Stories from the Trenches

Sales Enablement Practitioners Share Their Real-World Experiences

Get the real scoop on what’s happening inside Sales Enablement teams across the SES member global community. Each segment of Stories from the Trenches shares the good, the bad, and the ugly experiences inside corporate sales enablement initiatives. Learn what worked, what didn’t work, and how obstacles were eliminated by corporate teams and leadership.

The wide and varied profession of Sales Enablement ensures there is never a one-size-fits-all solution to be successful. Wins always look different and the journey to successful outcomes is never the same.

Learn from your peers and gain insights on topics like:

  • Gathering requirements to identify stakeholders
  • Gaining buy-in and executive sponsorship
  • Aligning with sales leaders
  • Facilitating cross-functional collaboration

Mo Schlick, President of SES, and Paul Butterfield discuss the state of Sales Enablement, what Schlick has learned from her experiences, and how she thinks about the future of our industry and the SES organization.

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Sales enablement for B2C vs. for B2B - is there a difference? If so, what are the unique challenges and needs the Sales Enablement teams that support them need to address? In this episode Kevin Jones from Filevine shares the insights he’s gained over 6 years of enabling large B2C teams. You’ll hear about:

  • H2H (human 2 human) selling
  • Onboarding for a product driven company
  • Training in a decentralized business
  • Keeping up with fast changing consumer demands
  • Measuring performance in a B2C environment

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Are you and your team taking a truly customer-centric approach when developing your revenue enablement strategy and programs? How well are you using the concept of force multiplying to scale your impact? In Part 2 of my conversation with Kristen McCrae McMullan we discussed her ideas, experiences, and how she's learned to be effective in these areas:

  • Taking a customer-centric approach with Innovative examples
  • Using customer-centric micro KPIs to align priorities
  • How to apply force multiplication for scaling
  • Effectively communicating with Sales leaders
  • Working with internal blockers

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How are you measuring the revenue impact of your Enablement initiatives? How quickly are you accelerating the time to revenue impact? What about identifying when a change in the approach is needed? Kristen McCrae McMullan of Amazon Web Services has tackled these challenges successfully and come up with innovative solutions that she shared with me in this 2 part series. In Part 1 you’ll gain insights into:

  • How to successfully transition from being reactive to strategic
  • Quantifying your impact in a credible way
  • Identifying and isolating the right micro KPIs to correlate activity to revenue
  • Using a change management strategy that meets leaders where they are
  • Learning from neutral and negative change

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As companies grow and mature, they typically diversify their product offerings either organically or through acquisitions. Once this happens the need for the sales organization to quickly and successfully transition from selling a single solution to a platform sales approach becomes critical. In this episode, ZoomInfo Technologies SVP of Sales and Account Mgt., James Roth, and I discuss the best practices organizations follow when leading this evolution. We discuss in detail: 

  • The importance of effective training and coaching
  • Understand who, what, when, and how to coach
  • Tips on how to overcome barriers
  • Who coaches the coach? 
  • Don’t forget you are dealing with humans

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Where does executive coaching fit into your Revenue Enablement strategy? What about executive coaching for the Revenue Enablement team members?  Britta Lorenz joins me for this episode to share how Revenue Enablement teams can support people in gaining the clarity needed to guide them towards their goals. Hint: the key is mixing coaching and compassion by focusing on the 3 P’s – People, Purpose, and Performance. Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • Understand Difference Training, Coaching, (Mentoring)
  • Know The Importance of Coaching
  • Understand Who, What, When, and How to coach
  • Tips for the coaching process and how to overcome barriers
  • Who coaches the coach? (SE Leaders)
  • In the end, no matter how much data we have available at our fingertips, don’t forget you are dealing with humans

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The Critical Role of Revenue Enablement in Successful Mergers and Acquisitions - A Two-Part Series!

Corporate mergers and acquisitions are typically a time of stress and uncertainty for both newly acquired and existing revenue teams. Revenue Enablement teams play a key role in accelerating time to post acquisition revenue and ensuring employee retention during this pivotal period. In this 2-part series Jamie Kanac will share what he’s learned through ​​20+ years as a revenue & growth operations leader directing strategic sales initiatives, mergers, and acquisitions for IBM and other companies. In Part 1 we’ll discuss:

  • The need for Revenue Enablement to engage early in the acquisition process
  • Understanding the Go To Market and Routes To Market plans
  • Mentoring newly acquired employees
  • The early warning signs of acquired employees that are struggling or at risk
  • Collaborating with Communications and Marketing teams

 In Part 2 we’ll discuss:

