Marketing

4 Ways Automated Dashboards Boost Data-Driven Sales Enablement

Discover how data dashboards support four key pillars of sales enablement to strengthen sales and marketing practices and boost ROI.

Eleni Hagen Eleni Hagen on August 12, 2022 (last modified on August 6, 2022) • 14 minute read

“Sales enablement” can have a variety of meanings.

Modern sales enablement (SE) refers to a strategic, ongoing process for equipping customer-facing teams with the content, training, and guidance they need to engage and retain buyers. SE practitioners can achieve higher win rates (4%), quota attainment (8%), and customer retention (9%) than competitors without a formal SE program.

Beyond statistical benefits, sales enablement can also reconfigure cross-functional collaboration to yield more targeted sales activity. Most efficient sales enablement systems will also elevate data insights, enabling organizations to improve sales and marketing performance. As such, savvy companies now analyze several datasets, mining them for clues to help dictate mission-critical decisions.

But data must live somewhere in order to be mined correctly.

Here, technology offers a powerful solution: the automated data dashboard. Quick and accessible, dashboard platforms like Databox present synthesized data on vital KPIs, transforming numbers into a customized display. These dashboards include information regarding:

  • Buyer engagement
  • Rep performance
  • Click-to-open rates
  • Asset downloads

And much more…

Plus, with shared dashboard reporting, cross-functional teams can streamline workflows and maximize ROI. 

Indeed, with lack of “knowledge sharing” accounting for an estimated $31.5 billion in losses a year, most organizations can’t afford to function without centralized data. Meanwhile, dashboards can put sales enablement teams at a huge advantage by offering up-to-the-minute data surrounding all marketing and sales operations.

Here’s a detailed look at how automated dashboards can uphold four pillars of sales enablement to provide customer-facing teams with tools and tactics for building better businesses.

marketing_overview_hubspot_ga_dashboard_databox

Dashboards Improve Sales and Marketing Alignment

As Databox has previously observed, misalignment among customer-facing teams threatens to derail businesses by:

  • Fostering subpar strategies for communication
  • Creating confusion around organizational objectives
  • Sewing distrust between those responsible for creating and surfacing content and those responsible for utilizing said content to help secure deals

Conversely, fully sales and marketing aligned companies reportedly experience a 36% uptick in customer retention, in addition to a 38% increase in sales wins.    

In other words, misaligned organizations have a lot to lose.

Thankfully, sales enablement can help sidestep traditional misalignment problems by strategically implementing collaborative procedures and objectives that can drive revenue. 

Here’s a closer look at just two of them.

Establishing a Centralized Data Headquarters

A key strategy for enablement-empowered alignment is to unify all content, training, engagement, and analysis within a single, user-friendly location. Centralizing mission-critical assets, processes, and data in this way provide all teams with a single source of truth, laying the foundation for smoother workflows and a well-executed enablement strategy.

Such alignment efforts can also minimize miscommunication (think: poor version control or assets strewn across several content management systems), supporting greater transparency and accountability. This, in turn, can help bridge sales and marketing divides, allowing teams to “get on the same page” and sync branding narratives across the entire sales funnel. Plus, a streamlined data headquarters can help ease the transition for teams adapting to new remote and/or “hybrid” work models. 

Remote and in-office work can actually be enhanced by dashboards, making data readily available to team members at any point in time. The result is a de-siloed working system that uses a highly accessible interface with a sleek, visual representation of centralized information.

Leveraging Machine Learning and AI

Another emerging component of sales enablement alignment strategy is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Marketers, sales leaders, and sales enablement practitioners are increasingly obliged to deploy tech-powered services to help reduce bottlenecks and improve customer outreach. As Steve Rietberg notes: “Sellers can no longer exclusively rely on intuition-based selling to push a deal over the finish line. Tomorrow’s sellers must learn to use data today to effectively manage their sales cycles…” (And the same can be said for their colleagues in marketing.)

AI-driven services can include solutions for content scoring, content recommendation, and even semantic search for sellers. Dashboards can likewise provide added support here, harvesting all data across all intelligent tech operations and housing it in one place––which eliminates the need for tedious cross-referencing through an untold number of AI or machine learning applications.

2. Dashboards Close the Loop on Marketing and Sales Activity

Once alignment is established, teams are free to employ a more nuanced (yet no less crucial) SE function: closed-loop strategy.

In the context of sales enablement, closed-loop systems collect data at the bottom of the proverbial sales funnel (e.g., info surrounding seller and buyer engagement activity), to shape and motivate content creation at the top (essentially, marketing activity). When implemented effectively, the closed-loop process reimagines the funnel as an ongoing cycle––so, a finite “loop”––in which intel from sales inspires messaging from marketing in order to optimize assets and, subsequently, land more deals.

This strategy is partially designed to help expand buyer profiles, allowing for a more targeted and personalized sales and marketing approach. Such profiling methods let brands home in on prospective audiences more intensely, speaking directly to their pain points and preferences––which offers a further competitive advantage. (As Databox concludes in an earlier post: Personalization lets brands “differentiate [themselves] from the rest of the pack.”)

But none of this can happen without data. Or analysis.

Luckily, with automated dashboards, teammates can:

  • Track buyer behavior across all channels (from email to website interactions, social media engagement, and more).
  • Formulate real-time correlations among multiple datasets to perfect buyer profiles (i.e., uncover who’s engaging with which content assets, when, and for how long).
  • Take panoramic snapshots of content performance to map assets to corresponding stages in the buyer’s journey (meaning reps will always know which materials to use in specific scenarios).
  • Combine sales stage, sales usage, and buyer engagement data within content heatmaps to enable marketers to better assess which content resonates best with both customers and reps (at each phase of the buyer’s journey).

In the end, customer-facing teams can apply data-driven techniques to the entire sales process, optimizing work across the funnel and allowing outreach to become more personalized. Another bonus? Carefully calibrated, highly targeted campaign content boosts marketers’ confidence in their ability to surface high-impact material to sales reps as new scenarios arise, which amounts to an extra link in the sales-and-marketing-alignment chain.

3. Dashboards Inform Systems for Sales Training and Guidance

Sales-specific systems for training and guidance involve structured programs for contextualized learning delivery. It’s imperative that these systems are agile and ongoing, as verified by Gartner: 

“Training and coaching focus in large part on microlearning and delivering content in the moment of need. It is important that whenever content or training is surfaced, that it be in the flow of a seller’s daily work to avoid taking them away from doing their job.” Market Guide for Sales Enablement Platforms (2021)

Still, training and guidance rely on a wide variety of sales engagement and performance data, which can include:

  • Training test scores and completion rates 
  • Intel from recorded phone calls collected via customer service interactions
  • Asset engagement metrics and content performance intel

Collectively, this data helps sales leaders and teams enhance selling processes, spotlighting the most efficient lessons, content, and practices while simultaneously flagging avenues for improvement (e.g., content gaps, slow ramp times, low test scores, etc.). Sales managers can then use this information to revamp training techniques and maximize adoption rates, thereby increasing investment returns. Meanwhile, sellers can utilize the information to measure performance levels against those of other teams to identify areas that might require additional coaching.

For context, here’s a real-world example of sales-specific training and guidance data in action:

Supply chain tracking solution and visibility platform FourKites looks to specific data metrics regarding training, certifications, and team performance observation in order to diagnose potential sales learning roadblocks and address them head-on. Once challenges are flagged, sales leaders can develop blueprints for reviewing skills with sellers, which can help bolster rep confidence ahead of future customer interactions.

This example demonstrates how data-driven technology acts as a catalyst for sales enablement success, providing crucial knowledge that supports ongoing sales performance strategies. Such support makes tech indispensable to continued sales learning, especially as it allows teams to extrapolate information from disparate sources (like CRMs, CMSs, and emails) and then integrate data to enable a big-picture analysis of sales practices. 

Related: 14 Types of Sales Enablement Content Your Sales Team Needs

One particularly impactful integration tool? The data dashboard.

Digestible, data-driven tableaus that elevate insight around training completion, sales rep satisfaction, and seller test scores can help facilitate ideal working conditions for both sales reps and managers, empowering them to leverage a broad spectrum of critical metrics in real time over the course of everyday sales activities. This gives sellers and their guides direct access to data findings when and where they need them, meaning no one has to take time out of their busy schedule for a formalized lesson (which, research shows, reps are fairly likely to forget anyway).

Armed with educational information presented through a customized dashboard, sales reps can then make necessary changes to help strengthen their performance––without putting workflows on hold.

In addition, unified data that’s reimagined in clear, visualized formatting (such as line graphs, pie charts, and leaderboards) lets sales managers track rep performance and pinpoint problems before they affect the bottom line. Such intel can help inform onboarding systems, lesson plans, training manuals, and sales playbooks going forward. 

4. Dashboards Boost ROI from Every Angle

The bottom line of sales enablement? Well, it’s to increase the bottom line.

And automated, comprehensive dashboards can assist in this area, too.

