Share Post:
Return to Blog
Calculating the ROI of revenue enablement
May 30, 2024

From Cost Center to Revenue Driver: Proving the ROI of Revenue Enablement

Calculating the ROI of revenue enablement

When economic times get tough and budgets get cut, sales enablement teams are often among the first impacted. Executives are quick to say they are luxuries that the company can’t afford. This is short-sighted. As research from HubSpot shows, organizations that have sales enablement processes or programs in place perform better:

  • 65% of sales leaders who outperformed against revenue targets have a dedicated sales enablement person or team.
  • Salespeople who use sales enablement content in their role are 58% more likely to outperform sales reps who don’t.

Furthermore, having a dedicated sales enablement team prevents top-performing sales reps from leaving your company, as well as attracts top performers. “High-performing salespeople are 12% more likely to work at a company that has a dedicated sales enablement team,” HubSpot reported.

Sales enablement should be seen as a key piece of the revenue puzzle, not merely a cost center, not a nice-to-have, and not an expense. It’s an investment in your people and in your success. That means evolving to a revenue enablement model that broadens teams to include all customer facing roles, including sales, marketing, enablement and customer success.

Both Gartner and Forrester advocate transitioning to this model, saying organizations will achieve greater success if they shift from thinking of enabling “sales” as a team to enabling “revenue” as an outcome driven by multiple teams.

Organizations focused on revenue enablement are at least 75% more likely to exceed performance targets such as seller revenue, cross-sell/upsell and revenue growth. — Gartner

In fact, a Gartner sales survey found that organizations focused on revenue enablement are at least 75% more likely to exceed performance targets such as seller revenue, cross-sell/upsell and revenue growth.

Shifting to a Revenue Enablement Model

To get to that point, the individual teams must come together and align on a vision and process for driving revenue in the organization. The ultimate goal is to prepare your sales teams, make them confident, curate your content and make it easy to find, and engage with your buyers. For enablement to be taken seriously, though, enablement leaders must play the quarterback role and facilitate conversations and alignment across the divisions so everyone agrees on how to measure their value in the company together.

Getting all departments to act as one team can be difficult, though, said Lauren Bailey, founder of Factor 8, who joined me recently for the webinar “Strategies for Proving ROI in Revenue Enablement.” Bailey is a former sales leader turned training and enablement leader, and she said she often felt like enablement was all on its own and regularly had to battle other departments to get content, for example, or get technology.

“We don’t always have great power,” she said. You’ve “got to go in there and … show you are powerful, that you deserve a seat at the table, and that you speak these different languages so that you can get stuff done.”

Then, once you have your revenue enablement team in place, you have to leverage enablement technology to supercharge your enablement philosophy and strategy. Those things working in harmony will enable you to accomplish your objectives and succeed. Plus modern revenue enablement platforms have tools that measure many of the indicators that allow you to determine the ROI of your purchase.

You must take a nuanced approach to technology and training, though, because often those expenses cause enablement to be viewed as a cost center rather than a revenue driver. Technology is costly, and training is expensive and time-consuming. You’ll be asked questions like:

  • What direct proof is there that sales enablement boosts sales?
  • Why invest in enablement when I can put more money in direct sales or some marketing promotional programs where I can really correlate that more easily with my returns?
  • How can I justify the cost of sales enablement if sales aren’t really improving?

“That way of thinking is why enablement comes under fire during tough economic times,” Bailey said. “Company executives think enablement should be cut instead of saying now is the time to ensure the people we have are the most efficient, the most skilled, etc. … But it takes a while for organizations to change their culture and catch up to the companies that do understand it’s important to invest in their people and in revenue growth.”

So, you must prove the value of technology and training—prove that investing in enablement will deliver high returns. That’s where data comes in. If you come to the table with objective data, you will be able to influence others on the revenue team and rally people around you.

Prove the ROI of Revenue Enablement

Watch the webinar Strategies for Proving ROI in Revenue Enablement to get actionable advice, as well as an ROI calculator to demonstrate the value of revenue enablement technology and programs.


How to Determine the ROI of Revenue Enablement

Determining the return on investment (ROI) of your revenue enablement is a simple equation:

Return on Investment = Net Return ÷ Cost of Investment

Cost of investment is easy to find. It could be the cost of technology or tool, training, coaching program, or flying reps in for the training.

