In Conversation with Procore on Sales Enablement


This post is based on a webinar on the secret to building a sales enablement powerhouse. You can listen to the entire webinar here.

Procore is the world’s most widely used construction project management software. It helps contractors keep track of their projects throughout the entire lifecycle of a project, from bidding to closeout, and helps them reduce errors and cost overruns. Procore was featured on Forbes Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016 and reached unicorn status on Dec 2016. With such high growth, the size of the company inevitably increased, and they now have over 700 employees in 7 offices across the United States.

Three challenges triggered Procore’s need for sales enablement

Procore’s sales team was growing rapidly and they were having difficulty gauging the performance of their sales team, so they implemented a structured sales enablement program. Alex Jaffe, Sales Enablement Manager for Procore, played a critical role in executing this strategy. The key challenges they addressed by implementing a well-structured sales enablement program included:

  1. Keeping their salespeople up-to-date on a constantly evolving product, industry, and competitive information.
  2. Aligning their core messaging and sales process in a period of hyper-growth. This included hiring new reps and ramping them up quickly.
  3. Managing and delivering sales collateral in a way that ensured a consistent customer experience

They focused on three key areas of excellence

“Our approach to sales enablement is in three different areas of excellence. They are selling skills, a definite approach to product and industry is being a powerful leader in that perspective, and then working efficiently with our technology and maximizing the results. So, we focus really in depth on creating the knowledge, process, and skills to make it simple and digestible,” explained Jaffe.

The strategy was deployed using a two-prong approach

Sales enablement at Procore was structured into two distinct categories:

  1. Segment based
  2.  Functional based

All roles within the categories functioned as a conduit between sales and the different departments involved in each initiative.

The distinction based on functions and initiatives helped Procore handle their overall sales enablement program with ease.

“If you have one person focusing on sales enablement then you are not going to be able to to boil the ocean and focus on all the areas. What you guys can do is use productivity measures and understanding of what you can maximize and then do the prioritization based on that. So, at Procore what we have done is split these into two distinct buckets, which we think are two different mindsets. Different people are responsible for each of these initiatives,” explains Jaffe.

Procore’s sales enablement framework

Procore facilitated a structured, streamlined and outcome-oriented onboarding process to ensure their reps were set up for success. The first 90 days was the initial onboarding phase, and from then on it was about continual improvement, called ongoing enablement.

We start with a simple framework that works pretty well for us. It’s very important to see sales readiness in the two distinct views. First, the onboarding, which we view as 0-90 days, and then the ongoing enablement which is 90 plus days,” explains Jaffe.

Setting expectations is key to your onboarding program

With the framework in place, Jaffe then suggests setting goals and targets based on your onboarding program. “The first thing that you guys need to start on from an onboarding perspective is understanding the approach you want to do. Ultimately the one thing that you need to address is at what stage of onboarding you are, and what are the outcomes that you want to drive. So, if you are running let’s say, an onboarding program that’s five days long on the next Monday, what does the sales reps need on that day to be successful and working on their own. Maybe it’s about understanding the pitch, understanding the customer stories and understanding how to demo and that’s all that it is. Driving those outcomes and then taking the 30-60-90 days approach and asking what outcomes do I need my teams to have in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, and then proceed to ongoing enablement.”

There are three important objectives to an ongoing plan

According to Jaffe ongoing enablement is as important as the initial onboarding phase.  He recommends that it’s tailor-made for each of your ramped up reps. Procore leverages Mindtickle for its ongoing enablement to achieve these three objectives:

  1. Constant reinforcement of knowledge and skills
  2. Regular updates of knowledge and processes
  3. Periodic re-calibration of processes and skills

Aligning your objectives helps to measure the impact of your program

Before you think about measuring the impact of your program, Jaffe suggests ensuring that it ’s well aligned with your overall objective.

“I think aligning your objectives with your global sales objectives as well as your company’s’ is critically important when you are measuring the impact of sales enablement. Sales enablement is not in a bubble creating its own objectives, it’s going to be completely dependent on what are we trying to drive at a company level and a global sales team level,” explains Jaffe.

At the end of the day, outcomes matter

Jaffe shared insights on how the impact of this program was measured and shared their impressive outcomes. “The most important thing with measuring the impact is identifying leading vs. lagging indicators. Leading indicators are going to be what you can coach and train your reps through. Lagging indicators are how you are going to measure that success. Lagging indicators are going to be the results closed, dollars won improvement in sales and things like that. Leading indicators would be an adoption of your program, how comfortable your reps are with the program.”

Procore has achieved impressive results with their sales enablement strategy, the figures speak for themselves:

  • >90% adoption of content and sales enablement technology
  • Sales reps rate the overall program at 4.8/5 according to their internal NPS survey
  • 99% of their sales reps recommend the program

Through a well-structured sales enablement program, Procore has been able to keep pace with their globally expanding sales team. With Mindtickle they have found the right balance between strategy, data, and technology to achieve an impressive outcome.

