- SELL SMARTER
How to Cut Commercial Service Sales Rep Ramp Time by 50%
Your sales rep ramp-up time is probably long. But the longer it is, the more likely you are to lose talented sales staff to your competitors. After all, your reps want to start earning commission as soon as possible, and there is no shortage of sales jobs for them across other commercial service providers.
Inefficiency is common in the typical ramp-up process. New reps may slow the process down by chasing down information on unlikely prospects, or they may duplicate market research that other tenured team members have already conducted. Or new hires could be thrown into sales conversations before they’re ready, making missteps that end up costing your company valuable leads.
You can cut your sales rep ramp-up time in half by using sales intelligence software. Sales intelligence software will help you connect new reps with in-depth information and data about their market, goals, and contacts so they can start making sales quickly and feel more invested in your company’s success.
Here are the steps you can take to reduce your reps’ ramp-up time and get them ready to sell.
Define Your Ideal Prospect (Using Sales Intelligence Software)
Prospecting is time consuming for most sales reps. New hires, in particular, may struggle with prospecting because they haven’t developed the instinct for which prospects are a good match for your company (and which aren’t). To make new reps more efficient, develop a detailed profile of your ideal prospects—and the best way to do that is with sales intelligence software.
A sales intelligence tool can draw information from existing property data sources to help your reps pre-qualify businesses as leads. Our software, Atlas, draws from proprietary data sources to generate contact information, property details, location, and industry for each prospect—and saves that information in a user-friendly database. This includes information like:
- Building type, size, location, zoning, and age
- Permit history showing past renovations for each building
- Ownership details and tenant information for each property
- Contact information for the decision-makers of each prospect
Gathering this data manually would require your new reps to spend time searching through property records, cold calling until they reach the right decision-maker for each property, and visiting locations on foot to determine if they represent a good prospect. A sales intelligence tool negates the need for that extra legwork and gathers that information automatically, consolidating it into a central database your reps can search.
Streamlining the lead prospecting process will reduce your reps’ ramp-up time. One of our customers, Comfort Systems USA, was able to reduce their ramp-up time by around 65% by providing their new hires with consolidated lead information as soon as possible. Using Atlas, they whittled a formerly six- to nine-month process down to two to three months.
Set Waterfall Goals and Teach New Hires How to Prioritize
Your new reps likely expect a sales quota (and they probably can’t wait to start exceeding it), but setting waterfall goals during the ramp-up period can keep them motivated and progressing on track.
Waterfall goals have metrics that slowly increase over a regular period of time, like increasing the number of calls a new rep makes by 10 each week. Waterfall goals are a great way to offer new hires small, manageable targets to reach for. They encourage new reps to make steady progress without overwhelming them early on.
As you encourage your new hires to meet waterfall goals, teach them how to prioritize, so they always know where to focus their efforts first. If they can’t meet all of their goals this month, which is the most important, and which one comes second? Explain which of their individual goals are linked with your overall company success metrics, so they can make informed choices on their priorities.
As a sales team manager, you’ll also need to implement a way to track your new reps’ progress, so you know where to offer specific feedback or additional support. Create a central tracking system to stay up to date on each rep’s progress as they ramp up—and offer personalized, individual coaching where it’s needed. Your method for tracking could be as simple as a spreadsheet where each rep lists their goals and updates their progress, or you could use dedicated software like Atlas to organize your team’s activity.
Run Cold Call Sprints
New reps sometimes shy away from making cold calls, preferring instead to lean on networking or referrals for new leads. However, cold calling is a reliable way to fill the funnel—and your new hires need prospects to ramp up quickly—and, unlike networking and referrals, it’s entirely under your team’s control. Running cold call sprints is a great way to reduce new reps’ discomfort and encourage them to build cold calling into a habit.
A cold call sprint is a weekly team schedule that blocks out specific chunks of time for:
- Calling new prospects
- Tracking the numbers of calls, introductions made, first appointments scheduled, and other metrics important to your team
- Re-evaluating scripts and overall approaches to see where you can make improvements
Cold call sprints can help your new hires ramp up by workshopping their skills, building their confidence, and increasing their sense of comradery with the sales team. Because part of the sprint cycle is devoted to evaluating and improving performance, you can identify specific areas for improvement for each new rep and provide them with targeted feedback.
You can also role play to help them practice the areas they’re struggling with. If they’re stumbling over the pitch in their cold call script, focus your practice there and don’t waste time running through introductions.
Tie cold call sprints with their sales goals to keep their efforts focused (and you can learn more about how to calculate cold calling goals here). For more tips on getting your team into the habit of cold calling, check out our webinar for high-performing sales teams.
Support Your New Reps With Sales Intelligence Software
Achieving an efficient, fast-moving sales team takes data and a streamlined system for organizing it. You can set your sales reps up for success with Atlas from Convex. Our sales intelligence software offers your team all of the information they need to understand the market, identify opportunities, and reach the right people—all organized into a streamlined, easy-to-use database. Schedule a demo today.
Whitney is the VP of Marketing at Convex, with more than 10 years of B2B marketing experience. She’s previously led product marketing at AppDynamics and within GE’s power business. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia.
Originally published on January 3, 2022 Updated on August 25, 2022