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Are you onboard?

Author: Mathew Webb

Published February 2020

Picture yourself on the first day of your new job in sales. What is going through your head? Is it excitement, nervousness, fear and/or trepidation? Now think about the end of the first day or perhaps the end of the first week. What were you thinking then?


I have been fortunate enough to work with many new starters in sales across various industries and roles over the last decade. I am always inspired by the motivation and positive attitude that exudes from them during those early days and weeks. So, as employers, how do we ensure that this is sustained?

The answer to this question is not easy. There are many aspects that make up employee satisfaction during those first few days and weeks. Elements such as:

  • Induction to the organisation
  • Receiving the tools they need to do their job (technology, security etc.)
  • Product and/or solution knowledge
  • Clear expectations

The list can go on.


Due to the complexity of the sales role, research shows that onboarding can take up to 20% longer than it used to. Given that is takes on average 12 – 18 months to achieve target, the quality of the onboarding process is more critical than ever.

In order to sell effectively, a sales professional needs to know the following at the least:


  1. What is the purpose of our organisation?
  2. What are the expectations of me and my role?
  3. Who is our target market?
  4. How do we go to market?
  5. How do we add value to our customers?
  6. What evidence do we have of our track record? (case studies)
  7. What are our products and propositions?
  8. What is our sales process?
  9. Who are the subject matter experts I should engage and when is the sales process?
  10. How do I capture and record the right information in our CRM?

 how do we make this as digestible, easy and effective as possible?

This is a lot of information to learn and adopt. So, how do we make this as digestible, easy and effective as possible?


We are seeing an increasing trend in pre-boarding new recruits into organisations so that knowledge transfer can start before they start. Furthermore, digital technologies are being used so that the knowledge transfer can be learning centric and they can consume the information at a pace that works for them. This is additive to more traditional classroom-based onboarding and induction, and indeed there is still a place for these.

At Mentor, we help organisations develop, build and structure onboarding programs using the very latest research in adult learning techniques and a blend of digital technologies and instructor led development. Our goals for our clients are two-fold:



  1. Provide the best onboarding experience to drive positive employee net promoter scores and retain talented individuals.
  2. Minimise the time to target so that the organisations benefit from productivity gains as quickly as possible.

It is worth noting that onboarding isn’t and should never be the sole responsibility of sales enablement, L&D or HR. The sales organisation plays a significant role in the onboarding of new starters and, moreover, the ability of the sales leaders to coach, provide direction and support are all critical success factors.


So why is this important?


A study from CSO insights shows that effective onboarding can have the following impact:

  • Organisations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity
  • 69% of employees are more likely to stay with the organisation for at least 3 years after receiving a great onboarding experience
  • Sales onboarding can improve win rates by 14% and quota attainment by 6.6%

The adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is true when it comes to onboarding. Does your organisation have a structured plan which puts the new starter at the heart of it or do you wonder what to do with the new person in their first weeks? If the answer is the latter, perhaps it is time to reconsider your approach before talented people reconsider you.

If you would like to hear more about how we have helped our clients with their onboarding initiatives or would like to discuss how we can help you develop a world class onboarding approach, please get in touch at