Today, a large number of organizations regularly invest in sales enablement programs, teams, and technology. According to a report from CSO Insights, in 2019 61% of organizations employed some form of sales enablement — a number that has no doubt increased since the report was published.
Investing in sales enablement makes sense, as a strong program can have a large impact on an organization’s ability to grow revenue. Research tells us that companies with dedicated sales enablement programs are more likely to meet their sales quotas than those that don’t.
But all too often, organizations fail to measure the impact of sales enablement. They develop and deliver content, training, and other programs, hoping something works — without ever really knowing whether it does.
Or they claim to measure impact — but focus solely on metrics like adoption and engagement, which only tell part of the story.
In today’s business climate, budgets are under increased scrutiny, and organizations are laser-focused on ensuring they’re only spending on things that actually move the needle. Sales enablement teams must be able to prove impact if they expect to be viewed as anything but a cost center.
Doing so requires continuous tracking and evaluation of key metrics across the following four categories:
- Sales onboarding and ramp-up metrics
- Ongoing learning metrics
- In-field behavior metrics
- Business outcome metrics
Category #1: Sales onboarding and ramp-up metrics
Adding new sellers to the team is an important way to support your organization’s growth goals. But if you don’t have the resources to hire more sellers, you need to make sure every rep on your team is ready to sell.
It all starts with a great sales onboarding program, so it’s important to ensure yours is running on all cylinders.
Of course, it’s important to track program completion. However, simply checking off a set of onboarding tasks doesn’t necessarily mean a rep is ready to sell. For that reason, organizations must also track the effectiveness of their onboarding programs.
The following key metrics are essential to gauging the eagerness of new reps to learn, the effectiveness and efficiency of onboarding programs, how long it takes new reps to be ready to sell, and whether onboarding sets a positive tone for the rep’s career at the company:
- Time to onboarding completion
- Time to first deal/time to revenue
- Successful onboarding completion
- Average ramp time for new hires
- Average number of new hires
- Annual rep attrition rate
Category #2: Ongoing learning metrics
Onboarding is a top focus of most enablement teams but the hard truth is that reps are bombarded with information during onboarding — much of which they quickly forget.
According to Gartner, sales reps forget 70% of the information they learn within a week of training.
Clearly, onboarding on its own isn’t enough to ensure reps are ready to overcome challenges and close deals.
Continuous learning — or what we at Mindtickle often refer to as sales everboarding — helps reinforce learning so it sticks with reps and can be applied when they’re interacting with prospects. Everboarding can take a number of different forms, from a short video or written update to a quiz or practice exercise — or anything in between.
Of course, everboarding programs are only impactful if they’re used — and if they truly help reps retain the skills and information needed to sell. Otherwise, ongoing training can become just another task on a rep’s never-ending to-do list.
Sales enablement teams must keep track of these key metrics to ensure reps are engaging with continuous learning programs, retaining the information that matters, and becoming better equipped to move deals across the finish line:
- Seconds of training videos watched
- Pages of documents read
- Correct answers on assessments and quizzes
- Overall team performance
- Certification completions
- Rep feedback on program efficacy
- Overall engagement
Category #3: In-field behavior metrics
Sure, it’s important for a sales rep to complete onboarding, training, and other assigned enablement activities. But adoption isn’t enough to predict success.
Reps must leverage the enablement they receive to develop behaviors needed to be successful in the field. In-field performance is where the rubber meets the road.
Tracking these key metrics helps enablement teams determine whether reps are actually applying their skills in the field — and where they might need additional coaching to sharpen their abilities:
- Call scores
- Filler words used
- Keywords used
- Messaging consistency
- Monologue length
- Number of coaching sessions per manager
- Individual core skills and competencies
- Manager coaching adherence
Category #4: Business outcome metrics
The ultimate goal of any enablement program is to drive growth. If the team can’t demonstrate how (or if) their efforts are impacting sales readiness and business results, they’ll forever remain a cost center rather than a profit generator.
Tracking these key business outcome metrics can help you identify whether your programs are driving business growth and fostering an environment where reps want to stick around to grow their careers:
- Rep churn
- Rep retention
- Number of new logos won
- Percentage of reps hitting quota
- Conversion by deal stage
- Average deal size
- Average deal cycle time
- Number of meetings booked
- New pipeline created
Measuring these indicators will allow you to not only assess impact — but also to course correct to improve outcomes and inform future initiatives.
Holistic measurement is key to proving the impact of sales enablement on revenue generation
Peter Drucker is often quoted as saying, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” This phrase definitely rings true for modern sales enablement professionals.
Sales enablement teams must continuously measure and analyze key metrics across the four categories outlined in this post. By doing so, they can demonstrate the impact of their programs — and optimize their strategy to increase impact.
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