Your complete guide to the most comprehensive, independent research on the impact of COVID-19 on the state of sales and sales enablement available today

We conducted the most comprehensive research on the state of sales enablement to date, in an effort to give you the actionable insights you need to thrive in the COVID-19 economy. Dig into the current context of the profession to understand what’s happening and learn how to transform your commercial system to overcome the unique challenges of our times with these resources.

The insights and ideas in our State of Sales Enablement: 2020 series are derived from a blended Phenomenological and Ethnographic qualitative research method.

Our research was not supported in any way, including funding, by vendors or special-interest groups. Our survey consisted of open-ended questions that did not take a 1-5 scale approach.

We gathered unfiltered thoughts to find gaps and opportunities, starting with a hand-picked group of experts, practitioners, sales leaders, academics, and consultants to analyze the findings. Between April 8 and May 10, 2020, we conducted 43 interviews and 6 panel discussions to unpack the meaning contained within the 102 open-ended survey responses we received.


Open-ended Surveys Completed


Expert Interviews Completed


Panel Discussions


Post-COVID Podcast Episodes


Keynote Quality Webinars


Inquires / Questions

This rich array of resources, all focused on analyzing and sharing what we discovered in The State of Sales Enablement 2020 data, is curated into webinars, podcasts, white papers, and articles you can use to help move your organization through this transformative moment in time.

Commercial Enablement Webinar Series

There is a lot of focus on fixing salespeople and very little focus on addressing the sales and marketing ecosystem and the complexity that exists. In our six-part Commercial Enablement webinar series, Scott Santucci examines what the sales enablement profession needs to do to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis with more clarity around its purpose and value. Each webinar includes step-by-step guides and frameworks to improve your commercial system as you pivot from go-to-market activities to go-to-customer strategy.

Sales Enablement Is at a Crossroads: Where Do We Go from Here?
A crisis tests the mettle of any person, organization, system, or process. COVID-19 is forcing the sales enablement community to confront the question once and for all, “What is the economic value of sales enablement brings to an organization?”

Manufacture a Healthy Pipeline by Mastering the Middle
This webinar will bust a lot of dangerous myths companies are making about the funnel and provide practical and step-by-step guides how to make quick and impactful changes.

Move the Needle: Using the Commercial Ratio to Drive Sales and Marketing Performance
Hear how to work across the entire executive committee to develop a plan of attack and then systematically implement a “fix the plane while it’s flying approach,” in concert with your board of directors.

Routes to Value: Enable Your Customers to Buy Complex Solutions
Routes to Value is both a go-to-customer strategy and an integrated sales and marketing messaging program designed to make it easier to match the breadth of your capabilities to the needs of targeted buying centers.

Uncover Hidden Commercial Costs: Find Waste. Reinvest in Growth.
The Hidden Commercial Cost model, developed in collaboration with six CFOs in blue chip organizations, applies activity-based costing principles and data-driven modeling to rapidly estimate spending categories across sales and marketing and identify optimization opportunities.

Go To Customer: Markets Don’t Write Checks, Customers Do
Scott recaps our Commercial Enablement series and shares seven key takeaways. Learn why the classic approach consulting companies take to help you go to market restricts your growth opportunity and how go to customer works in a digital experience economy.

Inside: Sales Enablement Podcasts

Hosted by Brian Lambert and Scott Santucci, the Inside: Sales Enablement podcast is made for sales enablement orchestrators looking to elevate their function, expand their sphere of influence, and increase the span of control within their companies.

The 33 episodes below explore the major themes of The State of Sales Enablement: 2020 research.

Part 1: COVID-19 Response Series: Making Sense of What is Happening

Scott Satucci and Brian Lambert bring together a diverse set of perspectives to provide actionable insights in response to COVID-19 and its grip on the global economy. Guests are:

  • Dr. Howard Dover, Professor, University of Texas-Dallas 
  • Kunal Metha, Operations Principal, TCV private equity* 
  • Lindsey Gore, Consumption Sales Executive, Microsoft 


Part 2: COVID-19 Response Series: Anticipate how your company will react

The sales enablement COVID response plan is designed to help you prepare for where the puck will be — when the economy comes back. In this episode, the following panelists discuss advice, how we weathered past economic crises and the need for stitching together business results. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Howard Dover, Professor, University of Texas-Dallas 
  • Kunal Metha, Operations Principal, TCV private equity* 
  • Lindsey Gore, Consumption Sales Executive, Microsoft 


Part 3: COVID-19 Response Series:What can Sales Enablement leaders do?

