Top 5 Tips for Onboarding Sales Hires

Recruiting doesn’t end when the candidate starts the job. In fact, that’s often where most of the hard work begins. Onboarding–those key activities that take place over the first days of an employee’s tenure–can be critical to retaining hard-won talent. Because sales professionals are so strongly in demand these days, you won’t want to waste precious time–and revenue–with a revolving door of employees. In fact, a poor onboarding experience can likely result in turnover–and force hiring managers to start the recruiting process from scratch (which also means there is less energy to invest in growing revenue and driving sales).

Stop the revolving door and take a look at the onboarding tips below so you can retain your next sales hire.

1. Streamline Pre-Employment Processes

Pre-employment often involves processes such as background checks and drug testing. These steps occur later in the hiring process, after an offer has been accepted, and are where we often see candidates drop out, especially for in-demand roles, like outside sales, where candidates may be interviewing for a multitude of positions. This is especially true for commission-oriented sales roles, where the candidate is simply looking for the best offer. To prevent fallout, you’ll want to get the candidate through the process as quickly and as accurately as possible. Many companies have an admin group dedicated to pre-employment checks, such as monitoring background checks, collecting documents, and generally moving the process along. The faster your candidate gets through the process, the faster they can start.

2. Reduce First Day Misunderstandings 

Maintaining open communication is key when integrating a new employee into the company. To ensure a smooth first day, it’s important to keep everyone in the loop. Introduce your new employee to the rest of the team and share pertinent information, such as their LinkedIn profile prior to their start date. Better yet, send a welcome e-mail to your new sales hire introducing them to team members, too. This personal touch can go a long way to establishing a connection with your new employee.

3. Handle Logistics Prior to the Start Date

First days can be hectic, and you don’t want to do things like setting up phones, desks, and computers the minute your new sales hire is walking in the door. The best practice here is to make sure you’re ahead of the game and you’ve provided everything your new hire will need on their first day, so it runs smoothly. These essential items may include:

  • Setting up your new employee’s desk with necessities like notepads, pens, and, yes, a phone
  • Having your technology ready to go, including any PCs/laptops, access to the company’s CRM, online access to sales and marketing materials, or the rep’s company-issued tablet
  • Providing training materials that they’ll need to reference so they can start familiarizing themselves with the sales process immediately
  • Printing or emailing a roster of key phone extensions and e-mail addresses so they don’t have to hunt around for the number to IT, HR, or their boss
  • Ordering business cards and having them ready for the first day, especially for sales people that are expected to ramp up quickly

4. Get HR Related Tasks Completed Quickly

Any HR-related activities should ideally occur on the first day of employment, so your new hire can focus the rest of their time on learning your sales process. Tell them about the company’s benefits, pay cycles, culture, facilities, policies, and other pertinent information up front. Getting these and other HR related tasks completed quickly allows for more time for new employees to become accustomed to their new responsibilities and expectations.

5. Outline and Coordinate Training Before the Start Date

Have a training plan outlined and ready to go prior to the new employee starting. For RPO clients, we typically work with internal partners to coordinate training dates to ensure the client and the employee doesn’t miss a beat. Training isn’t necessarily just sitting with a peer and learning the ropes; training with a manager or a training specialist can help speed up the new employee’s ramp time and clarify your sales process.

After ACA Talent’s sales recruiters have helped to recruit qualified candidates, the next step is onboarding employees to ensure a smooth transition and long-term employee retention. For more information regarding onboarding best practices, or to speak with sales recruiters for your company, please contact the experts at ACA Talent today.