Ep25 The Four Flavors / Functions of Sales Enablement

Ep25 The Four Flavors / Functions of Sales Enablement

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 25

In this episode, we look at Sales Enablement strategically. The sales enablement profession has reached an important pivot point — and it’s likely you need to make some decisions.

While the hype of the role continues to drive more and more hires, many executive leaders are still waiting to see the transformative benefits they expect by making continued investments into enablement. 

Most enablement functions start out as the fixer of broken things. Eventually, there is only so much value that can be created that way.  You will have to expand your scope and focus on identifying core root problems.

We’ve been working with leading sales enablement functions for over 10 years.  In this podcast, we identify the emerging flavors of sales enablement excellence.  

TALENT – Recruit, retain, and develop the right people to help sales leaders be successful with better, more skilled salespeople

MESSAGE – Customer stakeholder specific value-based messages to help sales leaders be successful by helping their salespeople have better and more relevant sales conversations

ENGAGEMENT – Integrated programs to drive pipeline milestones to help sales leaders be successful with more targeted and focused pipeline stimulation programs

ADMINISTRATE – Simplification programs to reduce seller burden by helping sellers spend less time with data entry and more time selling

Join us at https://www.OrchestrateSales.com/podcast/ to collaborate with peers, join Insider Nation, participate in the conversation and be part of the continued elevation of the profession.


Nick Merinkers 00:02

Welcome to the inside sales enablement podcast. Where has the profession been? Where is it now? And where is it heading? What does it mean to you, your company, other functions, the market? Find out here. Join the founding father of the sales enablement profession Scott Santucci and Trailblazer Brian Lambert as they take you behind the scenes of the birth of an industry, the inside sales enablement podcast starts now.

Scott Santucci 00:34

I’m Scott Santucci.

Brian Lambert 00:35

I’m Brian Lambert and we are the sales enablement insiders. Our podcast is for sales enablement. Leaders looking to elevate their function, expand their sphere of influence, and increase the span of control within their companies.

Scott Santucci 00:48

Together, Brian and I have worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enablement initiatives, ranging from analysts, consultants or even practitioners. We’ve learned the hard way. What works and most importantly, what doesn’t.

Brian Lambert 01:03

And on today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about the flavors of sales enablement, not how tasty they are Scott, but how they’re organized and the scope of sales enablement, as we’re out and about and talking to folks. So why don’t you frame this out for us.

Scott Santucci 01:21

So normally we have a framing story, but basically ever since October, you and I have been talking to lots of sales enablement, professionals, and sales leaders. And we’re developing a kind of two things. One is sort of a clear pocket of where observation about where sales enablement is as a profession. And some of that is frankly very concerning to us. So, what we’d like to do is share with you an observation about sort of tensions and provide some texture about where the role is and then get into the topic of flavors after that, so that people have some context of why we’re talking about that. So, Brian, you’ve recently been, you’re just coming back from a trip where you visit a lot of enablement professionals. Let’s sort of do the composite of all the different interactions that we’ve had. Describe for us, what are the characteristics of a sales enablement leader today?

