Kyle Doerflein gave some tips and tricks to help build some more credibility and find ways in which you can present ideas and get enablement to operate more in a strategic role, rather than just a training role.

"We're going to step through why we should prioritize data and analytics, what we should be looking at and give you guys some actionable metrics that we can start to track.

But we need to figure out why this matters now.

Sales enablement can have a higher impact on a company's revenue and growth than any sales ops role.

The reason being is you can change comp, and that might try to motivate a behavior, but if reps don't know how to execute on it, it's all useless. It's all a waste of time.

Being able to educate your reps will not only help you to prioritize and strategize the initiatives that you're driving and figuring out where to spend your time to benefit the company as a whole, but also to grow your personal career."

There is an evolution right now

"The timing is right. Enablement is going from a training function, to the business world is realizing how it can have a massive impact on the strategy, the efficiency, the productivity and the execution of a company.

In 2013, according to CSO insights, fewer than 20% of companies had a dedicated resource that was specific to sales enablement. By the end of 2017, almost 60% of organizations focused on this critical business function.

You look at conferences like this spring up, you're looking at all the technologies and all the different vendors you see out there, there is a massive shift in the market going on right now in what we do.

We're no longer just training, we're starting to make that step up. There's people in enablement who are impacting the flow and the function of the entire revenue operations of their company.

Who has seen Training Day with Denzel Washington? In this movie, Denzel teaches a very, very simple principle that I think applies to us. It's not what you know, it's what you can prove.

It doesn't matter that we know in our gut what the organization needs to do. It doesn't matter that we've seen this before.

If we can't prove it, leadership's not going to care."

We need to do is figure out how we can prove this

"Opinion versus opinion, title always wins. Opinion versus data, data always wins.

So we knew that if we're pitching an idea and I wanted my president of sales to do something. He'd say 'I've seen that happen before it didn't work, not going to do it.'

My opinion versus his opinion, he's gonna win every time.

But if I go in with data, and if I go in with a story, and if I can show metrics of where we're at what we're doing and where we can go, I can grab his attention a little bit more.

What should we focus on? What metrics should I be watching?

If my objective is to demonstrate value in the enablement program and just build our brand and our reputation throughout the org to get that trust and confidence in my leaders and teams, I'm going to focus on what I call the baseline metrics, the must have things that I'm tracking from the get go.

But if I'm going back and trying to justify tools, headcount, a specific training initiative that I want them to buy into, I might focus on ROI metrics. They're similar, but I would use them and message them in different ways."

Baseline metrics

"These consist of: time to first deal, number of opportunities, average deal size, average conversion rate, average sales cycle.

Now, each one of these metrics has a purpose. Each one of these things allows me to have visibility into how my organization's performing in different ways. There are five different levers that I can pull to drive my overall goal, which in sales enablement, is driving revenue up.

So time to first deal. What does that measure for us?

Onboarding and ramping.

What about number of opportunities?


Average deal size might give us our value selling or multi threading.

Are we selling cross departmental or are we getting multiple departments in on a deal?

What about average conversion rate?

Sales cycle and sales skill efficiency. How efficient are we are in the conversations that our sales teams are having?

Average sales cycle will give us that but it also tells us about our process efficiency.

Are we doing things in the right way or we're doing these things in the right order? Are we approaching our customer in a way that they like to buy?

So the problem I was brought into solve is to increase and drive revenue growth.

Depending on what your objectives and your goals are you might change these and you might have different things that you're looking to do. But you should always be tracking something. These ones are fairly common.

Now, if we start tracking these, and we start looking at them over time, and we want to visualize it, what would that look like? Well, I'll show you what mine looked like."

"How is my sales cycle doing? Is it getting shorter? How's my average deal size? Is that growing? What's my pipeline look like? How are we flowing through? How's my days to first and second deal?

Now once we have this baseline set, and we start looking at these metrics, and we start getting that visual view of how we're doing and how we're performing, we can start to dive into them deeper and look for opportunities of prioritization, opportunities of impact."

ROI metrics

"You can show correlation, you can show causation. But how do I justify a new headcount or a new tool?

Well, here's one that I use. I overlaid my learning management system on data from our CRM, and I was able to show a correlation. And let's say we implemented saleshood at the beginning of the year; a learning management system or coaching tool.

