What are Sales Battlecards and How Can Your Sales Team Benefit from Them?

Great sales reps must know their product and service offerings inside and out. That way, they can confidently recommend solutions that’ll address their prospects’ biggest challenges and pain points.

But it’s equally important for reps to be well-versed in how their company stacks up against the competition. This knowledge is especially important to winning competitive deals, which are quite common. According to Semrush, over half (57%) of all sales deals are competitive.

0 %
Percentage of sales deals that are competitive

Sales battlecards (also referred to as competitive intelligence battlecards, sales enablement battlecards, or simply battlecards) are one tool winning sales organizations use to ensure their sellers are always ready to conquer any competitive deal.

In this post, we’ll explore what sales they are, why they’re important, and how sales organizations can create effective ones to improve seller performance and close more deals.
What are sales battlecards?
Sales battlecards are an effective tool for ensuring reps are experts on their competitors’ offerings. But what are sales battlecards?

They provide an overview of how your company stacks up against the competition. Sales battlecards distill key factors about your own company and your competitors, which may include:



Features + functionality


A sales battlecard may compare your company to a single competitor. For example, HubSpot might create one comparing their marketing automation offering to that of ActiveCampaign.

Other sales battlecards compare a company against multiple competitors. For example, a multi-competitor one might show how HubSpot stacks up against ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Marketo Engage.

Some sales battlecards are created as an internal resource for sellers to use. Others are developed as customer-facing collateral. We’ll explore the different types later on.

How are sales battlecards important for competitive selling?

Creating battlecards takes time. Is it really worth the effort?

Yes, without a doubt.

Competitive intelligence battlecards are a powerful tool for competitive selling. In fact, they’re proven to improve sales outcomes. According to research from Crayon, seven in 10 businesses that use them say they’ve boosted their win rates.

Competitive knowledge is key to sales success. But sales reps are busy people. They simply don’t have the time to keep up with every product or feature change announced by a competitor. Sales battlecards can help bridge the gap.

Here’s how battlecards help reps during the course of a deal:

Product and service offerings are always changing and evolving. Competitive intelligence battlecards help ensure sellers always have the latest information about their competitors – and how their own offerings stack up. However, it’s essential they’re updated on a regular basis.

One-size-fits all pitches don’t work. Instead, sellers must develop pitches that address the unique needs and challenges of each seller.

In some cases, a sales rep knows which competitors a prospect is considering. Sales battlecards can help reps tailor their pitches in a way that addresses how their offerings are a better solution than what the competition has to offer.

Sellers are no strangers to objections. A recent analysis found that 63% of sales calls have more negative sentiment than positive. Competitive mentions are one example of negative sentiment.

As such, objection handling is a key sales skill. Specifically, reps must be prepared to address objections related to competitors.

Imagine a prospect considering two competing products. They might raise objections such as:

  • Why does the competitor’s product have these features – and yours doesn’t?
  • Why are these product features important when your competitors don’t have them?
  • Why is the competitor’s product less expensive?

Battlecards help sellers understand how their offerings stack up against a competitor. That way, they can anticipate buyers’ objections – and be equipped to address them head-on.

What are the types of sales battlecards?

There are many different types of sales battlecards. Each type is used in different circumstances.

Single competitor vs. multi-competitor

You might develop a sales battlecard that compares your business to one competitor. These can be a great resource for sellers who are working with prospects who are further along in the sales funnel and have shared what other options they are considering. These single-competitor sales battlecards provide a detailed look at a competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

Some organizations also develop a sales battlecard that pits the company against multiple competitors. They can be a great resource for reps when they’re working on deals that are higher up in the sales funnel. Typically, they include less detail than a single competitor battlecard.


Competitive battlecards provide information on a company’s key competitors. This information might include:

  • Company information
  • Product and service information
  • Pricing
  • Target audience

They are a great resource for ensuring sales reps know how your company stacks up. Competitive battlecards also help sellers anticipate objections so they can be prepared to address them.


These ensure sales reps know the ins and outs of the products they’re selling. These battlecards may incorporate information including:

  • Customer challenges
  • How the product helps address these challenges

Some product battlecards focus on a single product offering. Others compare multiple product offerings – and how they each address specific use cases.


Marketing battlecards focus on the marketing strategies of key competitors. These zero in on who the competition is marketing to and what strategies they’re using to position themselves as the right choice for that market.

For example, one competitor may position themselves as the lowest-cost option. If your solutions are more expensive, your reps must be prepared to articulate why that is the case.

