Sales enablers need to tie their work to revenue. It doesn’t matter who sales enablement reports to – sales, ops, CRO, CEO, etc... – the function is too prominent, too visible, and most importantly, too expensive to not have a clear line between cost and benefit.
This article is designed to give you the ultimate roadmap to bridge the gap between enablement and revenue. But it’s essential to recognize what I’ve outlined here is a strategy and not a one-and-done method. No single number illustrates the impact enablers have on the bottom line. However, this is the blueprint for putting sales enablement performance directly in context of profit and loss.
High level roadmap
The basic idea here (and we’ll go step by step in a second) is to tie your program to sales activity, and your sales activity to revenue results.
In other words: of the people who you enabled, how many changed how they did their jobs?
Of those who did their jobs in the new, enabled way, how many went on to achieve the new revenue outcome you were aiming for?
If you can tie training –> new ways of working –> revenue outcomes, then you’re guaranteed to prove enablement attribution.
Now, let’s dive into each of these.
1. Program completion
An easy place to start is training. Are the people you’re offering training actually taking it?
Start with traditional metrics to show the people who attended and who completed the training. Did everyone you offered training to come and do it?
Next, broaden the scope to include practice and certification. Can the people who attended the training pass a test / quiz and complete a practice pitch that gets them a passing score as evaluated by a sales leader? Role-play and virtual pitch rooms are great to demonstrate proficiency. Don’t forget to track the certifications handed out in each session.
With this, you can now say “people take the enablement programs I build, and it helps them learn how to do their jobs.”
This is step one. Next, you need to see if what they learned is actually being practiced in the field.
2. Job execution
Now that you’ve instilled the knowledge, is it being practiced? Without knowing behavior has changed, it’s impossible to drive home the dollar value of enablement. Fortunately, you can track this quite easily with software like Gong or Chorus. These tools allow you to virtually follow your trainees onto the sales floor for signs of implementation.
You’ll want to set up reporting of keywords for the specific material covered in training. You’ll then have real data that tells you keywords are being used in calls and through email or other communication channels.
Set up your trackers to identify, monitor, and capture the particular pieces of relevant information communicated during your sales training. By doing so, you have solidified the training’s effect on your sales actions.
You can then answer the question: did the training change how my sellers do their job?
3. Revenue outcomes
You’ve tracked that your program has been completed, mastery achieved in a practice setting, and it’s being used in the “real world”.
Now the million dollar question – did it impact revenue?
Ideally, you started your program with a specific outcome you were aiming to move, like:
- # deals closed in a specific time period
- # deals closed over a certain amount
- # deals closed with a specific product attached
- # deals closed in less than a specific number of days
- # deals closed compared to # of deals created in a specific time period
- # deals being actively worked in a specific time period
- Time to first deal / quota / consistent quota
Assuming you do, you can then work backwards for your attribution.
First, did the people who completed your new, desired sales activity see an improvement in your specific revenue target?
If so, did the people who completed those new, desired sales behaviours get certified during your onboarding program? Did they demonstrate mastery of the knowledge?
And finally, if they did, did they complete your program? Did they consume the content and complete the exercises on time?
If all of this checks out, you can say with confidence that your program correlates to better sales outcomes. And more importantly, you can take the delta, e.g. the difference, between the people who completed the program and those who didn’t.
By looking at the difference, you end up with the exact dollar value of your program to the organization.
It can be easy to think that the outcome and new measurements above are the final step, but to get a holistic number that will be well-received by your C-suite, you must take one final action: show directly how sales enablement has impacted the overall business numbers. Certainly, some of that may be obvious in your metrics, but relating it to the bottom line is where teams can make or break the attribution factor.
Let’s say that your goal is to close larger deals. You build and run your program, and then evaluate the outcomes like we just did, and run your 75 reps through it. It all looks good. Superb!
Now, let’s say that those in your program, who changed how they did their job, closed on average 3 deals per rep over $100,000. Let’s say the average deal size was $125,000.
Now, let’s say that those who didn’t change how they did their job because they didn’t take your program and didn’t get certified only closed on average 2 deals over $100,000. Let’s say the average deal size was the same – $125,000.
You can say pretty confidently that your program is worth an extra $125,000 for every rep who completed. Multiply that out and pretty quickly the ROI on enablement is looking pretty tantalizing.
There you have it. How to do enablement attribution. It’s this simple: if you can prove program effectiveness in this way, you'll never need to look for another job, and you’ll get promoted. Guaranteed.
Now if you haven’t done so, grab this ebook to get insight into how to design your onboarding to drive meaningful sales metrics from the start.