Being successful in a sales-focused position is not easy. Sales jobs are more complex than people realize. It might feel like second nature to those who have been a part of the game for many years. But imagine what it's like for someone with minimal experience.
Even worse, think about what it'd be like if you had to sell a new product you know nothing about. You can have plenty of natural sales skills and all the sales enablement tools in the world. But that doesn't mean you're genuinely sales-ready.
Sales readiness is the process of preparing your reps and confirming that they are ready for real-world sales situations. It's about ensuring that every rep has the necessary skills and knowledge to guide potential customers through the buyer's journey and make sales. Contrary to what some think, it's not enough to go through basic workplace training and have sales enablement content on hand.
There are many unpredictable moments in the sales process. Prospects can present objections or have a major shift in attitude. The entire industry could also change, forcing your sales team to adapt to something they've never done before.
Sales readiness programs should be agile enough to ensure that reps are ready for anything. Sales training provides the foundational knowledge, and sales enablement supports their success. But sales readiness gives your team the tools to conquer whatever comes their way.
Why Is It Important?
This concept matters because it ensures that salespeople know how to navigate complex sales situations. Training only goes so far. Sitting in a classroom or going through coaching modules isn't the same as going through the real-world motions of closing a sale. Coaching is safe. But the moment a new rep gets thrust into an actual sales environment, it becomes clear that they're unprepared.
Your sales team represents the company. Putting them out before they're ready can harm your reputation and hurt your bottom line. No one wants that, and your reps don't want to go through the embarrassment.
Readiness programs assess skills and give your team a chance to put their sales prowess to the test before going into the lion's den. But that's not all.
Sales readiness applies to your most successful salespeople, too. It's a great way to share new product details, innovative new strategies, or unfamiliar sales approaches.
Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your team is ready to hit the ground running and see success from the jump.
How Is Sales Rep Readiness Assessed?
The concept of sales readiness is easy enough to understand. But how is sales readiness assessed?
There are many ways to assess readiness. You can use relevant KPIs to test progress as your representatives complete training. A data-driven approach is always welcome. There's also the route of standardized testing and other types of traditional assessment.
But determining that your team is sales-ready is usually more holistic. Generally, the best way to assess individuals is to use sales readiness platforms and perform role-playing sessions.
Role-playing is a fantastic way to throw every curveball at your team and see how they react. You can have a checklist of relevant skills and go through scenarios to mark them off as you go. Replicate a real-world situation as closely as possible, and you can expose learners to the unpredictability of sales.
Sales readiness platforms are perfect if you want a more structured approach to assessment. The software can monitor different competencies to paint an accurate picture of what representatives can do.
Examples of Sales Readiness Best Practices
Ready to improve the sales readiness of everyone on your team? It can feel like a massive undertaking, but creating an effective strategy early on makes a big difference. Here are some tips to help you ensure that your salespeople are ready for anything.
Focus on Readiness in Onboarding and Training
Don't make the mistake of letting your reps learn alone in the field. No one should have to practice on actual prospects. Unfortunately, many newer sales professionals have no choice!
Focus on readiness techniques as soon as possible. Role-play during training and focus on the core competencies they need to succeed from onboarding. Adopt a proactive approach and allow your reps to practice every chance they have.
Provide Effective, Accessible Sales Enablement Resources
Sales enablement content is a must. Even seasoned sales reps rely on enablement tools to succeed. Why should new hires be any different?
Solid enablement strategies can be what paves the road to success for your entire team. Spend a reasonable amount of time developing rock-solid content they can use at every step of the buyer's journey. Make that content available from the jump, and your team can get comfortable taking advantage of it before entering an authentic sales experience.
Cultivate a Peer-to-Peer Learning Environment
Want to know some of the best tools your salespeople aren't utilizing enough? It's each other!
Your sales department doesn't have to be a cut-throat atmosphere. Everyone is trying to support the company's bottom line, so why not help each other and lift one another?
Encourage an environment of peer-to-peer coaching. It's the best way to share tips, try new techniques, and role-play. You can set aside time every week to do sales readiness exercises and watch those skills develop before your eyes.
Empower Your Managers with the Resources They Need
Managers need just as much support as their sales reps. When managers have all the tools they need for training and enablement, their team of sales reps will ramp more quickly and hit quotas faster.
Work with your managers directly and share ideas about your sales readiness program. Ultimately, the goal is to help employees ramp up faster. Collaborate and brainstorm ideas to make it happen. Whatever they need, provide it! Be there to offer up support and enablement tools so that they can do the same for your front-line salespeople.
Give Your Sales Team the Tools to Ramp New Reps Quickly
Check out the Flockjay platform to harness the power of data and learn more about the definition of sales readiness. Onboard new employees and use data readiness strategies from the start. Provide top-notch coaching, tons of excellent sales enablement content, and use data to make the most out of training endeavors.
With effective sales readiness, you can turn your team into an impressive sales machine ready for anything.