more engaging and productive candidate and customer conversations. With video enabled skills practice your recruiters and reps can practice and perfect key messaging, objection handling scenarios, cold calling best practices and candidate rate negotiations (and other scenarios). This is how you replicate top performing behaviors and messaging across your entire team at scale to ramp revenue.Takeaway: Quickly deliver quantitative and qualitative feedback to reps and recruiters for immediate "pitch" improvement and guide managers to provide structured and relevant coaching by leveraging AI automation assistance including model pitch comparison, and keyword analysis for continuous improved messaging.
The idea that an employee's learning such as onboarding and training be confined to a specific timeline is flawed and antiquated. Most staffing firms devote highly compensated leaders to structure and lead formal training for their employees. This is very expensive and why many staffing firms don't provide continuous learning. As your organization grows and your market evolves, your employees need to grow and evolve with it. The market you operate in is not static, therefore your employee's skills and knowledge shouldn't be static.
Online training solutions enable staffing firms to capture informal learning that is not only far more effective but also far more cost effective. In fact, online training makes it quicker, easier and cheaper for leaders and training personnel to create and distribute content and quicker and easier for learners to consume content than traditional training.
Most learning and often the most impactful learning happens informally and is self-directed, by the employee seeking out information on their own and immediately applying it. Not only is online learning and sales enablement software is built for this but it is ideal for training your remote or distributed workforce.
Even with your team working remotely, there are ways to keep your team members engaged and on track. By incorporating online training and these three core elements into your approach, you’ll deliver the best experience for your employees and help them succeed throughout their careers and drive better results for your organization.
About Dan Fisher
I’m Dan Fisher, founder of Menemsha Group. Over 400 IT staffing firms including thousands of sales reps and recruiters apply my sales methodology including my scripts, playbooks, job aids, tools and templates, all of which is consumed from our SaaS based sales enablement platform and our mobile application. I’ve coached and mentored hundreds of sales leaders, business owners and CEO’s, and I have spoken at a variety of industry events including Staffing World, Bullhorn Engage, TechServe Alliance, Bullhorn Live, Massachusetts Staffing Association, and National Association of Personnel Services. Since 2008 I've helped IT staffing organizations quickly ramp up new hires, slash the time it takes to get new reps to open new accounts and meet quota, get more high-quality meetings with key decision makers and help leaders build a scalable sales organization. My training and coaching programs are engaging and highly interactive and are known to challenge sellers to rethink how they approach selling. Ultimately, I help sellers increase productivity, accelerate the buying process & win more deals.