This is the second post in our six-part series on using mobile and social learning to increase sales productivity.

Sales productivity is often a race against time, a balance between the time it takes a rep to reach full productivity vs the short tenure of most sales reps before they move on to other jobs.

In our last post, we looked at how mobile and social learning speeds ramp up by meeting Millennial learning needs. In this post, we’ll look at how social learning technology can help to tip that balance in your favor by speeding ramp up and making the onboarding process more efficient, engaging and effective.

Use technology to speed ramp up

Millennials love technology – especially their smart phones.

According to a study by Zogby Analytics on Millennial smart phone usage:

  • 87% of Millennials say that their smart phone never leaves their side.

  • 80% say that the first thing they do in the morning is reach for their smart phone.

  • 91% say having a camera function on their smart phone is important and 87% use it at least one a week – with more than a third (37%) using it daily. More than three in four (76%) who use the camera do so to post pictures and videos on social media.

Millennials’ love affair with their smart phones is good news for smart employers who can transform those mobile devices into a powerful platform for onboarding and cutting ramp-up time.

Mobile-centric, social learning platforms like SkillFitness offer several ways to leverage technology to speed ramp-up time.

  • The platform is designed to teach people – especially Millennials – in the way they want to learn…and learn best. Participants watch short videos focused on specific skills or best practices on their mobile devices; practice and record a video “selfie” of themselves demonstrating the skill; and then share the selfie video with peers and coaches or managers for evaluation, feedback, motivation and reward points. The platform seamlessly combines the video learning, social feedback, manager and peer coaching, and continuous feedback that Millennials demand. The result is more effective, engaging and faster learning and ramp up.

  • Providing training on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones allows reps to squeeze training into spare minutes in their already busy schedules. The convenience of anytime, anywhere learning increases time devoted to learning and decreases the time it takes for them to ramp up.

  • Trainers and managers can track participant participation, engagement and overall progress through built-in management dashboards. Their coach’s participation and quality of their feedback is also tracked. It’s easy to spot who is or is not engaged and who will or will not ramp up in the targeted time period.

Incorporate training into daily activities and the sales process.

With ramp-up times spanning 6-12 months, it would be expensive and disruptive to bring new sales people together for multiple training and onboarding sessions.  Mobile learning apps like SkillFitness solve that problem by turning any mobile device into a powerful anytime, anywhere learning platform. But they also solve another problem: Studies show that reps tend to forget a majority of what they’ve learned from traditional training sessions (as much as 80%, according to some studies).   To prepare reps and keep them productive, training needs to be delivered and reinforced throughout the extended ramp up period and beyond.

The challenge is to develop training and onboarding programs that align with the rep’s day-to-day activities.  Reps are well-known as just-in-time learners, looking for information only when they need it and practicing their delivery in front of customers.  You can turn this to your advantage by putting your content in context with their sales process, providing the information the reps need when they need it at each step of the sales process.

On-demand, anytime, anywhere mobile learning removes scheduling from the equation. Reps can review talking points, value propositions, objection handling and other information when they need it – increasing engagement, keeping them on message, and skyrocketing retention.

Of course, the big question is “Does this work?”.  Edina Realty Title used SkillFitness to cut ramp up time for new title closers from four-to-five months to one week. That’s up to an 80% reduction in onboarding them.  Read the case study here.

Ramping up your new reps more quickly can have a major payoff when it comes to increasing sales productivity.  In our next post, we’ll look at how to increase their effectiveness once they are ramped up and fully ready to sell. 

Schedule your personal, one-on-one, online demo today!

Or contact us to learn more about SkillFitness.