We had great participation and a host of excellent questions at the end of the presentation.  I wanted to share some the Q&A with you in this blog post.


sales manager new hire successOne of the five key steps to onboarding success is ensuring sales manager’s accountability.  In other words, hiring managers should share responsibility for the success of their new hire.  One of the participants submitted the following question on this subject…


How do you ensure that front line managers are following through with their coaching to help the reps acclimate?

Answer: The key metric to measure the success of your onboarding program is Ramp Time to Full Productivity.  This metric is defined as the time it takes for a new employee to retire quota at a rate that exceeds 100% of their goal (usually measured in months).  In 2011 , the B2B benchmark was 6.7 months.


One sure way to ensure front line managers are following through with their coaching/onboarding is to track ramp time to full productivity as a metric on their scorecard.  For example, if twenty weeks is the number in your company, the sales manager achieves a percent of their variable income for new hires at productivity under the required time.  Pretty straight forward and very effective.


Another method to assure sales manager involvement is tracking new hire batting averages.  How many of the Sales Manager’s new hires are above the company tenured performance category for people less than one year? Sales Managers should be expected to have new hires at or above the average productivity for reps in the Year 1 tenure category.


Finally, implement the best practice of 30/60/90/180 reviews conducted by the Sales Manager’s boss, and not the HR department. These reviews should include a deep dive into the pre-ramp accountabilities (industry quizzes, sales process role plays, leading indicators like pipeline growth/health, new appointments, etc.).  These periodic reviews keep onboarding success front and center.


Key Takeaway: Most onboarding programs are ineffective because they fail to hold sales managers responsible for the success of their new hires.  Ensuring Sales Managers accountability is a key to implementing and executing a world class onboarding program.


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