Getting Under the Hood of Enablement

with Nate Vogel,

VP of GTM Enablement, Gong

In this episode, Pete is joined by Nate Vogel, the vice president of go-to-market enablement at Gong. Together they discuss how to find success with inexperienced hires, where enablement growth comes from, and overcoming the biggest challenges in the industry.
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Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Background and career journey (1:43)
  • Grass-roots enablement (7:43)
  • Enablement inspiration (10:44)
  • Growing the Enablement Function (13:43)
  • Gong Introduction (21:27)
  • Gong use cases (29:06)
  • The biggest challenges (35:03)
  • Tip of the Day (42:41)


The SaaS Ramp Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at


Pete Thornton 0:00
All right, welcome back to The SaaS Ramp Podcast. I’m your host podcast Pete awesome guest on today with us today we have Nate Vogel, VP of Go-To-Market enablement at Gong. Welcome to the show, Nate.

Nate Vogel 0:17
Hey, you bet. Honored to be here. Thanks for having me.

Pete Thornton 0:20
Absolutely been looking forward to this one. Recent news, go ahead and make the little big announcement here on the front side of it. Gong shows up on the 2022 Cloud 100, if you’re watching this late, coming in at number 14, so big congratulations to you, Nate at the Gong.

Nate Vogel 0:38
You bet. An honor to be here. I’ve been here about a year and a few months. So I get a little bit of credit to help on that. But kudos to the founders and all the great gangsters as we call the God that joined for me to help build such an incredible company and platform some honor just to help enhance it and scale it.

Pete Thornton 0:56
Awesome. Awesome. Yeah. And maybe my little caveat, my note to anybody listening, I’ve purchased Gong at two organizations in a row now so slightly biased. If you ever catch any of my opinions, there’ll be heavily weighted.

Nate Vogel 1:13
Well thank you so much. Another raving fan. We really appreciate it.

Pete Thornton 1:17
Raving fan. Card-carrying. Well, Nate, you’ve had an amazing career in enablement. enablement is like in a more like progressive role is kind of probably considered that certainly in comparison to sales or maybe like revenue operations. But would you tell us a little bit about yourself? Like your professional career kind of moving through how you came to be the VP go-to-market enablement at Gong?

Nate Vogel 1:41
You bet. I’m in Seattle, by the way, sunny today it’s summer so it feels really good here and went to university up here called Western Washington University and summer job decided, Okay, I’m gonna go pay my way through school I decided to go do sell books with a company called Southwestern advantage. So the college students go sell books and they work 80 hours a week go door to door selling educational products. My mom was a former Special Ed teacher, my dad was in sales. So I thought this might bit my first summer. Waco, Texas, I sold books in Waco, Texas. Did that actually for six summers. So learned a lot about running a business surely learned a lot about prospecting all the STRS out there. Appreciate what you do every day, I surely did that. You’ll learn how to continue to up my game as far as communicating with two 3000 families every single summer, and then did that all the way through college. And then if you sell a certain amount, you win a trip. And so I had a chance to win some trips and hire recruit other college students to do this job and ended up doing that for six summers and ended up staying there for actually 20 years running sales and on the west coast in Canada. So 20-year run 20+ year run. Amazing, amazing. Restaurant, and then yeah, and then with all these great young people that you’ve meet, many of them are young, incredible. People, so they’re similar in a sense of like learning how to pave their way and run their own business and pay their way through school. One of those was Kelly. And so, Kelly’s listening, Thank you Kelly was, at that time, number one salesperson of our company, 100-year-old company. I was the number one manager and trainer and we said it would be fun someday to work together again. And I followed her career. I stayed at Southwestern for 20 years. But Kelly went, got her degree at Wharton and worked at McKinsey and bake America and then was the first salesperson in Tableau. And then rose to the ranks became Executive Vice President of Tableau. I’ll never forget it my son. I mean, my wife and I, it’s first date away from our son who was three months old. We had dinner with Kelly and her husband, Jeff, and that was the night she said you should come around tabla enabled it. Oh, great training background. You’ve definitely led sales teams for a long time. And very similar to Gong, Tableau was pre IPO and we were quite small. And so I downloaded Tableau and instantly became a fan of the product, the analytics and started building out the enablement team. We started with three and then working really closely with Kelly from IPL and then build out the naval team to help sales enablement, Customer Success enablement, partner enablement. And then Kelly retired in 2016, season 17. And then I stayed through the acquisition of Salesforce, Salesforce acquired us and learned a lot and had about 70-80 or so enablement, professionals. When I decided to move on, Kelly was on the gong board and she said, hey, if there’s someday that you want to move on from Tableau and potentially build again, you should look at Gong and then I became solid product. It’s all the content saw met the people and incredible run at Tableau and I’m so so thankful for it. But decided to join Gong so June two 1021 I joined as Vice President go to market enablement. And then what an honor Kelly comes off the board. And July 1 becomes our president and CEO of Gong.

