The Sales Enablement Chronicles: Insights from the Inside (Q+A Interview, Part 1)

Interviews with sales enablement industry leaders, sharing best practices, strategies, and words of wisdom.

For the first post in The Sales Enablement Chronicles: Insight from the Inside series I interviewed Mark Siciliano, Vice President of Sales Productivity & Strategy at Demandbase. Mark has held a variety of positions at Oracle, Marketo, and now Demandbase. He currently resides in Virginia but is originally from Connecticut and is still a loyal Yankees fan.

Q: How do you define sales enablement at Demandbase?

A: Sales enablement is a lot like ABM. ABM is finding the right accounts and using the right content at the right time. Enablement is similar. It means bringing the right content to the right person at the right time.

Q: What are your top priorities this year related to sales enablement?

A: My top three priorities are:

  1. Building pipeline
  2. Capturing the attention of the customer
  3. Closing business

I care most that my reps hit their quota and that CSMs have retention rates above 90%.

Q: How do you help drive results towards the priorities listed above?

A: To build pipeline and close business I think sellers should learn through practice. I conduct bootcamps, hold panel conversations, and set up role play scenarios. I’m also a big proponent of peer learning. Reps believe reps as opposed to someone who is preaching to them. I strongly believe in Sal Khan’s philosophy of flipping the classroom model.

To capture the attention of the customer, being authentic is crucial. It’s important to show that you know their business, which often means forgetting the slide deck. Great sellers really want to help the customer as opposed to just hoping to close the sale.

Q: What advice would you give companies that are starting to build their sales enablement strategy?

  1. Find what good looks like and replicate it.
  2. Allow people to be their authentic self as you train them. We often worry too much about talk tracks instead of making it human.
  3. Have sales reps role play and allow them to fail fast. Learn by practicing.
  4. Have something in place to drive accountability.

Q: What books are you reading right now?

  1. Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker
  2. Account Based Marketing by Chris Golec, Peter Isaacson, and Jessica Fewless
  3. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

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, download The Ultimate Guide to Sales Enablement.

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