A recent U.S. Marines recruitment commercial shows a rag-tag group of cadets as they go through basic training. By the end of the 30-second commercial they are fully trained marines saluting in impeccable dress uniforms. If only sales recruiting were so easy and so fast.
It can take over two years for a manufacturer to onboard and train a new sales rep. What can you do? Is there a way to reduce the time, cost and loss of momentum you must go through to make them effective in their role? Here are the 3 common onboarding challenges and how eRep CPQ software can help.
Sales Rep Onboarding Challenge #1: Efficient Training
Onboarding sales reps often means more than just teaching them the product and services aspects of your business. They also need to be comfortable with what applications your products apply to, and how to price it accurately without making mistakes that can cost them.
What’s more, reps must be oriented and trained on how your products are the solution to certain problems. If your pricing and discounts are complex, that also can be daunting. When it comes to learning your products, they may experience information overload. You need processes and tools to engage them while reinforcing what they learn so they can sell confidently.
Sales Rep Onboarding Challenge #2: Skills, Knowledge and Proficiency Ramp Up
One of the most difficult parts of training sales reps is getting them up to speed with product knowledge and relating that to pricing. This is because product options and accessories may not go with other options and accessories. Busy sales reps don’t always have time to look up price PDFs or lists. Pulling together the right sales and technical documents for the combinations of options can also be error-prone for inexperienced reps.
New sales reps have enough on their plate. As the complexities of a product and pricing increases, so does the risk they’ll make mistakes. Reps must feel confident they’re giving a customer an accurate price. Otherwise, they’ll avoid quoting the product to customers.
Sales Rep Onboarding Challenge #3: Effectively Managing Channel Sales
After getting new sales reps through basic training, a new challenge awaits their sales managers — actually managing the reps out in the field. Channel reseller partners must almost be treated like a special forces unit.
Your managers must find the leadership ability, persuasiveness, and inspire common goals that create alignment with your rep partners. What they need is a common platform for identifying opportunities, collaborating with subject matter experts, and managing the complexities of configuring, pricing, and quoting products that solve their prospect’s problems.
How eRep CPQ Helps Onboard Sales Reps Faster While Cutting Your Costs
1. Expedited Learning
eRep helps new reps learn how to select, configure and price products with the right options and accessories accurately without mistakes. The guided selling tools such as eRep’s Product Finder, selection software, and rules-based configurator helps reps select the right product for their customer’s application and requirements..
The intuitive eRep interface gets new reps up to speed faster than a catalog or spreadsheet. Once they’ve selected a product, eRep’s dynamic pricing screen shows what options, accessories and configurations are available. As opposed to other software solutions such as Salesforce CPQ, eRep’s validation rules run in real-time. This saves time, eliminates errors and automatically applies discounts and commissions.
2. Ongoing Efficiency Improvements
A burden many sales reps typically face is having to source all the product’s sales and technical documents to go with a quote. This can take hours – hours away from selling. eRep automatically gathers all the right sales and technical documents for the products, options, and accessories quoted. Following up on these quotes is a breeze with eRep, as reps can review follow-up and bid-due dates on their eRep dashboard.
During your eRep implementation you’ll be able create and deploy a unique proposal template customized to your specifications. Drawing on our team’s two decades of experience, we’ll help you create multiple quote and proposal templates so you’ll have the right one for each quote. Our Product Document Generator lets reps add documents such as sell sheets, brochures, wiring diagrams, and cut sheets saving a rep hours of additional effort.
3. Improve Channel Sales Effectiveness
eRep helps your sales managers support channel partners by giving them insights on potential training needs. Managers can review sales activities and provide product updates inside the same platform they use for every day quoting and opportunity management.
Channel Sales Managers get a dashboard to review their rep’s activities so they can reach out and provide proactive support to close more sales. The reports powering these dashboards can include quoting and project creation, product specific reports, pipeline reports and even track how often reps are logging in, helping sales managers to drill down and gain visibility into areas of opportunity for improvement. Moreover, eRep’s reports and dashboards deliver actionable intelligence that enables your entire team to respond faster and improve results.
What eRep Customers Are Saying
One eRep client grew a new product line from zero to 100 million in sales in 6 years. They chose eRep to roll out the new product to a new sales channel–a market-leading manufacturer with over 30K employees.
“We could never have done this without your software because of the time it would’ve taken to get several hundred sales reps trained on our products. It would’ve taken too much manpower.” – Sales Manager
Learn More About Onboarding Sales Reps faster with eRep
If you want to scale your sales by onboarding new reps, let us show you how eRep helps train, price, quote, and order faster. Click here to get a complimentary consultation to learn more about how eRep can help you maximize your ROI and shorten the learning curve for your new sales reps.
Photo by Meghan Holmes on Unsplash