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How Paychex Uses Video to Accelerate Onboarding and Drive Employee Engagement

Learn how Paychex used Rehearsal to shorten speed to competency by 41% and increase revenue by 10%

Program Goals

In order to decrease new Small Business Market (SMB) sales rep turnover and better optimize revenue opportunities, Paychex needed to dramatically reengineer its sales onboarding. In collaboration with Senior Leadership, the L&D team quickly began gathering data: exit interviews, sales KPIs, a very informative secret shopper report, manager/sales rep interviews, and social media data from clients and prospects - to better understand the problem and help leadership set targets.

Maintain 75% retention of new sales reps in their first year

Maintain 75% retention of new sales reps in their first year

Increase Revenue per Unit (average revenue per sale)

Increase Revenue per Unit (average revenue per sale)

Reduce time to competency from 17 weeks to 10 weeks

Reduce time to competency from 17 weeks to 10 weeks

Program Planning with Paychex

Learn how the Paychex team approached program planning and how they used data to make important discoveries.

Program Details

Research findings were used to overhaul the new hire training program and create ‘Selling Simplified’, a 10-week onboarding program reflecting the current business landscape, workforce, competition, Paychex prospects, and what persuades them to buy now. ‘Selling Simplified’ concentrates on engaging the new employee by building confidence and accountability. The blended learning approach includes: 35 self-paced eLearning modules, a dedicated learning coach who facilitates ongoing virtual coaching sessions, social learning, video role-play assignments and certifications, and a Sales Skills Master Program (a compact 2.5 days of experiential learning), including objection handling and discovery (intentional questioning & quantifying questions). The modules and content help give new sales representatives the knowledge they need to have that first conversation with a prospect and make an appointment.

Several techniques have proven important. Learning coaches work closely with each new hire, which helps build confidence. Paychex uses single objective learnings to drive knowledge and skills retention. Single objective learnings require that employees master one skill before moving on to the next through a certification process that involves Rehearsal video-based practice assignments between instructor and learner. This process lets the employee demonstrate each sales skill with his/her coach, apply their learning immediately on-the-job, and continuously add new skills to their portfolio.

Crafting the Conversation

Learn how Paychex encourages their reps to craft conversations around the tangible solutions their products provide, not just product features.

Due to the high-profile nature of this program, Paychex had to fully re-engineer its program with innovative techniques including:

  • Replacing unwieldy 80-person classroom sessions by virtual, small cohort-based learning communities allowing for interaction during formal coursework and informally between virtually instructor-led sessions
  • Supplementing the sales manager’s role with a learning coach who facilitates formal coursework, serves as an on-call coach and mentor for learners by providing feedback, expert guidance and reinforcement for new sales reps in the field
  • Consistently using coaching calls three times a week during the first 6 weeks, then once a week through the tenth week, to discuss data and reinforce knowledge delivered by the sales tracking tool
  • Adding certification via Rehearsal’s video-based practice tool which allows the learner to practice, perfect, and then submit presentations to the instructor for feedback
  • Using single objective learnings which focus on critical topics such as setting appointments and discovery and gating topics until a new employee has been certified
  • Designing a manager facilitator guide to provide guidance on weekly activities and expected skills attainment inclusive of checklists for 1:1 meetings and suggested activities for reinforcement
  • Requiring manager-level certification to ensure compliance with the role of the manager and a comprehensive understanding of the facilitator guide
Old Program - 17 Weeks Revamped Program - 10 Weeks
  • Tier 1: two-week curriculum facilitated by DSMs in the field
  • Tier 2: two-week instructor led training
  • Tier 3: twelve-week combination of self-study materials and partnership activities with managers and peers
  • Tier 4: one-week instructor led training
  • Weeks 1 – 8
    • 3 weekly coaching calls
    • Combination self study, social learning, and video coaching
  • Week 9: 2½ day master class
  • Week 10: End Unit
    • Presentation Certification with DSM and Learning Coach

Program Reinforcement


  • Learning instructors reinforce learnings three times a week over a 10-week period through coaching calls, conversation starters within LMS communities twice a week, and certifications via Rehearsal weekly.
  • LMS communities allow for peer-to-peer reinforcement when instructors post questions or topics on the community board and ask the cohort to contribute to the conversation. The instructor provides specific directions and a due date.


  • Rehearsal is used for ongoing practice, coaching and feedback, perfecting word-tracks and validating knowledge and skill set well beyond training.
The Importance of Repetition

Learn how Paychex utilizes Rehearsal to encourage sales reps to practice and improve their skills without even noticing.

Results Achieved

Paychex achieved real results with the new program, yielding an increase in retention of 8% after a full year, exceeding their original goal of 75%. Their results didn’t stop there, they also experienced a 10% increase in business revenue during the training period when compared to the same timeframe for the previous instructor-led program. This increase in revenue was the direct result of not only confidence, but competence, as they were able to accelerate speed to competency for new hires by 41%, meaning they were able to perform at a high level faster than with prior training programs.

8% Increase in Retention
8% Increase in Retention
10% Increase in Business Revenue
10% Increase in Business Revenue
41% Increase in Speed to Competency
41% Increase in Speed to Competency
68% Reduction in Travel Expenses
68% Reduction in Travel Expenses

Added Benefits

  • Engagement and activity were higher
  • Enabled virtual touchpoints as learners wanted more social and collaborative work
  • Employee surveys indicate 79% of survey participants rated the Virtual Coaching experience as ‘Very Good’ to ‘Excellent’ and a majority of respondents said Rehearsal was one of the most beneficial training methods
Measurements and Results

Paychex’s data-driven decision making greatly enhanced their training and programs. Learn how they leveraged Rehearsal to gather meaningful data accurately and often.

Future Direction

Although the ’Selling Simplified’ training program was designed for the Small Business Market (SMB) segment of the Paychex sales force, they look to expand the use of Rehearsal for several new use cases. Scaling video-based practice using Rehearsal’s Intelligent Journeys functionality will help overcome the workload challenge experienced by coaches and mentors. For example, all 1,700 sales reps go through a scenario, conduct a self-assessment, promote the best performances to the Leaderboard, or provide individualized coaching as needed.

Elevate Your Organization

If increased speed to competency, retention, and revenue are important to your organization, contact us today to learn how Rehearsal can help!

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