What Is Sales Readiness? Sales Training vs. Enablement vs. Readiness.

By Nathan Purcel, Director of Marketing, Unboxed Training & Technology
An image of a road with “Are You Ready?” painted on it.

Are your salespeople prepared to interact with clients or customers at any stage of the sales process? Most organizations have never heard of sales readiness. They may be providing onboarding training or sales enablement training, but they aren’t training readiness in their sales teams.

It’s not enough to provide your sales team with training and sales enablement tools. They also need to know how to combine these skills and tools to make sales effectively. Unfortunately, many companies never bridge the gap between the two.

However, it’s the combination of sales training with knowledge of using a sales enablement tool that leads to sales readiness.

In this article, we’re introducing a sales readiness definition. We’ll answer the question, “What is sales readiness?” and provide you with three steps to make sales teams sales-ready.

What is Sales Readiness?

Sales readiness means being prepared and confident to engage a customer at the point of interaction, regardless of what stage you’re at in the sales process.

Reps who are sales ready:

Being “sales ready” allows salespeople to support potential clients/customers at any stage of the buying process by combining the ingredients of sales tools and sales skills. However, the difference between sales training, enablement, and readiness can be confusing. So, let’s take a look at how sales training, sales readiness, and sales enablement are all different and also work together.

Sales Training vs. Sales Enablement

You can think of sales training and sales enablement as two vital steps in the journey toward the finish line: sales readiness.

Sales Training

Sales training is an ongoing process that starts during onboarding and continues indefinitely.

During onboarding, you should introduce new sales reps to your products/services and sales process. The onboarding training should teach sellers valuable skills, like:

  • Active listening
  • Probing and asking good questions
  • Negotiation techniques

And to ensure employees benefit from sales training, training should engage employees and drive retention by:

  • Being highly customized to your company’s values, brand, industry, etc.
  • Utilizing various learning modalities (e.g., videos, games)
  • Employing micro-learning techniques

In addition, implementing coaching in your workplace can be a great way to keep employees on track and provide them with intentional, directed feedback. Training shouldn’t stop after onboarding. Instead, it should be ongoing. Continuous training ensures Skill Agility® – the idea that your sales team is always developing and staying up to date with the latest industry trends.

Sales Enablement

Now that you’ve trained your sales team, you need to enable and empower them.

Think of sales enablement as the tools (e.g., pitch decks, product demos) your company uses to engage with clients when making a sale. These tools help a sales rep guide a prospective client through the sales process from start to finish.

Sales Readiness vs. Sales Enablement and Training

Sales readiness is the ability to combine sales training skills with sales enablement tools to ensure a successful sale. When continuous sales training and coaching are combined with practical sales enablement training, the result is sales readiness.

Put another way:

continuous sales training and coaching


knowing how to use sales enablement tools


sales readiness

However, the problem is that most organizations:

  • Provide initial training without ongoing upskilling and coaching opportunities
  • Introduce sales enablement tools with no sales enablement training
  • Hope their employees will make sales (but “hoping” isn’t a good strategy)

This lack of connection between sales training and sales enablement tools leaves sales reps unprepared for sales meetings.

What sales reps actually need is sales knowledge and an understanding of how to use sales enablement tools. When salespeople can leverage their skills in conjunction with enablement tools, they’re sales ready – prepared to meet a client at any stage of the sales process.

Three Steps for Training Readiness in Your Sales Team

Sales readiness means your sales team is always prepared to move a prospective client through the sales pipeline.

Here are three steps you can take to push your sales teams toward sales readiness.

1. Provide Sales Enablement Training

Train your employees in using your sales enablement tools. If your sales team doesn’t know how to use it, investing in an expensive sales enablement tool won’t do you any good.

Remember our sales readiness definition: continuous training + knowing how to use sales enablement tools = sales readiness.

The goal is to provide your employees with practical sales skills and the knowledge of using sales enablement tools. Sales enablement training is an excellent way to teach your sales team the ins and outs of your sales enablement tools.

As your team receives ongoing training and grows more comfortable with your sales enablement tools, they’ll move closer to being sales ready.

2. Provide the Right Sales Enablement Tools

Second, you want to provide your sales team with the proper sales enablement tool. There are tons of online learning platforms and learning management systems. They all have unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. So, how do you know which one to choose?

Some marks of a good sales enablement and readiness platform include:

  • The ability to house your training and sales resources in one place
  • Personalized learning and practice opportunities
  • Continuous, real-time feedback
  • A social and collaborative learning environment
  • Easy communication between managers and employees

The best sales enablement tools are easy to use and access – allowing your employees to find sales materials quickly.

3. Provide Continuous Training and Coaching

First, provide your salespeople with continuous, ongoing training and coaching.

Think about it in terms of an athlete. The best athletes don’t go to the gym one time or attend just one practice before a competition. Instead, they work with a trainer or coach who can encourage strengths and help them grow in areas of weakness. They also practice every day and run through game-time scenarios until they master their craft.

Improving as a salesperson is the same – it takes input from a coach and constant practice.

Some things you can do to upskill your sales team and further their learning include:

  • Periodically releasing refresher training videos on key topics
  • Role-playing common scenarios or customer objections
  • Dissecting past sales calls as a team to figure out what works and what doesn’t

You can also look into and invest in a coaching platform, like Spoke. Continuous training and coaching ensure your sales team is always prepared for the next sale.

Unboxed is Here to Help

We started our discussion by answering the question, “What is sales readiness?” Sales-ready salespeople know how to leverage both their skills and their sales enablement tools when making a sale.

At Unboxed Training & Technology, we’re here to help you empower your sales team to reach their full potential. Connect with us to get a demo of our Spoke Learning Technology Platform to see how it will help your sales team become sales ready today.