March 12, 2020

Why sales enablement ROI is important

Essential to any successful sales process is some form of sales enablement. By providing sales enablement tools such as ongoing training materials and marketing content to reps, you support their development and strengthen their contribution to sales and organizational goals. To adapt and optimize sales enablement efforts for long-term success, it’s critical to measure the impact of your strategy on an ongoing basis. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss how to determine the ROI of your sales enablement strategy and what actions you can take to boost it.

Calculating the ROI of sales enablement

With any initiative you introduce to your organization, it’s crucial to know whether it produces the results you’re hoping for and worth the resources devoted to it. This is why you should be measuring the return on investment of your sales enablement program.

Return on investment, or ROI, is a metric that determines the financial gains of an action from the cost put into it.

Here’s a simple ROI calculator:

Sales enablement ROI calculator

You’ll find that calculating the ROI of sales enablement is a bit complicated since there’s not a single cost to it. You’re likely investing in a sales enablement solution, potentially hiring more employees and putting time into various deliverables such as sales enablement content, training, coaching and more. Because of this, sales enablement must be measured by specific activities and deliverables, not as a single function.

Other metrics you need to assess sales enablement

A variety of metrics will provide insight into your ROI and whether your sales enablement program is having a positive effect on performance.

These metrics include:

  • Lead conversion rate: The percentage of leads converted into completed sales.
  • Average length of sales cycle: The average amount of time between a seller’s first interaction with a prospect and closing the deal.
  • Quota attainment: The percentage of sales reps who have met their set quota.
  • Time spent on selling activities: The amount of time spent communicating with buyers live or via phone or email, rather than on administrative tasks.
  • Training content consumption: The use and completion rate of training materials provided to sales reps.
  • Marketing content consumption: The use of customer-facing collateral provided to sales reps by the marketing team.
  • Average purchase value: The average amount of revenue brought in by a closed deal.

Measure these performance indicators regularly to break down sales enablement ROI and determine whether your efforts are impacting the overall sales process.

The ROI of ongoing sales enablement

As opposed to one-time campaigns or initiatives, sales enablement is an ongoing process with no finite end that should in theory progress as time goes on. The whole concept is built on the foundation that sales teams always have more skills and knowledge to learn, new customers to attract and more revenue to generate — and need tools and resources to achieve all of it. The metrics above, as well as others you may find useful depending on your goals, must also be measured often to track ROI over time. 

It’s also worth mentioning that while a lot of focus will be placed on rep activity, tasks assigned to sales managers, marketers and any other individuals or teams associated with sales enablement should be quantified as well. For instance, sales managers are responsible for delivering learning sessions to keep their teams informed about products, customers, industries, etc. If they aren’t passing new information along to the salesforce, reps can’t be expected to know it. Similarly, marketing should be updating materials as needed and distributing it to sellers to use when communicating with customers. If creation or distribution of new content decreases over time, or if use of new content is low, there’s clearly a need for improved alignment between the two teams. 

Another metric not mentioned above that is vital to the success of not just the sales organization, but the entire business, is employee retention. If you’re noticing a high number of salespeople leaving the company, it could be a sign that they aren’t getting the resources and support they feel is necessary to be successful, and therefore have decided to look for work elsewhere.

 

The ROI of sales enablement during onboarding

Not only should sales leaders be measuring sales enablement ROI on an ongoing basis, they should also zoom in on specific elements of the strategy, such as onboarding and training. You likely invest a lot of time, money and other resources into educating new hires on the sales process and preparing them for their tenure with your organization. 

Sales onboarding is paramount to a lucrative sales enablement strategy — its impact reaches far beyond a rep’s first few months with your organization. It’s where managers introduce the company mission, values and culture; educate new hires on the sales process, product, industry, target customer and competition; establish expectations and much more. 

Onboarding-focused activities to measure include:

  • Number of learning sessions (classroom, webinar, etc.) attended
  • Average cost of onboarding session
  • Percentage of training materials accessed and used after onboarding
  • Time from when a new hire starts to when they start selling on their own
  • Time to new hire quota attainment
  • Change in first year seller retention

Employee retention is especially important to focus on after onboarding; after all, first impressions are everything, and if you notice new reps struggling after their initial onboarding sessions, it could mean you need to re-think and re-strategize the process in the future.

Maximize your sales enablement ROI with Showpad

While the ROI of your sales enablement process can be difficult to pinpoint, measuring smaller initiatives, activities and deliverables will provide you with the insight you need to ensure you’re effectively empowering your salesforce and strengthening their skills. 

Showpad’s sales enablement solution has the supportive tools your reps need to continually improve performance, from powerful onboarding features to analytics data concerning specific prospects, marketing content and team KPIs. 

Key Elements of Great Sales Enablement Goals

Key Elements of Great Sales Enablement Goals

Measuring the ROI of your sales enablement strategy starts with setting relevant and realistic goals that pertain to onboarding and training, coaching, content and day-to-day seller activities.

Where should you start in setting sales enablement goals? This blog will guide you.