Hire and Sales by flz24219

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									             Faster! Faster! The Pressure Is On to Ramp New-Hire Sales Reps
Is it possible to shorten new hire ramp times by as much as 10%? Would the returned
savings and additional revenue pay for the investment required? Although there is no
“silver bullet” to hit this productivity goal, the panel at the May 2006 Sales Operations
Forum shared their best ideas for ramping new hires faster, and agreed the payoff is
worth the effort.

Ramp-time to Full Productivity                                 What’s the Bottom Line?
It is possible to shorten the time it takes for sales new      Alison Chandless, Forum Founder presented results of
hires to “ramp” to full productivity. But success depends      the Forum survey focused on Sales Training. Both the
on creatively balancing many factors:                          Forum and national surveys show that companies
                                                               require an average of 7-9 months to ramp new sales
  •    a broad learning approach that incorporates             teams. However, the panelists at the Forum noted that
       multiple learning methods and technologies;             their ramp times ranged from 3 months to 2 years.
  •    content that combines sales methodology,                Predictably, the longer and more complex a panelist’s
       product and solution training;                          sales cycle, the longer the ramp or “on-boarding”
                                                               process.
  •    and most importantly, measuring and linking
       results against the bottom-line.                        Why is This So hard?

That is the direction that the panel discussion took at        The varied backgrounds, cultures, languages, and
the recent Sales Operations Forum.                             sales approaches/experiences of new hire training
                                                               audiences makes successful design of new hire sales
The Challenges Keep Coming                                     training difficult, Jack Keenan noted. Commenting on
Integrating sales organizations after multiple mergers;        the challenges of ramping new sales teams, Jim
using solution-focused sales strategies to sell                Searles said that geographically dispersed the sales
expanding, complex product lines; driving into new             teams with the longest the sales cycles are the most
markets and more broadly in an enterprise; and                 difficult to ramp successfully. He noted that at Serena,
expanding market share in mature markets; these are            telesales reps that are co-located are productive much
all challenges our panelist faced as they developed the        more quickly than remote territory sales reps. He
ramp or “on boarding” strategies for their sales teams.        attributes this to the telesales reps ability to share ideas
                                                               and best-practices as well as get quicker answers to
Price Burlington, Forum Founder and Director Sales             sales questions.
Operations at SAP, led the panel discussion that
included three Sales Operations executives including:          Jim also commented that with long ramp times it’s hard
Bill Macy, Business Objects; Tom Gerstenberger,                to anticipate a rep’s success or failure. To solve this
Network Appliance; and Jim Searles of Serena                   problem, Jack advises his clients to find early indicators
Software. Dr. Jack B. Keenan, sales and training               of success and failure. One method he suggests is to
expert, also joined the panel to share industry best           model--or codify--the activities and activity levels of top
practices.                                                     reps (e.g. calling rates, number of face-to-face
                                                               meetings, proposals generate). He suggests companies
                                                               compare new hire reps’ activity rates and success in
How do you define “ramped up”? Heard                           those activities to that of successful reps.
at the Forum
                                                               Jack shared that this is also a best practice in
- Reps are making quota – consistently                         developing sales training—making sure new reps know
- Reps carry and achieve a full quota                          how to successfully execute those activities that lead to
- Reps successfully manage the “right”                         success, and understand the level of activity that they
  activities                                                   are expected to deliver.
- After 6 months
KickStart Alliance – Supporter of the Sales Operations Forum            achandless@involvetechnology.com
Sales Methodology or Understanding                            How Can You Avoid the Dreaded PowerPoint
Products: What’s the Best Starting Point?                     Parade?
Business Objects’ focuses the first 6 months of a rep’s        The Forum audience provided suggestions for
training on sales methodology and business acumen.             avoiding this training disaster, including:
Bill Macy explained this approach provides reps with
the basic skills for grading their pipeline and managing          • Involve experienced sales people as your
opportunities. Tom Gerstenberger noted that in                        presenters and use them in role play exercises.
contrast, Network Appliance focuses heavily on product            • Train product managers to deliver “sales ready”
and technology training when reps attend the one                      or “value-based” messaging.
week, headquarters training program and early in their
tenure. The different approaches started an interesting           • Organize training around the questions
discussion, with most Forum attendees agreeing that                   customers ask. Why should I talk to you? Why
delivering either sales methodology or product-focused                should I buy this? Why buy from you?
curriculum without the                                                                         About the Sales
other is much less effective       Great Ideas We Can All Use                                  Operations Forum
than a combined approach.
                                   • Use Wins and Losses as a focus for on-going               The Sales Operations
Can You Be Successful                education. Each quarter Serena analyzes 6                 Forum provides Sales
Without Training                     wins and 12 losses.                                       Operations management
Managers Too?                                                                                  an opportunity to network,
                                   • Use short sales success stories to reinforce
Bill Macy commented that             use of successful sales messaging.                        exchange ideas and
in 2001, Business Objects’                                                                     share best practices. Our
                                   • Deliver a sales tool kit following training, so           quarterly meetings focus
anticipated the impending
                                     trainees can implement concepts easily.                   on topic such as sales
economic problems and
developed a management             • Capture best practices and the knowledge of               effectiveness, sales
training program to prepare          your sales team using tools like StreetSmarts.            methodologies,
their leadership team. Tom                                                                     compensation, CRM, and
Gerstenberger commented            • Use Webinars to create communities of                     field communication.
that while at 3Com, his              interest and build interactive training
                                     sessions.                                                 The Forum is managed
team developed                                                                                 by Price Burlington, SAP
management training to             • Design annual sales meetings as learning                  and Alison Chandless of
drive up forecasting                 events, but acknowledge that they don’t offer             Involve Technology.
accuracy. However, many              great “teaching” opportunities.                           There is no cost to join
in the audience noted they                                                                     the Forum.
do not have management-            • Reinforce your training; integrate your sales
specific training. The               process into your sales tools like SFA.                   If you are interested in
survey results showed that                                                                     attending a Forum,
less than half of                                                                              contact Alison Chandless.
respondents                                                    Supporters
offered management-specific training.
                                                               The KickStart Alliance manages the Forum website and
Where Should Sales Training Report?                            registration. The KickStart Alliance is a team of sales
“It does not matter” was the answer from the panel. At         and marketing executives that work with technology
Business Objects, Sales Effectiveness resides in Sales         clients to provide positioning, lead generation, and
Operations, but Bill Macy pointed out that alignment           sales readiness services. Find out more at
with the sales organization and their goals is the most        www.kickstartall.com. .
important factor in success. Tom commented that sales          Survey Says . . .
training has be “close to the transaction” to be truly
successful.                                                    The Forum members were surveyed about their new
                                                               hire sales training practices, spending and strategies.
The survey revealed that in a majority of organizations        You can see the results of this survey at
Sales Operations is held responsible for sales training.       www.kickstartall.com/resources.html#salesops.




         www.kickstartall.com                                                              alisonc@kickstartall.com

								
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