[Podcast] What Enablement Means to Ray Carroll – A VP of Sales’ Perspective (Episode 12)

In this 18 minute

interview Carroll outlines:

  • How to drive repeatable and predictable revenue
  • When it’s time for your sales organization to invest in sales enablement and productivity
  • How to enable your sales managers to perform at their best by shifting their mindset
  • How to prioritize and continuously improve sales enablement and training initiatives

To download or subscribe to the Sales Excellence podcast login to






or find it


“If you’ve got to double your revenue to stay on track with your projections, you can’t do that on 30k deals. And if marketing is doing great things and attracting really great logos, but sales aren’t doing the right things, you’re not going to get what you’re looking for. And if sales is doing a really good job targeting their accounts and they’re motivated to hit the phones, but marketing isn’t giving them any air cover you’re not going to get the lift you’re looking for.”
That was the problem the Marketo was facing by relying on inbound marketing for its sales leads. So it decided to find a new way to scale, and leveraging the power of Account Based Marketing Engagio was born. Ray Carroll moved to Engagio as VP of Sales and was tasked with the job of building and scaling this next generation marketing technology company. As the business grew the issue of sales productivity became more apparent.

“The incremental efficiency on the average sale price, the time it takes to get a rep to productivity, the average sales cycle; you get those gains through having a first-class sales enablement function. And that’s why you see companies like Box, Zendesk, and HubSpot have Directors of Sales Productivity. Because if you can get 500 people with all deals at a 1% more close rate or making their deal cycle less, that is a significant uplift. That’s bigger than any single deal which you close for half a million dollars,” explains Carroll.

Thanks to sales enablement the role of the sales manager is also changing. “Managers have to realize that your job no longer is having your name in lights or closing the deal. It’s helping your team be as good at their job at scale, and only when you do that will you win as a team. It’s shifting from tactical to strategic.”

Listen now

to find out how Carroll has helped Engagio make the transformative shift from tactical to strategic sales.

[Podcast] How to Coach your Customer to Choose your Product with Jeffrey Lipsius (Episode 11)

In this 15 minute

interview Lipsius outlines:

  • Why decision coaching is important to your customers
  • What are the must-have components of a top-notch sales training program
  • How to coach your sales reps so that it sticks
  • The link between mindfulness and sales performance

To download or subscribe to the Sales Excellence podcast login to






or find it



“The new problem customers are facing is that they have too many choices. And making decisions are difficult because they’re so distracted, everybody wants their attention instantly. Customers now really need somebody’s help to coach them through the decision process.”

And that’s where the modern salesperson can step in according to Jeffrey Lipsius, Author, and President of Selling To The Point. With over 30 years experience in training salespeople, Lipsius has seen how the sales game has changed in the digital age.

“The salesperson has to be the learner, not the teacher. So the salesperson has to be very customer aware. Because if you are customer aware then you’re going to be able to respond in a way that’s going to help the customer make better decisions. All this talk about salespeople getting customer buying resistance, handling objections and being difficult in prospecting, that all goes away if the customer believes that the salesperson is there to help them make a better decision.”

That’s why Lipsius believes that decision coaching is a very important tool for a salesperson add to their tool chest. “A salesperson really only has to pay attention to 3 factors in the customer’s decision process,” says Lipsius.
Listen now

to find out Lipsius’ three C’s to the customer decision process.

[Podcast] How to Enable Your SDRs for Success with Inside Sales Bootcamp (Episode 9)

In this 15 minute interview Duchen and Reisert outline:

  • What makes a great SDR onboarding program;
  • How you can reduce the ramp up time for your new SDRs;
  • What role a manager plays in the onboarding process; and
  • What sales enablement professionals can do to improve the success of their SDRs.

To download or subscribe to the Sales Excellence podcast login to SoundcloudStitcheriTunes or find it here
New Call-to-action
inside-sales-bootcamp-podcast“Onboarding SDRs can actually be really tricky especially for an organization that is doing this for the first time,” explains Ryan Reisert who’s seen his fair share of inside sales onboarding programs.
Along with Mike Duchen, Reisert is co-founder of Inside Sales Bootcamp, a sales acceleration engine for high growth. They help companies onboard and ramp up their SDRs.

“I see a lot of companies struggle when they start to create their outbound program. Because they’ve had success with inbound, they’ve got a lot of leads coming in, but they start their outbound function without actually going through the data or at least trying to understand what expected outcomes can look like. Without setting that up front, you’re set yourself up for long term failure,” he continues.

“This is not an easy role when you look at what the day to day of an SDR actually looks like,” adds Duchen.  “A rep will be doing 100 activities per day, every day. It’s a lot of work. And on top of that, they’re probably getting rejected eight or nine out of ten times.”

Inside sales is a tough job, which is why every enablement initiative you implement that helps your SDRs do their job will lead them (and you) on the road to success.