Pete Thornton 5:10
No way.

Nate Vogel 5:12
Yeah, so I need to make sure you stay in touch with your connections. Many of the folks is we know, in this tech space, it’s a small space. So I always believe, I think my network is one of my greatest asset. So I’m a big fashion guy, too. So maybe some of my Gucci collection is maybe my second greatest asset. Least my first might be the network itself.

Pete Thornton 5:42
Oh, that’s excellent. Definitely.

Nate Vogel 5:46
Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, thank you for noticing. Good job.

Pete Thornton 5:50

Nate Vogel 5:52
Sadly, I hear probably too much about fashion, but I need to focus on tech.

Pete Thornton 5:58
Well, you’re gonna have to get to the office at least once a month just so you can have someplace to wear it.

Nate Vogel 6:03
That’s right. That’s why I’ve been doing that. It’s fun, right, Gong finally opening up some of their offices. I was just in San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta and adopt Dublin here a few weeks, so it’s nice to get out. But no joke, no joke. kiddingly. I am very, very thankful to be here. And that’s how the job of go to market enablement. What an honor to help we wake up every day our team to serve the gangsters. So our job is to help them increase productivity, provide you best-in-class training, be able to measure that in Gong, do it at scale, and then ultimately, the KPIs we should help hit and exceed the number.

Pete Thornton 6:41
Wonderful. Yeah, that’s amazing. Your first experience there, that’s really kind of a telling experience. So first of all, you’re extremely young already getting experience yourself. So you’re having that like first person that like primary source, kind of like experience, we’re in the field. But then as I was reading through your LinkedIn profile, like two to 300, salespeople that you are kind of seeing overseeing in this in the cycle, and they are all college students. So like career development, character development. So there’s no expectation or even assumption that these people would have any kind of sales background or understanding and now you are the leadership over them. So like, what was that process like? Did you just think it normal at the time, and then you move further in your career, and you’re like, Oh, that was a extremely formative foundational experience for me to have done that? Taking people almost K through 12, and their sales experiences in a rapid journey like that. I’ve never done it like that and it makes perfect sense for enablement.

Nate Vogel 7:42
Yeah, no question. And for any college students out there, or maybe parents that have college students, southwestern, still hiring college students, they that theme is building character and young people since 1868. I’m sure Kelly and I would both tell you, it’s one of the hardest jobs that you could ever do. But no question, formidable sales training, and they do an incredible job, where they do training and scripts and role-playing and being able to showcase, make sure you’re leading with the product, and really some of the nicest say this all the time when I was running sales team, we do a good thing. I mean, promoting education and get out and talking to families and kids about better education, I think soon for 14, so I’m proud of the work and effort that I did. And no question if you’re going into enablement, training, sales leaders, you look back on those early years, and you build a lot of character, not just in selling but also I had the honor of during the school year, then hiring and training other college students to do the same thing, which sometimes is even harder than just your own self doing it. So I had a 10, 20, 30 person, a team and actually had couple 100 people that I worked with while I was still in college trying to help develop their careers and so on. So, yeah, I look back to that fondly. By the way, my twin brothers sold books, they’re some of my best friends sold books and for all the folks that have visited Southwestern, we all have kind of our, our stories, some good some, some are bad and when you look back on it, and building character since young people and now those skill set now and now transition, I think really nicely into the digital transformation, or surely in tech sales, where you’re selling b2b And especially how much time over Zoom is now selling. I think the skill sets of hard-working, play in the numbers, service minded, being educated on the product being authentic. Still, those are kind of, to me, clap things that will never go out of style.

Pete Thornton 9:46
Yeah, 100% For sure. And then the movement of then to Tableau like I was just reading through and some of the things that you were doing there, and I will have to throw this out there for the audience. And maybe you can just describe it really quickly. You don’t have to spend too much time but When I got to skill pills, like skill it Yeah, no pills BI LLS, right? Take your vitamin, take your medicine, skill pills. And it training modules. I feel like it’s brilliant. I have former educator myself high school science teacher transition seven years ago. And like, and so hearing your parents background too is kind of perfect, but Oh, good, you got anything that you can have this like, make some mental image for them to like, essentially digest that knowledge really quickly. I saw that. And it’s like, it’s ubiquitous he’s using it tells you that about your bills, or any of the things that you were kind of developing at Tableau? Like, what gives you the inspiration for these ideas? Is that you’ve had pain? Is it from inspiration? Like what where’s it come from?

