ISEs3 Ep4: Gail Behun – President, Revenue Enablement Society (2024)

Hello and welcome to OrchestrateSales.com‘s Inside Sales Enablement Season 3 Enablement History. Where we hop in the Enablement Time machine and explore the past, present, and future of the elevation of a profession.

On Episode 5 we begin in the present as Erich Starrett is joined in the OSC Studios with Gail Behun who was announced just last week as the new President of the Revenue Enablement Society! 

In this episode, Gail shares insights gained from many milestones on her personal Enablement journey including…

> Her PASSION for the elevation of the Enablement profession, including many companies (and namely those who laid off entire Enablement teams) coming to embrace the reality…

“What was happening to our community wasn’t about enablers not showing value. It wasn’t about us not doing a good enough job at our job.

It was very reactionary. It was our CROs and CEOs not understanding the value of Enablement.

Going from mentality of growth at all costs to a mentality of profitability at all costs.” And that meant they had to cut anything that didn’t directly lead to profitability, which meant cutting Enablement because Enablement adds to the cost of sale.

…this crash was not just because of our performance and that we had to be able to own the parts of it that we didn’t do well enough. We needed to understand how to better build a bridge to our CROs, and then we needed to understand how do we go forward from here.”

We really need to bring this function back and bring it back strategically.

> The Sales Enablement Society’s decision to rebrand in 4Q23 to the Revenue Enablement Society…

“This is a real recognition that our profession is evolving dramatically…that we have a much bigger footprint that we’re empowering, not just sellers, but customer success, solution consultants, marketing, working across product marketing. We really are that connective tissue to the sales organization.”

“The title is how people are seeing us. But for me and my passion is how are we seeing ourselves? How do we define what we’re doing so that whatever our title is, we know we’re having the biggest impact, whether you are, a support level, whether you’re just coming in, whether you’re a VP level and everything in between, really having a clear understanding of how you can have an impact on those bottom line revenue metrics. How what you’re doing ties back to revenue.

> How her love of the live conference community experience led her to lead the annual global SES/RES event…

“It lets me really bring my passion for face to face marketing and the power of conferences and the power of connecting into an organization that I feel so strongly brings so much value to members. One of the things I love about sales enablement is it’s still a niche profession. There’s not a lot of us, we’re still figuring a lot of stuff out. And so you have this community of people who are. Incredibly brave, incredibly creative, incredibly scrappy, and perfectly happy to show you what they’re doing.”

> Her take on the future of Enablement, and elevating the profession…

“The evolution for me is to continue to make sure that people have outlets to have good discussions with their community on a regional level, on a national level, on a slack level, that they have those conversations, and that those conversations can focus on ‘What makes our strategy impactful?’ Yeah, we’ve got to talk about the tactics, like how are we actually going to pull this thing off? But the more conversations we have about the strategy, the more that we speak that CRO / CEO language, the more likely we are to elevate our entire profession.”

Please take a listen (and subscribe to!) the podcast to hear about all of the above, and so so much more.

Let’s Elevate Enablement TOGETHER!

Join the rise at OrchestrateSales.com

Transcript
Erich Starrett:

Hello and welcome to Inside Sales Enablement Season 3, where

Erich Starrett:

we take a hop, a leap, right, Gail?

Erich Starrett:

Leap?

Erich Starrett:

Oh, we're jumping.

Erich Starrett:

Into the enablement time machine and take a look back with those who had a role

Erich Starrett:

, in, or contribution to enablement history.

Erich Starrett:

Definitely got one here today.

Erich Starrett:

Pause in the present.

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to hit a few modern themes and then shift our focus to the future and what

Erich Starrett:

it may bring for enablement teams.

Erich Starrett:

So on today's edition ? We got Gail here I've had the pleasure of

Erich Starrett:

introducing Gail and is it Bayy-uhn,

Gail Behun:

it's Bee-IN like, it's been fun bein' here

Erich Starrett:

oh, I'll never forget it.

Gail Behun:

It's fun bein' here.

Gail Behun:

Yes.

Erich Starrett:

I love it.

Erich Starrett:

So she's currently, current -- there's the present, of the

Erich Starrett:

executive board of the sales.

Erich Starrett:

Oh wait, Revenue Enablement Society -- We'll get to that who

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hasalso recently accepted a new corporate post as the director of

Erich Starrett:

revenue enablement at Live Person

Erich Starrett:

And she is all kinds of live and we need live people in this AI world to hear

Erich Starrett:

more about what's actually done there.

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But I think it's fighting the for the human still somewhere

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in the middle of all of this.

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So she recently bravely pulled off an SES experience, which it

Erich Starrett:

was still called at the time.

Erich Starrett:

So if I call it something different, it'll confuse me.

Erich Starrett:

And 2023 experience in San Diego

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what specifically?

Erich Starrett:

A presentation called the meteoric rise and crashing reset of sales enablement.

