Nobody hits quota on the first day, but you’ve got targets to worry about and need to know you hired the right candidate. So, when can you expect ROI from your new sales rep? Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule of ramping up that covers every product, vertical and candidate. There are, however, a lot of factors which will help you gauge whether a new hire is learning the ropes or hanging by a thread.
This is as close as you’re going to get to a date you can circle on the calendar. Unless this is your first sales rep, you’ve got some idea how long it takes to turn a prospect into a closed deal. However, if your established team has turned two cycles and your new hire isn’t on the verge of closing something, it’s not a good sign.
The sales cycle system of evaluation is great if you’ve got warm leads to work with. If not, your new hire will need a chance to do research and build a pipeline before they can even start their first true sales cycle, meaning that ramping up will take a lot longer. Depending on their experience and familiarity with the market this will typically slow down ROI by several weeks.
Even with warm leads and a network of connections, some deals are complex enough to require sales cycles of 6+ months. In this scenario it doesn’t make sense to think about short-term ROI, which means setting solid benchmarks around new clients, relationships and RFP’s.
Sales is all about revenue, so it makes sense to hold your new reps to that standard. It’s also easy to doubt your new employees until they demonstrate value. Exercise common sense, take cues from your established sales team and do everything you can to set new reps up for success.