Episode 7: How to Leverage Analytics to Improve Rep Performance
Shawnna Sumaoang: Hi and welcome to the Win Win podcast. I am your host, Shawnna Sumaoang. Join us as we dive into changing trends in the workplace and how to navigate them successfully.
When enablement teams effectively use data to analyze business impact, they are two times more likely to exceed executive expectations, but with a plethora of data spread across different teams and tools, it can be difficult to know where to look to find the insights that matter. So what are the best ways to gather meaningful data and leverage analytics to increase the impact of your enablement programs?
Today, I’m excited to be joined by Ashley Rosenbaum from LiveIntent to share some of her best practices with us. Ashley, welcome. I’d love for you to tell us about yourself, your background, and your organization.
Ashley Rosenbaum: Hi Shawnna, thank you so much for having me. My name is Ashley Rosenbaum and I’ve spent a lot of my career in media, both on the agency side, buying and planning for various types of clients, and then also on the Adtech and Martech side, supporting ad sales teams in various capacities. I’m currently at LiveIntent where I’ve spent the last 3.5 years building the sales enablement function here and my role is currently sales enablement marketing director, which essentially means I work closely with our sales, customer success, product marketing, and marketing leaders to ensure that our sales and customer success teams are equipped with the information and the materials that they need to successfully engage clients and prospects throughout the customer journey.
SS: Super excited to have you here Ashley. Now to jump right in a common challenge that enablement leaders can face is having limited access to the analytics that matter to track what works and to really prove enablement value. I’d love to hear from you, what are some of the potential ways that this can impact enablement practitioners?
AR: That’s a great question. I would say that since the beginning of my career in sales enablement, I’ve been working through the challenge of limited access to data and analytics that I know would prove the impact and value of sales enablement efforts, but as a result, reporting on sales enablement influence revenue or return on investment specifically can sometimes be sort of lofty and not perfect or consistent enough to actually report on. It’s a matter of being very clear in how you communicate that to your leadership and your manager and making sure that they’re as clear as you are on the types of data that you can report on and what you can use to demonstrate and show where sales enablement has impacted whether that be productivity, whether that be sales effectiveness, self readiness in multiple capacities, I would say it’s just a matter of being very transparent with leadership and also set a goal for yourself that you would like to work toward in proving the analytics that you can use to be able to tell a better story in the future and set some sort of a timeline so that in six months or within the year I’d like to work with your business operations team and Highspot, for example, to see how we can set ourselves up to have that more real data that really ties together your revenue to the sales enablement programs and efforts you’re putting out there.
SS: Absolutely. Now can having actionable insights help enablement practitioners overcome this challenge of understanding what works in proving value and what are some of the ways that you’ve started to use Highspot analytics to gather some of these insights?
AR: At LiveIntent, we’ve become super users of the playbook smart page that Highspot had created a little bit ago and they’re fantastic and really helping us prove out our value from an enablement perspective to many different teams using the data in sort of different ways. Typically when we’re rolling out a new product, I will work with product marketing to build out a playbook to ensure that we’re following the Know, Say, Show, Do structure and equipping sales with everything they need to know, the messaging that’s going to empower them and give them strong conversations to result in a successful business, as well as all the materials and collateral that they can use to show this new product, as well what to do if the if they do win that sale, what can we do internally to get ourselves ready to go live with this client and what can we share with the client that they can provide all that stuff to us and we can go live without a hitch.
Having all this information in a single place means that we can communicate specifically with product marketing on how the content is used. For example, if they built out six different email templates or pitch templates as Highspot calls them, but only two of them have been used more than three times maybe next time for the next product launch they will only create two email templates because it’ll be more specific and direct to sales and customer success on when to use them and why they should use them. Fewer options are sometimes better in the long run. It’s a matter of making product marketing a bit more efficient with their time and not creating things that don’t get used.
We can work with the sales leadership team, so let’s say for a specific product example, it’s one sales team that will be tasked with bringing it to market. If we don’t see 100% adoption of that playbook in general, meaning each of those sellers has gone through the playbook in full and gone through each of the items within it, meaning that they’re equipped and ready to go to market. Then we can work with the sales leaders on the individuals who have not and make sure that they are changing that behavior, but also how many pitches are being sent by each seller. There’s so much data now that they can then go and use it to see all of their direct reports, like how many pitches have they all sent, are they sending about an even amount, and are there sellers that are selling more than others? That can give us a sense of the volume that the new product information is going out and if that then helps us get to our revenue goals in the long run.
Although it’s not a perfect tie from Highspot to our sales force or Looker data to know actual revenue tied to pitch there is a very clear correlation in how sales are doing to the amount of usage, the amount of pitching, the amount of external engagement with those pitches that can then tie back the value of our sales enablement efforts.
SS: Very interesting. What are some key metrics that can be helpful for leaders to determine the success of their enablement programs? How can metrics be correlated with larger business goals to really demonstrate enablement impact.?