Nate Vogel 10:40
Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. It was I thought at the time is really, really helpful. I mean, one at Tableau. And I joined and probably for a lot of people that are listening, we were still small. I mean, I was pre-IPO, we only had a couple of enablement managers. So we were having to make sure we’re using the current team to really do a lot of our enablement. So the concept was really simple. I’ve started seeing that some of the best salespeople at Tableau work teaching, weren’t able to actually have a vehicle or platform, again, long time ago, 10 plus years. It was hummus we do on Zoom, and so on. So this idea of, Hey, I just grabbed some of the best salespeople and call them skill pills and created a webinar, where they could have a vehicle to just showcase best practices. And then our team was able to grab their slides or grab their content and do some speaker coaching. So it was really informative, and you would walk away from that training with clear action items and things that you need to do and then ended up taking out taken off pretty, pretty good at Tableau early on, because we just had, again, me and two other people. So we had to work with a lot of the, whether it’s best leader, best manager, best executive best marketer, and showcase that some skill pills. And that ended up working out really well then over time, we started getting more nav enablement, managers. And of course, we were able to get enablement by segment and scale it out. But for any, any of the folks out there that are out there able to kind of take that concept seems so simple, but I’m surprised. We’re still trying to do the same thing at Gong and Gong, you’re able to see it and understand it a lot easier and a lot faster, because you have our platform, but we still want to get the best practices, best people teach it right? So on a sales philosophy, the best athletes, the best musicians, the best actors, you’re usually just trying to see get under the hood a little bit about what’s their craft? What are they what do they do? We’re no different. And so that was the thank you for researching that it’s on my LinkedIn, you can see some of the early Tableau skill pills that we have.

Pete Thornton 12:41
Yeah, I love it. Anything rhyming anything, and then it has like the real more like the strategic back ends to it. It’s so good. Okay, you mentioned something just then and I might be getting ahead of myself a little bit, but I’ll just go ahead and ask it because you mentioned a couple of numbers. So when he was a tableau, you were three enablement team of three. I can hardly imagine Tableau only having like three enablement, leads. But again, hypergrowth moves quickly. And then by—

Nate Vogel 13:11
2012. So we were small when IPO 2013. So yeah,

Pete Thornton 13:16
But still. Oh, my goodness, it’s still but regardless got a lot done with just a few folks that sounds like and then 70 to 80, post-Salesforce acquisition, which again, completely understand, but sometimes the question with some of the hyper-growth companies that are part of this audience is this audience, they’re either hiring their first enablement lead or maybe they are one and they’re wondering how to get to three. Do you have any thoughts around like enablement and growth? Does it come by ratio? Does it come by value? Where does that come from essentially?

Nate Vogel 13:52
Yeah, you bet. It’s a great question. And I’ve been honored to kind of get this question asked, because not only did I have the opportunity to kind of do that i Tableau but also when we got acquired, I learned from some of the best Salesforce enablement my mentor, there was Dan Darcy, who’s now over at qualify, but he had built up and run Salesforce, and he lived for a long time. And so I learned how to do that, but also learn from some of the best in the business. So one of the things I think, yeah, if you can start with one or two or three, and hopefully at least one of those three has former selling or leading experience, I think I had had a lot of credibility, just even though I didn’t understand Tableau per se, as I ramped what I understood selling and leading teams. And so I do think that’s helpful. So if you can hire potentially someone internal that was a Rockstar, salesperson or sales leader to come over and join you in enablement, that I think really helps. I also think having been someone that has done some type of enablement, even if it’s a smaller company or larger company, they all understand what competency development is the Under really understand how to measure enablement, how to get onboarding or a bootcamp program. you’re up and running. So but I think that makes a big difference to have two or three. And that’s kind of what we started with. I had Grace who ran our onboarding, Tim, who did our product training, and then I helped build out a lot of the leadership program of it. One of the things I always like asking the companies that are a little bit smaller to say, how many enablement people do you have? And they’ll say, I’ve got two. And then I’ll say, Okay, well, cool. How many leaders? Do you have frontline managers you have? And they’ll say, 42. And then I’ll say, Well, let me just be clear, you don’t have to manage to enable managers, you have 44, enablement, managers, you’ve got two titled enablement managers. But I truly believe in that, by the way, I still believe this at scale, you’re only as good as your leaders. And so, especially early on we and this is where skill pills and somewhat formulated to is that we’ve had a lien on our leaders to do a lot of enablement. So the ones that were doing really nice job, we would bring them into training or they would help run our first onboarding as a much of our Tableau bootcamp was basically working with leaders to help us reinforcement and sustain enablement can do great training and we can measure CSAT and how the people thought about to training we surely measure if people are using it with fun away with gone, that’s a maybe another question about how we can really show ROI and measurable impact in Gong, I could not do that Tableau and Salesforce, I can maybe mentioned about that in a second. But I think being able to have those managers real and always still saying this today, here at Golang. And Tableau which was leaders first. So got make sure their managers and leaders are bought in, they do reinforcement, they do sustain, and then equally they can come help, especially early on, build out your enablement.