We found that with the limited content that's in there, there's a distinct correlation between the videos watch and the activities performed. And the AR, the ACV, the revenue that's generated on a rep by rep basis. So this tells me that it was a good investment. There's a correlation there.

By diving into it a little bit deeper, I can build this out.

I can go to my leadership and have a conversation and say it's working. But there's not a lot of content in there. If we want, let's devote another headcount to it, or not cancel that LMS we just bought when it comes up for renewal, because it's clearly helping drive good results.

You can start to have those difficult conversations and start to justify that the things we're spending money on are working, or there are things that we're spending money on, that are working that need to spend more money on, get an additional headcount, build out more learning modules for these different tools.

The next piece, looking at our time to first and second deal, is our boot camp working?

If we iterate on it every time to try and improve this process. We should see that it might take a lot of time to get to that first and second deal, but each time we make a change each time we evolve that it's getting better.

We're getting our time to productivity our time to break even on that investment in hiring new reps down lower and lower.

There's a lot of different ways we can normalize the data. One of the ways I'm doing that right now is only looking at self source deals.

I'm looking at time to a deal, not of a rep coming in stepping into a territory where they're inheriting something mid-flight, we're measuring the time just from this rep once they’ve sourced their own deal. They prospected their own deal, they worked it the whole way through.

We can come in and we can see, we did the training where we stepped in on the team meetings for the East and Central teams. We train them on procurement negotiations.

We can ask after a bit of time, did we solve the problem? We can also start to correlate and ask did their close rate go up. Did their close rate from procurement negotiation to close increase?

Because that percentage that it increased, especially on those teams, that's attributable to us now we're putting a dollar value ROI on the work that we're doing.

Same thing on the discovery and demo training, if we take a snapshot and look at that, and we compare it to after we do that training, and we notice that right here, that funnel, the next time we looked at it was 25% bigger and came out with 5% more deals, that 5% of deals can actually be tied to a dollar value number where you can say I did this training and it was worth this many dollars to this organization.

So what do I do with that? How do I use that to build my brand and build my credibility to drive the strategy of my program?"

Think of it like a buyer's journey

"When you're selling an idea, you should use your buying process.

You're selling an idea.

Rely on that process. Because these interactions are a sale, you're either selling them on why they should invest in your deal or prioritize your initiative.

Or they're selling you on why they can't do it, or why they shouldn't do it, or why they don't want to.

So if we look at it like a buyer's journey, our baseline metrics might give us awareness of an issue where we can identify something we have to work on.

While we're trying to build a solution, we might refer back to a previous issue that we solved with enablement and training that's similar to get them interested in.

As we're working our way through our buyers journey, we're using these like customer success stories.

We're getting our audience comfortable and confident that we know what we're doing. We've done it before. This is the right solution. You're selling your idea.

Now once you've sold your idea it doesn't end there.

After you get that buy in, you still have to continue to track afterwards so you can get those ROI metrics. Because then the loyalty piece comes in.

In customer marketing, when you sign up a customer, and they're paying you and they're happy, you don't end there.

You continue to nurture that relationship, you continue to send emails, newsletters, blogs, because you either want them to increase their investment in your product, or at least continue to stay happy.

Same thing for us. We've done internal sales, we've sold the idea. Now we need to do the internal marketing. So what are some ways in which we can share out these wins and these successes?

Well, it might be sending a summary back to your leadership and the stakeholders after every bootcamp. They graduated, these were their scores. This is their performance so far. You might share it in QBRs. This is the impact that they had. This is how our organization is improving.

I want all of my directors, managers and VP's to know that they can trust on me to help solve their problems when they have issues they can come to me.

Brian Lambert has spoken about how we should all be our own business within a business. If our stakeholders are our clients, we are not only the consultants, we're also our sales and marketing team."

"So it all comes back to this. It's not what you know, it's what you can prove.

If we take this, we live it and we start to build out some of these analytics, these metrics and these best practices, you will be able to elevate yourself.

Elevate your credibility in the org and accelerate your career path. Whether your end goal is CSO chief productivity officer, VP of sales strategy, whatever that is.

You can grow your impact in your org, you can grow your career, until you get to the point where internally you just kind of know and you're thinking of one of those other great quotes from Training Day.

King Kong ain't got shit on me."

This article is adapted from a speech Kyle gave at the San Francisco SES, Kyle Doerflein is Director of Sales Enablement & Productivity at LogicMonitor