Meet Jessie Hanna, Vice President of Sales Enablement at Stanley Black & Decker. In this interview, Jessie shares the importance of both understanding your sales teams’ immediate needs and setting a long-term vision for your digital sales acceleration strategy.
“You have to be willing to listen. I’ve spent a lot of time listening to and talking to our sales teams over the years. Understanding how to give your sales teams what they really need is the first step.”
Tell us about your current role as Vice President of Sales Enablement at Stanley Black & Decker. How has it changed in the last year?
This role has really evolved over the last 2 years. I stepped into this position about three weeks into the pandemic with a unique opportunity to set up a new process. So, it began with a question: how do we best support our sellers?
Ultimately, it came down to optimizing our CRM and sales tech, getting the data and analytics we needed in place to grow strategically.
2021 was about just resetting the foundation.
After centralizing sales enablement, how do you tailor your enablement solutions to meet each of your sales team’s needs?
One of the things we’re really trying to do is put the process first. We’ve taken a step back to understand what the team really needs and then identify which technology can enhance that experience—shifting the focus to put the process first and the technology second.
Once the processes are in place, how do you evolve your sales tech stack to better support your teams?
We’ve learned that CRM and sales tech is not going to do everything we need it to do, at least not on its own. So we’re looking at all the touchpoints we need and the right integrations to bring everything together to find the right solutions for our team
At the end of the day, we want all of our sales tools to connect. We want it clear to our sellers that they can get into one portal and know where to go from there.
Is there any must-have technology that you see as a gap in your ecosystem?
Well, that was Showpad. For a long time, how we managed sales enablement content differed from team to team.
Showpad is something our sales teams need every single day. With the breadth of our product lines, there’s so much that goes into what our sales teams are selling and how they’re selling. In my mind, implementing Showpad was going to be a quick win if we did it right. I didn’t think it was something we were going to have to work hard to get adopted—and it wasn’t. Showpad was adopted almost immediately across the board, right out of the gate.
Now, we’re turning to optimization: the key metrics we need to look at, the best way to surface specific content for sales and even how to start using Showpad as part of our event strategy.
How do you prioritize content creation in a new content management platform?
That’s where we’re at right now: trying to identify what it is we need, what’s different than our standard flyers and sell sheets and one-pagers. And then: how do we leverage our content creation team to enhance Showpad?
I would say that’s the next evolution of this new tech for us. When we launched Showpad, we just needed to make sure our sales team could access the content. It was a great experience immediately, but now it’s about how we can take sales content to the next level with the engagement metrics and signals we’re getting from both sellers and customers.
We also wanted to make sure our product managers and marketing teams knew Showpad was out there and understood how our sales teams were using it. We put together lunch and learns for those teams to showcase the what, how and why for how our sellers are using Showpad. That way, our product and marketing teams know that when we launch something, it’s a calculated methodology.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in this function, or keys or tips to success?
Number one: you just have to be willing to listen. If you aren’t listening to the pains of the sales team or understanding what they go through day-to-day, you won’t be able to fully own enablement.
Number two: understand that you can’t do it all. Depending on the size of your team a lot of effort is needed to set the vision, run the training for the system, and so on. It’s why we’ve built out our sales enablement team to include a dedicated sales technology training manager—one person dedicated to training across all our platforms.
Think through your strategy, hard. Ask yourself: what do our sales teams do, and how do we staff the sales enablement function to be successful?