Erich Starrett:

A bold title to be sure it was one of the major things I was looking forward to and

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she delivered course with flying colors.

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It was a presentation that was brilliantly delivered in the past and the present

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and a little bit of the future.

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Sharing some baseline elements and guidelines for how the

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profession can shine going forward.

Erich Starrett:

So Who better to have in the enablement time machine.

Erich Starrett:

Welcome to the show, Gail.

Erich Starrett:

I've shared my take and then some would love to hear a quick few

Erich Starrett:

thoughts on your worldview, maybe a little bit about that new gig.

Erich Starrett:

And then we'll dive into a few questions.

Gail Behun:

Awesome.

Gail Behun:

Thanks, Erich.

Gail Behun:

I'm so glad to be here, and . Yeah, we were really excited with the outcome from

Gail Behun:

the sales enablement society conference.

Gail Behun:

We do one major conference a year and, , it's a great production.

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It's an opportunity for people to come together and really.

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Meet their heroes and the up and coming folks and really connected deeply.

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, and we sold out the event again this year, which was actually kind of a shock.

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We were surprised because it's been a really rough year and, , we

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have a lot of people that, , had become unemployed had been laid

Gail Behun:

off or looking for their new gig.

Gail Behun:

We did offer some great incentive pricing for people to keep

Gail Behun:

them able to come to the event.

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And that's something we want to be able to continue in the future.

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, and at the event, we made the major announcement that the Sales

Gail Behun:

Enablement Society is evolving to the Revenue Enablement Society, and

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we feel really strongly about this.

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It's not a semantics change.

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This isn't something small.

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This is a real recognition that our profession is evolving dramatically.

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And that what we started out doing growing out of the needs of typical sales

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training has really become so much more.

Gail Behun:

Sales enablement becoming revenue enablement is about a recognition that

Gail Behun:

we have a much bigger footprint that we're empowering not just sellers,

Gail Behun:

but customer success, , , solution consultants marketing, product marketing.

Gail Behun:

We really are that connective tissue to the sales organization.

Gail Behun:

We speak sales.

Gail Behun:

I really say that a lot and it's totally true.

Gail Behun:

, and there's that recognition that this profession is so critical.

Gail Behun:

I think, especially after so many layoffs this year, we have organizations

Gail Behun:

like the one I've just joined that killed their entire enablement team

Gail Behun:

off earlier this year, and then really recognize there's a gap here.

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We really need to bring this function back and bring it back strategically.

Gail Behun:

And so while the team was pretty big earlier this year, it's

Gail Behun:

rebuilding myself one direct report.

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Looking to kind of build it up slowly and bring it back in as a

Gail Behun:

function that is really focused on the core metrics that drive revenue.

Gail Behun:

And that's again, what comes right back to revenue enablement being what

Gail Behun:

we are and who we, what we do, who we are and how our outcomes are measured.

Erich Starrett:

Love it, Gail.

Erich Starrett:

So that's a great look at the present and a little peek into the future.

Erich Starrett:

Can we hop in the way back machine for a minute?

Gail Behun:

Sure.

Erich Starrett:

All right.

Erich Starrett:

So sales enablement.

Erich Starrett:

Remember when we used to call it that a while ago now,

Gail Behun:

Yeah yeah - weeks!

Erich Starrett:

I'm curious, when you first heard the words

Erich Starrett:

sales enablement, what was that?

Erich Starrett:

You know, was it, Hey, here's a new thing or was it a, Ooh, that's what I do.

Erich Starrett:

Or what was your relationship to those words when you first heard them?

Gail Behun:

Such a , funny question.

Gail Behun:

Thank you for asking.

Gail Behun:

I was a seller.

Gail Behun:

And then I was a sales leader for a long time.

Gail Behun:

I was a director and then a VP of sales.

Gail Behun:

, and then I took an opportunity to go out on my own for three years as a

Gail Behun:

consultant, as a VP of sales for hire.

Gail Behun:

So I would come in and work with companies on sales related projects.

Gail Behun:

Either they didn't have sales leadership.

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They were in between.

Gail Behun:

Maybe it was a smaller org.

Gail Behun:

I also volunteered with a lot of startups during that time.

Gail Behun:

That's really what led me into sass.

Gail Behun:

, and those startups had come up with a great product, but they

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didn't know how to monetize it.

Gail Behun:

They didn't know how to market it.

Gail Behun:

They didn't know how to sell it.

Gail Behun:

They didn't know how to create a value proposition and in doing that work.

Gail Behun:

What I was doing was sales enablement.

Gail Behun:

We just didn't call it that.

Gail Behun:

, and as I came out of those three years of being consultant, and I realized

Gail Behun:

I really wanted to be back on staff, I wanted to be part of a team again.

Gail Behun:

, that's right around the time that sales enablement as a discussion

Gail Behun:

and as a title was rising.

Gail Behun:

And my first job in enablement, I actually didn't have that title.

