2017 CSO Insights Sales Enablement Optimization Study

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2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study2017CSO Insights Sales EnablementOptimization Study 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.Terms and ConditionsPrinted in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the UnitedStates Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be produced ordistributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrievalsystems, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For additionalinformation, contact Miller Heiman Group, Inc. 10901 W. Toller Drive, Suite 202,Littleton, CO 80127 email: [email protected] reader understands that the information and data used in preparation ofthis report were as accurate as reasonably possible at the time of preparationby the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to update theinformation or publication. The publisher assumes that the readers will use theinformation contained in this publication for the purpose of informingthemselves on the matters which form the subject of this publication. It islicensed with the understanding that neither the authors nor those individualsinterviewed are engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professionalservice. If legal or other expert advice is required, the services of a competentprofessional person should be sought. The publisher assumes no responsibilityfor any use to which the purchaser puts this information.All views expressed in this report are those of the individuals interviewed anddo not necessarily reflect those of the companies or organizations they may beaffiliated with Miller Heiman Group, Inc. All trademarks are trademarks of theirrespective companies. 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyExecutive SummaryINSIDE THIS REPORTThis is CSO Insights’ third annual, global Sales Enablement Optimization Study. Sales enablementis a fast-growing discipline, and in the past year it has decisively moved from the margins to themainstream. This report presents the latest research on who’s using it, and how and why, andincludes definitions, models, data charts and examples. New in this report is the Sales ForceEnablement Clarity Model, which serves as a guide as you assemble your sales enablementdiscipline step by step.MAJOR FINDINGSSales Enablement has become firmly entrenched within sales organizations.Almost 60% of respondents now have a Sales Enablement function. Further, the question “Whoowns sales enablement?” can be answered with more certainty every year. The trend showsthat increasingly (72.5%) sales enablement reports senior sales management.Enablement teams set sights on significant goals, yet struggle to consistently achieveobjectivesThe top three performance improvement goals are 1) increase revenues; 2) increase margins; 3)increase new account acquisition. The top three productivity goals are 1) increase selling time;2) decrease onboarding time; 3) streamline opportunity management process.Yetorganizations still struggle with measuring such outcomes. And, only slightly more than 1/3 ofrespondents agreed that they had achieved the majority of their objectives.Using the customer as the central focus has a tangible returnOrganizations that implement a dynamic sales process and align it to the customer’s journeyhave higher win rates and quota attainment than those with lesser alignment and lesser degreesof process.An enablement charter pays offAlthough increasingly overlooked in the rush to get a sales enablement function established, anenablement charter is linked to quota attainment improvement of 27.6% over the average rate.Training shows improvement and impact. But, customer-centered training remains agap.Overall training effectiveness is up. Yet ROI justification, social selling and customer journeytraining remain gaps. Effective training, particularly in onboarding, social selling and salesmethodology, show higher quota attainment by double digits. Social selling is a particularstandout, linked to variances of 33%. 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyContent sees improvement in origin. Product-related assets remain a strength.On the positive side, sellers need to create less content on their own than reported in the past.Product-related assets, both internal and customer-facing, remain a strength for organizations.The opportunities lie in assets such as ROI templates, case studies, playbooks and relationshipmaps.Sales coaching can improve performance impactOrganizations with a dynamic sales coaching approach enjoy higher-level customerrelationships, and this, in turn, improves sales performance, such as win rates by double digits.Unfortunately, less than 1/3 of organizations (30.3%) have a formal or dynamic coachingprocess.To scale and sustain, enablement must be based on a firm foundationResearch reveals three pillars which need to be in place in order for enablement functions toimprove their success rates: formal collaboration (shown in less than 20% of respondents),integrated technology (SECM adoption reported in less than 20% of respondents) and a cleargovernance model. All three of these areas remain areas of focus for even the mostsophisticated of enablement teams.We close the report with reflections on how sales enablement has changed over the last yearand where functions may wish to focus their efforts for the coming year. We hope you will getvalue and guidance out of the report to evolve your enablement practice.We thank Qstream for sponsoring this report.Tamara SchenkJim DickieResearch Independent Research [email protected]@jimdickie 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyTABLE OF CONTENTSExecutive Summary . 3Chapter 1: The State of Sales Enablement as a Discipline . 1Chapter 2: The Lens We Use: The Enablement Clarity Model . 8Chapter 3: Beginning with the End in Mind: The Customers . 11Chapter 4: Creating an Enablement Charter Pays Off . 14Chapter 5: Enablement Services Effectiveness Analysis . 17Chapter 6: Driving Adoption and Reinforcement Through Sales Coaching .25Chapter 7: Spotlight: The State of Social Selling in Sales Force Enablement .28Chapter 8: Three Essential Enablement Foundation Pillars . 31Chapter 9: Takeaways and Recommendations . 38About CSO Insights . 