The investment you make in sales enablement ensures your sales force's effectiveness and will allow sales teams to create new opportunities, develop new clients, increase net new revenue, and create growth. Because B2B sales has become more difficult, more money and resources are deployed to ensure the sales organization reaches its goals. There is also a trend to invest revenue in teams that include both sales and marketing and aim to improve sales rep performance.
Here will look at several categories of sales metrics that help you measure the performance of your enablement. By looking at these five categories, you might also improve your sales enablement strategy.
5 Sales Enablement Metrics to Track:
- Sales enablement ROI
- Sales productivity metrics
- Sales content metrics
- Sales training metrics
- Sales pipeline metrics
Sales Enablement ROI
Any conversation about the results of enablement will start and end with the return on the investment (ROI).
Cost of a Sales Enablement Program
The overall cost of an enablement program is the first metric you need to calculate the ROI. You might need to include sales technologies, the costs of creating sales-related content, training, and development (including travel expenses), external consultants or trainers, and any reporting and analytic programs. Different companies will categorize some of these investments under different departments. For example, if the marketing department has the budget and responsibility for content creation, it may be removed from the enablement costs. ROI is the revenue generated compared to the budget.
- H4 budget allocation for sales enablement: The categories are a good place to start when looking at budget allocation. By looking at how the budget is being deployed, you can measure the results. You can observe the sales enablement best practice of adjusting the budget allocation based on your goals and initiatives. For example, if the sales force needs a transformation from a legacy sales organization into a modern one, you may have to invest more in sales training and development. The adoption of a new approach may also require a greater investment in the content the sales force will need to succeed.
- H4 revenue generated through sales enablement: Before you can attribute revenue, you need to have goals and outcomes. Revenue is everyone's favorite metric because it is how we keep score. But you might have initiatives to increase average deal size, sales cycle times, or other key elements. The easy math is to attribute the increase in revenue to the program, even if that is inaccurate. You may have to argue over how much of the increase of revenue was due to enablement as opposed to the contributions of the sales leaders or higher-than-expected demand. This attribution question doesn't have a simple, single answer. Expect to be able to attribute some significant amount of the increase in revenue. Also, prepare for a conversation about how you made this determination.
- H4 ROI of sales enablement: Most of the time, sales organizations compare the cost of the enablement program to the revenue generated by the program. One challenge of calculating ROI is the politics of attribution. The best way to avoid this is to determine how to do the math, something I won't dare to address here, allowing me to avoid the politics.
- H4 sales enablement program effectiveness: The goal of any sales enablement program should be effectiveness. There are several ways to measure the program’s effectiveness. You may disagree, but an increase in quota attainment and an equal increase in the average win rates of the sales force would be enough to call the program effective. The improvement in the results of other initiatives, like average deal size and other positive outcomes also speak to the effectiveness of the program.
- H4 metrics for tracking sales enablement program effectiveness: Sales organizations track all kinds of data. From my view as a sales leader, I want quota attainment, increased win rates, an increase in average deal size, growth of existing clients, and net new revenue.
- H4 sales performance improvement due to sales enablement: One way to measure improvement is to set a baseline you will use to measure sales performance. Once you have a baseline performance, you can measure the increase over the prior period. You can do this for every metric the enablement improves.
Sales Productivity Metrics
Having covered the complicated ROI, we can turn our attention to productivity metrics. My take on this is that sales organizations spend too much attention on efficiency and should worry more about effectiveness. While activity is critical, the outcomes are more important than counting activities, unless you have an activity problem. To ensure an appropriate level of focus, I recommend the following H4 sales activity metrics.
- Number of calls or emails per day: If you have an activity problem, it makes sense to look at the number of calls and emails the sales team is making. A sales team cannot be effective if they are not doing anything.
- Time spent on sales activities: This metric is increasingly important, as salespeople spend more time on administrative tasks and managing technology and clients. The time spent on sales-related work is not only worth measuring, but it's also worth enabling the salesperson to have more time to sit across from their prospective clients.
- Sales activity conversion rates: There are several conversions worth measuring, but some of the most important are: a conversation to a meeting and a first meeting to a second meeting. After those, you can track conversion rates for every stage of the B2B sales process, ending with won deals.