  • Onboarding and partnering with the Sales Engineering teams
  • Identifying and connecting with the right acquired teams to facilitate the transfer of critical knowledge
  • Creating the right curriculum for onboarding acquired teams 
  • Certifications, testing and KPIs for measuring success
  • Sales Enablement as the “glue” between cultures of their company and the acquired company

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Should Digital Enablement be part of your Revenue Enablement strategy? What is “digital enablement” anyway? How is it different from other  Sales Enablement programs? Download this month’s episode of “Stories From The Trenches” and learn the answers to these questions and more as Steffaney Zohrabyan from Cisco and I talk about her career and success with Digital Enablement. You’ll learn:

  • The technical challenges Digital Enablement can help solve for.
  • Strategies that drive adoption and usage with large and grown sales tech stacks.
  • How these strategies can be more effective than traditional training methods like webinars, lunch and learns, and eLearning courses.
  • How to implement a Digital Enablement program to support your sales teams.

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Channel partners are a force multiplier for companies all across the spectrum of industries and a critical part of their go to market strategy. Channel programs require their own enablement strategy to be effective. In this episode Ashley Butler from Appian shares her experiences in defining and building a successful partner enablement program.

  • Where should partner sales enablement report?
  • Taking an on-demand first approach in creation
  • Enabling partner account managers
  • Partner  sales assets
  • Launching a partner portal

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Are you and your team successfully serving the revenue leaders and teams you support “where they are”? In this month’s episode Rusty Jensen – VP of Revenue Generation at NICE Corp. – and I talk about how to build stronger relationships with those internal customers thereby seeing increased adoption and accelerated sales effectiveness. Rusty shares his insights on:

  • What sales leaders look for in a sales enablement program.
  • Building sales enablement at scale.
  • How to meet sales teams “where they are”.
  • Driving stronger adoption of new methodologies, tools and processes
  • Sales leadership’s co-ownership of successful sales enablement. 

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With so much competition for sales and SDR candidates has your company started identifying and recruiting candidates that may not have traditional sales backgrounds? How can Sales Enablement support HR in expanding their search? What about B2C vs. B2B sellers? Join us for this episode with Shelley Mesh and hear her discuss the success she’s had in these areas and what she’s learned.

  • Should Sales Enablement be involved in creating Sales and SDR job descriptions?
  • Is Sales Enablement for B2C sellers different than for B2B?
  • Identifying success profiles for candidates without direct sales experience.
  • Is “selling” actually “sharing”?
  • Setting new sellers up to have “hero moments”.

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Have you considered recruiting sales people or SEs to fill the next opening on your team? With the demand for Sales Enablement pros at an all time high it often makes sense. Successful sellers like to solve problems and help people which can be a solid foundation for success in our profession.  Listen in as Malvina EL-Sayegh from Reachdesk and host Paul Butterfield discuss why successful sellers often become great enablement professionals.

  • How sales skills align to Sales Enablement
  • Recruiting quota carriers from inside and outside your org
  • Identifying and bridging skill gaps
  • Successful onboarding tips for quota carriers making the transition

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There's been a lot of focus on  using data and metrics to determine the effectiveness of Sales Enablement initiatives and rightfully so. What about using metrics to identify and prioritize which enablement projects the team focuses on? In this episode Lisa Hammack of Cornerstone OnDemand and host Paul Butterfield discuss how she and her team are doing just that by:

  • Working with other teams in the org to gather and analyze the data
  • Using both quantitative and qualitative data to analyze sale reps' performance
  • Using a scorecard information to drive programs
  • Overcoming challenges to implementing a scorecard approach

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Petek Hawkins, Head of Global Learning Enablement Development at Fivetran and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP recently discussed Sales Enablement’s role in the selection, customization and successful implementation of sales methodologies and share their experiences with several of the leading methodologies. Why is a sales methodology so critical?

  • Is a sales methodology different from the sales process? How?
  • What to look for in evaluating and selecting a sales methodology
  • Customized or off the shelf?
  • The 5 steps to follow that ensure a successful implementation  

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Jay Zandstra, Sales Enablement Mgr. at UpKeep joins Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP to discuss several topics many Sales Enablement teams face and how he and the team are solving for them.

