On this week’s SBI Insider Video Podcast we discuss Sales Enablement, a surprisingly ill-defined and misunderstood term.


My colleague Mike Drapeau and I discuss the right paradigm for training. The goal of Sales Enablement is to drive revenue per sales head up and time to productivity for new sales hires down.


In section one, watch Mike and I passionately debate the concept of The Guild. The path of a guild progresses from apprentice to journeyman to master. Think learn by observation then progressively by doing. This is the low-risk way to impart skills.


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The dialogue covers measuring the effect of training on the business. To do this you need to know what specific behavior changes are required to show adoption of the new enablement effort.   Sales leadership has to buy-off that coaching and managerial effort will be dedicated to ensuring the new behaviors are measured, tracked, and made accountable.


Mike builds on the guild concept with the Moral of the story:  When you’re thinking about behavior change that requires new skills and exposes people to risk, limit training to conceptual orientation and getting people excited.  Use in-the-field mentoring for building skills while taking the risk out so people don’t balk.


When done right, Sales Enablement delivers what the sales team needs in the most effective and efficient delivery.   Yes it’s more than training.  It starts with the reason the behavior change is needed and ends with making how easier and lower-risk.


In the final section of the show we discuss the 4 business objectives of the Sales Enablement function.

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Kevin Avery

Challenges clients to design and implement innovative practices.

Prior to SBI, Kevin held leadership positions in sales, marketing, business and channel development in the high tech industry, concentrating in the Contact Center and Collaboration software.

Kevin was an A-Player salesperson who transitioned successfully into leadership. At Cisco Systems, his Enterprise Area sales team drove double-digit growth, with annual bookings exceeding $120MM. As Strategy leader for Cisco’s Contact Center and Collaboration specialist sales groups, he devised, designed and coached a competitive displacement sales program that netted over $125MM bookings with a 90% win rate and zero no-decisions. Kevin’s experience prior to Cisco at Spanlink – a packaged and custom software company and reseller-integrator – began at near-startup stage. Leading the sales team out of the company’s IPO, he grew revenues by 50%, then closed an OEM agreement with a $70M+ lifetime value. When the 2001 tech bubble burst, resulting in dissolving a $130M acquisition, he was instrumental in refitting and relaunching the company.


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