On-Boarding for Sales Success

On-boarding a New Salesperson

You have hired your next high performing salesperson. What should you do to properly on-board this rock star and keep them motivated.

Approximately 1/3 of all new hires quit within the first six months. Poor on-boarding is a big contributor to people leaving a company quickly. Companies spend money to recruit, interview, and hire a new salesperson then ignore them once they come on-board.

When there is a sub-standard on-boarding process the new hire is left with the feeling that the honeymoon is over, and no one cares about getting them up to speed.

Here’s an overview on how to make the on-boarding process one that informs and motivates your next all-star performer.

Before their start date send an on-boarding email to your new hire with the following information:

  • Tell them where to show up and when to be there
  • Let them know who to ask for
  • Give them a schedule for the first week
  • Let them know that you are excited that they are coming on-board.
  • Send HR paperwork that can be filled in ahead of time

When your new salesperson shows up for the first day have the following ready

  • Cubicle filled with company items – balloons, coffee cup, pens, and other corporate items.
  • Business cards – this is so huge for salespeople
  • Laptop, mobile phone, and any other device necessary for the job
  • All software loaded and logins ready for access
  • Emails from every team member sent in advance welcoming the new member to the team – better yet, have a team lunch scheduled if possible.

Here’s a sample first week schedule

  • Monday – introductions with the team and learning where the breakroom and restrooms are.
  • Tuesday – completion of all training and paperwork (not completed ahead of time) – if this takes more than one day consider revising your process
  • Wednesday – Meet again with the sales manager and team. Manager time should be spend reviewing the Standards of Performance and the basics of how things get done.
  • Thursday – get out and do some sales calls with the sales manager.
  • Friday – review of the week. Remember, your new salesperson is “drinking from the fire-hose” and will need time to digest what just happened.

Sales managers – go through the previous bullet-points and verify that you have made contact with all necessary departments to have all preparations ready.

Get your new person out in the field as soon as possible. Do not give this assignment to another top salesperson – do it yourself. You want to be able to assess their abilities first hand – provide coaching and validate your hire.

Here’s the objectives of a proper on-boarding

  • The new hire should immediate feel that they made a great decision to come on-board
  • They will feel overwhelmed, but secure knowing that everyone has their back
  • They should know who to go to for any questions or training – provide an organizational chart of all related departments showing who they need to interact with.
  • They will know what the Standards of Performance (SoP) are and what the realistic ramping expectations are.
  • Important dates – payroll (when they get paid, when and how to report their time), sales meetings, other meetings, corporate days off, when sales reports or CRM activity needs to be completed by.
  • Any other event or requirement that could be a surprise later on. Remember – you can ‘t be alarmed if your new person doesn’t show up for a meeting or turn in a report that you didn’t tell them was scheduled.

 

BIG POINT – while your new hiring is deciding whether they made a good choice in coming to work at your company you are also deciding whether you made a good hire.

  • Spend lots of time with your new hire – it’s better to know up front if you have the right person.
  • If they are great, then every moment is worthwhile since they will get up to speed quickly.
  • If they are a bad hire, then it is a good thing to know quickly rather than 12 months down the road to low performance.
  • Set urgent yet reasonable goals for achievement.
  • Track metrics first – this is a leading indicator of future success.
  • Track sales involvement – are they interacting with internal departments and are they successfully making contact with customers.
  • Track performance last since it will show up after activity and involvement.
  • Have an HR review process to track the on-boarding effectiveness – learn from the new hires what is missing and what is working.

Set written monthly objectives that will be monitored and reviewed (per the Standards of Performance). Have mutual expectations set so that your new salesperson knows what activities (KPIs) needs to be done and when they should be done.

Depending on the length of your normal sales cycle you will be monitoring metrics (KPIs) and/or revenue along with product knowledge and general awareness of responsibilities.

Continue to review all roadblocks to success. Refer to my article on interviewing about transparency and being open about all of the negatives of the job and the roadblocks that will need to be overcome. Nothing is worse than being new, having roadblocks, and not knowing how to proceed. By discussing and removing all roadblocks your will quickly ramp your new salesperson.

As your new person transitions from the on-boarding phase through ramping and full revenue production continue to provide the necessary coaching and development needed to ensure high performance results.

If you found this article useful then please make a comment or like it.

If you would like to know more about on-boarding sales people then please reach out to me, or send me an email – eric@hastingsgrowthteam.com

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