The best sales professionals make selling look easy because they know how to apply their experiences and relationships to the selling process to meet customers’ needs. It’s a skill that takes practice, training and time to perfect.
BAO’s recent survey uncovered that an overwhelming majority of inside sales leaders at high tech organizations hire ISRs with 1 to 2 years of inside sales experience (74%) or recent college graduates (41%). Sales leaders also report that 25% of new hires are career changers that are new to the sales role. With inside sales leaders hiring junior and/or inexperienced people, training and onboarding takes on increasing importance.
A Better Prepared Team Gets Results
The lack of experience within inside sales organizations makes the process of training and onboarding new ISRs critical to the success of any organization. Unfortunately, most companies spend less than 3 weeks on the training process. Almost half (48%) of respondents indicate that their organization offers just 2 to 3 weeks of training for new inside reps. This is particularly detrimental if the majority of the inside sales team is comprised of new grads.
While training and onboarding skews toward periods of 3 weeks or less, making early investments drives longer-term results.
Of the respondents who said that their inside reps attain 70-100% of quota, 32% offer 4 weeks or more of training, and 43% offer 2-3 weeks of training.
Half of companies surveyed provide specific training on objection handling and negotiations exercises. While 45% report that they train employees on soft skills, such as communication basics or time management. When it comes to training methods, 44% of companies provide coaching through call recording or videos and 61% utilize job shadowing.
The BAO Training Academy
So what can be done to ensure ISRs hit the ground running with the skills to be successful? At BAO, we instituted the BAO Training Academy. The BAO Academy offers a core curriculum for ISRs to become cold calling experts, focused on individual skill development with client satisfaction at the forefront. It is a robust training program designed to enable ISRs to achieve greater pitch effectiveness and higher close ratios.
In total the BAO Academy offers over 150 unique classes to ISRs that begin in an intensive classroom environment and then branch out to include one-on-one coaching and job shadowing. The core curriculum of the BAO Academy takes six months to complete, but advanced courses are offered on an ongoing basis for 12, 18 and 24 months beyond an ISR’s hire date.
The BAO Academy offers a wide range of courses to our ISRs to help them become the well-rounded sales people they need to be to achieve results for our clients. We start with the basics (“Anatomy of a Call”) and work our way up to more nuanced areas (Psychology & Attitude). Other courses include: “Pitching, Closing and Objection Handling; “Phone Productivity,” “Gatekeepers,” “Time Management and Daily Planning,” “Understanding Your Audience: A Day in the Life Overview of Lines of Business Buyers”).