In Conversation with CrowdStrike on Sales Onboarding


This post is based on a webinar on how to accelerate new hire productivity for consistent production with sales onboarding. You can listen to the entire webinar here.

Webinar_crowdstrike_sales_enablement_onboardingCrowdStrike is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Silicon Valley. It is on a mission to stop breaches through next-generation anti-virus, endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed hunting – all in the cloud. CrowdStrike has a unique ability to not only prevent cyber attacks but also respond to malicious attacks. It’s no surprise then that they were recently ranked number 40 on

Deloitte’s’ technology Fast 500

, North America, recognized for the exponential growth of 2,665% in the past 3 years. Thanks to this stunning growth trajectory the company’s sales force has doubled recently and is continuing to grow rapidly.
Rapid growth comes with its challenges

Trying to maintain exponential growth was CrowdStrike’s biggest sales enablement challenge. To achieve this Tracey Meersman, Director of Sales Enablement, believed the key was to focus in on how they onboarded their new sales hires. It’s a sound strategy when you consider that 60% of businesses with onboarding programs ramp up faster and achieve double the top line revenue per rep with an agile structured onboarding process.

To create their successful onboarding program CrowdStrike ensured it was:
crowdstrike sales onboarding
The onboarding program has five distinct phases

“The complete program is pretty quick, just 90 days with ongoing mentoring and coaching opportunities. One of the things that we’re tasked with is helping our B players become A players, and to ramp people as quickly as possible as the cost of onboarding is very expensive. And we’re tasked with trying to get everyone ramped on their phones, so they’re out in the field, selling and achieving quota as quickly as possible,”

comments Meersman.

The 5-part onboarding program was designed to achieve this while incorporating CrowdStrike’s four building blocks of onboarding; compliance, clarity, connection, and culture.

  1. Pre-Boarding

Phase one begins prior to the new hire commencing with CrowdStrike, leveraging technology to deliver courses to future employees. “

Topics include the company’s strategy, resources, benefits, and compliance. The objective is to identify CrowdStrike’s advantages, complete onboarding activities and reaffirm their decision to join CrowdStrike,”

explains Meersman.

  1. Pre-Bootcamp


“Phase 2 occurs on the new hire’s start date with a virtual webinar. Topics include a product overview, initiatives and most importantly an opportunity to ask questions. The objective is to accelerate their ramp and productivity by utilizing tools and resources, engaging in the culture and finalizing onboarding requirements. For sales new hires, they are added to the CrowdStrike Sales Academy. A learning platform powered by Mindtickle which we use specifically for sales. New hires are assigned specific learning activities related to their role. This includes the mobile capability to complete learning through the Mindtickle mobile app,”

continues Meersman.

  1. Bootcamp


“And Phase 3 is an in-person program featuring executive presentations and departmental overview. For new sales hires this includes an additional 1.5-day interactive boot camp to align selling strategies to the company’s growth objectives by articulating our key messages and unique business value. New hires are onboarded a minimum of one week prior to attending the in-person program and there is pre-work to provide foundational knowledge. The boot camp provides an opportunity to pitch back messages in CrowdStrike’s unique business value as well as align with the sales process in the key prospect and customer program. “That allows us to be able to use a scenario-based approach through the Mindtickle platform as well,”

explains Meersman.

  1. Post-Bootcamp

With boot camp completed the next aspect is to align the learning with real-world selling.

“So how often have we heard from sales reps, ‘I’ve never used this or that. It’s not what my customers want/need to hear’? More than once, right? So our onboarding program aligns with real-world sales scenarios with learning activities at specific intervals in their onboarding journey including the opportunity for sales scenarios and coaching by their manager. they also have the opportunity to have a buddy to be able to reinforce the learning and provide just-in-time information,”

explains Meersman.

  1. Continuous Reinforcement

[Continuous reinforcement] is also a key component that includes personalization, scalability, structured and milestone-based approaches. So each learning activity in CrowdStrike’s sales academy includes a knowledge transfer. We have the ability to teach hires, not penalize them through the use of what Mindtickle refers to as ‘tickles’. So those would be matching true-false to multiple choice questions. There are 16 different tickles within Mindtickle and we try to utilize all of that. We also do continual learning in terms of providing a quick update and courses. We try to push those out on a weekly basis so the new hires are not just getting onboarding information they’re also getting just in time information that’s related to their role,”

outlines Meersman.
Milestones help drive consistency

“It’s imperative for our growth and success that the program is standard and consistent,”

explains Meersman. 

“Therefore there are key milestones within the onboarding program at weeks one to four as well as at 60 and 90 days. CrowdStrikes’ Sales Academy provides the structure through workflows, with key milestones to be successfully completed at each interval. The sales rep needs to complete the activities before moving forward to the next onboarding phase. When we’re looking at the components of the onboarding program we’re looking at five distinct areas; one is, understanding the buyer, understanding CrowdStrike’s offerings, beating the competition, CrowdStrike’s differentiation, including our unique business value, use cases and success metrics and all the sales tools and resources.”
Personalization helps each new hire learn what they need to

When you’re onboarding tens or hundreds of new sales reps at a time personalization is a huge challenge. So how does CrowdStrike achieve this? 

