S3:E21 • November 3, 2023 •
Achieving Business Excellence: A Fusion of L&D and Sales Enablement Strategies with Bart Schutte and Tomissa Smittendorf

Welcome to the Digital Adoption Show’s latest episode, a deep dive into the fusion of Learning and Development (L&D) and Sales Enablement strategies for achieving business excellence. Our expert panel, featuring Bart Schutte and Tomissa Smittendorf, explores the dynamic business landscape’s ever-evolving needs and the imperative for innovative approaches to stay competitive. Bart Schutte, the Director for Digital Learning at Saint Gobain, and Tomissa Smittendorf, Director of Sales Enablement Training at Kellogg’s, share their invaluable insights and practical tips for optimizing business performance.


They emphasize the seamless integration of L&D and sales enablement as a pivotal driver for growth, empowering sales teams, and ensuring overall success.

Bart underscores Saint Gobain’s unique strengths, including its product diversity and a culture of trust and empowerment. He discusses artificial intelligence’s (AI) role in change management, with a focus on the role of AI in Learning & Development (L&D) as well.

Change management and the significance of senior leadership’s involvement in driving digital transformation are key discussion points. Bart emphasizes that cultural alignment and digital transformation should originate at the top and cascade throughout the organization.

The episode also underscores the importance of employee experience in successful digital transformation and highlights real-time, on-the-job support as a key component of L&D in this context.

As the conversation turns to justifying learning technology investments, Bart notes that the return on investment (ROI) for learning lies in employee engagement, underscoring that these justifications are unique to each organization’s circumstances.

The talk with Bart concludes by emphasizing the need to engage business units in L&D, involving them in priority identification, focusing on behavioral change and outcomes, and adopting innovative solutions beyond traditional training programs.

In the continuation of this Learning and Development podcast, we delve deeper into the world of organizational learning and the future of sales training with Tomissa Smittendorf, the Director of Sales Enablement Training at Kellogg’s. With over three decades of experience at Kellogg’s, she leads the Sales Learning and Development team, and her insights are invaluable.

Tomissa shares her role at Kellogg’s, emphasizing her diverse journey through various divisions within the company, from supply chain to HR, which provides her with a holistic perspective on Kellogg’s operations. She expresses pride in working for Kellogg’s, highlighting the exceptional brands and people associated with the company.

As she discusses the challenges encountered, Tomissa emphasizes the rapid shift to virtual operations within a day, which required embracing new technology and even virtual reality training. The team’s courage to adapt and learn from mistakes was crucial, ultimately leading to an engaging and immersive VR training simulator for sales teams.

Tomissa shares a compelling example of how virtual reality can be used for sales training, offering new sales representatives a safe and interactive environment to practice and receive coaching.

She reflects on her proudest achievements, including aligning the Sales Learning and Development value proposition with the company’s strategy and the unwavering support of the executive leadership team. Her team’s courage and agility in the face of change are also a source of pride.

Regarding the future of sales training, Tomissa suggests staying attuned to industry developments and focusing on skill-building areas such as revenue growth management, financial acumen, and omnichannel leadership.

In conclusion, This episode offers a comprehensive view of how L&D and sales enablement integration is transforming digital business strategies for excellence.

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