A sales onboarding program is the ultimate welcome for a new sales hire. It teaches them how your company sells, sets expectations, and cuts down the time it takes to get them to bring in new customers.

A good onboarding program isn’t just beneficial for the new sales rep—it’s good for business.

Mapping out expectations and giving your new reps the tools they need to get selling quickly means less money spent on training, and more revenue coming from your pipeline.  

But here’s the problem: a lot of companies don’t get their sales onboarding process right.


The good news is that creating a great onboarding program isn’t rocket science.


employee productivity during the pandemic employee productivity during the pandemic

Your onboarding should be a formal, organized, goal-based program that gives any new sales rep a consistent framework to follow and should include:

  • Time-based goals for enablement and skills mastery
  • Expectations set for new rep participation in the process
  • Relevant sales plays for the new rep to start prospecting
  • Clear checkpoints to measure progress


It sounds like a lot, but sales onboarding can actually be broken down into bite-sized pieces using the 30-60-90 day method. It’s a framework that uses a mix of scheduled check-ins and self-enablement so a sales rep can get a feel of their new role without their manager looking over their shoulder every minute of the day. First, let’s look at why so many sales teams fail to onboard their sales reps successfully. 

Common pitfalls in traditional onboarding programs

Traditionally, onboarding a new sales rep took a long time. And the longer it takes to onboard a new sales rep, the more money a company loses—a new rep can cost companies up to three times their base salary by the time their enablement program is over.

Onboarding costs and times run into problems when: 

  • (Following a standardized onboarding process): Not involving tenured reps from inside and field sales teams, having activities that might make sense only in the classroom and not on actual sales calls.
  • Missing key onboarding objectives
  • Not assessing proficiency
  • Not asking for relevant feedback from different sales groups
Challenges in traditional sales onboarding Challenges in traditional sales onboarding

Sales reps have been selling the same way for a long time and may come into a job role with a set idea about how they will be selling or communicating with the rest of the team. And whether they’re used to working in an office environment or relying purely on standard cold calls, sales reps are usually onboarded and trained in a face-to-face environment. 

With more teams selling virtually, an onboarding framework must cover remote-selling aspects of the job, like detailed instructions on how virtual selling tools work or what tools are used to mark deal milestones and communicate with other team members. All of these pitfalls in a traditional onboarding program can be overcome by following the 30-60-90 day plan. Let’s look at how to create one for your sales team 👇

Enabling sales success from Day 1: Creating a 30-60-90 day plan


A 30-60-90 day sales onboarding plan is a framework to prepare every new rep to hit the ground running when they join your team. The reason this plan is so well suited to onboard new reps is that it breaks their first 90 days on the job down into three measurable, actionable chunks:

  • Day 1-30: Learning and training
  • Day 31-60: Planning, prepping, and strategy
  • Day 61-90: Prospecting and selling
A standardized framework of virtual onboarding A standardized framework of virtual onboarding

Breaking down into three sections allows managers to give new hires a clear framework to follow and helps reps measure their first 90 days on the job to see if they are where the company expects them to be. Here’s how to create your own 30-60-90 day onboarding framework 👇


First 30 days: Learning and training

Whether you are onboarding a salesperson without much experience or a seasoned pro, no two companies have the same processes and selling strategies. That’s why it’s so important that the first 30 days focus on teaching your new salesperson all about your company and training them in your way of selling. 

Start by breaking down all of the critical parts of your sales process into bite-sized chunks:


training kit for virtual sales onboarding training kit for virtual sales onboarding


When you start to make this interactive, the manager needs to get involved in evaluating how the new rep is doing. Activities like mock elevator pitches or demos can be done using tools like Zoom so the manager can get an idea of how well the rep understands the tool and fix any mistakes or misalignments in their pitch. 

Top 5 things to focus on in the first 30 days:

  • Company culture + expectations from the role
  • Sales organization hierarchy (inside and field sales teams, sales strategy and programs, partner and marketing teams)
  • Understanding of target market and personas
  • Competition and their products
  • Your company’s tech stack

Activities to complete before moving on

  • Virtual group prospecting and discovery sessions to break the ice
  • Online training sessions and quizzes to test product knowledge

Milestones for sales manager to review 

  • Review mock pitches and product features quizzes
  • Check prospecting and elevator pitch for consistency with company brand

Next 30 days: Planning, prepping, and strategy

When the new hire enters their second month of onboarding, it’s time to get them ready to start selling your products. This phase focuses on enabling a deeper understanding of your target audience, how your product helps their industry, and the company's approach to nurturing relationships with prospects and customers. How do you do this? 


