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What is a sales
enablement manager

Below are the most effective sales enablement metrics and KPIs to keep close track on when implementing a sales enablement strategy

What is a sales enablement manager?

If Sales Enablement is providing the sales organization with information, content, training, and tools in order to help them engage the buyer, at the right time, throughout the customer journey, and as a result, sell more efficiently, then the Sales Enablement Manager is a person acting like a hub, being in liaison with the marketing team and the sales team, ensuring both strategic alignment and that sales agents are well-sourced to close deals in the sales pipeline. The overall goal for the Sales Enablement Manager is to increase sales results and productivity. 

On a strategic level, the Sales Enablement Manager works with senior and executive management to identify business challenges, prioritize them, define the scope and approach for these initiatives, and execute on them. In addition, the Sales Enablement Manager is responsible for providing onboarding, training, and coaching, sharing best practices, identifying and providing relevant content and collateral, as well as the necessary tools to support sales reps through their work. A working day might involve strategic business workshops, planning a new sales training program, creating content for a product launch, coaching sales reps value based selling, discussing with marketing on a new campaign, analyzing the latest sales enablement KPIs, leading a training session with sales reps, planning sales kickoff, or evaluating a new sales enablement tool.  

 

Sales Enablement Manager is quite a common title for this kind of responsibility, but it's also common to come across titles, with similar responsibility, such as:

  • Sales Operations Manager
  • Sales Training Manager
  • Sales Enablement Program Manager
  • Sales Effectiveness Program Manager

The responsibility of the Sales Enablement Manager includes a wide range of skills, tasks, assignments, and priorities, which means a Sales Enablement Manager has to have a broad understanding of e.g. Sales, CRM, Marketing, and Sales Operations. 

Sales enablement professionals usually have some sort of sales or sales management experience, but many have backgrounds in sales ops, sales training, and product or marketing as well. Regardless of background, one of the most important skills to have as a Sales Enablement Manager is project management.

 

6 Key skills for sales enablement managers:

  1. Attentive, listener, and communicator. Any changes within the organization, product offerings, sales, and marketing content as well as marketing activities supporting sales need to be clearly communicated to all sales reps.

  2. Ability to collaborate with many different teams and personalities. The sales enablement manager must be able to understand different peoples different perspectives on things. The Sales Enablement Manager needs to be able to align multiple parties behind one vision and make sure the execution follows through. Leadership experience is a must in order to both formally lead the Sales Enablement team but also informally lead all parties involved in the Sales Enablement program making sure all steer in the same direction. 

  3. Highly structured, and great project management skills. Sales enablement managers have many different initiatives going at the same time, hence they need to be very structured, be able to prioritize the activities that will receive the greatest return for the organization.

  4. Analytic and data-driven. The Sales Enablement Manager needs to be analytic, data-driven, and result-oriented in order to constantly improve sales process efficiency and effectiveness.

  5. Affinity. Effective sales enablement Managers are able to put themselves in sales reps’ shoes and understand every aspect of their day-to-day life in order to support in the best way possible throughout the process. 

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Sales enablement manager KPIs

Sales enablement is all about getting better sales results, by being more efficient. But if you don’t know how to measure its effectiveness, you are probably wasting your money. In order to have a full understanding of the funnel from marketing to sales, and hence, have sales work more efficiently, you have to have metrics that mirror the full process.  

Below are the most effective sales enablement metrics and KPIs to keep close track on when implementing a sales enablement strategy. 

 

KPI #1 - MQL volume generated
Marketing team is working with a number of different activities and channels, with the overall ambition to deliver leads to the sales organization to act on. To start with it's important to follow and measure the overall MQL volumes generated as well as from which channels and activities the leads are coming from, to later on in the funnel be able to decide which MQLs are the more qualitative.

 

KPI #2 - MQL-to-SQL/Opportunity conversion rate
Volume is one thing. Quality is another. It is important for the marketing team to deliver high-quality leads that have shown interest and are engaged making it valuable for sales to follow-up on. Make sure to keep an eye on the conversion rate for different activities and leads channels in order to understand from where warmer leads are generated. 

It's key to have a  feedback loop in place between the marketing team and the sales team to understand how to optimize the leads generation in terms of volume and/quality. It's also important to avoid getting into the old habit of the Sales/Marketing blame game. That's surely outdated. 

 

KPI #3 - Win rate - conversion opportunity to customer
Tracking the conversion of the leads your sales team has accepted as ready for outreach, to won customers, is also an important metric in order to understand the quality and efficiency of your marketing and sales funnel. By monitoring the conversion rate, you will be able to identify potential opportunities (what prospects close the better and why?) to improve the overall sales process.

 

KPI #4 - Win rate - conversion MQL to customer
Measuring the overall conversion from MQL to customer will give you a good overall picture of how your funnel is working, but to be able to understand where in the funnel to dig down and optimize, you have to combine with metrics such as the above. 

 

KPI #5 - Average Number of days In each stage of the sales process
Keeping tabs on the amount of time spent in each stage of the sales cycle will help you identify possible points of friction. Based on that knowledge, you can create content, adjust your sales touch-points, make additional outreaches, or set up nurturing flows with the intention to help push the prospect forward in the buying journey.

 

KPI #6 - Sales cycle length - average number of days it takes to close a deal
Tracking the Average time it takes to close a deal helps introduce predictability into your sales forecasting. Using this metric, you will have the possibility to predict what your sales figures may look like in a certain amount of time, based on the leads volumes coming in in the beginning of the funnel. 

 

KPI #7 - Average customer value (ACV)
Average Customer Value is the average dollar amount earned on your product or service. Keep track of which marketing activities and channels as well as target groups feeding into sales are generating higher value or lower value deals. If you know the ACV, you can backtrack and calculate the volume of deals you need to generate to meet budget, and from there, understand how many opportunities you need based on your opportunity to customer conversion rate. And then, take it all the way back to how many MQLs you need to generate those Opportunities.

 

KPI #9 - Retention rate
If you retain more of your customers for longer, you are most likely going to increase their lifetime value and hence, the revenue coming in. If this isn't something you've tracked before, you'll need to establish the baseline and then track the trend line. 

 

KPI #10 - Quota attainment
Measuring quota attainment helps sales managers keep track of the overall performance of the sales reps.  It is a measure of how close sales reps are to reaching their goal for a particular time period. Typically, quota attainment is measured either monthly, quarterly, or annually and is tied to a compensation plan.

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