AR: We really tap into our sales plays and the analytics within the scorecards of those sales plays. Specifically understanding if we’ve got a specific group of sellers that are being tasked with selling this one new product that we’ve launched, we’ll make sure that we’re checking in on a weekly basis on the percent of the target audience being in this case, the sellers that are being tasked to sell this product, the percentage of them that have read through the playbook from start to finish, the percent of them that have actually externally pitched the content that they were trained to go ahead and bring to customers and market, and we’re able to connect regularly with sales leadership so that they have an understanding of the volume of pitches that are being sent out by their sales reps as well as the engagement that those sales reps are getting on those external pitches.
There’s a direct correlation we’ve found between the pitch volume and as well as pitch engagement in terms of the pitches that turn into closed-won opportunities and revenue for our organization. We’ve just found that the analytics from the scorecard in terms of the number of pitches being sent, as well as the level of personalization in the pitches that are being sent, has a direct correlation in the closed won ratio and our percent that we win will be higher with that sales training, that sort of emphasizes personalization in the pitch that the sellers are going to be bringing to market.
SS: Absolutely, you know, for analytics to uncover valuable insights, having strong adoption is also important to show how reps are using the platform and the impact it’s having on their performance. What are some ways that practitioners can drive adoption and how can adoption help improve the impact of analytics?
AR: Great question. Using the analytics and play scorecards helps our sales leaders understand how sales training is landing and it helps them to understand who is using the materials and the way that they should be. To really hone in on that will use the percent of the audience that’s pitch content and also dive deeper in there. For managers to be able to understand how many of their direct reports of pitch content and how many pitches they have sent and then them going back into our CRM system and looking into the number of opportunities that have been created, the progress on the process of those opportunities and then being able to sort of correlating that to closed won opportunities, but just the fact that there’s the data and analytics for our managers to see if their teams are using the materials in the way that they should be.
What we mean by that is did they read through all of the internal knowledge and information on what the product is, how it works, and what the considerations are then have they gone through and are they using the frequently asked questions and talking points documentation to help them have stronger, more effective conversations with prospects and with customers, and then are they pitching the materials and the information that we’re asking them to. For the manager to really go in and see how sellers are using materials that are available for them and then identify where gaps are and correlate those gaps directly to not hitting quota or not really being able to respond to objections in an effective way really helps the sales leader train and coach their direct reports, but it has also informed sales enablement and product marketing and the materials that we should be creating on a consistent basis for our sellers and customer success managers to use to empower them to have better-improved conversations with our customers and prospects.
SS: I love that. I think that’s fantastic. How can managers maybe even use analytics and coaching conversations to drive rep performance and accountability?
AR: I would say it’s been a process. So helping our managers really understand the in-depth analytics that is available to them and not just like the fact that oh they can go into Highspot to find information and content rather than asking Ashley on Slack. It’s a lot deeper than that. There’s a lot more that goes into it, and so by empowering our managers to see the data that’s behind the numbers that they’re able to see in our CRM or in our marketing automation platforms. Those are numbers, quantifiable numbers, but having information around how much time a seller spent reading through the materials to get to know a product and learn how it works as well as if they’ve even viewed some of the materials that they should be using to arm them with what they need to be successful.
You know, they’re able to see the lack, for lack of a better term. Such as whether their direct reports are being proactive and setting themselves up for success or if they’re being a little lazy and they’re able to sort of call their sales reps out on this stuff specifically.
SS: Absolutely. What are some ways that data can help uncover what is working for maybe some of those high-performing reps? How have you been able to maybe even leverage high spot scorecards to gather some of these insights?
AR: One of the biggest findings that we’ve found, where our top performers are really tapping into pitch templates, and what this sort of says to me and that I’ve said to the sales leaders is they’re making their efforts scalable and they’re using their time efficiently. So rather than individualizing every single email that they write out and having to recreate the wheel every time they’re sending similar information out to similar customers or prospects, they’re able to use the same template over and over again and add some personalization as they see fit. It really makes them so much more effective and efficient at what they’re doing.
SS: Last question for you, Ashley. For other enablement leaders who may also just be getting started in leveraging analytics and using data to optimize their enablement programs, where would you advise them to begin?
AR: I would say the first step is just usage. You want to see your sellers and customer success managers using the platform, exploring what is in there and from there and from usage making sure that they’re pitching the content externally in the way that you want them to be and I’d say setting up reporting for yourself but also for leadership on the sales end and the customer success end too so that you can have some allies and some support in encouraging their direct reports to use Highspot in the right way and to be using it in general. Period. It’s just continuously driving adoption, really being sometimes repetitive but it’s typically not repetitive to the people you’re trying to drive adoption with. Just constantly reminding them how to use things and letting everybody know that you’re able to see who is and isn’t using it and using some of the success stories and the win to back up why they should be using Highspot and the way you’re asking them to. It’s not just for fun, there’s really like proven efficiencies and effectiveness that come from using it in the way you’re asking them to use it and sort of really making sure to stay on top of them and not let things slip by.
SS: Thank you so much, Ashley. I loved your insights.
AR: You’re so welcome. Thanks for having me.
SS: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Win Win Podcast. Be sure to tune in next time for more insights on how you can maximize enablement success with Highspot.