Episode 313: Gail Behun's Approach to Aligning Sales Strategy with Sales Enablement

GUEST: Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson

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Imagine a Venn diagram where leadership's vision overlaps with the practicalities of product marketing, the product team, and customer feedback.

That is sales enablement.

Sales enablement has become an integral part of every successful organization.

So then, we asked ourselves:

How can you effectively integrate sales enablement with your sales strategy to drive measurable impact and results for your overall organization?

To help us with this today, we have Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson. Gail is an experienced sales enablement leader passionate about producing measurable results. She has a strong background in sales and marketing roles, processes, methodologies, and business practices, and has held leadership positions in fast-growing SaaS companies throughout her career. 

How Does Sales Enablement Bridge Company Vision and Customer Success?

Sales enablement is the essential link connecting leadership's vision with the practicalities of product marketing, product teams, and customer feedback. Imagine it as a Venn diagram where these elements overlap, creating a space where sales enablement equips teams with tools to leverage this information effectively. This enables them to boost sales with existing customers and attract new ones. The sales enablement's placement within a company may vary, but it often falls under sales operations. Gail cautions against housing it under HR, or Learning and Development, as sales enablement's core aim is driving revenue, not simply training.

“I always look at sales enablement as like a Venn diagram, this conduit between leadership, the big picture vision of the company, what needs to happen, the product marketing team, and the product team by extension”.

Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson

The Key to Effective Sales Training Programs

Implementing sales training effectively, whether developed internally or sourced externally, requires continuous reinforcement and commitment. Buying a tailored solution isn't enough; ongoing deal coaching and using consistent terminology are crucial for making any methodology work. It's common for organizations to stall because they lack proper follow-through.

Similarly, internal training efforts often fail by being overly specific without building deeper, practical skills. Gail suggests that a mix of hard and soft skills, supported by regular evaluations and adaptations, is critical for embedding these practices into a company's culture. Engaging in workshops and consistent coaching are vital, as is the need for sales teams to take ownership and apply what they learn continuously.

“When you talk about hard skills versus soft skills, whether you develop either internally or externally, there has to be a good marriage to make sure that you are giving your teams the best in the breed”.

Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson

Beyond Vanity Metrics

Gail passionately dismisses vanity metrics, highlighting the importance of meaningful measurements in evaluating sales training effectiveness. Instead of focusing on initial achievements like the first sale, Gail tracks more important indicators such as consecutive months meeting quotas, showcasing a sales rep's consistent performance, and understanding of the sales process from start to finish.

Gail values lagging indicators, like deal size variations and the length of sales cycles, over superficial metrics, such as attendance at training sessions. By comparing these metrics across sales reps, she identifies areas for improvement and strategies to enhance overall productivity and increase win rates, ensuring that training translates into actual results.

“I hate vanity metrics more than anything. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it”.

Gail Behun, Director of Revenue Enablement at LivePerson

Building Strength in Numbers

Being part of the Revenue Enablement Society has taught Gail the importance of community, especially for enablement teams, often including just one or a few members. In a space where enablement teams have dramatically shrunk in size due to economic shifts, the ability to tap into a community for support and resources becomes priceless.

These communities provide framework, training advice, and strategy tips that are essential when you're the sole strategist in your organization facing unique challenges. Additionally, in the current climate of job uncertainty, these networks support your daily operations and help you refine your go-to-market strategies and personal branding as you navigate the job market.

Now that you know how to integrate sales enablement with your sales strategy to drive measurable impact and results for your overall organization, discover the full list of episodes at The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you enjoy the show, instructions to rate and review it are found here.

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