In a time when we can measure almost everything, I cannot resist beginning this article with a famous quote by Albert Einstein: “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.” Or was it William Bruce Cameron who initially said it? Either way, it’s spot on more than ever, especially when it comes to the metrics we use to measure sales enablement success. Today, we’re going to discuss specifically how to evaluate the impact of the content used in buyer interactions.
How do you know what pieces of content are effective? Do you use the analytics features of your new sales enablement content management solution, or your CRM? Or do you simply ask your sellers and managers? Maybe you’re not doing either. If not, you’re not alone. Let’s look at a few data points from our 4th Annual Sales Enablement Study first:
- 1% of enablement teams regularly assess feedback from their salespeople regarding the effectiveness of the content and tools they provide.
- 0% of sales enablement teams regularly and consistently track what content is used.
- 6% of sales enablement teams regularly and consistently track which content their buyers consume.
- 1% of sales enablement teams regularly and consistently track what content contributes to higher win rates.
That means most organizations don’t apply most of these practices. Why is that the case?
Let’s recognize that content is a multifaceted, complex issue that requires a solid content strategy, a cross-functional collaboration model that is closely connected to an enablement production process, an initial inventory, regular assessments and ongoing content lifecycle management.
Content salespeople need along the entire customer’s path (and yes, this is different from so-called “marketing content”) comes from many functions such as product, enablement, operations and legal. And yes, sellers still create 20% of their content on their own. In fact, only 33% comes from marketing, as we know from our research for the second year in a row.
We know that only content tailored to specific buying scenarios, buyer roles, etc. is really effective and drives seller and customer engagement, and we know that all these efforts across functions require a solid content strategy and a formalized collaboration model. And only if enablement teams know what’s working, what’s redundant and what’s no longer relevant based on an inventory or assessment can they allocate the right resources to the ongoing content lifecycle management.
It’s clear that organizations have to invest a lot in their content efforts. So one would expect that more enablement leaders would regularly and consistently assess feedback from their internal clients and their buyers—and also try to better understand how content contributes to higher sales performance indicators.
Why don’t more organizations track the usage and effectiveness of their content services?
- Nearly half of the organizations (47.5%) still share their content via email or multiple repositories. And 6% are still using point solutions when it comes to sales enablement.
Of course, these organizations don’t have the opportunity to consistently track the usage and effectiveness of their content services. The only thing they could do is assess their sellers’ feedback; however, only one-third of organizations in this group actually ask their sellers and managers for feedback. And that can be changed right away.
- Legal restrictions and worker council involvement might hinder the implementation of individualized content analytics.
In many countries, legal restrictions prevent employers from tracking how their salespeople use content on an individual basis. Additionally, worker council regulations often lead to complex processes for organizations to get buy-in from their worker councils on the implementation of new processes and systems, especially if those track performance and other data on an individual basis.
- Sales enablement leaders are overwhelmed by the variety of analytics and lack a holistic, strategic approach to why and how to measure content efficiency and effectiveness.
It’s not about implementing tools and features that can measure almost everything. The challenge is to measure what counts considering the business strategy. The biggest danger is that organizations measure an abundance of useless metrics but often overlook the few metrics that really matter to achieve their business goals. It requires a ton of expertise, a strategic and holistic perspective and a solid content strategy connected to the strategic initiatives of the business to create a valuable dashboard that allows an organization to better understand the three dimensions of content impact: efficiency (production), usage (sellers and buyers) and effectiveness (sales results).
- Often forgotten with all the metrics is direct feedback from sellers and their managers.
Their experience is invaluable and should never be overlooked. Their direct feedback from the trenches helps enablement teams get better at everything they do, not just content. Especially when it comes to content, though, it’s important to really understand how they use a certain piece of content with their buyers in different scenarios and stages. Is there a conversation, or is the white paper just shared via the sales enablement platform?
Effective sales enablement leaders know they need a strategic, thoughtful approach when it comes to measuring the efficiency, usage and effectiveness of their content services, always supported by the direct feedback of their sellers and managers. They also know that less is more.