It’s one of the oldest clichés in recorded history: “Never discount the power of a first impression.”
But when it comes to sales hiring, just how long does a real “first impression” last?
The Bridge Group states that the average tenure of a typical Inside Sales rep is just under 3 years–2.9, to be exact.
But just how long does it really take to know if a rep is going to work out?
Anthony Iannarino over at The Sales Blog gives some pretty good advice for just how long a sales hire’s “first impression” should last:
“What you have seen in the first ninety days of your salesperson’s employment is what you can expect to see in the future. If they haven’t done the prospecting that you have agreed to during that time, they aren’t going to. If they haven’t met their activity quota, they aren’t going to. If they haven’t built the pipeline or won the opportunities that you agreed to and that are what should reasonably be expected of them, they aren’t going to.”
Great advice, and something we’ve followed for years over at InsideSales.com. All of our sales hires are given a 90-day “evaluation period,” where they’re offered full compensation for their work, but with the understanding that continued employment is conditional based on the work they do during their eval. If the 90-day initial review doesn’t show the results we’d like, we have a serious conversation with the rep about whether they’re going to stick around.
Does that sound cruel? In reality, for most reps it’s a breath of fresh air and sigh of relief, to know that they’re not going to be “BS-ing” themselves (and their managers) about a job they weren’t particularly qualified for or enjoying.