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The Value of Sales Enablement & Do We Need Commissions? [Episode 667]

Patrick Lynch,  VP of Enablement Excellence and Innovation at MindTickle! and Bridget Gleason, VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner, join me on this episode.


First guest: Patrick Lynch

  • On the last run of the second-to-the-last day of skiing, the wet snow grabbed Patrick’s skis. He went flying and broke his wrist in two places. As a former ski patrolman, he used to tell people to take it easy on the last run.
  • To continue the conversation from Episode 656 on sales training, Andy sees a great divide between training and education. Training has largely outlived its purpose. More education is needed.
  • Over the years, Patrick has been through six sales methodologies. They all teach basically the same principles. The only effective ways to give training life are through execution, application, and reinforcement.
  • Corporate sales training copies classroom teaching. Sales training in the U.S. is decades old and hasn’t changed much in 50 years. It’s still instructor-led training (ILT) with a workbook. Less than 20% is remembered and used.
  • To reinforce sales training takes help from a coach or the sales manager, and maybe a sales tools technology platform. Without reinforcement, sales training is as broken as Patrick’s wrist.
  • There is not one true way to train. Andy is the sum total of the various programs that trained him. Pay attention and pick and choose what works. Patrick has shelves of sales books he has highlighted but doesn’t use.
  • Patrick sees great potential for MindTickle and other sales training technology to genuinely help salespeople. Salespeople need help. Almost all sales metrics are down, according to research from CSO Insights.
  • Why don’t sales leaders focus on increasing the closing rate from 20% to 21% or 22%? It’s not that more leads are needed but that more of the existing leads need to close. Productivity (quota attainment) keeps going down.
  • MindTickle is an enablement platform. Salespeople need to be enabled to achieve more, faster. Salespeople need to learn so they can achieve good outcomes. There is a big education gap. The top performers are learners.
  • Patrick discusses a sales enablement workshop he gives to sales leaders. MindTickle has micro-learning, video role-playing, coaching, gamification, quizzes, badges, certification, leaderboards, and more.
  • With the MindTickle platform, you can start to see the correlation of learning outcomes to performance outcomes. This is powerful for sales leaders. The second highest in-demand skill across industries today is selling.
  • According to Deloitte, in 2020 salespeople will be learning in the flow of work. This requires a platform like MindTickle to allow the salesperson to learn while they sell. Education plus fun equals MindTickle.


Second Guest: Bridget Gleason

  • Captain Fantastic’s power is being great at sales. Bridget is going to Florence Italy and then the Amalfi Coast on vacation. She will continue to walk or swim daily. Andy just missed being in a 10K in Florence.
  • The topic is whether the commission is still relevant. Fewer than 50% of reps attain quota. Are commissions still having an impact on performance? Big CEO salaries have no impact on the performance of a company.
  • Would you have gone into sales if it didn’t have the financial potential? Andy says, probably, yes. He usually worked for startups that historically underpay.
  • Bridget would love to get rid of commissions. They take a lot of time and energy to work out. But she wouldn’t have the same reps she has now.
  • Bridget feels the pressure of her position. She values the pay she gets for it. If she were paid less the pressure would still be there. Andy wonders if companies paying a straight salary create less pressure on the salesperson.
  • Some companies are successful with a team approach instead of commissioned sales. Andy says that customers tend to make decisions without a salesperson present. Salespeople add a lot to the process.
  • What constitutes a salesperson; what do we want salespeople to accomplish; and are we moving that forward by paying a commission as opposed to salaries?
  • Bridget is on her way to close a deal.