Introducing Readiness Index: The Best Way to Set & Track Sales Performance Benchmarks

Imagine all the time we spend in sales and marketing developing ideal customer profiles, or as the acronym goes, ICPs.

Sales leaders spend a lot of time and effort to:

  1. Ensure the leadership team agrees upon and documents the ICP
  2. Train everyone in the sales organization on sales motions aligned to the ICP
  3. Collaborate with marketing and product teams to deliver content and offerings aligned to ICP needs

However, as we all know well, every sales deal has two sides – the customer and the seller.

While you may have targeted the right ICP-fit prospects, your success as a sales organization still rests greatly on the skills of your own sales rep.

So, how much time do sales leaders spend thinking about and strategizing about the ideal rep profile – or as we call it, the IRP?

Very little.

Some sales leaders like Mark Roberge, the ex-CRO at Hubspot, evangelize the concept of ideal hiring profiles. But does good sales performance begin and end at hiring the right people?

The truth is that it’s a long journey that might begin with hiring for the right fit, but along the way includes things like onboarding, ongoing training, practice, reinforcement, continuous coaching, account planning, and so much more.

And all of these performance improvement initiatives cannot operate without a sales performance benchmark.

Sales leadership teams need to define, document, and track gaps against ideal rep profiles or IRPs.

What is an ideal rep profile?

IRP is the science behind measuring and improving sales performance.

Today Mindtickle announced the launch of its new sales performance measurement product, Readiness Index.

Readiness Index helps sales leaders record their IRP competencies and skills. As an example, you could set up your IRP as a combination of competencies like:

Mindtickle ideal rep profile

Along with each competency, you can also add in the weight each of them has on the overall Readiness Index score for a rep or a team.

My IRP is set. What’s next?

Based on the IRP, enablement and frontline managers create custom programs and coaching plans to address every rep’s skill gaps.

Now readiness initiatives like training by the enablement team and coaching by frontline managers address the needs of the individual, above and beyond addressing only the needs of the team and the organization.

On the other hand, sales leaders can start tracking how teams and reps are performing based on their readiness score in Mindtickle.

Mindtickle sales readiness index

Now sales leaders know how each team, region, and rep (or any cohort) is performing.

They know which team or rep needs help with which competency.

Can we connect readiness with revenue?

Readiness levels can now also be measured against business metrics from the Salesforce CRM.

Think quota attainment, pipeline building, competitive win rates, meetings booked (for XDRs), churn, or customer NPS (for CSMs). All of these metrics can be used to understand the impact of all your readiness activities.

Mindtickle Sales Readiness Index

Now you can focus your readiness efforts in a more targeted manner starting with the quadrant that needs improvement in both readiness and quota attainment.

Take Susan for example:

Mindtickle ideal rep report card

We now know she needs help with customer personas, deep discovery, and value articulation.

Steps sales leadership can take with Mindtickle to help improve Susan’s performance:

  1. Listen to her discovery calls in Call AI conversation intelligence and give her prescriptive feedback on questions to ask, talk time to reduce in discovery conversations
  2. Guide her on better value articulation by sending her a reinforcement course, as well as doing an AI-guided virtual role-play
  3. Ensure she can use Asset Hub to easily find all persona-related content, training, highly rated roleplays submitted by top reps

Readiness Index creates more peak performers on your team by delivering bespoke education, content, and coaching based on every rep’s individual needs. Learn more about ideal rep profiles and the Readiness Index by getting a personalized demo today.

Mindtickle Launches Readiness Index and Asset Hub to Complete Its Readiness Vision

“Sales is both an art and a science.”

“It’s more about the attitude.”

“We need more reps with the ‘it’ factor.”

We’ve heard it all.

Sales rep performance is a complex challenge we’ve tried to address through traditional training and enablement programs, and for many, it’s not working the way we hoped. A study by CSO Insights suggests only 27.5% of stakeholders feel sales enablement initiatives meet or exceed their expectations.