Gail Behun:

I was more of a revenue operations type title.

Gail Behun:

, but as the profession evolved and as I evolved and I had the opportunity

Gail Behun:

to join the team at PandaDoc,

Gail Behun:

I came in, in sales enablement and at that point really started to understand,

Gail Behun:

understood having, you know, spent some time within the community, all of the

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things that sales enablement encompassed.

Gail Behun:

And so for me, it was a little bit of.

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How have I already been doing this kind of naturally coming at it as a sales leader

Gail Behun:

and as a trainer, and then starting to realize the vast unknown that I hadn't

Gail Behun:

even thought about that really encompasses everything that is revenue enablement.

Gail Behun:

. Erich Starrett: So it sounds, yeah, I don't, I haven't heard anyone actually,

Gail Behun:

maybe Paul went, Oh yeah, I'm supposed to do this thing called sales enablement.

Gail Behun:

And then he Googled it.

Gail Behun:

Yeah.

Gail Behun:

Yeah, exactly.

Erich Starrett:

I love that one.

Erich Starrett:

Mine was a little bit more like yours, like.

Erich Starrett:

Oh, what I do is a thing, you know, just most of it was made up on the back

Erich Starrett:

of a napkin at some point, literally.

Erich Starrett:

Great story.

Erich Starrett:

Thanks Gail.

Erich Starrett:

What about the sales at the time it was called that sales enablement society?

Erich Starrett:

Um, how, when, where does the society itself come into play in your

Erich Starrett:

timeline and professional journey?

Erich Starrett:

, Gail Behun: great question.

Erich Starrett:

So I have a background in trade shows and events.

Erich Starrett:

That's where I grew up.

Erich Starrett:

I cut my teeth and, and once I started working in SaaS, I missed the events.

Erich Starrett:

Like I, I missed that.

Erich Starrett:

Um, and doing one RKO a year for a company just wasn't enough.

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And so I had reached out to Sales Enablement Society and said, Hey,

Erich Starrett:

I've got this events background.

Erich Starrett:

Can I volunteer to work on the conference?

Erich Starrett:

And they said, Heck, yeah.

Erich Starrett:

So the first year I just volunteered on the conference.

Erich Starrett:

Um, and I was a contributor.

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And the second year I got to take over as the Conference chair.

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And then I was actually put on the board and was a conference chair again.

Erich Starrett:

It lets me really bring my passion for face to face marketing and the power of

Erich Starrett:

conferences and the power of connecting into an organization that I feel so

Erich Starrett:

strongly brings so much value to members.

Erich Starrett:

One of the things I love about sales enablement is

Erich Starrett:

it's still a niche profession.

Erich Starrett:

There's not a lot of us, we're still figuring a lot of stuff out.

Erich Starrett:

And so you have this community of people who are.

Erich Starrett:

Incredibly brave, incredibly creative, incredibly scrappy, and perfectly happy

Erich Starrett:

to show you what they're doing, share their frameworks, share their screen on

Erich Starrett:

their high spot instance, everything that they do in this community, people

Erich Starrett:

are willing to share, we give it away for free because it comes back to us.

Erich Starrett:

And whether that's through the, , Revenue Enablement Society, through local chapters

Erich Starrett:

where you get a chance to meet and really grow your organizations locally,

Erich Starrett:

and I know Erich's really passionate about that, working in the Atlanta

Erich Starrett:

chapter, and I am with Chicago as well.

Erich Starrett:

Whether it's being on Slack and we're partners with the Sales

Erich Starrett:

Enablement Squad that has built this great 3, 000 person Slack channel.

Erich Starrett:

Those are ways that our members are connecting on a regular basis.

Erich Starrett:

And just continually asking help, I don't, where do I go from this, and

Erich Starrett:

so much of what I have learned, I have learned by going on these Slack

Erich Starrett:

channels, I'll see somebody post something interesting, and I'll just Slack them.

Erich Starrett:

Hey, can you give me 10 minutes to explain this to me?

Erich Starrett:

That's how I started, I built my network.

Erich Starrett:

I got on calls, especially during COVID.

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I had very little else to do for 10 months when I was furloughed.

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And I just got on calls with people and said, show me how you

Erich Starrett:

do this and talk to me about this.

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And, I didn't take a passive approach of just reading what was out there.

Erich Starrett:

I went out to really connect with people and that has made all the difference

Erich Starrett:

in not just building a network, but really building a community.

Erich Starrett:

I love it.

Erich Starrett:

The great Oz is behind the curtain?

Gail Behun:

That's right.

Erich Starrett:

We've got her live here on the show.

Erich Starrett:

So congrats on a sellout and just an amazing, amazing time.

Erich Starrett:

The community connections

Erich Starrett:

, . , Gail Behun: I was really proud of it.

Erich Starrett:

I was really proud of the content, especially with some great speakers.

