How to build a 30/60/90 plan

Candidate advice to those who have been asked to build a plan on how they would ramp up in a new role

BY JAMIE SCARBOROUGH

30/60/90-Day plans do take some work to research and put together, but the investment you make in time and effort is going to pay off big for you in terms of money and job offers. These are the 3 main reasons an employer has asked you to complete a 30/60/90-day plan:

  • To predict if you will ramp up quickly and with minimal hand-holding
  • To gauge how much you want the role (will you work hard on the plan or “phone it in”)
  • To see how you hold up under stress and scrutiny

30 Days

The first 30 days of your plan should be focused on building your sales “tool-kit” so that you are fully prepared to excel in the role for years to come. You will need to learn the company systems, products, services, CRM, and sales process.  You will need to understand and embrace their unique value proposition, build/customize marketing templates, and interview top-performing peers to get best practice tips. You will need to understand the competition in the marketplace, and identify “low-hanging fruit” potential clients. You will need to embrace the company’s sales pipeline, understand your revenue targets, learn your territory/opportunity base, and – if available – review current clients purchasing/contact history.

This part of the plan is all about showing your eagerness to become an expert.  Not every boss has a lot of time to train you.  If you can show how you can get up to speed on your own, they love it.

60 Days

The next 30 days are focused on practical experience: getting in front of customers and prospects (ideally with a manager/experienced peer); getting used to overcoming rejections and understanding the sales cycle. At this stage you will need to learn what a good “discovery process” looks like in this specific role (i.e. what do you need to understand about your potential client in order to be effective).

A big point here in this 60-day section is getting feedback from your manager to see how you're doing.  Put this in your plan. You should also outline some specific activity targets that you want to meet (e.g. “minimum of 30 customer conversations per week”).

90 Days

The last 30 days are the "taking off on your own" part.  By now, you should be up to speed, rolling with some independence, and contributing significantly.  You should know your way around by now and be initiating things on your own:  thinking of ways to increase customers or revenue, generating ideas to save time or money, implementing plans or schedules, fine-tuning your schedule, and continuing to get performance feedback.

This 90-day section is going to highlight what you are bringing to this party.  What are you going to do for them?  By the time you get here, your hiring manager is going to be picturing you in the job...and already thinking about hiring you.

Details matter...

The more details you can incorporate into your plan, the better.  Specifics count here.  So if you can find out the name of the software they use and put that name into your 30-day section, that's great.  Or if you know the name of the training they put new employees through, you can include that.   Include activity/revenue goals you plan to achieve. To discover these kinds of specifics, it's important that you research the company as well as the goals for the specific position.

What if you get it wrong?

Worry over making a mistake with your plan is a big reason most job seekers don't create these plans. But the point of the 90-day plan is not to get it perfect.  The point is to have it as a high-level conversational piece in your interview.  You're supposed to discuss it with the hiring manager.  What did you get right?  What did you get wrong?  What input does he/she have for you?  The conversation alone will elevate you in the eyes of that hiring manager.

The fact that you went to the trouble of creating a plan at all is going to show that you are energetic, determined, and enthusiastic about the job.  You're a hard worker who thinks critically about tasks and can prioritize and set goals.  All those qualities are difficult to show on a resume, but they become very loud and clear when you bring out your 30/60/90-day plan in the interview.