Sales Readiness Guide: Tips & tools for onboarding reps

The Dock Team
March 26, 2024
July 3, 2024

When you’ve been selling B2B software for a long time, you forget what it’s like to start — explaining complex products to people who don’t even have the approval to buy yet, using bottom-of-funnel tactics for prospects who are still in the exploring phase, and dealing with grumpy responses to frequent emails. 

It’s a cold world for new sales reps. 

Sales readiness — a system for preparing new sales reps for success — can help ease the shock.

But sales readiness doesn’t just benefit the reps themselves. It also impacts your overall sales targets and KPIs. 

Readiness makes internal workflows more efficient, empowers sales reps with extra resources, and ultimately creates a smooth buying experience for the customer. 

This guide will give you a quick rundown of how and why to implement a sales readiness strategy.

What is sales readiness? 

Sales readiness (also called field readiness) is a combination of processes, tools, and practices that improve performance in a sales team before the sales process even begins.  

In other words, it’s a combination of sales enablement and sales training:

  • Sales enablement comprises tools and processes that make closing deals easier. Examples include your CRM, sales email templates, digital sales rooms (DSRs), and process documents.
  • Sales training includes tools and processes for onboarding and upskilling sales reps. Examples include product education, sales coaching, courses, assessments, knowledge bases and manager support.

Sales readiness is more complex than bringing new hires up to speed. When done well, sales readiness transforms the sales process for both sellers and buyers. 

It helps sales teams deliver a consistent, efficient, and effective sales experience without expending too many resources or putting too much pressure on individual reps.

For managers, sales readiness is a scaling tactic: it’s a great way to ensure you hit your revenue goals even as you expand your team and take on new products to sell. 

Who’s responsible for ramping up reps?

Preparing team members for fieldwork is a shared responsibility between sales leaders, sales enablement teams, and product marketing teams.

Sales leaders

Sales leaders set the high-level vision and strategy for the sales organization. So they must ensure the sales team knows about and is aligned with the company's overall goals and objectives. 

Sales leaders also need to create a culture of sales excellence by providing their teams with the resources and support they need to be successful. 

Lastly, leaders monitor sales performance and must communicate how and why specific metrics are essential.

Sales enablement

Your Sales Enablement team is responsible for providing the sales team with the tools and resources they need to be successful. These resources include training, coaching, and development programs. 

Sales Enablement also plays a role in creating and maintaining templates and relevant content, such as sales scripts, presentations, sales proposals, and order forms

Lastly, sales enablement tools, including training platforms, customer relationship management tools, and digital sales rooms, all contribute to front-line sales success.

Product marketing

Product Marketing creates and communicates the product's value to sales reps. This process includes developing product briefs, creating product demos, producing case studies and providing sales training. 

Product marketing also plays a role in developing buyer personas, improving product-market fit and doing competitor analysis.

Each role plays a critical part in the readiness strategy. If a sales rep uses outdated tools or processes, doesn’t have the latest product releases or competitor comparison on hand, or doesn’t understand how they fit into the larger business objectives, your sales readiness strategy will fail. 

What makes a rep ready to sell: a checklist

Sales managers can kick off the readiness process however they want, but before they send salespeople out into the real world, it helps to have a checklist of competencies.

To successfully guide a buyer through the complex B2B sales cycle, sales reps need to know: 

  • ☐ Buyers 
  • ☐ Product lines 
  • ☐ Use cases
  • ☐ Product messaging
  • ☐ Sales processes
  • ☐ Buyer enablement


To personalize their pitch, sellers need to know the buyer on several levels: as an individual, how they fit into their organization and your organization's segments and ideal customer profiles. 

Product lines

Sales reps need to know what they’re selling to convey value accurately. They also need to be able to identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities when they see that the buyer could benefit from added functionality.

Use cases

Many software products can be hard to grasp without real-life examples. Having a wide variety of use cases on hand makes it more likely to find an example that will resonate with the prospect they are talking to.

Product messaging

Product marketers develop messaging frameworks to ensure that value propositions are communicated consistently.

If a prospect hears about a product described in ten different ways or various buyer-stakeholders hear about the product in conflicting terms, the resulting confusion will slow the sales process.

Sales processes

Sales processes ensure consistent quality of service across all sales operations. It also gives new reps a shared language and workflow to start with. 

Try documenting sales processes in a shared tool so that everyone works from the same knowledge.

Buyer enablement

Buyer enablement is a set of measures taken to ensure a smooth process on the buyer's end. 

Buyer enablement programs give sales reps ways to delight the customer, decrease time to value (TTV) and close faster. Sharing a buyer enablement strategy among your team will take some of the burden off individual salespeople to develop these ideas independently.

Use this checklist as part of your sales enablement strategy to ensure all reps are on the same page.

Tools & tactics to speed up sales readiness

Lastly, like buyer and sales enablement, a sales readiness program needs collaborative tools to store and share information around the buyer journey. Luckily, many sales tools integrate to create centralized knowledge your sales team can easily access.


Your CRM, such as Salesforce or Hubspot, will contain many resources that new reps need to access, such as customer data, past conversations and performance analysis. 

Sales enablement software

Some teams use learning management systems (LMSs) and content management systems (CMSs) to house coaching and education resources. The Marketing team often manages these systems. 

Showpad and Seismic are popular enterprise LMSs, but Dock’s sales CMS is a more lightweight option for the average mid-market sales team.

Digital sales rooms

Digital sales rooms (DSRs) like Dock serve many purposes for both sales and buyer enablement. A DSR is a shared workspace between buyer and seller. The DSR provides content management for sales documents such as sales proposals, use cases and whitepapers, mutual action plans, pricing quotes, competitor analysis and contracts.

Most importantly, Dock’s digital sales rooms can be templated so that sales reps can work from the same materials without starting from scratch each time. More experienced reps can share their Dock resources with new hires so that they can sound like an old hand, even on the first day of the job.


CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software provides systems to help sales teams present the right products and services to sell to each client along with accurate pricing.

Software like this is invaluable for streamlining the sales process for even the most seasoned sales reps. CPQ software is particularly helpful for new reps, however - products and pricing can be pre-loaded while also allowing for final manager approval. Sales managers can rest assured that all their sales reps are providing accurate pricing information.

Send reps out with confidence

Most sales leaders see readiness mainly as an internal challenge. But when you make sales readiness a part of your enablement program, you can win for the customer and your team. 

Dock workspaces make it easier to empower reps with the tools and resources they need and a proven follow-up process to keep sales strong even in phases of high growth and change.

The Dock Team