How to onboard remote sales employees?

December 6, 2021

“Onboarding employees is an art. Every new employee brings with them a potential to achieve and succeed. To lose the energy of a new hire through poor onboarding is an opportunity lost.” - Sarah Wetzel


Onboarding a remote sales team member is more challenging than doing it in-person. The goals, however, remain the same: To help the employee get off to a quick start, build relationships, understand the culture, and recognize expectations and start hitting their sales quota and help achieve sales teams goals.

The main goal with onboarding is to make people feel welcome. As a sales leader you want people to know right from the start that they are part of this team — they are meant to be here not by chance but by choice. Sales leaders should make it very clear from day one that every sales team member was chosen for a reason and they are wanted in the team, and then prove that by setting them up for success with an unforgettable onboarding experience.

One way this can be done is by making sure people’s entrance to the company doesn’t go unnoticed. They should not feel like it’s their first day in a new school and instead roll out the red carpet for each team member..

There are two essential methods for setting up new sales hires for success:  

  • Practical onboarding 
  • Cultural onboarding


Practical onboarding

This is the more obvious side of onboarding new sales hires.

Under this practical setup, the human resources team handles the company-wide onboarding while the sales manager of this new sales hire will take care of their job-specific onboarding.

They’ll have specific expectations of what to do before they start, on their first day, and during their first week, month and quarter.

Of course, practical onboarding involves getting people set up with everything they need to work successfully. Since a lot of sales teams have gone fully remote, this also means getting them set up with the right tools for remote work.

New hires need to be set up with their sales tools, and signing up for the tools to begin their work.


Cultural onboarding

This is the most important aspect of onboarding a new sales team member. For people to feel welcome and be a part of the team, they need to understand the company, its values, and culture.

A simple questionnaire that asks questions about who they are and how they would like to work, helps managers understand employee expectations and ensures they share information about themselves that managers might not know otherwise, and thus get to know them on a professional and a personal level.

Once new hires fill out the questionnaire, this is stored in a place for other team members to view while they also have access to everyone else’s information, meaning they can get to know their team better, as well as the whole company.

The Cultural onboarding process also involves providing the right resources to understand the company and its business. For example, previous recordings of the onboarding process where new hires learn about core values and company vision. 

New hires should also get specific blog posts, articles, and other resources that help them understand the company and sales team philosophy.

That way, these new hires are familiar with the company, the people in it, and the mission that the company is trying to accomplish.

For many people (especially startups), this may sound like a lot of work. Maybe you’re wondering, is this really all that important? Read on to learn why active onboarding is so critical to success in sales.


Why is active onboarding so important?

Think for a moment about the time you spend looking for and hiring people for your team. You’re looking for the A-listers, the ones that are going to hit their sales quota for your company.

So many companies agonize over the hiring process, and when they finally find the right person, they throw them into the deep end without much of an onboarding process.

Whatever effort you put into hiring people, you should be putting double into onboarding them.

The need for this is especially amplified in a remote environment. When you’re onboarding remote employees, you can’t walk them around the office, show them their desk, and tell them to meet up with a few different people to get started.

In a remote setting, your onboarding process needs to be precise because it’s all done online (and often in different time zones).

To summarize: Double down on the sales onboarding process and see your sales team soar to great heights!


Sales Onboarding Checklist

  • Get ready to welcome the new team member by preparing the existing team
  • Have work tools and tech equipment ready 
  • Prepare for digital onboarding and company culture documents ready
  • Help new hire set-up meetings with team members and key employees
  • Bring the team together by scheduling a Welcome Call
  • Prompt sales managers to set specific goals and expectations
  • Arrange role specific training
  • Schedule Regular 1-1 Meetings

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