In part 3 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, we asked panelists to provide their thoughts and guide your decision-making.In times of crisis, great leaders synthesize the information, confront reality, and overcome the disconnects that exist. Panelists in this episode:

  • Dr. Howard Dover, Professor, University of Texas-Dallas 
  • Kunal Metha, Operations Principal, TCV private equity*
  • Lindsey Gore, Consumption Sales Executive, Microsoft 


Part 4: COVID-19 Response Series: Questions About the Path Forward

In part 4 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert field listener questions.


Part 5: COVID-19 Response Series: Timeless Leadership Skills for Modern Times

In part 5 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert dive into the critical aspects of leadership and provide executable insights with a leadership framework used by some of the most strategic and results-oriented sales enablement leaders in the technology industry.


Panel 1: Sales Enablement Experts: Discussing State of Profession

In March 2020, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert initiated the groundbreaking study on the Future of Sales Enablement. To help analyze the raw data, they created the Insider Nation Guest Analyst Program. The following three panelists are the first guests in a series of engaging discussions around what the results mean for the profession.

  • Tamara Schenk, Sales Enablement Leader, Advisor, Author, Speaker, Mentor 
  • Josie Mashburn, Founder, Sales Benchmark Index 
  • Mike Kunkle: Vice President of Sales Effectiveness Services, SPARXiQ 


Panel 2: Sales Experts – Forecasting the Future of Sales Enablement

This is the second panel discussion during which leaders dissect the research data points from the State of Sales Enablement study, led by Scott Santucci. In this episode, we enroll the help of sales leadership. Hear from:

  • Skip Miller, CEO,  M3 Learning
  • Bob Apollo, CEO, Inflexion Point Strategy Partners
  • Steve Crepeau, CEO, True Sales Results


Panel 3: Sales Enablement Leaders – Evolving the State of Sales Enablement

Continuing the ground-breaking series on the State of Sales Enablement, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert bring industry trailblazers together to discuss survey data and open-ended responses from over 100+ respondents. Guests include:

  • Sheevaun Thatcher, CPC, Head of Sales and Global Enablement, RingCentral
  • Imogen McCourt, Sales Enablement Leader & Advocate
  • Doug Clower, Head of Enablement, MicroFocus


Panel 4: Sales Enablement L&D Training – Where Does Sales Enablement Go From Here?

As a continuation of our State of Sales Enablement panel series, we created a “guest analyst” program. In this episode, our experts talk about data and what it means for the current climate—and the future. Guests include:

  • Barry Shields, Director, Customer Experience Training & Enablement, Avalara
  • Garth McKinney, L&D Sales Consultant, Red Hat
  • David Somers, Director Field Enablement, GitLab


Panel 5: Sales Academics – Predicting the Future of Sales Enablement

For many, the COVID Crisis of 2020 was a wake-up call. We continue our groundbreaking research on the state of sales enablement research project with another top-notch panel of experts:

  • Dr. Robert Peterson, Editor Journal of Professional Selling and Professor of Sales at Northern Illinois University 
  • Dr. Joel Le bon, Johns Hopkins University Digital Business Development Initiative
  • Dr. Howard Dover, Director, Center for Professional Sales at University of Texas Dallas


Panel 6: Executive Sponsors – Focusing on Outcomes for Sales Enablement Leaders

Ever wonder what executive sponsors talk about with senior leaders? In the last panel of our State of Sales Enablement Research, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert pull together an amazing panel of the executive sponsors chartering sales enablement functions to hear their take:

  • Brian King, Managing Director, King Consulting 
  • Sameer Rupani, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Solvay
  • Greg Peelman, Vice President, Operations, EcoLab


Leadership Begins with the Courage to Do Something Different in the Moment

Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert take a deeper dive into leadership in a world of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity). They talk through the Being HEROIC Leadership Framework using a real-life case study example of a project in-flight.


Scott Santucci on TRIAL: The People vs. the Definition of Sales Enablement

The definition of sales enablement goes on trial—and so does Scott Santucci. Scott gets temporarily removed from the co-host seat by John Thackston, vice president of SOAR performance group.