“First the process and programs need to be personalized for each role. As with many sales organizations, there are various target markets and associated roles and responsibilities. The program needs to be role-based.  So our onboarding guide, though applicable for the entire sales team, has call outs for specific roles,”

explains Meersman. This is easily achieved thanks to Mindtickle’s deep integration with

that enables the onboarding program administrators to allocate aspects of the course to specific roles, markets or responsibilities.
Scalability is achieved by leveraging mobile technology

“The other key component of sales onboarding at CrowdStrike is that it had to be scalable. Utilizing CrowdStrike Sales Academy ensures that the sale onboarding program is scalable through the app based Mindtickle platform. From day 1 forward the program is available 24/7 to new hires. And soon the platform will have the capability for managers to be able to run their own report to track progress,”

comments Meersman.
Experiential learning aligns to real-world selling

“When we looked at our program we also wanted to be able to blend learning and activity. Within our approach and utilizing the Mindtickle platform, we’re able to provide a blend of self-paced knowledge combined with activities that are reviewed by the rep’s manager, which provides a virtual coaching opportunity. This is really key for the manager to be involved in the new hire’s onboarding,”

explains Meersman.

This is accomplished by having the reps complete what is known in the Mindtickle platform as missions, that are activities that your rep completes. These include elevator pitches and value proposition as well as email and voicemail pamphlets And respond to specific situations including objection-handling, competitive scenarios etc. So rather than spend time and resources having the new rep deliver the poor pitch during our boot camp, they have to complete this within the CrowdStrike Sales Academy after boot camp. Again this is reviewed by their manager and provides an additional coaching opportunity.”

Experiential learning is also applied to peer-to-peer learning.

“From the experiential learning standpoint it is very key we get this all the time from reps. I’d like to see how one of my peers and how they pitch, how they handle the objection. In the real world they’re often presenting to executives, so they want to be able to build up that knowledge and see how their other peers are doing it as well.”

Utilizing Mindtickle’s app, CrowdStrike is also able to share peer examples so the reps can learn from each other in their own time as well.

“And we talk a lot about sales rep but there’s also the capability for a day technical salespeople to be able to do a demo as well through the platform. So it’s not just the pitches for the field sales rep but also applicable for the technical sales people as well,”

adds Meersman
Communication between reps and management enhances coaching opportunities

Communication should go two ways. Leveraging the Mindtickle app CrowdStrike is able to facilitate this kind of communication.

“This allows the new rep and manager to effectively communicate progress, areas of improvement and also coaching opportunities. Reports are also available to managers so that they can track that progress. Right now I provide those reports to them but there will be a self-service portal coming soon,”

explains Meersman.
Buddying helps build connections

“Additionally each new hire should buddy with a peer with whom they connect on a regular basis, learn how to be successful in their role and feel comfortable asking questions they don’t want to ask their manager. The buddy reinforces the key learnings and helps the new hire if they require training on utilization of key tools and resources. So think of all of those questions that you don’t want to ask your manager like how to use Salesforce, find specific tools and resources etc.”
And make it easy … for reps and for sales enablement

Tools have to be easy to use otherwise they’re not really enabling the rep. “

And that’s really a key component because so many sales reps live in salesforce they have access to the Mindtickle platform through salesforce. So there’s no need to login to an official website. This makes it very very easy and because the Mindtickle app has the mobile capability as well it’s also very easy to access.”

But enablement and collaboration are also important for the administrators of the system as Meersman explains, “

I am a strong party of one. A one-woman show in terms of creating and maintaining the content. I know of many who are probably in the same situation. The good news is that I have a great relationship with our product marketing organization. And we work together to be able to create content. And also others  meet within the organization depending on what the topic is.”

“So my commercial for Mindtickle is nobody ever said that it was fun using an LMS.  I love the Mindtickle platform and our reps do as well because we have the mobile capability, we have the tickles or the gamification and social aspects, and we can push out bite-size chunks to people as well as perform better missions which are really the scenario-based approaches. And that provides reinforcement.”

Meersman continues “

My philosophy is it does not have to be so hard. In every sales enablement role I’ve had, it’s been a new role and I basically had to onboard myself which in turn led me to create onboarding programs for sale new hires. It was challenging for me, I didn’t have it to be challenging for the new sales hire. It’s my role and responsibility to connect the dots for sales reps to make it easier to learn quickly and attain specific productivity metrics.”
CrowdStrike’s onboarding program has been a success for management and reps

CrowdStrike has seen impressive results with their new hire sales onboarding. “

The typical ramp time for an enterprise software sales rep in our industry is six to 12 months. However, we’ve been able to fully ramp reps in half that time. Over 70% of ramped reps achieved or exceeded quota in their first quarter following their ramp.”

Meersman continues,

“We define ramp as the rep’s ability to achieve quota.”

