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Sales leader giving instructions for the new hire coaching
Mehmet Mutlu15.05.202414 min read

What is sales onboarding training? Best practices & manuals

What is sales onboarding training? Best practices & manuals

A recent DePaul University report[1] on sales representative turnover demonstrates that the time to replace an "average" sales rep ranges from 5.8 to 7.8 months, averaging 6.2 months. Acquisition costs of a sales rep average $29,000, product training costs average $36,000 and lost sales in territory average $50,000.

Entering the realm of sales starts the beginning of a journey filled with challenges and opportunities for growth. Whether an employee is an experienced sales professional embarking on a new chapter in their career or a recent graduate diving into the dynamic world of sales for the first time, the onboarding process is seen as a pivotal moment in shaping their trajectory.

In today's evolving business landscape, companies recognize the crucial importance of effective sales onboarding in not only welcoming new hires but also equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to be successful.

In this comprehensive article, we'll delve into the intricate nuances of sales onboarding training and explore the core components that lay the foundation for success for both employees and companies.

Key insights
  • Companies that implement sales onboarding training are ahead of their average competitors by approximately 37%.
  • Sales onboarding training has crucial benefits such as faster adjustment for newly hired employees, increased sales productivity, and the skills to adapt to a changing market.
  • Organizations with established new hires-onboarding programs have 50% more employee retention compared to competitors.

Table of contents:

What is sales onboarding training?

Sales onboarding training is a multi-layered process aimed at preparing newly hired sales professionals for success within sales organizations. This comprehensive training program encompasses a different kind of components, including orientation sessions to introduce new hires to the company's culture, values, and mission.

Additionally, sales onboarding typically involves training on the organization's products and services to ensure that new hires have a deep understanding of what they will be selling. At the same time, sales onboarding often includes instruction about the company's sales processes, and instructions such as lead generation, qualification, and closing techniques in order to provide new hires with the tools they need to effectively navigate the sales cycle.

Role-specific sales training is also common. It is tailored to the specific responsibilities and expectations of each sales position within the organization. The goal of sales onboarding training is to accelerate the integration of new sales professionals into the organization by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to quickly become productive contributors to the sales team.

Sales leader describing the sales strategies to new hires

New hires value training as it helps them become well-integrated into the company and allows them to perform their task more efficiently. 

Benefits of sales onboarding training

Based on the research made by G2[2], with an effective sales onboarding program, sales reps are starting to be productive in approximately 3.4 months. That is approximately 37% faster than peers who recieved worse onboarding training.

The right sales onboarding software and process offers numerous benefits for both new hires and organizations at the same time. From faster adjustments for new hires to increased sales productivity and performance, as well as quicker adaptability to market changes, the advantages of effective onboarding are significant.

In addition, sales onboarding training lays the foundation for a positive and lasting relationship between new hires and the organization. If provided comprehensive training and support from the outset, companies can demonstrate their commitment to the success and development of their sales rep.

This investment in an effective sales onboarding process not only accelerates the integration of new sales reps into the team but also fosters a sense of loyalty and engagement that can lead to long-term retention and continued growth within the organization. Let's explore these benefits of an effective onboarding programme in more detail:

Faster adjustments for new hires

A successful sales onboarding process streamlines the transition process for newly hired sales reps, allowing them to adapt more quickly to their roles within the sales organization. Through targeted training sessions and informative resources, new sales hires gain a clear understanding of their responsibilities, the company culture, product knowledge and services, and the sales processes.

This comprehensive preparation reduces the time it takes for sales leader and new hires to become comfortable and confident in their roles, enabling them to start contributing to the team's success sooner. By minimizing the learning curve, sales onboarding training ensures that new hires can hit the ground running and begin making meaningful contributions to the sales team without unnecessary delays.

Increased sales productivity and performance

One of the key benefits of sales onboarding training is its direct impact on sales productivity and performance. By equipping new hires with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to effectively engage with customers and close deals, onboarding training sets the stage for enhanced sales outcomes. With a solid understanding of the company's products, sales processes, and customer needs, new sales hires are better equipped to identify and pursue opportunities, resulting in increased sales productivity. Additionally, by instilling best practices and effective sales techniques early on, onboarding training helps new hires build confidence and competence in their roles, leading to improved sales performance over time. Ultimately, by investing in comprehensive onboarding training, organizations can boost sales productivity and drive revenue growth across the entire sales department and team.

Faster adaptability to market changes

Sales onboarding training not only prepares sales reps for their roles but also equips them with the agility to navigate evolving market dynamics. By providing insights into industry trends, competitor analysis, and customer preferences, onboarding training helps new sales hires stay ahead of the curve.

This proactive approach enables them to quickly adjust their strategies and tactics in response to changing market conditions, ensuring that they remain relevant and competitive in the sales department in today's fast-paced business environment.