Sales Efficiency Metrics
While efficiency shouldn’t be the primary focus of sales training, you can measure the effectiveness of sales enablement by tracking a few key efficiency metrics.
- Average deal size: Winning larger deals is more efficient, so the average size of a deal is worth measuring. As your sales enablement improves the sales force's effectiveness, they can win larger deals.
- Sales cycle length: This is worth measuring, but trying to speed up the sales cycle can backfire, especially when clients need more time and conversation to have the certainty they need to move forward.
- Lead response time: The research here is clear. The faster the salesperson responds, the greater their chances of winning. Measure this data point and lower the response time.
Sales Content Metrics
Content is increasingly important, as buyers are researching on their own. Salespeople need content for all the stages of the buyer's journey.
Content Effectiveness Metrics
If this feels like marketing metrics, that’s because it was. As sales and marketing merge into each other's lanes, the results here are important for lead generation and the sales conversation.
- Number of views and downloads: In a world where sales automation has made cold outreach more difficult, these metrics provide a sense of who is showing up at your website and where they are in their buyer's journey.
- Content engagement metrics: It’s worth creating content that garners high engagement. When content isn't working, the metrics tell you you need to rethink and improve it. This is connected to the idea of value creation. Clients will engage with content they find valuable.
- Content conversion rates: Conversation rates offer the best metrics for content effectiveness. Measure the content and assess it by its ability to lead the buyer to take the next step in their buyer’s journey.
Content Relevance Metrics
Engagement numbers will help you judge how relevant your content is to your clients and prospective clients.
- Content usage metrics: The more a piece of content is used, the greater the value it has to the sales force. Content with high usage is also likely valuable to decision makers and B2B buyers.
- Content feedback metrics: You should collect feedback and put a task force in charge of using it to assess the content. Because content is important to modern sales, you need it to be effective.
Sales Training Metrics
Sales training must be measured. One thing we worry about is how salespeople are trained. The check-box training that is used most of the time has never been the best way to train and develop salespeople. We have a different approach, one better suited to the sales challenges of the 21st century.
- Sales performance improvement due to training: To capture the metrics here, you must tie the training to a specific and measurable outcome. For example, if your enablement increases average deal size, the result is easily captured. Something like “better sales results” is too broad to be helpful.
- Sales training completion rates: The completion rate should be 100%. If it isn't, the training approach may miss some important factor, like how the sales management team can hold their teams accountable for improving their effectiveness.
- Sales training feedback metrics: If you are reading this article, I have no doubt you are gathering feedback and improving your program.
Sales Training ROI Metrics
Sales training is relatively inexpensive when compared to the results. These metrics will help you with the ROI of sales training.
- Cost of sales training program: To calculate the ROI of sales training, you must start with the cost of the program.
- Revenue generated through sales training: The increase of revenue is the other variable to calculate the ROI of sales training.
- Return on investment (ROI) of sales training: You will have to do the math on the attribution of sales training, but it isn't uncommon to generate millions more in revenue as a direct result.
Sales Pipeline Metrics
Here are few pipeline metrics worth capturing and using in an assessment of your program:
- Pipeline volume metrics: There is a real challenge here that stems from sales managers requiring their teams to record every first meeting as an opportunity. You are better off counting the opportunities that have had a second meeting.
- Number of deals in pipeline: This number is also suspect, unless the sales managers raise their standard on what they will accept as an opportunity. You want integrity in the pipeline.
- Value of deals in pipeline: There is no reason to start with a plan that would have the sales force losing 75% of the deals they create. A larger pipeline is only helpful if you can convert.
- Conversion rates: Let's call this win rates. For me, this is the most important metric. The greater the effectiveness of the sales force, the easier it is to hit targets and goals. My advice is to make effectiveness the heart of your sales enablement program.
To effectively measure the success of a sales enablement initiative, it's vital to track the expenses, revenue, and ROI. Sales productivity metrics, including activity and efficiency, can enhance performance. Measuring the effectiveness and relevance of sales content can improve engagement and conversion rates.
Monitoring the ROI and effectiveness of sales training can increase revenue and performance. Finally, keeping an eye on sales pipeline metrics such as deal volume and conversion rates can improve forecasting and overall performance. By carefully analyzing these metrics, organizations can pinpoint areas for improvement and optimize their sales enablement programs to reach their goals. For more help, go here.