Pete Thornton 16:47
Okay. Yeah, I love that like, like getting them involved and trying to like scale, what they’re bringing to the table, like, take their insights, and then take their insights to next those out to the team and make sure you can measure how well that’s going. That’s a great point. So turn a team of two into 42. And then make a team of three afterward.

Nate Vogel 17:07
That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. And then I think, as you scale, and we saw that Tableau is that, as you scale with leaders, and you also then scale with enabling managers, so we started with onboarding, we ended up getting at pretty successful kudos to the team I had, that we started helping run out other enablement, like enterprise enablement, and built more into some competencies around business acumen account planning, selling to the C suite, discovery, and then started investing more and more enablement. And so then over time, we started having 40, 50, 60 people, we had a dedicated product enablement, team dedicated partner enablement team, by the way, with a lot of enablement, you run events, we ran kickoff and club and all hands, there’s all of those are opportunities to reinforce it. And so, we had CS enablement at Tableau that was dotted to me, but whenever when I think of enablement, in general, we had 70-80 people waking up every single day. And then we got acquired by Salesforce, which I learned a tremendous amount being able to pair our enable people with their enablement people, and then formalize or formulate a similar plan, we had to co-sell now with Salesforce sellers. We had to train and make sure that they understood Tableau and data analytics, we had to make sure that we understood Salesforce is customer 360. What is MuleSoft doing what a Slack doing? So it was a tremendous learning. But I think in that core, early years, being able to work with leaders, reinforcement, sustain, I think really paid big dividends. And that’s partly why I came over to Gong as I already joined an incredible enablement team. We had eight here at Gong when I started and being able to help build out and scale that has been really fun and doing something the very same things leaders first, making sure we’re being defined on competencies and so on. Yeah, okay. Wonderful. Know, some of your folks over there, some of them were more my AES, and then they turned into enablement folks. I was like, That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, honored, honored to have them and go back to what you asked earlier, if you can get some of those great superstars that have success, and then they can come over and train and enable there’s a lot of credibility in that. And then equally bringing in people that have expertise and other try to bring diversity of experience diversity of thought, but also then bring in people that maybe haven’t sold gone, but they can use going to get ramped, but then understand competency development, or they have expertise in instructional design or program management. And so we’re building out a team that I think makes it an opportunity to really help scale ultimately, again, help increase productivity and hit and exceed the numbers. So that’s something where we’re concerned consistently just say looking at love and win rates, ramp time onboarding, any of those type of metrics or we can show enablement ROI and influence and then if you have gone we have trackers In some other terminology, but some other parts of our platform that can really showcase this were a lot of Kneeland, people started getting excited where you could say I did a training all the way to a win rate. And then also you see a bunch of gaps where you could say, Okay, we did the training, which I did a lot of at Salesforce and Tableau, we got really good ratings are good scores on the training. But we had a hard time really seeing to, even to the point of win rate, it was mostly opinion base, where we really believe here at Gallen that we’re reality-based, so we can actually use our platform to showcase and understand conversations understand Slack understand what integrations people are working with understand exactly what they’re doing in front of customers. And you can see, in some of the conversations, and surely the data at scale, the impact or potentially gaps in enablement that you need to have to improve upon.

Pete Thornton 20:57
Many people know, but you shouldn’t assume any of this, like, tell us about gone, like, what is it? And like, why don’t we do like product and company like, like, who is going as a company, they’re still in this hyper-growth mode. But then also, like what does the product do? It? Maybe in simple terms, and then I mean, no, for this particular audience, there’s a lot of people who would, who would not sure at all if we dove in and started saying track,

Nate Vogel 21:24
Yeah, I’ll go to the like something like the, actually, if you go to our website, right? So it says gongs mission is to unlock reality to help people and companies reach their full potential. So that’s our kind of mission statement and our pop patenting Gong revenue intelligence platform empowers customer-facing teams, so at scale to take advantage of their most valuable assets. So customer X interactions, and our platform automatically captures and analyzes the data that you can have insights from small organizations all to some of the largest companies in the world. So we empower, empower, go to market teams, both again, revenue, ces marketing, there were 3000 companies use Gong every day, LinkedIn, Shopify, Slack, Twilio, Zillow, there’s a bunch more on our website, but no, simplify is my opinion, we really have an opportunity to showcase and unlock reality in just so many organizations, because you can see the data, and you can see it at scale. It’s pretty impressive. Nice. Okay, so like, like, like tactically speaking.