So, is it true that sales readiness is a dream state, a mission impossible? Or can revenue organizations actually improve performance through readiness? How can sales leaders create an all-star team of quota-crushers instead of relying on a handful to carry revenue targets?

Sales leaders can master the science of sales performance by creating, tracking, and optimizing readiness with Mindtickle.

I’m proud to say that with the Fall 2021 product announcement, Mindtickle built the sales readiness platform that revenue teams need to create a state of continuous excellence.

The key highlights in the announcement include:

  1. Defining your ideal rep profile and correlating skills and behaviors with sales success in our new product, Readiness Index
  2. Equipping your sales teams more effectively with an integrated content experience for just-in-time learning and customer engagement in our new product, Asset Hub
  3. And a few more capabilities:
    • Create programs aligned to critical competencies and based on enablement best practices using Program Templates
    • Improve remote or hybrid team engagement in training sessions or kickoffs with gamification using Live and Team Challenges
    • Act on readiness insights and gaps with role-based dashboards that give full visibility into team and rep performance

Readiness Index

What’s your ideal rep profile (IRP)?

Every deal has a customer and a rep. In sales, we devote a lot of effort to defining the ideal customer profile or ICP. But what about our own reps?

True readiness begins when sales teams know not only their ICPs but also their IRPs — ideal rep profile. Mark Roberge at HubSpot introduced the concept of ideal hiring profiles. But sales performance isn’t a challenge that can be addressed by simply hiring reps based on a profile. Your reps always need to:

  1. Possess the skills
  2. Display the behaviors that help win deals
  3. Repeat winning behaviors consistently

Now, for the first time in any sales technology, the leadership team – CRO/CSO, heads of enablement, ops, and regions – can come together and encode their ideal characteristics in Mindtickle’s Readiness Index.

mindtickle ideal rep profile

Once the IRP is set in Mindtickle, enablement programs and sales content can be aligned to deliver the knowledge and skills required to create more ideal closers. This is made even easier with our new Program Templates, which make it simpler and faster to get your courses off the ground.

Then, as reps learn, reinforce, and practice key skills in Mindtickle’s enablement programs, their readiness scores start reflecting their proficiencies and gaps in the Readiness Index visualizations.

Mindtickle Sales Readiness Index

Now, enablement teams and frontline managers can tailor their programs and coaching to help bridge gaps for each individual rep.

Asset Hub

Do your reps have access to just-in-time sales content?

When most sales teams think of sales content, they think mostly of marketing collateral. But is that all that makes reps successful? What about training content, internal talk tracks, battlecards, role-play videos, and recorded snippets from actual customer conversations?

Many kinds of content drive rep success in the field. Mindtickle’s integrated content experience in Asset Hub ensures your reps can access, learn, and share the content that’s aligned with your readiness approach and proven to help win deals.

mindtickle asset hub content management

With the right content at their fingertips, reps can:

  • Prepare for calls by listening to real-world, winning conversations
  • Get the latest updates from SMEs in easy-to-consume microlearning
  • Respond to objections quickly and confidently
  • Practice pitches using AI-powered recommendations
  • Share marketing-approved assets that win, contextualized for key selling situations

Additional sales readiness product capabilities released

Role-based dashboards for sales leaders and enablement

At any time, you have parallel programs as well 1-on-1 or team-level coaching activities underway. Mindtickle Insights bring you role-based reporting and analytics for sales leaders (CROs/CSOs), enablement, frontline managers, and ops.

They cover the entire gamut of data analytics – from adoption and engagement to learning scores, conversation intelligence, and revenue outcomes. And if editing your dashboards with the widget style isn’t enough, then you can also build your own reports and dashboards from scratch.

Live and Team Challenges to gamify sales enablement and training

With Live Challenges, enablement teams and trainers can strategically intersperse interactive contests throughout live training sessions to boost attention and improve recall. Teams get a series of multiple-choice questions where scores are based on how quickly you respond. After each question, the leaderboard is flashed. It’s a great learning experience that promotes friendly competition and fun.

