If you follow the guidelines set out in the Advanced Hiring System, you already know everything there is to know about how to hire a salesperson. If you find that you’re still experiencing a high level of turnover, there could be a problem in the way you handle your employees after the sales hiring process is finished.
After the hire, do you A) show the new employee her cubicle, give her dozens of forms to fill out, and get her started on her first assignment, or B) take a little time to introduce her around, show her the lunch room, tell her about your company volleyball team, and familiarize her with the values and practices shared by all employees of the company?
Hopefully, you chose what was behind curtain B. If you didn’t, that could be a big reason behind your turnover problem. What we’re talking about here is not just how to hire a salesperson, but how to retain her with new employee onboarding. Even though you’ve followed all the proper sales hiring steps, her success isn’t guaranteed. It’s also extremely important for new employees to be guided to adapt to the culture that uniquely defines your company.
Of course you’re going to set new employees up with their job responsibilities and what the expectations are, but there should also be a specific orientation process to educate new employees in how they fit in with the values and norms that shape your corporate community—your company culture. If you don’t have this type of an onboarding process, or if you have a process that is unfocused or inconsistent, your new hire will feel like a fish out of water, hopelessly flopping around and wondering how she got there.
Neglecting to integrate a new hire into your company culture can also have a negative effect within the company. After all, she’s not a blank canvas; she’s bound to have her own ideas and values as she enters your company. If you used the AHS assessments to identify her values and styles, she may fit right in without having to adapt too much. But if there is some basic difference, and you don’t attempt to show her how your culture is structured, her values may work in conflict with company values.
For example, if integrity is important in your company culture, but your new hire comes from an environment where management required them to do “whatever it takes” to make a sale, this employee will need a little educating as you mainstream her into your culture. If she doesn’t adopt your values, your customers, your other employees, and you will experience culture shock.
No matter how professional a company, it’s important to also be personal with new employees, even though person-to-person interactions may take a little time out of someone’s schedule. If no one makes the effort to welcome a new hire, she’ll get the idea that her presence with the company isn’t valued.
The upshot is, it takes satisfied employees to assure satisfied customers. By taking the time to properly onboard new employees, you’re enabling them not only to embrace your company culture and take ownership of the mission and vision of the company, you’re empowering them to realize the superstar status promised by the hiring process.