Critical Inflection Point: Confronting the Changing Sales Enablement Realities That Will Shape the Future of Our Profession

Ben Putterman

LinkedIn, Head of Global Sales Enablement and Learning

Ben Putterman began his career at Oracle Corporation running executive education. He continued to grow at Oracle, eventually running all of the company’s global internal and partner training. Wanting to learn another industry, he joined Gap to run their global learning and talent functions for Banana Republic in addition to starting up and running the company’s innovation lab.

Looking to add to his professional development, he joined the Wiseman Group as vice president of development and operations with the opportunity to run a company. In this capacity he worked with clients such as AT&T, Salesforce, and Google.

His next opportunity came from Tesla, where he was brought in to run their sales readiness function. During his time with Tesla, he served on the executive team that helped the electric vehicle company triple in size in three years and became the company’s CLO.

After working at Tesla, he joined LinkedIn as the global leader of sales enablement and learning, where he focuses on the transformation of the company’s global sales organization to respond to a rapidly changing, customer-driven selling environment.

Throughout his career and having worked across several industries, he has developed expertise in areas ranging from developing high-performing teams, sales, learning, innovation practices, customer experience, and organizational transformation.

He has remained committed to the belief that any business only goes as far as its people will take it and that people in the right conditions and with the right support can accomplish amazing things.
Outside of work, he has spent years in various volunteer pursuits including coaching competitive youth soccer, supporting the SF Opera innovation strategies, and teaching math to middle school students in several school districts.

He draws constant inspiration from his hometown of Oakland, California, where he lives with his partner Shanni, his two sons, and their dog, Carter James.

Kira Pollard-Lipkis

Director of Sales Enablement, LinkedIn

Kira Pollard-Lipkis leads sales readiness for the LinkedIn Learning business globally. Because her customers sell modern learning tools to their customers, she and her team must maintain a high bar for the learning experiences they produce. Beyond her passion for instilling a culture of learning across LinkedIn, she's a champion of the criticality coaching plays in sustaining behavior change and is currently completing her certification through the Co-Active Training Institute. Pollard-Lipkis lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her partner, where they spend their free time volunteering at animal welfare organizations.

Brandi Baldwin

Wharton Lecturer

Brandi Baldwin is the founder and chief executive officer of Millennial Ventures Holdings, a leadership advising firm for startups founded by women and people of color. She's a college professor turned entrepreneur who is becoming a well-respected voice on leadership ethics; millennial engagement; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and the future of work. Her accomplishments include being appointed to Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney's Millennial Advisory Commission, being named one of Philadelphia's Most Influential African Americans and receiving Philadelphia Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award.

She is an alumnus of Temple University, having received an undergraduate degree in psychology, a master's in organizational development, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy. Baldwin has held teaching positions at Temple University, and most recently, she was invited to join the teaching team at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

John Chinello

Director, Global Sales Enablement at Tealium

John Chinello is the director of global sales enablement at Tealium, a customer data platform based in San Diego, California. He leads the enablement team, which runs programs for the global sales organization, as well as a company-wide onboarding program, all scaled for the company’s rapid growth. His focus is on establishing charters and structure for enablement organizations, building SKO programs, and onboarding programs that produce results.

He has been in an enablement role across a wide range of industries, including advertising technology, real estate technology, automotive, and media. He has led teams at Tealium, Cars.com, RE/MAX, United Airlines, and Verve Mobile. His passion for enablement extends into his free time, as he is also the chapter president and founder of the San Diego chapter of the Sales Enablement Society.

A native Californian, Chinello graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in law and society and has a passion for L&D, specifically supporting sales and operations teams. He loves travel, golf, snowboarding, and photography, and Chinello has visited 46 countries for either work or getting outside of his comfort zone. His favorite bar trick? Being able to say the alphabet backwards in about four seconds.

Michelle Festa

Senior Manager, Sales Training and Enablement Justworks

Michelle Fiesta began her career 20 years ago selling advertising for an expanding media company in Boston. She was quickly promoted to a position in sales management, but it wasn’t until a few years later, when she was appointed national sales trainer, that she discovered her passion for learning and development. After dedicating seven years to overhauling underperforming sales teams, she returned to what makes her tick: creating smart, repeatable processes to help individuals reach their personal and professional goals. Fiesta joined Justworks’s fast-growing sales team in 2018, jumpstarting the new training and enablement department as senior manager. She is currently working on two major projects: implementing a new learning management system and enabling salespeople to find their voices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jerry Keenan

Senior Director of Digital Enablement , Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits

Jerry Keenan brings more than 30 years of experience in improving customer experiences and driving sales. Earlier in his career, he worked as a consultant helping organizations build customer loyalty through improved strategies, processes, and skills. He then accepted a position as vice president of CRM for a telco in the United Kingdom, where he was involved in deploying the company’s first online business. After, he spent 20 years in consultancy with a primary focus on sales improvements for global organizations including the launch of sales strategies for a fast-moving consumer goods company in 10 nations. Most recently, he joined Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits as senior director of digital enablement where he is responsible for driving adoption of CRM for sales people and e-commerce for customers.

Mike Kunkle

Vice President, Sales Enablement Services, SPARXiQ

Mike Kunkle is a respected sales transformation architect and internationally recognized expert on sales training, sales effectiveness, and sales enablement.
He has spent 35 years in the sales profession and 25 years as a corporate leader or consultant, helping companies drive dramatic revenue growth through best-in-class training strategies and his proven-effective sales transformation methodologies and sales systems. At one company, as a result of six projects, he and his team enabled an accretive $398 million in revenue, year-over-year. At another, within nine months, newly hired sales reps with 120 days on the job were outperforming incumbent reps with 5 years with the company.

Kunkle is the founder of Transforming Sales Results and today works as the vice president of sales enablement services for SPARXiQ (formerly SPA & SPASIGMA), where he advises clients, publishes thought leadership, speaks at conferences, leads webinars, designs sales training courses, delivers workshops, and designs and implements sales enablement systems that get results. He also collaborated with Doug Wyatt to co-author SPARXiQ’s Modern Sales Foundations course.

Liz McCormick

Senior Director, Americas Field Effectiveness at Pegasystems

Liz McCormick is senior director, Americas Field Effectiveness at Pegasystems in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she focuses on accelerating the performance of front-line sales managers through coaching, strategy, and practical application of sales methodologies since joining in 2015. She has more than 15 years of success representing the “voice of sales” to corporate leadership and partnering with sales leaders to utilize proven selling techniques and driving global sales enablement and effectiveness programs. Prior to joining Pegasystems, she spent nine years at Iron Mountain leading teams in sales enablement, marketing, and field effectiveness and was a session speaker at the 2017 and 2018 Sales Enablement Society National Conferences and ATD Sell conference in 2019.

Whitney Sieck

Director, Enablement, Greenhouse Software

Whitney Sieck, CPLP is an accomplished revenue enablement leader with extensive experience in learning gap analysis, curriculum design and implementation, professional development consulting, project management, and process improvement initiatives. While she has a diverse background with experience in multiple industries, her passion consistently has been working with sales teams to develop skills in pipeline opportunity and relationship-building. She believes there is nothing more gratifying than seeing tangible business results impacted by training initiatives.