What Being HEROIC Looks Like: Earn It. Own It. Evolve It. As applied during COVID

In this episode, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert interview Hang Black, Head of Global Sales Enablement at Juniper Networks and Insider Nation Member. Her mantra, “earn it, own it, evolve it” has particular relevance during the COVID-19 era.


Engineering Valuable Sales Conversations & Gray’s Anatomy

In this episode Scott King joins the show to help “dissect” the revenue engine and discuss the wins he’s accomplished in partnership with product, marketing and sales teams to drive profitable growth at his company.


Listener Insights: Unpacking Our State of Sales Enablement Research Method

Erich Starrett, President of the Atlanta Chapter of the Sales Enablement Society, shares his viewpoints on the difference between generating data and creating insights. In addition, the group discusses the research method behind the State of Sales Enablement.


Happy Birthday! 5 Listeners Join Our Anniversary Show

Five Sales Enablement Insiders talk through the past 12 months, sharing their favorite episodes of Inside: Sales Enablement, and how they use insights from the podcast in their daily work. Guests include:

  • Erich Starrett, Director of Business Development, ETA – Creative Event Producers.
  • Sarah Fricke Senior Manager, Global Sales Enablement, RingCentral
  • Meagan Davis, Sales Enablement Manager at CyberArk
  • Amy Benoit , Founder and Chief Consultant at AllPropos
  • Bill Ball, Director of Learning and Development at Disys


Women’s Panel on Sales Enablement

Sarah Fricke, Senior Manager, Global Sales Enablement at RingCentral, hosts a panel featuring women leaders in sales enablement. In this lively discussion, topics range from how women forged a path in the profession to the importance of cognitive diversity. Guests include:

  • Amy Benoit, Founder and Chief Consultant at AllPropos
  • Lindsay Gore, Microsoft
  • Hang Black, Juniper
  • Sarah Fricke, RingCentral
  • Alicia Leach, Salesforce
  • Steph Bell, Salesforce
  • Stephanie Middaugh, Divvy


Blending Strategy & Tactics and the Modern Day Marco Polo

Doug Clower. Director Enablement, Microfocus, is a 20-year sales-enablement veteran with deep orchestration experience. In this episode, he shares his viewpoint on the changing sales landscape and how orchestrating success with sales, marketing, and operations leaders means bridging the gap between business strategy and the way customers need to buy.


Orchestration – Is it Strategy or Tactics? Yes!

A sales-enablement leader working inside her organization to bring together various teams to drive outcomes for her customers talks about what it’s like to work in the gap between strategy and tactics.


Unlocking Value with Commercial Ratio

Tom Pisello, the ROI Guy, shares his thoughts on The Commercial Ratio: it’s value, it’s relationship to sales enablement, and the fundamentals on how to calculate yours.


Strategy, Execution, Orchestration: A Sales VP Reacts

Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert are joined by Joe, a vice president of sales for a mid-sized services company, to talk about the evolution of selling over the past 20 years, what it looks like now and how COVID-19 is affecting his team.


The Emperor Has No Clothes – Declaring War on Inefficiency

Kunal Mehta from the Private Equity firm TCV* talks about The Commercial Ratio: what it is, and how it helps companies address sales and marketing challenges to overcome waste and inefficiency.


Synthesis vs. Analysis: The Power of Improvisation and Figuring Stuff Out

Brooke Spatz, a Sales Enablement Orchestrator, taps into her background as an actor, and explores how the rules improvisation echo the differences between analyzing and synthesizing, and how they create value for an organization.


Fighting Productitis: A Sales Leader’s View of Selling Business Outcomes

Bob Apollo, CEO, Inflexion Point Strategy Partners, talks with Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert about putting the sales enablement focus on customer outcomes, instead of products.


Orchestrating Relevant Sales Conversations: Two Insiders Share Their Work to Overcome Barriers to Sales

Doug Clower, Director Enablement, Microfocus, and Imogen McCourt, Sales Enablement Leader & Advocate, discuss what it means to orchestrate by blending together both strategy and tactics to simplify sales while achieving business objectives.


Liquid, Solid, Gas: Overcoming Today’s Go-Sell-Value Challenge

Guests Chad Quinn, the CEO & Co-Founder, Ecosystems and Jason Cunliffe, Group Vice President, Content Marketing Services, IDC, discuss how their partnership evolved out of a shared client’s definition of value, and the blending of capabilities to help sellers navigate a complex buyer-seller relationship.


