Ep51 Fighting Productitis: A Sales Leader’s View of Selling Business Outcomes

Ep51 Fighting Productitis: A Sales Leader’s View of Selling Business Outcomes

Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 51

Our focus on this podcast is for you sales enablement leaders and orchestrators. As an orchestrator. You need to develop skills to be mission and goal focused. prioritize the right goals and the right moments, guide the narrative by confronting reality, drive results by design, not effort and unlock energy to create momentum. To do that, today, we’ve got a special guest is going to join us to talk about a very important topic, and that is selling outcomes.

If you’re a devout listener, and insider nation member, you will already know this illustrious guest. He was in our panel or on our sales leader COVID panel. And I’m delighted to have Bob Apollo just himself. So if you don’t know about Bob, one of the things that he’s doing that’s really exciting, is he’s launched an outcome centric Academy.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Intro 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.

Brian Lambert 00:34  

I’m Scott Santucci, 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 00:49  

Together, Brian and I’ve worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enablement initiatives as analysts, consultants or practitioners. We’ve learned the hard way, what works and maybe What’s more important, what doesn’t?

Brian Lambert 01:02  

Our focus on this podcast is for you sales enablement leaders and orchestrators. As an orchestrator. You need to develop skills to be mission and goal focused. prioritize the right goals and the right moments, guide the narrative by confronting reality, drive results by design, not effort and unlock energy to create momentum. To do that, today, we’ve got a special guest is going to join us to talk about a very important topic, and that is selling outcomes. Scott, can you introduce our guests?

Scott Santucci 01:31  

Absolutely. So if you’re a devout listener, and insider nation member, you will already know this illustrious guest. He was in our panel or on our sales leader COVID panel. And I’m delighted to have Bob Apollo just himself. So if you don’t know about Bob, one of the things that he’s doing that’s really exciting, is he’s launched an outcome centric Academy. So before I get into more details about that, let’s Bob Tell us a little bit about yourself in specific What is this outcome centric Academy in first place?

Bob Apollo 02:06  

Yeah, thanks, Scott, and really happy to be back with the program again. So my career really has been one of spanning sales and marketing for a variety of organizations over the years. But most recently, I’ve been spending my time working with, I suppose what you’re characterized as scale up b2b tech based businesses, for whom sales enablement, sales effectiveness, and all of the things that go with that absolutely essential foundations for building a growing business and delivering predictable outcomes.

Scott Santucci 02:46  

Awesome. So what we’re going to do here is one of the things that we’re doing on our show is we’re trying to create more opportunities to learn. And as you’ve been, as you know, we’ve had several webinars that are all predicated on post COVID research. And the last webinar that we did is was around routes to value enable customers, enabling customers to buy. So what we’re going to do is just like we did with Joe Hayes, is we’re going to get a sales leaders perspective on it. And then I expect we’re going to spend a lot of time Bob talking about outcomes and what exactly they mean. So what we’re first going to do is ask Bob to highlight for him, what are three things that most resonated with him about what we shared, and then we’re going to get into a conversation there of who knows where we’re going to go with Bob and his rapier wit. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to wrap up with Brian putting together what what he heard and what’s important for you as a sales enablement orchestrator. So Bob, what are what are three things that you got from the from the webinar?

Bob Apollo 03:53  

What you know, the first one is, you’ve given a name to a date Disease the organization’s have been suffering from for years.

And you call it proper eye test. And it’s from my observation.

It’s the sort of a reflection of an inside out perspective on the part of typically technology companies, but not exclusively, who are obsessed about, you know, the products they create the features that they’ve developed, you know, competitive knockoffs and so on. And all the while they’re thinking about that, they’re not thinking about what the customer is actually trying to achieve, or why the customer might be motivated to buy anything, let alone their product in the first place. So that’s the sort of first thing you’ve named something that I suspect people will recognize that they’ve been suffering from, whether it’s sales enablement people, whether it’s sales People, other members of the organization, you know, I think we’ve all been blighted by product itis in our time.

