If you work in Sales or Marketing, you've probably heard of Sales Enablement before. It's an iterative process that provides sales people with the right tools to improve their performance and sales effectiveness. Depending on the organization, the topic may be handled by the marketing department, the sales department or a dedicated department.
In this context, how to ensure that the Sales Enablement strategy implemented within a company generates a positive ROI?
Why is Sales Enablement important?
The main goal of Sales Enablement is to equip salespeople with the right tools to perform better.
Currently, the average sales person spends 440 hours searching for the right content to share with their prospects and customers. These hours are somewhat wasted, as the salesperson cannot allocate them to value-generating activities. According to Datawell, 65% of sales managers say that the biggest challenge for them is finding the time and resources to perform in their job.
Marketing is also impacted by Sales Enablement and its challenges. Indeed, marketing teams are responsible for creating the content used by sales people. Yet, companies lose more than $2.3 million each year due to the cost associated with unused marketing content. Sales people are also aware of the lack of alignment between the two teams.
Finally, customers demand a personalized experience and base their decision on it:
- 89% of consumers make a purchase based on the overall shopping experience regardless of price or features.
- 52% of consumers expect offers that are always personalized.
- 66% of customers](https://learn.g2.com/sales-enablement-statistics) expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
How to organize a sales enablement strategy?
A successful Sales Enablement strategy is based on different levers. It is then up to each company to identify the levers on which to focus their strategy. These levers can vary depending on the business, the context, and the strengths and weaknesses of each company.
The sales process
The first area where a Sales Enablement strategy can have an impact is the sales process. Here the numbers are clear:
- 50% of salespeople's time is wasted on non-productive prospecting.
- 58% of prospects](https://learn.g2.com/sales-enablement-statistics) are stagnating in the sales funnel because salespeople are not able to deliver added value.
In this context, making the sales process more agile allows salespeople to better approach their prospects and ensure they convert them into customers.
The second lever of a Sales Enablement strategy is the work on content. This axis impacts both marketing and sales. In other words, working on content is partly about working on the alignment between the two teams.
If we talk about content or alignment, not focusing on it has negative consequences for the company:
- Lack of alignment between costs $1 billion each year in lost sales productivity and wasted marketing efforts.
- 84% of salespeople say that content is the most important area for improvement.
In this context, basing content production on salespeople's needs is essential. Similarly, ensuring that it is available and up-to-date is key to contributing to alignment between marketing and sales teams.
The third axis of a Sales Enablement strategy is sales training. A first step is to focus on the integration of sales people. However, training is not limited to onboarding. In fact, a Sales Enablement strategy advocates the need for ongoing training of salespeople. This both stimulates them and ensures that they are equipped with the latest sales techniques.
The figures also show that the need for this exists:
- 84% of sales training is forgotten within the first 3 months.
- If salespeople do not feel they are learning and growing within your organization, you risk losing up to 60% of your teams within 4 years.
These three main pillars can be accompanied by sales enablement tools. These represent a significant financial investment, and therefore need to be analyzed with a ROI logic.
What role does ROI play in a Sales Enablement strategy?
Measuring the ROI of a Sales Enablement strategy
We have previously demonstrated that a successful Sales Enablement strategy has a positive impact on the sales performance of a company. We have also outlined different areas of work, and suggested that sales enablement tools can be useful. But how do you ensure that the efforts in Sales Enablement are successful?
The answer is quite simple: you measure success with ROI. In concrete terms, ROI, or return on investment, allows you to evaluate the financial return of a decision or strategy. It compares the money earned or lost with the amount initially invested.
It is a relatively easy percentage to calculate:
ROI = (gain or loss from investment - cost of investment) / cost of investment * 100
From a marketing perspective, measuring ROI is like measuring the performance of the content created. When it is not used, its ROI is zero for example.
This analysis can be taken even further: does the content sent to customers help them move forward in the buying process?
Marketers can rely on tools that measure usage and performance to guide their content creation strategy. This ensures that teams are focused on creating content that generates revenue.
On the business side, measuring ROI is more intuitive. It's about measuring the impact of the strategy on the achievement of the objectives set, or the conversion rates of sales people for example.
Results of an ROI-based Sales Enablement Strategy
When a Sales Enablement strategy is based on ROI, it is easier to measure its success. Logically, it is also easier to adjust it accordingly and thus ensure better results.
One thing is certain: a well-calibrated sales enablement strategy pays off. In terms of sales, organizations that do Sales Enablement have a 49% success rate in closing deals. Those that do not have a 42.5% success rate. Similarly, 76% of organizations see an increase of between 6% and 20% in their sales.
On the other hand, aligning marketing and sales teams allows companies to improve by 67% in closing sales. When teams work closely together, they increase customer retention by 36% and reduce their cost of acquisition by 30%.