By Helen Yu, Chief Customer Officer
Last week Sales Enablement leaders from around the world gathered at TRANSFORM London for a day-and-a-half of learning, networking, and inspiration from some of the most forward-thinking, innovative leaders in the space. As the newly appointed Chief Customer Officer here at Showpad, attending TRANSFORM was the best onboarding experience possible — I was fully immersed in and inspired by our customers’ stories. And in less than two weeks, our customers, partners, and keynote speakers will take the stage again at TRANSFORM Chicago to share their stories on building exceptional buying experiences.
TRANSFORM London was an incredible opportunity to hear directly from customers about the challenges they face as sales, marketing and Sales Enablement leaders. Speakers from Atlas Copco, Goodyear, and MED-EL shared how they’re building alignment and securing internal buy-in while Exponea outlined how to grow at a global scale. Axiom, Blue Prism, Johnson & Johnson, and Twilio tackled onboarding and keeping pace with constant change. But these are just a few of the customers who took the main stage — every session provided a takeaway that attendees could use to transform Sales Enablement at their own organizations.
In addition to our customer speakers, TRANSFORM London featured keynote speakers who encouraged attendees to think differently about creating the best buyer experience. Matthew Luhn spoke about what sellers can learn from Hollywood storytelling, Steven Van Belleghem challenged attendees to put customers at the center of everything they do, while Tamara Schenk championed sales managers as the linchpins for successful alignment with Sales Enablement.
Here are three takeways from my time in London:
1. Get Laser-Focused on Your Customers
Steven Van Belleghem wasn’t the only one talking about becoming obsessed with the customer experience. I had a chance to sit down with Laura Valerio, Director of Global Sales Enablement and Training at Deliveroo. During her fireside chat on stage, she outlined her professional journey and how she has championed Sales Enablement as a strategic function. The key to success? Keeping in constant contact with customers. I had a chance to sit down with Laura to pick her brain on educating internal stakeholders on the market, the challenges she faced along the way, and the future of Sales Enablement. Laura shared that Sales Enablement goes far beyond the Sales team. A key question business leaders should ask is this: who has interactions with customers along their journey? Every customer-facing person in the organization has tremendous opportunities to be a Sales enabler. Finally, I learned that being laser-focused on customers means educating internal stakeholders on the market, decreasing admin time in favor of providing more value to customers, and making sure that, from all aspects, customers have the best possible experience.
2. The Sales Enablement Community is Growing — and Fast
“Sales Enablement” might be relatively new phrase in some regions; however, with 500+ TRANSFORM attendees in London, it’s clear this professional community is growing exponentially in Europe and around the world. In fact, attendees this year came from more than 20 countries.
While events like TRANSFORM are an opportunity for this growing community to connect in person, it’s vital to keep the enthusiasm and community thriving virtually as well. So that’s why during Showpad CEO PJ Bouten’s keynote, he introduced Accelerate, an online community for practitioners to connect, find inspiration, and build skills.
TRANSFORM London also featured a hands-on practical Accelerate workshop where attendees learned from fellow practitioners how to strategically partner with executive leadership. Attendees left the workshop with a tangible blueprint for assessing their current state and taking the next step.
3. Measurement Remains a Challenge
Measuring success from Sales Enablement remains an elusive goal for many organizations and was discussed during several TRANSFORM sessions.
Paul Saleme, Global Head of Sales Enablement at Showpad, led a panel where each panelist had a different definition and way to measure success. The key takeaway? Don’t measure data for the sake of measuring data. During his session, Alex Ayers, Sales Director at Gamma Network Solutions, shared the challenges of successfully measuring sales performance before it’s too late. He advised attendees on creating a measurement plan for tracking training progress, sales skills, and sales call quality. But these are just a few of the activities that can be measured and quantified to measure the performance of sales reps and other customer-facing team members.
It’s clear there’s no silver bullet and instead, success depends on numerous factors including the maturity of your sales organization and the problems your company is trying to solve.
I left TRANSFORM London more motivated than ever to keep these customer conversations and lessons top of mind with everything we do here at Showpad. The best part? I’ll have another opportunity to learn even more from our customers during TRANSFORM Chicago November 5-6 in our hometown of Chicago. If you haven’t saved your spot yet, register today to be part of the world’s leading Sales Enablement conference.
Helen Yu is the Chief Customer Officer at Showpad She has focused on the customer experience for Fortune 500 enterprises, including Oracle and Adobe. She was dubbed a Top 10 Global Influencer in Digital Transformation by IBM and a Global Top 10 Marketing Thought Leader by Thinkers360.