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How To Measure the Return on Digital Sales Experiences

If you're not measuring the return of your investment in your digital sales experiences, you might be leaving a lot on the table.

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There are several digital sales experience metrics businesses can measure to track and improve employee performance, customer experiences, and much more. [®Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock]

Experiences aren’t just about warm and fuzzy feelings. They’re also about cold hard data. Data is the driving force behind great digital experiences because it demonstrates the impact of customer and employee experience strategies. It also pinpoints areas for improvement within your strategy, and determines the next course of action. With a world of data at our fingertips, there are several digital sales experience metrics businesses can measure to track and improve employee performance, customer experience and, ultimately, the bottom line. 

Some of the benefits of measuring your return on experience (ROX) include faster time-to-market, automation-driven productivity, and of course, increased incremental profit growth. In earlier blog posts, we explained how you can measure the return on your IT experiences, marketing experiences, and service experiences

Sales as a digital experience

Digital engagement hit a tipping point in 2020, with 60% of interactions between brands and consumers happening online, according to the 4th edition of the Salesforce State of the Connected Consumer report. That’s a huge jump from 42% of interactions taking place online in 2019. While pandemic restrictions contributed to this increase, the trend is expected to continue far beyond the pandemic. Fifty-eight percent of consumers expect to do more online shopping, and 80% of business buyers expect to conduct more business online than before the pandemic. This data proves that consumer needs have irrevocably changed, and 66% of customers expect companies to understand those needs. Providing personalized experiences shows your customers that you understand their individual needs.

Personalized content advances your prospects from curious to qualified faster. Return on investment (ROI) calculators help prospects dynamically understand the value of your products. Workflows that automate contract reviews and approvals accelerate deal cycle times. Plus, they save your sales team time that can be devoted to finding and closing new business. Event registration experiences can capture a wealth of information about potential customers. B2B commerce sites give business buyers the option to place orders online. As a result, buyers get the digital experience they expect, and sales and service reps have more time to focus on high-touch interactions. 

80% of business buyers expect to conduct more business online than before the pandemic.

salesforce state of the connected consumer report

An engaging digital sales experience moves prospects down your sales funnel well before they interact with a salesperson. For your sales team, an effective digital experience accelerates workflows, including the steps required to configure, price, and quote your products. Your salespeople can stop saying “let me get back to you,” and start having upfront conversations. Taken together, these benefits culminate in ROX, which you can measure with any of your favorite sales metrics. Here are some of the sales metrics most impacted by ROX: 

8 Digital sales ROX metrics

1. Upsell and cross-sell rates

Your most fertile ground for sales lives within your existing customer base. A digital sales experience that seamlessly becomes a service, content, and commerce experience can help turn existing customers into prospects for other products. Depending on what you sell, the experience can help the customer buy or learn about new products with little or no involvement from your sales team. Let’s say you sell industrial equipment. You can move new customers into a B2B commerce experience where they can easily buy spare parts without ever talking to a salesperson.

2. Qualified leads

A great digital experience yields a higher number of qualified leads. You can prove this out by tracking the success of your experience, measuring increases in marketing and sales-qualified leads against previous qualified lead benchmarks. Also, track the percentage of leads that move from marketing-qualified to sales-qualified. Not seeing an increase in conversions? Dig deeper and look for ways to further automate the advancement of leads through the funnel.

3. Close rates

To arrive at your close rate, add your closed deals and sales-qualified leads for a given period. Divide closed deals by leads and multiply the result by 100. A “good” close rate will vary by industry. Digital experiences boost close rates by keeping prospects engaged with content, and by accelerating (or eliminating) the routine tasks that take salespeople away from interactions with prospects. For instance, artificial intelligence (AI)-based lead scoring can help salespeople focus on leads most likely to close. And ROI calculators can help overcome price objections. Read how sales teams can set priorities and speed up selling with AI

4. Average deal cycle times

This metric is straightforward. Add the total number of days from initial contact to deal close for all sales. Divide that number by the number of deals. If you’re using this metric to measure ROX, take the scope of your digital experience into account. Again, this is a metric that improves when you use content and digital process flows to move customers through your sales process faster. That content can take many forms, such as ROI calculators, configuration tools, and customer success stories. 

5. Revenue

More leads equals a higher close rate, and faster cycle times lead to higher revenue. It’s the bottom-line math that inspires all-in investments in digital transformation and sales experiences. Of course, many factors, like industry trends, impact revenue from one quarter to the next, but improved sales-related experience metrics turn into higher revenue over time. 

Partner experience metrics

Selling through partners can unlock new streams of revenue. If you sell through partners and create a partner experience, there are some additional metrics you can use to measure ROX, including:

6. Deal registration

A better partner experience should lead to a rapid boost in the number of deals registered. Partners will spend more time in a digital experience they like and that makes it easier to work with you. But this shouldn’t be the only metric you consider. That’s because partners may register digital-enhanced deals that they wouldn’t have bothered with otherwise. Consider this metric along with partner close rates or cycle times to get a fuller picture of ROX. 

7. Partner satisfaction

Do you already track partner satisfaction? If not, you should ask partners to rate their satisfaction with your company and partner experience on a scale. As with customer satisfaction, it’s common to use a 10-point scale. You’ll need before and after numbers when  using partner satisfaction to measure ROX. For example, consider conducting the same partner survey before you debut your new experience, and at regular intervals after. 

8. Partner engagement

You can have the best content in the world, but that won’t matter if no one is engaging with it. Partner engagement will help you understand what’s working and what’s not, so you know what to develop and how to optimize what you already have. Fill your partner experience with useful sales tools and helpful content that partners can share with customers. Why is this important? Your partners are more likely to spend more time within your experience when you provide relevant content. To measure engagement, use metrics like number of views, number of downloads, time spent in the experience, and, for social content, number of likes and shares. 

These are just a few of the sales metrics that determine return on experience. You could target just about any sales metric when you invest in your digital experiences. Where to begin? Look for the barriers holding your team back, or points in the journey where you lose customers. Then imagine how personalization and automation could remove friction, and start building from there. 

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