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Belly’s Going To Get You

Author: James Barton

Published February 2020

We’ve all said it. “I have a gut feel about this one”. There is some science behind that feeling as, remarkably, the gut is made of similar tissues as the brain… but that’s for another blog.

The problem with a ‘gut feel’ is that more often than not, it turns out to be a reliable as flipping a coin. A study in 2018 showed that about 70% of all transformations fail. There were many reasons for this, including the size and variation of sales organisations and high attrition rates, but they also found that one of the reasons was – you guessed it – a culture of decision making based on “gut feelings”.

The last two points there are, in my mind, connected. You have a gut feel about a person, it turns out to be wrong and they leave. Boom! High Attrition.

This is very bad news, as it has been estimated that the real cost of a mis-hire in a technology business is about $1m when you take into account lost opportunity as well as their time.

It’s Time To Go On A Diet

Today we are blessed with data – lots and lots of data. The prevailing wisdom is that if you have good data, you can make better decisions.  Simple, right? So why do so many organisations neglect or flat-out ignore data when planning their pre-boarding and onboarding processes?


In most sales organisations, the onboarding process is the same cookie cutter approach for every new hire. Senior or junior, everyone goes through the same process.


Surely, this can’t be the right mentality!?


I appreciate the need to get people to understand the product they’re selling or your sales methodology, but seriously, there are some things that are just not relevant.


We know that people want a personalised experience, so why not give them one based on data?

Data In, Learning Out


By leveraging a full 360° understanding of what works and what doesn’t, we should be able to create an effective, efficient onboarding experience. The challenge is making sure the data is there – this is where systems come in.


Most organisations will have an LMS or something similar, and most will have a CRM.  Those two things alone, if connected together, should help us understand which training has the biggest impact on sales.


But let’s go a step further and bring in HR data like age, gender, even psychological profile, and study the impact of those data points on the effectiveness of training.


Oh, whilst we are at it, let’s also add in recruitment data and email or social media communications… now we’re getting somewhere.

Bring all that data into one place, analyse and adjust it, and out pops a learning journey that is relevant, suitable and – most importantly – effective.

Now what?

Ok great, you now have a tailored, ‘gut feel-free’ onboarding process for your people. Genius. But how the heck do you execute on that? 100s of new hires, each with different learning journeys sounds complicated.


It is, but it doesn’t have to be.


It’s only complicated when you think that everything has to be done in person, in face-to-face training. We need to break that mould!

It is not only economically challenging, but it also runs counter to how today’s workforce want to be trained.


We have the ability to go digital and deliver the learning directly into the hands of the learners. Moreover, we can do it in context and in the moment.

No more referring back to training notes or sitting through a week of onboarding.


Fully dynamic learning, digitally delivered and provided as a service… I feel an acronym coming on…


The point here is that we no longer need to guess what is going to work for our people and we no longer need to put them through the sheep dip of current onboarding processes which are proven to be ineffective.


This truly is transformation… but without the gut!