With a strong foundation of market knowledge and adaptive selling skills, new sales reps are better positioned to seize opportunities and address challenges, contributing to the overall resilience and success of the sales organization.

Sales employee taking notes from her coaching programEffective onboarding training is crucial to get your sales reps up-to-date with company strategies in their first days of employment.

Key components of sales onboarding training

An effective sales onboarding program involves several key components that are essential for preparing new hires to succeed in their roles. From product and service training to familiarization with sales processes, as well as instruction on sales tools, and technology, each component plays a crucial role in equipping new reps with the necessary knowledge and skills they need to excel in their competitive markets. Let's explore these key components in more detail to understand their significance in the onboarding process.

Product and service training

A fundamental component of sales onboarding training is product and service training, which provides new hires with a comprehensive understanding of the company's products and services they offer to the customers.

Through detailed instruction on product features, benefits, and use cases, new sales professionals can gain the knowledge they need to effectively communicate the value proposition to potential customers. Additionally, service training ensures that sales reps are equipped to address customer inquiries and provide accurate information.

Through equipping new sales reps with in-depth knowledge of the products and services they will be selling, product and service training sets the foundation for successful sales interactions and creates confidence in engaging with customers.

Sales process familiarization

Sales process familiarization is a crucial aspect of sales onboarding training. A sales manager provides new sales rep with a roadmap for navigating the sales cycle. This component involves introducing new sales reps to the various stages of the sales process, from prospecting and lead generation to qualification, negotiation, and closing.

Through interactive training sessions and real-world sales enablement tools, a new hire learns the key steps and best practices for effectively moving prospects through each stage of the sales funnel. By understanding new concepts such as sales enablement sales methodology, sales process overview, etc. sales leaders equip new sales reps better to identify opportunities, prioritize their activities, and manage their time effectively to drive results.

Sales process familiarization ensures that new sales representatives have the foundational knowledge and skills they need to navigate the complexities of the sales environment with confidence and competence.

Organizations with established new hires-onboarding programs have 50% more employee retention[3] compared to competitors who have not structured their onboarding training, according to Aberdeen group report.

Tools and technology training

In today's digital age, sales management relies heavily on tools and technology to streamline their workflow and enhance productivity. Therefore, an essential component of sales onboarding training is providing new hires with training on the tools and technologies used within the organization.

This training may include instruction on customer relationship management (CRM) systems, communication platforms, and other relevant tools. If a sales manager familiarizes new sales reps with these tools early on, companies ensure that they can effectively utilize technology to manage customer relationships, track sales activities, and collaborate with team members.

Tools and technology training equip new hires with the skills they need to maximize efficiency and effectiveness in their sales roles, ultimately driving success for both the individual and the organization as a whole.

New sales hire taking notes on a paperRetorio provides your employees with the necessary coaching for sales in order to increase the KPIs of sales operations.

Best practices for the sales onboarding process and the training

The success of the sales onboarding process relies heavily on implementing best practices that cater to the diverse learning styles of new hires, ensure engagement throughout the training, and provide continuous support and feedback for ongoing improvement.

Through tailoring training to different learning types, making it interactive and engaging, and offering ongoing support and feedback, companies can effectively equip new sales reps for success in their roles. Additionally, measuring data for continuous improvement allows companies to refine their onboarding processes over time and ensure that they remain relevant and effective in supporting the development of their sales team.

Let's explore these best practices in more detail to understand how they contribute to a successful sales onboarding experience.

Tailor training to different learning types

One of the key best practices in sales onboarding is recognizing and accommodating the diverse learning styles of new hires. People learn in many different ways, some prefer visual aids while others learn best through hands-on experience or verbal explanations.

Tailoring training to different learning types ensures that all new sales professionals have the opportunity to absorb information in a way that resonates with them. This might involve incorporating a variety of training methods such as presentations, role-playing scenarios, or interactive online sales coaching.

In today's sea of ineffective sales onboarding software, utilizing AI coaching for tailoring training materials to different learning types environments is especially crucial for a successful sales onboarding process.

If catered to different learning preferences, companies can optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of their sales onboarding checklist and ensure that new hires grasp and retain key concepts more efficiently.

Make it interactive and engaging

Another quite essential aspect of an effective sales onboarding programme is creating an interactive and engaging learning environment that encourages active participation and promotes knowledge retention.

Rather than relying solely on lectures or presentations, incorporating interactive elements such as group discussions, case studies, simulations, and gamification can make the training experience more dynamic and memorable. Interactive sessions not only keep participants engaged but also encourage collaboration and idea exchange among new team members, fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork from the outset.

For this, new team members need to take these interactive and engaging training materials in a psychologically safe environment such as an online coaching platform for the best employee engagement rates and the retention of training materials in the long term.

