Tracking the effectiveness of sales content and messaging has long been a challenging task. Do you track the effectiveness of this content by win rate? Shortlisting? General sentiment from buyers?
Organizations vary wildly in how they track this and how they track the effectiveness of the teams who write this content. This content is just a piece in a larger puzzle, and sometimes, sales opportunity outcomes (whether you win or lose) are completely out of your control. So, let’s look internally. For sales content, start by looking at the level of effort and the cost of sale. If you can’t completely control what happens outside of your organization and which opportunities close, work to track what you can and answer one central question:
If you have the same number of deals and sales reps each quarter, is there a way to reduce effort and cost of sale through efficiencies in your content processes?
Below are the three metrics Ombud uses to measure customer efficiency across the dimensions of level of effort, cost of sale, and consistency of message.
Content Reuse is the amount of content that is being “reused” from either previously existing documents or curated content to respond to a current request. For example, you may “reuse” the template for the last SOW you created, and scrub it to fit the current customer you’re working with. The percentage of content you did not change from the previous SOW to your new deliverable is your content reuse.
This is the easiest way to see a reduction in the level of effort of your sales team. The less time you have to spend crafting and creating content, the more time you can spend on higher-value tasks. This reduction of effort also can directly correlate to the cost of sale.
Across our customer base at Ombud, we see average Content Reuse of 40% on highly variable documents (think RFPs and Security Questionnaires that change every single time) and at least 85% Content Reuse with more structured documents like SOWs and POCs.
Curated Content Reuse
This is the same concept as content reuse, but we’re only looking at the percentage of reused content from curated documents. These documents are those in your library that subject matter experts have provided content for and were scrubbed for use by your team. In the Ombud platform, we call these master documents.
Curated Content Reuse is important because it shows the level of effort your subject matter experts are taking in the sales cycle. One of the key complaints we hear from SMEs throughout our customer base is that they spend too much time answering one-off requests for the sales team. By asking them to curate a specific area of content quarterly, or even just yearly, you can quickly reduce the amount of time they need to spend helping the sales team.
Curated Content Reuse also tracks consistency of message. If your sales team is only reusing content they’ve created in the past, there’s no oversight or approval of the content. A rep may be saying something incorrect or have outdated information being sent to a prospective customer and not even realize it.
We often look at the volume of requests or sales documents we generate on a monthly or quarterly basis but we should also be tracking the actual number of questions and deliverables needed for review within each document.
Over time, this gives us a better understanding of the true level of effort each request requires. For instance, if you’re tracking the volume of security questionnaires, the numbers below appear steady and you may determine you don’t need any additional headcount or resources.
The quarter-over-quarter increase appears minimal and manageable. Now, let's overlay the true volume of entries within those questionnaires. These are all of the questions requiring a response that someone must take time to answer thoughtfully.
It’s now a different story.
In just a year and a half, this one-person team went from responding to 2,880 questions per quarter to almost tripling that amount to 8,000 per quarter. That means, by Q6, they would have to respond to over 100 questions every workday.
That’s why we should be tracking the holistic volume of our teams.
Don’t Stop There!
Once you’re tracking these metrics, you can then dig into the associated business impacts. How are different regions doing against each other? Are there efficiencies needed in EMEA vs LATAM? Maybe you can track against the company size of the prospect. Are the enterprise clients taking you more time because their requests are more comprehensive and you don’t have the content for it?
With a system like Ombud, you can track every sales document going out to a prospect on a multitude of dimensions because of our unique tagging mechanism. As opposed to the keyword tagging of the past, Ombud’s platform intentionally gives the power to every customer to create their own tag hierarchy based on their business and their associated reporting needs. Better yet, this data can also feed into Salesforce for greater visibility across your organization.