  • How to successfully request help from other departments that are also overstretched
  • The biggest challenges of building a new sales playbook and first steps
  • Reinforcing and developing sales team skills using the playbook
  • Driving adoption of the playbook by sales teams

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UpKeep is a cloud-based CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) designed to be used on mobile devices, and suitable for a range of industries including manufacturing, construction, distribution, warehousing, utilities, hotels, restaurants, food processing, churches, and education.
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Gail Behun, Sr. Director, Sales Effectiveness, Enablement & Productivity at PandaDoc and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP share a wide-ranging discussion about the challenges of tracking Sales Enablement success and her LinkedIn campaign to #ProveIt using metrics and goals to setup up sales reps for success. Join us to hear about Gail’s experiences in:

  • Creating a culture where metrics and goals align
  • Providing ways for reps to achieve little wins as they ramp to big wins
  • Determining the metrics that will define success and backing them into a project
  • Successfully pivoting when you “don’t know what you don’t know”

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Over 20,000 customers use PandaDoc’s all-in-one document automation software and workflow capabilities to provide customers with a more professional and engaging experience. PandaDoc helps simplify processes and increase efficiency across an entire organization and integrates with existing CRM, payment, and file storage apps into a unified workflow.
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Adriana Romero, Director, Enablement Solutions at LevelJump.io joined Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP to talk about a topic that doesn't get a lot of coverage. We spend a lot of time planning for new Sales hires, but what about the critical onboarding and ramping phases for new Sales Enablement employees? Adriana shares her experiences and insights into:

  • Managing your own ramping as the first Sales Enablement hire
  • Setting the mission and boundaries for Sales Enablement while ramping
  • What are the critical components of a successful ramping for Sales Enablement employees?
  • Professional development for Sales Enablers and succession planning

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Lindsay Morga, Manager, Sales Enablement at Tanium joined Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP to talk about the tenets that she and the Tanium team used to create and lead 14 cohorts through remote onboarding and ramping this year. She addresses how they addressed the challenges of onboarding international teams and helped new employees feel a part of Tanium’s culture.

  • Communication creates connection
  • Executive engagement and participation
  • How to embed Culture for ramping employees
  • Effective global onboarding

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For this episode Paul Butterfield invited veteran sales pros Ryan Simpson, Tyler Smith and Taylor Baranowski to discuss their holiday “wish list” of what they hope Sales Enablement teams are thinking about for 2021. With over 30 years of collective experience in direct and channel sales they bring real world insights into:

  • How sales enablement needs differ between direct and channel sales teams
  • How should sales enablement think about sales leadership development
  • Best practices and gaps they’ve seen in sales enablement programs

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Misha McPherson, Head of Global Revenue Enablement at Coursera joined Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP for a conversation about setting a Sales Enablement strategy and priorities whether an army of one in a startup/scaleup or leading a team that supports hundreds of sellers.

  • How to create an effective strategy for scaling
  • Setting up for success by gaining executive sponsorship
  • Providing effective sales enablement to a global sales team

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Join Melissa Regan, Sr. Manager, Global Sales Enablement. & Onboarding at RingCentral and Paul Butterfield, Instructure VP of Revenue Enablement as they discuss how she is creating sticky onboarding and ongoing enablement that makes the sales grind easier and faster. She’ll share innovative ways she’s found to:

  • Engage all the senses to create memorable learning experiences
  • Create agile, role-based onboarding programs – even in the post CV19 world
  • Integrate some very unusual props into her onboarding sessions

RingCentral (RNG) is a global provider of cloud enterprise unified communications and collaboration solutions.

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Mark Fellowes, Head of Sales Operations at Scandit and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP explore the unique roles Sales Enablement and Sales Operations play and how they can forge the strong partnership that is critical to a sales organization’s success. Mark will share his insights into:

  • Is Sales Enablement part of Sale Operations?
  • What are the pillars for a successful relationship between the 2 groups?
  • What are the differences between a sales process and a sales methodology?

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Cynthia Barnes, CEO of National Association of Women Sales Professionals (NAWSP) and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Revenue Enablement VP talk about the ways men and women sell differently and how Sales Enablement teams can be more effective through incorporating those different approaches into their programs.

  • How Sales Enablement can help nurture a culture of sales diversity
  • Some of the key differences in how women and men approach selling
  • Her biggest challenge with the work she is doing and how she’s overcoming it

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Erica Newell, Sr. Strategic Customer Success Manager at Bridge and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Sales Enablement VP talk about an area of Sales Enablement that is often overlooked - Sales Enablement for Customer Success teams. The fact is many customer success organizations drive a significant amount of revenue but have different enablement expectations and needs. Erica shares insights into:

  • How is Customer Success different from Sales? How are they similar?
  • What questions to ask your CSM teams to better identify their needs
  • Suggested areas of enablement to develop for CSMs

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Roderick, CEO of Roderick Jefferson & Associates, is one of the founding members of the Sales Enablement Society. He is a member of several Advisory Boards, including Capella University, Autobound.ai and Selleration Inc.

