How do you measure Sales Enablement

We all ask each other the same questions — how do you measure Sales Enablement and its impact on your business?

Are you using enablement metrics that are easy to find, but limited in value to executives and individual contributors alike?

How do you measure sales enablement?What key performance indicators (KPIs) do you use to determine the impact of your sales enablement activities?

Can you demonstrate that your work leads to higher customer conversion rates, better win rates, faster ramp times, sales velocity improvements, leading more sales reps to reach quota attainment, and other Enablement promises?

Are sales goals being surpassed on a quarterly basis?

This article explores various Sales Enablement metrics to understand the right metrics for your sales enablement program.

This article explores various Sales Enablement metrics to understand the right metrics for your sales enablement program Click To Tweet

Understand, however, that there is no one-size fits all approach to measurement.  Your ideal sales productivity ratio will be different than mine, and that is okay.

Our business goals, the marketplace we work within, and the solutions we provide all factor in.

In this article, we will share:

  • What are leading Enablement metrics?
  • What are lagging Enablement metrics?
  • We will dive into many of the big KPIs like Sales Efficiency, Sales Productivity, Deal Win Rate, and many more.

In this article, we will not discuss building your enablement strategy and charter, but both of these will be activities you perform that will lead you in this selection process.

For now, make some coffee and let’s start with a common question.  What are leading indicators versus lagging indicators?

What are leading Enablement metrics?

Leading indicators are simply those that you can measure as a direct outcome of your work. 

Metrics that are leading indicators are simply those that you can measure as a direct outcome of your work. Click To Tweet

For example, if you deliver an onboarding session, the number of people who attended would be one leading indicator.

There are a large number of potential leading indicators, consider these.

Leading Training Enablement Metrics

Here are a few typical leading sales training indicators:

  • The number of reps attending a session.
  • The percentage of people completing a specific course.
  • The amount of training collateral created over a given period.
  • The amount of time teams have spent consuming training.

For a more solid approach to evaluating your sales training efforts, read our article on the Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model.

Leading Content Enablement Metrics

Here are a few typical leading indicators used to measure Sales Enablement content usage during the sales cycle and beyond.

  • The number of people sharing a specific piece of content.
  • The level of engagement the sales team sees from customers receiving particular pieces of collateral.
  • The number of pieces of content created over a specific period.
  • The number of times a piece of content is shared to prospects in a given sales stage of a deal cycle as you go along the buyer’s journey.
  • The percentage of content used out of all possible pieces.
  • The average age of your content.

Leading Coaching Enablement Metrics

Sales Coaching Enablement MetricsHere are a few typical leading indicators:

  • Number of people coached in a given period.
  • Hours of coaching for all sales reps, on average.
  • Percentage of managers able to deliver coaching

Leading Process Enablement Metrics

The following metrics are common leading indicators:

  • Number of processes evaluated.
  • Number of processed adjusted.
  • Expected time savings, growth, etc., for a given process adjustment.

Leading Onboarding and Ramping Enablement Metrics

As you hire new sales reps to help you meet sales goals, you need to get them ramped quickly.  Here are a few typical leading indicators used to measure Sales Enablement onboarding activities.

  • The Number of new reps onboarded over a given period of time
  • Ramp time for each cohort of new hires onboarded.

Leading Customer Success Metrics

Revenue Enablement supports existing customers via the Customer Success organization. Here are a few of the leading indicators:

  • Net Promoter Score
  • How many weeks to onboard a new customer
  • Meetings per month between Customer Success and Customers
  • Time to first customer QBR (for onboarding of CSMs)

Leading Inside Sales Metrics

Sales Coaching Enablement MetricsYour inside sales teams are focused on making phone calls and sending emails, whether to warm or cold leads.  The typical leading metrics that they are measured upon include:

  • Calls made
  • Emails sent
  • Meetings set up

Enablement Metrics must always align to business goals

As Trust Enablement friend and Enablement Thought Leader, Adriana Romero, notes:

“Any Enablement program has to be tied to a Revenue metric – example in the Onboarding – besides how many people were onboarded in a given time, I would add the time to first X (Meeting, Discovery, Deal). If Enablement does not measure the impact the programs have on the team, we cannot know what is being effective.”

Adriana nails it. We never perform Enablement activities merely to create content, train individuals, deploy new sales enablement tools, or anything else. We perform these activities to meet our sales goals and help our businesses grow and thrive.

As you measure Sales Enablement impact in your business, are you keeping this in mind?

What are lagging Enablement metrics?

Lagging indicators are simply those that you cannot measure as a direct outcome of your activities. Lagging indicators are often those business metrics that the company cares most about, however.

Metrics that are lagging indicators are simply those that you cannot measure as a direct outcome of your activities. Click To Tweet

These lagging indicators come from the boardroom and executive team and are what the marketing, sales, and the entire go-to-market team focus on achieving.

For example, metrics like revenue by product line, average quota attainment, and average deal size would be lagging indicators.

Another example for you to consider would be this. If you deliver a training session for a new product, the time to first product sale would be a lagging indicator, and the number of people attending the session would be a leading indicator.

Here are a few critical lagging enablement metrics to consider.

Sales Forecast Accuracy

We have created an in-depth article on sales forecast accuracy to help you with this critical sales KPI.

