It’s no secret that sales is ever-changing and rapidly evolving. Deal cycles are longer and more complex. Prospects and buyers are more unique and informed. Competition is fierce. And reps need more knowledge and skills than ever before to engage with prospects, delight customers, and keep closing deals.
So, how can teams ensure their reps have what it takes to stay afloat and keep doing great work? With sales readiness, that’s how.
What is sales readiness?
Forrester describes sales readiness as the ability to “equip salespeople with the knowledge and skills required to have the conversations needed throughout a buyer’s journey—and assessing whether, and certifying that, a rep can do just that.”
We like to think of it as the umbrella that covers sales enablement, sales training, sales coaching, and everything in-between. In short, it’s what helps sales reps close bigger and better deals. We’ve found that the best sales teams create a sales-ready workforce by combining continuous training, intentional practice, purposeful coaching, and constant accountability for everyone involved. Here’s what sales readiness in action looks like:
- Delivering effective onboarding so reps are ramped quickly and efficiently
- Practicing demos behind the scenes so reps are ready to sell when it’s showtime
- Honing your team’s core sales skills and certifying rep progress
- Providing coaching and feedback so reps can improve on their weaknesses and further refine strengths
- Communicating product updates clearly and concisely through on-demand training and microlearning for team alignment
- Keeping reps on the same page with messaging, process changes, and more with enablement content
Sales readiness vs. Sales enablement and training
As more organizations and people start to use the term “sales readiness,” it’s important to remember that readiness is not the same thing as sales enablement or sales training. Sales enablement is a strategic focus that removes barriers for sales teams and helps reps optimize their performance and productivity. Sales readiness, on the other hand, ensures that sales reps possess the skills and knowledge they need to have effective conversations throughout the entire sales cycle.
It’s also important to know that sales training is a very important component of sales readiness, but it is not the end-all-be-all. Instead, it’s a foundational element. Sales reps need to know a ton of information, which can be delivered through various sales training programs. But, just because reps complete training, doesn’t mean that they’re ready to hit the ground running. That’s where other areas of sales readiness, like practice and coaching, come into play. So remember: Sales enablement or sales training alone won’t result in Better Work. That’s why you need to weave both components into your sales readiness strategy.
Getting started on the path to sales readiness
A stellar sales readiness program doesn’t just happen overnight. And as we’ve covered, there are a lot of moving parts that go into sales readiness. So, whether your team is just getting started or looking to level-up your current efforts, here are a few useful tips.
Assess your salesforce: It’s hard to make a plan for progress if you don’t have a clear understanding of your sales team’s current skill sets, wants, needs, and preferences. You need the right data and information to make educated decisions. And, here at Lessonly, we’re big believers in listening to your reps and working with others to create the best sales enablement training program possible. So listen to your reps, review the data that your team already has, consider the market, and identify successes and challenges. It’s a crucial first step to doing Better Work and helping your team become truly sales ready.
Identify the right objectives and metrics: When it comes to measuring sales readiness progress, track the best metrics and review the correct indicators so you can coach your team to success. And, there are a ton of metrics and data to consider.
Find the right sales readiness tools for your organization: There’s no shortage of sales enablement tools and sales training platforms to choose from. And while it’s easy to get hung up on features and functionalities, you should pick a solution that fits into your entire sales tech stack. In fact, integrating your sales readiness tools with other sales enablement apps gives your reps a seamless workflow that enables them to do their best work, which increases the chance of team adoption, engagement, and overall success.
So here’s the bottom line: If you’re reading this, your team moves fast. And we think sales readiness should too. Every organization, whether it has a team of five or 5,000 sales reps, needs to adopt the right sales readiness platform that will empower reps to feel confident in their roles, wow prospects, and close more deals. So, is your team sales ready? Maximize the impact of your sales team today. Check out Seismic’s sales enablement, training and coaching tools your team can use to transform sales readiness.