In Conversation with Dynamic Signal: An Interview with Danielle Schaumburg

As the first installment in a series of interviews with Sales Enablement and Readiness leaders, MindTickle’s SVP of Strategy and GTM, Gopkiran Rao, recently spoke with Danielle Schaumburg of Dynamic Signal to learn about her experience making her sales team ready to delight customers. As the Director of Global Sales Enablement, Danielle is passionate about increasing sales productivity by supporting reps with the content, training, and analytics they need to have more successful sales conversations. Danielle explains the ways she’s leveraging MindTickle at her company to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in engaging customers and prospects.
 

Engaging Executive and Sales Management in Sales Readiness Initiatives

 
Gop:
To start, here’s a question that’s been discussed in numerous sales enablement forums and sales enablement societies. How do you pitch sales readiness and a platform like MindTickle to the CEO as a direct driver of sales enablement and effectiveness?
Danielle:
Before I even started at Dynamic Signal, my new boss and I discussed how I was using MindTickle at my previous company – what type of programs we were running, why we were doing it, how I brought in the platform. He bought into the philosophy, vision, and purpose from the get-go, so it was easy to bring it to Dynamic Signal. It also just so happened that our CMO had used MindTickle before, so that was another easy win for me. We rolled MindTickle out at SKO, so we even had a relevant and compelling event that created buy-in for the entire organization.
Gop:
That’s great! To continue along this line of thinking, how do you drive sales manager buy-in and accountability – particularly from tenured sales reps?
Danielle:
While it can be difficult, alignment with management is imperative. For example, it’s critical to prioritize alignment with the VP or head of Sales. Part of that is constant communication related to the why, what, and when of readiness approaches. Regular engagement and meetings with the sales team are a must. Another aspect is to provide continuity across efforts. At Dynamic Signal, for example, we will do a training session that’s followed by a MindTickle reinforcement module. We try and stick to this level of consistency regardless of the topic or what we’re training on – it guarantees alignment and commitment that goes well past ad-hoc communication.
Gop:
And in terms of getting MindTickle deployed in your organization, what kind of change management did you have to lead with?
Danielle:
MindTickle is a straightforward tool to learn and distribute. I think the biggest challenge here is behavioral: you have to train your team on getting used to a particular type of execution and consistency, as well as provide them with essential reinforcement from management.
 

The Return on Sales Readiness Investment


Gop:
How do you measure the impact of your sales enablement program? More specifically, have you structured your readiness programs to align with on each stage of the sales funnel? How are you quantifying the impact of those activities, and showing that continuous value to leadership?
Danielle:
I try to keep my content specific to what my sales team genuinely needs. I try to make sure that sales training sessions are useful for my team: if I do one sales training that isn’t particularly aligned, I might re-engage them again the next week, but if I do two irrelevant sessions in a row, they’re likely to lose interest. It’s a matter of credibility and relevance, so everything I do has to have a direct correlation to the objectives my team has at that time.
As far as specific activities go, I like to use quizzes to drive participation. It’s imperative for me to make sure that my managers all know how their teams’ productivity and participation stack up, so I try and keep to the top 3 – 5 key takeaways that we want our sellers to learn from each session. Assigning regular quizzes creates all-around consistency for me and the team – they know what’s happening and they know when it’s coming.
Gop:
Tell me a little bit of some of the ways you’ve benefited from being able to view specific data-driven metrics with MindTickle.
Danielle:
One of the metrics I typically ask of all my leaders is a training metric. Not only do they have to talk about what kind of pipeline they have, what they’ve closed, where they’re going, but I also have the manager go back and ask – how did you do in the last quarter around your training requirements? We can track all of that in MindTickle.
Gop:
So, beyond training onboarding and certification, a core focus at MindTickle is encouraging managers to coach on an ongoing basis. How are your frontline managers coaching your sales reps? Is this something, which is of near-term importance or long-term importance?
Danielle:
I think if everything becomes a coaching session, it’s too much, and you won’t get the buy-in. However, one-on-one coaching is fundamental in meetings; we need that engagement. Moreover, the coaching capability, especially when you have a diverse workforce, and they’re in different offices, is a handy tool.
If you seek to certify reps on everything, it dilutes the effectiveness of why and when you need to certify. Certification is also a big deal and is something that needs to be ingrained in behavior. It’s the same with coaching through a platform: use it when it’s necessary and when it makes sense. However, if you’re coaching through the platform the entire time, you’re losing that face-to-face interaction which is, and you need to have both.
 

The Journey to Picking a Solution that Lasts


Gop:
What keeps you coming back to MindTickle?
Danielle:
One of the key reasons why I’m a repeat customer is because you guys genuinely listen. Here’s an example: my reps were having some issues with the completion function not correctly displaying their progress. When I sent in the request to your Product team, they addressed the problem immediately. You’re always there to listen for use cases to help my sales team continue to use the platform, and it shows.
Gop:
When you’re evaluating a sales readiness tool for the very first time, what is it that you’re looking for? What are your evaluation parameters, and to you, what is MindTickle’s value proposition?
Danielle:
I’m looking for something that is straightforward and easy for all of us to use. I’ve used many learning management systems in the past, and they are too clunky and too heavy – salespeople don’t want anything to do with them. Quite frankly, I don’t want anything to do with them either. For example, if I have a Zoom session, I want to record it, upload it, and be done as quickly as possible. I don’t have time to cross-check and do a review every time I need to share content with my team, so it’s vital for me to have a solution where I can set it and forget it.
 

What’s Next for Sales Readiness and Sales Enablement


Gop:
There’s much activity that’s been happening in the sales enablement and sales readiness spaces. We’ve seen some consolidation, different partnerships, and more. Where do you see all this heading?
Danielle:
Throughout my career I’ve wanted to be in front of sales, talking to sales, engaging sales, and making sales smarter. I did this so that sales could go out and spend more time in front of customers rather than behind the scenes trying to figure out how to learn to be in front of customers. I think we’ve made much progress to that end. However, I see a lot more attention paid and investments made in this space, and the conversations are becoming more and more pointed and frequent.
Gop:
What is it that you’re most excited about in terms of new things that you’re looking forward to in the sales readiness space?
Danielle:
What we do is so integral to the sales process, it’s just a matter of making sure that my sales leaders understand how necessary it is. As long as I can get them engaged in the platform to know how important it is for them to be a part of the learning, I think then it will be a huge win for all. My 2019 strategy is that they have to be an integral part of the sales learning and the sales process around training. They can’t look at it as noise but look at it as critical to them hitting their number.
Gop:
Thank you so much for sharing, Danielle. It’s always insightful for us to hear this kind of feedback so we can make sure our team keeps moving in the right direction to help empower you and your company. Good luck with all your ventures at Dynamic Signal!