Apr 15, 2022
What’s more valuable to your business: a case study that’s viewed 1,000 times on your internal content library or one that your sales reps discuss on 10 different discovery calls as a relevant example, convincing the prospect to book a product demo and progress the sales conversation? The first option sounds good but, in the second scenario, your sales enablement content makes real impact on potential customers and moves deals forward.
Companies often use the number of views their sales enablement content gets to measure the success of their sales enablement program. But the success of your program isn’t based on how many asset views you get. Instead, sales enablement leaders should look at how their program sits within a wider sales readiness framework to understand how it affects their reps and sales processes. Performance — not views — should be their true measure.
Views or attendees are vanity metrics for sales enablement programs
Just because reps are looking at your content doesn’t mean they’re successfully using it in their sales conversations or to improve their knowledge, skills, or performance. But many sales enablement teams still use the number of content views or attendees to their training sessions as a primary measure of success. According to the Association for Talent Development, “Most enablement programs have focused on leading indicators such as butts in seats or content consumed.”
Content views and downloads are easy to track and communicate. For example, if you’ve already had 200 views on the new case study you published this morning, that feels positive. You can interpret those 200 views as an indicator that the piece is providing value to your sales team. However, all those views mean is that someone opened that case study. They might’ve closed it right away or skimmed through it without taking in the details.
A Gartner article states, “The best sales enablement programs track and enforce whether resources are being used across the sales organization.” If you’re using content views as the primary measure of success for your sales enablement program, you’re missing out on valuable insights. You’re correlating content views with engagement — making an assumption that reps are actually using that content or learning from it and that the content has a meaningful impact on your reps’ skills and knowledge.
The performance metrics that measure the real impact of sales enablement on your sales team
Forward-thinking sales enablement teams understand that the true measure of sales enablement is how it affects your sales reps’ performance and drives revenue. Instead of looking at asset views, sales enablement leaders can track key sales metrics to see how asset usage impacts rep performance. Here are some vital sales metrics that will help you understand your sales enablement program’s impact on your team:
1. Content adoption
Content adoption looks at how often your salespeople use your sales enablement content in interactions with prospects to help move deals forward. You can measure content adoption in three different ways:
Whichever of these methods you choose, you’ll be tracking how different pieces of sales enablement content are actually used by your sales team rather than assuming that views mean engagement.
Content adoption is a useful metric because you can see how often sellers use different types of sales enablement content. Content that makes it easier to engage with prospects (and, in the long run, close more deals) will be used frequently by your sellers. But content that doesn’t engage or resonate with prospects will quickly be ignored by your sales team in favor of higher-impact content.
Tracking content adoption helps you understand:
You can use these insights to inform your sales enablement content strategy. Your team can focus on creating more assets that positively impact the customer journey and get used frequently by your sales team.
2. Sales cycle length
Your sales cycle length measures how long (on average) it takes your team to close a deal. Your sales team does a lot of work to nurture a lead into a customer, from product demos to high-value calls with C-level decision-makers. The more steps in your sales process, the longer your sales cycle is likely to be.
On a more granular level, you can look at interactions at every step of the sales cycle to understand how sales enablement activities might impact a deal’s progress (or lack thereof.) Overall, you should see your sales cycle get shorter as reps are better equipped with content and coaching to nurture leads and are enabled with the skills and knowledge they need to move deals forward.
But, as well as looking at the length of your sales cycle as a whole, you could measure:
Then look at which content has been used to engage and nurture prospects. Do some deals progress quicker than others? If so, it’s a good indicator that you’re producing content that’s aligned to each stage of the sales process. As a result, your sellers have the knowledge and resources they need to sell prospects on the value of your products — and the content for prospects to convince the decision-makers in their organization.
3. Lead-to-opportunity conversion rate
The lead-to-opportunity conversion rate tracks the percentage of qualified leads that your sales reps judge to be a good fit and have a high likelihood of closing. While the definition of an opportunity varies between companies, it generally refers to a prospect who demonstrates a genuine interest in your product. Often, they have committed to initial discovery calls with your reps — possibly even an initial product demo or free trial.
This conversion rate is a good way to measure the impact of your sales enablement program. Your lead-to-opportunity conversion rate may improve when:
You should track which pieces of content your reps are using in deals that convert from lead to opportunity. Doing so will help you understand what resonates with prospects, so you can focus on creating more impactful content to enable your sellers even better.
Look past asset views to understand when reps are ready to sell
Asset views are only worth worrying about if they’re at zero. Otherwise, they tell you very little about your sales enablement program and the content within it.
Instead, the best data driven sales enablement programs equip and enable reps to use content that’s aligned to all stages of the buyer journey, informed by data from real customer interactions — which is why the most effective sales enablement programs sit within a wider structure. The sales readiness framework gives reps the tools and processes to increase their knowledge and performance, encouraging a continuous state of excellence within your team. Provide this and you’ll ensure your reps have — and use — the knowledge and skills they need for every selling scenario.