used to vet candidates – disquali- fying those who do not meet the required level of competence, and using the output of the assessments to interview more effectively and to coach folks who are hired.

• Conduct hiring retrospectives after new hires have been on the job for a while in order to continu- ously improve your hiring process.

• Create and convey for new hires a clear internal promotion path that is transparent, attainable, and fair.

• Avoid premature promotions, as they can lead to employee failure, team misses, and demoralization.

ENGAGE Too much is made of onboarding. Teaching initial product introduc- tion, tech stack, and process is easy. Engaging new hires and accelerating them toward mastery is the hard part – and the part that creates consistent- ly high-performing teams. • The engagement phase begins with an employee receiving their offer letter, and ends when they conduct their first meaningful prospect-facing activity.

• Concepts presented to a new hire but not applied quickly will be poorly applied – or, worse, forgotten; instead, focus on tim- ing and relevance of onboarding concepts.

• Create specific, measurable goals for your engagement phase.

• Ensure that goals are reverse en- gineered into activity and broken down into things a salesperson can control.

• Create a backlog of engagement activities and ensure that only immediately relevant activities are queued.

• Create cohorts of new hires to improve the efficiency and ef- fectiveness of new hire engage- ment, while also minimizing new hire-related interruptions on the existing team.

• Ensure that all training content used relates to specific compe-

tencies new hires must build, and that training content is continu- ously improved and updated.

• Simulations and role play allow new hires to get confidence- building repetitions before facing high-value prospects.

• Many organizations have new hires “drink from the firehose” be- cause they lack preparation. Avoid this temptation and make the engagement phase as simple as possible, with clear and measur- able outcomes.

• Leverage product training only to the extent that it teaches new hires what specific problems the product solves for prospects.

• If new hires are asked to shadow co-workers, ensure there are clear guidelines for the activity and that there is mutual accountability to report back what was learned and how it will be applied.

ACCELERATE The acceleration phase ensures the organization supports the develop- ment of the skills necessary for the new hire to achieve long-term success and professional development (reten- tion and promotion opportunities). • Acceleration must go beyond the basics and address the different scenarios the salesperson will run into when working deals.

• Defining the acceleration phase as the first meaningful activity (such as a discovery call with a prospect in the salesperson’s tar- get market) to a won deal main- tains focus and momentum.

• Coaching must happen frequently during the acceleration phase to course-correct on any deficiencies that management observes and set up the salesperson for long- term success.

• Certifications are the single best tool that management can apply to ensure salespeople are suc- cessful. The Ebbinghaus forget- ting curve dictates that 79% of knowledge is lost after 31 days if it’s not revisited. Furthermore,


It is the trouble that never comes that causes the loss of sleep.


67% of knowledge is lost after just one day without a reminder.

• Multiple-choice quizzes, scenari- os, case studies, and the observa- tion of real-world activity are key components of a strong certifica- tion program.


Mastery is often defined as consis- tent quota attainment. The goal is to have clarity regarding when execution meets the highest level of expectation. • Incremental milestones are critical to ensure that a salesperson is on pace to achieve mastery; manage- ment must course-correct if not.

• Key milestones on the path to back-to-back quota attainment include full pipeline coverage, full quota coverage, 25% quota at- tainment, 50% quota attainment, 80% quota attainment, and 100% quota attainment.

• Help struggling employees improve performance; and, if they can’t, manage them out of their role.

The T.E.A.M. framework provides

the clarity that companies need to strategically and tactically execute on retention and growth objectives. 

Hilmon Sorey is managing director of ClozeLoop, a sales management consult- ing and training firm. His newest book, 46 Reasons Why Your Cold Calls Fail: ...And How To Fix Them FAST, is avail- able on Amazon and in the ClozeLoop Bookstore.


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