With making the onboarding process interactive and engaging, companies have the opportunity to enhance learning outcomes, boost motivation, and ultimately accelerate the integration of new sales team members into the team.

Provide ongoing support and feedback

In addition to initial training, providing ongoing support and feedback is crucial for the continued development and success of new sales reps:

  • Regular check-ins with sales managers allow new sales reps to address any challenges they may encounter and receive guidance on how to improve their performance.

  • Coaching programs offer opportunities for new hires to learn from experienced occurrences, gain valuable insights, and receive personalized support tailored to their needs.

  • Access to resources like training materials and job aids equips new sales reps with the tools they need to succeed in their roles and overcome obstacles they may encounter.

  • Constructive feedback on performance provides individuals with specific insights into their strengths and areas for improvement, empowering them to make necessary adjustments and grow professionally.

  • Offering continuous support and feedback shows the company's commitment to the growth and success of its sales team members, creating a positive and psychologically supportive work environment.

  • This entire process of culture of learning and development not only benefits individual sales professionals but also contributes to the overall performance and success of the sales team.

Measure data for continuous improvement of sales teams

Measuring data for sales teams involves collecting and analyzing relevant metrics to identify areas of strength and areas for enhancement within the sales process. By tracking key performance indicators such as conversion rates, and customer satisfaction scores, sales leaders can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their sales strategies and tactics.

Additionally, analyzing data on sales team performance and individual performance allows for targeted coaching and training initiatives to address any gaps or areas needing improvement. In addition, leveraging data analytics tools and technologies enables sales teams to make data-driven decisions and optimize their approach to achieve better results.

Overall, companies should measure data for continuous improvement and empower sales teams to adapt, innovate, and thrive in an ever-evolving business landscape.

Sales onboarding program in steps

Here's a simple 30-60-90 sales onboarding template to get started with your sales onboarding training journey: 

Time period Steps
Days 1-30 The beginning of the sales onboarding process is mostly focusing on employees' comprehension of the company's product, customer profile, and existing steps. New hires must utilize this period to learn about the features of products, suitable customer types, and the team. At the same time, they need to have a strong understanding of the company's sales process
Days 31-60 The next period is the 31-60 days mark and the new sales hires should be focused on different exercises such as scenario-based role-playing and shadowing the existing reps. By receiving trials and presentations, the new hires should get the hang of selling the company's service. Additionally, it would be great timing to begin the real-life experiences for new sales hires by having them be in the field with customers.
Days 61-90 The last period of the sales onboarding training process must be focused on coaching the new hires in their journey. It is important to answer questions and give support to the new hires. They should also make use of their time by adjusting their skills and knowledge gained from the coaching process.


Are you looking for a solution to increase your sales onboarding training efficiency and experience? Retorio got your back!

Retorio's AI Coaching platform is more than capable of executing efficient training the right way, and as a result, offers training that leaves an impact on your organization. From understanding the unique needs and preferences of each employee to ensuring the development of new competencies to providing tailored and data-driven feedback, Retoro's AI-powered training platform guarantees to cultivate successful sales reps like no other.

With Retorio, you can increase engagement and inspire productivity all with the power of self-identification with our Artificial Intelligence. It enables hidden clues you might have missed before, and it nurtures your sales reps to thrive in complexity.

Retorio's AI-coaching dashboard

How does it do that? Through immersing each sales rep in AI-based role-playing scenarios to get them ready for what they will face in the field.

Click on the button below and try Retorio for your new hires, today!

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  1. Role-specific Training Modules: Develop customized training modules tailored to the specific role and responsibilities of the new sales employee. These modules should cover essential topics such as product knowledge, industry trends, customer personas, and objection-handling techniques to provide a comprehensive understanding of the job requirements.

  2. Simulated Sales Scenarios: Conducting simulated sales scenarios allows new sales employees to practice their skills in a controlled environment. These simulations can range from phone role-plays to mock sales presentations with an AI coach to provide opportunities to refine their pitches and improve their negotiation skills.

  3. Feedback and Performance Reviews: Regular feedback sessions and performance reviews provide new sales employees with constructive feedback on their progress and areas for improvement. This feedback loop allows them to identify strengths and weaknesses, set goals for growth, and track their development over time.

Sales onboarding is essential as it accelerates new hires' productivity while creating loyalty and engagement within the team. By equipping sales professionals with the skills to deliver exceptional customer experiences, it enhances customer satisfaction and retention, ultimately driving revenue growth.

Additionally, a well-structured onboarding program ensures consistency and quality across the team, aligning all members with the organization's goals. Overall, effective sales onboarding plays a pivotal role in the success of both new hires and the organization as a whole.


Mehmet Mutlu

I specialize in writing educational and compelling narratives that explore the transformative impact of AI-powered coaching within sales, customer service, and leadership. I focus on creative writing to share my insights on Artificial Intelligence and the future of L&D.