Erich Starrett:

We make a commitment every year that at least 10 percent of our

Erich Starrett:

speakers will be first time speakers.

Erich Starrett:

So while we love hearing from voices that are anchors in the space, we

Erich Starrett:

also want to hear from new speakers.

Erich Starrett:

We had a couple of great new speakers this year.

Erich Starrett:

This was absolutely a team effort.

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I mean, we had a great group of volunteers who give up their time.

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Myself, Mary Beth Hannifer, who.

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Worked tirelessly.

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And then an amazing production company that I also work with on my SCOs.

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I'm just a big fan of their level of professionalism.

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So we were able to really bring it together.

Erich Starrett:

With that, that great team.

Erich Starrett:

I want to go into the present and future but before we do

Erich Starrett:

that, , you know, being enablement history nerd that I am, , I've got a

Erich Starrett:

little bit of a passion for the founding.

Erich Starrett:

Specifically the founding positions and , the founding principles the

Erich Starrett:

framework that they originally used, does any of that have any meaning to you?

Gail Behun:

You know what it does.

Gail Behun:

And one of the things I love about being on the board is that I'm on

Gail Behun:

the board with Sheevaun Thatcher and Paul Butterfield and Bill Ball.

Gail Behun:

And I've had the opportunity to also reach out and connect with some of

Gail Behun:

what I call the OGs in the space and understand, where we come from.

Gail Behun:

My passion getting on the board was to connect with

Gail Behun:

where the, the world is going.

Gail Behun:

And that's why I'm so passionate about.

Gail Behun:

Working with the enablement squad.

Gail Behun:

It's why I'm so passionate about the chapter strategies because

Gail Behun:

that's the boots on the ground.

Gail Behun:

for a little while, sales enablement society was looked at

Gail Behun:

as a little bit clicky and new people weren't as comfortable.

Gail Behun:

And I want to make sure people feel really comfortable.

Gail Behun:

We had a ton of first time visitors this year.

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I want people to come in and understand that there's a place

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for them, whether they've been in enablement for 10 years or 10 months.

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And honestly, the people that have been it for 10 years, that's a really long

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time and a very new profession, they come with, they come in with the attitude.

Gail Behun:

I have something to learn.

Gail Behun:

I want to grow with that community.

Gail Behun:

This isn't stodgy.

Gail Behun:

Even though the sales, sales enablement society is kind of a stodgy name.

Gail Behun:

We're not stodgy.

Gail Behun:

We're really looking to bridge to that future and, able to bring together

Gail Behun:

people who were part of the foundation.

Gail Behun:

To with people who are just new and learning it.

Gail Behun:

That's a huge part of that building this community.

Gail Behun:

That's so important to me I

Erich Starrett:

I knew I was not going to be able to keep you in the past for long.

Erich Starrett:

So Let's just go there.

Erich Starrett:

We'll go semi present and future.

Erich Starrett:

How about that?

Gail Behun:

Awesome.

Erich Starrett:

I'd love to know your experience at the experience announcing

Erich Starrett:

delivering and receiving reactions from first your presentation The meteoric rise

Erich Starrett:

and crashing reset of sales enablement.

Erich Starrett:

, I was like, how is she going to pull this off?

Erich Starrett:

, Tell us a little bit more.

Erich Starrett:

Is there any context maybe that's happened since then, or you haven't shared that we

Erich Starrett:

can have exclusivity to here on the show?

Erich Starrett:

, Gail Behun: looking back, it's an interesting story.

Erich Starrett:

There was a day in February.

Erich Starrett:

There had been so many layoff announcements on my LinkedIn.

Erich Starrett:

I actually got to the point I took LinkedIn off of my phone

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because it was just depressing me.

Erich Starrett:

I was getting continually just really, really upset.

Erich Starrett:

I had set my hashtag for the year around the idea of anchor that we needed to be

Erich Starrett:

able to be an anchor to our community.

Erich Starrett:

, There was so much talk in enablement about how well we have to be able to continue to

Erich Starrett:

prove value and this, that, and the other, but what was happening to our community

Erich Starrett:

wasn't about enablers not showing value.

Erich Starrett:

It wasn't about us not doing a good enough job at our job.

Erich Starrett:

It was very reactionary.

Erich Starrett:

It was our CROs and CEOs not understanding the value of enablement.

Erich Starrett:

Going from mentality of growth at all costs to a mentality

Erich Starrett:

of profitability at all costs.

Erich Starrett:

And that meant they had to cut anything that didn't directly

Erich Starrett:

lead to profitability, which meant cutting enablement because

Erich Starrett:

enablement adds to the cost of sale.

Erich Starrett:

And I felt so strongly I needed to tell all of the enablers in

Erich Starrett:

my community, like, it's not you.

Erich Starrett:

You didn't screw up.

Erich Starrett:

Don't beat yourself up.

Erich Starrett:

, We are a product in these layoffs.

