Roderick Jefferson joined Netskope in January 2021 as Vice President of Field Enablement. Among many career highlights, he is credited with coining the term “sales enablement” and built world-class, widely-recognized enablement organizations at AT&T, Siebel Systems, Oracle, NetApp, eBay, HP, Salesforce.com, Marketo, and others. A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award for Sales Enablement from Selling Power™, Roderick will publish his first book, “Sales Enablement 3.0: The Blueprint to Sales Enablement Excellence” in March 2021.
Like so many of us, I started my sales career as a business development representative, and my success helped me grow into many other sales roles. But what I figured out early on was that I loved the process of selling most of all and that I had talent and passion for helping other folks not only learn to sell more effectively but also reach the kind of productivity that would get them regularly named to President’s Club and achieve many other milestones. I’ve been fortunate to partner with some of the brightest minds in the world and lead the way on what helps make salespeople truly successful.
One of the most important things is understanding the difference between training and enablement. You train animals. You enable people. Training is often a one-time “spot” event—hope you can get everyone in a classroom, hope they come away with something, hope they can use it to help solve challenges around objection handling, pipeline management, whatever it is.
Friends, hope is not a strategy.
When you enable, you’re doing something that’s ongoing and tied to revenue-generating metrics. Where training is something teams invest in, enablement is a strategic component of a company. In the best organizations, enablement becomes part of the go-to-market strategy that retains customers, mitigates risks, and increases profits. For sales professionals, enablement helps us all stop giving presentations and start having real conversations.
I’m a big fan of communication, collaboration, and orchestration. Make sure everyone is on the same page, that all of our communications are consistent, that all groups are aligned, and that we’re functioning like an orchestra. If you think about an orchestra—brass, percussion, woodwinds, strings—sometimes notes are flat, sometimes instruments are out of tune, sometimes the individual players are stepping all over each other. But then, a conductor taps the podium and brings everyone together to turn all of that noise and chaos into beautiful music. That conductor is sales enablement.
It is not enough to “sell products.” It’s not enough to “sell solutions.” We have to show the experience someone can have only when they work with Netskope.
And what an experience that is. I joined Netskope because we are in the right place at the right time, and there is a strong need—and will be an even stronger need—for our approach. Some of the biggest and most technically complex organizations in the world already know this about us, and we’re meeting and convincing more of them every day. We already have a huge runway ahead of our competitors, but culture will help dictate why and how we win. For a highly motivated sales professional, that’s big, and when you can combine market need with world-class people and culture, that makes us unbeatable.
Netskope has people that want to win—and want to win the right way. I am so excited to be here.