42 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyChapter 1: The State of Sales Enablement as a DisciplineIn 2013, CSO Insights began tracking the emergence of sales enablement, a new trend related tooptimizing sales performance. As part of our research that year, we asked study participants iftheir company had dedicated any personnel exclusively to enablement. Of the 1,000 surveyresponses we received, 19.3% said “yes” to that question. This got our attention and promptedus to start a deeper level of analysis to see if and how this new discipline in sales would evolveover time.We continued to see a growing number of sales organizations implementing this function, so in2015, we launched our first Sales Enablement Optimization Study. The intent was to dig deeperinto the what and how of sales enablement. The initial study gathered over 75 metrics from300 survey participants. Their input started to clarify the roles that sales enablement personnelwere asked to take on, how priorities for sales performance improvement were being set, thegoals to be achieved, how the discipline was staffed and funded, etc. Most importantly, we gotdirect feedback on the outcome of sales enablement initiatives, which allowed us to see bothsuccesses and areas for improvement.The following report is the result of our third annual 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study.As you can see in the chart, sales enablement has witnessed a significant increase in adoption inthe last year. Now, 59.2% of survey participants say they have this function up and runningwithin their company, and another 8.5% acknowledge that they have plans to do so in thecoming 12 months. This makes it clear that the sales enablement discipline has become astandard part of doing business. The past year also witnessed the founding of the SalesEnablement Society, further demonstrating a commitment to making sales enablement a formalpart of sales organization management.In this report, we will share the highlights of our 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study toprovide an understanding of how this function continues to evolve and what factors arecontributing to its success. We will also look at areas where additional progress needs to bemade if we are truly going to empower our sales teams to succeed.1 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyStudy DemographicsThe number of participants in this study has increased from just over 300 sales professionals inthe Inaugural study to just under 500 this year when we made the data cut for this report. Wetruly appreciate the support of the study participants who invested the time to give us theirinput. As we have improved our understanding of what sales enablement involves, we have alsoincreased the number of metrics we are tracking to over 100.We again endeavored to make this a worldwide study. The chart provides a breakdown of studyparticipation by geography. While just over half of the input came from organizations in NorthAmerica, the international communities were also well represented. In addition, within thegeographies, we invited firms with sales enablement practices to ensure we had meaningfuldata for the analysis.The following two charts overview the high-level makeup of industries represented as well asthe size of the organizations in terms of total annual revenues.2 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyTo promote additional participation, we will keep the study open during the remainder of theyear. This will allow us to analyze the data further and provide research clients with segmentedviews of the study findings.Reporting StructureNot only do we have a significant increase in the percentage of firms with a sales enablementfunction, but we also see a noticeable shift in the reporting structure as well. The chartsummarizes the responses. In nearly three-quarters of the cases, sales enablement now reportsdirectly to senior sales management. This compares to 60.8% in 2016, demonstrating that morecompanies see sales enablement in parallel to, and no longer underneath, sales operations(20.9% in 2016).In terms of the size of the sales enablement team, 28.6% of the respondents said the teamconsisted of six or more professionals, 39.8% said two to five professionals, and 31.6% said salesenablement was a part-time or single-person function. This compares to 21.1%, 44.6%, and34.4% respectively in the 2016 Sales Enablement Study. So the general trend is that this is a3 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Studygrowing function within sales organizations. Further supporting our conclusion that this is agrowing trend, budgets for the sales enablement function increased as well, with 21.0% of therespondents sharing that their budget was more than 500K per year compared to 16.1% ayear ago.Priority SettingThis year’s survey included questions to help us gauge the enablement maturity within acompany. One of those was to examine how priorities are being set. The chart summarizes thisyear’s responses.Here, we see that this is still an emerging function within many companies; 54.2% said they setpriorities on either an ad-hoc or informal basis. This is up from the 49.1% figure reported lastyear. We also saw a decline in the percentage of programs that had set priorities based on aformal sales enablement charter: 13.1% percent in 2017 compared to 15.3% in 2016. Bothtrends may be indicative of the significant increase in the overall number of the salesenablement functions and a case of new teams trying find their way as they set up theirenablement function. We will be reviewing the impact that formalizing the sales enablementfunction can have on sales performance in more depth in Chapter 4.Performance Goals ReviewWe next examined what sales enablement teams are attempting to accomplish and how theyplan to do it. We asked study participants to give us input on the top three sales performanceimprovements they were looking to achieve and then the top three productivity goals they werefocusing on to make those improvements happen.Looking first at sales performance goals, we see a high degree of consistency between whatcompanies were trying to achieve in 2017 compared to the 2016 study findings. More revenues,higher win rates, more new accounts, deeper penetration into existing accounts and highermargins all continue to be top of mind.4 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyDuring the past year, we have fielded numerous calls from advisory service clients asking forrecommendations on how to convince senior sales management, and even executivemanagement, to