Sales readiness: a definition
The term “sales readiness” covers a range of strategies and practices that are all concerned with ensuring salespeople are “sales-ready”. That means making sure they have all the skills and knowledge they need to do their work effectively.
In order to ensure sales readiness, sales teams and staff must first be assessed to evaluate their level of readiness. Is it at a high enough level? Or are there gaps in salespeople’s knowledge? If so, you need to identify them.
Sales readiness assessment
When conducting a sales readiness assessment, you need to evaluate a wide range of factors that have an impact on your salespeople’s ability to make sales. Here is a small list of some of the basics. It isn’t exhaustive but it’s a good starting point.
Does the salesperson have sufficient insight into:
- The products or services they’re selling?
- Functionality, requirements, limitations, and features?
- Sales prospects’ needs, challenges, roles, and industries?
Once you’ve found the answers to these questions, you can start developing a sales readiness strategy and sales enablement training programs dedicated to bringing your salespeople’s knowledge and skills up to the desired level.
Sales readiness vs sales enablement
Sales readiness isn’t the same as sales enablement, although the two are related. When thinking in terms of sales readiness vs sales enablement, it’s helpful to think of it like this: sales readiness is a matter of ensuring salespeople are prepared to engage with their next prospect and make their next sale. But sales enablement is about your organization empowering salespeople to be as effective as they can be in every way possible.
While sales-readiness may manifest itself in acts such as delivering training to salespeople, sales empowerment is far broader. It involves optimizing your organization and its processes to facilitate sales team productivity, efficiency, and performance. This includes the tools and technology that are provided to salespeople – and these are particularly vital in certain areas of sales.
Considerations for software sales readiness
In the world of software sales, prospects will want to test out a product or service, verify that it meets their needs, and that it will work in their own technology infrastructure. It’s vital for all their concerns to be met, and much of a software salesperson’s work hinges on doing that.
Demonstrating software and providing this kind of validation wasn’t always easy in the pre-cloud era, because in order to gain full confidence, prospects needed to try the software on their own systems – which made demonstrations more time-consuming and difficult to arrange.
But today, sophisticated cloud-based sales demo environments can be provided remotely, to prospects wherever they are, accessed via their web browsers. The most advanced and powerful tools for providing these environments have become dedicated sales readiness software – and we’re proud to say that our own solution, CloudShare’s software experiences platform, functions as a valuable sales readiness platform, enabling greater sales effectiveness for organizations everywhere and readying their teams to make every interaction count.