“Our boot camp has received an overall rating of 4.8 out of 5. 99% of reps recommend the program, but in terms of value, our ratings are 100%. And we’re also correlating the training to learning. Out of our top 10 reps, the majority has been onboard for less than one year but are top in completing training. And several of them have been promoted. We also use KPIs and our onboarded reps are achieving or overachieving those KPIs as well,”

Meersman says proudly.

And the feedback from the field speaks for itself.


“Of all my years of various on boarding / new hire trainings I will say that this was the best experience and easiest to grasp.” ~

New sales rep

“You’ve got it down to a science, and I just wanted you to know how valuable it was in helping to get me ramped up.” ~

New sales rep

Increase your topline revenue with an effective sales onboarding program

[Podcast] How Oracle Built its Sales Enablement Function from the Ground Up with Roderick Jefferson (Episode 8)

In this 18 minute interview Jefferson outlines:

  • His formula for creating an effective sales enablement function from scratch;
  • How sales enablement can earn a seat at the executive table; and
  • How sales enablement can help businesses adapt to the challenges of managing successful multi-generational sales teams.

To download or subscribe to the Sales Excellence podcast login to SoundcloudStitcheriTunes or find it here
Oracle_Marketing_Cloud_Sales Enablement“Sales enablement is the hub that spokes out to every part of the organization. We work with product marketing, product management, marketing, sales, IT etc. So we kind of translate languages if you will, between those groups.”
As Head of Global Enablement at Oracle Marketing Cloud, that makes Roderick Jefferson chief translator. His collaborative approach to sales enablement means that he focuses on deciding what the business requires.
“The one thing we never want to do in enablement is assuming that we know what a stakeholder needs. So we sit down and ask those questions, like how do you define success beyond simply wrap up time? What other components would you like to see added to enablement? What do you see as the deficiencies now?” comments Jefferson.
“Because enablement has to be a sales partner, it cannot be a sales scribe that you just throw things at,” he continues. “You only think about sales training when something is broken. Think about enablement as a fabric that weaves across and through the entire understanding and culture of a company.”
It’s this perspective that Jefferson has followed throughout his career in sales and sales enablement. Listen now to hear how Jefferson has built sales enablement functions from the ground up at blue-chip companies including, eBay, and Oracle.

[Podcast] How to Train Best-in-Class SDRs with Craig Ferrara and Chris Snell of AG Salesworks (Episode 7)

Listen nowto hear how AG Salesworks helps businesses prepare their SDRs for success.
In this 13 minuteinterview Ferrara and Snell outline:

  • What core competencies make an SDR best in class;
  • How training for a new SDR differs from an experienced professional; and
  • What are the best metrics to use when benchmarking your SDRs.

To download or subscribe to the Sales Excellence podcast login to Soundcloud, Stitcher, iTunes or find it here.
AG Salesworks SDR Training“It’s just like the framework of a car. It doesn’t matter what color they are. It doesn’t matter what the whistles in the car are. It’s what the frame is, and you can take that one frame and make it blue, and then make the next one red. And the red one has a pleather interior and a blue one has got leather interior. But as long as the framework is where you can take that from sale to sale with you.”
Training SDRs is just like building a car according to Chris Snell, Strategic Advisor at AG Salesworks. And Craig Ferrara, VP Client Operations agrees.
“We’ve worked with nearly 400 companies’ in completely different spaces. And whether they’re HR or IT or operations, the core competencies that we typically follow, our training process is relevant to all of them. You know that foundation, no matter what industry, will still have application and it works across all industries.”
So it begs the question, what framework do you need to train best-in-class SDRs for your business.

In Conversation with ForeScout on Sales Enablement


ForeScout Sales enablementThis post is based on a podcast on how ForeScout enables its sales team for their competitive advantage. You can listen to part 1 of the podcast



ForeScout is a cutting-edge network security company that can detect devices the instant they connect to a network. They are at the forefront of cybersecurity and have been named one of the

20 Fastest Growing Security Companies in 2015

by the Silicon Review. The company has customers around the world and requires a cohesive sales team in order to keep up with growing demand.

According to Renee Capovilla, Director of Sales Enablement, their motto is to turn its A players into ForeScout sales superstars by mastering six core elements:

  1. Industry knowledge;
  2. Buyer knowledge;
  3. Product knowledge;
  4. Pitch knowledge;
  5. Process knowledge; and
  6. Systems knowledge.

The business encountered challenges in the process, messaging and onboarding

Capovilla identified key sales enablement challenges for the business, “

When I first joined ForeScout it became very clear to me that we needed to up-level our sales process. We had a documented sales process but it just wasn’t being followed consistently. Moreover, from a messaging perspective, there was no consistency across the sales organization. In order to scale the business and to accelerate our new hire ramp up, we needed to re-engineer our sales process and more importantly document that.”

Three solutions were identified

To address the key challenges, the company focused its efforts on three key areas.