Hybrid sales teams can now use Team Challenges to drive more rep engagement. The product design is our homage to the arcade games of the 1980s. Team Challenges encourage teamwork, camaraderie, and retention during sales meetings and kickoffs as it involves significant teamwork, communication, and knowledge to win the game.

Templates to launch programs in days not weeks

Quickly launch new programs using Mindtickle’s templates based on industry best practices.

Use templates for onboarding, product/service knowledge, and sales methodology implementations to start delivering value quickly. These templates significantly cut down the time needed to launch a new program – the average time taken in the beta process was nine days. The Mindtickle Content-as-a-Service (CaaS) team will continue to build out the repository of templates till we eventually have an entire marketplace where enablement professionals and training organizations can offer their own templates.

Mindtickle templates

And that’s a wrap!

That’s all we have in store for Fall and Winter 2021. But I can tell you that the product and engineering teams (400 strong now!) are already working toward an amazing roadmap for 2022. We’re working closely with customers and industry practitioners to get feedback.

We want to hear from you! Reach out to [email protected] to let us know your thoughts on this release and ideas for future ones. Maybe you will see them in our Spring 2022 announcement.

Introducing Asset Hub: The First Sales Content Manager Built for Sales

As marketers, we tend to think pretty highly of our content and the role it plays in helping generate revenues, but drawing a direct line between content and results is misleading. After all, salespeople close the business, not us. The reality is that as much as 90% of our content goes unused by sales, and according to Sirius Decisions, marketing efforts are far less effective unless they’re aligned with the needs of a sales organization.

Sales content management software really helps align sales and marketing, but more often than not, these products are justified by marketing based on the ability to tie content to revenue. At Mindtickle, we think sales content management should be more about sales while still providing all the good stuff for marketing.

That’s why we’re excited to announce Asset Hub from Mindtickle, the first sales content management software built for sales. Asset Hub was created from the ground up, and it’s tightly integrated into the Mindtickle Sales Readiness Platform. This last part – integration with Mindtickle – is really important, and here’s why:

We all know that salespeople spend more time selling than they do in formal training, so access to just-in-time assets is really important to help them move deals along and maintain consistent messaging. The challenge is what kind of assets they need. Sure, brochures and slides are really helpful – especially when contextualized to each selling situation, but reps also need easy-to-consume, just-in-time training as well, and more than just a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. They need to know what good looks like, be reminded about winning approaches, and be able to practice their pitches in a safe space – all just-in-time, anywhere, and anytime.

mindtickle asset hub content management

And that’s exactly what Asset Hub delivers. Because it’s part of the Mindtickle platform, Asset Hub automatically has access to all of the deep sales enablement training, practice, and reinforcement content already on the platform, as well as all of the conversation intelligence content from Call AI, Mindtickle’s integrated conversation intelligence solution.

How sales content can drive deals forward

Let’s say one of your reps is targeting a conversation with the CFO of a large tech company. She may have been trained on selling to tech or selling to CFOs, or maybe both, but maybe it’s not a persona she talks to every day or industry she normally covers. If she wants to succeed, she needs more than a few marketing assets and some documents to read. Instead of what she’d find in a typical sales content manager, Asset Hub delivers highly contextualized training to prepare her:

    • An example of a successful conversation between a top rep and a similar prospect, highlighting the winning behaviors that enabled the rep to gain interest and generate an opportunity
    • Short microlearning videos from internal SMEs about CFO personas and selling to tech companies
    • Reinforcement quizzes that jog her memory about selling to this persona and industry
    • Role-play practice exercises that enable her to practice her pitch with AI-powered feedback before she has the conversation with her buyer

Once she’s able to establish interest and create an opportunity, then she can use Asset Hub to get ready for her next meeting:

    • Share and track viewership of marketing content to increase interest across the organization
    • Watch a sales presentation from one of her teammates
    • See training from Sales Enablement or Marketing on how to use the pitch deck
    • Practice the deck with AI-generated feedback
    • Share the practice pitch with others for feedback from respected teammates

…and so on, all the way until the deal closes.

