Sales enablement statistics are useful for a number of reasons.
Maybe you’re new to the discipline and trying to quickly learn as much as possible. Maybe you’re building a business case for the formalization of a sales enablement strategy and looking for quantitative data that you can use to your advantage. Or maybe you’re just curious.
No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you’ve come to the right place. After combing through the latest edition of the State of Competitive Intelligence Report — which is based on our proprietary survey of more than 1,000 people across a wide range of verticals and business sizes — we’ve assembled the ultimate list of sales enablement statistics.
11 essential sales enablement statistics
Believe it or not, this list does not include every single sales-related insight from the State of CI Report. To get the full scope of our data — and, more generally, to learn about the positive impact that competitive intelligence can catalyze across your organization — make sure to download your free copy.
1. 84% of businesses say their industry has gotten more competitive in recent years.
The vast majority of businesses are facing an increasing intensity of competition — which, at a macro level, is a good thing. Competition tends to breed creativity. At the micro level, however, folks may not be feeling quite so upbeat. With a growing number of competitors comes a growing level of difficulty in the pursuit of net new customers. With a growing number of competitors, in other words, comes a growing need for top-notch sales enablement.
2. 53% of businesses say the majority of their sales deals are competitive.
In 2019 and in 2020, 49% of businesses said the majority of their sales deals were competitive. This figure has now increased by 8% to its current level of 53%. Nowhere is this jump more pronounced than amongst small enterprises (501-5,000 employees) — 57% of these businesses say the majority of their deals are competitive. Sales enablement is becoming less of a nice-to-have — and more of a need-to-have — as time goes on.
3. 88% of businesses conduct win/loss analysis.
Win/loss analysis — the process of determining why deals are won or lost — is an essential practice for anyone who wants to (1) better understand their competitive landscape and (2) continuously optimize their sales enablement strategy. If you’re uncertain why some deals work out and others do not, you’re ill-equipped to empower your sales reps with the tools and resources they need to succeed in their roles. Thankfully, the vast majority of businesses have internalized this logic, as 88% say they conduct win/loss analysis.
4. 96% of competitive intelligence pros say sales is an important stakeholder audience.
Sales enablement and competitive intelligence are inextricable. In an increasingly crowded market, you cannot empower your reps to consistently win deals unless you’re tracking, analyzing, and acting on your competitors’ movements. It should be no surprise, then, that nearly every single CI practitioner considers their sales colleagues to be important stakeholders in their work. In fact, 54% of CI pros say sales is a very important stakeholder audience.
[Note: Although sales enablement and competitive intelligence are inextricable, they are not one in the same. There is far more to CI than helping sales reps win deals.]
5. 45% of competitive intelligence pros create sales slide decks.
The slide deck is a tremendously valuable piece of sales enablement collateral — one that is most often employed when pitching a product or service to a prospective customer (or to an existing customer, in the case of an upsell situation). Each slide is an opportunity to check one of the following boxes:
- Communicate the differentiated value of your product or service
- Communicate the differentiated value of your brand
- Combat objections and/or competitor-planted land mines (either proactively or reactively)
6. 35% of competitive intelligence pros create battlecards.
The battlecard, though not as popular amongst CI pros as the slide deck, is also tremendously valuable — in fact, the remainder of this article is a miniature deep dive into this particular type of collateral. Its basic purpose is to support your reps in their conversations with prospects — conversations that often (either overtly or subtly) involve discussions about your competition.
In order to help get competitive deals in the door, more than one-third of CI pros are using their knowledge to fuel battlecards (in real time, if they’re Crayon users).
7. Amongst businesses that use battlecards, 47% say they maintain more than 50.
Businesses that use battlecards tend to go all in — nearly half of respondents from this group say they simultaneously maintain more than 50 battlecards. This figure, of course, is largely a function of the intensity of competition within and across industries; as businesses take on more and more competitors, they need to maintain more and more battlecards in order to help their reps consistently win deals.
8. Amongst businesses that use battlecards, 71% say they’ve improved their win rates as a result.
Battlecards work. Nearly three-fourths of businesses that use them say they’re winning deals at higher rates than they were previously. If you want to be able to say the same thing, internalize these three battlecard tips:
- Be concise. The easier it is to consume your battlecards, the more often they’ll be used.
- Don’t go head-to-head. People don’t buy products to use features; they buy products to relieve pain points. Resist the urge to fill your battlecards with a bunch of bullet points about your competitors’ features (or lack thereof).
- Establish KPIs to measure impact. Keeping track of what is and is not working enables you to continuously improve your battlecards and deliver better results.
When we say battlecards drive improvements in win rate, we’re not talking about marginal improvements. 33% of businesses say the improvement exceeds 50%, 66% say it exceeds 30%, and 93% say it exceeds 20%. If you invest in competitive intelligence and use the insights you uncover to — among other imperatives — deliver high-quality battlecards to your sales reps, you’ll likely be rewarded with a sizable jump in win rate.
10. Amongst businesses that use battlecards, 65% say they’re happy with current levels of adoption.
“Be concise” is one of the battlecard tips we shared just a minute ago — a tip we justified by claiming that ease of consumption and usage (a.k.a. adoption) are positively correlated. Evidently, some sales enablement teams still have work to do in this department: Only two-thirds of businesses are happy with their current levels of battlecard adoption. We should point out, however, that concision does not guarantee a high rate of adoption; if your sales reps are not using your battlecards at the rate you’d like them to, there could very well be other factors at play. If, for example, your competitive insights are often outdated, adoption will likely suffer as a result — no matter how concisely they’re presented.
11. Amongst businesses with strong battlecard adoption, 81% say they’ve seen direct revenue impact as a result of their investment in competitive intelligence.
If, just now, you found yourself wondering why we’re harping on adoption, this is why: Businesses at which battlecards are put to good use are extraordinarily likely to report revenue impact as a result of their investments in competitive intelligence. For comparison, only 39% of businesses with weak adoption say they’ve seen direct revenue impact from CI. Businesses with strong adoption, in other words, are 108% more likely to report revenue impact.
Enable sales to win deals with real-time competitive intelligence
Odds are you work for one of the businesses that’s facing an increasing intensity of competition. Under such circumstances, it’s nearly impossible to execute an effective sales enablement strategy when either (1) you’re not conducting competitive intelligence or (2) the competitive intel you do gather is constantly going out of date. With Crayon, you can fully empower your sales reps via dynamically updated battlecards, automated email alerts, two-way Slack integration, and more.
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