Sink or Swim: 4 Best Sales Enablement Metrics to Get Right
As I was writing this piece, the image of being out on the open water came to mind. Wind through my hair, sun in the distance, white-capped waves spraying mist into the air, a sturdy deck under my feet. Sure, the image of sailing is picturesque, idyllic even. But the reality isn’t always that glamorous.
Sailing is tough. You’re working hard, constantly monitoring environmental conditions — wind, current, sunlight — to keep both yourself and your crew safe. Tacking, jibing, positioning yourself strategically in relationship to the elements.
What does all this have to do with metrics and sales enablement success? The image of perfect sales enablement — an aligned team coming together to help drive sales at a greater velocity — sounds pretty darn great. The reality is that it takes consistent effort. There are a lot of moving pieces, strategies, and processes to arrive at that idyllic place.
Here we break down the best sales metrics for success and what to do with the information you get — no matter where you are in your sales enablement journey.
Sales Enablement Maturity Scale
There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to measuring sales enablement success. Every organization is different, so what qualifies as success is different from one organization to another. Not only that, but there are also dozens of success metrics you can use. It’s important to narrow down what information you want and how you’ll use it to inform your sales enablement strategy.
Most B2B organizations have a focus on sales enablement to some extent. For some, sales enablement is simply the production of sales collateral by the marketing team to support the buyer journey. For others, sales enablement is an official function that sits between sales, marketing, and customer success. Don’t worry about if you’re “getting it right” — as long as you’re on the way, that’s what counts!
Sales Enablement Maturity Scale
Setting metric-oriented goals is essential for sales enablement assessments. The goals you set will narrow down which metrics matter to your organization. When it comes to sales enablement goals, there are many to choose from: increase traffic to your blog, develop search engine authority, increase lead generation, decrease sales cycle length…to name a few.
For example, if you’re a cybersecurity startup, a goal of yours might be brand awareness. One of your key metrics could be social shares. As a startup, you want people to share your content to their networks. This expands your reach and increases brand awareness.
Here’s a list of 4 broad categories of metrics you can use to measure your sales enablement efforts. You can slice and dice these metrics any way you want — as long as they pertain to your overall goal.
1. Content Usage Metrics
Content is one of the most effective tools for salespeople, but there is usually an overwhelming amount available and it is not always easy to find. On top of that, getting sales teams to use enablement content is often a struggle. 60–70% of content produced by B2B marketing teams goes unused.
For these reasons, you need to measure how well your content is performing. Multi-touch attribution reporting is perfect for this. With it, your organization can gauge which sources and assets helped in each interaction — from first touch to last touch — before making the conversion.
Content Usage Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- The percentage of salespeople who use the intranet daily/weekly/monthly
- The click-through rate from your weekly internal newsletter
- The percentage of top-performing salespeople who download assets monthly
2. Sales Proficiency Metrics
Sales metrics are data points that indicate general day-to-day sales performance, from the perspective of individual reps, as a team, and as an organization. They track progress towards goals, prepare for future growth, and identify any strategic issues.
Say you’re a sales manager and you’ve been tasked with increasing your team’s monthly sales by 15%. Some of the key metrics you might be watching are average win rate, conversion rate by buyer journey stage, and total value of sales.
3. Account-Based Marketing Metrics
Account-based marketing (ABM) looks at key accounts as opposed to individual leads. The key with ABM is that it focuses on engaging a small number of the right accounts, but it comes with the benefit of a larger deal size. With 70% of marketers using ABM in 2021, up 15% from 2020, it is a quickly growing marketing strategy.
And with the larger deal size comes a longer sales cycle. Because of the bigger investment, buyers take more time to come to a decision. The long gap between lead generation and pipeline creation means you must keep on top of what is happening as the lead moves through the complex B2B buyer journey.
4. Social Selling Metrics
The importance of digital sales channels has doubled since the onset of the pandemic, making it essential that organizations have a social-savvy sales force.
Social selling comes down to leveraging social platforms to find the right leads and build important relationships. It’s about establishing trust and positioning your organization at the forefront of your prospects’ minds.
Because of this, social selling will not always lead to a sales conversion. When you are looking at social selling return on investment (ROI), you need to look at how your efforts impact prospect nurturing and future lead generation.
Social Selling KPIs
What to Do with the Data You Get
Now that you have all this data, what do you do with it?
Agree On a Set of Reports
Marketing reports inform decisions. They help you draw important conclusions and meet organization-wide goals by gathering metrics in one place. Get your sales, marketing, and leadership teams together and decide on a set of reports based on their goals.
Reports will vary depending on that data you are looking at and its purpose. In sales enablement assessments, some common reports are:
Sales leadership often has a high level of understanding of what reports mean to business but can lack the technical knowledge to create them. You might need the help of sales enablement software. Top tools of the trade are Highspot, Seismic, and Showpad. CRM software or a tracking spreadsheet might also do the trick.
Review Your Sales Process
Strong sales processes help reps consistently close deals by giving them a solid framework to follow. Standardized sales processes are scalable and need to be reviewed frequently as you learn new information. Highspot reports 70% of organizations’ sales processes have become more challenging over the last 12 months. Leveraging sales process insights can get you back on track.
Often marketing reports will highlight points of disconnect in the sales process that leadership should address. When you see high demo bookings but low closed customers, it’s a red flag. Something is off in your sales process.
Give some thought to what is and isn’t working for your sales reps by doing regular sales process audits. Audits can be an in-depth data-backed analysis of your organization’s sales process, but you can also observe your reps in action. Watch them work through the process and ask yourself:
To measure the steps in your sales process, consider the average time prospects spend in each stage of the buyer journey, the percentage of prospects that close after a demo, and customer churn rate.
Need Help Capturing the Best Sales Metrics to Meet Your Organization’s Goals?
The sales enablement experts at TPM can help. Contact us today.