EP 26 – Best Enablement Tools for your Sales Teams – Nav Nicholson

Presentation of the episode

On the 26th episode of the Virtual Selling podcast, our guest is Nav Nicholson, Principal Sales Enablement Program Manager at Redis.

She tells us about the technologies they use, why and how they manage it.

About Nav Nicholson

To learn more about Nav Nicholson and Redis click on the links below :



With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normal is the new normal? We’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organization’s KPIs. Everything is evolving. In the virtual selling podcast we address these issues in depth twice a week with the experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales ops, and sales enablements of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared.
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Hi everybody. I’m very happy to be with Nav Nicholson today. She’s revenue enablement at Redis. Hi Nav, how are you doing?

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Hi, I’m good, thank you for having me.

It’s a pleasure. Can you tell us first what Redis do?

Yeah. So I’ll keep it simple as far as what redis, think of redis as a database. So how we are functioned is basically imagine you being on a Nordstrom’s website and you’re looking at Nordstrom’s website and you add stuff into your cart and you leave. When you come back, your stuff is still in the cart. Why is that? That’s something because redis in the background, another platform that’s similar to is what’s keeping it there. Because if you were using something that wasn’t, then your cart will be, you know, it will disappear when you come back. So Redis is used for purposes of that nature.

Great. That’s very interesting. And that’s very clear. Thanks a lot. What we will discuss today is the different stack that you are using to enable your sales team, but not only your sales team, also as revenue enablement, you cover more than only sales. Could you first describe what you do? And then we will talk about the stacks.

Yeah, so a little about me. So my title is sales enablement program manager. I’m a principal sales enablement program manager, and I own our entire sale stock. So all the platforms that our AEs and SDRs and customer success uses, I manage those from partially the technical aspect, as well as obviously that enablement.
So I handle and to end basically the onboarding of platforms and ensuring that they’re used properly, ensuring that the workflows are set up in a way that folks can actually use them in the most effective and efficient way. In addition to that, I also own data analysis and ensure that, you know, people are using it. And if there are gaps, how do we fix those gaps and make suggestions on those gaps. And I’ve worked very closely with leaders for each of those teams too.

Great. And so could we dig a little bit into the different sales technologies that you use?

Yeah. So a little about that. So yes, we have quite a few different platforms but each platform serves a very specific purpose. So think about our sales tech stack in a way where you start the funnel from prospecting to a proposal and also making sure that you’re qualifying the opportunity and then moving into more of the deal close stage. And then once it’s closed, you’re responsible for ensuring that that account stays and we get to retain it.
So the way we have our different sales tech stack is divided between account data, data solutions. And then we have sales engagement platforms, and then we have some social network platforms that we use to, and then some inbound channels. So inbound chat channels. In each one of those categories has its own specific platforms, but the primary ones that are super important for us include platforms like outreach, LinkedIn sales navigator, zoom info, high spot and drift to some extent. So those are some of the five more important ones. And obviously we also have conversation intelligence that’s critical in today’s world. Now that we work virtually and everyone is calling into calls remotely the way for us to actually see how the conversations are going between an account executive and a customer. We use conversation intelligence platforms really well. And for that we have chorus and also outreach Kaia. And the way we have outreach Kaia is more for our brand new hires. And it’s a very specific use case, which we can get to in a little while.

I don’t know about outreach kaia. What does it do?

Outreach Kaia is very similar to chorus, to some extent. But it has a little more functionality than what you get from chorus. Part of the reason why we invested in Outreach Kaia is for our brand new hires. So the way we use. It’s very specific. And I kind of came up with the actual use cases. When you have new hires on your team they don’t understand the product and they sometimes don’t know the answers that they might be looking for, or when they’re trying to follow up on calls they may have forgotten to take some notes or they were too busy taking notes and they weren’t able to stay engaged in the conversation.
How Kaia helps them is for a new hire, you need to be on a call and engaged with the contact that you’re talking to. So Kaia provides real time transcripts. So while you’re on a call, the conversation that you’re having, it shows up on the right-hand side of your screen or left wherever you want. And you can bookmark that transcript. You can take notes in that live conversation. Not only that, we’ve created some content cards. So when you’re on a call and say, the customer asks you some sort of question and that question is specific to a product or something that is related to a deal cycle, whatever it may be. If we have a content card that content card has some sort of trigger words that will trigger it. So if the customer asks, oh, what’s your pricing for Redi’s series? We have a content card that pop up. And so if the rep chooses, they have the ability to read through that. And if they choose not to read it and they say, Hey, I’ll actually follow up with you afterwards. Kaia sends a follow-up email with all the content cards that popped up during that call. And it also tells you if the next steps were discussed in that conversation. So you can easily use that follow-up summary email to reach out to the customer that you were just talking to. So just so it just ensures that, you know, when you’re talking to contacts as a brand new hire, you’re using the most knowledgeable information and also ensuring that you’re following up in the most reasonable way. And you’re not missing certain pieces of the conversation itself. Yeah.

