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Sales Training and Onboarding Software 2020: Complete Guide

What is Sales Training and Onboarding?

Sales is known to have high attrition, short tenure, and long ramp up time. Studies say it often takes reps over a year to get as productive as tenured reps. As an organization, you would like to see revenues coming in early from sales reps. And this is where sales training and onboarding becomes really important. Sales training and onboarding are having a set of processes that the new sales rep has to go through so that he becomes an integral part of the organization and revenue ready as soon as possible.

Sales training involves doing their orientation, training them on how to use the CRM, your sales methodology, demo training, setting goals, acclimate them to their roles and responsibilities, etc.

The latest trends in this space are most organizations focus more on sales readiness than just training. Training focuses on knowledge about the product, customer, industry, and sales methodology and Sales Readiness focuses on preparing the rep for the customer with information, skills, guidance, etc. Sales readiness goes one step further than sales training in the sense that while training and onboarding is a one-time activity, readiness is a continuous process.

What is Sales Training and Onboarding Software?

Sales training and onboarding software help managers develop courses, programs, certifications to train and assess rep knowledge and allow them to coach the reps to reduce time to revenue.

This software can be used to store learning material and design personalized training modules for each rep. They also track the progress of each rep for their respective modules, assess their performance, and identify improvement areas. Managers can further use this information to coach reps and improve training outcomes.

Sales readiness software offers more capabilities in terms of continuous learning. These include microlearning, mobile learning, role play, etc. Since the tools identify your improvement areas, managers can design microlearning modules that will reinforce skills and knowledge with micro-interactions like quizzes, role plays, etc.

What is Sales Training and Onboarding Software?

Onboard faster - Train continuously - Coach personally

Who uses Sales Training and Onboarding Software?

Sales Reps

Sales reps primarily use this tool to ramp up on product knowledge, customer details, and organization sales process. They also use them to hone their skills, identify improvement areas, and train themselves to be customer-ready as soon as possible.

Sales Managers

Managers use this software to design training and onboarding programs for the sales reps, track their performance, and deliver personalized coaching to sales reps.

Benefits of Using Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Increase in Revenue

The faster the reps become quota hitting the faster the revenue starts kicking in. Training and onboarding software directly impact the top line of the company. They reduce the typical onboarding time to half and also aim to push the average performers into A performers thus increasing revenue per rep. They do so by identifying a weakness, continuously working on them, and delivering personalized coaching to improve the revenue output of each rep. Increased revenue directly justifies the ROI on training software.

Reduce Onboarding Time

Organizations hire sales teams to get revenue. It takes time for each new rep to go from a new hire to a quota hitting rep. The only lever that managers have to reduce this time is through sales training and the onboarding process. Hence it is extremely critical to have a tool that streamlines the process and reduces the onboarding time. This software reduces onboarding time with creating a personalized learning path for each rep and trains them on improvement areas continuously to make the rep customer-ready as soon as possible.

In order to help scale onboarding efforts nationally, we had sales leaders and new sales team members seamlessly engage collaboratively in one single platform. This approach helped us build several different learning programs that link directly to customer-facing sales activities and funnel, per market segment. As such we are positively impacting onboarding metrics like reducing ramp time by 30 % to 50% in some cases.

R N

Ralph N

Senior Learning Specialist

Improve Sales Performance

With better training, continuous learning, and real-time feedback, reps are set up for better performance. They can up their game on the go and receive continuous input on improvement areas to help form new behaviors that help in boosting rep output.

Consistent Messaging

Continuous learning and spaced reinforcement used my microlearning solutions to ensure that the message sticks across the sales teams and helps them deliver a consistent product, company, and sales messaging. This ensures that your brand story is consistent in the market which helps management differentiate their software.

