Sales Enablement Benchmark
One of the best ways to ensure the success and development of your sales team is to measure and evaluate the metrics of your business to determine the areas your team exceeds your peer group and the areas of growth opportunity. To get a comprehensive analysis of all areas in your business, turn to Aventi Group’s Sales Enablement Benchmark.Download the Sales Assessment Benchmark Tool
Aventi Group created this benchmark to enable business leaders to evaluate their salespeople, techniques, and results, determine sales goals, and analyze their ability and probability of meeting those goals. In its entirety, the Sales Enablement Benchmark is comprised of 9 sections that each target an integral component of the overall selling process and function. Each section breaks down an area into benchmark criteria that each get a rating on the Benchmark Key as follows:
- 4 – Best in class
- 3 – Above peer group
- 2 – On par with peer group
- 1 – Below peer group
- 0 – Significantly below peer group
These ratings help business owners get a deeper understanding of the level of maturity of each metric for their team. As an overview, here is a quick review of the top 5 sections on the Sales Enablement Benchmark.
Sales Process Maturity
This benchmark analyzes the maturity and effectiveness of the processes used during lead generation, selling strategies, and retaining customers. This section is broken out into 6 sub-sections.
The first section evaluates the sales stages of a business from demo of a product, to the point of sale, to a trial of the product, to purchase, and eventually to expansion on the sale. For this sales process, the benchmark would rate the level of maturity relative to the peer group.
Another sub-section in this category evaluates hand-offs between salespeople within a business. These could be hand-offs between a marketing lead and an inside salesperson, or between the direct rep and the renewal sales rep.
Other sub-sections in this area include policies for lead assignment, land and expansion strategy, customer retention/renewal focuses, and if a SaaS customer then consider lifetime value (LTV), and retention percentage.
Channel Sales Tools/ Enablement
This area evaluates the tools used by salespeople to generate leads, move the buying process forward, close sales, and grow retention. These tools can be used differently depending on the sales position: inside sales, sales development representative, sales executive, or renewals representation. For example, the first subsection under this benchmark is on sales methodology which assesses the maturity in published processes and procedures each type of sales professional employs when tracking or making sales. This process would be different for each type of salesperson and should be clear and explicitly defined by the business.
Another subsection of the sales tools/enablement benchmark is a quote tool. To remain professional and accurate when working through sales, each salesperson should have a preset tool that can automate a quote based on the content of the sale. This improves sales productivity by eliminating the need to generate quotes for each opportunity potentially leading to mistakes or mis-quotes or discounting inappropriately.
An important benchmark under this section is the customer presentation. In this benchmark, businesses are rated on the level of sales rep maturity in presenting product information to a prospective customer. This presentation should follow the 90/10 rules for standard versus custom. 90% of the presentation should be preset to present the product consistently, while 10% should be available for the sales rep to tune the presentation as needed for the prospect.
Sales Training Effectiveness
To get a sales team working at its full potential, proper training is vital. This benchmark analyzes the training processes and techniques of a business.
The first section in this benchmark is instructor led training (ILT). This refers to live, in-person, classroom-style training programs typically created by the sales enablement department of a business. These programs can be introductory for new hires, or in depth for specialized training for seasoned employees. As video conferencing has advanced dramatically, most companies now use on-demand video guided instruction. This benchmark evaluates the video and e-learning content used to training on specialized topics or for onboarding of new hires. As video content is increasingly being used in lieu of ILT, this benchmark works to test individual rep competency and understanding of learning modules whereas instructor led training is often insufficient to measure individual rep performance.
The next subsection for this benchmark is certifications. Many businesses tend to underestimate the importance of measuring the sale reps’ level of competence in product knowledge and selling skills. Some companies use badges, rewards, awards, points, and other incentives to encourage sale rep self-paced learning on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Sales KPI’s
The job of a salesperson is to meet or beat their sales quota. This benchmark creates metrics to measure key performance indicators to determine if salespeople are setting valuable goals and if they are set to meet those goals.
These metrics include leading indicators such as the number of calls, number of calls converted into live product demonstrations, number of demos converted to trials of the product, and number of trials converted to prices quotes for buyers. These metrics show how successfully salespeople are generating leads and then developing those leads towards a sale. This shows the health and maturity of the sales pipeline in a business.
The sales enablement teams are typically in charge of the content for this benchmark. The systems here are all the platforms used to track data, analyze business areas, and generate/organized clients. Popular platforms such as Seismic, Highspot, Brainshark, etc. are very helpful for sales rep productivity and measurement of their competency level.
One important platform measured in this benchmark covers a partner relationship management (PRM) system such as Salesforce Pardot. This metric shows how effectively deals are moving through the pipeline from one stage to the next and eventually to sale closure.
Another metric analyzes the sales rep usage of on-demand e-learning video guided instruction content. This platform can determine how many employees are actually taking the training courses and modules, and how many are passing the certification tests at the end of each section or course. This metric can indicate the effectiveness of a training course and help business owners pinpoint which employees are in need of additional training.
While this blog post only covers a fraction of the comprehensive benchmark that Aventi Group has devised for sales enablement, we hope it has provided you specific areas to examine within your own sales enablement investments and performance management. We welcome you to try this sample Sales Assessment Benchmark tool:Download the Sales Assessment Benchmark Tool
If you’d like a free assessment of your sales enablement function, please contact Aventi Group here and we’ll set up a confidential session with you and provide preliminary recommendations for areas of continued improvement.