Erich Starrett:

Of a disconnect between what's really happening in the world and

Erich Starrett:

what , our leaders think is happening.

Erich Starrett:

And yes, we have to change some of our behavior.

Erich Starrett:

And yes, we have to stop the madness of some of the vanity metrics.

Erich Starrett:

And yes, we have to make sure that we are continually providing value, but

Erich Starrett:

we also have to be kind to ourselves.

Erich Starrett:

And so the title and , the, the conversation around this presentation

Erich Starrett:

started in my head around February actually sketched it out in

Erich Starrett:

February, knowing that this was something I wanted to talk about.

Erich Starrett:

I put a lot of LinkedIn posts, up until the conference kind of hinting at that,

Erich Starrett:

this title, and this idea that this growth of enablement and this crash was

Erich Starrett:

not just because of our performance and that we had to be able to own the parts

Erich Starrett:

of it that we didn't do well enough.

Erich Starrett:

We needed to understand how to better build a bridge to our CROs,

Erich Starrett:

and then we needed to understand how do we go forward from here.

Erich Starrett:

Right?

Erich Starrett:

Because the profession is already seeing a pick back up.

Erich Starrett:

We're already seeing numbers coming back.

Erich Starrett:

The jobs post that we put out every week is getting longer and longer.

Erich Starrett:

Paul Butterfield hosts it.

Erich Starrett:

He's had to split it multiple times.

Erich Starrett:

So, the traction is good, but I also wanted us to learn, to your point on

Erich Starrett:

history, we had to learn from our history.

Erich Starrett:

We have to learn from what we didn't do right leading up until the end of

Erich Starrett:

last year, early this year, so that as we build forward, we build sustainable

Erich Starrett:

programs, and that's what I wanted to talk about in the presentation.

Erich Starrett:

And you nailed it.

Erich Starrett:

And the other thing that that's kind of a past and present, and you

Erich Starrett:

alluded to the future, but there are so many positive messages but , were

Erich Starrett:

there a few that were favorites?

Erich Starrett:

Because I, I know the response when I was in the room.

Gail Behun:

It for those who weren't in the room.

Gail Behun:

I started out the presentation by just saying, let's put our hands up.

Gail Behun:

Put your right hand in the air.

Gail Behun:

If you know somebody in sales enablement, that's been laid off this year and

Gail Behun:

every hand in the room goes up.

Gail Behun:

Then what I did is ran around the room and gave everyone high fives.

Gail Behun:

And I said, take a deep breath.

Gail Behun:

We, we need to own this moment.

Gail Behun:

We have to own that, that this is where we are.

Gail Behun:

And, and it's been a really rough year and we're not wired to work this way.

Gail Behun:

We're not wired to get up every day and wonder, is it today

Gail Behun:

the day I'm being laid off?

Gail Behun:

And I had so many conversations and so many slack messages from people who

Gail Behun:

said, tomorrow's going to be my day.

Gail Behun:

I just know it, you know, and sometimes they were right.

Gail Behun:

And sometimes they weren't, but living with that level

Gail Behun:

of fear has been really hard.

Gail Behun:

So for me, taking a moment, take a beat to really acknowledge that and then be

Gail Behun:

willing to say, listen, it isn't you.

Gail Behun:

And here's how we're going to build forward.

Gail Behun:

And so in the presentation, I really talked about how we got where we are.

Gail Behun:

You know, I kind of started out with this idea of how did we get

Gail Behun:

here and the history of enablement and why it is that we've risen not

Gail Behun:

just as a tactical function of L& D, but as a strategic function.

Gail Behun:

, I talked a little bit about how that we are cost part of the cost of sale and

Gail Behun:

how that has some advantages, right?

Gail Behun:

It helps us really get , the, the buy in from sales leadership

Gail Behun:

because our win is their win.

Gail Behun:

We cost them money, we factor in, but it also means we're on the chopping block.

Gail Behun:

And, we also have to own the fact that correlation is not causation.

Gail Behun:

It's very hard for us to prove direct ROI.

Gail Behun:

, we have to also own that and be willing to understand the metrics

Gail Behun:

that we provide need to be reasonable, whether we're providing one key

Gail Behun:

metric or 10 key metrics, but we need to make sure that they're

Gail Behun:

going to resonate with our leaders.

Gail Behun:

In the, in the end, I really talked about what do we, how

Gail Behun:

do we build forward from here?

Gail Behun:

Whether it's making sure that we're working on outcome driven enablements,

Gail Behun:

making sure that our outcomes are really keyed into everything that we're doing.

Gail Behun:

Making sure that we're looking at how are the different ways that our

Gail Behun:

learners are going to experience what we're enabling them on.

Gail Behun:

, I think we have to be really cognizant and Whitney Sieck talks

Gail Behun:

about this so much and I love her.

Gail Behun:

About the mental load of what we're asking our sellers and our sales leaders

Gail Behun:

to do and making sure that what we're doing is absorbable and actionable.

