I was recently on a call with a founder who is nearing the offer stage with a few candidates, and as we discussed the closing process and the importance of keeping momentum up, we began to talk about start date – something that is often overlooked. Given the holiday season, companies are usually tempted to push a candidate’s start date out until the beginning of January, but I strongly encourage founders and hiring managers to avoid doing this. To that end, I actually think the best start date in sales is the Monday after Thanksgiving. It’s incredibly beneficial for companies to have new sales hires start the Monday after Thanksgiving and a few weeks before Christmas… Here’s why:
1. The few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas is actually a great time to onboard someone as it is the perfect amount of time. Typical onboarding for a new hire is 2-3 weeks, which is the exact amount of time that you have between the holidays. This means that the new hire is able to come back in January and be ready to sell. They’ll likely still be on some sort of ramp quota, but even having the entire month of January to actually sell and not be in training, is a tremendous value add for the company and for the rep. Having a full year of selling under their belt means that it’s far more likely that the number under OTE in their offer letter will be more realistic with a full year of selling in their sights (they’ll also be completely ramped with a full pipeline by Q3 and Q4 when you need them to be in full selling mode.)
2. The new hires will be able to see the office in full swing. There’s nothing like end-of-year buzz on a sales floor, especially at a startup. Everyone is in full go-mode. This is the tone that’s being set for your new team members as they come in. Think about that for a second. If this is all they know of the sales floor from Day 1, this is what they will bring to the table when they’re selling for you. This is the best start date in sales because they’re able to shadow members of the team or sit in on demos when their teammates are working to close the year with a bang.
3. They will be able to attend company holiday parties and events. One of the most intimidating aspects of joining a new company is feeling like you’re disconnected with the rest of the team. Company holiday parties are a great way to get everyone together and allows new members of the team to have face-time with people in different parts of the company that they may not otherwise meet in the office every day. First impressions are incredibly important for every company, especially when you consider the fact that 33% of employees know whether they would stay with their company long-term after their first week. Take this time to welcome the new hire into the organization.
4. The new hires will be around for Sales Kick Off (or SKO). Sales Kick Offs not only set the tone for the new year, they also highlight the accomplishments and lessons learned from the previous year. This allows the new reps to have transparency about what the sales org did well and what you’re going to be focusing on in the new year. It also allows companies with multiple offices to all come together and creates a much more united community among the entire team. We’ll be releasing a podcast on SKO best practices in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, check out these tips for organizing a great SKO.
There will always be situations where timing doesn’t work out or sales reps will want to ride out the end of Q4 at their current company so they can collect their final commission checks. However, if given the opportunity to onboard a few hires in these pivotal few weeks before the end of Q4, I urge you to keep the momentum up. That’s why the Monday after Thanksgiving is the best start date in sales. At the end of the day, it will ultimately help you with onboarding, revenue, retention, and organizational transparency– and who doesn’t want to start 2018 with all those boxes checked?
If you liked “Best Start Date In Sales: The Monday After Thanksgiving” and want to read more content from the Bowery Capital Team, check out other relevant posts from the Bowery Capital Blog.