Jan 4, 2022
It’s not easy being a sales rep. Buyers have high expectations. Priorities are constantly shifting. Markets are constantly changing. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Revenue leaders must be laser-focused on ensuring each rep has what they need to be ready to sell. Oftentimes, revenue teams invest in myriad technology and software solutions, hoping to do just that. But typically, these tools address just one piece of the puzzle. And on their own, they’re not enough to prepare sellers.
In this post, we’ll explore what the revenue technology landscape looks like today, why a major convergence is happening, and what it means for revenue leaders looking to get all of their reps (not just the high performers) ready to sell.
The revenue tech landscape today
Today, there are countless technology solutions promising to help businesses grow revenue. In fact, product categories have emerged for each stage of the sales cycle – from determining which buyers to reach out to and how to engage them – to how to close deals and cross-sell. And within each category are a dozen or more options.
One thing’s for sure: the revenue tech ecosystem is massive – not to mention complicated.
It’s a Salesforce universe, and we’re just living in it
One way to think about the complicated revenue tech ecosystem is to liken it to the solar system. Much like the sun is at the center of the solar system, customer relationship management (CRM) is the center of the revenue tech ecosystem. And more often than not, that CRM is Salesforce.
Like the solar system, there are multiple “planets” orbiting the CRM. Each planet represents a category that’s focused on a key dimension of revenue success.
- Sales processes and operations
- Prospect data
- Sales content management
- Insights and reporting
- Sales meeting recordings and insights
- Preparing sellers
To further complicate matters, each planet has a series of “moons” that represent a subcategory of its parent planet. For example, the “Preparing Sellers” planet has five moons representing the key components of this area, which include:
- Sales Gamification
- Reinforcement and training
And of course, there are an overwhelming number of technology options within each planet and moon. Also, different planet and moon solutions tend to have different users. For example, Closing is more oriented towards sales ops whereas Preparing Sellers is more geared towards sales enablement and training teams.
While these tools are supposed to make life easier, that’s not always the case. Companies invest millions of dollars in technology that may or may not effectively address a singular challenge. These tools don’t always play well together. And true sales readiness remains a pipe dream.
It’s no wonder why a growing number of businesses are seeking simplification in their sales tech stacks.
The good news for such businesses? Four of the planets – sales content management, insights and reporting, sales meeting recordings and insights, and preparing sellers – are converging, as recent acquisitions seem to suggest. Let’s figure out why.
As a result of this collision, a brand new, integrated space is emerging: sales readiness.
Why the consolidation to sales readiness?
When you think about it, consolidating sales content management, insights and reporting, sales meeting recordings and insights, and seller preparation into a single, new category – sales readiness – makes perfect sense. Why? In short, because each area aims to address the same challenge: seller productivity.
This also means that instead of having multiple stakeholders driving parallel initiatives, sales readiness will have to be driven top-down through the sales leader, CRO, or CSO.
Lagging indicators aren’t enough to solve seller productivity
We all know seller productivity is a big challenge. Today, many organizations attempt to solve it with lagging indicators – such as win rates and quota attainment. While these metrics are certainly important, they don’t tell the whole story. Relying solely on lagging indicators simply isn’t enough when you want to create behavior change.
For example, CRM or forecast data reflects deals – and the data reps have entered on each deal. Of course, it’s easy to see that a deal was lost. But nine in ten deals don’t have the data needed to understand why it was lost. And that makes it difficult (if not impossible) for a front line manager to coach the rep towards more favorable results in the future.
As another example, a company might hire a new seller because they seem like the perfect fit. But finding and hiring that person doesn’t ensure continuous excellence either.
One-off solutions aren’t cutting it
Sales enablement and sales training software – certainly play a crucial role in improving sales productivity. However, they cannot create long-term behavior changes on their own.
Per CSO Insights, a mere 27.5% of stakeholders feel that sales enablement initiatives meet or exceed expectations. And other sales research tells us that 90% of sales training programs fail after 120 days.
