Sales Enablement Executive Q&A: In Conversation with SevOne’s Brian Promes

As the next installment in a series of interviews with sales enablement and readiness leaders, Mindtickle’s SVP of Strategy and GTM, Gopkiran Rao, recently spoke with Brian Promes to learn about his experience transforming sales enablement into an impactful and engaging initiative at SevOne. As the Vice President of Solutions and Product Marketing, Brian is focused on making enablement an interactive, valuable and fun experience for his sales teams.

Engaging executive and sales management in sales readiness initiatives

Gop: We’ve asked this question of your peers and is a topic of interest in sales enablement societies, so it’s worth asking. How do you pitch sales readiness and a platform like Mindtickle to the CEO as a direct driver of sales enablement and effectiveness?

Brian: The most important thing for us was to align our business leadership – sales, sales engineering, marketing, product management, and executive leadership – with our GTM plan for the coming fiscal year, particularly as it relates to our sales teams being market ready. One of the pillars of our approach was to create SevOne Sales Certifications for each of our key GTM plays.  We make sure each certification – each that takes about an hour to complete, containing elements like short videos, solution guides, datasheet, competitive overviews, and more – are mini sales playbooks that align with our business objectives.

This alignment across sales enablement, sales, the leadership team and the business made a big difference when getting buy-in and support from the CEO because of Mindtickle’s role as a foundation. Also, initially, I was looking at Mindtickle not just as a communication tool, but also as a digital content system for sales. So, it serves as our content store for any marketing collateral we have, allowing us to save money on maintaining legacy systems.

Gop: Great insights! And to continue along this line of thinking of seller empowerment to get better market outcomes, how do you drive sales manager buy-in and accountability – particularly from tenured sales reps?

Brian: It really becomes important to set aside the time for this conversation because sales and leadership can discuss what’s expected of them in the context of the business and the market that is changing around them. While their jobs are to grow the business for their teams and for the company, they are not operating in a vacuum. Part of our job in enablement is to not be an additional burden and to bring additional measurable value through the delivery of timely information in a minimally disruptive and optimally engaging way.

Mindtickle has done a great job of making training easily accessible to folks and to see how they compare against their peers. So once we have alignment within our team, one of the things that we do is turn key elements of our enablement program into a game. Sales teams are competitive by nature and we make the most of that by sharing achievement numbers within the regional teams every week for some friendly competition.

Gop: And in terms of getting Mindtickle deployed in your organization, what were some things you did to ensure a smooth rollout?

Brian: We kept it really simple by launching at out SKO where we hosted a special session for everyone to download and log into the app at the same time. This exercise made it really easy to ensure everyone had the app at the same time.

The return on sales readiness investment

How are you measuring and maximizing the impact of enablement’s efforts on the sales team? Have you seen the work you’re doing translate into business outcomes?

Brian: For measuring impact, we try to focus on the two or three things that end up really mattering to an organization. One of the things that really drove us to Mindtickle was the ease of video communication. In the past, we’d use live or recorded WebEx sessions, but we never really knew if our reps were engaging and watching them — if they were getting what they needed. With Mindtickle, we instead started building “SevOne 2 Minute Field Updates” videos.

To keep it relevant, we only sent updates when the news matters, so sales didn’t get overwhelmed. The update should be something they care about, like an important partnership or a new product announcement. A good recent example was when we did a joint press release with BT Global Services which adopted our software for use with their customers.
In terms of tracking metrics, we look at engagement by video, by rep, and by region. Of course, we use the Mindtickle platform for other things as well, but we chose just to focus on these videos this past fiscal year and make sure that teams are watching them. Then after every video is a fun test that we use to reinforce the training.

The journey to picking a solution that lasts

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?

Brian: I brought Mindtickle into the organization about a year and a half ago. I remember one moment around that time when I was in my backyard with my son, who’s a sales manager at a cybersecurity firm. I was telling him that I was really struggling to find a sales enablement tool or platform to work with. I had identified a few potential solutions, but they were more content management systems that had nonintuitive mobile front-ends. At SevOne, we cared about accessibility to content, the ability to track sales’ activities, awareness of enablement programs, and, of course, the video aspect of enablement.

My son took out his phone, clicked on the now familiar orange icon, and said, “You need Mindtickle!” Within days after my “backyard introduction” to Mindtickle, SevOne had a trial instance up and running with more than 100 pieces of content, including a new “SevOne 2 Minute Field Update!”

Gop: Thank you so much for sharing, Brian. 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 SevOne!