Marketing battlecards may also incorporate other information on competitors’ marketing strategies, including:

  • Strategic partners
  • Key marketing channels

Prospect-specific sales

Some battlecards can be used more generally. For example, a multi-competitor, customer-facing sales battlecard can provide a great overview of how your company differs from its key competitors.

However, there are times when it makes sense to create a prospect-specific sales battlecard. This sales enablement battlecard can address the specific, unique pain points of the prospect – and how your solutions stack up to your competitors in terms of solving those pain points.

How to create effective sales battlecards

Sales battlecards are a great resource for your reps. They can have a positive impact on sales outcomes – when they’re thoughtfully created and your sales reps know how to use them.

So, how exactly should you go about creating one? Here are a few best practices to guide the process.

Step 1
Start with a template
Step 2
Determine your competitors
Step 3
Chose your focus areas
Step 4
Do your research
Step 5
Revisit them often

Start with a template

Starting your sales battlecard from scratch can seem overwhelming. Instead, consider starting with template that suits your needs and use case. Using a template will save time – and it’ll help ensure they all have a consistent look and feel.

Remember: a template should only be a starting place. Be sure to adapt the template as needed so it works for your needs.

Choose your competitors

Start by making a list of your key competitors. Then, add details about how often and when each one typically comes up in the sales process. If you’re not sure, ask for insights from those who know best: your sales team.

These insights can help you determine what type is needed for each competitor. For example, if your sellers often lose deals to a specific competitor, it makes sense to develop a battlecard focused solely on that competitor. However, if there is another competitor that’s brought up earlier in the purchase journey – but you don’t often lose deals to them – you can include them in a multi-competitor sales battlecard.

Determine your sales battlecard focus areas

Next, you’ll need to determine the categories to include in your sales enablement battlecard. Some focus areas to consider are:

  • Product features
  • Cost
  • ROI
  • Customer support
  • Customization options

The focus areas of your sales battlecard will depend on the type you’re developing and the intended audience. For example, a customer-facing multi-competitor battlecard will likely include fewer focus areas than an internal, single competitor version.

Of course, you want to develop battlecards that put your brand and offerings in the best light. However, it’s important to be honest, too. If there’s an area where a competitor outshines you, be sure your sellers know how to articulate why this is the case.

Do your research

It’s important to ensure the information on your sales battlecards is accurate. If a prospect notices an error, you’ll lose your credibility – and likely, the sale.

As such, it’s important to do plenty of research when developing your them. Much of your research can be done online. For example, you can find product feature information on your competitors’ websites. In addition, you can read reviews from current and past customers to gain insight into user experience. A generative AI tool like ChatGPT can also be a great tool for doing high-level research about competitors.

In addition, ask for feedback from teams throughout the organization. For example, the sales team can provide insight into why deals are often lost to a specific customer. Marketing teams, on the other hand, likely have insight into a competitor’s online presence and marketing strategy.

Revisit them regularly

Sales battlecards aren’t a one-time project. Instead, they need to be revisited often.

Why? Your own products and features will change and evolve in the future. So will that of your competitors.

It’s important to ensure they always reflect the latest and greatest information about your own business as well as your competitors. That way, your sales reps can confidently share their knowledge and be equipped to overcome objections.

How to use them

Creating great battlecards is foundational. But it’s also important to ensure your sales reps know they exist and how to use them. Otherwise, the time and effort spent creating them will be wasted.

With that in mind, here are a few best practices for using them.



  • Store your them in a single location
  • Provide training, enablement, and coaching on how to use them
  • Ensure sellers know which ones are internal and which are customer-facing
  • Leverage conversation intelligence to ensure sellers are putting their knowledge into practice in the field
  • Communicate when a new one is available
  • Welcome feedback – especially from top sellers – and incorporate this feedback into new versions


  • Distribute them via email or store via disparate platforms
  • Assume sellers know how to use sales them
  • Distribute internal sales battlecards to prospects
  • Assume sellers are applying their competitive knowledge in the field
  • Make your reps find them on their own
  • Create the sales battlecards once and never revisit


#1: Ensure they are centrally located and easily accessible

Some sales organizations may still use printed sales battlecards. But most have made the transition to digital sales enablement battlecards. It’s important to ensure they are housed in a central location so your sales reps know exactly where to find them.

Some organizations opt to store them in Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or a similar solution. However, a better approach is to store your sales battlecards within your revenue enablement platform. That way, sales reps can easily find exactly what they’re looking for – anytime and from any device.

In addition, a sales productivity tool with content management capabilities makes it easy to make updates to them. That means your sales reps can always access the latest and greatest versions of each sales one. You no longer have to worry about them using an outdated sales versions.

Empower your sellers to win more competitive deals
Sales reps must have deep knowledge of their own products. But they must also become experts on their competitors’ offerings.

Sales battlecards are a great resource for both new and veteran sellers. They provide reps with the information they need to confidently articulate how they differ from the competition. They also help sellers anticipate buyers’ objections – and ensure they’re ready to overcome those objections.

The best place to house your sales battlecards is within a revenue intelligence platform like Mindtickle. That way, your sales teams can access the sales training, sales enablement, sales content, and conversation intelligence they need to win against the competition – all in one place.

Salesforce - Asset Hub

#2: Provide enablement and coaching on how to use them

You’ve created a collection of sales battlecards. But you shouldn’t assume your sellers know what to do with them.

It’s important to provide sales training, sales enablement, and coaching to ensure your reps know how and when to use the sales battlecards available to them. Training, bite-sized exercises, and practice opportunities can help ensure sellers understand:

  • Which ones are available to them
  • The intended audience for each one (internal vs. external)
  • Which ones they should use in which sales scenarios

Sales managers can also leverage conversation intelligence to ensure sales reps are actually putting their knowledge into practice in the field. If there are knowledge gaps, sales managers can provide additional coaching to close those gaps – and improve sales outcomes.

#3: Communicate when there are new ones available

Over time, there may be a need to create additional versions. Each time a new one is available, make sure to let the sales team know. That new sales battlecard may just be the ticket to winning their next competitive deal.

#4: Ask for feedback

Your customer-facing teams interact with prospects day in and day out. They’re well aware of your key competitors and why they’re losing deals to them. So be sure to ask for their feedback on a regular basis. Incorporating feedback from your top sales reps can help improve the effectiveness of your sales battlecards.

Empower your sellers to win more competitive deals

Sales reps must have deep knowledge of their own products. But they must also become experts on their competitors’ offerings.

Sales battlecards are a great resource for both new and veteran sellers. They provide reps with the information they need to confidently articulate how they differ from the competition. They also help sellers anticipate buyers’ objections – and ensure they’re ready to overcome those objections.

The best place to house your sales battlecards is within a revenue intelligence platform like Mindtickle. That way, your sales teams can access the sales training, sales enablement, sales content, and conversation intelligence they need to win against the competition – all in one place.

Close every winnable deal

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Mindtickle’s New Features and Enhancements for Fall 2023: All Those in Favor, Say “AI”

With the enormous advances in AI and automation, every member of your customer-facing teams can focus on using their human creativity and strategic thinking to deliver exceptional customer and buying experiences.

Mindtickle’s 2023 Fall Announcement introduces the ability to scale the use of best practices and highlights winning behaviors with new features and updates, including:

  • AI search for fast, accurate results ​​based on a deeper understanding of language and search terms
  • AI-powered self-enablement with real-time answers to field questions on topics like pricing, or product features
  • Scalable CHAMP and MEDDPICC call scoring with AI
  • and more.

Take a look at all the brilliant updates on the horizon and close out the year on a high note with us.

Find what you need, fast

Copilot’s AI Search

When searches require exact spelling or phrasing, it can become frustrating and a waste of time sifting through irrelevant search results. Save time and reduce friction when trying to find training, content, and calls in Mindtickle with smart search results using Copilot, eliminating the need for an exact keyword match.

Copilot’s AI-powered just-in-time enablement

Finding the right subject matter expert, asking them a question, and getting an answer can take anywhere from seconds to hours, or even days. Ensure teams are successful in every prospect or customer interaction by getting them timely answers to their questions using Copilot’s generative AI. Encourage self-sufficiency in your go-to-market roles and reduce the amount of time spent by subject matter experts answering common questions asked by field teams around topics like pricing or product features.

Ensure consistent deal execution

AI-powered CHAMP and MEDDPICC call scoring

Have your sales calls scored based on how well the rep adheres to deal qualification frameworks like CHAMP and MEDDPICC to identify opportunities for coaching and training. Reinforce those sales methodologies at scale to ensure your teams are executing deals consistently.

Two women on a video call with a call score

Prevent overwhelm with curation

Role-based home pages and scoped DSRs, call library and content center access

Provide a more tailored user experience to enhance learners’ engagement and productivity. Role-based home pages allow for precise content targeting, ensuring reps access the most relevant training and collateral suited to their roles or based on sales stages. Limit which DSRs, call libraries, and areas of your content center various users can access for better control for admins and a more streamlined experience for those users. With attention being directed only to what is needed and relevant, learners can focus on upskilling to impact revenue.

More for Microsoft customers

Microsoft Teams instructor-led training integration

Schedule and manage your Microsoft Teams-hosted Instructor-Led Training sessions conveniently in the Mindtickle platform, with automatic attendance and engagement tracking so you can understand who is actively participating in your ILTs.

Outlook add-in

Ensure the assets that reps use to drive deals forward and broaden the scope of insight into engagement with your content by making finding and sharing the right asset for each email interaction easy and convenient.

Content sync with Sharepoint

Effortlessly maintain your content library in Mindtickle with an automatic content sync with Sharepoint to save time for admins and improve reps’ confidence in the relevance and accuracy of the content.

Mindtickle’s commitment to customer-centric innovation

Like the learners, managers, and creators who use Mindtickle, we strive to improve the customer experience and meet their ever-evolving needs. Mindtickle thrives on curiosity and pushes to anticipate and build what customers will need in the future, partnering with customers who provide feedback on trends they see, new creative ways they use our features, and constructive comments about our solutions.

Want to learn more about the new features and enhancements coming out through the end of the year? Schedule a demo.

Mindtickle's Fall 2023 Announcement

Want to learn more about the new features and enhancements coming out through the end of the year?

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Video: Showing the Impact of Sales Enablement on Growth


Episode summary

ChowNow was looking to elevate and grow its sales training program using Mindtickle. Cole Lindbergh, Sales Enablement Manager, Revenue Operations at ChowNow, talks about his experience with Mindtickle. While they were already using Mindtickle’s revenue productivity platform for its sales training, they’re now starting to use the Readiness Index to build an overall curriculum that goes beyond asking sellers to watch videos and take a quiz. They’re also using Mindtickle to get more insights into what makes sellers successful by building out ideal rep profiles (IRPs), which helps them identify the winning behaviors of top reps and gaps in sellers who might be struggling.

Cole talks through how he’s used learnings from the IRP and Readiness Index to inform his sales training strategy and how he’s tying sales training programs to revenue impact at ChowNow. Specifically, he outlines how they’ve been able to shrink onboarding time by two business days and get reps to their first deal faster using Mindtickle.

Key highlights

  • Using Mindtickle as its LMS but looking to expand its sales training curriculum beyond quizzing and videos
  • Looking at the Readiness Index and ideal rep profiles to understand what makes sellers tick and what separates high performers from the rest
  • Working with managers on sales coaching opportunities
  • Focusing on showing how sales training has an impact on business growth
  • Shrunk onboarding time from 8 days to six

Video transcription

Right now we’re using Mindtickle a lot of different ways. We’re leveraging in a lot of different ways. We’re obviously using it as our Learning Management System. We are doing training through it, we are doing assessments through it. We use missions, which is a lot of fun. But we’re looking to kind of grow on that too.

We’ve just started going down the Readiness Index path. We’re looking at coaching sessions, we’re looking at Quests, we’re looking at all these different things to try and really make our training more than just, “Hey, I’m gonna sit down, watch a video, and take a quiz.”

The whole idea here is, is that we want to try to build an overall curriculum. And when you build an overall curriculum, that doesn’t just mean you watch your video and take a quiz, right? You want to have feedback, you want to see how you’re performing, it’s others, you want to learn how I can do better.

I’m excited about the things that Mindtickle is doing because it’s ultimately going to set us up to be able to have so much more insight into really what makes our sellers tick, what makes them great sellers, or how can they improve. For me, how can I make my training better, right? 

Sales enablement plays a huge role in that a lot of our training is built around trying to emulate those that are top performers. Looking at ideal rep profiles, looking at the type of things that. How can I replicate what a rep is doing very well, and bring it over to someone else?

And having an ideal rep profile, like, “Hey, this is the person that’s excelling. They’re taking the trainings, they’re doing great, and coaching sessions, they’re hitting their day, their deals, that’s awesome.” Looking at the ideal rep profile, now I can start to identify, you know, hey, this person is doing really well on these types of trainings. This person is not, is there a correlation there.

If I can go to a sales manager and say, “Hey, your rep is exceeding in all these different areas, and this rep is not, what can we do to change that? If we’re able to focus on those little things? Can we make it better? Can we get them up to quota? Can we get them to close more deals?”

I’m a true believer in explaining the positives. Let’s look at the positives and see if they’re doing well. But then let’s work on those negatives and try to bring them up to speed to create a more well-rounded rep, in the long run, things because well-rounded rep, or sales or money. That’s it’s, it’s the never-ending sight.

Now we’re looking at more of these competencies. Ideas like these KPIs around training and these KPIs around competency and Readiness Index, I’m hoping are going to be that thing that ultimately brings that to us. I mean, we’re all trying to drive revenue, like we’re all trying to drive more sales.

At the end of the day, if I can show some level of how our training is affecting the overall growth of the company, and driving more sales, that ultimately is going to put me in a better position. There is this idea of if I can clone the great rap. And that’s like winning, and I can replicate that across others. That’s going to drive more sales.

By doing a formalized onboarding, we were able to increase the time that a rep got to their first deal significantly, you know, normally it was like, 6-8 weeks, somewhere in that range. And we were able to get to 3-4 weeks. And that’s including training time. That’s strictly just because we were setting the reps up for success from the get-go.

There is an entire world of additional learnings and additional resources that are available to you to continue to grow upon that. So we’ve actually kind of shrunk some of our onboarding time, in some instances, just because of simple fact. We have the ability now to like, refer you back to a specific training or for you. We’re doing an eight-day onboarding. And now we’re down to eight business days and now we’re down to six. So we cut two days. It’s an extra two days, not only on the field, but like extra two days to meet more people.

The ChowNow and Mindtickle Story

Want to learn more about how ChowNow is building out its sales training program using Mindtickle?

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Video: How One Financial Software Company Measures Sales Enablement

Episode summary

Finastra, a leading global banking software company, partners with Mindtickle to optimize sales training and drive success. With 90 of the top 100 banks relying on Finastra, their 600-member sales team undergoes 20 comprehensive training programs worldwide. Director of Sales Training, Dan Storey, highlights the transformative power of Mindtickle’s Sales Readiness Index in assessing training impact. By leveraging Missions and multi-choice assessments, Finastra measures training retention and application within its sales force.

Key highlights

  • Missions and multi-choice assessments help the Finastra team understand if go-to-market programs are working and transferring knowledge effectively
  • Using the Sales Readiness Index to predict pipeline generation and sales success
  • Utilizing Mindtickle Professional Services to identify their ideal rep profile so those core competencies can be built into their go-to-market training
  • Sharing Mindtickle reporting with the C-suite helps them make judgments based on performance and take corrective action

Video transcription

We’re using Mindtickle to assess our sales training platform, our sales training knowledge, and our enablement program. So largely, we’re using the Missions and multichoice assessments on the learning side, to really understand if our go-to-market programs are working if they’re being effective if we’re transfer, transferring the knowledge across. And really, ultimately, if sales were able to articulate that when they get into the field.

We’re using the Mindtickle Readiness Index, and we’ve got a fairly complex go-to-market knowledge set. We’ve got seven different criteria that we’re assessing across multi-choice quizzes across Missions. Ultimately, we’re using that to predict pipeline generation and sales success later down the track, but it’s really the Missions and the multi-choice assessments are able to fully understand how much of the training that we’re doing is sticking with our salespeople, and then how much they’re able to apply.

We’re working with a professional services team to figure out what our ideal profile is, we know we’ve got knowledge competencies. We’ve definitely defined those and they’re built into our go-to-market program. What we’re now working on is their kind of skill competencies is difficult for us, we’ve got a very long sales process, very established salespeople we’ve been selling for 10-15 years. So it’s challenging for the experienced ones.

But for newer salespeople, like our sales development reps, we’ve got very clear track skills that we want them to cover. And we’ve got a two-year development path that we’re able to help build that over an app starts with their onboarding, but also go through a number of certification programs where we use Missions and knowledge checks along the way to make sure they’re meeting the kind of benchmarks at each stage of that career journey. What we are able to do on some of the factor elements is at least identify trends with our performance. So some top performers are using and engaging with the content, some of our low performers are not engaging with the content.

We’re able to identify that and then share that insight with the leadership team. And then they can make judgments based on performance based on what they’re seeing. We’re already seeing these anecdotal elements where we can make corrective behavior in the sales teams. So the impact that we’ve been able to have so far is to have about a 70% reduction on global go-to-market training.

I’ve been in the company just over a year when I inherited the team. The first question I was asked is, “We just did our global go-to-market training, did it work?” My question back was, “What did you measure when there weren’t any measures in place?” So this is the reason why we brought my Mindtickle to measure that.

We have a global sales team of about five 600 people all in 20 different programs that we’re running globally, and we had no way to correlate or compare the impact of training, we spent 1000s and 1000s of man hours training people without any impacts or measurement on the effectiveness of that. So what we’ve done is, you know, if we think about Kirkpatrick is we’ve gone to learning, and we can now define what people have learned as a result of the training.

Ultimately, the components of that how that’s going to predict behavior. So, so far level learning. So level two on Kirkpatrick, we have got level three in terms of behavior, so Missions and things to see if people can articulate it, which I think is a lot better than we were so we know that the go-to-market programs have been effective at transferring knowledge. Now we just have to see if that knowledge is turning into results.

How do you measure Sales Enablement?

Learn more about the Sales Readiness Index and how it's helping sales enablement and RevOps leaders prove the value of their efforts, improve seller productivity, and drive revenue.

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Guide: Inclusive Language for Sellers and Customer Success

Using inclusive language has become an increasingly important skill in modern society and it’s risen to the forefront in the past few months. Stanford University came under fire for its Harmful Language List late last year after it issued a guide meant to address harmful communications in its IT department. Although the guide itself was scrutinized, it became clear that it’s worth other teams taking a more thoughtful, more careful look at the language they use in the course of their work.

In the world of sales and revenue where people interact with one another as the majority of their job – and sometimes their success is dependent on how well they communicate –  using inclusive language is a vital skill.

So what do we mean by inclusive language?

It means using words and phrases that avoid discrimination against certain groups of people, whether that is based on their gender, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. It also includes words or phrases used in lieu of language that is violent in nature.

Using inclusive language is about acknowledging diversity, being respectful of people’s identities and experiences, and creating a safe, welcoming environment for every prospective customer or partner.

This guide is meant to be a guide for how selling teams can become familiar with and use inclusive language so it’s a skill every seller has and it becomes engrained in your culture. In this post we’ll cover:

What are the benefits of using inclusive language in sales and customer success

Building trust and rapport with current and potential customers

If your goal is to close new or expansion opportunities, strong relationships are the bridge that gets you there. This is especially true when an organization primarily uses a consultative approach. While using inclusive language won’t be the finishing move that clinches the deal, not training this skill opens reps up to the preventable risk of offending someone with a language-poor choice. Why take that chance when you can train yourself to create a warm, inviting atmosphere with your words?

Enhancing your brand reputation

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion profession saw a ton of growth in recent years, with 123% more job postings between May and September of 2020, in spite of the abrupt economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the traditional strategy to handle DE&I efforts internally for a company (hello, mandatory training and workshops) aren’t sufficient for folks who represent the company externally.

The perception of a brand is the culmination of media coverage, social media presence, industry rankings and awards, endorsements and partnerships, and word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers. That last factor is exactly why sales and customer success professionals should make the effort to incorporate inclusive language in their repertoire of external communication skills.

While using inclusive language isn’t going to be the top reason for a customer to refer you to someone in their network, being known as a company that truly embodies diversity and inclusion, including in every interaction with prospects and customers, is an excellent way to stand out. Being an easy, friendly, and invested partner to your customers starts with making everyone you work with feel seen and celebrated.

Strategies for using inclusive language

Avoiding stereotypes and generalizations

Stereotypes are often weaponized against minority groups both on an individual level, like bullying at school, and on the systemic level, like the stereotype that fathers and masculine-presenting parents are less capable of caring for children than mothers and feminine-presenting parents.

Even if you believe the stereotype is positive, like the stereotype that Asian Americans are good at math, it is much better for your relationship with your customer or prospect to get to know them as an individual, not assuming anything about where they grew up, what language they may speak, or what life experiences they may have had.

If you know something like their job title and some of the previous job titles they’ve had, it is absolutely appropriate to ask whether what you know about the responsibilities and frustrations that come with the job are accurate for them. This is a very common way to establish your experience with solving their set of business problems and is a great way to build trust and establish common ground.

Where a sales rep or CSM should tread carefully is in making any assumptions or sweeping generalizations based on:

    • Ethnicity

    • Gender presentation

    • Age

    • Size of their body

    • Relationship status

Instead of making those comments, be curious about the person in front of you. Here is an example of how to establish rapport with prospects in ways that avoid stereotypes and generalizations:

For example, let’s say you are trying to establish rapport with your male prospect on a Monday by talking about what you both did over the weekend, you may hear an answer like “Oh, I was able to get out on the golf course for 9 holes, which was great.”

    • Say this: “How did you get into golf? What part of the game do you enjoy the most?” Avoid assuming his relationship status, the gender of his partner, and avoid playing into the stereotypes.

    • Instead of this: “Must have been great to get away from your wife/husband/partner!”

Avoiding culturally appropriative language

One of the beautiful aspects of language is that it is constantly evolving, whether that be through its native speakers, or through the assimilation of words from other cultures and languages. Unfortunately, the use of some of those by folks who do not know the context of the original language can be disrespectful to its’ native culture.

A good example of this is the use of the word “pow-wow.” The people who use it may not have a grasp of the original meaning, “medicine man” since its history is that English colonizers misused it to refer to gatherings of Indigenous medicine men, and later to refer to any gathering of American Indians.

