Sales has undergone a transformation in recent years. As prospective customers have access to more information the buying journey has shifted which requires a dramatic change to the way businesses approach their selling process.
While many have enabled their reps with new tools and information, sales enablement still has a long way to go before they are empowered to fully support their charges according to PwC. One area in particular where they can make a significant impact is by making sure sales leaders have the right numbers to make actionable changes to their process, coaching or training.
As stated by PwC:
“Sales enablement is a multifaceted function that should generate the analytics and customer insights needed to develop successful sales strategies and build the capabilities needed to engage fully with customers, as well as provide the necessary transactional and operational support.”
With this end goal in mind, effective sales enablement managers provide support to sales leaders through data and analysis. This not only assists them to identify how to sell more, it provides an opportunity for sales enablement managers to gain the trust of their sales leaders and develop a partnership focused on achieving their sales results. In this post I’ll discuss the four areas where sales enablement can make the biggest impact:
1. Align broad sales metrics with business objectives
While your KPIs may be aligned to your training initiatives, knowing how many reps have completed their onboarding training won’t help your VP Sales hit their quota. Of course you still need to meet your targets, but you don’t have to share these metrics with sales leaders. Instead you can add value by providing them with metrics that are relevant to their targets and overall business objectives.
For example, if your business is scaling rapidly, the sales onboarding program will be an important factor in meeting new sales numbers. While training completion numbers won’t show the revenue impact of your work, measuring how quickly the new reps ramped up and achieved quota for the first time will.
Further, if you’re scaling you’ll be constantly bring on board new batches of recruits, so by undertaking cohort analysis (measuring one batch against another) you can see improvement in the effectiveness of your onboarding program over time. This analysis can also demonstrate that your onboarding program is reducing the ramp-up time and adding significant value to the bottom line.
2. Provide information on relative sales performance
Information that benchmarks and compares team performance can be really insightful for sales managers, and may identify areas where they could improve. If you’re able to access information across sales teams from your CRM or sales enablement platform, provide best practice benchmarks, like win rates or average closing time.
This analysis can also inform sales enablement content. For example, the best performing team could share case studies or success stories on how they close a deal quicker.
3. Give granularity on sales activity
If you’re able to provide specific data that will identify opportunities for managers to coach their reps, they’ll always be glad to see you. Tracking activity, like sales calls, demos completed, time from demo to proposals or even what point in the process reps are losing deals, are all data points that are telling indicators of sales performance and opportunities for improvement. By extracting this data from your CRM or financial information, you can help sales managers identify what parts of the sales process require additional enablement initiatives, coaching or training.
4. Correlate analytics with performance
One of the most important data sets to sales managers is seeing how each activity impacts their team’s direct sales performance. For example, if you’re in a competitive environment, you might find a correlation between those reps who look at competitor updates more frequently than those that don’t. This demonstrates the value of your competitor updates enablement activities and gives managers a specific action to coach their reps on and will positively impact their close rates.
To conduct this analysis, you can extract data on what content reps are viewing from your sales enablement software and overlay it with sales results. The patterns that emerge will be fascinating to both you and your sales leaders.
Even if you’re not directly accountable to the sales team, sales enablement still has a significant role to play in the performance of the sales team. In fact, the most effective sales enablement managers have found that their empowerment within an organization has grown as they’ve helped sales leaders achieve more with numbers.