Creating a sales playbook


“The goal of the playbook is to capture and certify what your top performers are saying, asking and doing at every stage of the sales cycle. A playbook needs to provide guidance around first the deal, the call and the forecast management best practices throughout the sales process. Because we have a complex sale process and we work with a lot of very high stake deals, it’s critical that the playbook clearly defines the roles and responsibilities and the rules of engagement of all the different seller stakeholders, to ensure that we in the end delight that buyer throughout the selling process,”

explains Capovilla.

“The playbook should use the sales process as the framework. This approach has enabled us to give that clear direction and guidance on what the rep should do say, do and ask it at every stage of their sale cycle, replicating the best of the best. Then as part of this, it should also include a review section which is the coaching questions at every stage. This is where the manager comes in and plays the part of the coach with the rep, it’s a must-have.”

“We also have sections for the buyer role profiles, so we understand the buyer we are selling to and what they are doing through the sales process so we can lead them through it. We have security topic focus conversational tracks that really draw out the business value for why we are talking to those buyers and then we have an objection handling section which is again one of my favorites. And then we have key customer success story section where reps can talk about other customer successes again embellishing that conversation with the customer,”

outlines Capovilla.

The sales playbook is currently being migrated to Mindtickle so that the technology can be leveraged for all aspects of the process.

Instituting a corporate pitch certification program

When approaching the issue of consistent messaging, ForeScout decided to institute a company-wide corporate pitch certification program.

“This corporate pitch program serves as a framework to which we present our capabilities, our differentiators and our values to our customers. It enables that discussion again around security buyers’ challenges, we present use cases, the current infrastructure gaps that could be occurring and then we help walk the customer through how ForeScout can uniquely address each one of them.”

“I call it the 30 – 3 – 30. You need to be able to just give a 30-second pitch on your company. I think everybody has to have that in their arsenal of conversation. Then we go into the three which is the “three-minute elevator pitch.” That’s where you start talking a little bit more about the buyer challenges and a few of the use cases, but not in too much depth because we have to stick to three minutes. And then the last is, of course, the 30, and that’s where we consider the full-on pitch,”

she continues.

Each pitch is recorded and reviewed using Mindtickle and feedback is provided back to the reps. This then enables the certification to be recorded as well.

Building a robust onboarding program

ForeScout’s onboarding program builds on the sales playbook.

“We use the playbook content as the basis for developing our sales university and we use Mindtickle. Our perspective is that the playbook beckons that onboarding program. It’s the basis for developing the university courseware and the referencing coaching guide that drives our overall process and best practice application post the onboarding experience,”

Capovilla explains.

“We have tackled it in a 30-60-90 day approach. The first month is focused on completion of the online courses that we have put in Mindtickle, along with the prescribed shadowing activities. Around week four to six we bring in the new hires to a boot camp, where we expose them to the best people. We bring the concepts that were taught in those online courses to life, and learning scenarios and role play sprinkled with a little bit of tribal knowledge and customer situations. In my opinion, the best way to learn is to have the trainees apply the concepts to real deals so we also have them do teach back concepts, that’s the role play. We do a lot these role plays, where the trainees have to present what they’ve learned to their peers, and it’s through that collaboration that the learning really starts happening.”

“That’s why I got the platform:

because all of that is in Mindtickle. We use that platform to push out quick updates, to make sure that they haven’t forgotten what we taught them initially in the courses and the missions. One of my favorites is the pitch back because you really want to know once the rep knows it. You want to know how they are using it on a sales call and the only way you’re going to know that is if they tell you. So the pitch back is so important for us to hear what they are going to say when they get to the customer, a great way to reinforce the learning through listening,”

she explains.

“Mindtickle allows me to ramp up my onboarding as well as my ongoing field training. I enable the technology sooner rather than later. Don’t feel intimidated to add the technology early on, because it won’t just help with the cycle time,”

Capovilla continues.

“It’s the ease of use for both the administrator and the user. I’m on both sides of the platform all day long. I quickly set-up a course, a mission, a pitch back. It’s so easy and then from a user perspective, I love the UI. It’s just beautiful and simple and clear, you know what you need to do. We also love the fun and interactive learning experience. Invariably we hear comments like ‘this was the best learning experience I have had, very positive’. I think people learn a lot from seeing themselves.”

New hires are now hitting productivity targets within six to nine months

In a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving getting new hires to ramp up is challenging, but ForeScout has found their sales playbook and onboarding program so effective that by the six to nine month mark their new hires are hitting their productivity targets. They are also expected to deliver their corporate pitch within their first 30 days, using a scorecard to help judge it impartially.

“If you partner with the right companies they will work with you on your team. Mindtickle’s been great. I don’t look at them as a vendor, I look at them as a partner. So when I get stuck or have a challenge, I call my Customer Success rep and we work through it. It’s really like having another person on my team. That’s how I have been able to be successful,”

reflects Capovilla.

