If you’ve built a process that incorporates cross-functional inputs and delivers actionable insights across the sales cycle, then you will be able to measure its success in more than just win rate. A boosted win rate is, of course, the brass ring; however, there are points across the cycle at which you can quantify how well that process is working.
This article on the quickest way to improve your B2B win rate outlines the ways in which your win rate is probably not being calculated properly, anyway. It highlights the importance of studying the parts of the sum—the markets, the selling stages—in order to drill down to the underlying issues that may have nothing to do with whatever it is you think they do.
If you’ve taken a holistic approach, it should be easy to measure sales enablement and make changes quickly, before the wheels come off. Change management is hard and it’s too easy to bail at the very first instant it seems not to be working. It’s up to you to manage it and make those adjustments, as required.
The definition of sales enablement put forth by Forrester works well. It’s holistic and provides logical anchor points for measurement. Here it is:
Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a valuable conversation with the right set of customer stakeholders at each stage of the customer’s problem-solving life cycle to optimize the return of investment of the selling system.
I would add only that it applies to those team members who have influence and/or management of those client-facing employees. So, train the trainer stuff. Human resources, sales team coaches etc.
The quality and positive impact of sales enablement tools can be measured through product, marketing, HR, sales training, sales and accounts teams and finally, to customer success teams that are increasingly tasked with retention and up-selling. It’s irresponsible not to take these points of contact seriously. In fact, with the new sales cycle, it’s often these indirect, non-salesy engagements that influence the numbers.
Ok, so how do we measure sales enablement? If you follow the holistic approach set-out by Forrester, it’s easy. Follow the cycle and hit up key moments that offer quantitative insight.
Effective sales enablement is informed by the Customer, so it stands to reason that you’ve implemented that voice into the roadmap and strategy if your customers react in a positive way to any product and functionality changes you make. For example, CSAT scoring can give you a quick overview of opinion on a new feature, whereas NPS score offers deeper insight into the overall experience. They shouldn’t be weighted too heavily, but it’s worth considering.
When you’re generating products sheets, demos, sales battlecards etc., it’s easy to build in a scoring system that ties the performance of each to how a lead moves along the funnel. If your white papers aren’t pulling Sales Qualified Leads, you’ll find out quickly and be able to change course.
Win loss analysis, when done correctly, is the best source of content for sales enablement assets.
Turnover is at an all-time high in B2B sales. The faster you can get your reps trained and engaged, the higher the odds of success for both of you, which translates into on-the-job-happy. Though you may hire the cream of the enterprise crop, you need to invest in onboarding. Yours is a unique ecosystem with challenges, options, competitors, needs and solution very different from any other. Make it personal and integrate intel from every department.
Obviously, you’re going to place a significant amount of weight on win rate, but don’t neglect the time and efficiency with which prospects are qualified and moved along the cycle by virtue of the quality of sales enablement content. The sooner your sales reps are able to discover intent, the quicker they can either turn a lean into an opportunity, or close out the prospect entirely. Either way, there are measurable savings and values associated with these ratios at each step of the funnel.
Win rate. Make sure you’re calculating it accurately and, over time, it is a solid indicator of the health of your sales enablement efforts.
The big advantage of measuring with such specificity, is the quick reaction time you now have to make a change and move it into rotation, whether it’s a new product sheet or demo you’ve got the intel you need to improve performance.
Customer retention and up-sells can be applied here. Establish your baseline accurately and consider the impact these teams can have. Weight it accordingly. Get a customer referral program in place to measure satisfaction and to find out what drives referrals, such as discount pricing, rewards programs, personal follow-ups, on-site visits etc.
There will be moments unique to your business that best measure sales enablement impact. Study the entire funnel for ways to collect and integrate customer-centric sales content. Your sales team will feel more connected and you will benefit from a more defined, more strategic approach.
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