New Sales Rep Ramp Up Taking Longer than Ever

If you are adding salespeople to help drive revenue growth, hoping to capitalize on the recovery and grab your share of the growing economy, you are not alone.

Twenty-nine percent of companies expect to expand their sales organizations between 10%-30% in the coming year, with over 6% expecting to grow a whopping 30%, this according to the Sales Execution Trends study of 200 worldwide sales leaders by our partner Qvidian.

The challenge with adding sales reps is that they require a large investment; with each salesperson costing $135,000 a year in sales support costs alone, and most importantly, take a long time to become effective, increasing the investment risk.
According to the CSO Insights, most salespeople take ten or more months to
 become fully productive. This despite the fact that most new rep are hired from similar industries, proving that even experienced reps can take a long time to start producing.
And Forrester indicates that it can take even longer, up to 36 months to effectiveness, in certain industries like technology, medical solutions and complex business services.

The New Salesperson and the Value Gap

One of the most important challenges for new sales reps to bridge is the value gap.
According to SiriusDecisions, the #1 reason for sales quota shortfall is the inability for sales reps to articulate value - the ability to clearly communicate the value to different stakeholders in industry relevant terms, as well as the ability to quantify the value to ever-frugal executives – now required to fuel 95% of purchase decisions (IDC).
Unfortunately, most sales reps, especially new ones, don’t do this very well:
  • 10% of sales reps are perceived as value-focused by prospects, according to research by Scott Santucci and Forrester’s Sales Enablement Practice.
  • Over 60% of buyers are disengaging with sales teams because the sales reps didn't present value or really understand the buyers' business challenges (Qvidian).

Minding the Value Gap

The new salesperson needs to be armed effectively to Mind the Value Gap by effectively articulating value. Unfortunately, most new sales reps are not equipped properly to ramp quickly.
You can help new reps and even veterans by addressing the following:
The right Value Message – the content needed to arm and train sales professionals on the right value messaging and quantification, and to serve as the foundation to build conversation tools.
 The right Value Messaging needs to include:
1.    Value Matrix – a guide to structure the messaging for different selling situations
2.    By Challenge – focusing on the challenges buyers are experiencing, cataloging research insights to help illuminate what others are experiencing in regards to the challenges.
3.    By Role - since each stakeholder has a different value perspective, the value messaging needs to be tuned for each to map to unique challenges each are experiencing and how the solution can address these challenges to deliver tangible bottom-line impact.
4.    Cost of Do Nothing – tallying the cost of not addressing the issue.
5.    Differentiating Value – understanding the unique features of the solution and how it can deliver incremental value above competitive offerings at a lower cost of ownership.
The right Value Conversation and Quantification – the sales tools needed to help guide the salesperson, to intelligently leverage the Value Messaging in each selling situation, and help to simplify the quantification of value.
The right Value Conversation & Quantification should include:
1.    Visual Storytelling – providing visually compelling imagery to help convey the value messaging in pictures vs. words – making the presentation more memorable and impactful.
2.    Insights – helping to present the right insights, and even collect insights from each customer conversation, aggregating, processing and leveraging these in each subsequent conversation
3.    Quantification – providing the tools needed to help salespeople collaborate with customers in tallying current “Do Nothing” costs and the cost savings, productivity / process improvement, risk mitigation and revenue improvement benefits.
4.    Situational Intelligence – automatically assembling the right visual storytelling, insights and quantification based on the profile of the customer, roles of stakeholders and discovery questions.
5.    Usage Intelligence – tracking what sales reps are leveraging the tools, what they are presenting, and how to fine-tune these for better ramp up and improvement.
6.    Customer Intelligence – tracking each customer interaction, discovery responses, analysis results and consumption of leave-behind reports, to fine tune the approach and drive improvements
Click here to learn more how you can arm new sales reps with the right tools to Mind the Value Gap and drive ramp up success.


Donerman said…
This post is brilliant Tom! And you delivered a lot of value with your points.

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