Brian Lambert 02:25

Yeah, sure. And like, like you said, let’s look at you know, the last three months so, you know, the end of the year quarter here, and then the beginning of a new year is really the, the timeline that we’re looking at. And as you can imagine, Scott, you know, the end of year and start a new year can be pretty busy for sales teams. And, and that’s obviously reflecting in the folks that I’m talking to and sales enablement. I don’t know if that’s also what you’re saying, but everybody’s busy. So, we’ll use the phrase, everybody’s busy. And there’s there’s really two types of busy that I’m seeing There’s the busy with activity. And then there’s the busy being productive. And that’s, that’s what I want to talk to our listeners about those are two different things to me. And Scott, I’d love your your take on this. But the idea of being, you know, actively busy is stuff like, Hey, I’m on a plane, I’m responding to requests, I’m running events, people are walking by, and I’m talking to them. I’ve got a bunch of emails I need to respond to, you know, I’m moving, you know, from meeting to meeting to meeting. I’m attending those, and I’m gathering inputs, and I’m president these, but I’m not necessarily running the meetings. And, you know, I’m thinking about who I need to talk to next, who’s coming at me with a request and it’s, it’s very busy in that stance and a definitely, definitely seeing that on one one continuum on the other continuum. I had some conversations with folks who were also busy, their calendars are pretty, pretty full. But they’re setting aside time to talk about, you know, here’s what I’m seeing for the 2020 strategy. Here’s the focus of the sales team. As as the sales leadership is meeting, this is what I’m, I’m hearing in the meetings across the different sales segments that I support the different sales channels. And you know, what I’m obsessed about and I’m worried about the talk track of my function, and how valuable it is and what its perceived like by these executives. And, you know, I’m not so much that Brian concerned about if I’m, like, I’m concerned about am I considered valuable to the go to market strategy, and I need more numbers, I need more analytics, I need to be able to tell this story better and that’s what’s keeping me busy in finding the right talent is a secondary, but it’s more about, you know, quality of impact, not quantity. So those are the two continuum, everybody’s busy but it’s like two different types of busy and I’ve had both of those conversations and they, they couldn’t be any more different to bee honest with you. That’s what I’m seeing, what about you?

Scott Santucci 05:11

Yeah. So, the way that I would characterize it is it is twofold. I think that there is, on the one hand, there is the I have I have gotten into the role of sales enablement as the head of broken things, right. I’m a powerful person. I have made my name of fixing broken things, the thing that I look for things that are broken, I go to try to fix them. There’s so many broken things, I have to go fix it. And you sort of get that mindset of, you know, my team really can’t do it. No one else really can do it. I have to just do it. And there’s just never enough cycles. There’s never enough time in a day. And really, the way I would characterize it is that’s being busy because that’s what you think you’re valuing proposition is the head of broken things. Whereas the flip side is in a role like sales enablement, which is, you know, frankly funnily defined, in even well chartered groups of which we see maybe less than 25%. Brian, I would consider a well chartered function, even those don’t nearly have enough time to do all the internal selling required just because the amount of change that’s happening in the selling environment and the multitude of different very strong perspectives about what’s required to improve sales is it is overwhelming. So, there’s the other side of busy which is how do we keep up with all of the demand and all the expectations? That’s that would be more how I how I would characterize it sort of bucket number one. I’m busy Most of that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because I believe that my value is because I’m the head of I fix things, I need to be valued, because that’s why people value me. That’s why we have this department. So, you’re always going to be busy. Because that’s what you’re looking for, you’re looking for symptoms to treat, and put them out, put those fires out quickly. Whereas there’s the other form of busy, which is maybe you’ve made maybe you’ve accomplished something like really standardized on the CPQ price quote system, or maybe you’ve simplified Salesforce or something like that. There’s a lot of maintenance that goes with fixing that. But then what do you do next? But that would be how I could characterize it. Does that map to what you’re seeing? Yeah,

Brian Lambert 07:45

yeah. And then to make this, you know, tangible for folks there’s, you know, in the busy of attending the meetings versus the busy of heading the meetings and calling the meetings and organizing the cross functional team to fix something. You know, I think that’s a good litmus test on how many meetings are you really running? What are you really controlling in that type of busy is completely different just to bring that home at a individual level? And then Scott, you know, as we lead into our topic for today, you know, we’ve talked about this. And we’re seeing these these patterns develop of where sales enablement teams and are spending their time and what types of initiatives they’re running, for example, some might be focused on messaging are where I spent a lot of time on the people and performance and training side of sales enablement. And you’ve developed over time, a lot of understanding of this type of scope. And, you know, we’ve been talking about these areas, which we were calling flavors of sales enablement. They’d be great to walk through that can you can you share the framework?

