fbpx

Show Me the ROI

The Ultimate Guide to Sales Enablement that Drives Revenue and Reduces Churn

If you’re in sales (or in charge of sales enablement), you’re probably facing at least one of these challenges:

Sales enablement seen as an expense

It should be a worthwhile business investment that’s directly linked to revenue. However, it’s difficult to measure and demonstrate its impact so it’s often one of the first areas to cut when funds are low.

Low Salesforce adoption and lack of data

This makes it more difficult to optimise sales enablement processes, content and training, create alignment with Product and Marketing, and advocate for funding and resources.

High churn rate in Sales

Over 50% of B2B sellers are looking for a new job. Well before the Great Resignation, sales reps quit after an average of 18 months, and 68% admitted they planned to look for a job the following year. The cost of finding and training new talent? $100K per person, according to DePaul University.

The cost of overwhelm and burnout

Alarmingly, close to 90% of sales reps feel burnt out. Why? The pressure to start selling on day one; aggressive revenue goals; lack of support (coaching, training, and sales enablement content). Left untreated, that’s a direct threat to employee health, team morale, and business performance

The demands of hybrid selling

Hybrid is expected to become the dominant sales strategy by 2024. Two thirds of buyers prefer remote human interaction or digital self-service. That requires a change in sales processes and a new skill set, including proficiency in tech like Salesforce that supports hybrid as well as remote-first selling.

Sales content quality and accessibility

Too often content gets stuck in silos. Reps struggle to find collateral and answers when and where they need them. Content that is available can be out of date, and lack context or the full set of collateral required at different stages of the buyer journey.

Poor process leading to sales slipping

With unclear processes, methodologies, and requirements it’s little wonder that the average new sales hire only reaches full productivity after 11.2 months. Factor in the average churn rate of 18 months, and Houston, we’ve got a problem.

Lack of confidence in the new

People prefer to stick to what they know. When selling in new environments (such as remote) or promoting new products, if the right help and guidance isn’t in place, it’s much harder to motivate reps to do their best work.

Sales enablement isn’t just about employee onboarding, training, or content. Done well, it encompasses all of those elements. That’s when it will help to overcome these challenges and achieve the results you need.

But how do you make it work — and convince senior management of the value of sales enablement along the way?

You take a critical and holistic approach to the entire process.

Here’s how.

Adopt a CFO’s mindset

One mistake organisations often make is approaching sales enablement as generic “how we use Salesforce” and “how we sell” training that’s heavily focused on process and ends up having little to no direct link to revenue goals.

To show the ROI of (and successfully advocate for investment in) sales enablement, you need to be able to link it to practical outcomes, like the rate of Salesforce adoption, rep productivity, and conversion rates throughout the sales pipeline.

Consider:

Answering these questions will help define key performance indicators (KPIs) you can tie to business impact and revenue growth, such as:

Quantitative metrics

Win rate
(a.k.a Close rate)

The percentage of deals won in your pipeline. This should be immediately available in your Salesforce CRM, if all the data is entered correctly.

Average deal size

The average value of all deals closed. Companies often fail to train their reps in thinking strategically about increasing revenue; for example, when it’s the right time to offer add-ons, upsells, bundles rather than chasing new accounts.

Sales cycle length

How long it takes your sellers to turn a cold lead into a closed deal. It can be tracked by looking at the time from the first contact made to the final sale. You’ll also need to look at the sales cycle more granularly and evaluate the time spent in each stage of the sales cycle (and channel, including remote vs. hybrid vs. in-person sales) in order to enable reps to close more deals, faster.

Process compliance
and data accuracy

How many of your reps follow the established sales processes and data management requirements, whether fully or partially. Seeing where they slip off could be a useful indicator of more help and guidance needed, whether in the form of tips and explanations or helpful nudges and reminders.

Time to first deal won

How long it takes your new sellers to close their first deal. The sooner they can do this the greater their confidence and the chances of success going forwards. Effective onboarding support is vital.

Ramp time

How long it takes for new sales reps to become productive. This will have a direct link to employee churn rate as 20% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days of employment, pointing to failures in onboarding.

Lead-to-customer conversion rate

The percentage of qualified leads that have turned into customers, a good indicator of the efficiency and performance of the sales funnel at the team, as well as individual rep level.

Employee churn rate

The percentage of employees leaving the company within a specific time period. A crucial metric, churn rate not only affects sales performance and business growth, but also its brand reputation, company culture, team morale, and consequently, staff engagement and productivity.

Quota attainment

How many sales reps reach their monthly, quarterly, and annual targets, and to what extent.

