7 Critical Metrics to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Sales Enablement Strategy
Author: Bethany Santos
Yes, scoring a sale is hard. But, all that means is that you’re dealing with a steep learning curve. Sales is the product of a process. The better, more refined your sales process is, the more regularly you will sell.
This is why supporting and training your sales team is so important.
Sales enablement includes all the resources you can provide your sales team with to improve their performance. These resources can include tools, content, techniques, and first-hand knowledge from experienced sales professionals.
But, while there’s a lot that you can provide, you also need to know which area needs your attention.
Let’s check out 7 metrics that can help you understand where your salespeople are going wrong and what you can do to fix it.
1. Quota Attainment
Quota attainment is the percentage of deals closed by a rep in a time-period in relation to their quota. This figure can be measured weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annually. Simply put —
Quota attainment = the number of sales in time-period/quota for that time period.
This metric is your first option to inform your sales enablement strategy since it tracks each salesperson’s performance. You will find that some salespeople are better at meeting their quotas, some not so much. But by identifying gaps in your sales team’s knowledge through performance tracking, you can offer them targeted help.
For example, let’s say sales rep Mark is really good at presentation, but can’t handle questions or objections very well. In this case, the goal of sales enablement will be to help Mark become better at post-presentation protocols.
Or maybe prospecting is hard for your team. Your enablement strategy can cover prospecting in greater detail.
You can also go for a dedicated Sales Development Reps process. SDRs take care of lead generation, prospecting, and bringing new team members up to speed on best practices. Unlike sales reps, SDRs help leads move through the sales pipeline. They typically research prospects and then decide which ones the sales team needs to focus on.
Finally, if you’re trying to break into a foreign market, then your salespeople may struggle to achieve their quotas. This is expected. In this case, your sales enablement strategy should include language learning modules that can help your sales team to better communicate with their new prospects.
2. Length of the Sales Cycle
All your sales reps have a fixed number of hours each week. Obviously, the more sales they can make in that time frame, the more revenue your organization earns.
The length of a sales cycle is a crucial metric to track for a few reasons. Firstly, it helps you identify where your sales process is falling apart. Next, many salespeople end up spending a lot of time on things that don’t really offer much in return. As per one study, most reps spend nearly 65% of their time on non-revenue activities.
Talking personally, and regularly, with each sales rep can result in more first-hand information, but you can also use a time tracking software. These tools can track an employee without becoming too intrusive. They can also produce very detailed reports on how much time was spent on that activity. And you can use your insights to further enhance your sales enablement strategy.
Some of the questions you need to consider to better understand your sales cycle are:
- What is the average time per sale?
- What is the fastest time per sale?
- What is the slowest time per sale?
- What are the sales reps responsible for the fastest-selling time doing?
- Where are the sales reps responsible for the slowest-selling time going wrong?
Record the answers to these questions in your training manual for future reference.
3. Performance of Marketing Collaterals
Besides sales reps, your company’s marketing material may need periodic updates as well. Marketing collateral is an instrument that helps your team sell. These include pitches, guides, articles, videos, scripts, etc.
Marketing material is best thought of as a perpetual work in progress. As you learn more about your market and clients, you should update your marketing collateral, too.
For example, let’s say part of a company’s sales strategy is to send over a white paper to new subscribers. The company can track the open rates, click-throughs to sales pages or follow up inquiries to find out how successful that paper is.
Your marketing collateral can also double up as educational resources for your sales reps. By continually revising them, you can keep your sales team updated.
Also, consider doing keyword research to identify gaps in your marketing collaterals. Are your sales teams constantly receiving inquiries that they don’t have exact answers for? If so, consider identifying any key phrases that your prospects might be repeating. You can use new insights to create better, more targeted marketing material.
4. Calls to Action (CTA)
CTAs are one of the most important parts of your sales strategy. They’re what propel the prospect down the sales funnel after all.
Since all sales pitches, whether in person or on the web end with a call to action, it makes sense to measure their effectiveness. Measuring CTA performance is particularly important as some will do better than others.
