Onboarding for growth
The importance of a great Onboarding
Studies show that employees give their new companies about 6 months on average before they decide whether to go all in with their new employer. At the same time, other sources point to a learning curve and time to full productivity of a year or more and at least one full sales cycle. In a culture where success often is made synonymous to revenue and sales numbers, new salespeople risk losing interest and enthusiasm long before success and hitting their numbers.
The combination of high expectations, a long ramp up/time to sales, together with short patitence of both the new employee and the organization becomes an explosive cocktail of high attrition on new hires, with stagnated growth as the most severe consequence.
The onboarding program helps mitigate the effect by
- Shortening the learning curve and time to productivity.
- Redefining and widening the term success, since activity metrics, competence development and personal growth are also considered successes along the way.
- Keeping people interested and motivated from the first day and throughout the learning process.
A great onboarding program helps new hired individuals perceive and appreciate the company’s effort to develop and grow them so they are more likely to return the favor by staying on and being more motivated.
Defining what is important
We have prepared a template for a 12-month onboarding plan, where we have selected some standard areas for sales reps in a complex technology sales context. Use this as inspiration to create your own plan. Consider what is truly important in your company and context.
Some things you may want to include are listed below:
- Market and ecosystem understanding
- Contact network
- Customer understanding
- Product and technology
- Personal traits
- Values and cultural fit
- Sales technique
- Sales process and strategy
- Tools and methods
A structured approach to competence management is helpful throughout all phases, from recruiting to the periodical evaluations. What you do the initial evaluation, already in the recruiting phase, and construct a initial training program to cover any weakness you discovered, we call it our Onboarding Program.
Onboarding program for a Sales Person
Below is a template to use to create your own onboarding program. Fill the boxes with the training, meetings, and activities that your new hire should plan to do within different time horizons. To help you organise your thoughts, go area by area, one by one, and fill in the boxes. You may be surprised at the end by the quantity of activities the new hire needs to do to get up to speed. Keep this is mind when you set the expectations for sales and productivity for the fist couple of months!
Many of the activities, sucha as “getting to know the company,” need to happen early on, and others will be more evenly spread out over the year. We suggest you stage the learning in the following time categries:
- Immediate (< 2weeks)
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 12 months
In each area, you may also want to add success criteria or milestones that you can check off and celebrate with your hire as they make each one. Click below to download our onboarding template.