Data-Driven Sales Enablement: Track, Measure, Improve
October 12, 2022
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Making decisions in the moment is hard—critiquing them afterward is easy. As a sales enablement professional, however, you can make decision-making easier by including data in your planning process.
Research shows that companies who use data well see 8 percent higher revenue and profits while cutting costs by 4 percent. That means data-driven sales enablement can increase your bottom line. The key is understanding which data points to measure and what to do with these metrics.
Learn how to use data-driven sales enablement to streamline your sales process and hit your revenue targets.
What is data-driven sales enablement?
Data-driven sales enablement is about using data to create sales assets and process improvements that make sales reps more effective.
There’s more data available about the sales process than ever before. For example, your CRM captures and tracks most interactions, social media tracking can give you information on social selling, and you can look at closed and failed deals to determine what sales assets made the difference.
Data can help you understand the finer points of your sales process and make changes to improve.
For example, you can look at the following:
- The results of a recent training initiative to measure adoption rates and improve the next training initiative
- The difference in win rates between teams to determine which managers provide effective coaching and sales training and roll those best practices out to other leaders
- How long do leads spend in the sales process so you can improve the process and give sales reps more engaging materials to drive closed deals
- What does the data tell you about how well the sales process is aligned with the customer journey, based on communication between prospects and reps and how sales and marketing materials are used
Having the right sales data allows you to pinpoint problems, improve sales coaching, and determine which assets are working.
Why is data-driven sales enablement important?
Data helps your sales enablement team make better decisions. That means you’re making changes that are more likely to drive results.
With data, you can also accurately measure the results of your efforts. That means you can put hard numbers behind your initiatives, show ROI, and win executive-level support for your work.
Finally, data-driven sales enablement allows you to adjust your sales process and assets to focus on what’s working, and reduce resources on poor-performing initiatives.
In essence, using data allows your sales enablement team to optimize your energy and resources on the projects that make the most difference to your bottom line.
What are the benefits of data-driven sales enablement?
There are various benefits to using data to inform your sales enablement strategy. Organizations with excellent analytics see higher revenue and profits while cutting costs.
Here are a few other benefits of using data to drive your enablement projects.
Improve customer persona identification
Knowing who you’re selling to is essential to creating an effective sales process and the right sales assets. It also helps your sales reps identify the best ways to communicate with prospects and address the right pain points.
To use data to improve persona identification:
- Identify the attributes of your current ideal customers
- Ask customers why they bought the product or service, and use those pain points as your selling focus
- Ask sales leaders what the most common purchase obstacles are and address them
- Find out what ideal customers expect from the sales experience and design your process to meet or exceed it
These answers will give you a robust understanding of your customer persona, using actual data instead of guessing.
Narrow down sales targets and identify the best leads
Now that you have the right personas, you can focus your lead-generation efforts on the right people. In addition, narrowing down your sales targets helps you be more efficient in deploying your company’s time and resources in creating leads.
Once you generate those leads, you can move them through your sales process more efficiently. You’ve identified their most significant pain points and obstacles and addressed them,
so with patience and persistence, your sales reps can close deals at a better win rate.
Understand what your most sought-after features are
No organization can afford to be complacent-developing new features and strengthening existing ones is essential. But how do you know where to focus?
When you use data to find your customers’ pain points, you can focus on features that address these concerns. It’s also a good idea to find out your customers’ favorite features to ensure that those are improved regularly.
Also, knowing the features that mean the most to your ideal customers gives you a great place to focus sales materials and marketing efforts.
Improve sales forecast accuracy
Undoubtedly, your organization has quarterly goals for how they hope to perform. But are you trending in the right direction to hit those targets? When you have the right data, you’ll know if you’re on track or need to make changes to hit your goals.
For example, data can show you what percentage of your leads convert. Not only does that allow you to forecast sales based on your current leads, but you can also predict how much more revenue an improvement in close rates will generate. In addition, this allows you to get buy-in from executives and sales reps for sales enablement projects.
Identify sales enablement training opportunities
Finally, a data-driven sales enablement approach allows you to measure how well sales reps are doing in various areas and target the opportunities for improvement. This approach helps you to create targeted sales enablement training programs that make a noticeable difference in the bottom line.
An all-in-one learning platform that is not only easy to use but also makes it easy to track results is crucial. Your sales enablement team needs the right tools to drive results.
What sales enablement data should you track?
There are two approaches to data tracking. First, you can develop a business idea and see if the data supports it. You can also track metrics and watch for concerns. Then, pinpoint those concerns, find the cause, and address it.
Which metrics matter? Here are a few to keep an eye on.
Sales content use
Your enablement team creates content for sales reps to use. Understanding which pieces are most effective and how they are used can help you optimize your team’s time and resources.
Research shows that sales reps have an average of 1,400 sales pieces to choose from, which causes information overload and results in redundancy. As a result, a lot of sales content isn’t used by reps.
You can improve sales results by tracking what your sales team uses and getting feedback from reps about how to make it better.
“When measuring enablement effectiveness, the learner’s reaction and level of understanding are foundational metrics; but measuring and reflecting on the behavior-change is where successful enablement practitioners will find their ‘a-ha’ moments and lessons learned,” according to Melissa Regan, WorkRamp’s Senior Sales Enablement Manager. “Observing specific behaviors that the effort was meant to impact is a longer-term process (weeks or months following the initial exposure) but often shows you the difference between enablement that simply checked a box vs. evolving the business.”
Sales team productivity
Tracking your sales reps’ results is something you’ve always done, but knowing how to use that data is also important. Look at trends and see if the results match your company’s goals.
For example, a 2017 study found that sales reps spend only one-third of their time talking to prospects. Instead, reps spend a significant amount of time on tasks that could be easily automated, like writing emails, data entry, and scheduling meetings.
If you find this trend with your team, you could implement sales strategies to improve the situation. For example, maybe your team can use automation tools or rework the sales process to involve less non-value-added work.
Sales team onboarding time
Making onboarding more efficient is often the top mandate of the sales enablement team. It’s easy to see why. Effective onboarding makes a significant impact on sales rep effectiveness and turnover rates.
Reddit used WorkRamp to decrease ramp times. Ashley Crisostomo, the Principal Program Manager on the Sales Enablement team at Reddit, said “When I first joined Reddit, it was about nine months before our sales reps were fully ramped up and carrying quotas. For new hire onboarding, our main business goal was to decrease ramp time and time-to-quota-and with WorkRamp; we decreased ramp time by 33 percent.”
Use data data-driven sales enablement to make your team more effective
Making decisions can be challenging, but with the right data, you can have confidence that you’re moving your sales teams in the right direction.
Understanding and improving sales ramp time is one of many ways to take a data-backed approach to your sales enablement process. WorkRamp is an All-in-One Learning Platform that can help you provide on-demand training to increase rep efficiency and drive revenue performance.
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Anna SpoonerFreelance Writer
Anna Spooner is a digital strategist and marketer with over 11 years of experience. She writes content for various industries, including SaaS, medical and personal insurance, healthcare, education, marketing, and business. She enjoys the process of putting words around a company’s vision and is an expert at making complex ideas approachable and encouraging an audience to take action.