Pete Thornton 22:30
I mean, technically speaking, if I was logging in from my postman instance, and I and I saw your email came in as an external email domain, like Gong would simply join this call. And then I would simply share out the audio and visual as a golden hyperlink back to you like, Hey, thanks for the that’s right to the interview today. And here’s the link with it recorded. So you’re like getting a chance to record customer conversations, and then so much of the analytics on the backside, so I guess, I mean, I guess, like, how does this experience of like being able to record your customer calls and have access to them differ from some of the previous interactions you’ve had, like at the other organizations or Cuba? Long? Like what’s that do for sales leaders? What’s that do for enablement leaders?

Nate Vogel 23:22
Yeah, and I have such an incredible run at Tableau. So I’m so thankful still, many of my teammates are over there. And again, Salesforce was one of our investors had gone so I’m very thankful, I probably wouldn’t have laughed unless I had such an compelling product. And as soon as I saw gone, I was like, Okay, this is a time for me to polish off the resume a little bit and really decide to take this on privileges. It’s revolutionising, in some ways, the enablement way of doing things, the Maya call it the modern way of selling. And so much is captured not only with conversations, email, Slack, LinkedIn, highspot Gainsight, all these tech stack-ins and trying to understand or articulate what all of them are saying and gongs platform actually does that. And so, when I saw Gong and go back to the acquisition, when Tableau got acquired, a lot of people know that we got acquired for 15 or something billion. But what a lot of people don’t know is that part of that acquisition is the Einstein analytics business of Salesforce, Tableau acquired. And so that organization, their product, their people all were transferred over to Tableau. And so we had to start learning each other’s product, co-selling together, selling with customers marketing, jointly with customers all under the customer 360 or the Salesforce umbrella. And I think we did a really nice job. Same kudos to the Salesforce m&a team, merger and acquisition team. They’ve done this a lot. We worked very closely. But once we did all of that training, and again, go back to my earlier point, it was a little more opinion based, we did the training, we could see he showed up, we had some really good scores on it. We could see potentially what reps would put in the CRM or not. But the reality was, we really couldn’t see from our customers, how are they responding to a new name, Tableau, CRM, new pricing? How are we co-selling together? And this idea that gong would be able to do that and be able to do it at scale where you could say, of the three or 4000, sellers, and then the new Einstein analytics sellers, you could then see the conversations, you could see exactly what were what they were saying, I could see the objections if they had a few product questions. And Gong, you could tag your whole product team. And it just can give you insights that I was never able to see. I just, I know in some ways you see it, and you go, I’ve never and I’m telling you this go on the record. I hope I’m not gone a long time, but I promise you, I will never not enable with going again. I mean, that will be turned on my contract. I mean, it’s game-changing. Last comment about game-changing. I also thought we were pretty good. And I think we were but with Gong. There are no more opinions anymore. So our tagline is pretty straightforward. I mean, our leadership can see what’s happening and understand and see the data, our product marketing can see and understand everything, our sellers, our sales leaders, our customer success counterparts was how important that is to make sure not only do you buy software, but you implement it, you get a ton of usage audit, we want to create raving fans like you. So with Gong, you’re able to do that. And I keep saying that scale. I’ve mentioned it multiple multiple times. But now, it sometimes it’s it was harder to do at a tableau Salesforce, we’re like what are 10,000 reps doing? Besides then double-clicking into that conversation and even in the CRM, no offense, there’s a lot of times reps don’t fill it in or potentially have opinions of what’s in a stage or what’s not with Gong, left game-changing. So this is what I believe of, kind of the modern way of selling my opinion, humble opinions the modern way or make potentially in the future, the only way to enable and train is to really understand, again, both growth opportunities and success. Are you really able to see it understand it in Gong.

