Revenue operations (RevOps) leaders have typically overlooked sales enablement systems as key to their cause. After all, they’re not directly charged with enabling sellers. Instead, their focus is setting up or refining the sales process based on historical trends and informed by metrics that show productivity impacts. Another part is looking at sales readiness data, or how “ready” reps are to achieve the targets that have been set for them.
Historically, the value of a new enablement system was measured in terms that didn’t really move the needle for what RevOps cared about. Thus, RevOps was rarely involved in the buying cycle for enablement.
But that’s changing.
RevOps leaders are increasingly leaning on enablement metrics to help them build a predictable plan and track execution – and as a result, their table stakes in an org’s sales enablement is at an all-time high.
Enablement and sales readiness data
Sales enablement systems can produce the kind of metrics RevOps leaders need – sales readiness data that shows the correlation between what’s being done in enablement and the impact on productivity or revenue.
For example, data from the onboarding process and ramp time, time to first deal, and time to productivity can indicate definitively how many reps will need to be hired. Perhaps that number drops from 20 to 15, based on how quickly the last batch of new hires ramped and began producing. Or maybe it increases to 20 from 25.
Why RevOps cares: It’s important to be able to know that more reps should be hired sooner rather than later, as there is a point during the fiscal year when it’s too late to hire. Data from enablement is much more reliable than assumptions made based on trial and error or historical anecdotes.
Data from enablement is much more reliable than assumptions made based on trial and error or historical anecdotes.
Increase visibility into productivity impacts
Another area in which sales readiness data helps show productivity impacts is by identifying the barriers to achieving stated goals and showing where to course-correct as needed through the enablement program. Sales readiness data might show that some reps may be strong in winning customer expansions, but weak in generating pipeline, which indicates a lack in prospecting skills.
It can also indicate how a rep is approaching their sales planning process. Did it take them weeks or months to articulate a plan on their territory? This can be a leading indicator to show whether a rep is ramping faster than their previous cohorts. Data detailing these metrics can identify gaps in skills and provide recommendations for programs or coaching to fill those gaps and course-correct.
Why RevOps cares: Sales readiness data clearly shows where adjustments to the sales team must be made in order to achieve peak productivity. By looking at assessment scores and indicators – or even by using conversational intelligence to listen in to live pitches – RevOps leaders can make recommendations to shift accounts or territories to reps better-suited to a specific vertical or region, or enterprise accounts vs. small businesses accounts.
Establishing the “ideal rep profile” (IRP)
RevOps leaders’ ability to develop a predictable plan also requires that the right reps are hired and can ramp according to expectations. This is where the “ideal rep profile,” or IRP, comes into play.
When hiring new reps, many companies spend a lot of money and time conducting psychological tests to home in on the “best” candidates.
But questions like, “What is one thing you’d change about your personality?” and “What makes you unique?” do nothing to indicate whether a rep will be successful or not. Ultimately, they’re looking for the “it” factor – that intangible quality they hope will translate to consistent deals that consistently close.
Just because a rep looks the part doesn’t mean consistent productivity will actually happen. That’s why defining an IRP is an important step in helping RevOps create a plan for predictable revenue growth.
Why RevOps cares: Just like an ideal customer profile includes characteristics that make the customer “ideal,” the IRP defines the competencies and skills a rep must have to regularly close deals and meet or exceed quota. Ideal qualities can come from feedback from tenured reps, call recordings, quota-exceeding field sellers – from the kind of dream state that sales managers want to replicate on their teams.
3 qualities to define for your IRP
The qualities may be different for each company, and can be organized into three buckets:
- Attributes: Inherent qualities in a sales rep. They include qualities such as strong negotiation or communication skills, active listening skills, good time management skills, and ability to handle objections well.
- Behaviors: A rep’s ability to perform, including using consistent messaging, presenting or delivering pitches with limited filler words, asking the right discovery questions
- Metrics: Typical numbers associated with seller metrics, such as sales cycle length, average deal size, quota attainment, and activity levels (# of calls made, # of demos scheduled, etc.)
Once defined, these IRP qualities can be applied to new hires and repeated among existing reps through enablement programs. With the IRP, RevOps leaders have a model to predict individual reps’ sales readiness: ramp time, time to first deal, time to productivity, and more, which is foundational to a calculable, executable plan.
Benchmarking the qualities and characteristics of your ideal rep and using that to continuously develop reps to be sales-ready helps plan for success and provides leading indicators to make adjustments throughout the year.
Sales readiness data takes the estimating and guessing out of creating a framework for future success. With it, RevOps leaders have just what they need to develop a predictable plan for meeting revenue growth goals. More broadly, sales readiness data is the ultimate asset that helps RevOps leaders support a successful sales organization that meets all of its objectives.