If you’re a sales leader or executive, you know how important it is to have a sales team that is ready to sell. But what does it mean to be truly Sales Ready? In this blog post, we will discuss how to ensure your sales team is sales-ready and enabled for success—from the very beginning.
What is Sales Readiness?
Sales readiness is an important component of successful sales performance—a measure of how prepared a sales representative is to meet the demands of their role, from knowing the products and process to understanding customer objections and having access to the right tools and resources. From a team perspective, sales readiness is the ability of a team to demonstrate knowledge and skills in a way that enables them to be successful, while understanding their individual roles, knowing the product and process, and having the ability to handle customer objections.
But more importantly, sales readiness is something that every company with a sales team should be focused on; it is essential for any business that wants to remain competitive in its market. Not only is a sales-ready team more productive, but they are usually better equipped to handle customer objections, and more likely to close deals. Plus, when team members are knowledgeable about their roles, they are more likely to take ownership of their responsibilities and be more engaged in the sales process. All in all, having a focus on sales readiness means having a team that is ready to sell, and a bottom line that reflects your investment.
How Can I Tell if My Team is Sales Ready?
The key to making sure your sales team is ready to sell is two-fold: to understand the components of sales readiness, and to be able to assess your team on each one. If you’re trying to determine if your team (or a single sales representative) is truly ready to be in front of customers, here are a few factors you should consider:
Do They Know the Process?
At the most fundamental level, a sales rep needs to understand the established sales process of their company—the approved set of repeatable steps that will guide them through each stage of the selling cycle. Where do leads come from? What checkpoints are in place for management? What information is needed to close a deal, and who should be involved in the process?
Setting up this process, however, is not the job of the sales person, but rather the management team, and is where a focus on sales enablement takes center stage. But whatever your sales process looks like, it is important for reps to have a clear understanding of it, which will enable them to confidently engage with customers and streamline each area of the sales funnel.
Do They Know the Product?
When it comes to selling, it is essential for a sales representative to have a comprehensive understanding of the product they are selling, including detailed knowledge of the features, pricing, and benefits that make their product stand out from the competition. Without this understanding, the sales rep will be unable to answer any questions or address any concerns that potential customers might have.
This in-depth knowledge of the product also helps the sales rep to come up with innovative ideas and techniques to present their product in the most attractive way possible. We all know it’s not enough to simply recite a product description; a good sales rep will be able to demonstrate how their product solves problems, or provides benefits that competitors don’t offer.
The easiest way to boost the overall knowledge of your sales team? Invest in training and resources—like product demos, video tutorials, and webinars—as well as an assessment tool that can help identify knowledge gaps. That way, you can not only equip your team with the knowledge they need to succeed, but ensure they are absorbing the information and able to put it into play.
They Know the Benefits & Can Navigate Objections
When it comes to product knowledge, there’s one piece of the puzzle that can make the difference between a “done deal” and a dead one—understanding (and being able to verbalize) the benefit that your product or service can provide to the customer. After all, the customer is looking for the features and advantages that will make them choose your product over others, and it’s up to the sales rep to communicate the full value proposition so the customer can make an informed decision.
Part of this is having access to, and understanding, prior customer feedback, to see the big picture of how customers perceive their product or service, which can be used as a selling point for a product or service to help convince potential customers that the investment is well worth it. When armed with this higher level information, sales teams are far more likely—and able—to handle the objections that may arise. Far more important than if your rep can take hearing “no,” is the question: can they turn a “no” into a “yes?”
Having the ability to answer objections shows that your team is prepared and knowledgeable about the product or service, and being able to anticipate those customer objections will help a sales rep ease past it, rather than becoming rattled.
They Have Access to Sales Tools (and Know How to Use Them)
When it comes to sales, having access to the right tools is essential. These can range from white papers to case studies, provided trainings, and product marketing collateral.
Having access to these resources gives your sales reps the information they need to make informed decisions during their sales process and give them the confidence to properly explain why your product is right for the customer.
They Are Committed to Upskilling
For sales teams to be truly successful, continual training and upskilling is critical. Training helps assess a sales rep’s strengths and areas for improvement so that strategies can be put in place to ensure maximum effectiveness. It also helps to keep reps engaged and morale high.
However, it’s important to remember that upskilling isn’t just a one-off event; it needs to be an ongoing, continual process. By investing in a training and assessment platform, a company can not only promote a culture of learning, but also provide their sales teams access to the latest industry knowledge and technology, as well as coaching on effective selling strategies. Investing in your sales team’s development shows them you value them, which will have a direct impact on their performance.
From onboarding to continual sales, each sales person needs certain things in place to support their day-to-day work, and maintaining a focus on sales readiness can undoubtedly have a huge impact on any company’s bottom line. Fortunately, doing so doesn’t have to be hard—or expensive. To help you assess your sales team, we’ve provided this checklist to help determine sales readiness.
Of course, if you notice that your readiness program has gaps, consider Bongo’s video-based assessment and feedback platform as a possible solution—it doesn’t just help you streamline your training program, but can help scale your efforts, with a low per-user cost that makes implementation a no-brainer. For a demo of Bongo’s full range of capabilities and how it can help your sales team grow, visit bongolearn.com/software to schedule a demo.