The Minimalist 30-60-90 Day List of Onboarding Best Practices for New Sales Associates

Charley Mendoza
August 31, 2023
 min read

Even if you hire the right talent, it won’t make much of a difference if you don’t observe a few onboarding best practices for new-hires.

So now I hear you ask… 

What the heck is onboarding? How is it different from new-hire training? 

What does Onboarding Mean? Onboarding vs Orientation

New employee onboarding isn’t just passing on skills and company-specific knowledge. It’s a whole process of integrating a new team member into your team – making sure they have the right contacts, the right protocols, and making them feel welcome. 

Orientation, on the other hand, is just day 1 in an onboarding checklist. It’s just the initial introduction like giving them software access or introducing the rest of the team.

What is onboarding for a job? What can it do for new hires? 


Helping a new sales associate feel comfortable requires more than showing them where the pantry is. Help them understand your company’s vision, the support you’ll give them as their manager, and their responsibilities. Give them a feel about the company’s culture too, like the values you stand for or the social events you have to blow off steam. 


Now this goes without saying, but a sales representative needs to be familiar with your company’s products and services, as well as your ideal client profile. 

A successful onboarding won’t make your associates a product whiz right away, but they should at least know how to position your offers and how it’s different from your competitors. 

4 Must-Haves in Every Employee Onboarding Checklist 

Use a process-oriented new hire onboarding checklist so each employee gets the same experience and training to succeed in your company in an appropriate time frame.

A consistent employee onboarding process includes:

  1. Time based goals for skills and knowledge mastery
  2. Clear expectations for how new hires are expected to participate, especially in terms of attendance, mock-calls, exams, etc
  3. Guides the manager, trainer, and new sales associate throughout the process so everyone knows what’s expected of them
  4. Includes key performance indicators for each important task

A typical new employee onboarding program for a sales associate includes 30-60-90-day plans with pre-scheduled evaluation points. Each evaluation point is a chance to discuss what they’re doing well, their challenges, and the specific coaching they’ll need for the next phase of the onboarding. 

How to Onboard a New Sales Associate: The Nitty Gritty of the Process

Now you know what makes a good employee onboarding plan, let’s get to the meat of things. 

1. Start before Day One – The Orientation Packet

Give your new-hires a running start with an orientation packet they can review before day one. 

What to include in your welcome packet or new employee onboarding checklist

  • An onboarding checklist or the list of tasks they’ll accomplish throughout the new employee onboarding program
  • HR and admin stuff: Information about their pay, how to avail leaves, the company handbook, and contact info for other stuff they might need
  • Your offerings and sales materials
  • Your key differentiation points against
  • The sales playbook with scripts, rebuttals, etc.
  • Your company’s leadership and organizational structure
  • Career development plan for new associates
  • Optional: New hire swag like a company jacket, mug, and stationery set 

Ask new representatives to come prepared with questions for you based on their readings of the welcome packet or their research of the company. 

Bump Up Familiarity and Belong with Complete Access

Take care of other documentation and access they need, like CRM access, emails, and a computer. 

Use this time to explain the 30-60-90 day onboarding checklist for new hires, and set expectations.

30-60-90 day new hire onboarding checklist
30-60-90 day new hire onboarding checklist

At Hubspot, new hires get lunch with veteran sellers on their first day, so they can learn more about the company and ask questions. It’s also good practice to help your team bond with the new hires.

3. Onboarding Checklist for New Hires: The First 30 Days

Use the first 30 days to introduce new sales associates to the company’s internal organizations, such as:

  • Prospecting process
  • Selling systems or software
  • Marketing materials
  • Ideal client profile
  • Rapport building
  • Buyer qualification questioning
  • Active listening and communication techniques 
  • Negotiation techniques or closing techniques
  • Demo techniques

4. New Hire Onboarding Checklist Days 60 to 90:  The Trial By Fire

Onboarding best practices for days 31 through 60 for top companies, often include trial by fire, where new sales reps can apply what they’ve learned on real prospects, and get coaching from you or other more veteran sales reps. 

It’s also a good time to do mock calls, or listen in sessions where new sales reps sit beside your veterans.

5. Real Progress Begins at Day 61: KPIs and Metrics Improvement

After 60 days, your new hires should be ready to start working with key performance indicators (KPIs). Set manageable KPIs at first, like improving their appointment setting rates, cold email open rates, etc, but challenge them to exceed this later. 

Ask them to come up with new strategies to improve themselves, too. Coach them but don’t spoon feed everything because that can easily feel like micromanagement.  

Starting day 90, a new sales associate should be ready for their first post-training coaching session. Here, you’ll monitor their progress just like any sales associate, and come up with a plan to improve their performance next month or quarter.

Read our article to learn more about outsourcing a sales team.

Making Hard Decisions: Did they Pass or Fail the New Employee Onboarding? 

If you do this process right, the metrics used on the employee onboarding checklist will show you if a new sales rep isn’t doing well.

In the unlikely chance that they still can’t cut it– intervene early. You don’t have to let them go immediately, just put them into an individualized performance improvement plan for another month to address their challenges.

If that still doesn’t work, consider releasing them back into the marketplace. Maybe they’re just not a fit for you. Holding onto them will just demoralize your team and harm your sales in the long run.

Grow Your Investment with Training and Early Coaching

Reward newly onboarded team members by trusting them more and asking for their input whenever relevant. Invest in their training again after a few months with advanced sales skills like negotiation training, scaling, or advanced outbound strategies. 

Need help finding a rockstar sales associate? Get in touch with one of our senior consultants.

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