Unlocking Success

Unlocking Success: A Conversation on Data-Driven Sales Enablement with Marcela Piñeros, Global Head of Sales Enablement at Stripe

Interviewer (BCI): Today, we're diving into the realm of sales enablement with Marcela Piñeros, Global Head of Sales Enablement at Stripe. Marcela, let's start with a fundamental question: Is everyone in your organization aligned on a common definition of training, what data matters most, and to whom?

Marcela Piñeros: That's the million-dollar question. In many organizations, the answer is often no. People perceive "training" in different ways. It could be a workshop, a course, or a set of materials. However, in sales enablement, it goes beyond a singular moment; it's a skill-building campaign, much like a marketing campaign, with multiple touch points.

BCI: Could you elaborate on the core objective of sales enablement, particularly regarding behavior change?

Marcela Piñeros: Absolutely. Our mission is to build confidence in sellers and empathy for customers by driving behavior change. Changing behavior isn't easy, as anyone who's tried to adopt a new habit knows. We design training programs considering the sellers' reality, the friction in their daily work, and the constant risk of reverting to old habits. Personalizing their journey is key, and data allows us to do that at scale.

BCI: How do you define someone as "enabled," and how does a well-designed program support this?

Marcela Piñeros: To be considered "enabled," individuals must successfully apply the desired skills or knowledge on the job. A comprehensive program considers what happens before, during, and after learning experiences. It addresses the reinforcement of knowledge, measurement, and incentivization of skill transfer on the job. Enablement doesn't end when the class is dismissed; collecting data shouldn’t end either.

BCI: What role does data play in designing and executing effective training programs?

Marcela Piñeros: Data is crucial. It's like building and executing a successful account plan. Discovery with stakeholders, identifying pain points, quantifying value, tracking progress, and measuring success are all part of the process. A thoughtful data strategy allows course correction midstream if intentions aren't yielding the desired outcomes. Acknowledging areas of improvement is as vital as recognizing successes. By focusing on why top performers succeed and tracking leading indicators for low performance, you avoid investing hours in solving the wrong problems.

BCI: How do you ensure that leaders champion your training initiatives and create an environment of transfer and accountability?

Marcela Piñeros: You need to have executive sponsors from the business. Moving too quickly without them can lead to resistance within the organization. A sponsor helps remove blockers, secures resources, and socializes outcomes. But you need to provide leaders with insights and supporting data to set them up for success. That reinforces their commitment to the program, making them advocates within the organization.

BCI: What's the role of managers in driving behavior change, and how should they be involved in the data-driven approach?

Marcela Piñeros: Managers are critical in driving change and applying best practices across the field. They should be involved in defining program KPIs and provided with reports and dashboards. This inclusion helps them track progress, drive accountability, and act as eyes and ears on the ground.

BCI: In conclusion, how do you navigate the challenge of designing for humans in sales enablement?

Marcela Piñeros: Designing for humans is undoubtedly challenging. Data makes it possible to steer our enablement programs for the impact we seek on our revenue organization. To achieve this, start by understanding how stakeholders define training, measure value, and identify the data needed to track success. Democratize your data, involve leaders, and keep refining your approach based on the insights gathered.

Want to Read More?

Marcela Piñeros is one of 18 contributors to share their expert insights in our new book, A Field Guide to Data-Driven Sales Enablement. This field guide helps sellers and sales teams address the top three challenges in sales:

  • High sales turnover rates which currently average 34.7% across all sales organizations;
  • Low quota attainment rate which currently averages 43% of the sales organizations; and
  • The time and cost required to get individuals and teams to peak performance.

Hear from industry experts on how they were able to reduce sales turnover by 62% and increase the number of reps making quota by 88%. This book will show you how to substitute data for opinion. Grab your copy today!

About Marcela Piñeros

Marcela Piñeros has dedicated her enablement career to helping people become intentionally excellent at their job. With a background in technology, sales, and instructional design, Marcela has led teams across academia, non-profit, public sector, start-up, SMB and enterprise.

She has been fortunate to lead award-winning strategic programs for clients such as Citigroup, Nissan, EMC2, Perry Ellis, Steve Madden, Microsoft, NASA, US Department of Energy, Red Hat, Oracle, CA Technologies, and New Relic. Having established sales enablement functions from the ground up in high-growth tech environments, she is thrilled to currently lead the global sales enablement organization at Stripe.