Sales enablement and training teams need the help and support from other sales leadership roles – ops, frontline management, and the head of sales – to create transformational change in seller performance.
Sales readiness is the solution to sales productivity
Disparate solutions don’t work. Rather, sales readiness is the only real way to solve for sales productivity.
If you’re not familiar with the concept (or even if you just need a quicker refresher) sales readiness is defined as a continuous state of excellence to grow revenue by utilizing a suite of tools and processes to increase knowledge, enhance performance, and adapt to change.
Phrases like sales enablement, learning management, and content management are often used interchangeably with sales readiness. But these phrases aren’t actually synonymous. Enablement, learning, and content are merely components of a comprehensive readiness strategy. And true sales readiness requires a consolidation of the individual components (or planets, if you want to go back to our solar system analogy) that live within it.
How Mindtickle’s comprehensive sales readiness platform empowers businesses to solve for sales productivity
Sure, sales readiness sounds like a great idea – in theory. But can an organization truly get all reps ready to sell? Or are revenue teams forever at the mercy of the Pareto principle – that 20% of reps will always drive 80% of revenue?
Not if they’re using point solutions under the hope that standalone, “best of breed” technologies can deliver the results you need.
To truly increase rep productivity (and make readiness a reality), revenue leaders must:
- Define excellence for their organization
- Build knowledge their reps need to win
- Align content to the sales process
- Analyze performance of field interactions
- Optimize behavior to improve sales outcomes
Of course, there are products in the market that can achieve some of these individual capabilities. But Mindtickle is the only sales readiness platform with a complete set of readiness capabilities.
Let’s take a closer look at how it all works together.
Surely, you have an ideal customer profile (ICP) that helps you determine which helps reps focus on the accounts that are the best fit for your products and services. But it’s equally important to have an ideal rep profile(IRP), which is a set of skills and competencies a rep needs to be successful.
With Mindtickle Readiness Index, revenue leaders can define ideal rep profiles (IRP) that sets a baseline for what knowledge, skills and capabilities each sales rep in the organization should possess. This Readiness Index then measures how reps perform against the IRP and it becomes the north star of the entire sales team.
Build knowledge reps need to win
Sales onboarding is important. But organizations can’t rely on onboarding alone to ensure reps are ready to sell. After all, 84% of sales training is forgotten within the first three months.
It’s important to incorporate continuous learning, or what we here at Mindtickle refer to as “sales everboarding.” Everboarding ensures learning sticks – and it’s actually applied in the field.
The Mindtickle platform incorporates sales enablement, practice, and reinforcement solutions so knowledge sticks and reps are continually ready to perform.
Align content to the sales process
We’ve all heard the adage that “content is king.” But the reality is, content only works if reps can find it – and it’s aligned to the sales process.
Mindtickle provides teams with a central place for teams to access the latest and greatest sales content. And because it’s integrated within the context of the overall readiness program, reps also know how to use the content.
Analyze the performance of field interactions
Front line managers don’t have the time to sit in on every sales call. But then when a deal falls through, sellers often struggle to articulate why. And that makes it difficult (if not impossible) for managers to course correct.
The Mindtickle platform features robust conversational intelligence capabilities that leverage AI and machine learning to provide insights into what’s actually happening in the field. Plus, our Readiness Dashboard provides insights on how reps progress through critical programs.
Sales coaching is essential, and it’s proven to drive bottom-line results. In fact, companies that provide quality coaching can reach 7% greater annual revenue growth.
But a generic approach to coaching isn’t effective.
With Mindtickle, managers can leverage data and analytics to deliver individualized coaching for each rep based on their skills gaps.
Ready to see the magic of bringing sales readiness into a single platform?
There’s a significant consolidation happening in the revenue tech space. And a new category – sales readiness – is emerging.
Want to see how Mindtickle can empower your organization to achieve sales readiness? Schedule a Mindtickle demo today.