• Duane Cashin

5 More Hiring and Onboarding Mistakes That Are Costing You Money

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Let’s be honest. Recruiting isn’t typically very high up on the list of things a sales manager wants to be doing with their time, but it should be. Hiring great talent means you make money. Hiring wrong means you lose money. Period. You simply must prioritize hiring great talent. 

We work hard every day to solve problems for sales organizations. One of the biggest challenges we see over and again is hiring, scaling, and retaining a top-performing sales team. 

This is why we recommend a thorough candidate assessment right at the beginning of the interview process. Life is easier when you avoid a problem right from the start.

What’s the big deal with “hiring wrong?” It’s expensive! First, you have the typical expenses associated with both recruiting and onboarding a new hire— which can easily be in the tens of thousands. Then, add in the fact that sales rep turnover is notoriously high, to begin with. Harvard Business Review pegged the number at 27%—TWICE the rate of the overall labor force. The expenses go on and on. 

It’s also plain exhausting. That’s why it falls so far down the priorities list.

We covered recently 5 mistakes made in recruiting. Here are a few more mistakes sales leadership makes as well as some tips for successful onboarding:

5 Hiring and Onboarding Mistakes (continued):

1. A poor job listing.

Most sales job postings look exactly the same: great job, great company, great opportunity, great benefits, great, great, great. 

If your job posting looks like everyone else, you’re going to get all the same candidates as everyone else.

You want the great ones, the “A Players”.

Describe the job in better detail and the candidate you’re seeking. Be specific when describing the experiences you hope they had and the capabilities they must have to succeed in your role.

2. Failure to assess candidates prior to the interview.

Waiting to assess until after you’ve interviewed won’t allow you to embrace the findings and recommendations given by the assessment unless they support how you now feel about the candidate.  In other words, if you like the candidate personally, and the assessment recommends them, great. But, if you like the candidate and the assessment doesn’t recommend them, you’re likely to ignore the assessment and hire wrong.  So, assess every candidate immediately after you receive their online application or resume. No exceptions. Take the recommendation of the assessment before ever calling them on the phone.

3. Failure to properly onboard.

Sales leadership often wrongly assumes that an experienced salesperson will just know what to do. They won’t. Every new salesperson deserves proper onboarding in order to be set up for success.

4. They get duped in the interview.

Good salespeople are good at selling things -- even themselves. You have to be careful that you don’t get “sold” on false claims. Dig deep behind every resume claim to separate fact from fiction.  Be particularly inquisitive about the following claims: “Top salesperson” -- ask, “How many salespeople were there?” "President’s Club” -- ask, “What were the criteria for inclusion in the club?” "Grew annual sales in the territory by 200%”  -- ask, “What were your actual numbers?” "Doubled size of the territory in the first year” - ask, “What was the size of the territory when you started? Where were the deals in the pipeline when you arrived?”  “Developed, initiated, led, created…” -- ask, “What did you actually sell?”

5. Lack of expectations and accountability.

Setting expectations, coaching to those expectations, and holding the salesperson accountable for achieving those expectations in the first 90 days is critical to success. 

Luckily, these five mistakes are fairly easy to correct, and doing so will allow you to experience far greater success and consistency with your team.  Don’t allow previous mistakes to dictate future actions. 

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