How to use Gong to create, track, and measure your onboarding strategy

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“Hello! I’m looking for some insight into how to measure success for my sales onboarding programs. What other metrics do you use to measure success, apart from time to first milestone and % quota attainment for AEs?”


Great question! The good news? You aren’t alone. We come across this dilemma quite often from new Gong customers, and for a good reason! When I was a Sales Enablement Specialist at my previous organization, operationalizing and measuring the effectiveness of onboarding was one of our top challenges.

The fundamental problem with outdated onboarding programs is simple: they function on opinions, not the reality. Pre-Gong, organizations measured the effectiveness of a program almost completely based on quota attainment: Did the sales rep hit their quota or not? Pretty straightforward, right? Sure… however i’d argue its almost too straightforward. 

If you have any background working with sales teams, you know there is a lot that goes into the making of a successful sales professional, hitting quota is just one piece of the larger puzzle. Relying too heavily on quota can quickly lead you to develop tunnel vision, ignoring all of the other puzzle pieces critical for success. To explore those areas you’ll need to take a more holistic approach. What exactly are the other pieces of the puzzle?

They can be a bit tricky because they’re not quite as measurable. This includes skills like value selling, product knowledge, presentation and speaking skills, and negotiation and closing skills. While you’re probably very aware that these are metrics you should track, you may not have had the tools to do so. Until Gong came along!

Typically onboarding programs rely heavily on quantitative KPIs, such as % quota attainment, time to first deal, and time to first opportunity, etc. Those metrics are critical for tracking program success, but they only focus on one end goal: hitting quota. As you know, many factors come into play in deciding whether someone will hit quota. Gong surfaces those opportunities so you can revamp your onboarding process.


Metrics to consider

Qualitative skills are the soft skills that are often difficult to quantify, yet critical to success for revenue professionals. Here are a few you should keep an eye on:

  • Value selling: Can your seller lead a conversation that uncovers your customer’s pain points, challenges, and needs? 

  • Product knowledge: Can your seller connect prospects' pain points with your solution? Can they confidently answer questions about your solution? 

  • Presentation and speaking skills: Is your seller speaking too quickly or too slowly? Do they give the prospect enough time to speak or are they unintentionally cutting the prospect off?

  • Negotiation and closing skills: Is your seller confident when they address objections? Are they able to effectively negotiate the closing stage of their deals? 


Here’s how you measure it all

The metrics for measuring the quality of these critical skills isn’t obvious. If you want to incorporate some of these metrics into your onboarding plan, Gong has you covered! Here are a few of my pro-tips for leveraging Gong as part of your onboarding program:

  • Create “Trackers” 

    • Trackers are groups of keywords or phrases that tie into an overarching theme or business priority at your organization. They enable you to capture key insights and analyze how your team positions their value selling, objection handling, discovery questions, pricing negotiations, and much more. 

    • To set up onboarding trackers, first define the context and the initiative/priority. Then compile any related key terms or phrases you can think of. Here’s an example:

      Context: Value selling

      Initiative/priority: Ensuring that new hires incorporate value selling into their talk tracks 

      Key terms/phrases: Impact, priority, solution, solve, return on investment, our goal, valuable, solve for, success 

    • Once your trackers are configured you can set alerts so you know immediately when they’re mentioned in new hires’ calls. Instead of role play or live-call shadowing to see how they position these themes, you can narrow in on specific moments and can coach your new hires using a targeted and efficient approach.

*Already a Gong customer? Check out this step-by-step guide to create a report that correlates Trackers to your business impact and win rate.

  • Monitor interaction stats 

    • With Gong’s “Interaction Stats”, you can quickly assess a seller’s talk ratio, longest monologue, longest customer story, interactivity, patience, and question rate. 

    • These soft skills are key behaviors that drive revenue. Your ability to track, measure, and monitor them in new hires can show you whether your training is effective and help you measure key indicators of their success. Here’s something you might track in a new hire: 

      • Patience: You can measure how long the seller waits to speak after a customer stops talking. This is also known as “the golden pause”. Our AI recommends that “patience” stats stay between 0.6-1 second (at a minimum).

    • When you onboard new hires, you’ll be able to track and monitor all of their statistics, so you can identify who needs additional training. 

    • You’ll be able to use your data to determine whether your new hires’ selling skills improve or decline over time. Ultimately, you’ll have additional metrics by which to measure the success of your onboarding program. 

*Already a Gong customer? Use the Quality Assurance Playbook in Gong Academy to build out this onboarding initiative, and the Coaching Playbook to learn about other ways to coach your team in Gong.

It’s easy. You’ve got this.

Creating, tracking, and measuring the effectiveness of onboarding programs has traditionally been an elusive and complicated process. With Gong’s Revenue Intelligence platform, it’s suddenly straightforward (and effective!). 

You need shorter, more predictable ramp times; an understanding of which parts of your sales process need attention; and clarity about whether your sellers are adopting your new sales methodologies. Gong helps make all of that happen by hyperfocusing on the right parts of conversations and delivering team-wide metrics and insights about the state of your strategic initiatives.

Need more convincing? Hear it straight from our customers!

Are you planning on using Gong to build out your Onboarding Program? Share your thoughts and questions below!


2 replies

@Courtney Tucci @Danny McCarthy @Melodie Schwartz @JM Wilke @Amanda Maddox @Adriana Romero @Chris Becker @Jennifer Reyes - she/her @Delila House  @Serra @David Hagberg @Andrew O'Driscoll @Arielle Parnes-Katz @Helene Vincent  thought you’d appreciate this pic post by @Katie Oneal! Any additional tips you’d share on what you’ve done that has worked?

Another great post: