Sales Readiness vs. Sales Enablement: Successful Sales Teams Need Both

Feb 3, 2022

Some companies talk about sales readiness and sales enablement interchangeably. Others pit them against each other, as though they’re two opposing disciplines. But it’s not sales readiness versus sales enablement, because sales enablement is part of sales readiness.

Sales enablement helps your sellers prepare for their interactions with prospects, which is an essential part of developing a successful, sales-ready team. Sales enablement is one element of your overall sales readiness framework. You need the whole framework — including data driven sales enablement— to improve your sales reps’ performance and create a culture of excellence within the team.

Sales readiness is the measure of a successful sales team

Sales readiness is a process of continuous improvement for sales teams. It ensures sellers have all the information and tools they need, plus the essential sales skills and behaviors to go into any sales conversation with any customer, fully prepared. It empowers managers to monitor and measure their team’s performance and put into place remedial training, coaching, and education to help sellers improve based on their demonstrated areas of weakness.

At Mindtickle, we describe sales readiness as a continuous state of excellence that enables sales teams to grow revenue by using a suite of tools and processes to increase knowledge, enhance performance, and adapt to change.

We’ve developed a sales readiness framework to help sales and revenue leaders understand whether their sellers have the skills, competencies, and knowledge necessary to hit quota and close deals successfully.

Mindtickle sales readiness framework

 

The sales readiness framework covers five steps to help sales leaders measure their sellers’ ongoing performance and sales readiness:

  1. Define excellence. Sales leaders identify the key knowledge, skills, and behaviors reps need to succeed in your organization. They document these skills in an ideal rep profile to set the baseline against which reps’ knowledge and capabilities are measured.
  2. Build knowledge. Sales leaders provide their reps with the information, tools, and resources that let them learn about the product and industry, plus essential selling skills and behaviors.
  3. Align content. Sellers are equipped with just-in-time access to content that prepares them for every selling situation. Marketing and sales teams align to ensure content helps sellers move deals forward, and reps know how the content helps them optimize every selling situation..
  4. Analyze performance. Sales managers review sellers’ real-life sales interactions to spot skills gaps and opportunities for improvement. They can analyze their team’s use of key messaging and themes and assess essential selling skills like objection handling and product demos.
  5. Optimize behavior. Sales managers provide personalized, tailored coaching for each rep based on revealed skill gaps. Individualized coaching helps sales reps develop the skills and behaviors that align with your ideal rep profile to help teams win deals.

This framework helps sellers adapt to changing products, buyer needs, and business landscape. It also helps them develop and maintain the skills and knowledge they need to go into every customer conversation fully prepared.

How sales enablement helps reps be ready

Sales enablement is the training, reinforcement, and practice that lets sellers engage in successful interactions with prospects and customers, hit quota, and close deals. Sales enablement fits into several stages of our sales readiness framework, helping reps build the knowledge and skills they need to be ready for high-stakes sales interactions with prospects.

Sales enablement helps sellers build knowledge

Sales enablement helps reps develop their product and industry knowledge through continuous training and practice. Sellers build knowledge by completing training modules and then put that theory into practice by completing test product demos and virtual role-plays. Sales enablement also helps reps retain their knowledge through spaced reinforcement training exercises so they can recall and use their training correctly in sales interactions.

For example, in the Mindtickle platform, reps can complete AI-guided role-plays to practice pitches, product demos, objection handling, and other common selling scenarios in a virtual environment. These exercises familiarize them with your company’s core messaging and product and ensure they’re following sales behavior best practices before they get in front of their next big prospect.

Mindtickle Practice Pitch

Ensuring sellers have foundational product and industry knowledge is essential for getting reps ready for high-value calls when they’re live with potential customers. Sales enablement helps reps develop their subject matter expertise and put in enough practice and reinforcement to retain that knowledge long-term.

Sales enablement aligns content with the sales process

Sales content is a valuable tool for sales reps for ad-hoc enablement or to use when nurturing leads and prospects to help move the conversation forward. Sales enablement ensures reps know how and when to use marketing content in sales conversations. Sellers should have access to your library of sales content, so they can find and identify the best pieces for their current sales interaction.

For example, your marketing team can tag case studies about the buyer persona, vertical, or customer outcome to which it’s most relevant. Then your reps can search their content library for those key terms and easily find the case studies that best fit their current needs. And, in the same place, your enablement team can use the same tags to provide microlearning, recorded conversation snippets, competitive info, and other just-in-time training content to ensure proper preparation for every interaction.

Regardless of whether it comes from sales, marketing, or another source, just-in-time sales enablement content should live in a single, searchable location to help your reps find and use your assets. Our platform combines intuitive filters and smart search functionality to help sellers identify and surface valuable sales content quickly and efficiently.

Sales enablement helps reps and managers optimize behavior

Sales enablement creates a culture of ongoing development, training, and improvement in sales teams. It isn’t just about enabling reps to gain new knowledge and skills — sales enablement is also focused on reinforcing key skills and behaviors through training and practice.

With Mindtickle, managers facilitate training for their reps on an ongoing basis. They monitor and analyze reps’ performance by listening to call recordings, running debrief sessions after important calls, and using conversation intelligence solutions like Mindtickle’s Call AI. Analyzing their team’s real-world sales interactions enables managers to assess reps’ performance and identify gaps in skills and knowledge. Then they can share training resources and coaching exercises to help reps practice those skills that need remediation.

Mindtickle Call AI

For example, a sales manager identifies that some reps struggle to handle customer objections around their pricing plans. The manager can coach sellers directly or ask the reps to complete virtual role-plays to practice pricing conversations ahead of their next conversation with a real customer. The manager can also look at trends in reps’ scores and feedback from their role-plays to see how well each rep is progressing and retaining information from previous coaching efforts.

Stop thinking of sales readiness vs sales enablement and give your sellers all the tools they need to succeed

If you’re still thinking of sales readiness and sales enablement as two opposing approaches for your sellers, consider how they complement each other. Sales enablement is one part of a sales readiness program that ensures your reps have — and use — the knowledge and skills they need for every selling scenario.

any companies see sales enablement as separate from sales readiness, so they silo enablement training and content in learning-centric tools that are disconnected from content management or conversation intelligence software, making sales enablement a one-and-done activity rather than a continuous part of the selling process.

Mindtickle’s platform offers a suite of tools and processes to help reps increase knowledge, enhance performance, and go into every customer conversation ready to succeed. Our single platform offers:

  • Sales enablement
  • Sales content management
  • Conversation intelligence
  • Sales training and coaching

Make sales enablement a key part of your sales readiness approach. Request a demo or learn more about how sales readiness pros use Mindtickle to build effective programs for their teams.

 

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