How to lose your new sales recruit in 90 days

Back to blog 23 Apr 2018

You’ve gone through the recruiting process, interviewed tens of candidates, and finally selected a sales person that you feel will make a real difference to the team. In a market where 42% of employers are worried that they won’t be able to find the talent they need, it might feel like all the hard work is behind you: you’ve managed to source a star candidate. What more do you need to do?

However, onboarding that candidate successfully is just as vital a part of the recruitment process as finding the right person for the job. Up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days in which they are employed, so it’s vital that you recognise the warning signs, and understand just how to make your new sales recruit feel welcomed, comfortable, and able to start hitting those all-important sales targets. Otherwise, you risk letting them slip through your fingers.

Here are a few ways that you’re likely to lose your new sales recruit in the first 90 days – and what you can do about it.

They don’t have the right equipment

Nothing saps morale faster than feeling unprepared, and that applies doubly to new starters. Make their first day count by giving them the tools they need to do the job properly. This should include a laptop, a phone, CRM login information, and access to the information that they need in order to start prospecting clients and making sales. If you have a company car or reimburse employees for petrol, explain this to them.

Though it might be time-consuming for your staff, you should also make it your priority to arrange comprehensive onboarding sessions that will explain the basics to them from the start. This should all be done within the first few weeks: after all, if you keep your new sales recruit waiting, they’re hardly going to feel valued, while employees that pass through well-structured orientation processes are 69% more likely to continue working for the company for up to three years.

They don’t feel part of the team

Though field sales has a reputation for being a solitary profession to work in, camaraderie is an important part of any job. New starters, especially, want to feel welcome when they start somewhere new, and if there are no support networks in place, or they feel like it’s hard to build relationships, then they may abandon your company in favour of a friendlier workplace.

Given that multiple studies have shown that teamwork, social events and investing time in company culture are vital to employee happiness, cultural fit should be a top priority for you if you want to keep your new sales people beyond the 90 day mark. Arrange multiple team meetings- especially in the first weeks, so that your new sales recruit can start putting names to faces- and evenings out, so they can socialise with fellow sales people and people from around the business.

You should also make it easy for sales people to get support from their more experienced co-workers, either through setting up WhatsApp groups or providing specific account support. If necessary, arrange days where they can shadow fellow employees; not only is this a good way of building relationships, it can also teach the new starter some effective sales techniques, and show them the way business is done at your company.

They don’t feel supported by their manager

When you work in field sales, it’s very easy to feel isolated, especially in the first few days at a new job. Given that one of the most common criticisms that employees have about their managers is a lack of recognition, it’s important you don’t fall into this trap: talk to your new starters often, meet up with them regularly, and, if necessary, spend time with them in the field, so that you can provide initial structure to their working day, and establish what your expectations of them are.

The more guidance you give early on, the fewer problems you’re likely to have with your new starters further down the line, so it’s in everybody’s best interests that you coach them properly. After all, providing an integrated onboarding programme like this will result in a 62% higher time-to-productivity ratio, which in the competitive world of sales might well give you a vital advantage over your competitors.

The role wasn’t what they expected it to be

How achievable are the targets that you set your sales people? For some, these expectations might seem unrealistic, or far removed from what they were led to believe at interview stage. Whether it’s due to their territory size, customer base, their product benefits or the split between account management and sourcing new business, make sure you’re open with your new sales recruits from the start. Ask them what they thought the role would entail, and what they think could make it more manageable: going forward, use these insights at future interviews, so that potential candidates are crystal-clear on what responsibilities they will be shouldering as part of the job. Doing so will not only result in clearer communication from day one, but also potentially ensure your sales people stay with your company for longer.

Transform your recruitment process

Your recruitment process isn’t just about finding the best candidates, and staff retention isn’t just about onboarding sessions. Let’s talk about how we can transform your recruitment process: talk to the experts for professional recruitment assistance, or read our other blogs for more advice.

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