If you water a flower, it will bloom. If you invest resources into a sales team, it will thrive. As a sales enablement professional, you understand this. But convincing leadership is a different story.
To you, it seems obvious. The more resources your company puts into training the sales team, hiring additional reps, and investing in top-line tools, the better the team will perform. And the better the sales team performs, the more money they make for the company.
Leadership might not see it this way. Their focus is on the bottom line, as it should be. Anecdotes and hunches aren’t going to get them to sign off on budget line items.
You need to prove the value of your sales team in no uncertain terms.
To do this, you not only have to capture the right metrics, but you also have to communicate those metrics to the execs in a way that gives context and proves ROI.
How you communicate the information is as important as what you communicate.
Don’t assume execs understand the sales process
You eat, sleep, and breathe sales processes. But that doesn’t mean everyone in your company feels the same way. As skilled as your executive team is, they don’t necessarily have a background in sales or sales enablement.
Don’t assume execs understand the ins and outs of what your sales team does all day, what they need to succeed, or how to accurately measure their performance. Part and parcel of proving your sales team’s worth is educating leadership on how to judge that worth.
What you should teach your c-suite about sales
We’re not suggesting you schedule a “Sales Processes 101” training for the big wigs. (Please don’t do that! It won’t go over well.)
Take a more subtle and targeted approach instead. Educating your c-suite should be an ongoing process. At every turn, think about whether they have enough background information.
Before you send over your next performance report, ask yourself these questions:
- What does our current sales cycle look like?
- How does the sale cycle impact the numbers I’m presenting?
- What challenges does the sales team face in the current market?
- How are we overcoming these challenges?
- What are the team’s biggest resource challenges?
- How do these challenges affect our performance?
- How could our performance be improved?
- How does sales enablement fit into all of this?
Communicating all of this context, as clearly as possible, will help execs truly understand your team’s worth and how they can best enhance that worth.
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How to communicate this with the most impact
As we said in the beginning, how you communicate with the executive team is as important as what you communicate. You need to present your information in a clear, compelling way.
Bite-sized and regular
Nobody likes an info dump. You’ll have more impact if you feed your c-suite bite-sized bits of knowledge on an ongoing basis.
This could be in the form of a monthly “Sales Pulse” update or a short micro-learning paired as a companion to your quarterly reports. Find what works best for you and your execs and stick with it.
Engaging and memorable
Also make sure to share your information in a format that they’ll want to engage with. We suggest creating asynchronous video updates. Short and sweet, to the point, and most of all, compelling.
Your execs will have all the information they need in two minutes or less. And, because you decide the sequencing for the video, you’re in full control of your message — and how leadership consumes that message.
Make a strong business case
No matter what data you collect, it means nothing if you can’t link that data back to its impact on the business and the bottom line.
Sometime in the near future, you’ll probably need to ask leadership for more resources to grow the sales team, invest in new tools, or increase training. You’ll have a much easier time convincing them if the metrics you’ve shared all along the way were clearly tied to business impact.
For example, say your team recently created a ton of sales enablement content to share with prospective buyers. You’ll want to prove the impact of that content. To do this, you can’t just create a report that shows how many prospects accessed the content.
Instead, dig deeper to look for any correlations between sharing content with buyers and winning deals with those buyers. Or connect the dots between an increase in sales enablement content and a shortened sales funnel.
Somewhere down the line, you’ll probably approach leadership for the funds to create more sales enablement content. Because you’ve already made the business case, they’ll be cued up.
Gathering the data your c-suite cares about
The trick to all of this is to constantly monitor your sales team’s performance so you always have the right data on hand when you need it.
Automate your data collection
Automate your data collection whenever possible. Gather as much as you can directly from existing tools like your CRM, your sales enablement platform, and your training software.
Gather qualitative and quantitative data
Pair these hard numbers with qualitative data like team feedback and customer interviews. Qualitative data helps give even more context to your numbers. It puts a human face on lifeless statistics and drives the point home in a more memorable way.
How to communicate this with the most impact
Your execs are busy. They don’t necessarily need or want to know all of the nitty-gritty data. When you share information about your sales team’s performance, always think headlines first.
Create an abridged summary that gives leadership the big picture — keeping an eye on the information they most need to know to make decisions. Keep it short. Something they can read (or better yet, watch) in under 2-3 minutes.
From there, include a link where they can access more in-depth information if they need it. Some will, some won’t. But either way, your summary serves to engage them, pique their interest, and frame the information in clear terms.
Pro tip: If you share your performance metrics with an asynchronous video, you’ll save time for both you and your execs. Start with a video template (choose from hundreds in Biteable Teams) and finish your summary in minutes, not hours.
Share often and with full transparency
You always want to frame the information you share with your c-suite, so they have the most context possible. But framing the information doesn’t mean only sharing what reflects well on your sales team and burying everything else.
Transparency is key here. Share the good and the bad, and share it regularly.
This type of open, frequent communication is crucial if you want execs to truly understand what your sales team faces day in and day out, and how they as a leadership team can help support.
Regular communication also offers the opportunity for real-time course corrections. Don’t wait for the next quarterly report to alert execs of holes in your sales team.
How to achieve this
Asynchronous videos are an impactful — and time-saving — way to share regular updates with your leadership team.
Respect everyone’s time
A great deal of information can be shared in a two-minute video. It would take pages to share this same amount of information via a written report. You can convey everything you need to get across, while still respecting everyone’s time.
This makes it feasible to share monthly, or even weekly, updates in an unobtrusive way.
Catch and keep their attention
The very nature of video makes it engaging. Visuals, movement, and short scenes all make video easy to watch. But it’s also memorable. People remember 95% of a message they see in video, compared to just 10% of a message they read in text.
Your goal is to prove the value of your sales team over time. Help your c-suite remember this value long after you share your data with them.
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