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Sales Enablement with Salesforce CRM Data

Jan 02nd, 2019

This blog post was originally published by Rekener, now a Brainshark company.

Sales enablement is a critical role in B2B sales.  Sales enablement teams need to use data to measure the effectiveness of sales reps and teams.

The sales enablement role is evolving quickly.  There is healthy debate about its definition and scope.  When you search for “sales enablement” on Google, you’ll see lots of vendors and analysts chiming in on the definition.  Brainshark has a great post describing what sales enablement is.

What is Sales Enablement?

I boil sales enablement down to three things.  

  1. Getting the right resources to sales people at the right time to help them sell more effectively;
  2. Training salespeople on how to most effectively describe the company’s offerings; and
  3. Measuring the effectiveness of #1 and #2 on an ongoing basis and adjusting as necessary to continuously improve.

A lot of great content has been published about items #1 and #2.  But it’s hard to find good guidance on #3.  There’s a ton of sales rep data buried in the Salesforce CRM and an explosion of other tools for training and coaching sales reps. This blog post will focus on how to transform all this data into a useful and valuable asset for sales enablement teams.

Here are the key use cases that we’ll cover:

  1. Rolling Salesforce data up to the sales rep level;
  2. Viewing rep performance data over time and by cohort; and
  3. Combining data from other sources with the Salesforce CRM data.

We’ll finish up with a quick review of the possible solutions for sales enablement teams, including our sales scorecard solution.

Rolling Salesforce CRM Data Up to the Rep Level

Salesforce is a rich repository of data about sales reps.  The challenge is that data about sales reps exists in multiple different Salesforce data objects, such as Leads, TasksEvents and Opportunities.  Salesforce dashboards are a collection of reports that are generated from these objects.  This works for small teams with a small number of metrics.  But it doesn’t scale well. 

Sales enablement people need a solution that rolls up data from multiple objects at the sales rep level.  This is often referred to as cross-object reporting. This is the best way to compare sales rep performance relative to one another. 

Sales enablement teams also need to see performance ratios such as Calls per Demo or Activities per Opportunity, among many others.  These ratios pull data from different Salesforce objects. 

When sales enablement people understand the reasons why things aren’t working, they can focus on resources and training to solve the problems.

Here is an example of a Sales Rep Scorecard that illustrates both (a) cross-object reporting and (b) performance ratios based on data from different objects.  With information like this, sales enablement managers can quickly identify sales reps like Sean who have high numbers for Calls per Opp.  The key is to quickly figure out why.  Are they sourcing the right personas?  Are they keeping prospects on the phone long enough? 

Sales rep Cross Object reporting with activity metrics and key performance metrics.

Did you know? Sales teams track an average of 7+ metrics for BDR teams.

Viewing Sales Rep Trends Over Time and By Cohort

Sales enablement teams need to be able to see how rep performance is changing over time.  Sales reps are a big investment. It’s important to ramp them up quickly.  You need to find problems during the ramp up period, so they can be corrected before it’s too late.  Improving the ramp time of new reps can have a huge impact on the economics of the business.

It’s also really helpful to analyze sales rep performance based on cohorts.  This is important for large sales teams who are adding new BDRs or Account Execs at a regular pace.  Grouping new reps by cohort based on start date gives sales enablement people visibility into how different cohorts perform relative to one another. 

Cohort analysis exposes cause and effect patterns. This helps sales enablement teams refine training programs and improve sales resources.

Here is an example of sales rep reporting that exposes trends for multiple metrics over time.

Visualizing sales rep performance metrics over time reveals important trends.

Did you know? Average ramp times for BDRs dropped 19% from 3.8 months in 2014 to 3.3 months in 2016, according to Bridge Group.

Combining Sales Rep Data From Multiple Sources

Lots of important sales rep data lives outside of Salesforce.  Here are four examples that we see frequently:

  1. Performance targets and evaluations in Google Sheets
  2. Learning and coaching data from sales readiness tools like Brainshark
  3. Call detail records in IP phone solutions like RingCentral, Fuze and others
  4. Data from sales call recording systems such as Gong or Chorus.

Sales enablement teams and sales managers need to combine this data with CRM data to get a comprehensive view of sales rep performance.  For example, for new sales reps, goals change month-to-month as the reps ramp up to full productivity.  These goals are often kept in a Google Sheet.  Combining actual performance with targets is extremely helpful to identify reps who are struggling.  From there, sales enablement people can help them get on the right path before it is too late. 

Another example is the call duration information found in phone systems or call recording systems.  When sales reps are having trouble converting calls to demos, it can help to compare call durations relative to the reps with good Call per Demo ratios.  Combining Call numbers from the CRM with Call per Demo ratios and Call Duration data is very helpful to diagnose problems.

The following Sales Rep Scorecard integrates targets from Google Sheets with Salesforce data.  The result is a complete picture of new logo attainment by sales rep.

Integration of quota targets from Google Sheets with Salesforce CRM data to create complete picture of sales rep quota attainment.

Related: Which Sales Enablement Tools are Best? 7 Categories to Consider

How to Use Salesforce CRM Data for Sales Enablement

Salesforce CRM data is a powerful asset for sales enablement if you can do three things:

  1. Roll up data to the sales rep level;
  2. Visualize data over time and by cohort; and
  3. Combine data from multiple different systems for a comprehensive view.

Historically, to do these things, you needed to cobble together your own solution using either spreadsheets or business intelligence tools.  But spreadsheets don’t scale well and are difficult to keep up to date.  Business intelligence tools are more powerful, but they are expensive in time and money to implement.  Plus, BI tools depend on large numbers of analysts to generate insights.  Sometimes there aren’t enough analysts to give sales enablement teams what they need.  Inevitably, those teams end up frustrated and doing their best with spreadsheets.

With Rekener (now Brainshark), sales enablement teams can roll up Salesforce CRM data to the sales rep level, visualize it over time, and combine it with data from other systems.