Gail Behun:

, and that we have to continue to be an anchor for our community that this

Gail Behun:

idea of community of collaboration is something so important.

Gail Behun:

And it is what will get us through to the next evolution to the, to

Gail Behun:

becoming the strongest revenue enablement teams that we can.

Erich Starrett:

I loved how you gave us some great options that are

Erich Starrett:

very actionable and tangible for enablement professionals to bring back

Erich Starrett:

either to their existing companies or to their potential employers, or

Erich Starrett:

to even go create their own jobs.

Erich Starrett:

You might have let me go or you might have let someone else go

Erich Starrett:

or you might have never had this function and you're missing out.

Erich Starrett:

Others that pop up, this one's so funny.

Gail Behun:

This idea of ninja is one of my favorites.

Gail Behun:

This idea of like sometimes enablement can be a random act of enablement.

Gail Behun:

I know people hate that, but it can be a small ninja strike, get

Gail Behun:

quick wins, make sellers feel like, Oh yeah, that was really a value.

Gail Behun:

You know, this idea we got to be scrappy, like the days of really big enablement

Gail Behun:

teams probably gone for a while.

Gail Behun:

We're going to need to be scrappy, and that means we have to count on each other.

Gail Behun:

It means we have to bring in freelancers.

Gail Behun:

There's some great people freelancing in the space now,

Gail Behun:

and they're adding amazing value.

Gail Behun:

Um, and so really just thinking about building our teams

Gail Behun:

a little differently too.

Erich Starrett:

If you are strategically dropping in and taking out a

Erich Starrett:

target, . That's not a random act.

Erich Starrett:

That is a surgical specific I'm going to get scrappy and throw on my ninja

Erich Starrett:

outfit and go, take out this thing.

Erich Starrett:

That's going to grow . There's a, you know, there's a germ in

Erich Starrett:

the spot and I need to kill it.

Gail Behun:

I've actually volunteered to come to a couple of the Revenue

Gail Behun:

Enablement Society chapters to come virtually and deliver this as well

Gail Behun:

because we only had 200 and something enablers at the conference and there

Gail Behun:

are thousands . We want to be able to provide that value to them as well.

Gail Behun:

We aren't at a point as a society where we have the kind of budget

Gail Behun:

that lets us record every session.

Gail Behun:

It's just not cost effective for us yet.

Gail Behun:

We also know that coming to the conference is a privilege.

Gail Behun:

It's expensive, not every org or every person can afford it.

Gail Behun:

And so we do want to be able to share that again, through the chapters,

Gail Behun:

through some of the virtual events so that we can make sure that our

Gail Behun:

community is as strong as possible.

Erich Starrett:

Thank you for that.

Erich Starrett:

And for being who you are, Gail.

Erich Starrett:

, it's awesome.

Erich Starrett:

Back to the experience as a whole, another pretty interesting thing

Erich Starrett:

happened that you alluded to.

Erich Starrett:

Each of the board members for this announcement.

Erich Starrett:

Stood up and shared their insights,

Erich Starrett:

, I love how you made good on it.

Erich Starrett:

It's the enablement evolution.

Erich Starrett:

And it's like the crackerjack prize was no, we weren't kidding.

Erich Starrett:

We're even changing the name.

Erich Starrett:

Like this is for real . You guys are.

Erich Starrett:

Part of history right now, right?

Gail Behun:

That's right!

Erich Starrett:

I loved how each board member shared their

Erich Starrett:

insights and their commitment to the move from a word to a word.

Erich Starrett:

And that meant much more than that.

Erich Starrett:

So behind the curtain, just a few questions to throw out there I'd

Erich Starrett:

love to hear a little bit more.

Erich Starrett:

That's a big decision.

Erich Starrett:

And I know a little bit about it . I know you didn't make it overnight.

Erich Starrett:

, but what was it like to be a part of that process and maybe a little

Erich Starrett:

bit about the process itself?

Gail Behun:

It's an interesting question because a lot of the discussion actually

Gail Behun:

started before I joined the board.

Gail Behun:

, this was already a conversation that was in place that really came out of a SWOT

Gail Behun:

analysis the board had done late last year and understanding, , what is our space?

Gail Behun:

What is our, where do we play?

Gail Behun:

There are competitors in , the sales enablement world.

Gail Behun:

, we're the only nonprofit.

Gail Behun:

, what is, what's the core part of our message?

Gail Behun:

And being member driven is something that is incredibly important to us.

Gail Behun:

We, everybody on the board is an active participant in sales enablement.

Gail Behun:

We're doing this job.

Gail Behun:

We're not getting paid to sell it to you.

Gail Behun:

We are doing it every day.

Gail Behun:

and so this conversation about revenue enablement really came from a realization

Gail Behun:

as we talked as a board of how wide our jobs are, how different they are,

Gail Behun:

what the flavors of enablement mean now, and that the original charter

Gail Behun:

and the original 107 people that came together built a great foundation.