There is usually an easy replacement to be made. Simply ask yourself, “What word would I use if I had to explain this to a five-year-old?” If we apply this question to the word “pow-wow”, we come up with words like “meeting”, “gathering”, or “meetup.”

Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences

There is understandable confusion between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. To be sure, the diversity of human cultures is something to be celebrated. That being said, culture is not a hobby or collector’s item.

The best way to fall on the side of cultural appreciation is to look for obvious context clues. “Appreciating culture often involves community, connection, and learning, whereas appropriation is typically an individual choice influenced by popular media.”

If you’re participating in a culturally significant ceremony and being asked to wear the traditional garb, make the effort to learn the history and symbolism of both. However, if you’re choosing to wear a piece inspired by a particular culture because it is trending on TikTok, rethink that decision and examine whether this trend is attempting to assign new meaning to this cultural marker.

Appreciating a culture does not have to mean wearing something. It can be awe and curiosity for important objects, understanding history, and partaking in delicious and unique foods without demeaning intentions.

Expert advice for inclusive language

Being aware of and addressing ableist language

According to the CDC, in 2022, 1 in 4 adults in the United States have some type of disability and many disabilities, such as autoimmune disorders, epilepsy, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Ableist language can be much less obvious or well-known compared to racist and sexist language. It often goes unchallenged because of the stigma disabled individuals face.

Many disabled people choose to remain silent when ableist language is used because speaking up can have social consequences in the workplace. Even in cases where someone is protected by the law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, reporting or filing a claim against an employer is very unlikely to result in any kind of justice.

In fact, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which oversees the enforcement of the ADA, 86% of the administrative complaints resolved by the EEOC resulted in the employer’s favor.

To ensure you create a warm and welcoming environment for everyone, including the quarter of the population with disabilities, work on your awareness of commonly used ableist phrases and start replacing them with some of the alternatives provided later in this article.

Person-first language

Using person-first language means choosing language that resists defining people by a single characteristic or experience. There are individuals who do not mind having these kinds of terms applied to them and even some who may prefer them. In the same way that someone with large feet may take great offense to being called “Bigfoot,” while another may find it hilarious.

If you don’t know them very well, it’s safer not to use the term. Ultimately, seeing the person you are talking to as a whole human being in their own right, with many facets and nuances to who they are, is the path forward to creating an inclusive environment.

What to do when you make a mistake

If someone is politely pointing out a mistake you have made, it is more likely the case that they care for you rather than they have malicious intent and want to embarrass you. Confronting a person requires effort and doing so has the potential to draw out defensiveness from the other person.

These situations happen to everyone – even the most conscientious person in the world. When it does happen, take a brief pause before you respond to stave off the perfectly natural feelings of defensiveness.

Try practicing using “Oh! I’m so sorry, thank you for correcting me,” or something similar, as your go-to response, then repeat your sentence with the language adjusted and move into the rest of your conversation.

If there is more conversation needed to address the mistake, be curious and open. Express that you want to foster a safe environment in every way, including in the language you use. If someone has taught you something new, thank them, let them know that you will do better in the future, and encourage them to speak up again if you do slip up. If you catch yourself making a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it. If you can, correct yourself lightheartedly in the moment.

For example, if you misgender someone and you catch yourself, simply say “Whoops! I mean (correct pronoun)” and continue the natural flow of conversation. You may be tempted to try to ignore your own mistake, especially if no one else brings it up, but exercising this willingness to correct yourself in front of others is admirable behavior and will garner respect from those you interact with.

We can all do better and feeling confident that you will be held accountable and can safely hold others accountable is a powerful factor in relationship building with a prospect or customer.

Common language hazards and what to say instead

Here are some, not all, of the words and phrases that you may use frequently in the context of customer and prospect interactions:

Gendered language

Ableist language

Racial or ethnic stereotypes and institutionalized racism

Ableist language

Culturally appropriative or insensitive language

Violent language

How to build inclusive language into your selling culture

Society’s definition of wrong and right will always be shifting and the language we use does, too. Taking the mindset that making simple substitutions to avoid the risk of hurting someone else will be a boon to any professional, but especially makes a difference for folks who interact with prospects and customers since building trust and a good reputation quickly is imperative to their success.

Using inclusive language is a muscle to be strengthened over time, like so many other interpersonal skills. Here are some ways to start baking it into your sales enablement efforts.

