The Number 1 Question Everyone Working in Sales Enablement Should Be Able to Answer

There are a number of considerations to weigh when deciding to implement a Sales Enablement platform. The goal of implementing a Sales Enablement platform is more than boosting productivity or ensuring compliance – it’s a complete business transformation. Often times, an investment in Sales Enablement can only come with the blessing of a senior executive, often C-Suite. For that reason, the question that every individual managing Sales Enablement should be ready to discuss is return on investment.

Return-on-investment (ROI) calculations have always been the cornerstone of rationalizing and prioritizing business investment decisions, regardless of the state of the economy. When it comes to Sales Enablement, there a number of ways to justify an investment and answer the question, “What’s the ROI on the platform?”

Sales Productivity and Pipeline Yield

Salesforce’s State of Sales Report 2018 revealed that 57% of sales reps are not hitting quota. The disparity between goal and result can stem from several productivity challenges, many of which can be alleviated with a properly implemented and managed Sales Enablement platform.

It may be shocking to learn that sales reps are only spending 37% of their time actually selling. The other 63% of time is spent on various, non-revenue-driving activities, such as searching for content, creating content, taking trainings, completing manual administrative tasks, and more.

A challenge often cited by salespeople is the struggle to find content to send to a prospect – according to Kapost, sales reps can’t find content to send to a prospect 65% of the time. That’s every two out of three times! The digitization of the economy has changed the buyer-seller relationship significantly – buyers are more educated, are engaging sales reps later in their buying cycle, and only begin to speak with sales when they need information they can’t find online. With that information, how frustrating must it be as a buyer to not get any additional value out of a conversation with a sales person? What if you could eliminate the 13 hours on average per week that a salesperson spends creating or searching for content, and enable them to spend it selling? Consider this quick calculation:

13 hours per week x 49 working weeks = 80 sales days lost

Annual salary cost for a sales rep per year ____$ / 245 working days per year x 80 = lost opportunity cost

Sales Enablement platforms can help balance the buyer-seller power dynamic by recommending content to a sales person at the exact time it’s needed, wherever they’re working. Not only does AI-recommended content decrease the time and effort sales reps spend searching, but it ensures that prospects are receiving value out of each sales interaction – ultimately helping to move relationships and deals forward.

Sales reps often also find themselves bogged down with administrative tasks, with 45% citing administrative tasks as the number one reason they can spend such little time selling, according to Salesforce. A Sales Enablement Automation platform can actually minimize the amount of time salespeople need to spend on administrative tasks by automating actions like logging details to CRM – whether that be a piece of content shared, who was in a meeting, or when a prospect opens content. That stronger quality and quantity of data is invaluable to a data-driven business, and takes no extra effort on the part of the salesperson – they’ve got enough to focus on! Less time spent on administrative tasks means more time selling, and ultimately, closing business.

Marketing Content ROI

A recent CMI survey revealed that businesses typically spend about 40% of their marketing budget on content. However, on average, 65% of that content goes unused. It can remain untouched for a variety of reasons – sales reps don’t know it exists, they don’t know how to find it, it doesn’t fit their needs, or there are too many versions, just to name a few.

Sales Enablement platforms ensure that content is easily discovered through search, structure, and AI-recommendations. Salespeople access an up-to-date, easy-to-use, aggregated repository of content on a mobile device or the web, and can share it out with a few clicks, all with tracking and logging information back to CRM.

When quantifying, the calculation for wasted marketing budget is simple:

Annual marketing budget x 40% (or your own internal data) = amount spent on content

Amount spent on content x 65% = amount spent on marketing content that goes ultimately unused = waste

Sales Enablement platforms also record content utilization data, providing Marketing with crucial information they need to optimize their content creation strategy. They can spend less time and money on content that doesn’t work, and more on content that really moves the needle in a sales situation. What marketer doesn’t want to waste less time on creating non-valuable content, and more data to justify content marketing spend in general?

The considerations of sales productivity and marketing content are only a few of the ways Sales Enablement platforms can drive a strong ROI. Sales Enablement platforms can help you unlock tribal knowledge, reduce compliance risks and fines, eliminate cost of unused tools, and more. Depending on your business structure, the returns from a Sales Enablement platform can come in spades. If you’re considering implementing a Sales Enablement platform, be sure to arm yourself with the knowledge of where you can expect returns, specific to your business, and you’ll be set up for success.

This week’s post is by guest author, Patrick Welch, President & CMO of Bigtincan, a mobile content enablement platform that puts content in context, delivering the right content to the right users based on role, time, location, association and/or event – with all the automation and productivity tools needed to engage with content in one integrated, intuitive platform.