Sales Onboarding: New Hire Success or Failure

Don't underestimate the value of the onboarding process, since it’s an important factor in building a high-performance sales team. By Ken Thoreson

It was proven again on Friday. One of the most important tools I have created is a 3-week New Salesperson Onboarding Plan, which contains what I believe are the necessary skills/knowledge that any new salesperson needs prior to selling a product/services. We make sure they know how to use the telephone, CRM, Contracts, marketing tools as well training to clearly sell your organization and understand your products/services. Each item must be signed off/dated by the appropriate person “inspected what is expected.”

On Friday it failed. Normally each new hire must listen to the president sell the company, listen to other salespeople sell the company, make a few “ride along” sales calls, practice selling the company to other salespeople before having to make a formal presentation during the third week to the president. This would be the graduation point - if properly and professionally presented. In normal situations, the salesperson does a fine job, but the president normally would recommend doing it one more time, the following week. It is one of the most popular tools in my Sales Management Tool Kit: http://www.acumenmgmt.com/DVDSalesMgmtToolKit

Last week the salesperson thought he could fluff his way through his training period. I have seen this often with experienced salespeople who believe their past work will carry them through the sales process and then they begin to struggle because they cannot sell the company they work for or understand how their products/services can serve their prospects. The red flag popped up last week during the weekly review when we noticed that some of the “sign-off boxes” were open or uncompleted for that week and his appointment to sell the President went poorly. My client recorded the presentation so both the salesperson and others could listen to it. It was tough to listen too.

The lessons:

  1. We failed to manage his training during week one or week two.
  2. We may have mis-hired.
  3. He now knows my client is serious about professionalism.

He is on a very short leash this week but the learning curve of the client and the salesperson has improved - now both better understand that onboarding is a critical success factor in building a high performance sales team.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 14 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America. Ken's latest book is: Recruiting High Performance Sales Teams.

Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Ken@AcumenMgmt.com www.AcumenManagement.com

Blog: www.YourSalesManagementGuru.com

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