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Sales Enablement Pro Series: Insights and Advice

Posted in:  Sales Enablement Strategy

The Highspot team is dedicated to helping sales reps maximize their time and resources.  Today we’re sharing perspectives from Sean Goldie, Sales Enablement Manager at Concur.  Having driven sales, marketing, and enablement activities in multiple capacities, Sean offers actionable advice we think sales enablement pros will find exciting.

The Sales Enablement Pro Series is designed to highlight the everyday application of proven strategies.  Through the Series, experts illustrate observations and suggestions based upon real-world experience.

Here are Sean’s responses to 6 questions central to sales enablement success.  (Plus one wildcard, just for fun.)

Please tell us a little about yourself and your sales enablement role at Concur.

I’m the Sales Enablement Manager for Tools & Technology.  In this role I support the sales team globally, with a charter of maximizing our investment in sales enablement tools.

I came into my role through sales.  When I joined Concur, I was a sales rep.  About 2 ½ years into it, a General Manager knocked on my door.  The company had a sales training function and wanted the SMB team trained by a sales rep, someone who had been in role and knows what it’s like.  I then built out an onboarding academy and program, where I onboarded all of our SMB reps – 175 folks in an 18-month period.   

I then started asking myself, “What is this thing called sales enablement?”  I realized it’s more than training and technology.  It’s also the messages marketing sends that get distilled for the field.  From that point I took a turn in marketing, to better understand the function so I could return to sales enablement and really succeed. 

Today the sales enablement org is centralized and consists of 30 dedicated resources.  I’m in the global distribution org within the operations group – sales operations.

What are your top sales enablement priorities for 2016?

Driving adoption to our core tools, one of them being Highspot.  It’s critical we make the most of what we have.  I’m also selling the marketing team on sales enablement and showing them why it’s different from marketing automation, for example. 

How do you and your team measure sales enablement success?  What are your KPIs? 

We’re taking a closer look at how to measure the ROI of our tools, including the quality of conversations reps are having.  We really want to do an evaluation of the time reps are spending – specifically activity levels of reps and how to drive them to revenue-generating activities.

What are the biggest challenges standing between you and your sales enablement goals? 

Selling the value internally and keeping teams aboard.  To a certain degree, we’re competing against existing modes of doing things and that can be tough.

What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your current role?

Every day I’m solving a different problem.  This can make some days unnerving, but I realize it’s part of what I have to manage if I’m going to grow the function.  Sales enablement is still relatively new and unknown, which is also what makes it cool.  In addition, I need to adapt and change and build new relationships for people, which is great, too.

What are the biggest pieces of advice you would give a new sales enablement professional?

I would say that relationships across sales and marketing are key.  You have to be able to galvanize those two groups.  One of the reasons I joined the sales enablement team was to help fix the divide.  I’m now really focused on making sales and marketing a team – on helping them work better together. 

I would also point out that many trainers are really good at order-taking.  I want to deliver things before the field knows they need them.  Sales leaders bounce around – you need to be at the table to drive the conversation.

You have to build out analytics.  For onboarding and analytics, this is key. 

Enablement is such a new frontier.  When you take a risk, make a decision and get after it.  If it’s not proving out, make a change.

++ Final question (just for fun): If you could be any cartoon character – who would you be?

Most likely The Flash.  I run 100mph…it’s just how I operate. 

Thanks, Sean.

We hope you found this interview helpful.  For insights from other sales enablement pros, check out our recent conversations with Ken Roden of Payscale and Brian Groth of Xactly.  And of course, stay tuned for more.