In the fiercely competitive business landscape, an organization’s Salesforce plays a pivotal role in driving revenue and growth. Recognizing this, companies invest significant resources in sales training programs to empower their teams with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel.
However, the true impact of these training initiatives often remains obscured without an effective sales training measurement strategy. To find out more about this, we gather with Ben Purton, Senior Director of International Enablement at Ring Central, to discover how he performs sales training tracking in one of the leading companies in the world.
Bloobirds: To begin, please share with us who you are and what’s your role at RingCentral.
Ben Purton: I’ve been in Sales Enablement for eight years, which makes me in Europe quite a veteran of enablement. I’m also the ambassador for the Sales Enablement Collective, and I support the UK chapter of the Sales Enablement Society.
Bloobirds: Which do you consider the three or five main areas of work in Sales Enablement?
Ben Purton: Sales Enablement it’s about spotting the gaps. So gap analysis and building relationships to get that information with your stakeholders, is key. If we look at what stakeholders you have in Enablement, there are three areas: Sales (obviously), Sales Operations and Marketing. They’re the three pieces that if you are to be successful in Enablement, you have to make sure that they all work together.
From Enablement, we enhance some teams, we help collaborate with other teams. We help, for example, Marketing, Sales, and Ops to “speak the same language”… Marketing might make loads of collateral that is really, really attractive to read, but it doesn’t help sales win the business or get the prospect. So we might have a great blog. But is it sort of addressing a question for a customer? Is it making the customer doubt its current solution?
Sales Enablement is the fitness coach for sales and sales training.
Bloobirds: To which department does Sales Enablement report?
Ben Purton: We report to the Chief Revenue Officer, which is really where most companies should have their Enablement reporting to, to the CRO, but not all do. The second most popular area where Enablement usually reports is Operations, believe it or not. The third is Marketing, and then the fourth is other, usually. So they’re the sort of sometimes it can be like a curveball, like HR or somewhere like that.
Bloobirds: When you joined Ring Central, did they have already a Sales Enablement team?
Ben Purton: They had a team but none in international. I was told to begin with lots of projects given to me from America, and I had to just re-adopt them to the UK. I did that a bit, but then it was realized that I’ve built a very quick relationship with my core stakeholders. My main stakeholder at the time was the head of UK Sales. I worked really closely with him, and we realized that we couldn’t adapt. Our region is unique. In Europe, every country is unique, but compared to America is totally different. What our buyers like, how their the cycles work is country dependent, and definitely region dependent. Our Enablement had to be different.
Some products are not as mature in Europe as they are in North America. And therefore, if we do Enablement on a product that doesn’t really exist, then it’s a pointless Enablement. So we quickly adapted and grew the team. Now we have French speakers. I’ve people across sort of supporting Australia in my team, multi languages in my team as well. We have like Italian speaking and Spanish speakers too. That’s how we grew the team because of success. We had really good success with Enablement programs.
Bloobirds: What are the insights that you’re taking into consideration, in terms of data to decide which products or which areas need enablement or sale training?
Ben Purton: When we develop sales training, programs, we listen to the market, the third party validations and the experts. We listen to the amazing companies like Gartner, Frost and Sullivan and others that give us amazing insights. In Enablement, we’ve got world-class strategy teams that will tell us this is where it’s going, this is what’s happening in the market. But we also listen to sales. We usually “listen to the ground”, as it were, and see “where the boots are running”, and then we will sort of adapt our Sales Training and Enablement accordingly.
Bloobirds: After you implement a training strategy, which KPIs you usse to understand if the sales training is actually working?
Ben Purton: I quantify everything. I would look into the ROI model. So if I have a program, depending on what it looks like, it could be more direct. I review if it generates leads, if it generates pipeline. Therefore, we create an attribution metric similar to what a Marketing person would do.
We then upskill on something like qualification and we look at things like the deal velocity matrix or how many buyers are involved or how many meetings you had to have. The most important thing is to always try and get a dollar quantification value for every project, because there’s no point doing it otherwise. Because if at the end of the year I’m like, right, we had a really good year. Here’s loads of qualitative feedback. Pats on the back from sales managers. If my head of finance in 2023 comes to me and says, Ben, what value did your team build? I have to be able to say, look, we reduced this. There are less meetings now, so that’s the cost of sales gone down. There’s loads of loads of things that we’ve supported that are not only cost saving but revenue generating. That’s how I quantify out everything. I just do a lot of the math.
I think the Gartner report says that by 2025, there’ll be a 50% increase in Enablement. So when you see things like that, and then you see companies saying, well, we’re not going to have any enablement because it’s kind of a recession, it doesn’t those two things don’t compute. In fact, actually in a recession is when you need Enablement the most. Yeah, definitely, because you need your sellers to be totally on their game. You need them to be maximizing the sales training.