And so why do you keep Chorus when this solution seems to be more complete or more useful?

So chorus actually plays a very critical role for our ops and our reps as well. Chorus is more for folks that have been here for some time and also in the new hires get it too, but how we’re using chorus is more specific to just recording calls and ensuring that all of our managers also have access to them.

And me as Corazon on an opportunity level to kind of identify. You know, certain keywords that were discussed during the conversation. One of the key things that Kaia is currently missing is that you can’t really record, you can’t really send a call recording transcript back into Salesforce, and that’s critical for us when we’re doing some sort of analysis on the conversations that our reps are having. So of course, chorus does still play a very critical piece for our account executives that have been here for a while.

So you really have a stack that is really complete and in order to have all the features, and I believe that you are ready to have such a extended stack it’s because there is an ROI for every type of solution.

Exactly. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. And each part from, so like I said, it serves a very specific purpose but they don’t, you know, work in silos, all of our platforms, talk to each other in such a way that if you do something in one, it will be impacted. It will impact what you’re doing in the next one. So all the workflows are very integrated in the way that they, you know, function for each of our reps. And when I say reps, I’m referring to, you know, our entire sales team.

Great. If we go deeper into those technologies, you express us the big families and you just express, it’s not only the reps. Who is using them and for what purpose?

Yeah. So we have, like I said, we’ve got some of the primary ones. Like the outreach is the ZoomInfo, LinkedIn sales navigator. Those are used by our SDRs and AEs and our SDRs are broken up into, you know, the outbound SDRs versus the corporate SDRs, which handle more inbound stuff. And then for AEs, we have some AEs that handle more of the smaller accounts and they also get a lot more inbound than the field and strategic teams. So All of that is all of those platforms are used by all of them. And in terms of our success team, the primary ones that our success team has access to is outreach and HighSpot.
And Outreach is a sales engagement platform. So it’s used more for handling, you know, any conversations that you have with your contacts and customers. And all of that is auto logged into Salesforce. And that’s very important for customer success and obviously the entire sales team.

Great. I see a tool that I never heard of, which is Bamboo.

Yeah. So Bamboo it’s more, it’s actually managed by a marketing team. It’s more of a marketing platform. And how Bamboo functions is you can create some content that can be easily shared on your social media. So our SDRs use it here and there, whenever we release something or whenever we have new events coming up our marketing team can actually post some of that information in bamboo that allows our SDRs to basically copy some of that content and then paste it into their LinkedIn posts to kind of get more attention for certain specific items.

And this part is effective or in the sales process.

So that platform, we haven’t been using it for very long. So I can’t say if it’s working or not, but we have gotten some really good feedback on it. The SDRs that are leveraging it, they do find some, some benefit from it. But. I can’t speak too much to it since our marketing team actually manages it to end to end.

And what is the process you use when you want to add a new software to the stack or sometimes remove one? How do you make those types of decisions?

Yeah. So the need depends on the use case. We don’t just purchase a platform just because somebody reached out to us. The way that we invest in a brand new platform is if there is a problem that we’re trying to solve. And I think that’s quite critical when you know, those SCRs or AEs are reaching out to myself or anybody on our teams. It’s important for them to highlight the pain that they solve in order for us to be able to have that conversation. So if there’s a pain. That’s when we look at platforms.

