If you are in sales enablement, you know that marrying your measures directly to revenue outcomes is a never-ending challenge. It is the number one question we get asked on our client calls at LevelJump. Here we break it down for you in four steps that any enabler can follow to tie the two together.
Step 1: Get Everyone’s Priorities Documented
Sales enablement is the glue that binds revenue teams together. The first step to drive revenue engagement is to use this superpower and find out what the other silos genuinely care about most. You’ll need to ask things like:
- What is the top concern among reps?
- What metrics are essential to the management team?
- And what do the executives see as the main problem to solve?
These answers will likely be very different.
For example, BDRs might be focused on objection handling better on calls, whereas sales execs might be concerned about win rates.
You’ll need to find out what overall business metrics your sales team is driving toward, and more importantly what’s going to stop you getting there.
Step 2: Reverse Engineer to Solve Problems
Now that you’re clear on what’s most important, build your programs specifically to address those challenges you documented. Each program should have a specific outcome that everyone is clear around that you can measure. Reverse engineering the goals in this format will help with buy-in from the other departments and leaders.
For example, if you find the number one problem facing your business is your win rate, you might build a program specifically to improve it. Now, you just have to work backwards – what’s causing your win rate to be low? You might decide to focus on the discovery call and help reps uncover more business pain, on the theory that surfacing that pain will force decisions in your favour.
There are a few best practices to remember as you go through this process:
- Clear communication is key: Listen to others’ needs and incorporate them into your program. This will go a long way in getting your team the information and buy-in for success. Not only will everyone know what the ultimate goal is, but everyone will also know how you’re going to solve it before you actually start.
- Embed milestones along the way. This not only helps you, the enabler, but it also tells other teams if the program is successful (more on that ahead!). Having milestones along the way means you can pinpoint early if your program is working (or not).
- Roll out your program to the people it will help. As you develop the program, it’s best to roll out changes only to the relevant reps, managers, and teams. You’ll be able to identify the impact of your measures by keeping rollout to minimal personnel, and you won’t be wasting anyone’s time solving a problem they don’t actually have.
Step 3: Define the Success
Third, your success needs to be in harmony with the other leaders you brought in for step one. In other words, you will need to define success from enablement’s programs using the metrics and terms that your revenue leaders care about most.
Map out what metric it is that’s important for these teams to gauge. Then, prepare to analyze and report on that exact metric. This approach is a commonly misunderstood concept, but it directly ties the enablement efforts to hitting revenue goals.
A word of caution when you begin—be ready to fail.
Not to sound pessimistic, but realistically your first attempt might not work. And that’s ok! The good news is that if you’ve followed this outline, you’re defining success on terms that everyone can understand. Failing forward is much easier when a consensus of what success looks like is established early on. You’ll be on the same page and aligned, which is the best-case scenario for both wins and losses. If you don’t see improvement, take it as an opportunity to regroup and try something else.
Sharing the successes as a cohesive team will gain trust and, eventually, more active buy-in from teams. And by aligning your success to the metrics of the teams you support, you’ll build authority over time, especially with crusty sales managers who have been burned by enablement in the past. When you’re a team player and share revenue hike victories, you’ll become an asset to the business.
Step 4: Create Early Indicator Milestones to Measure Success Along the Way
Finally, don’t wait for revenue reports to review the performance of the programs. You’ll need to find ways to track progress along the way and keep the team updated.
Our sales cycle at LevelJump is ~90 days, but we can’t wait an entire quarter to know if a program is working or not. So we track early indicators to know sooner if our reps are on the right track.
For example, we found out that being multithreaded in deals impacts our win rate, but we didn’t want to wait for a quarter to know if it was working.
So we then introduced a program to teach our team how to multithread by getting more people to attend a demo of our product.
- We set up Gong trackers to see if the way our reps were asking for a demo changed to include more people (basically, did the program change behaviour?)
- We set up program metrics in LevelJump tied to the number of contacts added to the opportunity record in Salesforce. This way, we could track if we were adding more people to the opportunity.
We’ve seen both of those metrics point in the right direction, so we know the training worked and changed the behaviour. Now, we’re waiting for those opportunities to close, and when they do we’ll evaluate the win rate as a function of stakeholders involved (but we’re pretty confident right now that it will be higher).
You can roll out the same sort of logic on any enablement program you’re running. The key is to set up hard metrics you can know about sooner rather than later.
You can repeat these four steps as often as needed, and you’re all set for success for outcome-based enablement.
Still not sure if your program is packing enough punch where revenue is concerned? Grab this free ebook to dive deep into transforming your enablement efforts.