In your company, who is promoting sales enablement, and can CPQ software be useful?
Several weeks ago in a blog, I asked who was responsible for order prevention in your organization. This week, I want to talk about the other side of that issue.
The fact is, sales enablement is not located exclusively within one group or managed under one silo. Sales enablement is cross-functional in nature, and it spans Sales, Marketing, Engineering/Product Management, Operations, Finance and just about every department within your organization.
There is a load of technology that helps to support the cause of enabling more efficient selling operations. That’s a good thing too, because all of the data crunched by that technology is mineable and reportable, which means you can collect valid metrics with confidence.
The downside of that technological enrichment is the fact that ownership of the assorted systems and processes makes it necessary to move out of your silo and go knock on some doors to gather all of that rich data. That’s not a bad thing is it?
Metrics and CPQ
So, what are those magic metrics that will enlighten you to the path of success? Where is the data driving those metrics? Where does a CPQ system come into play?
Let’s take a look.
There are many, and your unique needs will drive your priorities. We looked at several metrics related to sales enablement and margin in our piece last week. Let’s look at other areas and what metrics may facilitate better marketing and selling processes.
Who’s the audience? What are you saying to them? How effective are your marketing assets? These are the kinds of questions that marketing pros want to be able to answer. Here are some metrics:
Leads, by geography, by product and by market segment. Look at the leads coming to your organization. This will tell you whether or not your message is getting through. If you are marketing industrial lawnmowers and all of your leads are coming from above the Arctic Circle, you may have a problem.
What pieces are hot and what pieces are ignored? What is the effect of the piece once the prospect is exposed to it? Is it creating business or is it driving business away? A piece can be hot and still be communicating the wrong message. What kind of prospect is downloading the piece? What happens after the download?
CTA Response and Opt-in Rates
You have a great website filled with all sorts of offers and calls to action. How many visitors stop by? How many are repeaters? How many opt in for more info, newsletters or other offers?
Where Is This Information?
If you and your marketing team maintain an automation platform, it likely is the best place to start. Most of these offer some reporting capability that will simplify access to the correct data. The automation platform will also interconnect and communicate with your web traffic and SEO analysis tools, the CRM system, contact management systems, CPQ systems, and customer portals. In most instances, the data should be easier to access via your automation platform, but if not, you can look at mining the individual systems as well.
Who are your sales folks engaging with? How long are they engaged? What percentage turn into sales? Sales management and marketing frequently overlap, and marketing info can help sales management answer many of the effectiveness questions relating to a CPQ system, and sales process in general.
Average Revenue per Sale
You have revenue targets that are in part based on the expected revenue associated with each individual product. Are you selling at list? Are you discounting too frequently?
Buy Cycle Duration
How long does it take your reps to go from inquiry to sale? This number will help you figure out if you are going to hit, miss or blow away your revenue target. If it takes too long to close each deal, something is wrong. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your reps are bad, but it might. It also may mean that your pricing is out of kilter, your product is not effective as a solution or your messaging may be garbled.
All of those factors that Marketing looks at with leads apply to sales. Geography, product, segment and the rest. Are you selling what you are supposed to sell and selling it to those who are supposed to buy it?
Where Is This Information?
A large percentage of your sales activities and transactional data is stored and maintained in your CRM system. Also, your CPQ system will keep data related to your product models, options and pricing selections for each engagement. The marketing platform also hosts data that is useful for sales performance management.
Our series is just scratching the surface in terms of what information is available. The key is accessing the info and evaluating it consistently and regularly. Other systems within the enterprise should not be overlooked either. Order processing, production management systems, ERP and logistics all offer valuable data that when properly distilled, can be quite valuable.
A Little Help
We are happy to offer the following chart for you to download. Here you will find an extensive list of metrics that you may find useful. Additionally, we are showing you where to look for the data supporting those metrics.
Sales, Marketing and other units must work in concert to maximize the sales performance and profitability of the enterprise. This process should start with agreement on what success will look like and how that success might be measured. We hope this series of articles has provided you will a good start toward building that effective team.
In part 2, we looked at Sales Enablement: Everything That’s Wrong with Your Sales Process.