Episode 71: Driving High Performance With Technology Innovation


Shawnna Sumaoang
Shawnna Sumaoang
Vice President, Marketing -Community, Highspot
Marc Losito
Marc Losito
Chief of Staff, FoodChain ID
Podcast Transcript

According to a study conducted by Zippia, organizations with a comprehensive training program see 24% higher profit margins. So how can you improve rep readiness with a unified platform?

Shawnna Sumaoang:
Hi, and welcome to the Win Win Podcast. I am your host, Shawnna Sumaoang. Join us as we dive into changing trends in the workplace and how to navigate them successfully.

Here to discuss this topic is Marc Losito, the chief of staff at FoodChain ID. Thank you for joining us, Marc. I’d love for you to tell us about yourself, your background, and your role.

Marc Losito: It’s a pleasure to be here and, currently, I serve as the Chief of Staff at FoodChain ID and the Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives.

I just finished a 23-year career in the military where I finished up in strategy and operations. And so transitioning into a strategic initiatives role or an operations-based role is exciting, and fluid for me. I’ve been at FoodChain ID for over a year now, and we’ve been employing Highspot as our primary sales enablement tool for about eight months.

SS: We’re excited to have you here with us today. Now I know when you first started at FoodChain ID, one of your first tasks was to implement an enablement platform. Tell us about that journey. Why was it a strategic priority for the business to invest in an enablement solution?

ML: Yeah, that’s a great way to phrase it, it was a journey. So, about this time last year, our executive leadership team gathered together and began to evaluate our strategic growth options, and sales enablement kept rising to the top. Brandon Taylor, our Chief Revenue Officer our champion of Highspot really put it on the front of our growth initiatives and really championed our adoption of Highspot.

It wasn’t too much longer after that, and it was about, May of last year that we began to adopt Highspot and we rolled it out in August. We have been rolling ever since. One of the key differences that we’ve seen, and it’s really just the realization of this, this growth narrative that Highspot brings to sales enablement is we were able to cut down our seller ramp time from nine months to six months immediately with the training and coaching features on Highspot and, professionalizing our onboarding, putting it all into one spot and having sellers singing off the same choir sheet, as it were.

SS: That is amazing to go from nine months to six months, and I definitely want to circle back to that. I do want to get a better sense because you were the executive sponsor for the evaluation and I know that you partnered closely with other key stakeholders in the process. How did you partner with your CRO and RevOps to find the right solution for the business and ultimately gain buy-in?

ML: That’s a great question. Our CRO, Brandon Taylor, was the champion of this growth initiative, and Ryan Wing, our Director of Revenue Operations, was crucial to making sure that we were all aligned on a collective vision, making sure that our strategic goals were synchronized, and to make sure that everything from, sales enablement content to the way we wanted to orchestrate our plays and the KPIs that we had set out, the first being to decrease that ramp time. We thought that was the closest crocodile to the canoe if you will. We’re continuing to chase, some other goals, and our CRO has really put a high bar on what we want to achieve with this. With Highspot in, shortening our sales cycle times, increasing our win rates, increasing our ACVs, and increasing our opportunity creation, but ultimately getting their buy-in was the first step and making sure that we were all aligned on what the opportunity was and what the return on investment could be if we unanimously supported the adoption.

SS: Absolutely. And I know that having one unified solution for enablement at FoodChain ID was really important rather than separate tools to equip, train, and coach your teams. In your opinion, what has been the impact of that unified experience on your sellers and their productivity?

ML: The essence here is, bringing fragmented tools from across our enterprise and bringing them into one centralized location.

It’s like switching from a vehicle that has manual steering, where you’re trying to struggle to shift and pivot with market trends, market changes, and competitor dynamics. But bringing Highspot into FoodChain ID is like switching to autopilot. You’re able to cue seller behaviors so quickly.

You’re able to pivot and adapt to key changes that you’re seeing in the marketplace and it allows for a seamless inflow of information. As a result, our sellers become more agile, more informed, they execute it. Seller behaviors and plays are better, and they’re significantly more effective. And we’re starting to see the impacts of that.

SS: Now, we alluded to one of the big wins earlier, but I know since implementation, you guys have shortened your onboarding time from nine months to six months, and you’ve also reduced ramp time by 30%. Can you walk us through how you optimized sales onboarding and ultimately drove these very impressive results?