Search in the Mindtickle Asset Hub

How sales content can be a training tool

She’s connected to Asset Hub during every step of her journey, always ensuring she’s ready to give her best at every step in the process. Even better, her content usage is being tracked, so when she closes the deal, sales leadership can track her activities – the training she consumes, the tools she uses, the external-facing material she shares, etc. – to identify and promote the behaviors (not just the content) that help reps close more deals.

And that’s how Asset Hub differs from other sales content management solutions. While every vendor touts the use of their platforms for sales enablement, their focus is typically on content alone rather than the content and behaviors that win deals. Mindtickle differs because Asset Hub is part of our comprehensive sales readiness platform. Through its interaction with each of the planks of Mindtickle’s platform (listed below), Asset Hub offers far more benefits than a stand-alone sales content management platform:

  • Define excellence

Because Mindtickle enables our customers to identify the winning behaviors that make top reps successful, these skills and activities can be translated into a blueprint for creating the just-in-time microlearning, sample conversations, reinforcement activities, and other best practices that are contextualized to every selling situation in Asset Hub. And by tracking the way content is accessed and used in Asset Hub – and its correlation with business outcomes – sales organizations will be able to update and refine their definition of winning behaviors over time.

  • Build knowledge

Unlike other solutions, Asset Hub can draw from the entirety of content that has been created or curated for sales enablement purposes. Rather than having to start from scratch or create some static connection from existing content, native integration with Mindtickle increases the impact and ROI of your enablement content.

  • Align content

This is Asset Hub’s domain: aligning content from sales enablement and marketing to meet the just-in-time needs of salespeople in the field, and then feeding back the data that helps organizations define and refine the winning behaviors that close deals.

  • Analyze performance

With Mindticle’s Call AI conversation intelligence solution, sales organizations can use call scores to easily identify winning behaviors in real-world sales interactions and then correlate them to the scenarios where they can act as best practices. Contextualizing real-world examples of winning behaviors for just-in-time use in Access Hub gives salespeople a clear model for upcoming interactions and provides them valuable insights so they can make the most of every activity.

  • Optimize behavior

Mindtickle facilitates a coaching culture by identifying each rep’s strengths and weaknesses and then empowering managers to coach salespeople to better performance. With Asset Hub, reps and managers can “favorite” the content and activities that will help remediate skill gaps, helping sales teams focus on the winning behaviors that will help them achieve better results.

Ready to see what Mindtickle can do for revenue productivity at your org?

Request a Demo

You Have an Ideal Customer Profile. But Do You Have an Ideal Rep Profile?

There are two sides to every sale. Each side must meet certain criteria if a deal is to move forward.

On one side is the buyer. Of course, not all accounts are of equal value to your organization. And with limited hours in the day, sales reps must focus their time and energy on those that are most likely to convert. As such, most sales organizations have developed an ideal customer profile (ICP), which is a model of the key qualities that make an account a great fit for your company’s products or services. These qualities can include annual revenue, employee range, industry, customer base, organizational maturity, and geography, among a myriad of others. Sales and marketing then qualify accounts based on how they measure up to this ICP.

seller ideal rep profile

On the other side is the seller. There’s no doubt there are certain skills and behaviors common to all successful sellers. However, few organizations take the time to define their ideal rep profile (IRP).

What is an ideal rep profile – and why is it imperative to improving your organization’s sales readiness strategy? Read on to find out.

What is an ideal rep profile?

In a perfect world, all of the reps on your team would be top performers. But that’s not reality. Instead, most sales teams are composed of reps with a wide range of experience, strengths, and weaknesses.

So, what makes top performers stand out among the rest? Usually, there are a number of common competencies and selling skills top performers have. Those skills are correlated with success in the field.

As the name suggests, an ideal rep profile (IRP) is a profile of a rep that’s likely to succeed at a given organization. Much like an ICP includes characteristics that make the customer “ideal,” an IRP defines the competencies and skills a rep must have to regularly close deals and meet (or even surpass) quota. For example, the best sellers use consistent messaging during role-plays – and they limit their use of filler words. Obviously, that’s just a small sampling of the skills necessary for success.

