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Everbording: It’s one step ahead of onboarding

7 minutes read

Let’s say that your company has hired a bunch of new sales reps and now the pressure is on you to get those reps ready to sell. The VP of sales wants the new reps ramped up ASAP. But you need to ask yourself– is it enough to just ramp them up?

According to a report from Sales Enablement PRO, nearly a quarter of organizations say that onboarding new hires is one of their top three sales challenges. This is because their onboarding fails to get the new sellers to,

  • Retain what they have learned during the onboarding training
  • And gain a solid mastery of the skills that matter most in the field

It’s a frustrating reality that most onboarding programs fail to prepare sellers adequately with the skills and competencies they need to be successful. One of the main reasons for this is that onboarding is often a “one-and-done” activity that doesn’t include ongoing exercises to ensure that knowledge and skills are applied in the field.

So, it’s high time that the sales leaders focus on dynamic sales “everboarding” for their new sellers.

What is Sales Everboarding?

Everboarding is an approach to corporate new hire training that focuses on knowledge retention, mastery of subjects and skills. This approach recognizes that learners need repeated exposure to content in order to remember and retain the important concepts and facts.

It acknowledges that onboarding training might overwhelm new employees with too much information all at once, and provides a structure to review and reinforce their learning at regular intervals. For this purpose, it uses blended learning, combining virtual or in-person instructor-led training with a microlearning retention campaign and gamified assessments.

Why Traditional Onboarding just isn’t enough?

Let’s take a step back and talk about why traditional sales onboarding is not enough. There’s no doubt that onboarding is necessary to welcome new hires and get them familiar with your organization and their roles within it. And when it’s done right, onboarding can have an impact on an organization’s ability to meet its sales goals. In fact, research tells us that effective onboarding programs that meet or exceed sales reps’ expectations can improve quota attainment by 16.2%.

So it’s probably not surprising that many sales enablement teams are laser-focused on creating sales onboarding programs that include some combination of

  • Bootcamps
  • Instructor-led training
  • Self-paced learning
  • On-the-job learning
  • One-on-one coaching etc

But organizations, often, consider their reps to be ramped once they’ve completed their onboarding program (of one month or 3 months). In fact, “onboarded” and “ramped” are often used interchangeably. What’s more, some organizations go so far as to financially reward reps for completing onboarding tasks as quickly as possible, without regard for how much of what’s learned in onboarding actually sticks in the field.

And the unfortunate truth is that no matter how great your onboarding program is, your sales reps are bound to forget most of what they learn. Not convinced? Below are some facts that support our claim.

According to the Gartner research,

  • The sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training
  • And 87% forget it within a month

Apart from that, here are some facts reported by employees who quit in the first six months.

  • 1/3 of those who quit reported they received very little to no onboarding at all.
  • 23% felt that if the company provided clear guidelines for their responsibilities, it would have impacted their decision to leave.
  • 21% reported they wanted more effective training than provided.
  • 15% reported that a lack of an effective onboarding process contributed to their decision to quit their job.
  • 12% said they wanted recognition for their contributions and work.

So, the bottom line here is that even the best onboarding program isn’t enough to ensure your sellers have what they need to be successful in the field — and drive revenue for your organization.

Why should you transition from sales onboarding to everboarding?

In today’s day and age, most organizations’ products and solutions, markets, and selling landscapes are constantly evolving. So even though your reps have ticked off all of the boxes on the onboarding list, it’s very likely that whatever knowledge they gained initially will become stale in short order.

So organizations must build a culture of ongoing learning to ensure that the new reps (from recent college grads to veteran sellers) always have the skills they need to be effective and win the deals.

Yet according to Aberdeen Research, just over a third of companies extend their sales training programs beyond the first month of employment.

With all this being said, we want to assure you that the traditional onboarding programs aren’t going to go anywhere. Sales leaders need to view everboarding as just an extension of their traditional onboarding. In fact, the everboarding encapsulates the initial onboarding as well. So, it is only wise to rebrand your entire “onboarding program” officially as “everboarding program”.

Some stats showing the benefits of everboarding

Studies show that by putting the new hire sales reps through the effective, structured, and extensive everboarding program, you can not only significantly diminish turnover costs but also get many other benefits. Like,

  • The reps who go through everboarding are 58% more likely to be at a company three years later
  • Their performance increases by up to 11%
  • Employee’s discretionary effort increases by 20%
  • 66% of companies reported a higher rate of successful assimilation of new hires into their company culture
  • 62% of companies reported higher time-to-productivity ratios through effective everboarding
  • 54% of companies reported higher employee engagement

How does Everboarding help you and your team?

Everboarding turns Training into Learning

Unlike traditional onboarding, everboarding doesn’t limit the training to a certain limited time period where the learners are exposed to huge amounts of information all at once. An everboarding strategy recognizes that learning is an ongoing activity that requires multiple exposures to content over time. It acknowledges that a one-time deluge of information is not effective. Rather this approach embraces the modern day learning techniques like,

These techniques combine to reinforce crucial concepts for your reps and drive knowledge recall amongst them from time to time.

Everboarding focuses on knowledge retention

When learners complete their onboarding training, they might be able to pass a quiz or regulatory exam that day. But what about next week or in 4 months? And, with a large gap until their next training, how much of the previously gained knowledge can they retain?

This is where everboarding comes in. Everboarding strategy focuses on knowledge retention and not on completion of training. It focuses on,

  • Improving the retention of the information amongst the reps
  • Enables them to master a subject
  • Drives behavioral change
  • And drives better performance

Everboarding brings work and learning together

When we say that everboarding facilitates continuous learning to your reps, it doesn’t mean that your reps need to pause their work regularly in order to consume training. You can move the learning aspect into your employee’s workflow, by making short learning sessions as a part of their daily or weekly routine. This helps them even better with the knowledge retention because your learners will access lessons and activities within the context of their work. This enables them to find and review the information at the moment they need to use it.

Integrating learning with work also increases engagement, since learners do not have to schedule time to train and interrupt their work processes.

Final words

To improve training results and job performance of your reps, embrace a continuous learning culture. A move from one-and-done training to everboarding is a win for your learners, managers, training admins.

Learn how to run new hire onboarding process remotely

How to Run the New Hire Onboarding Process Remotely?

Want to make your next onboarding interesting by organizing soe exciting new hire onboarding contests?

5 Sales Contests for your Next Sales Onboarding Process

Looking for strategies to ramp up your new hires quickly?

Read: 5 Strategies to Reduce Ramp-up Time for Your New Sales Recruits

Looking for a structured gamified sales training plan for your new hires?

Read: 30 60 90 Days Gamified Sales Training Plan

Published on Sat Oct 9 2021

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