Actionable Advice from the Sales Enablement Analytics Report

The Sales Enablement Analytics Report 2019, jointly conducted by Sales Enablement PRO and the Sales Enablement Society, dives into effective strategies for measuring sales enablement success in the areas of performance, proficiency, and productivity. We at VantagePoint Performance reviewed the study and have identified three key insights, which we will further discuss in this blog:

  • Customer experience initiatives and investments are growing
  • Competencies must be measured—especially after training
  • There are increasing complications around frontline manager coaching

Customer experience initiatives and investments

One of the most significant findings in the report was the fact that more than 30% of organizations are now treating customer-centric values, like Net Promoter Score (NPS), as core sales enablement metrics.  This is especially true in more tenured sales enablement organizations, which the survey defines as being in place for at least two years.

As NPS performance becomes increasingly important in companies, you must recognize the importance of consistently addressing the customer experience.  It’s simply not enough to measure customer satisfaction.  Rather, you must be actively planning and working to improve it.

By isolating the unique buying situations customers face—and determining the sales approach most likely to lead to a win in each situation—VantagePoint Solutions help our customers improve their customers’ experiences.  How? If you engage your buyers in a way that aligns with their preferences, you directly impact your Net Promoter Score by improving and enriching their experience.

Measuring competencies after training

The study found disappointing results around competency measurements.  In fact, the data shows the number of organizations tracking learning and development metrics drops significantly beyond basic activities. For example, only 16% of respondents reported measuring competency improvement after intervention and training.

Perhaps that’s because it’s difficult for companies to ensure that the competencies they are measuring are directly tied to both their training content and real-life seller performance. VantagePoint Solutions can help you determine a competency baseline specific to your reps and sales managers—for training and in particular buying situations.  With that baseline information, you can then measure improvement over time, with high accuracy and relevance.

It’s critical to note that the study underscores the importance of competency-based metrics.  Indeed, organizations prioritizing these measurements report a win rate six points higher than those that do not.

Frontline manager coaching

Another assertion regarding supporting competency assessments is the need to take the burden off your sales managers. A primary method for gaging seller competency is through manager observation. But as the ratio of salespeople to sales managers continues to increase and manager geographic coverage explodes with it, frontline managers are decreasing their individual field time with reps.  This, in turn, reduces their opportunities for first-hand seller observations, which makes sales manager coaching augmentation critical.  You can do it with a two-pronged approach:

  • Assess competencies against specific, field-relevant tactics
  • Execute paced reinforcement of those tactics

Finally, the study found conflicting information surrounding sales coaching.  On the one hand, it may be the hottest topic in sales enablement.  On the other, a full 42% of respondents reported that their coaching was conducted on an ad-hoc basis or not at all. In our own research into sales coaching practices, the managers with the highest percentage of sellers at or above quota were more formal in their approach to coaching. In fact, they were more likely to set rhythms that were achievable, covered fewer coaching topics in each conversation, and tackled their topics in more depth.

Of particular note: high-performing managers were also significantly more likely than lower performers to keep their scheduled coaching sessions without cancelling or rescheduling. And, these highly effective managers get 30% more of their sellers to quota.