Gail Behun:

But it was time to evolve that because our house had gotten bigger.

Gail Behun:

We had to add that addition and that addition needed to be more inclusive.

Gail Behun:

, and using that inclusive language and really specific language about revenue

Gail Behun:

enablement became a rallying cry.

Gail Behun:

, so in part we felt like we were meeting the moment, like we were,

Gail Behun:

this was already happening without us.

Gail Behun:

We're not telling the community anything that we believe

Gail Behun:

that they needed to change.

Gail Behun:

It had already been changed and changing.

Gail Behun:

so it was an opportunity to really acknowledge that,, and at the same

Gail Behun:

time, it was a really good opportunity for us to evolve as well, to be able to

Gail Behun:

restate what is our mission, why are we doing this, what space do we occupy in a

Gail Behun:

space with Slack channels and with other associations and with other live events.

Gail Behun:

What do we do that's really unique to the revenue enablement society.

Gail Behun:

And what do we want that to mean going forward?

Gail Behun:

And the exercise of everyone on the board speaking really came

Gail Behun:

from a couple of meetings where we had, we talked about what do we

Gail Behun:

want the big final reveal to mean?

Gail Behun:

Is it a video?

Gail Behun:

Is it some great three dimensional letters?

Gail Behun:

Is it some flashing lights?

Gail Behun:

We don't have budget for any of that.

Gail Behun:

So now we got to be scrappy.

Gail Behun:

We wanted to be authentic.

Gail Behun:

And what we came up with was very authentic.

Gail Behun:

It was all of these members talking about why this was so important to them.

Gail Behun:

You know, as a board, we are here to represent the community.

Gail Behun:

We want to be a voice for the community.

Gail Behun:

We want to listen to the community.

Gail Behun:

And it was an opportunity for each of the board members to talk

Gail Behun:

about why it mattered to them.

Gail Behun:

It was so authentic.

Gail Behun:

I just was so proud of how it came together.

Gail Behun:

And I was still surprised there were people in the room that

Gail Behun:

were shocked by the announcement.

Gail Behun:

I thought we telescoped it for the all three days that people

Gail Behun:

were going to be like, well, yeah.

Gail Behun:

But no, there were still some shocks in the audience.

Gail Behun:

People were excited.

Gail Behun:

They were clapping.

Gail Behun:

They were cheering.

Gail Behun:

And so I think that moment with our audience, they are really validated.

Gail Behun:

That we were making the right decision at the right time and that

Gail Behun:

our audience was hungry for it.

Gail Behun:

They wanted this, this next layer of evolution of being able to come

Gail Behun:

back to their organizations and talk about my job is not sales enablement.

Gail Behun:

My job really is revenue enablement because I do, what I do is broader.

Gail Behun:

And to have that conversation

Gail Behun:

Del Nakhi wrote a great LinkedIn post about that.

Gail Behun:

How do you have that conversation with your organization?

Gail Behun:

How do you talk about What you're doing.

Gail Behun:

And if it's more limited to sales enablement, how do you evolve it so

Gail Behun:

that you have a purview that adds the most impact to the bottom line revenue.

Gail Behun:

That's a big part of this and long term we want to grow the Revenue

Gail Behun:

Enablement Society where we have content for our CSM Enablement Managers

Gail Behun:

our partner enablement managers.

Gail Behun:

They're doing tangential, but similar, but different things.

Gail Behun:

And so being able to weave together the ideas of those

Gail Behun:

communities, incredibly helpful.

Gail Behun:

One of the best enablers I know is on the CS side, and I love brainstorming

Gail Behun:

with her because she brings different ideas and different ways of doing

Gail Behun:

it for her audience that I can adapt and adopt and the same thing.

Gail Behun:

So making our community more inclusive is just an opportunity for us to get

Gail Behun:

more better, smarter, interesting ideas and meet great people that are

Gail Behun:

doing it a little bit different than you might be doing it and be able

Gail Behun:

to say, Hey, that's really great.

Gail Behun:

I want to think about how I can do that.

Erich Starrett:

Love it.

Erich Starrett:

One of the, , supportive arguments I've heard a couple times is, Hey, there was

Erich Starrett:

already a move really from CSO to CRO, really from sales ops to revenue ops.

Erich Starrett:

I've seen places where both exist and that's interesting.

Erich Starrett:

, something I'm paying attention to is, are there still places

Erich Starrett:

that have sales enablement as a subset of revenue enablement,

Erich Starrett:

it's going to be interesting to see how all of that plays out.

Erich Starrett:

And what that means to all of us, right?

Erich Starrett:

But when it comes down to it, it enablement is needed.

Erich Starrett:

Whatever the label, right?

Gail Behun:

Yeah, and I think it's very legitimate that there are people whose

Gail Behun:

job is sales enablement and it is more narrow purview and that they can excel

Gail Behun:

within that more narrow purview and that there are people who have revenue

Gail Behun:

enablement and that ultimately that VP of enablement becomes much more inclusive.

