The Sales Enablement Chronicles: Insights from the Inside (Q+A Interview, Part 2)

In case you missed it, here is part 1 of the Sales Enablement Chronicles interview.

For this edition of The Sales Enablement Chronicles: Insights from the Inside, I interviewed John Chinello, Director of Global Sales Enablement at Tealium. John has held a variety of sales enablement positions at RE/MAX, Cars.com, Verve and now Tealium. He is also the Chapter President and Founder of the San Diego Chapter of the Sales Enablement Society. Check out what he had to say below!

Q. How do you define sales enablement at your organization?

A. Our sales enablement function has an established charter to communicate our focus and strategies. We serve our sales teams though education programs, processes, sales tools, and communications. We also lead and support sales events across the globe. We are part of a group led by our VP of Revenue Operations and Enablement, Laurie Schrager, and so we have a cross-functional team of Sales Ops, Sales Enablement, and our Customer/Partner Training team.

Data is at the core of what we do here at Tealium, and we consistently leverage data of all kinds to help drive our decisions and help our teams succeed.

Q. What are your top sales enablement priorities for the year?

A. My priorities are listed as follows, in no particular order  

  • We are exploring a Sales Asset Management Tool, which is why I am in conversations with Seismic. We continuously keep our eyes on the technology market and look for ways to improve efficiencies amongst our teams. Where we find we can automate tasks, we can increase rep effectiveness in moving deals forward.
  • Our Sales Kickoff in January (you can never plan too far in advance for these). And yes, we do have taco themed events since we are based in San Diego!
  • Continuous Sales Enablement Training – We host a bi-weekly webinar for each of our three global regions (Americas, APAC, EMEA) which includes various topics on knowledge building, industry updates and product updates. We use SalesHood to leverage distance learning through videos, competitive intelligence updates, pitch practice, process improvements and certification programs.
  • Tealium New Hire Onboarding – Our ownership of this bi-monthly program includes all new hires to the global organization, and we have custom tracks specific to the participants’ role.
  • Sales Methodology – We recently rolled out the ValueSelling methodology, and if you have ever implemented a methodology, you know that includes frequent touch points and continuous learning to ensure a successful implementation.

Q. What advice would you give companies that are building their sales enablement strategy?

A. When building a sales enablement strategy, it’s important to look at what you want to change/improve or build on in your 3-5-year plan. Enablement activities can be broad but can often be focused on a variety of areas of behavior.

Define how this should be measured. Is it seller productivity? Is it time to ramp/proficiency? Is it more onboarding training? Is it more logos? Is it upsell opportunities? Or is it more channel partners/relationships? All of these will vary by organization, which is why the enablement role is broadly defined. Pick metrics and focus on areas that will be measured, based on the behaviors that you are enabling. It’s VERY easy to have an enablement person pulled in a lot of different directions.

Develop a charter and vision of what you will do, and equally as important, what is outside of your scope. Plan to iterate on this frequently as the needs of the business change. As you grow this out, choose team members with skill sets and experience in the areas that you need. 

I have recently been defining  Enablement as the blueprint creation and scaffolding of a new building. You need to provide clear direction, and an organized plan to get there. While you may not be laying the actual bricks, (but sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves and get dirty!) the vision should be understood across the organization, and the support and structure should be there for everyone to be successful. 

Q. Do you have any best practices for aligning internal go-to-market teams?

A. This is a great question, and one that challenges many rapidly growing organizations I am sure. There is no silver bullet for this, but I have found strong communication of common goals to be a critical factor for this. I imagine it like a huddle of team members on the side of the football field. Everyone needs to know their part, and what everyone else’s role is in the objective. When the common goals and tactical approaches are aligned from the department leadership, and agreement is achieved there, then you can achieve a full functioning revenue engine.

Data, used well, can help drive decisions around the human aspect of sales. It can tell you what is working, and what is not. Getting the common goals aligned, and then further evaluating based on the data, allows teams to work together more cohesively.

Q. What books are you reading, and podcasts are you listening to?

Podcast: B2B Revenue Executive – by Chad Sanderson from ValueSelling. He is an excellent thought leader, and his podcast is filled with insights from executives willing to share their wisdom.

Book: Enablement Mastery – by Elay Cohen, from SalesHood. This book provides a great framework for building out and evolving Sales Enablement organizations and priorities. 

Continue to check back for more interviews with sales enablement industry leaders.

For more information on setting your organization up for success with sales enablement, register for the upcoming webinar, How To Get Senior Level Buy-In for Your Sales Enablement Program.


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