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Rethink the ROI of Sales Enablement

ROI of Sales Enablement

Given the current selling environment, it’s likely your marketing and sales teams could use a boost to improve on outcomes even more challenged by the shift to mostly remote selling.

An assessment of sales outcomes as of 2019 found that only 53% of sellers were making quota and nearly half of opportunities result in no decision to change from status quo. Sales reps don’t use content to advantage and marketers are under pressure to prove contribution to revenue. Forrester finds that only 9% of B2B organizations can say they optimize around placing buyers at the center of their sales enablement strategies.

When asked how sellers are measuring up with the shift to virtual sales interactions, buyers aren’t bowled over. The chart below shows how buyers rate sellers at meeting the top four most important influences on their decision process, per research from Rain Group:

Top Purchase Decision

Selling is a process that takes a conjoined effort from marketers and sellers to complete successfully. This concept of marketing and sales alignment has been a source of frustration for both sides for decades. The graphic below is indicative of how sparse cooperation between the two teams remains:

Sellers Find Content Suitable

In research conducted by Docurated, only 14% of respondents fully agreed that their sales team is always using the most up-to-date and approved content. From the graphic above, you may say that it’s because sellers can’t find the content they need easily, so they use whatever they can find—or have downloaded to their laptops.

Sales enablement helps to resolve these issues in a way that’s beneficial for both teams, for their buyers, and for the organizations that employ them. ROI shows up in both hard and softer forms, some measurable with direct data and some reflected in adjacent metrics represented by qualitative value.

6 Sources of ROI from Sales Enablement

Forrester finds that a modern sales enablement toolset delivers an ROI of 666%, making it table stakes for organizations with growth objectives. This ROI is the aggregate of numerous sources of value.

Here are six of them:

1) Helping Sales Reps Gain Selling Time

Sales reps spend an average of 9 hours per week searching for and customizing content. If your average base salary for a sales rep is $100k, fully loaded, that’s $22,500 per rep, per year, you’re paying them to look for and customize content.

By consolidating sales content into a central library and enabling instant access, online or offline, a reduction of 65% in time spent lowers costs by $14,625 per rep. With 50 reps, that adds up to $731,250 in savings per year.

Even better, you’ve now given reps nearly 6 hours back per week they can spend on activities related to selling.

Another way to measure this outcome is by the increased number of transactions (calls, meetings, outreach) your reps can participate in each week compared to their current benchmark. Over time, this increase in selling time will result in a reduction in sales cycle time and an increase in win rates—both measurable and a win for your sales team, but also one you can point to as aided by marketing.

2 & 3) Increased Use of Sales Content in Support of Buyer Conversations | Visibility into Content Influential to Deals Won to Prove Contribution to Revenue

Corporate Visions research finds that 90% of content created by marketing goes unused by sales reps. There are a variety of reasons for this, mainly that there’s too much content and it’s too hard to find. Additionally, there’s concern by reps that content is outdated or irrelevant to buyers. Many reps also don’t know how to use content to best advantage with buyers to initiate or continue conversations—even if they can find it.

Sales Enablement helps solve this problem. First, usage of content increases due to reps being able to find it in relation to a deal they’re working. A Sales Hub includes microlearning. This allows marketers to match bite-size chunks of training with content that gives reps key points and takeaways from the content they can use in conversations, follow-up, and outreach.

Marketers also have extensive ways to tag content to ensure that it’s used at the appropriate time, for the right persona, product, buying stage, and problem being solved. AI tagging that includes reading PDFs can reduce manual effort for marketers, as well.

Because you have access to analytics in the Sales Hub, you’ll be able to see and measure your reps’ activity and usage of media and content. You’ll know which content reps use most and be able to understand which content buyers are engaging with so that you can create more of it. The ROI here is in being able to prove content’s contribution to won deals and pipeline velocity. You’ll also reap the rewards of having valuable insights about which content moves the dial to improve your content marketing strategy, and for sales to improve outreach.

4) Better Buyer Engagement, Deal Progression, and Win Rates

Sales enablement is not just about getting sellers access to content. While content distribution through a centralized repository may be an inciting factor, sales enablement should also provide tools that help sellers step up their game.

Just-in-time learning helps to reinforce the key points of sales training so that knowledge makes it to the field via better, more relevant buyer conversations. Nearly 60% of your employees prefer self-paced training on demand, including your sellers, and 49% of sellers want to learn in the flow of work. Microlearning helps sellers engage buyers and make progress through facilitating better discovery, showing them what’s possible, and proving ROI – things buyers currently say most sellers are not doing well, but that highly influence their purchase decisions.

Part of the art of selling is in the follow-up that keeps deals progressing. Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs)—think interactive microsites specific to a prospect’s buying team—help your sellers build quality engagement with buyers and satisfy their need for self-service during their buying process. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50% of all enterprise sales technology implementations will include DSRs.

5) Improved Integration and Collaboration for Marketing and Sales Teams

Only 12% of marketers agree they have a successful process from lead to deal. Buyers taking control of their buying process through self-service research and holding sellers at arm’s length until they’re ready to engage has played a role. As has marketing working on one end of the buying process while sales works on the other—without coordination between the two.

A Sales Hub helps you shift to an integrated approach to marketing and sales efforts by creating a focus on buyer enablement, which is growing in importance given your customers’ (likely convoluted) buying process. Why is this important? Because sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 32% increase in year-over-year revenue growth, according to Aberdeen.

A Sales Hub naturally pulls marketing and sales closer together because marketing is providing tools sales reps need and the analytics help both teams understand what’s working and what’s not. As you use insights to refine content and increase the ability to provide buyer enablement, marketing and sales present a unified end-to-end buying experience that helps sellers win more often as buyers see a clear path to solving their problem.

6) Connect Data Across Systems Automatically

Modus Sales Hub provides a combination of native integrations and REST API to connect your existing systems, automatically syncing data to eliminate manual effort and remove silos that impede growth.

From lead capture that creates contacts in your CRM and marketing automation and routes them to reps or triggers campaigns to updating buyer and seller activity in contact records, work flows more seamlessly for both marketers and sellers. You’ve made investments in systems. There’s no need to give up your DAM or Repository of record to implement sales enablement. Instead, integrations just help you get more bang for the spend you’re already making with less effort or need to move between systems for all involved.

In Summary:

While the ROI of sales enablement comes from multiple sources, the biggest contributing factor per the Forrester research is time saved to apply toward selling which is reflected in more transactions/meetings. However, there are additional sources of value, such as visibility. This visibility is what brings sellers more time, gets content used, helps you understand which content is driving deals and most effective at buyer enablement. Visibility also helps you integrate with sales to increase consistency in buyers’ experiences, driving momentum.

A softer value that’s harder to measure is the confidence sellers gain when they have easy, unfettered access to the internal and external content and on-demand training they need to have better, more relevant conversations with buyers. As do tools, such as digital sales rooms, to continue to help buyers move deals forward. The overall outcome is improving your organization’s go-to-market strategy in execution to help sellers get sales done to increase revenues and company growth.

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