Vilfredo Pareto and the Importance of Systems Thinking to Solve Complex Problems

Guest Dr. Jerry Brightman, who teaches courses on systems thinking at Harvard University, unpacks a real-world example of understanding the components and repeatable approaches to viewing the commercial system as an integrated system of people, processes, technology, and capabilities.


Finding Hidden Gems: Unpacking Social Interactions To Find Insight

How can we use social media to gather information and insight, to understand different perspectives? Long-time listener Greg Smith talks about what happened when he publicly shared his views on “SDR bashing, and the valuable conversations that generated.


Langley vs. the Wright Brothers: Embracing the Complex Conditions that Lead to Breakthrough Results

Amy Benoit, Founder and Chief Consultant at AllPropos, is focused on harnessing the often volatile, uncertain, and complex (VUCA) environment and shares her ideas on working “light and lean” to get moving and get results.


Friars, Peas, and Best Practices: Embracing Message Enablement in a COVID Impacted Business Landscape

Louis Jonckheere, President and Co-Founder of Showpad, talks about what it means to be customer-centric in a COVID-impacted world.


Fighting Productitis by Orchestrating Message Enablement with Routes to Value 

Brian Lambert, Scott Santucci and Steve Goas discuss the value of Message Enablement, and how to avoid the fatal disease of Productitis.

Thank You to Our Panelists:

The following experts provided invaluable time and analysis to make it possible for these materials to be available to you.

We’d like to thank them for their support:
Josie Mashburn, CEO of Sales enablement Benchmark
Bob Apollo, sales consulting
Tamara Schenk, Author
Steve Crepeau, True Sales Results
Glen Lally, VP Global Enablement, Google
Hang Black, VP Global Enablement, Juniper
Sheevaun Thacker, VP Global Enablement, Ring Central
Doug Clower, Director Enablement, Microfocus
Jared Litwin, VP Sales Enablement,
Elay Cohen, CEO Saleshood
Brian King, SVP Sales Operations and Enablement, IHG
Angie Voutsara, consumer distribution
Deb Honea, Sr Director Sales Excellence, Sysco
Greg Peelman, Vice President of Operations, Ecolab
Sameer Rupani, SVP Customer Solvay
Mike Kunkle, VP Sales Excellence SparksIq
Skip Miller, CEO Level 3
Doug Winter, CEO Seismic
Joe Terry, CEO Vantage Point and Marketing Profs
Kunal Mehta, Operating Executive TCV*
Cameron Tanner, Sr Lead Sales Productivity and Effectiveness, Amazon Web Services
Imogen McCourt, CEO (formerly Argus Media and Forrester Research)
Dr. Howard Dover, Professor University of Texas – Dallas
Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO of Selling Power Magazine
Steve Patti, VP Racing Fuel, Professor Trinity University
John Thackerson, VP Business Development, SOAR consulting
Fred Penteado, Director of Customer Programs, SBI
Walter Pollard, CEO Brand Fuzion
Elana Anderson, CMO Veracode
Robert Peterson, Professor Northern Illinois University
Joel Len Bon, Professor Johns Hopkins University
Barry Shields, Director Customer experience training & enablement, Avalara
Garth McKinney, L&D Consultant Red Hat
David Sommers, Director Field Enablement GitLab
Scott King, Head of Global Sales Enablement and Commercial Strategy, Progress Software
Krishna Depura, CEO Mind Tickle
Nick Saunders, Sr. Director of Sales Enablement at Mimecast
Louis Jonckheere, Co-Founder & President, Showpad
Robert Wahbe, CEO Highspot
Chad Quinn, CEO and Co-founder Ecosystems
Lindsey Gore, Account Executive Microsoft
Brooke Spatz, Head of Sales Enablement, Omnitracs
Alexander Low, DLA ignite

*The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of TCMI, Inc. or its affiliates (“TCV”). TCV has not verified the accuracy of any statements by the speakers and disclaims any responsibility therefor. This presentation is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any private fund managed or sponsored by TCV or any of the securities of any company discussed. The TCV portfolio companies identified are not necessarily representative of all TCV investments, and no assumption should be made that the investments identified were or will be profitable. For a complete list of TCV investments, please visit For additional important disclaimers regarding this presentation, please see “Informational Purposes Only” in the Terms of Use for TCV’s website, available at