When a new customer signs up with ConveYour, the first thing our team does is work with them on a Rep’s Journey Audit. This is a process that all of our clients have found incredibly valuable, and today we’re excited to share it with you. With the outline described below, you’ll be in great shape to recruit, train, and retain your reps.
Here is our Notion template for doing your own audit. We’ve filled in some information to help get the ideas flowing.
Before you begin mapping everything out, it’s important to start with a couple of key pieces of baseline information, starting with the goal you hope to accomplish in your training. What does a successfully trained rep look like in the context of your company? If you don’t identify your goals, you won’t be able to identify what works and what doesn’t.
Generally, goals can be associated with key metrics. Upon audit, you may find that some of the metrics you were keeping need to be updated to reflect the goals of your business today. If you haven’t been keeping track of any key metrics or statistics, do not fret; ballpark estimates will do in a pinch. Having some stats to start with as a baseline is much better than having no stats to work with at all. These will help you as you fine-tune your training experience and allow you to directly view the impact that your changes make.
The other key part of the baseline phase is logging all systems and tools that are used within your company. Most businesses with large sales forces have a canvassing tool, a proposal tool, an HR tool, etc. If your reps come into contact with any of these tools, they need to be considered as part of the rep experience. This means that it matters when and how reps are onboarded into them.
In practice, this means running through all of your various tools and software that reps are currently using, and ask some key questions - is this tool a must-have for the rep? When and how are they going to get into it, and how will they learn to use it? How will we know when reps should be added to these tools? And finally, can this process be automated?
Most companies that start with us are immediately focused on training. We prefer to start even earlier than that, at the recruiting process. Since this is the step where you make a first impression with your reps, each step needs to be carefully considered.
Take a look at how people hear about this position with your company in the first place. Do you use job boards, recruiters, referrals, or all of the above? Take a look at each and every point a prospect hire may find you. Is how you’re presenting the opportunity in those areas lined up with how the hiring manager presents it in the interview? How does your hiring manager save recruit information, and is it centralized? When candidates receive messages, is it through your applicant tracking tool, or outside of it?
Especially in smaller or newer companies, the recruiting process is often manually done, non-documented, de-centralized, or all of the above. It’s important to document all of the places that potential recruits can be collected, identify them, and make sure that your entire staff is aware of them and presenting opportunities in accordance. As you survey your processes, write down everything that you see and think about how each piece aligns with your end goal.
Once you hit the onboarding process, the rep has become part of your system and it’s time to cover all of your logistics. Take a look at who makes hiring decisions and what their standards are. Is there an established quality check system for new recruits? What details do recruits need to know about before hiring?
At each step, document your process and ask yourself why this step is happening at this particular time. Before you know it you’ll be thinking about possible efficiencies as you map our your ideal rep’s journey. We stress documentation so much because it is what is going to feed directly into your rep journey model down the line, and will give you the ability to zoom out on your processes and easily view the bigger picture. It starts with identifying what is currently true about your recruitment process, and then using that to inform what should be true.
After onboarding is completed, it’s time to take a look at your training. What training do your reps experience initially? What do they need to do right away in order to be a functional member of the team, and how much time do you have to train them? You may even find aspects of your current training process that you can defer until later. Deferring more complex or job-specific trainings can make them more effective.
It is helpful to think of individual training experiences as tiered, with some ranking as more important or urgent than others. The timing with which your reps go through this training is just as important as the training content itself. Additionally, it is a great idea to offer various types of on-demand, ongoing training. This could be product resources, PDFs, interview videos, or FAQs which reps can access at their own pace or as needed.
The work of onboarding does not finish when the training does. Once they are fully on your team, your job is to retain your reps. After all, if they don’t feel happy working for their company, they’ll want to look elsewhere. A huge part of retention and maintaining rep happiness is making sure that your team always feels supported within your structure.
Where do your team members go when they need help with something? Is there a centralized resource that they know that they can turn to, or is the culture at your company that you just ask around until you find somebody who knows what to do? It is a huge missed opportunity to have support resources without making it clear to your reps where to go. This will help management as well. If reps know that they can get support through the FAQ page or through a helpdesk service, and doing so is better and more efficient than reaching out to a manager, your managers can focus on motivating and leading your reps instead of answering questions.
The other key to employee retention is a focus on motivation and belief-building. There is no better opportunity to get your reps on board with your company’s mission, and their place within that mission, than the training period. It’s important for your reps to know how they are contributing the a commonly-held goal when they do their job. Reps who believe in themselves and the services they are providing are going to have more motivation.
Throughout the journey, you should be identifying key milestones that you can use to track rep progress. This will show completion and, conversely, will indicate if any reps are not doing what they are supposed to. It’s important to have red flag indicators to show when reps are losing their way, and an established, documented plan for overcoming this. Traditionally, reps who go off track are often forgotten about with a simple “they wouldn’t have made it anyway.” In reality, this is often the result of some sort of disconnect on the rep’s end, and attempts should be made to get them back on track. Everybody needs an extra nudge sometimes.
Map The Journey
By the time you reach the “map the journey” stage of this process, you’ve basically done all of the hard work. You have combed through your entire hiring and onboarding process as it stands and identified all of the different components, tools, touchpoints, and questions involved. You are the equivalent of a kid with a big box of LEGOs, and it’s time to get building.
Using whatever software or tool you wish, lay all of these individual pieces out on your work board. Don’t bother connecting them at first, just get them all laid out so you can see what you’re working with. Once that is done, begin mapping out your rep’s journey as it currently is. If you notice inefficiencies or things that do not make sense while you’re mapping, resist the urge to edit them out. View your current journey, warts and all.
Once you’ve completed this first map, make a copy of it. You can edit that copy and change it into what your ideal rep’s journey would be, guided by all of the work you’ve done and the insight you’ve gained. There is still a lot of work to be done from here, but you will have a map to guide you as you make your rep onboarding experience the best it possibly can be. This is what we do with all of our customers, we lay out the canvas for them so that they can craft their own ideal rep’s journey.
And there you have it! Once you’ve mapped out your rep’s journey, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll find ways to improve the onboarding experience for your reps. Of course, happy reps are productive reps.
ConveYour is a tool designed specifically with the rep experience in mind. If you are looking for an intuitive, mobile and remote-friendly way to automate a next-level training experience for your reps, schedule a demo with us HERE. We’d love to meet with you.
Watch the Blog
The content from this article was derived from The Reps' Journey, Episode 007. It was compiled and re-worded by Andrew Baldis.