How do you bring your new hires onboard your business? Leading corporations often have an orientation and indoctrination program that matches the multi-stage recruiting process they implement to ensure they get the people they believe are best suited for the roles they will fill within the company and the best fit for the company culture. They do spend considerable sums finding the right people, it makes sense to invest in keeping them and they are firm believers in the old adage’ “begin as you intend to go on”.

That’s fine for the larger companies with resources to invest and staff to manage the on-boarding, but what about small to medium enterprises (SME)? I know from first hand experience (my own included) that in smaller companies, the predominant philosophy applied to new sales rep on-boarding philosophy is sink or swim.

I am not proud to admit that more than once, in my start-ups, we would hire a new rep, show them their desk and phone and literally ask them what they needed from us to get going. Then we would cobble together whatever was required and ask them to start pounding the phones looking for leads. They would learn our company culture and how we sell ad-hoc and by osmosis.

We did this even though it is completely counterintuitive to invest a lot of time and money to find people and then potentially compromise your return on that investment by not setting reps up to be successful and hit the ground running. Partly I was too stupid to know better and partly I didn’t have anyone to help me provide a more comprehensive approach to acclimatizing a new sales hire.

No Excuse for Risking Your Investment in People

And it really is no excuse. There is a reason why a few start-ups grow faster than all the others and later in my career, I realized you are compromising results by not have a structured program for bringing new hires on-board.

We have written about sales on-boarding basics before on this blog, so I won’t rehash that, but suffice to say that the most successful companies, no matter how big or small, value their staff and want to ensure their new hires settle in with the minimum of problems and obstacles and the investment is small compare to the difference in sales output vs. the sink or swim approach which may work some of the time, but most of the time doesn’t.

To your success!

Eliot Burdett


Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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