The Showcase Workshop Blog

Stop Shooting in the Dark: Use Data to Drive Your Sales Enablement

It’s time to dispel a myth – and give you a little kick in the pants while I’m at it.

The myth is this:

As a small business, you don’t have access to the same marketing and sales analytics that enterprise businesses do.

FALSE! Untrue. Wrong.

The Internet has levelled the playing field here. A lot.

Specifically, SaaS (software-as-a-service) technology has levelled the playing field. It’s brought robust, cloud-based measurement and analytics tools to any one with an Internet connection.

You don’t have to have enterprise technology to measure your marketing and sales enablement efforts.

You don’t have to have an enterprise budget to afford deep insights on how your content is being used.

What you do have to have is a desire to measure your sales and marketing activities.

And this is where I give you a kick in the pants.

Too many small businesses see the word “analytics” and shrug their shoulders. Or scoff at the whole idea if it, thinking it takes too much time to gather useful data, so they don’t even try.

So let me ask you a question.

How are you making your business decisions?

Are you stabbing in the dark? Shooting blind? Taking wild guesses? Spraying and praying? (I could go on. I know them all.)

Or are you using data to make educated decisions?

You see, when you’re not leveraging data to make decisions, or to prioritize and optimize your sales and marketing efforts, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re operating without all the information.

Why Print May Be Steering You Wrong

It’s hard to know exactly how your printed sales enablement collateral is actually being used. How many of those brochures are reps actually handing out? How many are getting lost in the office-to-customer shuffle? How many customers are actually reading the content they’re given? It’s nearly impossible to measure these things with print.

With digital sales enablement content, however, that changes. You can find out how your content is being used by the sales team. You can track how many times that spec sheet is shared, by whom and to whom. You can see if customers are actually downloading that brochure when it’s emailed to them.

Then – and this is where the real measurement magic happens – you can optimize your content and improve the effectiveness of your entire sales team.

If you’re using print collateral for sales enablement, you’re missing huge opportunities.

(I wrote a whole post about why the Building Materials Industry should stop spending money on print. The principles apply to any industry still relying on printed brochures and sales materials.)

3 Metrics You Should Be Tracking

When it comes to measuring your sales enablement activities, the first step on the road to success is using the right tool to share your content.

Many companies use cloud-based file sharing or an intranet to share sales enablement content. That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s not easy for sales teams to use those in the field and it’s much harder for marketing teams to gather the usage data.

So use a dedicated sales enablement tool for your sales enablement content. Of course I recommend this one (because it’s awesome).

Now that that’s out of the way, here are the three metrics you should be tracking, and why:

1. Views

How often is each sales enablement asset viewed? And who is viewing it?

The answers to these questions will supercharge your sales team.

First, your most often-viewed pieces of content are your most effective pieces of content. So knowing which content is viewed most often gives you the opportunity to figure out what makes those different, and better, than other content that isn’t getting viewed as much. Then you can optimize (or get rid of) the content that isn’t getting used.

And second, if you notice your top salespeople are frequently viewing (or using) a piece of content, it’s safe to say that content is helping them make more sales. This is an opportunity to coach your lower-performing salespeople to use the most effective content in their sales conversations.

2. Shares

How often are salespeople sharing your sales enablement content with customers? Which reps are sharing content most often? And who are they sharing it with?

Once again this insight helps you identify the content that is working best so you can optimize your other content and coach your sales team.

The added benefit to measuring shares is to help you identify which customers are really engaging with your sales team. If a sales rep gets far enough in the conversation that the customer is not only willing to look at sales content but also willing to give up their email address in order to receive it, you know you have a hot lead on your hands.

3. Open rates / download rates

Finally, open rates and download rates are important to measure. They are two different metrics, but they are inextricably connected – and you’ll soon see why.

When a rep emails a brochure to a buyer, you know that the sales conversation is progressing positively. And that’s a good thing. But that doesn’t guarantee that the buyer is interested enough to open that email. Opening the email is one step further down the sales funnel.

But downloading the brochure after they open the email – that’s an even bigger step down the sales funnel. If the buyer goes so far as to download the brochure, their interest level is unquestionably higher than a buyer who opened the email but didn’t download the brochure.

The opportunity here is twofold:

  • If the buyer opened the email, but didn’t download the brochure, this is an opportunity for the sales rep to follow up and ask the buyer if they received the brochure okay.
  • If the buyer downloaded the brochure, this is an opportunity for the sales rep to follow up and ask if they have any questions.

Either way, it’s an opportunity for the sales rep – and your sales enablement content analytics just paved the way.

Data-backed Decision-making Is No Longer a Luxury Only for the Enterprise Elite

Creating the right sales enablement content is all well and good. But if you don’t measure how it’s being used, you’ll never know if it’s effective.

Small businesses today have more access than ever before to data and the actionable insights that come with it. Data-backed decision-making is no longer an enterprise-only luxury. Take advantage!

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Wellington, New Zealand
Millie is President and Co-Founder of Showcase Workshop. Her mission is to eradicate ring binders from the world of sales. She rides a Pashley and knits on aeroplanes.