Sales Efficiency

What is sales efficiency?

Sales Efficiency (Net, Gross, and Otherwise) is an important metric which demonstrates the incremental revenue you earn against what you invest in sales and marketing.

Sales Efficiency (Net, Gross, and Otherwise) is an important metric which demonstrates the incremental revenue you earn against what you invest in sales and marketing. Click To Tweet

Since Revenue Enablement requires a broad view of your business, I favor Net Sales Efficiency. Net Sales Efficiency takes the sum of the amount of incremental revenue gained minus the amount of revenue lost due to customer churn and divides against the number of dollars invested in sales and marketing and customer success in a given time.

As a simple example, if your net incremental revenue in a given year is $10, and you spend $1 on sales, marketing, and customer success, your net sales efficiency will be 10.

Sales Efficiency is a good number to track closely as you scale your business.

Sales Productivity

What is sales productivity?

Sales Productivity is the average amount of new revenue per seller for a given period of time.  Based upon this, how do you calculate sales productivity?

(Total Revenue in Time Period)/(Number of Sellers during Time Period).

If you made $100,000 in a quarter and had 10 sellers employed during that time, you sales productivity would be:

($100,000)/(10)

Sales Productivity = $10,000

Deal win rate

What is the Deal Win Rate?

To calculate, divide the number of opportunities you won by the number of opportunities you opened over a given period. This measure of sales performance can get very complicated when dealing with long deal cycles, typical in Enterprise B2B sales.

Research has shown that the Average Deal Win Rate is 47% (per Research published by the RAIN Group).

Learn more about influencing deal win rates, and use our FREE calculator.

Deal velocity

Deal velocity (sometimes called sales cycle length) in this example is merely the average number of days/months it takes an average deal to move from the beginning of the sales funnel to the end with a closed/won or close/lost decision.

Deal velocity is the average number of days/months it takes an average deal to move from the beginning of the sales funnel to the end with a closed/won or close/lost decision. Click To Tweet

You may also want to learn more about the Sales Velocity Equation, a popular metric in some businesses. 

Learn more about this metric by using our Sales Velocity Calculator.

Churn rate

What is the churn rate?

For SaaS businesses, the churn rate is the percentage of customers who end their subscription to your service.

The churn rate is the percentage of customers who end their subscription to your service. Click To Tweet

Churn rate is often calculated based upon more complex formulas because customers may only unsubscribe from one product vs. all products.

Some businesses calculate churn rate against the contract value versus the raw number of customers to account for this point.

Employee Retention

When you measure Sales Enablement outcomes, are you taking people into account?

Consider this churn of people in your sales organizations. While exact statistics are always changing, roughly 3 in 10 sellers will leave your business each year. This KPI has a significant impact on the company in terms of costs and morale.

Sales Managers, Sales Enablement Leaders, and all others in sales leadership (heck, leadership overall) need to identify solutions and best practices to improve upon these numbers.

Impact to discounting

Excessive discounting can be a major obstacle to achieving your sales goals.

What is discounting?

In B2B sales, the price you put on your website is almost always merely the first offer. Discounting percentages vary, but it is not uncommon for businesses to regularly discount their prices by 10-15% before volume discounts.

Quota Consistency

What is quota consistency?

This metric is the number of consecutive months during which a seller is achieving quota.

How do you measure Sales Enablement Click To Tweet

Listen to Carly Lehner explain her favorite Enablement metrics, including using this measure of consistent quota achievement.

Research has shown that the Average Quota Achievement is 58% (per research from Xactly).

Employee Referrals

Employee Referrals?

Most employees will refer their friends and/or old coworkers for open positions at your company if they are happy and excited about the business.  Are your employees demonstrating this passion for your business?

Lagging indicators and slow deal cycles?

When deal cycles are slow, it can be challenging to determine how you impact key business KPIs. When this is the case, use activities as a surrogate. For example, if a typical deal cycle is 12 months, you cannot afford to hope that they will start closing deals at some distant point in the future.

What’s an Enablement pro to do?

In partnership and collaboration with sales leader, marketing, operations, and whoever is appropriate in your organization, define the expected timing and frequency for specific activities you can measure. For example, should a new seller be making a certain number of calls consistently within a certain number of weeks? Should they be working on a certain number of opportunities in some number of months?

While none of these measures are perfect, and the impact on leading indicators is mostly correlation, you need to tie your Enablement efforts to them. When correlation is clarified, these indicators help your business partners understand how what you are doing is expected to impact the business.

And please, remember Goodhart’s Law as you consider the metrics you will be using to navigate the seas of Enablement.

Beyond Enablement Measurements

A handful of Enablement KPIs does not provide the full story.  They are a starting point from which the real work and research begins.  This section will include important analysis techniques for your Enablement teams to incorporate.

How do you perform a win loss analysis

Read our in-depth article on win loss analysis to learn more.

Remember — It’s okay to ask for help

Business needs change to keep up with the markets around them.

Your Enablement program needs to do the same — sometimes even requiring a complete restart.

When you get into this situation, talk to your CRO and give me a call. The $50,000 you spend resetting your strategic approach will generate far more than that in the near term or cost much more if you don’t pivot quickly enough.

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