The rate of Salesforce adoption

Crucial not only for process efficiency and visibility, but also for measuring everything else mentioned in this guide.

Qualitative metrics

Process compliance

In specific tasks, such as forecasting, strategic decision-making, remote demo presentations, and so on.

Sales teams’ NPS
(Net Promoter Score)

How happy, supported, and engaged your reps feel in their job. Identifying early signals of overwhelm, burnout, or disengagement can have a powerful impact on employee retention.
With these KPIs in place, you’ll be able to

Guide the desired rep behaviour with micro-KPIs

Once your KPIs are in place, work back to common roadblocks that get in the way, whether that’s lack of data insights to understand what is and isn’t working, reps sticking to spreadsheets instead of embracing Salesforce, or lack of specific content and skills. Then define micro-KPIs (or milestones) to motivate and signal progress in the right direction.

Depending on the target KPI, your micro-KPIs could be:

It is also worth looking at qualitative indicators, such as seller proficiency and confidence in certain skills, tools, and product messaging. As Forrester points out, best-of-breed sales teams focus on their seller skills, knowledge, and process competencies.

And of course, you’ll want to encourage and track internal knowledge sharing and team engagement, which have a positive impact in the long term.

Shape the training and enablement content needed to guide the desired outcomes and behaviour

For example, examining the biggest upsells and accounts won, you might discover that reps convert better when they sell on value for a specific use case rather than the full set of features and pricing. To increase the average deal size (KPI), you could set an initial target of 50% more value-based conversations and content shared with prospects (micro-KPI). Reps will also need training and coaching to be proficient in handling value-based messaging and objections (micro-KPI).

Similarly, hitting revenue goals (KPI) might require more successful calls and meetings in the pipeline (micro-KPI), which in turn demands competence in prospecting, strategising, and connecting with prospects, regardless of the medium. That can be enabled by adding just-in-time guidance and content that reps find helpful (micro-KPI).

Improved Apps, for example, lets you embed content and a hyperlinked list of resources right next to Salesforce data fields, so your reps don’t have to waste precious time searching for content ever again.

With micro-KPIs in place, you’ll get the data you need to drive the efficiency of your sales enablement efforts. Moreover, it’s an easy way to maintain momentum and motivation by celebrating small wins along the way.

Consider scope and alignment

Misalignment between Sales and Product can lead to sales reps short selling or overselling certain features, or Product failing to prioritise the features clients and prospects are requesting the most.

Misalignment between Marketing and Sales, meanwhile, may result in low-intent leads or a lack of useful content to move prospects down the funnel. Improved alignment with Sales and Marketing alone can decrease authoring costs by as much as 70%.

To drive efficiency and transparency:

“We believe adoption works best when users are involved in shaping requirements. Enablement doesn’t stop at go-live, it’s ongoing and part of the ‘service’ offered to sales people to ensure maximum ROI and successful roll-out.”

Gemma Blezard,
CEO, Founder & Chief Architect, The Architech Club

Let KPIs drive your sales enablement content and training

It’s not just the shifting sales landscape that has made a sales rep’s role more complex and challenging than ever before. There is also a widening gap between the assets organisations believe to be impactful (and therefore create more of) and the collateral that’s most useful in practice.

To hit your targets and showcase the value and ROI of sales enablement:

Implement a cadence of updating sales enablement content

The essentials of a high-value sales enablement content library

Customer stories and case studies

Sharing data and insights that tell a buyer’s story can boost revenue by 66% and increase repeat business by 82%.

Product use case examples

To inspire potential customers and help them see its benefits “in action”.

Product slide decks and one-pagers

For a quick overview of the customer challenges it solves, how it works, and why it’s better than the alternatives.

E-books and guides

Demonstrating thought leadership and offering high-level solutions to common customer problems

Whitepapers

Outlining detailed solutions and product descriptions

Collateral for product demos

From product videos to speaking points, templates and action points for follow-up

Battlecards

Regularly updated to incorporate top-performing messaging

Coaching and advice

From managers and top-selling peers

Competitive intelligence

Leading competitors, their positioning, strengths, weaknesses, and messaging that works best against each of them

Customer and market insights

Emerging local and global market trends, shifts in buyer behaviour, and more. These will prove helpful as sellers' jobs are becoming more consultative and less transactional. It takes a deep understanding of the product, the customer, and the market to add value to the conversation

RFP (Request for Proposal)

Process, documents, and templates

Sales methodologies and internal processes

From data entry and analysis to account, opportunity, and forecasting management

Salesforce guidance

Provide field-level information to increase data accuracy and compliance.

