How Sales Enablement Leaders Can Impact (and Measure) Sales Velocity Improvements

By: Teresa Weirich

June 4, 2018

Sales enablement leaders have a tough job. Not only do they have the responsibility of onboarding each new sales professional—regardless of their role in the broader sales organization—but they also have to juggle research, competitive analysis, new product or service offering education, quarterly product updates, and more. Some sales enablement leaders oversee hundreds of reps, each with varying quotas, geography focuses, and sales acumen. On top of that, it can be downright frustrating for these leaders to measure how successful they actually are when it comes to enabling sales reps. Does their training work? What information is used most often in the field? Are sales reps consistent with their messaging on calls? Are the new products and services selling, or are reps forgetting to position the new additions? This list of questions could go on and on.

Fortunately, there is a key measurement that sales enablement leaders can use to measure their effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) and visualize how it impacts sales over time. What is this magical metric? Sales velocity.

In this article, we’ll share what we believe sales velocity means and how to measure it, and we’ll also provide advice for how to begin measuring the important influence that sales enablement has on sales professionals and sales teams as a whole.

What is Sales Velocity?

A recent Salesforce article helps to explain the concept of sales velocity, and the four factors that influence it:

  • (A) the number of sales opportunities being worked
  • (B) the average deal value
  • (C) the win rate
  • (D) the length of the sales cycle

The article’s author suggests that sales teams should strive to increase A, B, & C and reduce D. If they are able to increase A, B and C by 10% and reduce D by 10%, for example, then they increase sales velocity by 47%. In concept, the more positive movement a sales enablement leader (and therefore the respective sales teams) can create within each of those four factors, the stronger the month, the quarter, and the year will be.

6 High-Level Factors That Contribute to Sales Velocity

When it comes to measuring success in sales enablement, one of the truest and most accurate telltale signs is sales velocity. By using this measurement, sales enablement leaders can determine:

  • Which products are selling better than others
  • Which services are being positioned best
  • What questions are most important for the discovery call
  • Which objections tend to lose a deal
  • Which industries perform best (and worst)
  • Which stakeholders need to be involved from call #1

While none of these factors should be surprising for sales leaders or those in sales enablement, they can be notoriously hard to measure. Even the most robust CRM doesn’t allow sales professionals to capture specific call notes and conversation data in a way that can be easily interpreted and reported against.

How to Begin Measuring Velocity in the Context of Sales Enablement

While sales velocity may be the ultimate metric for sales enablement leaders to hold themselves accountable to, how can they actually track this deal-level data?

CRMs serve sales teams well when it comes to viewing overall metrics and data, and sales enablement leaders can get a top-level view of sales velocity metrics by pulling the right reports or leaning on Sales Ops, but these solutions do little at a rep-by-rep level, which is critical for sales enablement leaders to gain visibility into. In order to achieve this level of insight, a guided selling platform can be used to help guide sales professionals—regardless of their role on the team—through questions to ask on each sales call, proper objection responses, and even customer success stories to share with a specific prospective customer. And while they’re on a call, reps easily indicate responses to every question, objection, and pivot so after the call, the information is available for all to review and learn from together. For sales enablement leaders, this level of insight allows them to track sales velocity not just as an entire sales organization, but by each sales department, each team, and each individual quota bearing sales rep.

Measurement has always been difficult for sales enablement leaders, but sales velocity may just be the answer to understanding their critical role within the sales organization.

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    Teresa Weirich

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