Pete Thornton 27:28
Yeah, the number of use cases is kind of like once you have it and you’re like working with it. And you’re like if it’s something you’re running through that filter, as problems come in, we have something we call it Voice of the Customer project. And Voice of the Customer yesterday is you understand that from a sales or go to market perspective cases. But for our product teams, our engineering teams, we have 300 engineers are mostly in Bangalore, India. And so because we’re postman API that management, so it’s so for them to try to end nobody’s in headquarters anymore, everybody’s eliminated or at least in multiple offices around if they’re going to be at an office. So we have microservices squads. And what we do is we have trackers that track for their mentions of their pieces of the product. And then the customer only not us we’re not bringing up V 10 launch. When the customer only at like I mentioned that piece of that goes to a Slack channel that’s named “the microservices name-Gong” and it pushes it that pushes those trackers directly back in a Slack channel and they’re getting the snippets of the mentions. So there’s no more like sales says they need this. Maybe we’ll put it in the roadmap for next year. Like there’s no question about it. There’s no question here. And the data’s is straight in so I gotta you’ve asked if that was directly from our co-founder, a head of engineering as a Apogee Would you mind? Oh, sure. And he put give us like five words per microservices that was done in an afternoon. And like, I mean, it’s unbelievable.

Nate Vogel 28:55
Look to you got your teaching enablement background right there for you Nice job. It’s a great I mean, yeah, I mean, I’ll tell you a quick couple quick ones that I just were blown away. This will always happen. I know some companies aren’t hiring as much or there may be having to do a little more with less than when more with less. One of the things first thing I did when I joined gone I got my computer I had access to gone and we had the largest deal at company history at times at that that literally the day or two before us I got into Gong and I was able to look at in about an hour maybe 90-minutes how that deal started two years ago from the email the SDR sent to the multi-million dollar deal that was close. So the opportunity to onboard or if you’re always passing accounts or you potentially have new reps that need to get up to speed on accounts. I’m able to get in front of a customer with just some research and gone and understand what problems are trying to solve what the last rep potentially said what the last next steps were understand all The Talking Ito’s you have in trackers all the talking points, what was important what was not, by the way even down to second use case, you can also then see the best reps out there and how long they’re pausing. We found in some of gongs data lab, you can look up on our Gong some incredible work by the bark, I hate to read 1,000s of calls, you can see the best reps, paws point eight or something second longer than an average rep. And so just the idea to help people ramp a little faster and more importantly, share best practice of what the best are doing that, to me that goes back to my Southwestern days where your are the skill pills, right, where you’re just trying to capture the best practices. But we’re able to showcase this over 1,000s and 1,000s of calls. This data is just super inspiring. And then for enablement, we just go train on what the best are doing. So we get a lucky get lucky and get leverage.

Pete Thornton 30:53
That’s so interesting. Those interaction pieces, I’m so fortunate when I was a seller, because I was a business developer, I was mid-market, I was an enterprise and enablement and then I purchased Gong, and I was so happy not to have it for me as a rep. In this particular way, the pause, don’t pause, there is no pause and the patient’s like, I mean that I think that is the same actual interaction of these patients. I’m gonna speak right away.

Nate Vogel 31:22
You remember when you asked a good question, I didn’t answer it. I just made me think about it. Listen, when I joined gongs like off, do people want to be recorded or like customers want to be recorded, and with security, we have credible securities and go on the website, look at that. But I’m finding that the best reps want to be coached. You don’t think about LeBron James Michael Jordan, I’m big sports fan. So like the best musicians, the best actor, but it’s surely like the game take where you can go back and look and go, probably go back and watch this podcast too, and say, Ah, I didn’t nail that, or I missed that. Or your coach can come on, or your manager can come on and coach you. And so one of the other things too, with customers, I’m finding that customers, they want to be recorded, because if they know they’re gonna say something, I need help and support, I have feedback on the product. I’m not having the success that we need and adoption or services. I swear god, this is such a cool story. I was on a customer meeting very large, large company. And they brought me on Golang did to run a Dana life of enablement. So something kind of similar. So I was able to showcase here’s how we do Gong Gong and enablement. We showed some metrics, we showed some analytics. And Cole was going really well. But they did have a few questions throughout the call, while the call ended. I swear within an hour, we had 63 comments from our most senior executive at Gong’s down to security questions, next steps within an hour. So you’re able to go in and the whole company basically gone jumped in and said, Okay, I’ll take this, I’ll take that. I’ll take this follow-up action, which is one of many reasons, I think we have such a strong raving fan pool. I mean, we were so on top of every single piece of feedback, I’ve just never seen it at scale, to be able to just center around everything around the customer and get at all their questions. And we were able to just move fast, and everyone knew what we were talking about. Anyway, I didn’t ask you a little bit about recording and just making sure to understand that. But I’m finding that again, this modern way of selling modern way of customer is being taken care of as long as obviously, we were secure and the data secure. And I think Gong does world-class partly why, as we started this call, one of the reasons why we ranked top companies that are doing this out there in the cloud. It’s I think we’re doing a nice job on that. But it’s a shift in the mindset for sure.

