I started at Gong two years ago. When I signed my offer as an SDR Manager, I learned that I was going to be starting the same day as one of my direct reports. I was concerned about how I was going to train them while I myself was learning and I was reassured that we had one of the best onboarding and enablement teams out there. All I had to do was show up ready to learn the Gong way and the Gong product and coach sales acumen while we both onboarded together.
From my first day at Gong, the enablement team has been well respected, efficient, and effective. Now I'm on the Enablement team at Gong and I can see from an insider's perspective, what it is, exactly, that makes Gong's enablement team world-class.
1. We hire a lot of people who were high-performing sellers
One of the most challenging things I hear from other sales enablement practitioners is establishing credibility. While the enablement role is a critical one, the leaders and the reps we enable can be slow to see our authority in the space - especially if we've just been hired or promoted. And although I'm not saying that every enablement hire needs to have a background in sales (because I don't think that's true - there are plenty of other core competencies and relevant experience that will determine if someone can build impactful content, conduct project management, understand the complexities of adult learning and how to teach adults) it's a whole lot easier to gain credibility among salespeople when you have track records like some folks on our team: Presidents Club, raving prospects, customer testimonials, an established brand as a seller, and confidence from experience. At Gong, we have numerous sellers/sales leaders turned enablement and I believe we provide an added benefit of sales acumen.
Profile example from a highly credible seller-turned-enablement colleague, Jen Silvestri
2. We use data to inform decisions
Rather than using opinions or anecdotes, we seek to see what we can uncover in our own conversational data and what our billions of sales interactions can reveal about sales trends in general. We have a Value Insights team here at Gong dedicated to providing business intel - we call them the Gong on Gong team. This team is my best friend.
(1) Abstract & aspirational messaging was not resonating, & also took too long to deliver.
(2) Priorities-driven discovery was winning. Bonus points for research-driven discovery. Ex: "top of mind for you," "top priority for you," "I've noticed..."
(3) Taking the lead was outweighing soft closes. The talk track "Can I make a suggestion?" was crushing (shoutout to Alejandro who is one the first reps I heard say this consistently before this analysis).
We took those insights and:
- Revamped our value props and value pitches to include concrete and relatable points of value
- We made a discovery framework that included phrases like “top of mind” “top priority for you” and required SDRs to perform priorities-driven and research-driven discovery on every call.
- We enabled the team to take the lead and make informed suggestions.
The impact… a 14% increase in total opps generated by SDRs.
3. We drink our own champagne 🥂
This brings me to my next point, we use our own product daily. From call listening to inspecting and validating hunches from managers to seeing how the adoption of key initiatives is trending, to building libraries and streams-- there's not a day I don't use some part of Gong to drive value to my segment. In fact, I'm at the point where I wouldn't accept an enablement offer anywhere else if they didn't use Gong. I rely on it too much for insights!
4. We share a lot
Not only are we constantly sharing ideas, collaborating, and CASE-ing (copying and stealing everything from each other- with consent and encouragement of course!) but we build and iterate. It's why we copy each other on emails for different segments even though it will add yet another email to the inbox.
Additionally, we're sharing outside of our department. When I first started in my enablement role, I put together an adoption email meant to be a VP and Director resource to inform them if our initiatives were directionally headed in the right direction. Well that email got forward to our CEO and our CRO who forwarded it to our CFO and now I send a version of the email weekly to a good many number of stakeholders in the business. The goal being to give a status update, provide next steps and suggestions where helpful, and give contextualize what we're seeing in the adoption and reinforcement data.
5. We look for "Enablement in the Wild"
Few things are better than catching someone in the act of doing the right thing! In this case, we're talking about reps using messaging rolled out and booking meetings/seeing positive results. I send an email once a week to my SDR segment capturing top adopters, specific examples of MVPs and Honorable Mentions of reps using what they learned "in the wild" aka in external calls that aren't role plays. It provides a great listening playlist for reps to hear what good looks like and provides social proofs for those who aren't early adopters.
I think there's one last piece that should be obvious but in case it's not... it all start with strong leadership. Someone like a Brandy Ringler and a Nate Vogel needs to have the vision of what meaningful and impactful enablement looks like, recognize and recruit great talent (from sales or elsewhere), and empower the team to have immense ownership.
That's my perspective on what makes Gong's enablement team world-class. And the good news is that it's repeatable and scalable. What makes your enablement orgs top notch? What's your biggest challenge? Let me know in the comments!
Data Driven Leader | Sales Enablement & Trainer | DEI Advocate | Champion for SDRs
Published • 42m
I have some very specific opinions on why Gong has world-class sales enablement. If you're curious or if you've ever just wondered how Gong uses Gong, read my article to see how we drink our own champagne 🥂 Let me know your thoughts in the comments or DM if you want to chat about driving impactful sales enablement for your business!