How do you ramp up a sales team?

by James Ker-Reid - March 18, 2022

Hiring a sales team is one thing, but it’s another to ensure they’re up and running while performing to their maximum capabilities. In other words, you want to ramp up your sales team as quickly as possible, and there are a few ways to do so. In this guide, we’re looking at how to speed up the ramping process so that your reps can start hitting targets and driving your business forward. 

What is a sales ramp-up period?

A sales ramp-up is the amount of time it takes for a new hire to reach full productivity. Generally speaking, this takes between six and nine months, depending on the hire’s profile, your quotas and market conditions. Within the sales ramp-up, there will be onboarding, client handover, product training and tech stack instructions. 

How to ramp up a sales team

Set goals

If you have a good idea of what success looks like at your startup, you can set a defined goal to ramp up your new hire. For example, if, from previous experience, it takes six months to ramp up a rep, you’ll want to aim for this number when someone begins a new role within your company. Setting a ramping goal gives them the entire length of the sales cycle to close the pipeline and reach quota.

Diversify coaching

Being able to mix it up can actually shorten the ramp-up time as reps learn more and benefit from different techniques. Start with preliminary onboarding and move to product training, tech stack instructions and then integration to the sales strategy. By breaking the ramp-up period down into shorter, more basic sections, you can be smarter with your coaching and see desired results faster. 

Think about the buddy system

Don’t be afraid to pair new hires with high-quality mentors who routinely hit their targets. New reps with a mentor tend to stand a greater chance of getting promoted, meaning they stay longer and outperform their peers. Of course, you need to match your new hire with the right type of mentor – someone who understands the dynamics of winning as a team and who isn’t a lone wolf. 

Demo sooner

Some managers get nervous about letting their reps demo too soon, concerned a new hire might lose a good lead. But that shouldn’t be the case as first-hand experience can be vital in the long term – and it’s all about longer-term thinking. So get reps practising demos as soon as possible, and don’t be afraid to give them real-life experience. 

Improve your own processes

A sales rep needs to embody certain qualities to be successful, but your setup also contributes to their performance. As a startup, you’re probably still fine-tuning your ramp-up times, from onboarding to coaching. Don’t stop tweaking until you find a formula that works on every level. The result will be a faster ramp up, no matter who you’re bringing through the door. 

A successful ramping setup

With these tips, you can review your ramping process and craft a way forward so that new hires are fully trained up as quickly as possible. Then they’ll be reaching their full potential and helping the company hit targets while boosting revenue. 



Further Reading

James Ker-Reid
August 2, 2021

First 30 days in Sales for Startups for CRO Matt Davies

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James Ker-Reid
February 2, 2022

What should you include in a sales strategy?

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Sales goals
James Ker-Reid
April 26, 2022

The importance of sales goals

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