Pete Thornton 33:43
It might have been anecdotal, but it was something about the majority of and I, for some reason, like 96% sticks in my mind, again, could have been anecdotal like Cloud 100 companies are utilizing the platform. Yeah, isn’t gone. It’s unreal. Yeah, it is a bit of a game-changer. So with where you are today, how many employees now at Gong?

Nate Vogel 34:10
I think we’re at about 1300 ish. Okay. I was thinking or Tina NATS all employees. So go to market developers. And I’m we’re still hiring, by the way still. So I know there are some companies that have paused their hiring, we’re still have quite a few roles open. So take a peek at us.

Pete Thornton 34:27
So I’d love to see a lot of times I asked go to market leaders this type of question at a smaller size of companies, typically around maybe 200 employees, but they’re just they’re doubling headcount year over year. So it will be kind of the same question because it’s just the same idea of hypergrowth. So when you’re looking to enable these teams, like what are the biggest challenges you think you’re gonna have to overcome and like, what are maybe your hypotheses behind what will help you overcome them? Let’s just look ahead like six months, it’s so tough. Everything’s growing so fast, but like a two-quarter snapshot.

Nate Vogel 35:00
Well, maybe I’ll just give a general answer because I think whether you’re a smaller company, like when I joined Tableau, and some are gone, I can’t remember what employee three or 400. I mean, we’ve grown a lot in a year, year and a half, but I’ve seen it now. And I saw that and which is the biggest challenge, I think is prioritization. And making sure you pick a couple things and go execute on those well. So again, for Tableau, we at that time, we were just trying to build a world-class onboarding program. And we’ve been in a building out really strong program, and then we took on management building and did a nice job on that and took on sales kickoff, did I show up on that. So I do think picking just a couple things. And do it really well, obviously, we’ve gone if you haven’t, great, you can measure it and see the impact. But even if you don’t just pick a couple things also be very, very clear on the competencies that you’re trying to develop. So maybe this is a new nugget, especially working with your CRO and senior sales leaders or senior Customer Success leaders that go to market leaders, which I’ve worked with some incredible ones and just try to define what competencies what’s one or two things that you think CRL Mister Mister Sierra, what, what do you think that we need to do better on? Is it prospecting? And that’s mostly for STRS? Is that discovery? How do you really nail on credible, authentic, powerful discovery with customer stories that are relevant for more senior account executives. Maybe there’s training around business acumen and really understanding what customers problems they’re trying to solve, understand how you’re going to sell cross functionally understand it alls, especially in large organizations, how they buy how they procure. But if you can pick a couple of competencies, and pick it out scale, whether you’re 200 People 12, or 13, or people like we’re at gong or I had the, again, see this 456 7000 people, being able our salespeople, see us people good mark, people pick it picking those competencies and be into defining on those. And then probably a wish I would have done more wish I would have done if I would have done something differently, and it’s just filled in. And for all the new people, they’ll probably High five me on my LinkedIn when I say this next, how do you build reinforcement and sustain with leaders? Because I think we launched a ton of stuff. And we get really aligned on new messaging or really line on competitive and we go out and train and we again, peep the team loved it, the training scores are incredible. But how do you go out a month, three months, six months, nine months a year, you can then see when weights influence, obviously we’ve gone that’s easier, I would have built a stronger reinforcement plan. And as I said earlier with leader so they’re bought in on it, they’re reinforcing their behavior themselves, poaching to it, that would probably be something I would have done. And this is why we’re here. That’s why I’m doing these types of things. Because it reinforced in my head, as I say this stuff, I’m going to make sure we do the same thing at Gong.

Pete Thornton 38:04
So let me ask you then, and like maybe it’s unfair for folks that don’t have gone but we can unpack the pieces of the platform, like we have an initiative that we’re actually putting together, because it’s the competency or the playbook that we’re trying to die pulled backward from closed one and then out into like a scorecard function. But regardless of all that, that’s going talk like, like, how are you looking to reinforce this moving forward now that you know what you know, how are you going to do it?