I tell you, reducing onboarding time was a challenge but it’s one that Highspot is tailor-made to go after. And so we focused on three primary areas with Highspot when it comes to onboarding, which is customized learning paths. Integrating real-world scenarios into the training process and then leveraging the enormous amount of data and feedback that you get to continuously refine your onboarding approach.

And so that triad not only expedited our onboarding process, but it ensured that new team members were sales-ready in a shorter amount of time.

SS: Fantastic. I love to hear that. In addition to onboarding, your team also focused on improving sales coaching. In your opinion, what is the value of real-world coaching for sales reps?

There’s nothing that can replace real-world coaching. You’re not going to be able to automate or AI your way out of real-world, human touch. And the crucible where theory meets practice. When we’re onboarding reps, it’s not only important for them to learn in a classroom, but it’s also important to have a setting to apply, iterate, and refine their approaches in real scenarios with a feedback loop.

That accelerates their learning and adaptability. And ultimately, the adage is true that practice makes perfect. And in today’s dynamic market, that’s especially critical. 

SS: You did mention AI, so I’m curious. How do you plan to utilize innovation in the enablement space like AI to help your team deliver effective coaching?

I actually have a bit of a background in AI, from graduate school and from my time in the military. I just believe that AI opens up a whole new frontier that revolutionizes sales coaching, by using AI features like meeting intelligence, we can personalize learning you can personalize it at scale you can provide real-time feedback, and more importantly is that you can identify patterns that would be impossible for humans to detect.

And it’s not about replacing the human element. Like I said, nothing is going to replace the human touch in training and coaching, but augmenting it, and learning how to use AI with that human touch is going to make coaching more impactful and insights-driven. 

SS: Absolutely. And I did not know that about your background, that you have a background in AI. So I’d love to get your opinion: how can AI help the business scale sales productivity more broadly? 

I’ve seen firsthand from my time in the military, how AI can have a transformative power globally and on the battlefield. And if you think of sales as a battlefield it scales productivity by automating routine tasks that otherwise take sellers away from engaging the customers, it delivers insights that would take us ages to analyze, with torrents of data, stacks upon stacks, and personalize the customer experience as well at scale. It’s a game changer, and it turns data into a strategic asset for every organization. 

SS: How do you think AI will continue to drive business innovation in the near future, especially when it comes to enablement?

AI is bound to expand, especially in enablement and business innovation. I think we’re going to see AI become more integrated into daily operations. Highspot is already at the forefront here with meeting intelligence, being part of every sales engagement, and providing analytics.

I think those analytics will become more accurate over time as we, train new models and reach new heights. But at the end of the day, the potential is it’s pretty vast: from automating administrative tasks to delivering those strategic insights and shaping seller behavior and future directions to make our customer experience more delightful.

SS: Mark, last question for you. As you look ahead, how do you plan to leverage Highspot to help you achieve some of the innovation that you’re aiming to drive this year? 

That’s a great question. So where do we go after our tremendous start? And I think what our CRO would tell you, and our director of revenue ops would tell you is that Highspot is poised to be a cornerstone of our strategy to drive innovation.

Internally to FoodChain ID, we refer to Highspot as the sales accelerator. It is what propels our sales cycles forward. So we plan to leverage its capabilities to personalize learning scale development. We’re currently going through an environment optimization where we are using the motto of all the sales enablement you need when you need it, and none of it when you don’t.

So the key there. Is that a sales rep doesn’t have to wade through this swamp of sales enablement that they don’t particularly need at that time, and Highspot is tailor-made – with its filtering, its lists, and its search features – to provide the right sales enablement at the right time and none that you don’t

SS: I love that. I might have to steal some of those taglines for our marketing efforts. Mark, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate it. Absolutely. 

ML: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. 

SS: To our audience. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Win Win podcast. Be sure to tune in next time for more insights on how you can maximize enablement success with Highspot.

Related Resources

Episode 72: Streamlining Workflows With a Consolidated Tech Stack
Episode 72: Streamlining Workflows With a Consolidated Tech Stack
Listen now to how Carolyn Hoang from Alight streamlines onboarding, to training, to workflows with a consolidated tech stack.
Episode 69: Improving Rep Readiness With a Unified Tech Stack
Episode 69: Improving Rep Readiness With a Unified Tech Stack
Gurneet Sagger shares insight on developing rep readiness and collaboration across teams with a unified tech stack.
Webinar: Navigating Onboarding in the Hybrid Workforce
Webinar: Navigating Onboarding in the Hybrid Workforce
Watch this webinar and equip yourself with valuable insights and strategies to effectively onboard new hires globally, accelerating your organization's growth.