New Tool Marries Sales, Onboarding, and Learning

Jan 4, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Sales consultant Lee Salz will soon launch a tool that’ll be used to better “onboard” and train salespeople. He says there are plenty of learning management systems, onboarding systems, and sales tools, but he thinks this is the first to focus on all three, to be a “learning management system applied to onboarding salespeople.”

What Salz has been traditionally doing is helping companies improve their sales processes and teams. He started noticing that a lot of the top sales people — well, the ones companies thought were tops — didn’t pan out. They just didn’t turn out to be top performers, or they quit, or somehow the company didn’t get their skills to work for the products and services the company was selling. At one minor league baseball team, for example, Salz says that ticket-salespeople are taking an entire year to get up to speed.

Meanwhile, Salz was seeing and reading what we’ve all seen too — that companies are focusing many investments on sales, since with limited dollars in a tighter economy that’s where they see the payoff. “It’s one area where they’re willing to invest,” he says.

So about six months ago he had his IT group start work on what’s now called the “Revenue Accelerator” and launches February 1.

Revenue Accelerator allows three different programs to be created: one for inside employees who are moved into sales jobs; one for new salespeople with industry experience; and one for outsiders without industry experience, whose onboarding programs might extend, for example, for 12 weeks instead of 10.

The administrator — the sales director, for example — uses the Revenue Accelerator system to create modules for salespeople to learn during their first several weeks on the job, like those on the graphic at right.

The administrator adds articles, links, documents, and so on for salespeople to use as learning tools. They can also, using the Revenue Accelerator, email colleagues asking them to suggest items new salespeople need to know.

And, they can create (see graphic at left, click to enlarge) exams for salespeople to take, measuring their knowledge after the first week, second week, third, and so on.

Corporations will pay $2,500 a year for the administrator to use the product, plus $500 for each salesperson who goes through it. Four of Salz’s current clients are in beta now with it, at no charge. One is Archway, whose president tells me the “magic” in the system is not that it’s some sort of new technology, but that it helped them focus on what salespeople need to know, when they need to know it, and on testing whether that has happened.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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