Providing Sales with enablement content is an investment. It is also a significant part of a marketing budget. Is your sales team using these expensive tools? Can you tell? Or are you hearing crickets?
In this post, we’ll discuss how to evaluate enablement content and ensure its alignment with sales goals. As a guide to go deeper, download How to Make Your Number in 2017 and turn to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.
Enablement content should support marketing, sales and corporate strategies. In addition, keep the following in mind when building sales enablement content:
- Who are your internal clients? Sales requires enough content at each stage of the client’s journey through to closing a sale. The Sales team needs to understand and use the content at each appropriate stage.
- Who are the end users in the market? Develop enablement with buyer personas in mind. Develop enough content to engage the right clients at the right time. Make sure there is enough to share throughout the buyer’s journey.
- Is the content effective? The content should improve the interactions between Sales and the client. Use the content to further discussions and generate follow up actions.
Measuring: Breaking Down the Metrics
So your content is out there. It’s easy to access. There are pieces for every phase of the sales process and for each type of client. How do you know if Sales is using the content? How do you know if the content is getting results?
To start, you need metrics to find answers to those questions. And just as we measure sales data, we can look at measuring content effectiveness with lagging, leading and behavior metrics.
Lagging Indicators are metrics from the past. In terms of sales enablement, we can look at:
- Increased closure rate – Are more sales closing?
- Selling time – Is the time to close a sale decreasing?
- Increased deal size – Are deal sizes increasing?
- Sales-qualified lead conversions – Are more qualified leads converting to sales?
Leading Indicators are metric predictions based on fact. They include items like:
- Download times – Is the content downloaded regularly?
- Client engagement – Is Sales sharing the material with clients? Is content generating questions and comments?
Behavioral Indicators are actions by the Sales team to determine effectiveness, such as:
- Comments on the content – Is the Sales team providing feedback and asking questions on the content?
- Downloading the content – Is the Sales team downloading the content to use?
- Actively using it in the sales process – Is the Sales team actually using the content with clients in the sales process?
- Offering suggestions for enhancements – Is the Sales team offering feedback and suggestions for improving the content?
When to Report: Cadence
How often reporting is needed is dependent upon the type of sales transactions. If the sales cycle is a week long and transactional in nature, you’ll need frequent reporting.
Sometimes the sales cycle is multiple months long. These transactions are usually more consultative than transactional, and less frequent reporting is needed. In addition, the reporting needs a forward-looking focus.
The Ultimate Prediction of Success: Closing the Communications Loop
You’ve developed your enablement content strategy using best practices. You have commitment from senior leadership to build and use the content. You’re measuring that usage and engagement. How else can you ensure the success of enablement strategy?
Ultimately, it takes communication and feedback from the Sales team and leadership. Here are some questions to get the conversation started:
- Is the content helpful?
- Is it relevant? Is the general content doing the job? Is the custom content applicable?
- Was there enough content for closing sales?
- Did we assign the right buyer personas? Are we in tune with both our internal clients and our customers?
- What were the win/loss ratios over the period? Are there opportunities for enablement content to improve that?
- How has sales revenue been affected by enablement content?
Take a moment to read the recent interview by Andy Panos: Is Your Sales Enablement Program and Empty Suit? Hear how Andy describes the Field Advisory Board to gain input from the field.
Enablement content is a significant investment. Aligned with strategy and with commitment to communication, sales enablement content is a powerful tool.
Evaluate your sales enablement capabilities by downloading our 10th annual workbook, How to Make Your Number in 2017. Turn to the Sales Strategy section and flip to the Sales Enablement phase on pages 319 – 322 of the PDF workbook.