Why is sales onboarding a must-have for your sales teams?

August 26, 2020

Having built an employee onboarding company the previous decade and an impressive line-up of customers comes along with some great learnings are what to do to ramp up your sales reps in the right way. Several software companies have successfully adopted a strategy for new hires but seem to forget the big picture of staying focused on the ramp up, especially when commercial targets and growth come into play.

Here is your checklist to make sure you can’t ignore your new hire success anymore. And remember one important thing: a lot of things can already be accomplished directly after signing by your new talent, long before the first day in the office.

1. A decent onboarding boosts the new hire readiness

Yes, it does. No discussion about it. Please do the math: imagine a new colleague already starts one month before the first day in the office with learning about the basics of your company, the beautiful products and services and virtually meeting the key team members. Given the high energy level of any new hire and eagerness to learn, the hours invested before the start drive your business case. One month of no payroll goes along with improved productivity. And the fun fact is that they can be prepared in a matter of just a few hours for your team members. It’s a very good exercise to do actually, to have your own sales team prepping the new hire arrival.

2. Start the process directly after signing, please do!

Preparing a new hire before day one is still for many organisations a bridge too far, even though a lot have been able to enjoy the benefits of pre-boarding. Why? Systems, security and old patterns still overrule people. Start small by sharing content directly with your new hires after signing and inviting them to team meetings to get familiarised with the team and your greatest asset: your culture.

"Just by inviting your new colleague to your weekly sales meeting, this will lay the fundament for success."

3. Build camaraderie from the start

Okay, we are living in a new and more remote world right now due to Covid-19, but we are still able to build relationships and most importantly, skip the bullshit bingo in the office of too many meetings as I wrote in our previous blog. Zoom, Teams, Google Chat, all the relevant social technologies can be applied here to make a new hire feel welcome. And once the safety protocols do allow for meeting the team in person, make it a special one. Most likely, the new hire will share the experience with the network, the pay-off to your employer brand will be invaluable.

4. Not just a introduction meeting or a mobile app, but let the new hire explore the key departments

Inbound, outbound, MQL, SQL, ACV, ARR, churn just to name a few. This terminology seems totally relevant to any software sales rep. But in the beginning it is not. It is about establishing the big picture and creating a personal connection with the core of the company. Experiencing and connecting with other departments is not just a fun way of exploring and building this personal connection. Go talk with the developers and engineers, work alongside the product support team to help customers in real life action. Let the new hire experience as much as she can. The numbers will come afterwards. Don’t forget the most important function here: finance and operations. They basically run the company, sales does not. My previous super star assistant knew everything and still years later, does.

5. A better understanding of the company's direction and sales collateral

Here is a user manual, here is a deck, have a look at our product video and o yeah, this killer article provided us with 50+ inbound leads of potential prospects. This is typically how it goes for any new hire. But, let’s sit down with your marketeer and integrate these key materials in the onboarding process right away. Your sales content does get the right context and new hires will come up with the right story to tell to your prospective client right away.

6. No more replacement drama

One out of three sales reps does not make it to the finish line in year one. The average tenure of a senior sales executive is a little bit more than a year. Do you know what the costs are related to a team member leaving your company?

A one year salary. Yes, and if you are unlucky enough it has cost you even more. And you have to find a new colleague to pick up the job.

7. Empowerment and ownership: do serious stuff, not just reading

Reading, having informal coffees are okay, but can be done in the own time of a new hire. Getting in the arena of the real thing is a whole different dimension: communicate with customers, join essential meetings and get serious tasks on the table of a new hire.

"If you don’t trust your new hire, go home. They’ll figure it out"

I know there are many more reasons to share such as the cultural aspect and better relationships with the management. The latter being one of the key reasons employees do leave a company in their first weeks of action. Or even worse, further down the road after you (and your new hire) have invested so many hours and money in the relationship that was set for failure in the beginning. Print this document and share it with your colleagues and if you want to more, feel free to reach out to get a head start.