Management expectations & performance evaluation criteria

Team and individual targets for the month, quarter, and year
The key is to surface a selection of the above content to the right Salesperson, at the right time (another feature of a good DAS).

Make it part of the rep’s workday

Forrester has consistently proven that gamification solutions that promise to “make learning fun” and drive instant sales skill improvement are a poor surrogate for effective adult learning.

Integrate enablement right inside the platform where your reps are working – then they can use the same tool to train and sell. That means:

With a digital adoption solution like Improved Apps 

You can use AI and automation to ensure that when a sales rep…

Using a digital adoption solution should reduce the steps your reps have to take on a daily basis, and ensure consistent, high-quality output. It empowers your reps to start selling, if not quite from day one, then week one for sure.

Think bite-sized and personalised

“Acquiring and implementing new technology and systems for sales has turned out to be the easier part of the equation, but delivery can be the key to improving performance.”

Melissa Hilbert,
Senior Director Analyst, Gartner

Sales reps will quickly become overwhelmed if presented with large volumes of material. You’ll see better results when offering bite-size training at just the right time — when it’s relevant to the task in hand.

The key is to make sure reps don’t have to remember everything. Just clicking on a question mark in Salesforce gives them a quick snippet of relevant information — a video, a longer piece of text, a PDF guide, or a hyperlinked reading list.

Just-in-time learning gives you just what you need, when you need it

Instead of searching through collaboration tools, notes and help docs to verify the definition of a prospect, they see a short explanation with key concepts right next to that Salesforce data field. And instead of checking (or giving up on) the process for closing an opportunity, they only need to click on the question mark to find a short note outlining the criteria and steps for doing so.

We’ve seen strategically placed just-in-time learning reduce the amount of training required by 50% and cut employee onboarding time by 20%.

By equipping sales teams with bite-sized content, guidance, and training at the point of need, organisations become less reliant on the top sellers to carry the load. Every rep, regardless of their seniority and skill set, has all they need to get the job done ASAP, without ever having to leave Salesforce.

Take a critical look at your results

Dig into your data on a regular basis (ideally, at least once a quarter). Are you reaching your KPIs? Did sellers hit their milestones and micro-KPIs? Did you achieve the desired behaviour change with sales enablement content and action prompts?

Besides the KPIs mentioned above, look at metrics like:

Improved Apps, for example, provides authorised users with complete usage statistics, covering everything from what people are clicking on to where they get stuck or abandon the process completely.

You can drill down into any chart for more detail or use filters to analyse content interactions and feedback by geography, job role, type of content, employee experience, team, and so on.

We’ve seen clients use this data to reduce training required by 50% and cut content authoring costs by 30%.

Talk about it

Don’t wait for quarterly and annual reviews to talk about the role and importance of sales enablement. Make it a habit to communicate highlights, top insights and achievements to teams and senior management.

When those quarterly evaluations do come, be prepared to use the data you’ve gathered to talk about:

With the right data to hand, it will be easy to demonstrate the link between sales enablement and rep productivity, win rates, time and cost savings, even long-term effects, including employee churn rate.

76% of sales leaders focused on enablement are incapable of proving its impact on revenue. With Improved Apps, you don’t have to be one of them.

You can embed client and employee focused content right within Salesforce, track its usage, optimise for more efficiency, identify where sales reps need more guidance and coaching, monitor KPIs, and confidently communicate the impact on your efforts.

See how it works.

“Improved Apps is a key element on the roadmap of the larger Sales Enablement and Sales Tools and Processes strategy within Commercial Excellence to enable and empower our sales reps to use Salesforce and Order Capture more effectively. Improved Apps aids sales reps from within Salesforce and Order Capture with tips and reminders, like a built-in coach."

Thompson Reuters

Get real-time insights & analytics on how your users engage with Salesforce

About Improved Apps

Improved Apps is an award-winning Salesforce digital adoption solution, born out of the desire to drive Salesforce adoption through an enhanced, easy-to-use experience.

It has been developed by professionals with years of real-world Salesforce experience – implementations, developments, training, day-to-day administration and usage. Improved Help and Improved NoticeBoard remain the only digital adoption solutions fully integrated into Salesforce and reviewed by Salesforce security.

Improved Apps have been supporting customers’ Salesforce cloud strategies for over a decade, helping them create a unified experience across:

improved apps for salesforce user engagement and digital adoption
boost digital adoption

Improved Apps Demo

Boost your organisation’s digital adoption

prices and support

Pricing & Support

Subscriptions & enterprise ready support
Scroll to Top