Business Problems Solved by Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Business Problems Solved by Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Sales Training and Onboarding

Training and onboarding programs help reps get to revenue sooner and ultimately higher per rep revenue. The training and onboarding program involves giving the reps the necessary knowledge, upskilling them with practice modules, and evaluating their performance. Using the software, Reps can be trained on harder aspects such as product knowledge, sales methodology, using CRM, and also on softer aspects as well like the discovery of client needs, negotiation to get the best outcome for both players and closing the deal. The top 3 benefits of these tools include : -

  • High Product / Customer Knowledge
  • Managers use these tools to design specific courses to improve knowledge about the product, its features, customers, industry, etc. Reps, on the other hand, use this software to learn about the products they are selling, features and product updates, customer objections, competitor information, and latest customer/market trends, etc.
  • Higher Engagement with Training programs
  • Since microlearning tools don't interfere with rep selling time and leverage the rep free time to deliver training, reps are more than happy to use them. Combine it with gamification features that make training enjoyable, the engagement levels of reps with training software is very high.
  • Improved Retention and Improved Training Outcomes
  • Over 70% of training is forgotten within the first 30 days. Reinforcing the learning with continuous and spaced repetition helps achieve high retention and more sticky behaviors. These tools allow managers to capture best videos recording to reinforce best practices and facilitate peer to peer learning.

Sales Coaching

Sales reps can practice their pitches with the help of video recordings. The tools give them auto-generated feedback (talking rate, facial emotions, etc) and they can collect feedback from peers as well. Working on that feedback the reps can improve their pitch and submit it for managers’ approval. Managers can give pointed feedback on the practice modules on improvement areas. Once the tests have evaluated the performance of the reps, managers can design personalized training programs for each rep. They can also conduct one to one coaching sessions to review the rep performance (on the tests or practice modules or video role plays). These tools also provide coaching recommendations to managers.

Customer Ready Sales Teams

This is the biggest value proposition of sales readiness software. With training and learning continuously delivered to the sales reps, the reps are ready for the customer for all questions and objections about the product or company.

Dashboard and Analytics

Managers can easily track the progress, proficiency, and performance of their sales teams across the organization. They have dashboards to visually show how their reps are making progress across courses and activities. It also gives detailed analytics on clicks, views, retention to better understand rep engagement with the training program.

Key Features of Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Tests and Assessments

Readiness software has course authoring and course management capabilities that allow managers to design different courses for different needs and skills. These courses train reps with the help of learning material and conduct regular assessments to identify improvement areas. Some tools use gamification to use these tools to make the learning and training process more enjoyable. Reps have a dashboard where they can track their performance from what they have done, how well they have performed, what they have to do next. They also have practice modules where the rep can upskill on his weak areas. Finally, on course completion, certifications and badges are given for your sales reps, resellers and channel partners

Video Practice / Role Plays

Managers can assign role play assignments / simulated sales scenarios for the reps at a weekly or daily level. Reps record their videos, pitches, tasks, and submit them back for feedback. Peers and managers can review these recordings and give feedback on multiple dimensions. Some tools have video scoring capabilities so that the software can score them on given parameters and prioritize the videos which need the manager’s attention the most.

The Missions and Coaching session modules are the foundation to cultivating a reps mastery of skills. Not only can a rep practice and fine-tune their craft, but they can get quality feedback from anyone...manager or peer. The tribal knowledge can be shared and put to good use immediately.

M O

Mike O

Sales Enablement Manager

Microlearning

The biggest problem reps are facing these days is the dynamic nature of the product portfolio (its ever-changing features) and information overload that comes with it. Sales readiness tools use microlearning to address this issue, i.e. they train the reps wherever they are, on any skill they need to train for, etc. Microlearning involves delivering byte-sized content (job-specific micro Q&A) to sales reps to reinforce learning for long term retention through repetition. Performance and evaluation become continuous activities instead of being an one time event enabling managers to track progress.

Another biggest advantage of microlearning is that it fits directly into the daily behaviors of the sales reps without disrupting their selling time. This means no more taking time out to do learning which is a huge plus. Reinforcing learning has a direct impact on sales behaviors. Spaced Repetition ensures that new learned knowledge stays and behaviors stick. This coupled with gamification (leaderboards and badging) improves the efficacy of the overall training programs.

I like the gamification of the learning process. I'm a competitive person and seeing where I rank amongst my peer group motivates me even more. I also love the review questions. It helps me to pay more attention and to make sure I'm grasping the idea my managers/ trainers want me to understand.

A Y

Abigail Y

Talent Engagement Lead

AI in Sales Training and Onboarding Software

AI for Video Scoring

Sales reps submit video recordings of their role plays for peer and manager feedback. But how many videos can the manager see? How long will the rep have to wait till he gets feedback?

