Gartner analyst Hank Barnes recently asked what B2B marketers should do if they had an extra $1 million in budget. One suggestion stood out: sales enablement. Investing in tools, processes, and other elements to boost sales performance.
Why does it stand out? Because it can have a dramatic impact on conversion rates throughout your sales funnel. And that means more revenue for your company.
With any program it’s essential that you measure your results. Measurement lets you improve your programs by figuring out what works. However according to a survey by Vantage Point, only 40% of sales enablement programs are measured. So, what metrics should you collect to evaluate your sales enablement program?
You might look at the number of training sessions or hours of training per rep. However, I’d suggest you look at a set of harder metrics to really prove your program is working. Let’s take a look at four solid metrics you should be collecting:
A key deliverable of sales enablement is to help bring new sales people, or underperforming team members, up to peak performance. Any time your sales enablement program can lift these colleagues up to hit their quota you’ll have a massive impact on your top-line – and on buy-in into your program.
But is a sales rep’s quota attainment really linked to sales enablement? According to Aberdeen Research, companies that adopt best practices across their sales teams had double the quota attainment of their peers.
Each sales enablement program that gives a rep more time for core selling nets more revenue. Each best practice program that makes reps more effective translates into topline improvement. So, stay on top of this metric to gauge the effectiveness of your sales enablement initiatives.
Data from Sales Performance International shows that 84% of sales training learnings are lost within 90 days. That’s a staggering number, and considering how central onboarding is to most sales enablement programs it’s essential to stay on top of this.
When new sales people aren’t retaining their training, they take longer to get to peak performance. And if you’re in a high-growth company, one that onboards a lot of staff, you need to make sure that reps are performing well quickly. So, track how long it takes for new reps to hit their quota and to match and exceed the performance of the rest of the team.
The Demand Waterfall or Sales Funnel tracks how prospects flow from lead to closed won business. Along the process there are conversions from Marketing Accepted Leads to Marketing Qualified Leads, and on through Opportunities. A tiny improvement in conversions through this funnel can have a major impact on the sales result.
Imagine you improve the conversion of Marketing Accepted to Sales Accepted Leads from 8% to 9%. Perhaps through improved and streamlined email communications for your Sales Development Reps. You’ve just added more than 12% to the total number of hot leads your sales team can work.
Sales enablement improvements that help identify hot leads, or let SDRs respond faster, or help sales teams communicate more targeted messages to prospects – these things drive better conversion rates. Choose sales enablement programs that drive conversion rate improvements and then measure the results.
There’s a great blog post from Nancy Nardin at Smart Selling Tools. She looks at the sales process like a machine, a machine that builds revenue. When the machine is focused on the wrong things, or when there is waste coming from the machine, it’s not producing revenue.
When a sales rep is off looking for case studies, building their own presentations, sinking time into expense reports, and other non-core selling activities, they’re introducing waste.
“A salesperson has, typically, 50 hours in the week in which to work. It’s the job of both marketing and sales to ensure that those 50 hours are spent as productively as possible,” according to SiriusDecisions’ Jim Ninivaggi.
So, whenever you can help sales people to reduce that waste. When you can get more time refocused on selling with fewer interruptions, you can significantly improve the quality of your sales team’s performance.
Armed with these ‘solid’ metrics you can tie your sales enablement efforts to results in the field. That not only impacts your revenue attainment, it also boosts your ability to justify the right budget for sales enablement programs.