How to Engage and Retain Star Sales Reps

Sam is thrilled to be the newest recruiter for his alma mater. His job looks a lot like sales— producing leads for the enrollment team, educating prospective students on the school’s programs, and collaborating with other recruiters. Sam is thrilled to get started but has to wait three weeks before he’s officially part of the team. That’s the next time his new employer offers new hire onboarding, which requires him to make an 8-hour trip to the school’s main campus for a week of in-person training.

Once Sam arrives at training, he’s overwhelmed with the information overload. By the end of the week, he has little grasp on the school’s suite of programs. After nearly six months of lackluster performance, and without any guidance on job-specific best practices—he decides to move on to a new opportunity.

This scenario happens thousands of times for hundreds of sales teams across the globe. In fact, turnover for sales reps averages 20% per year. But forward-thinking sales teams decide to do something about it. Recently, one of Lessonly’s newest partners realized that their training program needed a transformation: it was the ideal opportunity to engage and retain their best sales reps from all over the country.

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Optimize the onboarding process

There are many reasons for high rep turnover—but poor onboarding is at the top of the list. Onboarding is a new rep’s first impression of the company (outside of the recruiting and hiring process), so it’s critical to provide high-quality, engaging onboarding that equips reps with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Before using Lessonly, one of our customers required reps from all over the country to travel to the main office for a week-long, in-person onboarding program. The process was costly, difficult to schedule, and tough to track. They also found that training was ineffective—it focused too heavily on procedures and systems instead of on-the-job skills. This left many reps unprepared when it was time to go out into the sales world.

With Lessonly, our customer moved their in-person onboarding program online. The program, which is available anytime and anywhere, significantly reduces time spent on onboarding. New reps no longer need to travel and leaders aren’t required to stop what they’re doing to run the onboarding. The team has shifted the learning materials—prioritizing helpful sales and lead development skills over basic information about policies and systems. This method is highly engaging—with 99% learner satisfaction. But this is just the first step toward improving employee retention and reducing ramp time to productivity for new team members.

Cultivate a long-term learning environment

Once reps complete effective onboarding training, it’s essential that they stick around and make an impact. On average, nearly 90% of employees decide whether to stay or leave a company within the first six months—proving organizations need to focus on ways to retain employees. Leading organizations with long-term employee retention provide ongoing learning and development opportunities that keep the team engaged, reinforce their skills, and maximize performance.

The same Lessonly customer recognized the correlation between ongoing learning and employee retention. Before Lessonly, they provided monthly web conferences with four different sessions—Each rep could choose one session to attend. This web conference format was difficult to balance with their already hectic schedule, and if the session times didn’t fit in with their other meetings and tasks, they had to skip training and wait until the next month. Reps found this training strategy to be cumbersome—and less-than-helpful.

So our customer used Lessonly to provide existing reps with better ongoing learning opportunities with more relevant learning material. Instead of featuring knowledge from only a handful of senior-level leaders, the team leveraged the entire sales team to assist in content and training creation. Now, every rep has access to an extensive learning library with beneficial content on crucial topics. This form of training has sparked a culture of learning with team performance and retention reaping the benefits.

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If you want to build a high-performing sales team, engaging and retaining the best sales reps is critical. This also defrays the significant cost of regularly hiring, training, and retraining employees. As seen with this Lessonly customer—when reps have the chance to learn what great work looks like—they’re more engaged, more productive, and close more deals.

Streamline sales onboarding and training with Lessonly

Lessonly’s powerfully simple software is purpose-built to help sales managers and trainers onboard, train, and transform their teams. In fact, world-class customers like FiscalNote use Lessonly to reduce rep ramp time, increase team productivity, and maximize training ROI. See how Lessonly could improve your sales organization, and take a tour today.

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