Latest Episode of OSC’s Inside Sales Enablement

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Latest Episode of OSC's Inside Sales Enablement
ISE Season 3 - Enablement History with Erich Starrett

Welcome to‘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.

Mark Twain – the PIONEER of Sales Enablement who empowered a LITERAL customer facing frontline of 10,000!?!!!

On ISEs3 Episode 14, Erich Starrett is out-history-nerded ENTIRELY when he is joined in the Orchestrate Sales studios by Sales Melon’s Todd Caponi. Todd is not only an aficionado (and collector!) of SALES history, he is a man on a mission to further a movement towards sales TRANSPARENCY.  This includes authoring a 3x award-winning book (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦) and 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳 that just won its second award recently.

Highlights from the episode include…


💬 “If the truth won’t sell it, don’t sell it.” 💬 Arthur Dunn, 1921

⌛️ Todd’s first Sales Enablement experience at Exact Target (now Salesforce) began when COO @Andy Kofoid sent him to their NEST – New Employee Sales Training as part of his sales management onboarding. It was so ineffective, he left.  A few months later they asked him to rebuild enablement. He had to Google the word.

⌛️ His search led him to Scott Santucci who had a Forrester event coming up in San Francisco. He attended and sat next to Jill Rowley.

⌛️ He also came across (Dr. Ohio) and flew out to do a few day deep dive with him on adult learning. He brought the combined knowledge back and built a successful, scalable Enablement program for Exact Target.

⌛️ Post $3B acquisition by Salesforce his team used the sale e-learning modules, and recorded role plays (back in 2012!) they had built for their internal team to train all of Salesforce on Exact Target. He was given a shoutout by Mark Beinoff himself.

⌛️ Todd’s three core Enablement responsibilities:

1️⃣ Amalgamate: identify and align top 5 CxO priorities

2️⃣ Orchestrate: optimize resources, identify the optimal path to enable the revenue organization to drive the five.

3️⃣ Evaluate: Provide feedback and close the loop.

   💬 “(As a CRO) I always felt my Enablement team had a closer eye into the successes, the failures, the struggles, the strengths, the weaknesses of my team before any of us did. 💬

⌛️ Todd’s application of transparency enabled PowerReviews to became Chicago’s fastest growing tech company from 2014 to 2017.


💼 As the economy gets tight, as it gets harder to sell,  you need two things: better sales leadership and better sales enablement. However, the knee jerk reaction – which is happening now – is to train leaders less and downsize enablement because “it’s overhead.”

   💬 “As things get tougher, those investments need to go up, but ironically, they’ve gone down historically over and over again.” 💬

💼 Today, the “as a service” economy means that closing the deal is no longer the peak. It’s the beginning.  You need to create long term value for these customers. And that’s that long game helps you win the short game too. Simliar approach to Jacco’s Revenue Architecture Bowtie at Winning By Design.

💼 The shift from growth at all costs to long term recurring value is history repeating itself. 1914 to 1923. It was the forgotten depression of the early 1920s.


🤖 The future of sales is two things.

1️⃣ Going back to a service oriented mindset. “Salesmanship is the science of service.” – Arthur Sheldon (1911)

2️⃣ Providing better homework for the buyer. “Buyers know more nowadays” – Thomas Herbert Russell (1912)

🤖 History reveals the risk of “ruining” technology. From the phone, to email, to video, and now #AI.

🤖 Enablement will be needed in the future as long as we embrace a service / value oriented mindset.

   💬 Don’t be worried about technology. Just keep doing the right things. Control what you can control. There’s always going to be a place for you. And I think it’s going to be highly valuable and maybe even more valuable into the future.” 💬

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