Onboarding New Hire Sales Executives

Onboarding New Hire Sales Executives

Getting New Sales Leaders Up to Speed Faster

Onboarding New Hire Sales Executives — Current Situation

This technology industry service startup grew quickly as a forerunner in a new and rapidly expanding market segment. Infused with external capital and charged with growing revenue fast, the company embarked on a strategy to hire senior level Sales Leaders who could bring success with large, complex sales.

A large part of the company’s success to date is attributed to its proprietary business practices and cross-functional execution capabilities — both are an integral part of the sales process. Given the breadth and complexity of the sales process, the company’s original plan called for a 12-week New Hire Onboarding process that would “certify” a sales executive’s knowledge and understanding of how the company sells and does business.

The goal of the Onboarding program was to ensure that new sales executives attained productive, on-the- job performance as quickly, effectively, and efficiently as possible. Specifically, the objectives were to:

  • Ensure that participants could demonstrate their understanding of the company’s sales process and business practices
  • Establish a cross-functional orientation to selling and build relationships with key sales process partners
  • Reduce the formal Onboarding learning process from 12 weeks to 5 weeks

Onboarding New Hire Sales Executives — Complications

  • Create the experience and learning of a 6-9 months sales cycle within 5 weeks
  • Communicate a significant amount of company information that will directly influence the executives’ performance in this program and in the field
  • Conduct the Onboarding program for one Sales Executive at a time and/or multiple executives staggered over time
  • Hold the attention of experienced senior level Sales Executives in the learning process when they are eager to be out selling.

New Hire Orientation Solution

The program approach blended various learning methods within a structured framework of eLibraries, presentations, meetings, real-world tasks, shadowing, mentoring, and apprenticeships.

The underlying context of the On-boarding approach is a Sales Cycle Simulation based on the sales process that was used to acquire one of the company’s largest clients. Sales Cycle activities, deliverables, and presentations were blended into the 5-week learning process and provided realistic “performance tests” at each phase of the Sales Cycle.

Areas covered within the Sales Cycle included:

  • Perform due diligence on a prospective client
  • Create a prospective client account plan
  • Develop a pitch and several contextual unique value propositions
  • Deliver the pitch and value propositions to a panel of experts
  • Design an implementation solution with the account service team
  • Recommend a pricing scheme for the solution
  • Craft and deliver a sales presentation to the prospective client (role-played by company executives)

New Hire Orientation Solution (Cont.)

Participants were also immersed into “on the job” learning contexts in numerous functional organizations, such as Marketing, Inside Sales, and Account Management, to meet their key counterparts and to learn about the different functions, roles, responsibilities, challenges, targets, key projects, etc. Within Account Management, for example, new sales executives:

  • Worked with an assigned primary account team
  • Participated in account-specific training
  • Conducted research and quote preparation and shadowed reps making those specific calls
  • Prepared team analytics with a Team Lead
  • Presented an overview of the account to the account leadership team
  • Worked with a channel account team to understand the nuances of the channel business
  • Worked with “support team” members from across the company to participate in cross-functional meetings and activities

In the late stages of the On-boarding program new sales executives were apprenticed to an experienced Outside Sales Executive. They were then slowly “weaned off” until both the participant and experienced executive agreed that the new salesperson was ready to call on clients and lead his/her team.

Participants moved through the On-boarding process as quickly as they were able to demonstrate learning objectives by successfully completing varying types of performance tests. Most performance tests involved being observed performing a task or presenting back to a subject matter expert or group what the participant had learned. In these cases the primary focus was to give and receive feedback to aid the learning process.

Performance tests associated with key steps in the Sales cycle were evaluated more critically by company executives. In addition to several client-focused presentations conducted during the Sales cycle simulation, the program culminates with a full proposal presentation to the prospective client executives (role played by senior executives). While the On-boarding program was not intended to develop sales skills, the performance test allowed company executives to assess the sales skills of new hires.

