Only the paranoid survive…3 enablement strategies for record-breaking sales success and transformation

By Quyen Chang

We did the unthinkable. It was the beginning of our 4th quarter and our enablement team was preparing for 2 week’s of virtual sales methodology training called Selling Through Curiosity in partnership with Barry Rhein. Each session lasted 4 hours at a time, offered 2 times a day for 4 days straight over the span of 2 weeks. Thank goodness for the power of technology with Zoom and Saleshood (a.k.a FinancialForce learning as we call it)

Importance of Back to Basics

In 2016, we had run the Selling Through Curiosity program where we flew all of our global teams to San Francisco and Harrogate. At the end of the quarter, it resulted in 2x increase in win rates, 112% increase in deal size and 32% reduction in time to close deals!

Fast forward to November 2018, we decided a different approach. We saved money on travel and expenses and had over 200 go-to-market team members attend our sessions virtually utilizing the amazing Zoom technology. Everyone had his or her video camera on and the engagement level was over 90% (which for a 4-hour session is great!) Our focus was “Back to Basics” on sales qualification, discovery, getting to the decision maker, relationship building exercises and so much more.

How often are your teams practicing their skills and remembering the fundamentals to successfully partner with your customers for a successful sale?

Focus on “teamwork makes the dreamwork”

Alignment is critical for this investment in any business. We started the program by having our sales leaders and executives come in for a live 1-day session where we led a “Managing Through Curiosity” session. The purpose of this was to get everyone aligned on the program objectives, set the right expectations on what we will do together as a team and how our leaders can help coach towards the outcomes required.

Not only did we have members of our sales team attend this program but we added so many other leaders and individual contributors from other departments. We had business development, sales engineers, customer success, professional services, product leaders, marketing leaders and our executives in attendance. I am a firm believer that when you have an inclusive program, it results in greater success. By having members of different teams embedded into the program, everyone started to communicate using the same vernacular, were more willing to partner and had empathy for each person throughout the pre and post-sales cycle.

A true testament to the program was a comment from one of our team members ” its great to interact with other colleagues, more face time via Zoom to keep culture/engagement at the forefront is great through training”

Are you using technology to create a “team” culture?

Continued enablement and coaching is key

Keeping up the momentum of any program is important. In between the training sessions, we had quick homework assignments that asked each attendee to add his or her content into FinancialForce Learning (aka Saleshood) so we can review engagement, understanding of the topics and provide the ability to ask questions. There was a 96% completion rate on assignments! Each attendee was also able to review best practices and share feedback amongst each other. We also added the session recordings in FinancialForce Learning to give future new hires the ability to review and get up to speed on the program.

Another great tool that we piloted was Gong. (a tool that analyzes sales conversations to help with coaching and enablement) Shortly after we completed the first phase of our program, we were able to track the practice of our Selling Through Curiosity learnings. At the beginning of December, we had over 118 calls analyzed (over a 2-week span) and quickly realized that 22.9% of those calls adopted our methodology. In the remaining weeks of our 4th quarter, our enablement team was able to use this data to effectively work with our sales leaders, sales reps and executives to continue the practice of incorporating Selling Through Curiosity in their deal cycles to result in Q4 success.

What other tools are you using to help with continued enablement and coaching?


As we ended our fiscal year, we started to build a culture of learning and a culture of doing great things as one team which resulted in record-breaking success

I love to learn from others and encourage you to share below any other strategies you have used for record-breaking sales success and transformation.


Until next time –

Cheers, “Q”

Author, Quyen Chang is currently Head of Global Sales Enablement at Airbnb 

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