The right sales tools can help you train, coach, and sell more effectively. But what about when you’re bringing a new technology to market where quickly onboarding new salespeople is key to success?
In 2018, a SaaS company based out of New Zealand was looking to recruit new salespeople to meet growth demands on an international playing field. With a mission to increase efficiency and effectiveness for companies handling high value complex documents Affinitext knew they needed a tool that could onboard and train quickly.
Due to their expansion into new geographic markets their need for more salespeople grew and with it the need for a tool that could onboard and train a team spread across the world.
Contingent upon their innovative and collaborative culture, they wanted a tool that was more than just a basic workflow and sales process.
They were currently using Salesforce, but were unhappy at being forced to bring in an outside consultant whenever any minor changes were needed. Despite its power the technical complexity became a hurdle to company wide adoption.
From a sales perspective, there was a steep learning curve for the salespeople at Affinitext. With an array of differing customer challenges it was critical they help their salespeople understand how their product solves each of those challenges.
A downside to being geographically spread is that people aren't sitting in the same office. When your sales team is scattered across the globe, it makes it problematic in getting to know each other. It also hinders knowledge sharing from those with more experience.
Mike has been with Affinitext for 12 years and has found it challenging to pass on his wisdom and experience to his team.
When we lose the serendipity of just running into each other around the water cooler it's harder to get the 'background of things' from those that have been with the company longer.
In order to get new recruits performing quickly, it’s crucial that the onboarding and training process sets them up for success.
Over the years, Affinitext has had a lot of really good experienced salespeople who brought different skills and strengths to the table.
The challenge for them has been figuring out a way to capture that skill and knowledge and not only make it accessible to their newer salespeople, but also, to push it to them at the right time in their sales process.
It was a case of not only needing a process, but something that was also feeding information. Essentially an onboarding tool that would put the petal to the metal on indoctrination so current and future salespeople could start successfully performing quickly.
Most of their team didn’t come from a sales background. In fact, before Mike joined Affinitext he was a lawyer. Despite their backgrounds, they knew that process was critical, even though they didn't know what a good one looked like. They had a rough template, but it certainly wasn't optimized.
Which is why it made sense that the consultant they hired to help them find a tool to improve their onboarding process instead helped them identify the need for a tool like Membrain.
A tool that could actually educate, give tips, coaching and the history of how they as a business approach the questions that prospects have asked of them in the past.
Mike felt they needed technology that could handle more of a dynamic process and Membrain was easily the best value for the money. It was a tool that could feed any process to their sales team, providing tips and giving relevant material to the salespeople at the relevant time.
They liked the level of potential customization, and ability to put materials and “know-how” directly into the hands of salespeople, to help them sell quicker. An extra bonus they appreciated was actually being able to see what they were doing, from a management perspective.
“The support Membrain provides is literally unbelievable”.
The implementation of Membrain was comprehensive, proactive, and easy. The groundwork was largely making their processes from the sales side and getting their processes in place for the delivery.
From a support standpoint, as with most technology, they encountered the odd bug here and there, but when it was identified, the response time to get it resolved was very, very good according to Mike.
Mike describes how the onboarding process chewing up time is a common scenario in big organizations, resulting in an opportunity cost. And then, if that person doesn’t hit the ground running immediately, you are losing big money. And then the business becomes unhappy, and the newly recruited salesperson becomes unhappy because they're not performing and getting their commissions. And then the relationship comes to an end. And you're back at square one. Ouch.
Membrain takes intelligence software to a new level with its dynamic processes. They link content, such as internal sales training material or suggested marketing material, to a specific step or stage within the process. That content is then served up automatically at specific times within a sales process.
Before Membrain, Salesforce only allowed them to drag and drop opportunities between different stages. With Membrain they can now take it two steps further with a highly customizable sales process and dynamic steps. This living process responds to changing circumstances such as deal complexity or experience of the salesperson.
This is a massive headache reliever for new recruits that might be struggling to find that document containing a customer’s most frequently asked questions and answers. Now that document will pop up in their process, right when they need it!
Membrain has allowed them to stop the vicious cycle by giving them a level of agility that had previously been elusive with Salesforce.
New recruits are now onboarding quicker due to individualized guidance and coaching embedded within their process.
In addition to serving up the right learning content and sales collateral to use, Membrain has helped the sales team at Affinitext bring useful structure to their process. Their team gets guidance and tools to engage their customers in a more human way making it much easier to:
Ensure proper qualification by clarifying ideal customer fit.
Stay disciplined in following up professionally to prevent prospects from falling through the cracks.
Visualize the best actions to take at each step of their prospecting effort.
A streamlined process helps their salespeople know what’s expected of them making it easier to operate from day one.
Mike says that giving people just a tool doesn’t serve anyone. They have realized they don’t need to hire already top-performing salespeople, because with Membrain, they can get any eager salesperson to compete with their top salespeople by giving them the right process and guidelines.
Membrain not only puts processes in the hands of new salespeople, it gives them the workflow, education, tips, and materials they need to operate at a higher level.
Additionally, Membrain’s reports and dashboards help management understand how Salesperson A is performing against Salesperson B.
Before Membrain Mike believes that they might have lucked out when picking the right person for the job as their onboarding efforts are now much more successful with a tool like Membrain.
Affinitext has built up Membrain to improve their onboarding and now that it's not an issue, they can focus their efforts on the next challenge.
Next year they're expanding into different markets in a big way, and that means they need more sales people in different jurisdictions.
We’re proud to be Affinitext’s core process platform. If improving onboarding and process throughout your sales team is on your to-do list this year, let’s discuss whether Membrain might be a good fit for you, as well. Drop us an email and we'll take it from there!