Of course, it’s possible to document your IRP in a document or spreadsheet. However, here at Mindtickle, we’ve recently released the Mindtickle Readiness Index, which allows you to record your IRP right in the Mindtickle platform so you can work toward closing knowledge gaps – and getting more reps ready to sell.

mindtickle ideal rep profile

Why do you need an ideal rep profile?

Sales leaders are busy, with a to-do list a mile long. As such, you’ve got to focus on the projects and initiatives that have the highest payoff in terms of your ultimate goal: revenue growth. So, is it worth the time to create an IRP?

In a word, yes. In fact, the IRP should be the North Star for your entire sales readiness program.

Oftentimes, organizations use a spray and pray approach to sales readiness. They deliver the same generic training and coaching to all sellers – without much regard for each seller’s strengths and weaknesses. And they hope sellers will retain the information – and apply it in the field.

Creating an IRP helps ensure each seller is getting the education, content, and coaching they need to learn and are able to master the skills and competencies that are correlated with sales success. So, an IRP is the first step toward creating more peak performers and driving greater revenue growth for your organization.

How to start creating more ideal reps

Many sales organizations focus on delivering great onboarding and ongoing training programs to their go-to-market teams. And for good reason. The best sales training can improve the performance of an individual seller by 20%, on average.

Today, most sales leaders accept the 80/20 rule as inevitable and concede to the fact that the majority of revenue will always be driven by a small number of star sales reps.

These leaders continue to use a one size fits all approach to sales readiness — where all reps check off the same boxes, regardless of their skills, experience, and competencies. The result? The same handful of great reps continue to hit (or surpass) their targets – while the majority of the others don’t.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. A more effective approach to readiness involves delivering content, training, and coaching based on your IRP – as well as the individual needs of your reps. With this approach, it’s very much possible to develop and prepare every seller in your organization to win.

Here’s how to start taking this approach:

Create your IRP

Creating an ideal rep profile is the first step toward a more effective readiness approach. This involves documenting the skills and competencies that are correlated with positive sales outcomes as learned from your best performers.

Each organization is different — and therefore IRPs will vary from company to company.

We’ve highlighted the competencies below that, in general, make for a great sales rep. As you build out the profile of an ideal rep at your organization, you may want to get more granular about specific knowledge areas that relate to your industry or product.

ideal rep profile competencies and skills

Organizations can leverage the Mindtickle Readiness Index to record their ideal rep competencies and skills right within the platform.

Measure reps’ skills against your IRP

Once you’ve established your IRP (and recorded it into the Mindtickle Readiness Index), you must understand how your reps stack up against these benchmarks. It’s essential to understand where each rep is shining – and where there are knowledge gaps standing in the way of success.

mindtickle readiness index

Deliver customized training and coaching 

After knowledge gaps are identified, sales enablement teams and frontline managers can create and deliver customized training and coaching that fills those gaps – and get more reps ready to sell. This will help you create more peak performers on your team by delivering education, content, and coaching based on each rep’s individual needs. This could take many forms, including in-person training, microlearning, quizzes, role-plays, and one-on-one coaching, among others.

mindtickle sales enablement training

Measure progress and optimize accordingly 

It’s key to determine whether training and coaching are moving reps closer in alignment with the IRP. To do this, sales leaders must continuously measure reps’ skill development and in-field application. One important way to determine whether reps are applying the skills they’ve learned when interacting with buyers is to leverage a conversation intelligence solution. These tools make it easy to measure performance against the skills defined in the IRP. Then, sales managers can provide individualized coaching and training to improve problem areas standing in the way of winning deals.

mindtickle call ai conversation intelligence

Drive continuous sales excellence

Buyers have high expectations. As such, organizations must ensure reps are always ready to meet (and exceed) those expectations.

Sales organizations must make sales readiness a top priority. And true readiness begins when sales teams have a firm grasp of not only their ideal customer profile but also their ideal rep profile. With the Mindtickle Readiness Index, it’s very much possible to do away with the 80/20 rule – and instead, aim to get all reps ready to sell.