allocate more funding for sales enablement. Our top recommendationcontinues to be to take the time to carefully calculate the impact of ultimately achieving salesperformance goals.This goes beyond coming up with a new revenue number or margin percentage. Take it a stepfurther and calculate what those improvements would mean to the owners of the company orto your stock price if your company is publicly traded. Optimizing shareholder value will be ofkeen interest to senior executives and can help you gain their buy-in.Productivity Goals ReviewSales enablement’s top productivity goals for 2017 are summarized in the chart below. Asmentioned above, productivity goals should be defined in the context of performance goals,focusing on the goals that are closely connected to the key performance goals. While increasing5 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Studyselling time is a logical objective, it is only half of the equation. If we only improve salespersonefficiency, we are helping our average salespeople to go out and make more average sales calls.Another issue that needs more attention is forecast management, which is now in eighth placeon this year’s list. Forecast management is typically assigned to sales operations, with salesforce enablement providing services that reinforce that process. However, the focus onstreamlining the process misses the key point. Forecast management, in its present form, is abroken process in many organizations. There is no point in streamlining a process for getting toa number in which very few companies have any real confidence. Instead, sales forceenablement and sales operations should use analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to create anew and more effective way to assess opportunities.Outcome of Enablement InitiativesSo now that we have reviewed what sales enablement is trying to achieve and which levers theyplan to use, let’s review how successful sales organizations are at making things happen. Weasked the study participants to reflect back on the sales effectiveness initiatives they have fullyimplemented over the past two years and assess the results they achieved versus initialexpectations.In the chart, we see that 34.6% of firms felt they were achieving a majority or all of theirexpectations. This is up slightly from the figure of 31.3% reported last year.The chart raises the question, “Does it matter if you achieve the majority or just some of yoursales enablement objectives?” To find an answer, we segmented the study data based on salesenablement success assessment and then looked at performance differences in each segment.In doing this analysis, one metric surfaced that deserves close attention. When salesenablement initiatives hit their mark, we would expect salespeople to be effectively leveragingthe right processes and the right messaging to engage the right stakeholders in the rightaccounts. In short, we would expect to see better results, and that is exactly what our 2017study showed.6 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyThe chart shows the differences in win rates of forecast deals compared to how successfulenablement initiatives were at achieving their objectives.Clearly, achieving some objectives generates better results than achieving only a few. But, if youstop there, you will still be generating sub-par results compared to sales organizations thatachieve the majority or all of their goals.In the rest of this report, we explore key areas that can impact the success of sales enablementfunctions and programs. We hope the insights shared will help you more effectively optimizesales performance within your firm.As always, advisory services clients are encouraged to contact their CSO Insights analyst todiscuss any questions they may have on the content or to discuss the specific course of actiontheir company should take to get the best ROI possible out of their sales enablementinvestments.7 2017 Miller Heiman Group. All rights reserved.

2017 Sales Enablement Optimization StudyChapter 2: The Lens We Use: The Enablement Clarity ModelEver since we started tracking the emergence of sales enablement, we’ve noticed a lack ofcohesion on what exactly people mean when they use the term. This year, we’ve refined ourCSO Insights definition based on our research and our experience working with clients. We havesummarized enablement services and focused on what they need to be: consistent forsalespeople and scalable from an organizational point of view. And the customer’s journey asdesign point is expressed by a revisited target audience: customer-facing professionals and theirmanagers. This is also the reason why we call it sales force enablement. At the end, we haveskipped “powered by technology” because it’s obvious that every single enablement service isbased on some kind of technology. Instead, we wanted to focus on what really matters: to addvalue in every customer interaction.Sales Force Enablement — A strategic, collaborative disciplinedesigned to increase predictable sales resultsby providing consistent, scalable enablement servicesthat allow customer-facing professionals and their managersto add value in every customer interaction.This definition serves as a frame of reference and expresses what you should be doing, based onour research. It gives all stakeholders a common understanding of what a sales enablementdiscipline is and helps make enablement discussions more productive. However, neither ourdefinition nor any other is a sufficient guide for creating an enablement practice that allows youto achieve your desired results.We still need clarity on how enablement achieves its goals and how the different facets ofenablement work together to form a greater whole. Without clarity, everyone does their ownthing, vital areas are overlooked and the initiative’s outcomes fall far short of expectations.Furthermore, this definition describes the desired end-state of sales enablement. If your currentefforts have been ad hoc or informal, it will take time and effort to reach this level ofenablement. The Sales Force Enablement Clarity Model, which we will review next, builds on the

Sales Enablement has become firmly entrenched within sales organizations. Almost 60% of respondents now have a Sales Enablement function. Further, the question “Who owns sales enablement?” can be answered with more certainty every year. The trend shows that increasingly (72.5%) sales enablement reports senior sales management.