Closing deals may be an art, but what many people don’t realize is that it’s not a solo effort. Nurturing customer relationships requires a strong partnership between sales and marketing and a healthy sales enablement strategy. For every B2B company, having a robust sales enablement program provides the sales team with the tools they need to succeed — from background on potential clients to resources that guide them into understanding how your product or service will ease their pain points.
Sales Enablement: A Fast Primer
Time is valuable, and when you score a chunk of time from a prospect, you have to make it count. Sales enablement allows your team to have knowledge-based interactions with potential clients as you guide them through the buying process.
Putting sales enablement into action can help keep a business running and thriving even during the toughest of times. For example, utilizing revenue operations (or RevOps) strategies to help sales enablement teams identify the best opportunities to fill their sales funnel has kept many companies moving throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
To be effective, sales enablement has to be laser-focused on the buyer and their needs. It also must be easy to deploy; it’s meaningless to create sales enablement resources if no one is using them. On that same note, a company should launch a sales enablement training and development program across the sales department to ensure that these resources are being used.
Sales Enablement Tracking: Key Metrics
Once your shiny new sales enablement program is in place and your team has been trained to use it, how do you evaluate if it’s working? According to a HubSpot 2020 Report, 91% of marketers feel “somewhat confident” that they have invested in programs that are generating revenue, but without tracking and follow up, you can’t be 100% certain. Sales enablement isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor; you must track key metrics to gauge your program’s success and adapt accordingly. Here are some numbers to watch.
Overall Win vs. Loss Rate
This metric will give you an idea of where your team is winning and where your strategy may need improvement. To get your overall win/loss rate, divide the number of opportunities you’ve won by your total number of opportunities. Looking at various points in time will give you an idea about strategies that your customers liked (e.g., a series of helpful webinars) as well as ones that fell flat (emails with links to business blogs that offered little useful content).
Competitive Win vs. Loss Rate
How sales enablement truly gets put to the test is when it is utilized in deals that pit your business against a stiff competitor. Knowing your competitive win/loss rate allows you to understand what walls your team may be hitting in these deals and whether you can fine-tune your sales enablement materials to better assist them. To calculate this metric, use the same formula as the overall win/loss rate, but only include deals in which you faced off with a competitor.
Average Sales Cycle
Is your sales enablement strategy moving deals along faster? Calculating your average sales cycle length will give you the answers you need. You can get this metric by noting the time it takes between your first contact with a prospect until the date on which the deal closes. Averaging these numbers offers a snapshot of the overall effectiveness of your sales enablement program and how you might make changes to accelerate your sales cycle.
Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate
Sales enablement is all about a partnership between your sales and marketing team, and this number gives a clear idea of how many prospects are being attracted by your marketing campaigns versus how many of them sign on the dotted line and become customers. To get this number, take your total number of customers and divide them by your total number of leads. Then, multiply by 100. Keeping track of your lead-to-customer conversion rate will let you know whether a different sort of content or material is necessary to continue to nurture prospects along once they dive into conversations with your sales team.
Follow Up and Enforce Use
The best sales enablement program is one that’s constantly being fine-tuned and adapted to better suit employee and client needs. The worst program is one that’s not being used at all!
In the end, it will be up to a company’s leadership to encourage and enforce use of its sales enablement program. Being consistent in training and following up will ensure the best result — building a sales enablement program that evolves when changes are necessary, gets lots of use, and works effectively to boost overall sales.