Establishing Baseline Metrics for Enablement

Updated: Oct 5, 2020


One of the biggest challenges I hear from practitioners and see from candidates in interviews is their ability to tie enablement efforts to tangible results – which is a total bummer, because it’s my absolute favorite part about being in Enablement! It’s what gives us “street cred”!


We are likely all familiar with leading and lagging indicators, but I find that this challenge exists because there are often “lacking indicators” – things the company hasn’t been measuring but are necessary in order to tell the impact stories of enablement’s initiatives. That’s why one of the first things I like to do when I join a company is attach myself to a revenue operations partner for a deep dive data project to establish baselines. (Bonus: it also sets Enablement up as an internal strategic consultant!)


This post is going to walk you through the journey of what I would look for regarding the standard Account Executive role. The principles can be applied across the revenue organization if tailored to specific scaled roles that have repeatable activities associated with the customer journey. (i.e. Sales Development, Account Executives, Sales Engineers, Implementations Specialists, Customer Success, Account Managers, Customer Support etc.)


While this is typically the first thing I do, it’s never too late to establish baselines!


Start by evaluating the entire seller journey at the highest level. For me, I believe in Greenhouse Software’s interpretation of Employee Lifetime Value. The below graphic shows how investing in employees can maximize human potential and improve the return on employee investment!

I then look at baseline metrics for four categories and select 2-4 metrics per category to start simple. In addition to crafting the combination

  1. Ramp

  2. Efficacy in Role

  3. Growth

  4. Tenure

Ramp

For an Account Executive, start by asking how the business defines ramp and how that has changed over time. You should also consider segmentation as that can significantly impact variants in baseline measures.

  • Time to demo certification

  • Time to un-qualified queue

  • Time to qualified queue

  • Time to first deal

  • Time to second deal

  • Time to ramping quota achievement

  • Time to full quota achievement

Efficacy in Role

These are the standard metrics that your business uses to measure the success of your reps. This could include but is not limited to:

  • ARR Booked

  • Average Contract Value (ACV)

  • Overall Win/Loss Rate

  • Competitive Win/Loss Rate

  • Sales Cycle Length (or specific stage velocity within the funnel based on current pipeline management priorities)

  • Forecast Accuracy

  • Individual Quota Achievement

  • Content/Tool Adoption Metrics (depends on the sophistication of your tech stack)

Growth

It's also important to measure how much someone grows over time as this is an attractive quality to future candidates looking to join a growing team.

  • Competency variants (promotion readiness; requires mature performance management practices and recurring competency assessments)

  • Number of promotions (could be leveling promotions within role or cross-functional)

Tenure

These metrics tend to move more into the people team partnership with Sales; but can be directly impacted by enablement efforts that drive a productive learning culture!

  • Number of referrals (leading indicator; requires a Talent Acquisition platform that tracks employee referrals)

  • Engagement scores (leading indicator)

  • Retention rates

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