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How to Improve Your Sales Ramp Rate (The Easy Way)

Your sales ramp rate, or how quickly you can onboard new hires and get them hitting their quotas, is imperative to your company’s success. The longer it takes for your new sales reps to start selling, the more resources are drained and the more money it costs.

The traditional way of getting new hires up to speed is neither the easiest nor the most cost-effective. Right now, U.S. companies spend an average of $1,459 per salesperson for training, which is 20% more than companies spend on other employees -- but the training simply isn’t doing its job. Typically, salespeople don’t hit their full potential until 12 months after being hired, and with the average salesperson staying less than two years in a job, the quick turnover could be your company’s downfall.

Smart companies are finding that it’s easier, faster, and cheaper to employ modernized video training to increase their ramp rates -- otherwise, by the time their salespeople are able to sell at an optimal level, they need to start training new hires again.

What is my sales ramp rate?

Knowing your sales ramp rate is critical to the health of your sales organization. While it may not seem like a big deal if your ramp rate is three months vs. five months, the numbers disagree. That simple two month difference could be costing your company tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

So, how do you calculate your sales ramp rate? Try one of these three options:

100% Quota: If your team operates within a regular sales cycle, simply identify the average of how long it takes your reps to hit 100% of the quota they are given. While this works for established teams, keep in mind that it doesn’t take into account a new rep’s abilities, and whether they bring in new clients or start with long-standing accounts.

Sales Cycle + 90: This may be the easiest method to quickly find out your sales ramp rate: just take your sales cycle, and add 90 days to it. While this isn’t the most precise option, it’s good for smaller companies and/or those that don’t have in-depth sales data to go off of.

Training + Sales Cycle +/- Experience: If you’re looking for the most accurate sales ramp rate, this is the best option out there. This method takes into account your onboarding time, your average sales cycle, and your reps’ experience. Combine your company’s allotted onboarding time with your average sales cycle. Then, add or subtract days for each year of experience a new rep has. Make sure you’re consistent with everyone to make the formula work. (For example: 14 days training + 120 days sales cycle – 7 days training for 7 years of experience = 127 days)

Improving your ramp rate with video

Unhappy with your sales ramp rate? You’re definitely not alone. The bigger question is: how do you improve it?

It’s no accident that companies with optimal sales ramp rates often have some form of integrated video training, enabling them to meet the needs of their increasingly younger, more tech-savvy workforces.

Of course, simply having a video training program isn’t enough. Here are the most effective ways to immediately start improving your sales ramp rate with video:
1. Offer non-generic training videos, and update them regularly.
Your sales reps need to quickly learn key info that relates to your company, so don’t just hand them a broad, one-size-fits-all training manual. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read documents, so try creating a series of digestible videos that focus on your product and/or services. Your reps will be more likely to watch the content, and you can easily swap out old videos with new ones whenever there are relevant product updates and case studies. And given that buyers say that 78% of salespeople don’t have relevant examples or case studies to share, it’s evident that most reps aren’t being properly trained on the specific, customized content they need to succeed.
2. Provide ongoing training to improve comprehension and retention.
One of the biggest contributors to a poor sales ramp rate is when a company only provides training during onboarding. This is unfortunate, since studies show that traditional onboarding (in which new hires are given a large amount of information over a short period of time) only leads to a retention rate of about 10%. Using video to train is a far more effective model, since video can actually increase the retention rate to 65%. But switching to a video training model doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. The Harvard Business Review says that curriculum-based training is still useful for selling methodology and time management, and should be treated as a foundation upon which to build a more modern training program.
3. Livestream your sales leaders and coaches.
If your ramp rate needs improving, put your top salespeople on camera to demonstrate best practices for new hires. Research shows that when leaders model success, new employees actually work harder. You want your top sellers to be in the field as much as possible, so featuring them via livestreamed training sessions can give you the best of both worlds: the opportunity for real time interaction, without significantly cutting into key selling hours. Plus, sales leaders that coach their reps earlier in the funnel (as opposed to waiting until it’s time to close a deal) can drive a 55% increase in new-business meetings, as well as a 50% reduction in onboarding time.
4. Practice the entire sales cycle.
If you’re just training your new hires on the initial parts of the sales cycle, it’s unlikely they will start hitting their quotas faster. Practicing the entire sales process can help new reps learn how to close better, and according to Harvard Business Review, 75% of buyers have their decision made up halfway through the process - so properly training your reps up to the midpoint is increasingly important. Try offering interactive, livestreamed practice sessions for your reps, and don’t be afraid to make the practice sales harder than real ones; research shows that exposure therapy that can reduce fear in new salespeople. Pair the practice sessions with pre-recorded training videos that cover each interaction of the sales cycle, and make everything available on-demand for repeat viewing. Practice makes perfect!
5. Make all training content easily accessible.
It’s much easier to improve your ramp rate when your sales reps have quick, easy access to the wealth of information you’ve provided, and aren’t restricted to in-person meetings and time zones. Make all of your video materials available on-demand and available to view via phones, tablets, and laptops, so that they can review what they need, even on the go. Giving new hires the keys to an on-demand education is not only empowering, but should lead to quicker comprehension of the products they’re selling and the best practices you want them to employ.


Are you ready to find out how Brandlive’s interactive video solution program will easily and quickly improve your sales ramp rate? Contact us for more info today!
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