Mastering Sales Onboarding: A 30-60-90 Day Plan for Leaders

A group of people waiting to board an aircraft. The image draws a parallel between boarding an aircraft and onboarding sales hires in a company.

Mastering Sales Onboarding: A 30-60-90 Day Plan for Leaders

A group of people boarding an aircraft. The image draws a parallel between boarding and aircraft and onboarding new hires in sales.

A well-structured onboarding process is the bedrock of success for new sales team members. It’s not merely an initiation into the organization but instead a strategic approach to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and tools essential for achieving sales excellence. To ensure a seamless transition and a solid foundation for future growth, many sales leaders turn to a proven approach: the 30-60-90 day onboarding plan. So let’s take a look at the makeup of the 30-60-90 day onboarding plan and how it can be used to orchestrate a successful journey for new sales reps.

The First 30 Days of the onboarding: Building a Rock-Solid Foundation

During the initial 30 days, the primary objective of the onboarding plan is to establish a strong foundation. Sales leaders recognize the importance of immersing new hires into the company’s culture, values, and overall mission. This not only ensures that your sales reps have the right tools and are ready for the job but also gets them on board with the larger goal of the company. Here are some key components that successful sales leaders often incorporate in this phase:

Company Deep Dive: Introduce new hires to the company’s history, mission, vision, and core values. Understanding the organization’s DNA fosters a sense of belonging and purpose right from the start.

Familiarization of Product and Solution : Fostering a deep understanding of the products or solutions being offered to ensures that your sales reps can sell effectively. Leaders ensure that new hires grasp not only the features but also the benefits, use cases, and competitive differentiators of the offerings.

Sales Process Overview: A comprehensive overview of the sales process, from lead generation to closing deals, is provided. This includes an introduction to key stages, touchpoints, and best practices that define the journey from prospect to customer.

CRM and Tools Training: Familiarity with the tools of the trade is paramount. Sales leaders ensure that new hires are well-versed in using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, email templates, communication platforms, and other essential tools.

By building this robust foundation in the first 30 days, you can set the stage for a smooth transition, enabling new hires to grasp the essence of the company’s culture and operations.

The Next 30 Days: Nurturing Skills and Competencies

Days 31 to 60 mark a crucial phase where the emphasis shifts towards skill development and nurturing competencies essential for sales success. Sales leaders employ a blend of training, observation, and hands-on experiences to nurture these skills:

Role-Play and Practice: Practical experience is key to mastering any skill. Sales leaders engage new hires in role-playing scenarios that encompass objection handling, effective pitching, and negotiation techniques.

Shadowing and Mentoring: Pairing new hires with experienced sales representatives for shadowing and mentoring provides them with insights from seasoned professionals. This exposure helps them understand real interactions, challenges, and strategies.

Customer Interactions: Encouraging new hires to actively engage with leads and prospects under the guidance of mentors is essential. This hands-on experience allows them to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Mastery of Value Proposition: Articulating the value proposition effectively is a cornerstone of successful sales. Leaders ensure that new hires can clearly communicate the value their products or services bring to potential customers.

Skill development is a fundamental aspect of the onboarding journey. You can leverage role-playing exercises, shadowing opportunities, and direct engagement with customers to nurture essential competencies.

The Final 30 Days of the onboarding: Empowering Ownership and Autonomy

You’ve established a strong foundation, given them the tools and training to sell your service/product and now, in the concluding phase of the 30-60-90 day onboarding plan (days 61 to 90), it’s  time to guide new hires towards taking ownership of their roles and embracing autonomy. This phase entails:

Independent Sales Activities: Gradually transition new hires into handling sales activities independently. This includes prospecting, conducting product demos, crafting persuasive proposals, and ultimately closing deals.

Performance Review: Conduct a comprehensive performance review to evaluate the progress made during the onboarding journey. Constructive feedback is provided to highlight strengths and identify areas for further development.

Goal Setting: Hold collaborative goal-setting sessions to define performance objectives for the upcoming months. Clear goals provide direction and motivation for new hires as they embark on their journey.

Market and Competitor Insights: Deepening their understanding of the market landscape and competitors is essential. Sales leaders equip new hires with insights to navigate competitive challenges effectively.

Long-Term Development Plan: Have a forward-looking discussion about the new hire’s long-term growth within the organization. Addressing career aspirations and charting a path for advancement within the sales team is a key component.

Guiding new hires towards autonomy and ownership marks the finale of the onboarding process. As a successful sales leader you have now empowered them with skills, confidence, and a roadmap for continuous growth and success.

Mastery in Leadership Roles

Now that you have the onboarding plan mastered, let’s take a look at a few things to put into action to excel in the role as a sales leader and ensure your new sales reps stay on long term.

Clear Communication: Articulate expectations, objectives, and milestones clearly to new hires. Transparent communication fosters a sense of direction and purpose.

Unwavering Support: Offer continuous support and encouragement throughout the onboarding journey. Create an environment where new hires feel comfortable seeking guidance, clarifications, and feedback.

Adaptability: Recognize that each new hire is unique. Adapt the onboarding plan to accommodate individual strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles.

Progress Monitoring: Regularly review the progress of new hires. Identify areas of strength and pinpoint aspects that require further development.

Celebrating Milestones: Recognize and celebrate achievements and milestones reached during the onboarding process. Acknowledging their efforts boosts morale and motivates new hires to continue striving for excellence.

A well-structured 30-60-90 day onboarding plan is a cornerstone of accelerating the readiness of new sales team members. Sales leaders create a team that is not just well-equipped but also highly motivated and poised for success by meticulously guiding them through the phases of foundation-building, skill development, and autonomy,