4 Powerful Ways to Prove Sales Enablement ROI
By George Donovan, Allego
The era of rep-centric sales enablement has arrived—and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the uncertain economy, the rise in hybrid teams due to the pandemic, and tightening budgets, it’s more important than ever for companies to equip their sales teams to produce at the highest level.
The challenge is understanding the rapidly evolving market of sales technologies in which mergers and new rounds of funding fuel product innovation and constantly change the options sales leaders can consider.
Gartner recently called this period “Sales Tech Mayhem,” saying “The market is fast moving from a wide set of categories into a narrow list of vendors with wide portfolios of capabilities.” Gartner’s analyst added “The game is moving FAST.”
This makes it very difficult for buyers to understand which companies provide which solutions. The good news is that there are more options than ever. Sales technologies supporting virtual selling and the shift to hybrid work offer new capabilities for sales teams to engage today’s digital-first buyers.
But leaders supporting sellers must assess new and maturing technologies to understand their impact and their potential to give their sales organizations a competitive advantage. At the same time, as the demands on sales organizations change, sales enablement efforts must evolve to keep pace.
Competing in a Hybrid World
At many organizations, sales enablement has been either an ad-hoc, reactionary scramble or an overly structured, formal training program where knowledge is transferred to reps in one fell swoop and quickly forgotten.
Old-school sales enablement initiatives take a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t put the rep at the center of the process. These status-quo programs won’t equip sellers to compete in our next normal.
Today, dispersed teams require a new level of coordination, collaboration, and empowerment in order to unlock sales success in an overcrowded digital world.
Are you ready to evolve your sales enablement strategy? Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you meeting all of your sales goals?
- Are you confident reps are always on-message?
- Are you 100% sure reps are using sales content properly?
- Are your marketing and sales teams on the same page?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, it’s time to take a second look at your sales enablement approach.
Adapting Sales Enablement for Virtual Selling
Sales enablement has emerged as the linchpin that syncs all areas of your organization for sales success. Instead of outdated approaches that treat sales as a siloed function, evolved sales enablement aligns your sales team with marketing, operations, product, HR, and other teams to support sellers and drive productivity.
Your organization may need to update its technology solution to deliver sales learning and enablement that supports your salespeople in this hybrid world. But you’ll have to quantify its value to justify the expense.
Measurement of the right metrics will ensure you’re getting the highest ROI from your sales enablement investments, offer a full picture of what’s working, and identify areas where you can improve performance. And, by proving ROI, you’ve got a better chance at securing internal support for your programs and additional resources.
Proving Sales Enablement ROI
One way for sales leaders to assess new tech is to focus on return on investment (ROI). Some solutions are critical to driving revenue, and sales enablement platforms are among them. Here are four ways that sales enablement technology can increase ROI:
- Accelerate Revenue
Research shows that the best way to ensure that sellers maximize every revenue opportunity they encounter is through a holistic sales enablement program supported by the right tech.
Your platform must enable both formal and informal training that gets reps field-ready quickly during onboarding, provides easy access to buyer collateral, supports them with content and coaching from managers and peers during everyday selling activities, and provides them with the ability to improve mastery and gain additional certifications as the need arises.
In addition to training, organizations must ensure that reps always receive selling content with the context they need to engage buyers the right way at the right time—resulting in more wins, and more revenue.
- Cut Costs
Cost savings are often the simplest ROI component to capture and quantify. As a rule, it’s easier for an organization to improve its bottom line by cutting costs than by increasing revenue. This is particularly true for sales learning and enablement teams.
Certain expense categories such as T&E and facilities rentals are obvious targets for “trim-the-fat” efforts.When skillfully planned and implemented, sales enablement cost-reduction initiatives, whether launched because of budget constraints or to free up resources for other programs, can eliminate expenses.
For example, advanced sales enablement tech can make enablement far more efficient, as well as more cost-effective. Fewer and shorter in-person meetings will lower the price tags of onboarding, certifications, product launches, and national sales meetings. And reducing the time reps spend searching for content puts them back in the field selling sooner.
- Reduce Risk
Every sales enablement initiative has a positive impact on risk reduction. Unfortunately, most teams struggle to quantify it. But assigning hard numbers to your risk-mitigation initiatives is something you can’t afford to ignore. At a minimum, you need to make a solid case for why current and proposed sales enablement programs should receive proper funding and management support.
To start, classify the types of risk you’re seeking to mitigate through sales enablement initiatives. The risks posed by a poorly trained sales force—from regulatory risk to brand damage—can be very expensive both to your organization’s reputation and your bottom line.
- Improve Engagement
You might not associate ROI with the morale and overall well-being of employees, but this component provides both intrinsic value and far-reaching business benefits.
Research shows that highly engaged employees perform 20% better and are 87% less likely to leave the organization.
Beyond the direct costs of employee attrition, high turnover indirectly contributes to an organization’s costs through lost selling time and the need for additional new-hire onboarding, training, and coaching.
Most sales training organizations make a positive impact on employee engagement, but many find it difficult to quantify this seemingly “squishy” ROI component. Fortunately, advanced sales learning and enablement can help.
Good sales enablement technologies can keep a virtual team connected and build a stronger culture. Among other things, managers can do more coaching in less time, when in-person ride-alongs or classroom sessions aren’t possible.
Start Measuring Sales Enablement ROI
The right sales enablement strategy and technology can have a significant impact on your bottom line. However, the majority of organizations today fail to measure the effectiveness of their enablement programs.
This year, make it a priority to measure the impact of sales enablement on the metrics that matter most to your organization. You’ll shed light on where your program is shining and where it is falling short. Then, you can justify the necessary changes to help you get the biggest ROI from your sales enablement initiatives and ensure your sellers are always ready to deliver winning buying experiences.
Proving the ROI of your onboarding, training, coaching, and content management efforts requires not only careful planning and execution, but also the right software to help you get it done.
Remember, not all sales enablement technology is created equal. It’s vital to implement tools that your team will actually use and that will help them perform their jobs more effectively. If you support a sales force—as a sales enablement pro, product marketer, trainer, sales leader, or content marketer—this is your moment. Prove your value and avoid getting caught up in “Sales Tech Mayhem.”
Download The Complete Guide to Sales Enablement ROI to get actionable advice that will help you measure and maximize the impact of your sales learning and enablement investment.
Chief Revenue Officer, Allego
George Donovan is the Chief Revenue Officer at Allego, responsible for achieving the company’s customer acquisition and sales goals. A proven sales leader with over 20 years of sales, marketing, operations and management experience,
George is a sales enablement enthusiast who loves tools and systems that empower people. Over the past decade, George has worked with many of the world’s top brands to help them achieve their sales and profit goals.
Prior to Allego, George served as the Chief Sales Officer of Compete, the world’s leading expert in helping clients grow great brands. In this role, George aided the exponential growth of the company from $30M to $110M. Previously, he was the principal owner of a Sandler Training franchise in Marlborough, MA for nine years.
George holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Anselm College. He was also voted father of the year 20 times (by his family)!