All these problems are solved by AI and ML employed by training solutions.

As soon as the rep submits the video, the tool can transcribe the conversation, score the video on defined parameters like speaking rate, use of filler words, etc. It can also do a facial mapping of emotions from the video and tell the rep how his pitch will be perceived by the buyer. This helps the rep get instant feedback and make progress without having to wait for manager feedback.

For the manager, the tool can prioritize the videos so that the most important ones get the manager’s attention first. This helps both the managers and reps in need, simultaneously.

Buyers Guide - Guide to Choose Right Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Who should buy sales training software?

When the company is small, the training and onboarding are usually done in house by the existing team members. But when you are a large organization selling multiple products and your sales methodology has been ironed out, it’s usually time to buy a training solution. Typical symptoms these manifests are - managers don’t get enough time to educate reps, Onboarding time is too high, retention of product information is low, messaging is all over the place, etc.

These days software comes that are specialized for certain industries. Certain video recording solutions that are trained to understand the jargon of industries like Voiceops understand travel and finance industries and are ideally designed to train people from these industries better.

Finally, if your product is complex and needs a high learning curve for the user, it implies that it will need a good trained sales force (and customer service) to effectively communicate the merits of the product.

How do you want to train your workforce?

If your product is complex and has a high learning curve, you want your sales team to be training properly trained and knowledgeable about the product before they hit the market. For these cases, where you want to train them on harder aspects of sales (product knowledge), it makes sense to have personalized learning paths and tests and assessments to evaluate the understanding of sales reps.

If you think your sales team needs more work on presentation and softer aspects of the sales pitch, its best to go for a video coaching solution where they can practice their delivery and their sessions can be reviewed by the manager or peers.

Finally, since most of the knowledge is lost within the first 30 days, you may want to go for a microlearning solution that continuously reinforces the learning until it is fully assimilated.

You can buy these pieces individually or as an entire package as well, depending on the need of your organization. For example, Allego does a good job of video practice, while Brainshark is good for all three i.e. tests, video practice and microlearning.

How do you want to use AI?

AI is used heavily in call and video recording solutions. AI can score the video and call recordings to prioritize the videos that need immediate attention, otherwise, managers have to spend time browsing through the entire list. Some coaching solutions use AI to score while others only restrict themselves to transcription and recording.

Mobile- Readiness

This is a very important factor when deciding a training and onboarding solution especially when you are interested in microlearning. Since most reps are on the field and have a disdain for doing courses, utilizing their travel time to upgrade their knowledge and train them is beneficial to both. Most training solutions do have a mobile version ready, but it's important to check that as a buyer.

Integrations with CRM

Integrations with CRM can help embed training in reps flow of work. Deeper integrations would allow you to design training modules / in-context content for reps at the opportunity level. This is a huge plus since the reps can immediately learn about the deal/product with an in-context training module to come up to speed on the deal.

Challenges in adopting Sales Training Software

Team engagement

Salespeople are usually less keen to spend time on training and theoretical courses. This is compounded by the fact that they are averse to new technology. Hence keeping the sales team engaged is still a challenge. Some ideas could be to personalize the training program for the rep, mix up the content and delivery (videos), have actionable training (not theoretical), and make the delivery gamified.

Retention

Retention remains the biggest problem in sales training software. Most salespeople forget most of the content they learn in training programs. You really can't blame them because the market is changing, the product is changing, etc. And they don't like time taken out from their selling schedule and put into training. Studies suggest that salespeople can retain 87% with training, demonstrations, practice, and coaching. Hence it makes sense to buy solutions that have capabilities to address all the above activities. But the software can’t do it alone. It has to be backed up by the commitment from the management to make a training program success with regular coaching.

Buyers Guide - Guide to Choose Right  Sales Training and Onboarding Software

Source: From Salesbenchmarkindex.

Top 28 Sales Training and Onboarding Software

MindTickle Icon

MindTickle

4.59
★★★★★
★★★★★

MindTickle Sales Enablement | Sales Readiness and Sales enablement Platform. Putting Sales readiness to work.

