Driving Adoption Through Data and Leadership with Nate Vogel

10/10 GTM Episode 6
Transparent sales process - working together
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Welcome to Season 1 of 10/10 GTM: The Podcast for Revenue Leaders!

Our guest for Episode 6 is Nate Vogel, Vice President of Sales Enablement at Databricks, and previous VP of Global GTM Enablement at Gong. Nate brings more than three decades of sales experience to the conversation, with a background at Southwestern Advantage, Tableau, Salesforce, Gong, and now Databricks.

In this episode, Ross talks to Nate about how data drives insight into adoption and why it’s crucial to train leaders first. Nate brings more than three decades of sales experience to the conversation, with a background at Southwestern Advantage, Tableau, Salesforce, Gong, and now Databricks. 

Listen to the episode here, and get the key takeaways from our conversation below. 

Using data to drive insight into adoption

According to Mckinsey, 70% of transformational strategic initiatives fail. The bottom line is that it’s hard to change behavior. Statistics show that once you train someone, they’ll forget 75% of what they learned within a few days. 

Many strong initiatives, despite having executive support, fail. They require an enormous amount of energy and effort to change behaviors, implement learnings, and drive adoption. Fortunately, data can be used as a tool to overcome this pitfall. “We show our customers how we use Gong on Gong to make our strategic initiatives successful,” says Nate. 

His team uses Gong data to uncover important insights related to adoption. They focus on key metrics such as training scores to determine whether new initiatives are being implemented, and the impact they’re having. These insights are then cross-referenced with win and churn rates. 

When your data is up to date and accurate, it can be used to tell the story of cause and effect. It allows your team to scale successful strategies, make adjustments, and address areas where adoption and impact are lacking. 

Start with leaders 

If you want to make a new initiative successful, take a top down approach. 

“I’ve found a 50 to 60 percent increase in adoption by bringing in sales leaders first and training them,” says Nate. “When I coach companies that are implementing new initiatives, the first thing I ask is how did your manager training go? Then, and most importantly, I ask them how they plan to measure effectiveness.”

When you start with leaders, you ensure they have a deep understanding of the new approaches or techniques. This enables them to effectively coach and guide reps, ensuring consistent and proper implementation. 

It also reduces knowledge gaps. When your leaders are informed, they can clearly communicate the organization’s goals, strategies, and expectations. This creates cohesion and improves scalability. 

Training is an ongoing process

Many organizations approach training as a checklist to complete. Once it’s done, they tick the box and move on. But the work doesn’t stop there — it continues. Training is a continuous process, which is why you need to have an implementer ready who will hold your team accountable. 

This person manages and maintains the resources, holds ongoing training sessions to improve knowledge retention, and provides constructive feedback. They also collect feedback about the training programs, and use this information to make improvements. 

Organizations that treat training as an ongoing process are better equipped to keep their teams up to date with the latest industry trends and practices, making them more competitive as a result. 

Rapid fire: Nate’s fast sales insights

In a rapid-fire Q&A session with Nate, we discuss why leaders need to have a service-first mindset and the importance of strategic selectivity. 

What's the main reason most teams miss their ARR goals? You’re only as good as your leaders — this goes for success and failure. So it’s about the frontline leaders. 

Favorite resource related to revenue leadership? Gong data labs. I’ve also always believed great readers make great leaders so if you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s “Leaders Eat Last,” I highly recommend it. And, my favorite book — which I’ve probably read 15 times — is “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie. 

What's the number one challenge for revenue leaders in 2023? There are so many strategic initiatives with so much to do. My advice is to be careful, there are only three or four things a team can do successfully at any given time. 

SMB, Mid-Market, or Enterprise? I started my career going door-to-door selling books, so I’m all about the SDRs. No matter where I am, I prioritize spending time on the frontline and learning from the reps. 

Most important org: new business sales, customer success, or marketing? It’s easy — GTM. All three! I believe you win together, you lose together. 

Best way to unplug from the demands of revenue leadership? Reading, youth education, sports, my kid, and coaching basketball. 

The road to successful revenue leadership is paved with? Service. The true joy in life is helping and serving. 

About Nate

Nate is a seasoned professional known for his data-driven approach to building high-performing Sales, Enablement, and Operational teams. With a focus on training and onboarding, he ensures that over 1,000 new hires each year and 10,000+ sellers receive top-notch, timely training. Nate captures and shares global best practices, fosters cross-departmental collaboration, and drives sales effectiveness through innovative programs. His goal is to create an environment where GTM teams, sales organizations, and partners thrive, ultimately enhancing company productivity.