March 11, 2021

How You Can Build a Successful Onboarding Program with Showpad

Onboarding can be complicated.

Getting your revenue teams up to speed can be a challenge in its own right, but with the right software and tools, you can create an efficient onboarding program that sets everyone up for success. With a sales enablement solution like Showpad in place, organizations are better able to scale their onboarding programs while engaging and effectively onboarding their go-to-market teams. 

In a recent webinar, Showpad’s Senior Customer Education Consultant, Kristin Hagen, and Sales Enablement Specialist, Molly Sestak, shared how Molly created a scalable onboarding program at Showpad using our own platform. 

If you missed it, we’ve recapped the session for you. Molly took us through the program, shared best practices, use cases and how to use Showpad to build a scalable onboarding program. To start, her program consists of three distinct phases: Dream It, Build It and Maintain It. 

Dream it

The “Dream It” phase has simple ground rules: dream big. These dreams will be the foundation of your big picture ideal state. Molly shared:

“I had a few dreams. The first was to build a program that was 100% utilizing Showpad.”

She envisioned a program where new joiners could experience the power and value of Showpad themselves rather than having someone teaching it to them. 

“The second dream was that I wanted to create a super fun and engaging program that made new joiners think ‘Wow. I work at the best company ever.’”

This dream was especially important for BDR teams since they typically start sending emails and making cold calls right away. And with the majority of sales teams working remotely, training and supporting new sellers can be particularly difficult. Molly’s mission was to keep them engaged and motivated so they could start from a solid foundation. 

“The third dream was to make the BDR career path one seamless experience from their first day to their first day in a new role/new department.”

The fourth and final dream was to create a better world for managers who were spending weeks onboarding new hires with long ramping periods. Molly wanted training to be more productive and effective so they’d decrease ramp times and be excited about onboarding, a typically tedious task.

Within the “Dream It” phase, Molly recommended diving into the status quo and identifying existing gaps in current onboarding processes to diagnose what isn’t working. During the year-long process of building the Showpad onboarding program, Molly used feedback surveys and focus groups with both new joiners and managers to solicit true qualitative feedback.

And finally, taking time to think outside the box rounded out this first phase. These ideas, or “nice to haves” can turn a program from good to great. Molly gave a few examples of what “extras” could be. 

“For me it was having beautifully branded pages that made people excited to use Showpad during onboarding. Another idea was to send out a Shared Space the day that they signed to get them revved up and ready to ride the rocket ship that they were about to get a seat on.”

To get started on a good foot, Kristin detailed the Dream It Checklist to reference as you create your own program. The checklist is as follows:

  • Brainstorm and write down what you want to achieve
  • Identify key stakeholders for buy-in and collaboration
  • Collaborate and pull together ideas with online tools like MURAL or miro
  • Set up your project management tool like Asana or Trello
  • And finally, create and schedule feedback mechanisms like surveys, meetings and informal syncs

This checklist works as a rite of passage before you can move onto the next phase of building and ticking these boxes will give your onboarding program a strong foundation.

Build it

The “Build It phase” is the largest part of Showpad’s onboarding program. For the first step, a high-level structure of the full program needs to be created. This establishes the length of the program and how it rolls into continuous learning.

The second step in this phase is determining your baseline, the basic level reps need to achieve before they speak with prospects and customers. To set your baseline, you’ll need to have a competency scorecard detailing the knowledge and skills reps need to master to be successful in their roles. 

Next, Molly suggested arranging these competencies into courses which will be the basis for Showpad Coach courses. Finally, organize these courses into your onboarding program. Molly recommended outlining what onboarding will look like, due dates for course completion and certifications available to each rep. 

As you’re building your onboarding program, a variety of factors contribute to making the program the best it can be. Kristin shared another checklist to can use during the Build It phase:

  • Assemble and create beautiful graphics, Pages and Shared Spaces that inspire motivation
  • Leverage amateur-friendly design and editing tools like Camtasia
  • Learn instructional design and editing through Linkedin and YouTube
  • Attend a Showpad Academy class to learn how to build Pages, Experiences and Courses
  • And, last but not least, start building, be creative and have fun during the process

Maintain it

A fully built onboarding program will crumble if not maintained. Molly’s recommended “Maintain It” phase holds managers accountable. They’ve given you the buy-in that you were after but to see the value of their commitment, keep them accountable for what was agreed upon. 

Ensure they’re implementing and enforcing the onboarding activities you’ve suggested, creating new joiner tests or PitchIQs and facilitating the agreed upon live demo sessions. 

The second step of this phase is incorporating feedback. Collecting reactions, whether positive or negative, is crucial. Make sure to ask new joiners and managers for their opinions and perspectives. This feedback will identify red flags you may need to address. Soliciting their reactions will show new reps that their opinions matter and in turn, they’ll feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts (and ideas) with you. 

The third and final step of the “Maintain It” phase is determining the cadence of updates. The onboarding plan will need to be continually updated to fit the needs and goals of current and future BDRs. Establish an update schedule identifying what needs polish and when so training is fresh and effective.

Dive deeper

This blog post was just a taste of how you can use Showpad to build an effective onboarding program. Stay tuned to our webinars page to see upcoming webinars featuring expertise from other Showpad experts. 

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