Scott Santucci 09:01

Sure. So, what it is it’s it’s a observational framework backed by a lot of practical, practical experience. And what it really comes down to is, if you are we delineated the two types, right? type number one is, hey, I am valuable because I get stuff done. And that’s, that’s the premise of my department. What I’m about to talk to you, you’re probably going to reject everything, you’re going to say this sounds too theoretical. What’s my action? And, you know, frankly, what am I going to ask you to do is think about is it is fixing symptoms really valuable? Or is creating is elevating your function and create and actually proactively addressing the source of the symptoms is that’s what’s valuable. Yeah, that’s really the second bucket. Right.

Brian Lambert 09:55

And I just wanted to quickly that’s great point. There’s there’s what How everybody shows up to you as a sales enablement leader, let’s park that and what people are asking for and what they’re bombarding you with. And well, what are the inputs? I let’s just, let’s just talk about you and your role. And what is what is your value? What do you what do you think you should be? What do you need to be as a functional leader? And, you know, I like that dichotomy, Scott of are you fixing the broken things? Or are you doing something different? And that’s regardless of how people are showing up to you right now in this conversation.

Scott Santucci 10:30

Yeah. And I think that the best way to, you know, park that right to create the space of it. I love this quote from Henry Ford. If I would ask customers what they want. They want a faster horse. It you have so much inbound demand about what you should be doing. If you just take that all on. You’re just making faster horses instead of cars, right. So, let’s make that pivot. And let’s recognize that the full scope of all of this Things that sales enablement could touch is so galactically huge. We could look at this and say, sales is about driving revenue or bookings. And enablement is about doing anything to make that make that easier. So, with that scope with that huge, gigantic scope, we’re basically talking about a function that is the connective tissue of all of the different silos inside the company. Obviously, that scope is too gigantic for any one group to really tackle. But you have to be able to move outside of, hey, our sales kickoff stinks. We need to have somebody just had better sales, kickoffs, let’s tap you on the shoulder to go fix it. So, there’s a balance between the two. So, what we’ve identified is there’s four big chunks that you can fix that really go around fixing friction that exists among the sales organization and different functional groups. And that’s really where a lot of these problems exist in the first place. Because customers don’t really care about your organizational politics and you know, who reports to who they care about getting the answers. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to walk through these four, we’re going to do it one at a time. All right. Does that make sense?

Brian Lambert 12:30

Yeah, I like it.

Scott Santucci 12:31

Okay. So, the first function, the first chunk, of that big giant area is the chunk around talent. That talent you can look at and a lot of different ways. But let’s just first talk about all of the different activities, or things that are involved in talent. Talent starts with hiring. So, the whole process of figuring out what kind of stuff Sales Rep do we need in the first place? To how do we go and recruit them or pay for them? All of that stuff all the way through to evaluating and, you know, improving reps. There’s a whole lot that goes into talent. And then when you think about all the stuff that goes into talent, let’s talk about all the functions involved. Finances involved because they have to improve approve the headcount in the first place. Different groups within HR involved from from the jeez every HR group is organized differently, but you have some basic functions like leadership development, you’re gonna have sort of performance, HR performance people, you’re gonna have recruiters and your l&d department might work in your your human resources group. Each one of those departments may or may not interact with each other. Then when you go to the sales organization Who’s the primary interface point? Who’s the primary interface point from the on taking? The, you know, how are we going to make requests of new hires? Is that an individual sales manager that does that get funneled through through sales operations? What role does sales enablement play in terms of, hey, we’ve got this amount of inbound calls, do you have foresight into onboarding? And when does onboarding begin and end? There’s a whole slew of things under talent. So, the way that we like to look at talent is it’s the process of recruiting, retaining, and developing the right people. That’s sort of the scope of it. There are many different departments involved, the benefit to salespeople are better and more skilled reps and improvement. And we look at that as a business process from hire to retire. So that’s, that’s really the first bucket.

Brian Lambert 14:56

Yeah, like that. And you know, you talked about functions. And some of the titles that I’ve seen in there are, indeed, you know, l&d. I’ve seen sales enablement, have that title of sales enablement, but the scope is around the talent piece. And in the talent piece, they’re really focused on, for example, just the onboarding slice. And so, there’s an opportunity there to expand if you are in the talent piece, or flavor to think about, you know, how do you branch into recruiting and then also the ongoing development area to really improve the the, you know, the rep experience from hired through retire?

Scott Santucci 15:38

Yeah, so I think what we can do is we can zoom in and have a show on each one of the flavors to provide more context. But really, what we want to highlight would be the scope of what you’re looking for, and who are the departments or the stakeholders whom you need to work with. What is the business process that this this would entail so that you can manufacture something and Produce sustainable results? And then what is the measurable impact on the sales organization?

Brian Lambert 16:06

Great. Let’s go to the next flavor.

Scott Santucci 16:09

Okay, so the next flavor is really about the friction that exists between marketing and sales. And I personally do not like marketing and sales alignment that sounds like we’re going to get a bunch of guitars together hold hands and sing Kumbaya. It is beyond alignment, it must be integrated. And so, what we’re what we’re looking at is let’s think about it this way. If we get our talent, right, let’s say that we develop the best course ever. We’ve got the most skilled reps in the entire industry. When they show up, they still have to talk about something. Right, that message of what they talk about, doesn’t come from training. It comes from the synthesis of information from individual product Marketers. You might have solution experts, you might have vertical overlays. Think about all of the people in different departments that have a variety of subject matter expertise, and strong opinions about how to take your company’s messaging and positioning and making it relevant to the individual human beings that salespeople engage with. So, we call this bucket or flavor message. And in message, it’s about translating all of the stuff about your company into conversational specific things. And the business process that we look at it is concept to contact. And what that means really is when you go when we go and talk to a lot of customers, one of the things that are people like you, I really like to ask so you know, what do we sell? Who do we sell to? And why do they buy? And to me, those are the elements everybody should know those answers, but very few companies can give me consistent answers. And where they stumble the most is the who they give me personas. But personas aren’t good enough. We need to be a salesperson must find somebody with an altitude level and a leadership position to drive a new thing forward. They have to have the right access to budgets or, you know, the ability to assemble budgets. And they have to have the right you know, sort of confidence level to be able to do this because let’s face it, we’re introducing something new into these into these clients. And there’s a big change management component that is risky to most to most people. So really, what we’re talking about here is how do you orchestrate all that messaging and move it away from being product focused, and to be make it more success or outcome I have major major transformation.

Brian Lambert 19:02

Absolutely. And that you get, you know, when you do that the fuel for customer conversations. And, you know, there there are multiple roles in the organization that benefit from that not, you know, there’s sales and there’s also customer service and solution architects, etc. So, there’s a lot of stakeholders involved in that. And if you are in the talent space as a listener, and you’re like, Well, you know, that’s outside my scope, that’s fine. The question I would also then ask or just think about is, are we still talking about sales enablement? And to Scott and I, absolutely. This is our second flavor of four all of these are sales enablement to us and in the, if you’re part of the insider nation, we want you to think that way too. You’re gonna be in one of these flavors. And we’ll talk about the impact of understanding these four here at the end. This is still sales enablement us this message concept to contact piece.

Scott Santucci 20:04

Yeah, that’s true. And I like where you’re coming at it from because if you think about the different stakeholders, a sales enablement function can emerge and report anywhere, right? So, if we talk about the talent function, that probably it makes sense that that would rise out of the genesis of, you know, maybe an old sales training group, right, and just sort of expanding out from there and expanding the scope on the message part. Realistically, this could come out of product marketing, you know, and say, hey, look, we need to we need to do some fundamental change of how we message and be a lot more customer oriented or customer centric. And when you start thinking about all these new roles that exist inside, inside, you know, marketing department, you’ve got account-based marketing, you’ve got customer experience, reps who are trying to or professionals are trying to build buyer journey maps. and other things like that you’ve got a whole slew of product markers you have solution marketers, you might have vertical marketers demand generation and brand marketing might might might involve there the number of people just in marketing alone that are all singing off of different hymn hymn sheets is massive, let alone how do we identify the messaging that’s required for each different that’s right sales channel.