ACTO Commercialization Cloud Icon

ACTO Commercialization Cloud

4.54
★★★★★
★★★★★

ACTO Commercialization Cloud | unified cloud platform designed for life sciences that delivers field effectiveness and powerful data insights

Saleshood Icon

Saleshood

4.47
★★★★★
★★★★★

Saleshood | Sales Enablement Proven To Boost Sales Attainment

The Sales Bar Icon

The Sales Bar

4.47
★★★★★
★★★★★

The Sales Bar | Online rep and manager training

Trivie Icon

Trivie

4.43
★★★★★
★★★★★

Trivie | Transform behavior change with retained knowledge

Rehearsal Icon

Rehearsal

4.37
★★★★★
★★★★★

Rehearsal | Video Role-Play Training Platform

Allego Icon

Allego

4.36
★★★★★
★★★★★

Allego | Sales Training and Readiness Software that combines video training, practice, coaching and collaboration

Brainshark Icon

Brainshark

4.35
★★★★★
★★★★★

Brainshark | sales enablement and readiness software equips businesses with the training, coaching

LevelJump Icon

LevelJump

4.35
★★★★★
★★★★★

LevelJump | Sales Onboarding & Training Software

ustudio Icon

ustudio

4.34
★★★★★
★★★★★

uStudio I Deliver corporate audio and video content securely to any device in a modern, mobile-first experience

Mindmatrix Icon

Mindmatrix

4.32
★★★★★
★★★★★

Mindmatrix | Single Unified Platform that combines PRM software, Direct Sales and Channel Enablement, Channel Marketing .

Xactly Sales Planning Icon

Xactly Sales Planning

4.18
★★★★★
★★★★★

Xactly Sales Planning | Sales Resource Planning & Capacity Management

Scrimmage Icon

Scrimmage

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Scrimmage | Mobile learning platform that empowers learners through easily accessible, engaging and integrated L&D tools, driving improved employee performance

Menemsha Sales Training Icon

Menemsha Sales Training

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

Menemsha Sales Training | Drive Consistent, Repeatable, Scalable Results with Sales Methodology

MX Sales Coach Icon

MX Sales Coach

4.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

MX Sales Coach | Customized microlearning solution

PointForward Icon

PointForward

.00
★★★★★
★★★★★

PointForward | Sales Readiness, Practice and Coaching Platform

Kahoot! Icon

Kahoot!

4.70
★★★★★
★★★★★

Kahoot! | game-based learning platform, used as educational technology

SkyPrep LMS Icon

SkyPrep LMS

4.66
★★★★★
★★★★★

Online Training Platform Features | SkyPrep

Lessonly Team Learning Icon

Lessonly Team Learning

4.65
★★★★★
★★★★★

Lessonly Team Learning | powerfully simple way for teams to learn and practice like never before

TalentLMS Icon

TalentLMS

4.61
★★★★★
★★★★★

TalentLMS | cloud LMS software to train your employees, partners and customers

ClosePlan Icon

ClosePlan

4.57
★★★★★
★★★★★

ClosePlan | combines your Sales Strategy, Sales Process and Sales Methodology natively in Salesforce

WorkRamp Training Software Icon

WorkRamp Training Software

4.49
★★★★★
★★★★★

WorkRamp Training Software - training software that helps companies increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction

Raven360 Icon

Raven360

4.44
★★★★★
★★★★★

Raven360 | Corporate Training Platform & LMS

Showpad Coach Icon

Showpad Coach

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

Showpad Coach | powerful sales coaching and training software enables you to Onboard

Qstream Icon

Qstream

4.39
★★★★★
★★★★★

Qstream | Mobile microlearning - Develop employee skills and change behaviors at scale

Knovio VIDEO FOR LEARNING Icon

Knovio VIDEO FOR LEARNING

4.25
★★★★★
★★★★★

Knovio VIDEO FOR LEARNING | ideal platform for organizing, sharing, and tracking video knowledge, from onboarding and training to all manner of communications -- to employees, customers

Gryphon Sales Performance Management Platform Icon

Gryphon Sales Performance Management Platform

4.18
★★★★★
★★★★★

Gryphon Networks: Sales and Marketing Effectiveness | SaaS Company

Blackboard Learn Icon

Blackboard Learn

3.88
★★★★★
★★★★★

Blackboard Learn | delivers a simpler, more powerful teaching and learning experience that goes beyond the traditional learning management system