Nate Vogel 38:35
Yeah, I think the take the platform aside, and by the way, I’m wearing a Gong jacket here, and drinking the gong tea here. So I’m fired up. But take out the platform, I think being able to showcase what competencies are you trying to drive, there are some incredible vendors out there that do these competencies very, very well IE, prospecting, business acumen, account planning, be very clear with your leaders on what those competencies are, and making sure not only do you train, but you reinforce and work with leaders, and again, don’t have to have gone to do that, you surely can go back and use your CRM or she can go back and watch zoom calls and so on. But that I think that especially that reinforcement is huge. And one other little tip, and we’re trying to do the same again, I thought we did a nice job, a tableau on this. We meet with leaders first. So be with them day in advance week in advance, here’s the training, here’s what we’re going to teach. Do you have any questions or you bought in and if you’re not, let’s have a we call it here at gone no sugar moment, but we are straightforward about it. And so be a working with the managers, we’re going to leaders make sure they’re bought in on it. And so I think that really helps once you launch and of course, having a lead observer makes a big difference. And so these, again, go back to my Southwestern days, hard work playing the numbers, making sure are that you’re serving and treating people? Well, how do you continue to make sure that you’re showcasing your product? We’re not huge competitive. Hope not. If the bashing and all that stuff we try to stick close to what Gong does and our platform, we’re happy by the way that space is starting to get a little more competitive, because that means we’re in the right space. You saw this a tableau used to say, we’re early on, there was not a lot of companies out selling analytics, data was not the new oil Analytics was usually for the analysts, right? Not for everyone. And we saw a kudos an incredible Tableau team helped build that. So now, organization buying tableau for everyone. And so, and we saw the space get very competitive, it’s still to this day, we’re starting to see that with revenue intelligence, we’re seeing the larger organizations, which is a validation into the space that this is, again, the modern way of selling. So we think it’s a good thing. But we want to continue to stick to what our platform is, and more importantly, kind of the concept of revenue intelligence and the modern kind of modern way of selling modern way of enabling modern way of support for your customers. modern way of customer success, monitor way of renewals. I mean, this this whole idea of really understanding the date, I think, super powerful.

Pete Thornton 41:18
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Wonderful. I have so many holes to kind of go down like, it is hard not to do it of catchy though, like, we’re over 40 minutes is on. Okay, good. Yeah, that was fun. We can all this is like the part two, Yeah, completely. And I know, in six months, every six months, it’s gonna be a new organization, because you guys are in that same hyper-growth mode, the product moves fast, they’ll have new things coming out, there’s a whole nother series I’d even like to do around some of the newer pieces that are kind of like more of the analytic pieces of the Gong platform is kind of like out there on the bleeding edge, so to speak. And like I don’t know, if it’s actually in roadmap of things that y’all are hoping to do kind of like merging some of the various platforms that market leaders are always using, but I’m curious there, but it’s a core message and it’s a good wrap up. You’ve had a long and illustrious enablement career most people do not necessarily like or maybe it will have come from maybe like more like sales management for a long time. And then you’ll see them move into enablement, which could be the same route, but just because of that, and because have a lot of people out there with that length of tenure. What about a tip for yourself from 10 years ago? Whether it’s personal or professional as far as these things go.

Nate Vogel 42:41
First of all the listener thanks for listening hopefully, it was helpful add me on LinkedIn and we can keep the conversation going. A couple I mean a couple of it’s an awesome profession right go back to a little bit I started to this idea of helping and serving I told the gangsters I said the same thing at Tableau, we work for you our client is the internal gangsters so we have on the enablement profession we wake up and I’m by the way one of many of the credible Neva people I’m just part of the team so we just wake up every day and we say to people we work for you You’re our client look, we did help you be successful so it’s a very rewarding profession we let wind together loose together so go back to what we said our job is help it exceed the number help increase productivity and be able to to help out the the be successful and if they don’t have success than that then we didn’t have success we have to look in the mirror and say we could do more and we have success then then then were part of that so that I probably say 10 years ago, you pick the a great profession and keep serving and they were a little more maybe a little more Gucci but might have been another thing I would have said but that’s a different topic. Wait a minute, what was it what was the second part were a little more Gucci, have a little fun, I’ve really got fast, it’s like part of my background part just have a lot of fun so the LG for Gong Bucha you don’t have little Airflow phone, but maybe work maybe we’re a little more fashion sends a little message to people to you can be yourself and be authentic.

Pete Thornton 44:11
I’m gonna have to get in the same room with you sometimes so I can see this, for one, and for two, you can shame me for wearing only like it’s Lulu gear all day.

Nate Vogel 44:19
It’s been no Hey, by the way, my license yoga instructor no problem. That’s good stuff. We are no shaming. I’ll just share there’s some good stuff out there.

Pete Thornton 44:27
Tou can point me in the right direction. Oh, I love it. So the tip is you chose well enablement is a good one. I can’t complain them all.

Nate Vogel 44:36
Love the servants very rewarding and tell the gangsters if they’re listening. It’s an honor to be here. Proud of what we’re doing company we’re building for all the listeners thanks even for just having a listen to what we’re trying to do here. And I’ll be picked up a few things.

Pete Thornton 44:50
Yeah, a lot of gratitude. That’s perfect. Nate, thank you so much for your time. Wonderful time.

Nate Vogel 44:54
Okay. Thank you so much. Cheers.