By introducing a few mandatory milestones that a manager can keep track of: 


As soon as your rep starts dipping their toes into real sales scenarios, they must do so by using your tech stack and start to get comfortable with your selling tools. For example, if your sales team relies on a tool like a CRM for collaboration with sales operations teams and to organize field and inside sales activities, the rep needs proper training on how to use it. 

salesperson cold calling a prospect salesperson cold calling a prospect

If the CRM integrates with a digital asset management (DAM) or learning management system (LMS), managers can also track how each new hire is progressing. These tools also make it easier for new hires to ramp up faster by giving them access to courses, tutorials, and training materials that they can complete within the 30-day timeframe. 

Top 5 things to focus on in the middle 30 days:

  • Industry use-cases, customer wins, and potential product fitment
  • Start calling low priority leads
  • Creating custom sales sequences
  • Use CRM data to prioritize key accounts and lost opportunities

Activities to complete before moving on

  • In-depth research into industry needs, customer profiles, and sales sequences
  • Contributed to a sales meeting by qualifying initial interest or fixing an in-depth prospect meeting with an account executive
  • Started prospecting and has qualified at least five new leads in their pipeline
  • Crafted personalized prospecting emails

Milestones for sales manager to review 

  • Any communication between the new hire and prospects is in alignment with the company’s tone of voice
  • Sales tools (like CRMs) are being used to record and carry out daily sales activities

Last 30 days: Prospecting and selling

The last 30 days is where your new rep takes the plunge and starts getting the opportunity to make a sale. Start off small by giving them an internal prospect list to target. While some days may be spent chasing up cold leads, others could be used to build relationships with prospects that are nearly ready to close a deal. 

Like all stages of the onboarding process, the rep should be required to complete some mandatory tasks during their last 30 days, like: 

  • Setting a daily and weekly schedule of prospecting activities like sales cadences
  • Getting quizzed on their outreach materials (i.e., discovery call pitches, cold email templates) to ensure they're up to speed. If they are, the sales manager can award them a certification to signal that they're ready to hit the sales floor
sales prospecting for virtual sales onboarding sales prospecting for virtual sales onboarding

By the end of the 90-day onboarding period, your sales rep should be able to convert leads and follow a set schedule of prospecting activities. During onboarding the manager should also hold a 1-to-1 meeting with the new hire to ensure they are comfortable with each of the sales tools in the tech stack.

Top 5 things to focus on in the last 30 days:

  • Taking quality discovery qualification notes and logging them into a CRM
  • Shadowing tenured account executives and presales during solutioning and product demos
  • Taking feedback from discovery calls and analyzing it to improve
  • Tracking lead + opportunity progress inside CRM/other tech tools
  • Set targets for minimum opportunity number/pipeline creation that is in line with sales quotas

Final milestones for sales manager to review 

  • Progress of leads and pipeline over the last 30-60 days
  • Mock tests around pitches, discovery, and qualification with a final certification
  • Assess detailed understanding of product/industry (i.e., new hire to compile a detailed presentation with industry sweet spots to prove in-depth understanding)

Wrapping up

Onboarding your new sales reps successfully is arguably the most important part of their journey. If it doesn’t go well, your sales reps could take months to get up to speed and start selling. Or worse, they could quit and find a job with another company that trains and educates them better. 

There are ways to avoid this happening and make sure every new sales rep is onboarded successfully within 90 days. Over-communicating your expectations and giving new hires as much information in the first few weeks of their job, as well as setting expectations, should be a priority. 

An image of a virtual sales onboarding specialist An image of a virtual sales onboarding specialist

With the help of a virtual onboarding tool, documenting, tracking, and evaluating a new sales rep’s onboarding is easy. Setting milestones and expectations not only helps drive productivity, but it also makes every new hire feel comfortable in their new role and gives them the tools they need to do what they came to do—sell your product 💰