    • Build inclusive language training into sales training and certification programs

    • Arm your sellers with sales content that’s reflective of inclusive language best practices

    • Make sure your front-line sales managers are using inclusive language during their sales coaching conversations with sellers and are coaching them to do the same during their sales conversations

Make small changes, starting with the phrases you use most frequently. Choose one alternative to that phrase that you use consistently, then branch out to others when you feel like you’ve kicked the habit of using the original word or phrase. Give yourself and others room to make mistakes and be accountable for your words. A more inclusive world is built one positive interaction at a time.

Are You Reducing Your Sales Enablement Budget? Tips for Staying Ahead

For the past few months, we’ve heard a lot about the impending economic recession. In preparation, many businesses are either considering or actively tightening their purse strings — effectively putting increased sales enablement budget and additional headcount on pause.

Though the economy may weaken, business operations won’t halt altogether. Now, more than ever, sales organizations need resources that help employees do their jobs more efficiently.

Here’s how sales readiness can help your sales enablement teams do more with less.

Sales enablement budget tip 1: Keep and develop what you have

To drive performance and reduce turnover when hiring new reps isn’t an option, upskilling your current team becomes essential. This means providing reps with ongoing learning, support, and reinforcement to develop knowledge, skills, and behaviors that will help them meet or even exceed goals.

Mindtickle Guide to Sales Coaching Download

This learning and support should come in the form of training materials, which can include videos, product sheets, and quizzes; marketing content to engage customers; regular one-on-one sales coaching for guidance and feedback, and role-play opportunities to practice handling different selling scenarios.

With the right platform, sales leaders can track performance on individual and team levels to identify and address where reps may be struggling and where they’re succeeding, then alter the enablement program as necessary.

Sales enablement budget tip 2: Examine what you might have missed

It’s hard to look ahead without considering how you’re doing things now. Look back at workflows and pipeline management processes to identify gaps and inefficiencies. Are you optimized to move opportunities through every stage of the sale?

A great way to get started is to perform a win/loss analysis, where you examine deals that were won and deals that were lost. Have sellers answer specific questions for each, like:

  • Where did you find the lead?
  • How did you initially reach out to the customer?
  • Who did you talk to first and who were you in contact with throughout the process?
  • How did the first conversation go? What was the next step?
  • What were the customer’s pain points at the time?
  • What were the customer’s goals at the time?
  • Was the customer looking at competitors at the same time?
  • How did you know this was a good deal to pursue (or what were the signs that it wasn’t)?
  • How did you present the value proposition/use case?
  • Who within the customer’s buying team was involved in making the final decision?

Revisiting opportunities allows you to determine what types of engagement and content led to success — and whether recently disqualified opportunities were properly disqualified or are still warm enough to warrant reaching back out.

Sales enablement budget tip 3: Quantify your impact

Besides making changes to your approach, you must also prove the value of your sales enablement function when navigating budget discussions. This means being able to present numbers that demonstrate how enablement projects directly impact revenue.

Look at factors like content engagement and role-plays and how they correlate with quota attainment and revenue generation. For instance, how much more likely are sellers who engage with enablement content to reach or exceed quota? Do sellers who practice with role-plays ask more questions in real-world buyer conversations or have more success in moving an opportunity forward? Putting numbers to these key performance indicators (KPIs) enables you to align efforts to stakeholder goals.

This is also an ideal time to make sure your current customers have clear benchmarks and KPIs to measure success. Dig into what they’re already measuring and talk through how those metrics can be used to understand their progress with your product. If they don’t have data to analyze, work with customer champions to establish KPIs that are easy to start measuring right away. If their own organization is looking to consolidate technology, those champions can tie those KPIs to revenue and defend your product.

Sales enablement budget tip 4: Automate tedious tasks

When reviewing your sales processes, look for tasks that can be automated to help sellers focus on sales activities and boost productivity. Clunky, manual work like toggling between tools or scouring different folders to find specific content wastes time that could be spent on revenue-generating activities.

In these instances, there are likely ways to automate or consolidate programs in your tech stack to save sellers time and effort. Many sales technologies have integration capabilities to alleviate frustration and streamline methods for transferring customer data, sharing content, reporting, and more. If yours doesn’t, it’s probably time to look elsewhere.

When evaluating new solutions for your sales organization, consider vendors who provide at least several of the functionalities in your current tech stack within a single platform. This way, your sales team members — along with adjacent and supporting teams, like marketing — are working from a single source of truth and all know where to find what they need. A sales readiness platform has enablement and training, content management, conversation intelligence, coaching, and analytics all in one place.

By delivering time savings abilities and the assurance that every rep is using the most up-to-date internal and customer-facing content, a sales readiness platform lets sellers focus on sales activities that drive outcomes and revenue growth.

Ready to see how Mindtickle can help you do more with less? Request a demo today.