46% of new hires fail within 18 months. Only 19% will achieve unequivocal success.
When I read those scary statistics (courtesy of Profiles International, Inc.) I was shocked. Sure, I’ve seen more than a few terrific new hires circle the drain quickly, but I never would have guessed those numbers! So, I started reading up on the topic to find out why such a high percentage of new hires fail – and focused more specifically on salespeople.
What did I find? Overwhelming evidence that how we handle a newly hired salesperson’s (or any professional new hire for that matter) first 30 days largely determines whether or not that new hire will be in that rare group of 19% who are successful. If you want that talented new salesperson you’ve hired to be successful in your company, there are definitive steps you need to take to make that happen. Talent and/or experience alone are not enough for a salesperson to succeed.
Before The First Day Checklist:
- Keep in touch with the new hire at least once a week until the person starts. Just because you’ve offered the job and the person has accepted doesn’t mean that things can’t change between that point and the person’s first day.
- Prepare a Schedule/Agenda that outlines exactly what the person will be doing each day during training, who he or she will be meeting with and when. Email the person a copy of this before the first day and have a copy ready on his or her desk.
- Offer the new hire a “family tour” of your offices. Not only does this help the person by showing them where they park, what door to come in, etc., it also builds family buy-in and engenders good feelings.
- Make sure you have sent out an email to all employees ahead of time announcing the hiring with information about the salesperson, so that employees can extend a warm welcome. Include the new hire’s email address (with his or her permission) and ask employees to reach out before he or she starts with a welcome email note.
- Have business cards printed and on the new salesperson’s desk.
- Give the receptionist the new salesperson’s name and photo if you have it (LinkedIn is a good place to check) so that the new sales person can be recognized and greeted warmly. Post it in your lunchroom too.
- Make sure the new salesperson’s desk/cubicle is clean – check drawers and files. Have it stocked with pens, stapler, tape, legal pad, post it notes, scissors, paper clips, staples, file folders, and hanging files – no searching for supplies.
- Make the desk/cubicle inviting by placing a “welcome” card signed by the sales staff. Consider a welcome package such as a basket of his or her favorite snacks and company swag (logo tee shirts, coffee mug, etc.)
- Have a printed list of employees’ names, department, and phone numbers.
- Make sure the new salesperson’s phone, email, and computer are working and ready to be used on day one including any password access that is needed.
- If any files are left from the previous person who sat there GO THROUGH THEM and remove anything that does not have to be in the file. No need for new hires to start their first day wondering why their predecessor is not there!
- Have all of the forms and HR paperwork that the new salesperson will need to fill out, ready and waiting. If you are not going through it with the person and HR is, make sure you have scheduled an appointment ahead of time with that department for the new salesperson’s first day.
Being prepared in advance for your new hire sends the message to the person that he or she is important to you. It says you are invested in making this person a success and sets the right tone for your relationship.
Doing the steps listed above will help ensure your new salespeople get a great launch into your organization on that all important first day. But to get them into that 19% of successful hires, you have to make sure the next 29 days (or more!) are designed to give them the training, development, and support needed to keep them engaged; and that means having a well thought-out Onboarding Plan. Click here for Tips For Developing Your Onboarding Program.