And one of the pains that we had you know, last year was around not being able to get the most accurate and enough information around some of the contacts and our account data and contact data solution is ZoomInfo. And so at that time, we were starting to question, okay, is ZoomInfo going to serve a purpose for us, especially in EMEA and APAC.
And so after multiple conversations, we identify that we actually really do have a pain as far as zoom info’s capability to provide us data on some of the AMEA based and APAC based contacts. When we determined that, that’s when we actually had some conversations with other tools like Lucia or sales Intel. And we decided that whichever one, you know, resolves the issue for us is the one that we’ll invest in. But if that wasn’t a problem, we wouldn’t have even had that conversation. So it’s very much based on pain that we might be experiencing that will impact the revenue generation for our company long term.

Great. And on the other side, if it happens that you remove a software to replace it by another one or two. Is it something that happened or it’s more like Chorus and Kaia where you add…

So in my time here, we have not removed any platforms. But if we were to get rid of any, it would be, if you know, it’s no longer serving a purpose and we found another platform that might be providing us the info that we need. And it’s serving a purpose that is what we’re wanting to get out of. A lot of the time, because we’re very specific about the problems that we’re solving and the platforms that we do invest in. We want them because we really need them. It’s not just because we’re getting them just because somebody is telling us to get them. And they’re somehow the leader in this space. Our tech stack is yes, there’s a few different platforms, but it’s very, very specific to what we’re wanting to solve for. So I don’t think we’ll have an issue where it’s, you know, oh, this platform is no longer serving a purpose. Let’s get rid of it because replacing a platform. If you think of it. We’ve integrated it so much into our workflows, getting rid of it. We’ll just, re-upped so much of what our reps are already doing. So I think buying a platform is usually a lot easier than getting rid of it. So it’s super important that you do your due diligence to identify the problem that platform is solving and how that’s going to impact the end goal that we have and the purpose of serve for our actual business and doing that on the front end is quite critical. So we’ll try not to invest in tools that don’t serve a purpose for us.

Sure. And do you have means to measure effectiveness and the ROI of each platform? There is some review sometimes you do. What is the way you measure the effectiveness of it?

Yeah. So that’s actually a great question. It’s something that I have started. I started actually looking into there are easier ways to do platform effectiveness and the ROI that you received from them. But the way we’re going about it is more around the actual, you know, pipeline that we’re generating and how much are we closing using these platforms? And we’re weighing all of those based on certain metrics that are important to us. So within each platform, there are in the future going to be certain KPIs that are expected of our sellers to achieve on a quarterly basis.
And so if they achieve those KPIs within those platforms, is what will determine if that platform is working for us or not, because it’s going to impact our revenue numbers in the future. And so we are starting to do the measurement and attribution reportings for all of the different sales tools that we use and the way we’re looking at it from a bigger picture is ensuring that, you know, the process around how these platforms are used, needs to be followed a to Z because platforms don’t serve a purpose unless there is an actual process that’s followed across the board.
Because if you just have a tool, it’s a tool. It doesn’t serve us anything. Unless we have standard processes across the board and we’ve invested a lot of time in making sure that our workflows are set up in such a way that folks use them in a manner that’s going to produce results.

That’s great. We are arriving at the end of the podcast. Do you want to add something before we close it?

I guess the thing I would say is it’s not about you know the tech stack that you have always, you do want to have platforms that are leaders in this space, but at the end of the day, the leaders in this space are not going to produce results if you don’t have a structure around how those platforms are utilized across the board. It’s quite important that all companies have people like myself that own these platforms and ensure that folks are using these in a manner that is going to produce the results that they’re wanting to get out of. Because at the end of the day, every company cares about growth and efficiency and effectiveness and to achieve that, technology plays a very important part considering that we all work remotely. And I don’t think that will ever change even though there are certain companies that are saying that, oh yeah, I’m sorry we wanna go back to the office. That’s not going to happen. We don’t live in that kind of world. But the platforms play a very important piece around, you know, ensuring that your teams are functioning in the best way possible, but for them to work, it’s important that people who own those tools are actually ensuring that people are using those platforms in a manner that’s going to help produce the result.

Great. Thanks a lot Nav. This episode of the virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. Join us twice a week for a new episode, with new stories and challenges of giants in the field. If you enjoy today’s episode, we are always listening for your feedback, share the show and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss any episodes. This episode was brought to you by, the virtual selling platform that increases your sales team efficiency and readiness, enables remote management and vemps sales operational excellence. Book your demo today to discover how you can close more deals with engaging and better prep customer meetings.

Thanks a lot Nav, it was a pleasure.

Thank you for having me.


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