New Allego Research: Stress of Onboarding Causes New Sales Reps to Quit
If you’re involved in recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new sales reps, you know how challenging it is these days. You might even say challenging is an understatement.
The tight labor market and increasing competition make it harder than ever to hire and hold onto new employees. While onboarding remains a lengthy, costly, and stressful process for both sales leaders and new hires, new Allego research shows.
In fact, Allego’s State of Sales Onboarding report found nearly half of sales leaders say onboarding has been so stressful on some hires that they quit. And only 60% of sales hires will stay with the company at least six months.
“Companies are struggling to fill sales roles, which impacts revenue,” said Amy Cohn, Chief People Officer at Allego. “With the finding that many new sales hires leave during their first six months, it’s clear that organizations have a gap in their existing onboarding processes. It’s more crucial than ever to get onboarding right in order to retain new employees.”
The shift to remote work exposed the weaknesses of organizations that relied on outdated processes to onboard new hires. According to Allego’s report, 39% of sales leaders say remote work has rendered their onboarding process obsolete. And for many, building a hybrid onboarding program when they’d relied on an in-person approach felt like a difficult task.
Companies Shift to Hybrid Approach to Sales Onboarding
Allego surveyed 300 B2B sales leaders to understand where sales onboarding has been, where it is today, and where it’s going next. The findings show that sales onboarding looks very different than it did just 24 months ago, demonstrating how quickly organizations have had to adapt their processes in the hybrid era.
The data also reveals that many companies still have a long way to go to optimize onboarding for the realities of a hybrid workplace.
Key findings from the report include:
Onboarding Needs Are More Complex
- 67% of sales leaders say sales positions are more complex than they were one year ago
- Top three sales onboarding pain points are: keeping new hires engaged, keeping content current, and the low quality of new hires
- Only 26% of onboarding is customized to adjust to a new hire’s strengths and weaknesses
- 68% of sales leaders say their onboarding doesn’t adjust for the new hire’s previous experience
Onboarding Reflects a Shift to Hybrid Workplaces
- 51% of companies modified onboarding because of their plans to return to the office
- 39% of sales leaders say remote work has rendered their onboarding process obsolete
- 51% of companies expect onboarding will be hybrid in the next 12 months, while 38% expect it to be in person only and 11% expect it to be remote only
Onboarding Still a Costly, Lengthy and Stressful Process
- On average, the typical onboarding sales process takes 38 days
- The average cost to onboard a new sales employee: $9,589
- Nearly half of sales leaders say onboarding has been so stressful on some new hires that they quit
How to Improve Sales Rep Onboarding
Whether you’re hiring reps or shifting existing ones into new roles, reducing the time it takes to get new hires ramped and productive is crucial. Yet traditional sales onboarding methods rarely produce business results or move the needle on key metrics.
Upgrading to a modern approach offers an exciting opportunity for today’s sales enablement and training professionals to transform onboarding into an organizational capability that drives growth. Well-designed onboarding programs speed time-to-productivity for new reps, improve results, and lower travel expenses by empowering teams to train and learn remotely.
If sales leaders modernize and personalized their approach to onboarding, they will reduce the time it takes to get new reps ramped, onboard more efficiently, and drive productivity faster.
Allego’s new report includes five practical steps organizations can take to improve onboarding:
- Personalizing onboarding
- Making content easy to access
- Delivering onboarding content in small pieces
- Incorporating informal learning
- Reinforcing what sales reps learn over time
“Companies who invest in personalized onboarding also invest in the well-being and longevity of their employees as they ensure new sellers have the skills, knowledge, and content they need to feel confident stepping into their role,” Cohn said.
Download The State of Sales Onboarding Report to get the latest insights and advice for building the best sales onboarding experience.