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  • Things New Sales Managers Must Do in the First 90 Days

Congratulations if you're newly promoted as a Manager or a team leader. It's a recognition to your capability and also your contributions to the company. At the same time, it is also the management's expectations in promoting you to lead and grow the business to next higher level. The stake is high for you. You're expected to learn fast and keep the ball rolling. Consequently, your success in the first 90 days on this new role is extremely crucial.

Most onboarding program for new Managers last about one or two weeks. After that, you're expected to hit the road and run fast. In my opinion, the program is more like a familiarisation weeks, not a plan to develop your managerial skills.

A well-planned program includes managerial mindset and skillset development. It is a structured and systematic learning and development plans that helping the new Managers adapt to the new role and build new skills in management leadership.

The following first 90 days learning plan would a good guide for new Sales Managers. It is based on a THREE consecutive 30-day plan divided into these three phases: Strategize, Mobilize, and Standardize.

Step 1: STRATEGIZE (0 - 30 days)

Defining priority

First and foremost, get a clear understanding of your new position. Sit down with your boss and clarify your role, responsibility, and job functions. Ask questions to know your boss expectations. Also, understand what is expected of you in term of your leadership priority, goal to accomplish, and communication styles. Knowing and aligning your priority would save you time, energy and effort in setting the right pace for you to kickstart your new role.

Setting strategy

The common mistake most new Managers make is implementing drastic changes after assuming the new role. Don’t get me wrong. I don't mean it's bad decision. If it's a crisis, yes, drastic changes are much needed. However, most of the times, drastic changes are made without proper strategic planning. A positive impact changes often are well-thought-out, well-planned and well executed. Setting right strategy requires the understanding of your priority. When a change is made, it brings positive impacts to the team and business. Nevertheless, you can't do strategic planning alone. Sit down with your boss and discuss the root cause of some of the problems currently faced and co-create options to overcome them.

Step 2: MOBILIZE (30 - 60 days)

Optimizing resources

You would able to see untapped sales opportunities with sound research and analysis. To seize these opportunities, start looking at the existing resources. Plan and organize them effectively to create maximum chances of grabbing those opportunities. Communicate with different stakeholders to discover how they could collaborate and sharing resources with you. It could be related to the start of measuring the right sales activities, reducing some of the unnecessary red tape process, automating some of the sales processes, streamlining to one customer information used by cross-functional units, re-assigning the salespeople to more strategic territories, creating more interactions and exchange of information platforms between cross-functional units, and many more.

Reinforcing resources

Gathering the resources and organized them orderly doesn't mean the job is done. Resources optimization is short term if we fall short of creating supportive systems to sustain the momentum. It could be asking for feedback on those changes made, introducing sales role-playing simulation sessions to increase sales effectiveness, check-in conversations to build the salespeople confidence and narrow the skills gap, coaching them in the field to increase their sales success rate, or meetings between the cross-functional heads to continuously improve the resouces optimization.

Step 3: STANDARDIZE (60 - 90 days)

Managing differences

The primary role of a salesperson is selling the company products and meet the sales target. They come with different background, sales experiences, and ego. This could be quite a challenge if you're new to manage a team with diverse background. If it's not handled effectively, it would affect the accomplishment of the team goals. Learn how to work with different sales individuals and lead them situationally is the key to success. Set clear individual goal. Clarify if needed and align the expectations. Catch them do the right time and correct unproductive sales actions and behaviours. Help them understand and follow the sales processes and sales standards.

Managing accountability

What gets measured get done. Take a look at the sales performance metrics reports. Differentiate between the lagging and leading performance indicators. Lagging indicators are outcome data like sales revenue, the number of new accounts opened, the number of sales transactions made, and historical sales information. Meanwhile, leading indicators are activity data like the number of daily sales calls made, prospecting frequency, closing rate, new product penetration rate, and many more dynamic sales information. Hold regular performance conversations. Check on those performance metrics results. Hold them accountable for their actions and results.


Managerial leadership development is a lifelong ongoing journey. It will take more than 90 days to develop a highly effective sales leadership, management, and supervision effectiveness. Take the first step. Keep exploring and experimenting. You will thrive and make a difference in what you do. All the best!

Get a free copy of the full version ebook. Also included inside the ebook a Checklist for the things to do in your first 30-60-90 days. Click the image below to download your copy now:

First 90 Days for New Sales Managers
About the Author

Simon is the ICF-Professional Certified Coach (PCC), Certified Trainer, Facilitator, Coach Trainer, and Food Service Specialist. He specialises in business selling, leadership development, and coaching culture building.

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