Gail Behun:

Now it's not just sales.

Gail Behun:

We're not just partner or just CS, but it's everything blended.

Gail Behun:

And I've talked about this for years, that power and even

Gail Behun:

bringing in like, what is HR doing?

Gail Behun:

All of this is the way that we move our employees forward, and there

Gail Behun:

needs to be some really good brain sharing across all of those levels.

Gail Behun:

, I think that as we continue to mature and evolve as a profession,

Gail Behun:

we'll see a lot more of that.

Erich Starrett:

That's where I wanted to land was, what's next?

Erich Starrett:

The enablement evolution, I assume, isn't over with one announcement.

Erich Starrett:

Right.

Erich Starrett:

And one of the things just, , to frame it, back to the founding

Erich Starrett:

positions, position number three was that the profession itself should

Erich Starrett:

evolve to basically a C suite seat.

Gail Behun:

Yes.

Erich Starrett:

they said, , chief productivity officer, I just heard you say

Erich Starrett:

VP of enablement, which is interesting.

Erich Starrett:

, which sounds like that could be a combination, if I heard you

Erich Starrett:

correctly, of a flavor of enablement called sales enablement and a flavor

Erich Starrett:

of enablement called revenue,.

Erich Starrett:

So maybe that's a good place to land.

Erich Starrett:

, what is the next step in the evolution?

Erich Starrett:

Maybe comment a little bit about what that C suite role, if there is

Erich Starrett:

one, or if there's something else

Erich Starrett:

. Gail Behun: Yeah, I think that the conversation in the space for a

Erich Starrett:

while has been, if you want to get to the C suite, you have to be a CRO.

Erich Starrett:

And I don't know , that has to be true anymore.

Erich Starrett:

I think that we will see a Chief Revenue Enablement Officer within the next

Erich Starrett:

four or five years, if not sooner.

Erich Starrett:

I

Erich Starrett:

, in fact, I could probably name a couple people that I think

Erich Starrett:

will end up with that title.

Erich Starrett:

, because I think that there is a growing acknowledgment of the strategic

Erich Starrett:

place that that seat, Occupies that is different than sales leadership.

Erich Starrett:

It's a different than Rev Ops leadership.

Erich Starrett:

It has its own level playing field.

Erich Starrett:

, and so I think we're going to see that we're certainly seeing the

Erich Starrett:

rise of a lot more VPs in the space.

Erich Starrett:

And VPs being on the same level, both title and salary with what

Erich Starrett:

we're seeing from, , VP of sales.

Erich Starrett:

And so all of those are really exciting, but I think the title is much less

Erich Starrett:

important than how do we evolve what it actually means the work we're doing?

Erich Starrett:

, so the title is how people are seeing us.

Erich Starrett:

But for me and my passion is how are we seeing ourselves?

Erich Starrett:

How do we define what we're doing so that whatever our title is, we know

Erich Starrett:

we're having the biggest impact, whether you are, , a support level, whether

Erich Starrett:

you're just coming in, whether you're a VP level and everything in between,

Erich Starrett:

really having a clear understanding of how you can have an impact on those

Erich Starrett:

bottom line revenue metrics, how, what you're doing ties back to revenue.

Erich Starrett:

And that goes back to measurement, but it's more than just measuring it,

Erich Starrett:

it's understanding how that impact is felt and works with our organizations.

Erich Starrett:

And the more we learn that as revenue enablement professionals,

Erich Starrett:

the better we speak that language.

Erich Starrett:

more opportunities we have in the C suite, the more impact our work has, and the

Erich Starrett:

more, honestly, job satisfaction we have.

Erich Starrett:

And so I think the evolution for me is to continue to make sure that people

Erich Starrett:

have outlets to have good discussions with their community on a regional level,

Erich Starrett:

on a national level, on a slack level, that they have those conversations, and

Erich Starrett:

that those conversations can focus on.

Erich Starrett:

What makes our strategy impactful?

Erich Starrett:

Yeah, we got to talk about the tactics, like how are we actually

Erich Starrett:

going to pull this thing off?

Erich Starrett:

But the more conversations we have about the strategy, the more that we speak

Erich Starrett:

that,, CRO CEO language, the more likely we are to elevate our entire profession.

Erich Starrett:

Outstanding, Gail.

Erich Starrett:

I'll put my money, on Chief Revenue Enablement Officer.

Gail Behun:

I like it.

Gail Behun:

, Erich, it's been a joy.

Gail Behun:

I enjoy hanging out with you any day of the week.

Gail Behun:

So thanks for bringing me in

Erich Starrett:

back at you, Gail excited to hear all that SKO brews up as well.

Gail Behun:

Thank you.

Gail Behun:

Talk to you soon.

Gail Behun:

Bye.

Erich Starrett:

Bye.

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