Brian Lambert 21:27

That’s definitely still sales enablement us back to that point. And then also you know what, Scott? We we have just killed I think two birds with one stone. We can now I believe where we’re heading here. When people ask us where sales enablement should report, we’re going to tell them to listen to this episode.

Scott Santucci 21:44

Yeah. Right there. There we go. It’s fantastic for killing two birds with one stone.

Brian Lambert 21:50

There we go. All right, let’s go to the third bucket.

Scott Santucci 21:52

Okay, so the third bucket is a bucket that we like to call engagement. I like one-word definitions. things right. But really what engagement is about is there’s a incredible amount of pressure on sales leaders of driving efficiencies in the pipeline. And today, the overwhelming majority of focus on that pipeline is either at the top of the funnel and a lot of friction and debate about is it a marketing qualified lead is a sales qualified lead, there’s a lead love a lot of back and forth there. And there’s a lot of friction between demand generation groups within marketing and and the sales organization, just tremendous amount of friction there. And then you get on the other end of the spectrum, which is the closing, right, the end of the sales cycle, which is, Hey, you know, our reps aren’t negotiating well enough. You know, we got to do more negotiating training. We’ve got to, you know, get managers more involved in sort of the approval process, close or just two points of it. There’s a giant amount of space in the middle that is completely, completely overlooked. That can drive a lot of performance. Things like, is there a what inspection actually is done? So, companies do invest in putting together a pitch deck. But we all know a pitch doesn’t work at an executive level sale. It’s a conversation, what inspection is being done on those, you know, first, first meetings? Another problem that happens is how do you make sure that you have qualified both the right stakeholder and whether or not it’s a real opportunity? And then a third major milestone is that that whole process of losing a no decision really, what’s what’s happening is your deals are timing out because you’re not equipping your internal sellers or your your your champions to sell internally on your bath. So, there are three gigantic, gaping holes that provide a sieve to your to your pipeline that you could develop very targeted integrated programs. The challenges, there are so many cooks in the kitchen with regards to pipeline. You have sales operations people who are microscopically evaluating whether the forms are done, whether you’re filling the CRM system out correctly or not. You have finance, who’s involved who wants to see higher forecasting accuracies because the forecasts are terrible. You have sales management who’s responding to this by doing you know, in some cases, we’ve seen weekly forecast reviews, weekly forecast reviews, that’s insane. And it just a tremendous amount of focus on just forecast review forecasts review forecast review.

Brian Lambert 25:02

A lot of inspection.

Scott Santucci 25:03

Yes, total inspection, then you throw in the demand generation people in there who are obsessed with the top of the funnel and want to know how come the leads aren’t getting followed up on, whereas the salespeople complain that the leads aren’t at the right altitude level in the first place. And nobody’s having any conversations about the real problems. Yeah. Then that is the state of affairs, you have finance involved putting a lot of pressure on you have sales managers adding to it, you know, demand generation and everybody’s angry and everybody’s reacting and as they would, what is the result, more inspection of the reps, which, you know, creates more friction in the pipeline process.

Brian Lambert 25:42

Yep. And this one of the four this one to me is really a top priority, because it is such a mess. But I when I talk to sales enablement leaders, they don’t want to touch this one with a 10-foot pole.

Scott Santucci 25:58

No one wants to touch them.

Brian Lambert 25:59

No wants to touch this one. And but when I talk to sales managers, because I spent a lot of time with sales managers, this is this is the hidden frustration. This is this, to me, is why they only review things and just sign off on it and get it over with because in the big scheme of things, this engagement bucket is their number one problem.

Scott Santucci 26:20

Right? So, when we look at it, and I mentioned, we talked about this as a process, the way that we look at this as a process is the contact to contract process. So, what are the steps that you go through from, you know, figuring out who we want to target to? How do we get access to them to how do we get them to agree to explore an opportunity with us to how do we help them navigate internally, again, the internal buy in how do we help them produce, you know, put together a business case and then you know, sign up with us? That’s the contact to contract process.