CTA performance can be measured in two ways. Firstly, you can look out for click-through rates (CTR), i.e. how many people actually clicked on the link. This metric can tell you whether your text or CTA creative is appealing or not. Secondly, you can track clicks to submission (CTS) rates. Many marketers consider CTS to be the metric to track as they indicate a real intent to interact rather than mere curiosity.
Consider running A/B testing between different CTAs to find your winners. You can also use a proven CTA, or versions of it across all your channels.
5. Sales Closing Ratio
The sales closing ratio puts the number of accounts won against the total number of prospects engaged. The metric is fairly easy to track as you only need to keep an eye on the number of proposals sent, and how many of them converted to clients.
Your organization’s closing ratio can help you plug many gaps in its sales enablement strategy. Firstly, you’ll need to know what the average closing ratio in your industry is.
For example, let’s say your organization is in the finance space, where the closing ratio is 19%. Your sales team sent out 100 proposals in a month and closed nine deals, so, your closing ratio is 9%. You may now want to find out why your closing ratio is behind industry standards. Some common reasons sales fall apart are:
- Warm leads weren’t pursued: There will be plenty of leads that are sitting on the fence. But, for some reason or another, your sales reps ignored them.
- Query to answer times are too long: Your prospects are sending you questions, but your sales department is taking too long to answer them.
- Your sales team is chasing the wrong prospects: Indeed, prospecting is quite hard. And, sometimes you may end up with a list of people who couldn’t care less about what you offer.
Once you have a good idea of where your bottlenecks are, you can create specific enablement content to help your sales reps overcome them.
Consider creating corporate training videos using live examples (with pseudonyms) of both missed opportunities and scored deals. You can use emails, phone conversations, and first-hand experience in your videos to help your sales rep understand the issues and how to solve them.
6. Adherence to Sales Process
The purpose of sales enablement is to create a process that your sales team can rinse and repeat. Tracking your sales process makes sure that all your reps are on the same page. More importantly, you can figure out where your sales process is going wrong by keeping tabs on all its moving parts.
The first step is to set up your sales process. While the process itself will stay the same from industry to industry, many of its aspects may change. For example, a brand in the CBD niche will need to consider different questions from a company selling sunglasses online.
You can certainly track each part of the sales process manually. But, there’s always a chance you (or your manager) might miss something. The best way is to transfer your sales process to a SaaS-based sales system. Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho CRM are great sales solutions that allow you to create and track your sales processes.
Finally, you should give your sales rep some wiggle room to experiment with new methods.
But, while churning the proverbial sea of probability can sometimes result in unexpected rewards, it’s best to stick to the process more often than not.
This is why it’s best to dedicate a part of your team’s time to try different strategies out. But, the majority of their time should be spent following the sales process.
7. Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)
The effectiveness of your sales enablement system also depends on how happy and satisfied your sales team is. You can use the eNPS system to gauge that.
Net Promoter Score was developed to track employee satisfaction and loyalty within their team and company by asking them a series of questions. The respondent must place the organization on a scale of 1 to 10.
- Those who answer 9 or 10 are considered promoters. These people are satisfied with the company, its products, or services and are probably sharing their views with their peers.
- Those who answer 7 or 8 are passives. These people are neither for nor against the company.
- Those who answer 0 to 6 are detractors. These people are not happy and are more likely to talk negatively about the company.
Once you have the data, you just need to apply this formula:
Net Promoter Score = % of Promoters minus % of Detractors
It’s best to make the eNPS survey anonymous and keep the results confidential so that your sales reps can report how they really feel. Better yet, consider educating them on how you intend to conduct the survey so there are no doubts.
Sales enablement is easily the secret sauce that separates successful sales teams from unsuccessful ones. An unfortunate fact of modern sales is that most reps cannot hit their quota. And so, the 80/20 rule may well be applicable to sales as well. Meaning 80% of sales will come from 20% of reps, or something close to that number.
This also means there’s massive scope for improvement. The metrics given above can help you identify where your reps are going wrong. But, you also need to work with your sales team to come up with corrective actions. Sales enablement is more about empowering than imposing strategies.
About the Author: Bethany is a former HR Officer who later found her specialty in digital marketing. With a keen interest in content optimization and market behavior, she’s become a walking database for industry news.
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