How effective is your on-boarding, really?

Over the course of the past month, three prospective clients have asked me to help them figure out why they are experiencing turnover. Two of them also wanted help understanding why it takes them so long to get new sellers ramped up.

In each of these three instances, most of their issues could be traced back to the way they are currently on-boarding new hires and what they expect of them in their first 30, 60 and 90 days.

A quick dose of reality: if your products are complicated (they need to be explained), customized (multiple options add elements of time and specialization) or expensive (they would have to get someone else's approval) the longer on-boarding should take.

Why? Because the seller will need to be exposed to different clients, industries, your production and engineering teams and processes, and multiple types of outcomes before they should be sent out on their own. They may have the courage to jump in with both feet, but they won't have the confidence your clients expect.

On-boarding requires planning, clarity, a reality check of your expectations, oversight, coaching, mentoring, shadowing, lots of hands-on practice and review.

Time is the one underlying element that derails the best of plans and creates issues. Every sales manager I've met with 'gets' this intellectually yet struggles with having ample time to be available to train and coach. Most sellers end up fending for themselves at some point in the process, which is risky.

If having your new seller learn from others on the team would concern you for any reason, make sure that doesn't happen. It's always harder to un-teach a bad habit than to teach a new one.

Please review your on-boarding process and make sure it is as effective as it needs to be. If making the time to objectively assess that sounds like an insurmountable task for your team, we should speak because we can help.

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