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Good to Great: Sales Onboarding in 10 Easy Steps

September 19, 2017 / by David Bloom

sales onboarding rep

So you’ve got a brand new sales rep.

How are you going to integrate them into your company to set them up for success?

Sales onboarding is often confused with training, and while training may be a component of the onboarding process, it’s crucial to understand the difference.

Sales onboarding is the process of integrating a new employee and introducing them to your company, culture, and team. It’s getting them orientated and comfortable – emotionally, physically, and with the tools of the trade – so they can start doing their job. In contrast, sales training is about getting your sales team better and better at their craft. It’s a long term, “always on” type program.

The importance of sales onboarding is hard to overstate. When done correctly, it can pay huge dividends to your business. Good onboarding can:

  • Reduce turnover by 82%
  • Increase productivity by 70%
  • Increase the likelihood that employees will stay for 3+ years

What’s more, a negative sales onboarding experience makes it more likely a new hire will look for another job and makes it far less likely they’ll recommend your company.

All to say that you should take sales onboarding seriously.

Here’s how to get started with our 10-step guide to sales onboarding.

1. Be Prepared

There’s nothing worse for a new employee than to walk in on the first day and feel as though you forgot they were coming.

When you are prepared for your new team member from day one, you’re putting your best foot forward. Make a sales onboarding plan in advance – whether it be a standard onboarding program or an individualized process – to make the best impression.

2. Make Your New Hires Feel Welcome

Let other reps know when a new team member is starting so they welcome them to your company.

Creating a welcoming environment is crucial to employee retention. Try scheduling a lunch with your other employees on the first day so they can get to know your new hire in a casual setting.

3. Structure New Hires’ Time

Make sure your sales onboarding program is well-organized and structured. While you may not be managing your employee’s time after onboarding, maintaining a schedule shows you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to leave your new employee wondering what’s going to happen next.

4. Make It a Team Effort

Get all your staff involved! Have any staff your new hire will work with introduce themselves. Have them outline how they might work together in the future. Your new hire will benefit from gaining a better overview of their role and how they fit into your company’s overall operations.

5. Keep sales onboarding simple

You don’t do your new sales rep any favours if your onboarding is clunky and confusing. Make sure that any discussions or written documents that detail company policies are understood by your new hire. Also, provide opportunities for them to ask questions so they feel comfortable and confident as they begin their new role.

6. Demonstrate and Reinforce Workplace Culture

It’s not enough to just discuss your workplace culture with new employees. You need to walk the walk. As part of your employee onboarding process, demonstrate your company culture by engaging new hires in staff social events or activities.

7. Engage and Interact

Allow your new hire to become an active part of the team from day one. Ask for their feedback and get them to engage in business discussions to get them comfortable with the way you conduct business.

8. Don’t Forget Paperwork

Paperwork is one of the less-exciting parts of the onboarding process. But still, it’s crucial to introducing new hires to company policies. Don’t let paperwork get lost in the hustle and bustle of integrating your employees into their new roles. 

9. Communicate Expectations

Don’t leave new employees guessing. Make sure they are in the know about what your company expects of them in their role and how they can succeed.

10. Keep It Up

Onboarding best practices go beyond the first week of a new job. Keep checking in with your new employees to ensure they make a smooth transition into your company and can begin work with confidence!

Over to you

Improving sales onboarding is one of the best things an organization can do to drive their sales revenue. Employees that are correctly onboarded will generally be more productive, hit quota faster, and stick around longer, meaning that your sales team has more of their reps running at full ramp, for longer. 

And if you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to driving a great onboarding process – that pays dividends sooner rather than later.


Want to learn more about sales onboarding? Check out our webinar on onboarding and faster ramp!

Topics: Sales Enablement, Sales Onboarding, Sales Enablement Metrics & Analysis

David Bloom

Written by David Bloom

David Bloom is the CEO & Founder of LevelJump, a sales onboarding and enablement solution built on the Salesforce platform. Prior to founding LevelJump David built and sold a corporate training company and held a variety of sales and marketing leadership roles at Fortune 500 life sciences and technology companies including Salesforce.com, GSK and Pfizer.

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