New Sales Hire Onboarding - The Overlooked Opportunity

December 24, 2017

When business owners, executives and managers complain about "80/20" performance on their sales teams (where just 20% of salespeople produce 80% of sales), in many cases a primary cause of this performance disparity is what happens (or doesn't happen) after new salespeople are hired.

What many companies do is hire salespeople and turn them loose. Management figures (and I'm paraphrasing here), "They're salespeople - they should know what to do!"

These managers are right…10% to 20% of the time.

My experience has been that just 10% to 20% of salespeople are talented enough and sharp enough to figure out for themselves how to succeed in their sales position. This includes:

  • Determining which business problems their companies excel at solving

  • Identifying and quantifying the impacts these business problems have on prospects and customers

  • Leveraging this information to develop effective elevator pitches and prospecting messages

  • Learning how to qualify opportunities for the company's entire portfolio of products and services

  • Extracting "best practice" information to maximize their chances of success during each step of the sales process

If just 10% to 20% of salespeople can figure all of this out for themselves, is it any surprise that there is an "80/20 rule" in sales team performance?

The Overlooked Opportunity

According to research referenced on the website, approximately 55% of salespeople should NOT be in sales. They simply don't have the talents required to succeed.

If 55% of salespeople SHOULDN'T be in sales, this means that 45% of salespeople SHOULD be in sales.

If 10% to 20% of salespeople are talented and sharp enough to figure out how to succeed without any assistance, this means another 25% to 35% of salespeople COULD be successful... but only if they are provided with the proper tools, training and reinforcement. If management doesn't provide the necessary tools, training and reinforcement, these salespeople are likely to fail.

This is why developing an effective new sales hire onboarding process is so critical to the success of a company's sales effort!