Your Onboarding Success Story

Onboarding new hires is critical to the performance of your sales organization. Here are 3 must-do’s to make it a success.

On average, 25% of all salespeople leave their job every year. That means that your entire sales force is replaced every three to five years! *

For every new salesperson who is hired and onboarded, there is a very real risk that your sales organization’s performance will suffer in the process. To combat this risk, the question is: how do you get your new hires onboarded and up to speed as fast and efficiently as possible?

The solution is to design an effective onboarding plan that gives new employees the best possible understanding of how your organization works and what is expected of each individual employee. The plan needs to include the following three principles:

Help the employee live your DNA

Clearly define what you want your new hires to learn, when and how. Make the objectives clear by defining and exemplifying the behavior you want to see in your organization. This involves a lot more than simply teaching your newcomers about your products and services. Teach them how to sell in your company, including your non-negotiable routines, standards, and tools.

Take advantage of the fact that new employees are super motivated and eager to perform. They are “blank canvasses,” so teach them the ideal way of doing things and their behavior will rub off on the rest of your team.

Take the employee on a practical learning journey

Training sessions, courses, and seminars are a natural part of every onboarding process. But these theoretical learning exercises cannot stand alone. In fact, your onboarding process should be comprised mostly of practical learning activities that force new hires to practice what they are taught formally. It’s how the human brain learns best.

When you do have formal learning sessions, use adaptive learning technologies to help your new employees learn from where they are, rather than from the lowest common denominator. By delivering customized resources and learning activities, you will address the unique needs of each new employee.

Don’t forget to also include social learning activities, either through the direct manager, colleagues, coaches, external experts, or peers. After practical tasks, social learning activities are the most effective way to acquire new skills and behaviors.

Make the direct manager accountable

During (and, of course, after) the onboarding process, the direct manager must continually demand to see the desired behavior you have defined for your organization. The manager is responsible for supporting a new hire’s individual onboarding journey, tracking progress, coaching, observing performance, and giving feedback.  

That’s three critical principles of your onboarding process explained in less than 500 words. If you’re left with any questions about how to best and most practically make it happen, we will be happy to shed more light on the matter.                                                                                                                                                                                    

* Frank Cespedes, “Sales Hiring Is Hard”


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