It has long been an ambition of ours to change car trade‘Onboarding’ forever! Onboarding is critically important! It comes down to the simple reality that we’re all trying to attract and then retain the best talent. Creating a structured Onboarding program is key. According to a 2007 study, when sales team members go through structured Onboarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organisation after three years.
We’re all having turnover problems. We’re all hiring new people. We are all loosing potentially good people and we are all suffering poor performers far to long!
So why are we all so ineffective at getting those new sales recruits up to speed in their new roles?
Why are we all spending huge amounts on advertising for new sales team members, then investing training, only for the realise that the person wasn't able to achieve the closing ratios expected which resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in lost sales and lost revenue, which don't show on a balance sheet, but do show in sales performance management reporting and sales outcomes.
Why are we still doing things like putting new people into the sales roles without support?
Why are we putting them alone into back rooms to gorge on 40 hours of study (saying here is our training manual just read it and you will learn) without a plan? Onboarding is one of those corporate concepts that everyone acknowledges as critical, but few seem to really take seriously!
That's why we are developing the first planned and structured Onboarding programme for automotive dealers!
Automotive dealer’s inability to support new sales team members can be fixed with 7 words …
Onboarding Should Be Planned and Never Stop!
Even the best philosophies fail when Onboarding is structured like a “program” that has pre-determined commencement and conclusion dates. A dealerships relationship with any new team member should begin well before they walk in the door on the first day, but seldom does. Our feedback from new hires is that they felt disrespected because there is seldom a planned and structured approach prior to their arrival. For example, most of them don't have a designated workstation, computer, email address or business cards.
Most arrive and don't feel welcomed or respected!
The negotiation: It sucked! Scary witless in the negotiation feeling 100% uncomfortable!
Sure, people who are new to the company have certain needs that are likely irrelevant to established employees, but the ways we support those needs don’t have to change radically, just because a person just got hired. Here is a huge FREE takeaway for you!
Prior to the new hire arriving use this checklist to ensure that they feel embraced and welcomed:
- Prior to their arrival to commence work, you should have everything ready to be welcoming and start the role including a small gift as recognition of them being selected to join your team.
- Their computer should be set up with all of the programmes they will need.
- Their email address and email server should be operational.
- They should have business cards printed and available.
- There should be welcome letter from the boss outlining basic standards.
This is just day 1 ‘must do’s'!
Rather than just building Onboarding programs, we must foster an ecosystem of continuous enablement that always provides the right support at the right time for our sales team members, regardless of their tenure.
How do we do that?
We’ve decided to cover this topic in the best way we know how:
We will be developing the shift from Onboarding as a “once only program” to Onboarding as a “continuous experience.”
Yes, we’ll be talking a lot about learning, but helping a person become a successful sales consultant in the modern dealership workplace requires a lot more than just training.
We’ll be exploring a variety of ideas and tactics, including (but not limited to):
- Before employees walk through the door
- On-the-job on Day 1 through to day 90 in weekly increments
- Then day 90 through to day 120 and in weekly and monthly increments
- Mandatorily boring admin and process stuff that’s got to be covered (but in a better way)
- Culture = show > tell = immerse > show
- You hired them because they already have some sales experience and you like them, so let’s get a return on investment.
- Helping managers manage by utilising online training…..consistent “on message” cost effective training 100% of the time
- Shifting from “ready” to “never finished”
- Hire slow and make ‘let people go decisions fast’ = higher ROI
Here is some supporting data:
Structured Onboarding Impacts Retention
Creating a structured Onboarding program is key. According to a 2007 study, when sales team members go through structured Onboarding, they are 58% more likely to remain with the organisation after three years.
Personally, we find that a standardised Onboarding program shows your new sales team recruits just how happy you are that they're with you.
Online Training Must Encompass How and Why
Because sales team recruitment is often seen as candidate-driven, many companies fear the loss of new hires. A recent study:A recent study shows that 60% of employees feel that skills will be learned on the job, but 49% of employers feel that training is an equal responsibility of employees and employers. Our own experience is that the 70:20:10 rule applies and it is wrong! 70% of learning can’t come from on the job experience, likewise 20% can’t come from other colleagues providing training because often those other colleagues are teaching misinformation, and 10% is currently formal training which simply doesn't work in this environment.
Our 70:20:10 rule is reversed! 70% online spaced repetitious fun training, 20% from doing the job and just 10% from other colleagues. This is the most effective training and results in 323% higher skills retention!
A mentorship-style programand Online Learning programme can assist and reinforce the training and policies as well as encourage office relationships. During every step of the process, new sales team members should know who to turn to and feel comfortable for providing feedback. Does your dealership have a structured Onboarding programme? Would you like to explore the shift from Onboarding as a “program” to Onboarding as a “continuous learning experience.”
Please take advantage of our FREE 30-minute consultation and learn how a structured Onboarding programme is the foundation of all sales success and staff retention!