Training Top 125 Best Practice: Veeam’s High Velocity Onboarding
IT/technology firm Veeam’s High Velocity Onboarding for Inside Sales provides a consistent approach to onboarding that aims to decrease new hires’ time to productivity and the time to make their first call to a customer.
The global implementation applied to all Inside Sales new hires (100-plus), taking place in key locations in three Americas offices; two Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) offices; and one Asia-Pacific office, and all Sales Acceleration regional trainers to be upskilled for facilitation.
High Velocity Onboarding for Inside Sales features a flexible three-week schedule focusing on a range of core topics. These include industry content, company and product knowledge, and sales skills. The schedule provides a range of learning opportunities, including face-to-face learning with a qualified Sales Acceleration trainer in a classroom setting. Practical experience was highlighted as an important element to include, and this was done through the incorporation of job shadowing with experienced colleagues and time in teams to work with managers.
To further build awareness of the business, certain company topics are delivered by subject matter experts who are able to share unique insights into the company. An e-learning path in the learning management system (LMS) supports knowledge reinforcement and development.
The program has been successful due to the innovative use of blended learning experiences. Time in the classroom with Sales Acceleration trainers offers a stable base for learning and support. Access to the LMS provides both knowledge reinforcement for learners who may be struggling and endless opportunities to develop knowledge for those learners who are successful. Insights from experienced experts and leaders within the business help to build a broader knowledge of the company and provide new hires with invaluable insights, along with the first step to building professional relationships with key figures from the office. Including job shadowing with specific aims and activities, along with working time in team sessions, allows new hires to get to know their team, future colleagues, and working environment before fully engaging with their role.
The program schedule was designed to be flexible, so that while all new hires will experience the same content during onboarding, different locations can manipulate the schedule order to suit local working practices and business demands.
The program is reinforced in two ways:
1. After the three-week schedule is completed, support continues with weekly learning huddles from the Sales Acceleration team to help with ongoing development of skills and knowledge for an additional nine weeks.
2. Long-term support is offered through the Advance Pathway program, which provides quarterly training opportunities to refresh skills covered in onboarding, develop existing skills, and build knowledge in key areas pertinent to role and business goals.
Senior vice presidents for Worldwide Sales and Renewals were involved in the training strategy meetings for High Velocity Onboarding and provided invaluable insight into the direction of program development. The CEO filmed a welcome video that is included in the High Velocity Onboarding e-learning path. The video shows the CEO in conversation with one of the Sales Acceleration global program managers, welcoming new hires to the onboarding program and promoting the importance of ongoing learning and development (L&D) initiatives supported by regional Sales Acceleration trainers, such as skills development once in role.
Veeam implemented the High Velocity Onboarding Inside Sales path in February 2019. By April 2019, the company had calculated a marked decrease in time to productivity. Productivity was defined as the number of days to making the first productive call with the customer and the first “opportunity” created and recorded on Salesforce (the customer relationship management system). Since the implementation of the High Velocity Onboarding program, the number of days to making the first productive call decreased by 50 percent, and the program structure ensured these first calls were consistently made within the same week for all employees, regardless of location (prior to this, it had been very inconsistent).
Based on Salesforce data for new hires, it also was possible to measure the number of days from new hires starting the High Velocity Onboarding program to the date they achieved productivity and first created an opportunity with a customer. These calculations showed that the time to productivity was averaging 16 working days, a reduction of more than 20 percent.