Remote onboarding isn’t easy.
Typically, onboarding has always consisted of an in-person welcome on your first day, face-to-face interaction with your manager and setting up/learning relevant technology. But what happens when the majority of the world has to transition to remote work for the foreseeable future?
Companies around the world are majorly shifting their approach to onboarding to accommodate new remote hires and, in the process, are realizing that that their onboarding program could use some work.
In this article, we’ll highlight two companies, Axiom and Alteryx, who reassessed their onboarding programs and enlisted the help of Showpad to welcome and set up new hires for success.
Before Axiom adopted Showpad
Before Showpad Coach, Axiom used a combination of LearnCore and an Excel-based onboarding roadmap. The enablement team was responsible for creating a new Excel file for every new hire to use who, in turn, found it pretty confusing to navigate across multiple platforms to figure out what to do next in their onboarding journey. There was also a lot of manual lift for enablement to rinse and repeat with the Excel files.
Showpad Coach was adopted and onboarding workflows were majorly simplified.
How Axiom is approaching remote onboarding
Axiom uses a three pillar system when approaching remote onboarding at scale.
- Enroll sellers in a formal onboarding program
- Assess sellers’ readiness through certification
- Encourage peer-to-peer learning with call recording
Let’s take a closer look at their remote onboarding process.
Pillar 1: The formal onboarding program
Axiom begins by enrolling all new hires in their onboarding program. They’re introduced to Showpad’s Learning Paths which helps new hires prioritize and complete both online courses and offline tasks. This change gave Axiom the ability to combine web-based training courses with offline tasks for peer-to-peer learning, guiding hires through their first 30 days.
As an example, the new hire will complete a course and have a task to meet with their BDR partner. The goal is for the new hire to come to live meetings with the foundation to better inform their discussions with their business partners. Throughout their onboarding, Axiom schedules one-on-one sessions with the new hire every 30 days for the first three months.
“This helps us hear how their onboarding journey is going and allows us to get feedback on the training content itself.”
After these check-ins, managers will be updated on whether their new hire is on track or falling behind with their onboarding efforts. This improved onboarding process was a success. Axiom saw a 28% year-over-year increase in the 12 months average sales compared to new hires who didn’t go through a formal onboarding program.
Axiom’s keys to remote onboarding success were:
- Centralizing all content, both online and offline, into Learning Paths
- Getting feedback from new hires while they’re in the onboarding process
- Keeping managers in the loop throughout a new hire’s first three months
Pillar 2: Certification
Axiom’s second pillar of remote onboarding is certification. Traditionally, new hires would prep for hours for a live roleplay with their territory leaders who would learn if they had the knowledge needed to be successful in a client meeting.
“The roleplay would go something like this: They’d walk through the Axiom pitch deck, talk through a few case studies, answer client questions and then go through a few use cases.”
This approach didn’t set Axiom sellers up for success. They realized that a client call should never happen with a full blown Axiom pitch first. A good call should focus on the client’s business, how it works, their priorities and their challenges. This is why Axiom started using Showpad’s PitchIQ which let sellers record and submit pitches while allowing managers to review and score.
“All activities are organized in a separate Learning Path in Showpad Coach. Phase one includes five PitchIQ courses, four of which are simply to gauge how they would answer the most common client questions. And the last is for them to pitch Axiom using the pitch deck.”
Axiom found that PitchIQ was the best way to see how well sellers are speaking about the company and if they could follow proper messaging. They also began conducting live roleplays which aimed to mirror real life as much as possible. Both parts of Axiom certification aimed to sharpen their sellers’ skills. PitchIQ helped them assess knowledge and delivery during the prep phase and the live roleplay let them see everything come into action. Combining these steps into a Learning Path in Showpad (separate from the onboarding Learning Path) set their sellers up for more successful client calls.
Pillar 3: Peer-to-peer learning
Axiom’s final remote onboarding pillar is encouraging the use of peer-to-peer learning using Showpad’s call recording platform MeetingIQ. The company discovered that sellers not co-located with their managers had a harder time meeting quota; a problem MeetingIQ directly addresses. The tool lets managers see how their sellers are doing in meetings without having to join the meetings themselves.
“We had a VP of sales and a few tenured sellers record a number of their meetings and it took off. We really couldn’t have asked for a better scenario to help drive adoption of call recording.”
To give sellers more context before a meeting, early adopters would post links to their recorded meetings on Slack and encourage the team to learn from their experiences. Tenured Axiom sellers began noticing the difference MeetingIQ made, sharing their success stories with the entire company on Slack.
“We always tell our sellers that even the best athletes in the world watch game films. Sellers shouldn’t be any different.”
These three pillars have been the key to Axiom’s remote onboarding program. They learned that technology plays a crucial role in enabling the onboarding program to become repeatable and investing in a learning platform like Showpad Coach was the tool that made the entire process a lot easier.
Listen to Axiom’s full TRANSFORM session on their approach to remote onboarding.
Before Alteryx adopted Showpad
Back before Alteryx adopted Showpad (pre November 2019), their sellers were confused when logging into the existing enablement system. They didn’t know where to go, what to do and had to get training on how to get to their onboarding courses.
“If a system or process is not intuitive, you need to rethink it.”
Additionally, their content was in disparate places. If you have content that relates to a product offering and have different pieces of content in different places, it creates too much chaos. In their case, Alteryx had five years of aggregated content which made it seem impossible to bring all of it across to Showpad. So, they scrapped all content that hadn’t been touched in the last six months.
“The effect of this made our new system feel more impactful and less cluttered to our end users.”
Alteryx also used color when transitioning to Showpad. They assigned brand colors to different types of material in an effort to stay organized on the fly. By color coding all of their content, the company could quickly identify the collateral that they were looking for when they needed it quickly.
How Alteryx is approaching remote onboarding
Alteryx’s former onboarding process was sectioned into three parts. They’d start with a virtual onboarding and orientation for all associates, bring in everyone to welcome them to the organization then split new hires based on titles. This means that sales associates would go one way and learn to position and sell Alteryx’s suite of products while non-sales associates went through a bootcamp to learn a less salesy version of their products, culture and history in order to articulate it to customers.
Now (after the adoption of Showpad), once all associates have moved 30 days into their tenure with Alteryx, they go back into Showpad to complete self-driven learning, complete certifications and practice role plays. All in all, the new Alteryx onboarding program spans 90 days in accordance with industry best practices.
They also used Showpad’s homepage customization feature to create specific and relevant entry points for everyone who logs into the system. For example, someone in accounting would be gated through to a specific homepage. And then on that homepage, there’d be specific content they’d have access to that is relevant for their role. Conversely, someone on sales would be routed to a homepage that would surface specific content for selling that they could share with customers.
“The purpose of bringing all of this into the Showpad ecosystem is really so this information that’s brought in from these teams can be partitioned, pinned to homepages, elevated in experiences and socialized to any number of user groups within the company.”
This organization within the Showpad platform allowed Alteryx to take a holistic, just-in-time approach to training and communication that they wouldn’t otherwise have had in their remote onboarding program.
Listen to Alteryx’s full TRANSFORM session on their approach to remote onboarding.