Brian Lambert 26:57

Yeah. For you researchers at heart Those that like to figure out and and, you know, do the detective work. This is a great one to start because when you start mapping out the steps in the business process of contact to contract, yeah, it’s it’s fascinating. And it’s a jumbled mess.

Scott Santucci 27:18

Yeah. So So interestingly enough so in terms of where sales and what reports to if you report into a sales Operations Group, this is a great place to start. So, you know, the talent one is your Genesis might be training and then you elevate into into talent. messaging, your Genesis might be in product or solution marketing and you elevate into into the sales organization, the engagement one you might focus on the you might start out in sales operations and, you know, evolve there.

Brian Lambert 27:51

Great. Let’s go then to number four

Scott Santucci 27:55

So, number four is astonishingly to me Personally, is one of the simplest things to do. And one that just for whatever reason just gets met with the me with the most resistance. And I call it administration. And what this is,

Brian Lambert 28:15

By the way, that might be why people don’t like it’s got that administration word. You know, we’re in sales when sales enablement.

Scott Santucci 28:22

I mean we hear ya.

Brian Lambert 28:24

You might as well just say liver and onions.

Scott Santucci 28:27

Well, liver and onions are you know, are healthy for you to right. But the point is, unfortunately, or fortunately, there are things there are rules that we have to comply with. We have rules there either regulations or rules set up by our about by our company that we have to comply with. And that compliance process the whole design of what those policies are, are typically done. On in fiefdoms, so for example, the policies of you know what counts as a, you know what counts as a accruable revenue or revenue that could be put in the comp plan, or even the comp plan that gets done by one group of people. The rules associated with revenue recognition get done by a different group of people. The whole product skew debacle that exists in most companies is done by another group of people. The pricing strategies and the rules associated with pricing and discounts are done by different group of people. Unfortunately, salespeople have to put all that stuff together. And since none of these policies or administrative activities are mapped out and documented, really what we do is we set up a situation where everybody thinks that the salesperson are a bunch of imbeciles because they can’t fill out the daggone forms correctly. But there are so

Brian Lambert 30:06

They need deal desk to help them.

Scott Santucci 30:09

Right? Well, the so the deal desk only does one part of it right? We’re factoring in look at all of the different variables that go into this. So then on top of that you design systems, and the people who create the requirements for the technology are getting it from the explicit requirements coming from you to compensation, or whether it’s the, you know, the skews or whether it’s something else. And what’s fascinating is, you could actually simplify or take a lot of burden away from sellers, just by fixing one of these areas, like for example, the skews or the, you know, price to quote process, right? It’s easy. It’s relatively easy to do. You don’t really need to work with sales a lot. You just need to fix a lot of back-end systems, but nobody wants to tackle it because they think it’s too complicated. And that’s the asinine thing because people don’t want to tackle it because it’s too complicated. They push that complexity onto salespeople and complain about how salespeople don’t have any time.

Brian Lambert 31:12

And be like, okay, well, you know, they didn’t they didn’t do it, but now you’re messing with the livelihood of salespeople and slowing down the sales process and aggravating customers, because we didn’t want to tackle it internally.

Scott Santucci 31:24

Exactly. And the case was death by 1000 paper cuts. So, in some cases, so Brian, I did some analysis. And one company that’s, you know, the bigger the company you’ve got, the bigger the administrative burden you’re putting on your reps, and one company, we analyze their key accounts, and the key account group was so burdened by so many different administrative functions, that 50% of their time was spent with administrative burden. And then we did a simple analysis of what could be consolidated just by tackling it. Three quarters of that time could be collapsed. Think about that. So, think about giving your reps back 50, not 50%. But let’s say 40% of their day, how much more productive could they be? And that is what you can do by tackling by tackling the administrative problems and simplification strategies. So, we call this process contract to revenue. There’s all these different rules and things like that. Really, it’s, it’s around the simplification process and unfortunately involves a lot of groups. It will involve different groups within your finance department. It will, it will include different functions within sales operations. It will, it will include maybe different folks in terms of human resources in terms of policies that that get developed. It may include your legal team. It will definitely include your IT department and and folks in terms of technology, and nobody wants to address any of these issues. And frankly, there’s some very simple, simple, simple things to eliminate a lot of this burden just by having a different approach. But nobody is responsible for this.

