Successful companies are very rigorous about sales force structure, process, management, incentives, hiring and development. All important. In today’s market and economy, fierce competition and tightening pockets, dictate every penny spent on the sales force produces results. The most successful companies also know that you can’t simply hire sales reps, throw them into the trenches and expect them to produce.

Good article on this topic in Selling Power, entitled OnBoarding: The Most Overlooked Part of Hiring. A couple of excerpts…

The most successful companies know that onboarding new recruits is absolutely critical to making them productive. Standard company on-boarding does not suffice. In order to achieve accelerated success, the most successful companies have in place rigorous processes to ensure new sales reps are indoctrinated in the products, selling methods, systems, tools and, more importantly culture of the sales force. Success is further guaranteed by monitoring the development of new hires very closely and providing coaching as required. The convenient byproduct of a successful rep is increased loyalty, which in turn reduces turnover, and hiring and retention costs.

“A 2007 CSO Insights report cites that to achieve sales performance optimization, one must truly understand the levers of sales performance and effectiveness. There are ‘levers’ inside the hiring and on-boarding process that must be defined as well.”

“IDC [a global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets] estimates that more than 25 percent of salespeople in companies will be new to their position this year and the ‘typical’ sales rep will only stay in that position for less than two years. If it takes 9-12 months on average to get them up-to-speed, you only get one year of productivity out of that person an expensive proposition. For example, if an annual quota for a sales rep is one million dollars, and in the first year he or she can only attain 40-60 percent of that quota, the lost revenue represents overwhelming costs that are often not factored in.”

See full article….  Selling Power: On-Boarding: The Most Overlooked Part of Hiring.


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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