We work with many companies and help them dramatically improve their sales hiring effectiveness. Unfortunately, companies tend to ignore what happens after the interviewing, assessing and hiring are done. All too often, companies ignore the importance of having a systematic sales onboarding program in place.


The Sales Management Association recently released a research brief about salesperson onboarding. Two items that really jumped out at me from the brief are:

1. Those companies that have a very structured onboarding process and follow it consistently had the most positive results.

2. Consistently following a structured onboarding program shortened the time to productivity by 37%.

While these two points seem completely obvious, most companies described themselves in the study as not having structured onboarding programs.

Only 31% of companies described their onboarding programs as structured.

This is consistent with my experience as well. Many company leaders are concerned with attracting, interviewing and hiring the right person, but then fall down on the job when it comes to onboarding.

The cost associated with making a sales hiring mistake varies by industry, but commonly-quoted figures peg company costs between 3x and 5x the hired salesperson’s annual compensation. You can instantly calculate the costs of your hiring mistakes here.

To be effective and efficient in hiring sales talent, companies need to go further than attracting and hiring the right people. That isn’t the finish line. They must also systematically onboard in a structured way. Much of the turnover ─ and therefore the high cost ─ can be avoided if a process is followed to both hire AND onboard appropriately.

We have recently published a comprehensive eBook on the topic of sales hiring, which includes detailed steps to create a repeatable onboarding plan. Download it here.


Read more about sales hiring and strategic onboarding programs in these posts: