Hiring a new employee can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Onboarding is the transitional process between hiring the new employee and getting a return on investment. It takes roughly 6.2 months to break even after you hire a new employee. This is the point they no longer consume from the business, but start to add value. However, 20% of turnover happens within the first 45 days of employment (octanner.com) and nearly 33% of new hires look for a new job within their first six months (hbr.og). The percentages are even higher and the timeline sooner for millennials. This is a money pit for companies if they can’t find employees that are in it for the long haul.
“In the U.S. and U.K., an estimated $37 billion is spent annually to keep unproductive employees who don’t understand their job and 35% of companies spend $0 on onboarding” (urbanbound.com). The problem is not just picking the wrong candidate, but failing to create a successful onboarding process.
How can you fix this, especially for sales hires?
Sales reps need to know why they add value to the company, how their position plays into the overall mission of the company, and a clear understanding of what their job consists of. New sales hires can’t just show up on the first day and start bringing in revenue. They need an excellent onboarding process with CLEAR expectations and milestones, “new employees who went through a structured onboarding program were 58% more likely to be with the organization after three years” (contractrecruiter.com).
Onboarding does not only retain employees, reports show new hires being more proficient in their roles 4 months sooner with longer onboarding processes (octanner.com). These new sales reps must have a structured introduction to the company to result in long lasting quota crushing. This isn’t just a quick, one day “here is your computer, here is your desk, now work”. The sales reps need to believe in the company, understand the company, and want to give you the results. 77% of new hires with formal onboarding training hit their first performance milestones (urbanbound.com). At Sales BQ®, 85% of our new hires hit their onboarding ramp quota. Onboarding motivates the reps from day 1.
These statistics show the need for successful onboarding, but what is shocking is only 50% of small businesses have a structured onboarding process (careerbuilder.com). That means half of you are missing out on major benefits. It is time to invest in your employees, give them the tools they need to succeed and reap the benefits.
Sales BQ® New Sales Hire Onboarding Process
Here’s our process. Feel free to snag these ideas and implement them in your business!
1. Communicate before their start date. Have all new hire paperwork filled out (electronically with your payroll provider, if possible).
2. Setup their workstation with all their required technology: dual monitors, laptop (preconfigured with all their logins), mouse, keyboard, phone, headset
3. Create a welcome sign and decorate their workstation.
4. Get a welcome card and have everyone sign it, place it on their desk.
5. Load them up with business cards, pens, notebooks, file folders, branded company thank you cards, marketing material, letterhead, etc – whatever materials they need!
6. Inform everyone in the company you have a new hire! Make sure the team knows their start date and they’re extra welcoming on their first day, ensuring the new sales hire feels welcomed by ALL.
7. Give them a guided tour of the office, show them around, make sure they feel comfortable with where the bathroom and kitchen are, share the rules of the fridge and dish washing, etc., so they can be successful in those areas from day 1!
8. Have a team lunch on their first day!
9. Create a 30 day onboarding agenda in an online document they can follow. Outline every hour of every day and indicate what they should be doing, with whom, with what resources, and include a daily or weekly milestone checklist so they can feel good about how they’re progressing during onboarding.
10. Create a realistic ramp quota for both leading (activity) and lagging (outcomes) indicators.
11. Create expectations, gain agreement on them, and create a plan of accountability and repercussions if they don’t achieve them.
12. Develop a personal plan that aligns their sales achievement to their personal life goals, creating buy-in and ownership of their success!
13. Give feedback early and often – have tough conversations if they’re aren’t meeting expectations BEFORE it turns into an issue.
14. Verbally recognize and commend them for good behavior – reenforce the good and correct any poor performance or traits.
15. Adjust the onboarding & training plan if they need to slow down or speed up – everyone learns at a different pace, be flexible.
16. YOU own their success for the first 90 days – be there for them.