  • How sales enablement teams can help ensure a diversity of job candidates
  • What ways can we create sales assets, training materials and courses that are Inclusive
  • The critical role onboarding and ramping have in helping new employees feel included

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Chris Sargent, Sr, Director of Global Sales Enablement at NICEinContact and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Sales Enablement VP discuss why a global sales methodology is critical and the best practices that he has developed while heading up sales enablement at multiple SaaS companies. The conversation then pivots to how the NICEinContact team has successfully adapted what’s worked in the past for the post COVID-19 enablement delivery environment.

  • Why implement a global sales methodology and process
  • How to teach the corporate sales methodology to new remote sales reps
  • Providing reinforcement and measuring adoption remotely

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Lish Gates, Head of Global Revenue Enablement at Algolia and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Sales Enablement VP have a wide ranging discussion about how she and the Algolia team are delivering impactful onboarding and coaching to the global Algolia sales teams even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • Establishing digital routines for successful reps and new hires
  • Help new hires learn company culture while socially distanced
  • Ideas and tools to avoid “death by virtual classrooms”

Bruce Graham instructional designer of Vonage and Paul Butterfield, Instructure Sales Enablement VP explore what makes up an engaging and effective remote learning program. Bruce will also share the best practices he's developed while creating online learning programs for Oracle, PepsiCo, Hewlett Packard, McDonalds and Vonage. He'll share insights on launching a remote learning program as well as taking an existing program to the next level.

  • Best practices for content creation/format/delivery
  • How to address the learning needs of a multi-generational workforce and different learning styles
  • Making content relevant for a global audience

Intel Corporation’s Digital Business Enabling Director Rhett Livengood and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discuss the Partner Enablement Program at Intel and several key factors to successfully managing internal and external relationships. In this discussion, Rhett provides his unique perspective as someone who began his career in technology operations. Rhett also shares the importance of knowing the willingness to partner, determining joint organizational goals, and elements to consider when starting a partnership.

IBM Watson Health’s Sales Enablement Leader Paul Petroski and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discussed how Paul used a background in learning and development, performance consulting, and information technology to build sales enablement teams.

Paul also discusses the importance of understanding the need from a seller’s perspective as well as three criteria for ensuring the on-boarding process is executed well to equip those in Sales Enablement be successful:

  • The importance of data analysis to address performance
  • How solid training inspires confidence
  • Knowing your niche, where you came from, and what you’re good at

Amazon’s Learning Strategy and Operations Leader – Public Sector, Ali Condah, Jr. and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen discussed the importance of training versus knowledge regarding performance. Ali offers his perspective on drawing parallels from his own working experiences to help build relationships with customers. This discussion focuses on Ali’s insights of applying best practices across industries as it relates to sales enablement which include:

  1. Value of on-the-job training vs classroom activities
  2. Finding creative ways to overcome common objections
  3. Understanding your audience

Vonage’s Head of Global Sales Enablement Paul Butterfield and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discussed how Paul used Google to research what Sales Enablement was in 2011 after being asked to take on the responsibility. Paul also discusses the hiring process for Sales Enablement resources as well as the three criteria for helping vendors in Sales Enablement be successful:

  1. Authenticity
  2. Competency in Selling, and
  3. Helping the client do something that they couldn’t do before they met you

Chris Kingman, Director of International Enablement for Trans Union and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discuss how the global reach of Trans Union has affected Chris’ experience in the Sales Enablement realm. Chris offers his insights on the things he’s learned through implementing Sales Enablement globally for Trans Union and answers the following questions:

  • What is most important in Sales Enablement?
  • What is Sales Enablement?
  • Who is most important to have at the table within an enterprise organization when implementing SE?
  • Who decides what sellers need?

Juniper Network’s Head of Global Sales Enablement Hang Black and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discuss the three ways Sales Enablement represents itself in an organization and how to improve the onboarding process. The insightful discussion explores how buyers function in today’s economy and how sales enablement is critical to ensure the seller’s success.

Dell EMC’s Sr. Director of Global Sales Enablement, Mike Kiely and Juliana Stancampiano, CEO of Oxygen, discussed the challenges Mike faced while gaining the first go-ahead approvals to start a small Sales Enablement function in his organization. Mike talks about his first wins, how to stay fresh and nimble with sales teams and customers, and how to consistently add value to the business. The lively discussion delves into the proven approaches that Mike lives by to run a successful Sales Enablement function every time.