Brian Lambert 33:18

Yep. And, you know, it’s popped into my head. I don’t know where I get this stuff from you knows those awards that often come out for sales, sales training, you know, the annual there’s a lot of people posting right now about the awards or receiving somebody needs to create the administrative burden award, the best program to to lower the administrative burden on reps goes to it. We got to make that we got to make that more appealing to people.

Scott Santucci 33:51

Yeah, the simplifier.

Brian Lambert 33:53

Yeah, the Simplifier, the simplifier award goes to everybody’s gonna be like what the hell is that? So, there’s there’s four folks we got talent with hire to retire, messaging, flavor concept to contact, the engagement flavor, which is contact to contract and the administration flavor, contract to revenue. And you know, when I look at it, I say it kind of tongue in cheek these, these domains are one, they’re all part of sales enablement to Scott and I. Two, you know, some of these are more appealing than others. But when you put in the context of what reps need to be successful today, why are these important? And then, you know, Scott, I’ll toss this over to you, you know, what’s the what’s the impact of these two leading in the role? Because to me, it’s a leadership challenge that people have not a or chart functional challenge. How do you lead in these domains and then how would you take on other domains?

Scott Santucci 34:59

Yeah, so I’d I think there’s there’s two buckets, right? So, let’s say I’m in I am, let’s say my current remit for sales enablement is I own the sales training. You know, I own the sales kickoff, and I’m responsible for, you know, building playbooks or job aids, right. Let’s say that that’s my current remit. So, the first thing is okay, will any of these things help me do my job better? And the answer is yes. So, for example, let’s take all of the administrative burden and if that gets simplified, that creates way more space inside inside reps, so that you can adopt the things that you’re doing when people are spending so much time 50% of their time dealing with, I don’t know what questions to ask or what field to form out, we’re turning salespeople into accountants and data entry specialists. That creates no space for them to learn the techniques that you’re that you’re providing. So, your success is directly related to, you know, fixing, say some of the administrative problems. Your success is related to, you know, targeting on the engagement, if you can be really honed in and say, these skills will help you get more qualified opportunities. That helps you be for two reasons. One is you can be more concrete to reps. But also, more importantly, you can measure results way easier, because it’s so much easier to measure the contribution of qualified opportunities and project that into into closes rather than just how skilled people are. And the same thing with messaging you and I all know that every training program that we put together, we get super frustrated with the messaging that goes into it. And why can’t marketing just give us x, y, and z? If that were fixed, that would make your job easier too. So, I think I want to address it first is the reason that you should care about the whole breadth of these things is that even if you will want to stay isolated, say, I don’t want to tackle these other things they all contribute to your success. That’s point one. Does that make sense? Because I want to, you know, break that up before I go into point two.

Brian Lambert 37:28

Yeah, totally makes sense.