Not only do they track all components that drive ROI, they also give clear insight into what’s effective and what’s not delivering in terms of business value. This helps teams ensure all ROI-focused decisions are based on solid evidence, moving teams from a state of “intuition” thinking to a state of “data-driven” knowing. 

Here’s how.

On the sales end, reps and sales teams can define optimal ROI using in-depth information gleaned from customized dashboards to isolate high-performing content such as emails, blog posts, white papers, eBooks, and infographics. Once isolated, these materials help sales reps refine their methods for targeting ideal audiences, improving their chances of hitting the appropriate mark…and achieving the best possible returns.

With their selling techniques in upgrade mode, sellers can then discard irrelevant content, saving them time and effort to: 

  • Enable more efficient workflows
  • Reach out to prospects with greater precision 
  • Encourage even higher return on investment

On the marketing end, dashboard intel regarding buyer engagement (which might include email open rates, pitch views, or pitch duration) and seller engagement (such as content usage, pitched items, pitches made, or overall views) can be used to:

  • Anticipate both buyer and seller behavioral trends in order to reevaluate messaging for upcoming campaigns.
  • Fine-tune existing assets to better meet the needs of buyers and sellers. This can pave the way for greater efficiency in developing and optimizing enriched content. 
  • Increase rollout effectiveness over time, which can allow marketing dollars to stretch even further and translate into a significant boost to your bottom line.

Finally, for both marketing and sales, teams are given 360° visibility into interdepartmental datasets and KPIs, which lets them define company-wide success together. This positions sales and marketing teams to make joint decisions on where to divert energies in order to drive measurable action across business outcomes.

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Know Before You Go… 

Before you explore the advantages of automated dashboards for yourself, here’s a recap of our four key pillars of sales enablement, along with parting thoughts on how data-powered dashboards can help with each:

1. Sales and Marketing Alignment 

Dashboards provide a centralized data headquarters for quick and easy reference among teams, which can improve messaging and content performance. Dashboards also support the de-silo-ing of information to aggregate intel for cutting-edge AI functions, enabling advanced systems for content search and surfacing.

2. Closed Loop Strategy

Automated dashboards let marketers and sellers trace buyer behavior across a variety of channels and throughout bottom-of-funnel buyer stages, helping convert data into concrete insights to inform personalization practices at the top. These practices can then be deployed to attract buyers with a more expertly targeted approach.

3. Techniques for Sales Training and Guidance

Metric data made visually accessible through dashboards can help managers promote seller training in real-time, embedding crucial intelligence into on-the-go learning so processes can continue uninterrupted (and reps can implement data-driven strategies for improvement while they work). Dashboards can also help in assessing seller adoption and performance, which can help shape lesson plans, playbooks, and other sales guidance materials.

4. Outcome-Driven Initiatives

A visualized, easily consumable dashboard can offer tremendous insight into buyer trends and content performance levels to assist in strengthening seller activity. This type of customizable dashboard can also provide analytics regarding: both buyer and seller engagement, enabling marketers to flag messaging and/or content assets in need of editing or refreshing.  

Data tableaus likewise allow customer-facing teams to agree on ideal KPIs, finalizing company-wide definitions of success in order to streamline decision-making as the business expands.

Keeping these points in mind, we encourage you to envision the relationship between data and sales enablement as symbiotic: that is, each one helps validate and substantiate the other.

And, as data is the beating heart of sales enablement, we highly recommend employing digestible data dashboards as part of your continued plan for upgrading sales enablement at every possible turn. 

More specifically, Databox’s immensely flexible and integrate-able platform can help support your SE systems by:

  • Gathering information across multiple data streams to present a unified, centralized visual display without having to hunt or cut and paste your way through a variety of data sources.
  • Customizing insights by activity, performance, progress, and/or information source to better trace lower-funnel behavior and improve rollouts at the top.
  • Generating sales team scorecards to track seller activity trends and highlight problem areas to refine systems for seller onboarding, training, and continued guidance.
  • Looping together data surrounding metrics from both sales and marketing to assess what’s working and to establish company-wide goals. (You can also leverage Databox to support visualized goal tracking, which can be measured against current performance levels in real-time.)

Click here to learn more about Databox’s agile dashboards for customer-facing teams and how they can help you drive analysis into action. Or, if you are ready to get started, sign up for free now!

About the author
Eleni Hagen
Eleni Hagen Eleni Hagen is a content strategist for Highspot, the industry’s most advanced sales enablement platform, which helps organizations close the loop across marketing, sales, and customers.
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