In Conversation with Nutanix on Partner Sales Enablement


Nutanix partner sales enablementThis post is based on a podcast on how Nutanix scales its revenue with channel partners. You can listen to the entire podcast



Nutanix is an enterprise cloud platform that helps businesses focus on what’s really important without sacrificing security. They rely on channel partners to scale their sales fast and effectively. “

I see basically channel resellers as an extension of our sales,”

explains Joan Morales, Senior Channel Marketing Manager for Nutanix. “

That means having the knowledge, the tools, access to the resources that they need, including marketing programs and training materials, so they can be successful in selling Nutanix.”

The business has been expanding rapidly since its inception in 2009. In only a few years it has gone from having a few hundred channel partners to several thousand, selling across dozens of countries and reaching thousands of customers globally. Recently the business went public with a stunning stock market debut.

Making their channel partners successfulis was the challenge

With their heavy reliance on channel partners for sales breadth and reach, the key challenge for Nutanix was identifying what they needed to be successful in their sales enablement strategy, and how to deliver it to their reps in a way that was easy to access and digest.
Geography was another challenge they faced. While Nutanix is headquartered

in San Jose they needed to be where their channel partners and customers were.

Channel partners are an extension of their own sales force

The core of Nutanix’ channel partner strategy is to treat them as an extension of their own sales force; with the same care, love, respect, and passion.

“Making it easy and simple and as complete as we make it for our own employees, with the same tools, and in most of the cases the same content. So that everybody goes back to the same core knowledge and the same core aspects of Nutanix,”

explains Morales.

Leveraging technology for ease of access


“Ease of use is one of the most important aspects. Making an experience that is easy, sociable, fun. What is really critical for us is giving access to as many things as we can give access to,”

comments Morales. “

When we have live training for our own employees we bring them back into the headquarters and we train them for a week. We could not do that for our channel partners of course because the scale and the reach is really large. So we thought about how we can make all of that great content accessible to channel partners around the globe in their own time.”

“We made a huge inventory of all the content we needed to share with partners and we looked for a platform that was a video-based platform. Easy to use, completely web-based, with no software to be installed, that’s actually more of a consumer experience than an enterprise experience. We wanted to deliver to our partners an experience that is actually closer to Facebook or a video game, not a boring enterprise software experience,”

he explained.

After a detailed market survey, Nutanix chose Mindtickle to deliver this experience to their channel partners (and employees). “

Mindtickle was one of the best in terms of delivering all aspects of the training.”

Engage users by reinforcing concepts

To engage their channel partners’ reps and help them learn, Nutanix leveraged gamification and reinforcement features in Mindtickle.

“Basically we were able to put all our training in video and we created small weekly modules of training. After each one of the weekly modules of training, there are different types of tests that you take on Mindtickle. You have video testing, with points associated to every single thing that happens. This makes cumbersome training into a game. You get exposed to a new concept and then right after you get questions on that new concept that you just listened to. By doing this and replicating this time after time you’ll build knowledge very easily. Mindtickle has a very large menu of different types of test questions,”

explains Morales.

“So Mindtickle basically was able to deliver that kind of fun, engaging, easy to manage, easy to deliver the experience. We were trying to find a partner that could be a company that was eager to innovate, eager to do things quickly, to basically helps us deliver these new types of experience for our channel partners. And that’s a very important aspect that we also found in Mindtickle. We found a team that is eager to innovate, is eager to work beyond the normal hours sometimes when it’s necessary to make sure that things happen on time.”

Track key metrics closely to identify gaps

Metrics play an important role in managing Nutanix’ channel partners. There are three types of analytics that they measure closely:

  • Deal size:This helps them identify where they can close larger deals;
  • Sales cycle:The faster they can sell the more deals they can close;
  • Success rates:The more success their partners have the more they can sell.

The business does look at other metrics to track how well their channel partners are performing, such as days to close their first deal. These metrics all help Nutanix identify which channel partners are the most successful.

Nutanix’ success is evident in their revenue and channel partner feedback

Nutanix’ channel partners have provided positive feedback on their sales training and updates. “

We have had many channel partners come back to us, telling us that the training that we are delivering is the best thing they have seen. All their salespeople are willing to take the training because it’s easy, it’s fun and it’s a video experience that basically is entertaining,”

comments Morales.

Through reporting and analysis, Nutanix has identified that channel partners who have access to their training program through Mindtickle are able to close deals faster. They also have deals of higher value and able to drive more sales more consistently over a longer period of time.

In conversation with Jeremy Powers on Sales Enablement at MongoDB

MongoDB sales enablementThis post is based on a podcast on MongoDB’s formula for sales enablement success. You can listen to the entire podcast


MongoDB is the database for giant ideas. It offers the best features of traditional databases while providing the flexibility, scale, and performance that modern applications require. It is known for helping its customers gain a competitive advantage by leveraging information and technology. It helps customers reduce their risk for mission-critical deployments and accelerates their time to value, enabling them to bring new and interesting apps to market faster. It also dramatically reduces the total cost of ownership across an organization by harnessing the innovations of the NoSQL world and maintaining the core tenets of relational databases.

