The Great Reshuffle, named The Great Resignation at first, has been on everyone’s mind for months, but the truth is that we’re still in the middle of it. Voluntary turnover is still rising, and all signs point to that trend continuing in 2022. “More than 4.5 million people voluntarily quit their employment in November,” according to The New York Times, “up from 4.2 million in October and the largest in the two decades that the government has been keeping record.”
While employee attrition is standard across industries and roles, these figures are particularly alarming for sales, which has a history of high turnover even in the best of times. Forrester Principal Analyst Eric Zines addressed why attrition is detrimental to sales in a recent webinar with Bigtincan CMO Rusty Bishop.”What sales leaders can do better to reduce attrition is to boost onboarding quality and time by focusing on trying to quantify time to competency,” Zines mentioned, offering a solution to sales and enablement leaders hoping to stem the flow.
But what does “time to competency” really implies, how do you measure it, and, most importantly, how can you improve it? Continue reading to find out.
How long does it take to become competent in sales onboarding?
Competency refers to the abilities, information, and processes that salespeople must learn to meet their job’s requirements.
Traditional sales onboarding measures fall short when accounting for a new employee’s competency level. That’s why, according to analysts, time to competency is the new critical statistic in sales onboarding for not only speeding up onboarding but also keeping sales personnel.
Unlike standard sales onboarding measures like Time to quota or Time to first sale, Time to competency has no hard and fast rules, at least not when you first apply it. While Time to competency is still a leading metric (one that can be measured as a direct result of your efforts), it is more of a holistic metric that, when properly applied, leads to more effective initiatives to uplevel the sales organization’s skills.
So, why is it so crucial to have enough time to become competent? “Prioritizing competency is vital for sellers to stay up with the speed of fast change in the modern selling environment,” according to Sales Enablement Pro. Market conditions vary, sales tactics come and go, but sales skills such as written communication, active listening, negotiation, and research, to mention a few, are evergreen and transportable, regardless of trends or circumstances.
According to research, employers who focus on strengthening employee competencies have reduced attrition rates. It implies that you value them enough to invest in their professional growth. According to recent reports from staffing gurus LinkedIn, BambooHR, and others, it is crucial in lowering employee turnover.
When it comes to measuring time to competency, how do you do it?
When you look at each level of the Sales Talent Lifecycle, you can understand why each company’s time to competency must be defined differently.
The method you choose will be decided by the competencies you choose, and the average time it takes new sales reps at your organization to achieve the degree of success you think is required before going out into the field. This will be determined by the complexity of your products or services, the level of expertise and industry knowledge of new hires, and the efficiency with which your sales and enablement teams train new employees in skills.
The following are examples of common sales talents and competencies:
- Knowledge of the product and its placement
- Message pitching and delivery
- Identifying prospects’ goals
- Developing customer relationships and gaining customer trust
- Communication via the written word
- CRMs and other tools are being used
Methods and tools for accelerating employee onboarding
Through sales enablement solutions like those described below, you can reinforce, train, and track the essential capabilities you’ve specified for your company’s sellers.
- Sales rep scorecards
Scorecards for sales reps assess individual progress in training and sales procedures, providing a holistic, all-encompassing perspective that includes more than just demos scheduled. Scorecards incorporate data from a sales rep’s training courses, curriculums, coaching challenges, conversation intelligence, and more, as well as performance data from your CRM, all of which are related to the individual.
- Conversation Intelligence
Perfect pitches, how salespeople connect with customers, their tone and attitude during sales conversations, how often and effectively they listen, and more are all taught and tracked through Conversational Intelligence. Conversational Intelligence is an excellent tool for scaling onboarding and training programmes that improve conversational skills without consuming all of your sales managers’ time.
- Sales Coaching
Sales coaching tools allow you to change machine learning (in some scenarios) as well as your top salespeople and sales executives to pass on their knowledge. They also assist sales leaders in developing their own talents as coaches, managers, and educators, which aids in their professional development and commitment to your company.
A structured certification programme is a distinction that aids in attracting and retaining top sales talent. Certifications attest to the fact that sellers have demonstrated working capability in a variety of sales techniques. They also serve as a career development tool that not only benefits employees in the long run, but also tells them that your firm cares about their development beyond its own.
- Customer Feedback
When it comes to your sales people, don’t forget about your most significant source of information: your consumers! Customer satisfaction and support during the sales process are excellent (and free!) indicators of your sales agents’ competence. Start tracking consumer feedback right now if you haven’t already.
The message here is that boosting sales onboarding is a strategy of minimising turnover and retaining sales talent as well as getting new employees up to speed faster. The numbers will follow, and your top performers will stay, if you focus on increasing sales skills and developing onboarding programmes around time to competency. They might even enlist the help of their buddies.
To learn more about how Mindtickle can be your sales onboarding solutions, contact us!