Imagine being asked by Marc Benioff, founder and CEO of Salesforce to ensure that every member of your sales organization can effectively deliver and communicate the latest presentation and messaging that he had just developed. Then after traveling around the world to execute this directive, Marc informs you that the messaging and presentation has been updated, and you need to do it all over again!
Our guest, Elay Cohen founder and CEO of SalesHood experienced that exact situation when he was Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. His experience as Salesforce was a catalyst to Elay founding a SaaS company focused on using technology to make sales enablement more scalable, automated, and on-going.
One of the first topics we discussed was the metrics that should be used to measure the business impact of the Sales Enablement function. Elay highlighted "time to ramp" and "time to productivity", defined as time to first deal and second deal closed, and time to hitting quota as the first metric to measure, followed by win rates, average contract value, and sales cycle length.
The conversation highlighted the above sales productivity metrics are leading indicators that directly impact higher level, company metrics such as ARR growth, CAC Payback Period, and other critical, company value-creating metrics that the CEO and CFO track and present to investors and the board.
Sales productivity, defined as the percentage of sales professional meeting quota was also discussed. Elay called this as distribution of sales attainment, and this metric is indeed important, but not as a leading indicator of sales performance.
Benchmarking current sales productivity metrics is a requisite baseline activity to measure the impact of sales enablement. Then the conversation progressed to whether sales enablement will evolve to revenue enablement or Go-To-Market enablement. Elay highlighted that Sales Enablement is a good place to start the introduction of modern learning techniques, and then the results will encourage other departments to adopt the program.
The growing importance of Net Dollar Retention was introduced as a company-level key performance indicator that foretells why Customer Success will become a great next candidate to apply the enablement techniques deployed in sales.
We then discussed that enabling sales management is just as critical to individual contributor sales resource enablement. Front line management requires a program that includes coaching, recruiting, interviewing, running forecast calls, and conducting territory reviews. Simply providing a playbook on "what to do" will not work and sales enablement needs to sit down and coach alongside the manager to ensure they benefit from feedback from coaching.
If increasing customer acquisition and customer expansion performance and productivity is an opportunity you are interested in learning more about, this is a great episode for you.