The net return, however, takes a bit more effort. First, a lot of folks don’t know what to measure. But also, it requires you to think differently and to put effort into measuring your enablement programs. One reason why it is so hard is because you can’t attribute all the success of your program, Bailey said. So, as you do this exercise, she said, keep two words in mind: contributed to. For example, “Our program contributed to a 200% improvement in stage one to stage two conversions.”

Keep in mind that your sales ops counterparts can help you determine the measurements you need. So, make friends with them and ask for their help if you get stuck.

Tactics to Measure Net Return of Your Enablement

As you build your ROI impact measurement case, you need to look at your leading and lagging indicators.

Leading indicators: Metrics that predict future performance and can indicate the potential for future success. They are typically input-oriented and occur early in the process. Example: number of meetings with buyers.

Lagging indicators: Metrics that reflect outcomes or results of actions already taken. They reflect outcomes or results of actions already taken. They are out-put oriented and measured after the fact. Example: revenue.

To help you build your ROI case, separate the cohort that is participating in your programs and doing well from the cohort that isn’t engaged and doing well and take a hard look at their differences. This is correlation, not causation, but chances are the team that is actively participating and adopting your programs and doing well quality-wise is probably going to see better lagging indicators and results.

So, you want to look at the leading indicators and measure those, then separate the cohorts and get reports from your CRM, conversation intelligence tool, content management system, or from your revenue ops team that shows how long it took your reps to close their first deal, how long it took to hit quota, content engagement, and the quality of their sales calls, for example. Then you can start to build a business case for your programs and use data to show how you influenced your sellers’ performance and how the two cohorts compare.

Bailey also pointed out you may want to evaluate the difference between the cost of attrition and how long it takes for that seat to be filled and ramped up. Often the cost of filling that seat is almost double that of training and retaining current reps. “It’s massive, and nobody’s measuring it. So, that’s a huge value-add for [enablement],” she said.

Top Leading and Lagging Indicators to Measure 

Here are some of the leading and lagging indicators you can measure to determine the net return of your enablement investment. This list is not exhaustive. For a full list, along with instructions and an ROI calculator, get Allego’s Revenue Enablement ROI Kit.

Onboarding and Training Leading and Lagging Indicators


  • Completion and pass rate of onboarding tasks (%)
  • Coaching interactions (#)
  • Time spent on practice and role-plays (# of hours)


  • Time to first deal (days)
  • Quota attainment (%) and average deal size ($)
  • Cost of onboarding a rep ($)

Coaching and Collaboration Leading and Lagging Indicators


  • Calls and deals coached (#)
  • Coaching sessions per rep (#)
  • Manager participation rate (%)


  • Win rate of coached cohort (%)
  • Sales length cycle of coached cohort (days)
  • Quota attainment of coached cohort (%)

Launches and Rollouts Leading and Lagging Indicators


  • Launch event participation rate (%)
  • Certification completion rate (%)
  • View/pass rate on reinforcement (%)


  • Time to certification or proficiency (days)
  • Launch cost savings (people, time, $)
  • Revenue impact of certified cohort ($)

Content and Messaging Leading and Lagging Indicators


  • Use and adoption of approved content (%)
  • Average content view per rep (#)
  • Average external content shares per rep (#)


  • Revenue influenced by content ($)
  • Win rate lift of reps using content (%)
  • Average deal size of reps using content ($)

Digital Selling Leading and Lagging Indicators


  • Number of prospects viewing content (#)
  • Digital engagement rate of prospects (%)
  • Number of engaged contacts per deal (#)


  • Touchpoints per closed deal (#)
  • Sales cycle length (days)
  • Win rate (%)

Start Small, Plan Big

I know what you’re thinking. That sounds like a lot. But you don’t have to do all of them to show ROI. Think of them as starting points. Prioritize the list based on your organization and delete things if you don’t need them. Or pick one, prove value, then expand.

As Bailey said during the webinar, “Don’t boil the ocean. If you picked three of these and nailed it, you’d be a star.”

About the author: Deniz Olcay is vice president of marketing at Allego, the market-leading revenue enablement platform. His career has always revolved around sales. Those experiences have given Deniz a deep understanding of the challenges involved in equipping sellers with the knowledge and tools necessary for success in a digital-first world.

Prove the ROI of Revenue Enablement

Watch the webinar Strategies for Proving ROI in Revenue Enablement to get actionable advice, as well as an ROI calculator to demonstrate the value of revenue enablement technology and programs.

See Allego in Action

Learn how to accelerate training and empower teams with modern learning that delivers real business results.

Demo Request
Allego Stands Alone

Allego is the only one of Forrester sales readiness leaders also leading in sales content.