On-Boarding New Sales Reps

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There are many reasons a new sales rep will fail to live up to an employer’s hopes and expectations – lacking the right skills and DNA, poor management, lack of support…to name a few – but perhaps the most critical mistake a company can make is failing to properly on-board the new rep. Much time and effort spent recruiting the new sales hire will be wasted if that hire fails to become successful, so companies that want to maximize the likelihood of success would be well served to look at the key areas where companies typically make mistakes in on-boarding new reps:

Expectations Gap – Employers that expect that new sales people to start producing immediately are likely to be surprised that it doesn’t happen. Sales people need time to adjust to a new sales environment and most of all they need support and guidance as they develop the requisite skills and exposure. Smart employers temper expectations and put in place the conditions for the new rep to be successful.

Short-Term View – Depending on the complexity of the sale, it may take a long time to properly train the new sales representative so that they are fully productive. Every company is different, but in most cases the right amount of ramp up time is measured in months, not weeks or days. Companies that provide one week of training to new reps will be disappointed with the results.

Ad-Hoc On-boarding – Companies that address new sales hire on-boarding are the minority and there are even fewer companies that provide a structured on-boarding program with different types of rep development and milestones. The problem with an-hoc approach to training new hires on skills that seem to be missing, is the risk that the emphasis is not placed on the key skills required to be successful in the role. In contrast, a structured approach to on-boarding not only lays out a plan for a new rep to acquire the right skills, but also identifies a reasonable schedule where these skills can be acquired and tests can be administered to ensure the skills are retained.

To your success!




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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