5 Costly Holes in Your Onboarding Process

Trish Bertuzzi, president and chief strategist of The Bridge Group, recently presented at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit.

During her session, Trish shared valuable insight into the onboarding process, a critical time in a salesperson’s career, but the least understood. Trish maintains that while sales and marketing leaders are making a first-class investment in their hiring process, they are completely undermining it with a second-rate onboarding process.

Trish identified five “gaps” in the standard onboarding process, and gave advice on how to make the process more effective.

The 5 “Gaps”

1. The Context Gap

As your first step, you need to help your reps understand your buyers and their personas. Your sales reps need to understand what their future customers are worried about, what their metrics are and how they define success.

Instead of giving your onboarders case studies, press releases and testimonials, why not let your customers do the talking?

The solution? Do video interviews with your customers, asking them questions like: Why did you select us? How would you tell the story of what we deliver to you? This is a great opportunity to collect incredible language that will resonate with future buyers and it’s easy to record it and share it many times.

2. The Orientation Gap

Your new sales rep may be able to find her way around the company, but can she tell you about the company’s vision without sounding as if she’s reading something off a marketing slide? Probably not.

The solution? Why not create a welcome video from the CEO or from the founder to your new sales reps? Hearing about the vision and culture of the company from the very top makes it personal for the reps. They will also feel motivated by the one-on-one communication.

3. The Planning Gap

Traditional onboarding helps reps understand performance expectations. But do they really own the steps to success, or do they simply plan on staying busy and hoping for the best? It’s important that your future salespeople know the difference between a busy day at work and a productive day at work.

The solution? Have your reps create a personal plan that serves as their road map to success. Ask them questions like: Which industries are you going to target? What size companies are you going to go after? What’s your strategy? Be specific. Make them own it. Help them discover how they are going to plan and measure their success.

4. The Investment Gap

Companies are willing to invest in hiring people. But far too many aren’t willing to invest in growing those same people. The average company spends $10,000 to $15,000 hiring an individual, and only $2,000 a year in sales training.

The solution? The solution to this problem is threefold. First, if your salespeople want to join professional groups, fund them. Invest in them. Professional groups give your reps a great opportunity to learn from their peers. Second, if they want to view a paid webinar, fund it for them, and give them the time and privacy to attend it. Encourage them to discuss the webinar at their next meeting. And third, buy them books. Which sales books have inspired you? Share them with your team. Start a book club to give them a place to discuss these ideas. It will bring them that much closer to their future clients.

5. The Coaching Gap

Are you coaching or just ghosting? Coaching is defined as training or instructing a team or a player. Ghosting is hiring a great rep, bringing him on board, giving him a slap on the back and then disappearing until his forecast review session. Good coaching begins in onboarding. How do you know if you’ve given your new reps all they need to succeed?

The solution? Check up on your new employees 30, 60 and 90 days after their onboarding ends. You’ll get a lot of great information about how to improve your onboarding process, what worked and what didn’t work.

For an in-depth discussion on these issues and more helpful tips, check out Trish’s Inside Sales On-Boarding Ebook, or view the whole session in the video above. To see other sessions from the Inside Sales Virtual Summit, register for the event below.

What tips do you have to make onboarding more effective? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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