The company is expanding globally and hiring new sales staff to keep up with its phenomenal growth trajectory. It is seeking more enterprise-ready salespeople to help more organizations leverage their product to scale faster and achieve success.

Maintaining sales effectiveness is a challenge

The key challenge MongoDB faces as it scales is maintaining the effectiveness of its sales team,

“We have to have a very effective onboarding program and support sales to be more effective, be more productive. That’s the main goal and that’s our focus,”

outlines Jeremy Powers who heads up Sales Enablement for the company.

“The goal is to provide the sales team with an in-depth understanding of the industry, our customers, our technology and our solution sets. We then build upon that baseline and knowledge to equip our reps to consistently qualify for opportunities and getting and setting great meetings with the right people. Then ultimately prepare them to engage in highly effective, highly valuable conversations with prospects.  Ultimately we want to arm our sales team to not only differentiate themselves based on what we sell but also based on how they sell and how they interact with the customer. We want to provide an environment through our onboarding program where they can practice these things and really receive feedback, valuable feedback as part of the process,”

explains Powers.

Onboarding, advanced training, and analytics are key to sales effectiveness

MongoDB has taken a three-pronged approach that leverages technology to maintain and improve the sales effectiveness of its sales team.

Onboarding sets the baseline

MongoDB has established a 30, 60 and 90-day onboarding program. In their first month, new hires attend a week-long boot camp. Prior to attending the Bootcamp the new hires use Mindtickle to read up on pre-work so they have a baseline knowledge before attending in-person training.

“We have tried to put participants in the best possible position to succeed and get the most out of the training, the pre-work really provides a great foundation upon which they can build,”

explains Powers.

“It introduces new folks to all kinds of things: the industry, our customers, what we sell and how we sell it. It’s a very comprehensive program that also allows them to do missions that are really effective and provides an opportunity for sales reps to really try things on, have them record themselves delivering a customer success story or proof points.”

Mindtickle is then leveraged to deliver follow-up courses and advanced training, along with new product releases and information to keep sellers up to date.

Advanced sales training brings in real-world learnings

Everyone undertakes advanced sales training within their first 6 months. This is a three-day comprehensive deep dive that builds on their onboarding and learnings from the real world. This boot camp style training is delivered by a cross-functional group that includes executives, sales leaders, product marketing and the sales enablement team.

“We’ve really made the choice, as a company, to make a significant investment in our time and our resources, in order to provide a great development opportunity for our sales team. In fact, we ran the numbers on this and we spent over 6 times the industry average on developing our sellers and that is something we are really proud of,”

explains Powers.

Mindtickle is leveraged again in the advanced training to deliver relevant content, conduct missions and deliver feedback to management and the sales enablement team.

Accountability and constant evaluation keep the team on track

To help keep reps accountable MongoDB leverages Mindtickle’s functionality.

“We really believe in setting clear expectations and a standard of accountability and this like anything else really starts with the sales leaders. We refer to it as leading from the front,”

explains Powers.

“When we look at performance to really evaluate how can we move the needle with specific sales teams and sales reps, objectively we have been able to gauge the degree to which folks really understand and complete the pre-work and quizzes through Mindtickle. We can leverage things called missions in which we have reps record themselves delivering customer success stories that they learn or delivering a standard pitch. Accessibility to items like abaya vaate on crucial, mirroring the necessity for specific tools in diverse practices. We get feedback and managers can also see how someone’s tracking.”

“In Bootcamp we have an entrance exam to kick things off and the much anticipated final exam towards the end of the week. These things give us a really good sense of, Is this sinking in? Is it sticking?”

explains Powers.

“There is a feedback mechanism that we have in place to capture all this data and anecdotal stuff as well, and then feed that into the follow-up process. In terms of adoption and reinforcement, we leverage Mindtickle in a spaced learning concept keeping the contents and concepts top of mind.”

New hire ramp-up time has reduced from 11 to 5 months

This comprehensive program has really started to deliver results for MongoDB, allowing them to reduce their ramp-up time for new hires from over 11 months to just 5 months.

“I think the thing that really set us apart is being able to identify where people are struggling, giving them the support they need, and keeping things recent and relevant. Staying up with new things, new and interesting and great things that we are releasing in the product that address more and more customer problems. Helping them to achieve business outcomes and really being able to attach to that and enable reps to have great conversations. We really find that this process dramatically improved our onboarding,”

explains Powers.

By using the data within Mindtickle MongoDB has been able to provide data to its managers that give them the ability to really focus in on how to improve the effectiveness of each individual rep.

“The great part about it [Mindtickle] is that we are able to take all the data points like the exams and the minor feedbacks from the final presentations and really give managers some great direction. Hey what are the key things that you need to focus on, where are the knowledge gaps, and really equipping and arming them to have a great targeted approach in how they coach and develop their teams,”

explains Powers.