New Hire Orientation Results

  • Increased Speed to Productivity by 50%: Reduced on-boarding process by more than 50% (from 12 weeks to 5 weeks)
  • Increased New Hire Engagement: Participants were impressed with the amount of thought and rigor that went into the process and said it demonstrated the company’s commitment to their success
  • Improved Hiring: The “Performance Test” component of the program enabled the company to identify and take action on a hiring mistake within 4 weeks vs. waiting 6-9 months for the person to go through a complete Sales Cycle
  • Saved Time: Required no SME prep time

New Hire Orientation Compelling Design Features

  • Individualized and self-paced process
  • Skeptical and experienced sales executive audience
  • Ran mostly “on its own”

The customized new hire on-boarding process, coaching, tools, and measurement have provided a very useful structure and frame for the first 90-days for both me and our new hires.

It has been a very positive experience and will make it much easier to on-board my new hires in a way that makes sense for our unique sales strategy and culture.

Martyn Storey
Systems Engineer Manager

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed working with LSA on the design and delivery of the experiential new employee on-boarding training.

I’ve been getting tons of positive unsolicited feedback.

You truly exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Steven Gray
US Enterprise Services

We partnered with LSA to help custom design, deliver, and measure an advanced new employee on-boarding process. It was well thought out and bought into by sales leadership.  The combination of targeted sales tools, technology, coaching, performance plans, training, and reinforcement made all the difference.  The solution quantifiably improved new employee and hiring manager satisfaction and increased the speed to sales quota for new hires.

I would highly recommend LSA Global for any sales enablement team looking to increase the engagement and speed to productivity of their sales force. We are excited to implement the program globally as we continue to scale.

Rochana Golani
Director, Global Sales & Technical Field Enablement

We hired LSA Global to design and deliver a customized outdoor experiential new employee orientation program for our recent group of MBA new hires.

The program reinforced WIPRO core values, helped to build relationships with fellow associates, and enhanced the group’s ability to operate successfully in the global world.

I definitely recommend LSA for effective employee onboarding of top talent.

Vishu Venkat, PHR
Talent Acquisition

We held our 1st Year Academy for our new associates last week, and the critical segment that LSA helped us redesign went exceptionally well.

Their instructional design skills made it more relevant, more interactive, and more engaging.

We greatly appreciate what LSA did to help us greatly improve a key component of our program!

Larry Brown
Senior Manager, Training & Professional Development

ServiceSource has relied on LSA Global’s expertise for a variety of core initiatives, from strategy design and implementation, to business sales skills, to sales coaching. We recently engaged LSA Global to create a competency matrix for our inside sales team that will serve as our roadmap for employee on-boarding, development, succession planning, and retention.

This critical project had a tight timeline with high visibility. LSA Global completed the deliverable ahead of schedule and surpassed our expectations.

PMO and Outside Sales Operations
Senior Vice President

Service Source

I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am with how successful the new employee on-boarding project was.

The end product is wonderful!  LSA has been great to work with.

I really appreciate all the flexibility, customer focus, and the high quality of deliverables.

Laurie Torres
Vice President of Human Resources

PDL

The experiential New Employee Orientation was an incredible success for 2,500+ new hires over 4 years spread across the globe.

LSA partnered with us to create an innovative solution on very short notice and added a huge amount of value.

We could never have done it without their unmatched combination of expertise, professionalism, and creativity that aligned everything with our unique culture and growth strategy.

Even our executives and experienced hires were blown away!

Brenda Wagner
Founder and President

Proxicom

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

LSA Global has been a great partner in helping us move toward being “the leading developer of talent in the service performance management industry.”

I have engaged LSA to help develop best-in-class programs in the areas of: Executive On-boarding, Manager Training, Sales Training and Coaching, Employee Engagement, and Instructional Design.

They have consistently met or exceeded my (very) high expectations and are always responsive to my needs to increase performance, engagement, customer satisfaction, and sales growth.

Mike Normant
Senior Director, Training & Development

Service Source

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