Scott Santucci 37:30

Okay. Now point number two is in terms of leadership. Part of what you have to learn to do is to elevate the message of simplification. Your sales leaders and your CEOs are so reactionary with regards to the pipeline because there isn’t any real planning. And I don’t mean that in the sense of there isn’t planning in terms of the, you know, design of the Salesforce or what I’m talking about in terms of the execution, it’s constant reactive mode. So, the only way out of this is somebody has to take that first step forward. So, let’s stay on talent. For example. One way to elevate that would be to quantify what is the impact of turnover? Every even if you have 25% turnover, you could, you could argue that that’s, that’s healthy or not healthy. But if you actually do an analysis, you’re going to realize that if you have 25% turnover, the bulk of where your turnover is happening isn’t the reps who aren’t cutting it. The bulk of the turnover is you’re probably losing your A and B reps. And when you look at the productivity that’s walking out the door, it’s going to take you three or four new hires to replace that same degree of performance. And you don’t know that there are massive costs to turnover. And getting that right is important. Another thing too is, let’s talk about onboarding and making sure you’re clear about what is the handoff between your onboarding program and what is the role of frontline sales management. I think everybody knows that. There’s a lot of challenges with frontline sales management. But it’s just not something that’s tackled, and not holding different people accountable for their different functions, makes it really difficult to isolate problems moving forward. So therefore, you can’t really pinpoint, hey, we did this. We did, we had these new hires, and that batch, that group became more productive 50% quicker, because we got these efficiencies down. So, the what happens is if you get more focused on these things, you’re able to provide simpler and more measurable ways to be evaluated, which of course gives you more scope span of control authority budget, but also it makes the doing your job way more, a lot easier, because you can stay focused on a few of those metrics. So, there’s two points of this. One is the ability for you to perform your job improves exponentially when these other flavors are fixed. Number two is by focusing on any of these areas, you can put together more measurable results and be more of a strategic partner to help drive drive results moving forward.

Brian Lambert 40:42

Love it. Alright, so this has been a you know, lengthy topic, but really meaty. And when you look at these areas, very critical, I believe for our listeners, and I like your comment earlier about About, perhaps we take each one of these and dive into them, you know, specifically in future episodes. And I like your tips at the end around making sure we think about this holistically. And also prioritize is what I’m getting. And if you do the work and you think it through, you actually can develop a roadmap here, no matter where you report into a lot of impact. And, you know, one of the key items that I’d love our listeners to take away is if you don’t tackle some of these flavors or domains, you know, nobody else will, one and two, this complexity will be pushed onto your reps. So that’s, that’s my takeaway. Scott, do you have anything else you’d like to add before we let our listeners go?

Scott Santucci 41:50

I do. To summarize this, I would really highlight the 8020 rule, and I think this is a concept that is not discussed among the sales enablement community, not nearly enough. An 8020 rule is so powerful and so real. When you apply it to sales, it’s it’s mind boggling that we’re not talking about it more. And really what what this what these flavors do is give you a way to first, you know, chunk out the our low hanging fruit is what is it a talent issue? Is it a message issue? Is it an engagement issue? Is it an administration issue? And go after the low hanging fruit. And then the other thing too, is by having a process lens to it what it does is it allows you to isolate even more specifically, one thing. So, let’s talk about the engagement process, for example, we’ve seen companies who say, you know, hey, you know, we’re just not executing on our strategy. Look, okay, well Are you talking to the right people? How many meetings Did you have at, say the CIO level? Oh, we had zero. Well, there’s your problem right there. Let’s do a program only focused on getting more meetings with CIOs. And then it becomes very manageable, measurable, focused, and and you get the momentum, and you get everybody rowing in the right direction, which is a critical success factor or a sales enablement.

Brian Lambert 43:30

Great, and folks that are listening in members of the insider nation, give us a call or drop us a line on this. We’d love to see what you’re seeing here about what you’re wrestling with. And also, you know, any successes you’ve had on this, I think, part of the reason why I want to do this show is to not only highlight some of the challenges that folks might be running into and ways to think about overcoming those, but also we’d love to hear about the wins that you’ve had, and what’s working, and try putting this into practice this thinking and see how it works in your organization and let us know. And, as always, Scott and I appreciate your your, your constant feedback and overall approach to sales enablement as part of the nation because it’s very collaborative. And we like that, so we’ll see you at LinkedIn. We’ll see at some of these events that are coming up and on the behalf of Scott, take care, we’ll talk to you later.

Nick Merinkers 44:34

Thanks for joining us. To Become an insider and amplify your journey. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our show. If you have an idea for what Scott and Brian can cover in a future podcast or have a story to share, please email them at engage@insidese.com You can also connect with them online by going to insidese.com, following them on Twitter, or sending them a LinkedIn request.

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