Why Sales Managers are Using Video for Salesperson Onboarding

Save money, time, and resources, and train people better, by doing…
Salesperson Onboarding with Video Practice

“Everyone likes ‘The Office.’ Everyone likes parties. Furthermore, everyone likes ‘The Office’ themed office parties.

If you’re a sales manager, you can fund your office’s next “the Office” themed office party and have lots left over. You just need to jump into using phone video recording and cloud video sharing to modernize your salesperson on boarding process. We’ll come up with about $20,000 in savings for you – plenty of money to spend on expensive “the Office” themed gags. Of course, you’ll probably spend it more responsibly, but that’s up to you.

Not only can you save thousands out of your budget but you’ll free up your own time to pursue bigger deals if you onboard sales people more efficiently.

Let’s talk about how we came up with this idea of serious savings (for that party) and much more time for you. There’s a simple answer: Less hand-holding! Some sales organizations have the budget to do this with a full-scale learning management system for sales onboarding, like Brainshark. It’s an amazing product that includes a video coaching component, but you can get the benefits of video much more affordably with more basic video platforms.

Consider a sales department in a small to mid sized firm. A 30/60/90 day onboarding program for new sales people is standard industry practice, as Brian Groth details here. Some of that onboarding requires trainer and trainee to be in the same place at the same time. Organizing those meetings and sitting through them can be really painful. And expensive. So some sales teams have brought video into the equation.

  • During the first 30 days, new team members watch introductory videos on the industry and market, how to operate the firm’s CRM, and so on.
  • In the next 30 days, videos might be customer case studies or learning the company’s discounting policy.
  • In the last 30 days, trainees watch videos about red flags during a sale or how to manage their sales forecast. They might even be asked to watch video and then respond by writing up how they’d deal with sales objections.

But all this watching is pretty passive. How do managers know that the new people are actually learning from this. There’s research out there that says passively watching video doesn’t do much for learning. People need to engage cognitively with it to learn from it and they need to practice the stuff they’re supposed to be able to do; your new salespeople are no exception. You need sales mastery, so your people need to watch briefly, engage with the video content through dialogue, and then practice repeatedly.

If your new recruit is watching a youtube video and has a question or five, they’ll have to note it and wait until your precious meeting time to bring it up. Now imagine on-boarding five question-having, video-watching recruits at the same time!

Let’s do some math. We assume your trainees have two questions per video, and you’re simultaneously on-boarding 5 trainees.

  • Assume that in-person meeting to address each question takes 5 minutes longer per question than answering with text right in the video delivery platform
  • Assume 10 videos in each 30 day cycle
  • 5 trainees x 10 videos x 2 questions/video x 5 mins/question = 500 minutes per 30 day cycle
  • 1500 minutes for the full 90 day plan
  • 25 hours over the on boarding period of questions/teaching that can be saved just in meeting time

We just calculated 25 hours of your manager’s time just due to inefficiency. Let’s think of that 25 hours in terms of money.

The average salary of regional sales manager in the USA is $79,847. Assuming your manager has a 40 hour work week and 48 working weeks (2 weeks vacation, 2 weeks sick), that’s $79,847/ year = $1,663.10 / week = $41.58 / hr.

So without enabling dialogue right within the video delivery platform you’d be spending $1039.67 on the manager’s hourly pay unnecessarily. But obviously, if you free up the manager to be productive for those 25 hours, and that’s worth a lot more. An experienced sales manager working on deals might bring in about $10,000 on average in 25 hours.

So over $1000 of base savings. And then $10,000 more in sales revenue.

But there are more savings to be found. The improved flow of feedback due to fewer in person meetings means that the onboarding period itself can become shorter. Sales people will be trained better and get working faster.

How much money would you save if a good video solutoin decreased your onboarding time by just 5%? Let’s do some math.

  1. Let’s assume an average junior sales professional brings in a lifetime customer value of $300,000
  2. The 3 month training period is 1/4 of a year
  3. Lost revenues in the 3 month training period would then be $75,000
  4. If there are 5 trainees losing money in the training period,
  5. You’ll be losing $375,000 in revenue.

What if the efficiency gain from your video solution made your on boarding process take 5% less time? So as opposed to 90 days, training would take 85 days. When your new people are working full time for those extra five days, they’ll bring in close to $20,000.

That’s just from using technology more effectively as the new hires watch and engage with the video.

But you may still wonder how much they retain long-term and how they’ll react in real situations with customers and clients. It would be better to SEE them perform and react, right?

Many companies use simulations to see the new sales team member perform in a more realistic setting.  But typically, sales simulations are done in-person with trainer and trainee. That’s also a logistical challenge, and WOW is it expensive.

What if there was a way to use video to cut down the cost of your time AND make sure video is really solving your problems and training your people to be great performers?

There is.  Here’s what you’d do:

  1. Come up with the top ten sales objections encountered in your industry and with your products.
  2. Prepare a rough script for each of these objections.
  3. Find a team member who’s good at acting as a customer, making these objections.
  4. Have that team member record those objections on his/her phone.
  5. Upload these objections to a video sharing platform or a WeVu team site.
  6. Then your new sales people can watch these at the right time and record themselves answering the objections.
  7. Managers and even consultant coaches can watch these responses and provide feedback tied to particular moments in the video.
  8. The new hire can review the comments and try again.

What’s great about this process is that no-one has to be in the same place at the same time to do it. It’s not video AS a meeting, it’s video to REPLACE meetings and training sessions.

With a two-way video platform for discussion and practice, your team will learn and practice the skills they need when it’s convenient. Distributed teams can do this anywhere. Using WeVu to store and organize your team’s self-recorded video, you and other managers can really coach them. The magic of smartphone video is that you don’t have to be in the same place at the same time.