Scott Santucci 05:08  

ie blighted. That’s a great word, what I think would be really fun. So if you haven’t watched the webinar, you can go to inside sales enablement comm and download it and watch it. But I think will be really fun. And thinking you think hearing your response to it, I think it’d be really, really fun to walk through and go through the product, outcome view back and forth, sort of like a he said, she said with you. So what was your second second takeaway?

Bob Apollo 05:36  

Well, the second one, which again resonates very much with my perspective on how people make buying decisions, is customers start on a path towards change because they’ve got issues. And the best thing that a salesperson could do in their early engagement with a customer is to really ask Cover and develop those issues and their implications. And, you know, we’re back to what’s the role that sales enablement can play in that. It’s equipping the salespeople to have those issue lead conversations. And don’t just stop when you’ve uncovered an issue and then revert to type and pitch your product, stick with the problems, stick with the issues stick with the reason to change and really explore the implications with the customer of what would happen if they just carried on their current path. So that was the second thing, you know, highlighting. I think you sort of quoted in the maybe a couple of places in that webinar, why, why and how our customers so value, a conversation about it business issues, rather than product features.

Scott Santucci 06:54  

So what’s interesting about that, and if you’re if you’re joining, there were lots of quotes They were dense quotes, and they were hard to read properly during the webinar. And I even got some feedback they shouldn’t read rate them out. But the reason that I put a lot in there is that I want people to have them on their decks. Yeah, and quote them a lot because nothing helps bring to life these problems than hearing the voices of executive level buyers of what’s not happening. And it’s it’s a ubiquitous problem. And I think we have to all do a much better job. sales enablement. People talk about buyers journey and being but buyer centered and you know, cut buying enablement we’re talking about. We’ve been hearing a lot of these things for a long time, but we’re not really addressing the challenges. So bringing these quotes to bear I think, I think help a lot. And I

Bob Apollo 07:49  

think sometimes we can think that content by itself will sell but, but really, I think the purpose of content is to stimulate conversation. Yes. And you know, it’s In those conversations, those one to one or small group conversations between the salesperson and the representatives of the customer, where the real traction happens.

Scott Santucci 08:10  

And I think that’s a, that’s a great point. Because one of the things that’s been very fascinating, and this is why we’re trying to do this on our show, is I learn as much if not more from the feedback after these, these webinars, and we don’t have a way to share it. And bataya the whole idea, the whole section that we had in there about mapping out the customers and the agreement network and everything like that resonates so strongly with sales leaders. It’s unbelievable how much it resonates because they know in their heart of heart, I’m sparking a conversation so I can co create value with my customer. What’s interesting, though, Bob is the people who work in the rest of the company. They tend to not see that because they want the salesperson to prescribe the product that they have, instead of the CO create whatever the outcome is,

Bob Apollo 09:08  

yeah, even heaven forbid, they want the salesperson to para word for word, their company presentation not realizing that they’re not just presenting into the ether. They’re presenting to one or a number of people. And if that presentation doesn’t stimulate a conversation that might go off piste because you learn something about the customer and you react to it. I mean, that whole idea of prescribing, coaching training people to give Word Perfect presentations almost always reinforces product itis.

Scott Santucci 09:47  

That’s right, inevitably. What’s fascinating about that is these are things that if you talk with people who have a lot of sales experience, you’re like, Well, duh, of course that’s what you have to do. And then it’s like, well, I’m not learning anything new. But the issue isn’t about you. The issue is how do you get the rest of the organization to get aligned behind you? And that’s challenged. And you have to recognize that not everybody has the same degree of client empathy that maybe you have, and maybe not all of your salespeople have, which I think gets us into what’s your third takeaway?

Bob Apollo 10:26  

Well, that might well be your illumination of the power of outcomes as part of successfully engaging with the customer. You know, we need to avoid product itis. We need to equip and coach our salespeople to have really powerful conversations about issues and bring insights to bear against those issues. And the third element is so I don’t think a customer starts a buying process, at least in a complex search. Well, you know, it’s a discretionary purchase, they won’t initiate the buying process seriously, unless there’s something that looks like an issue that needs to be dealt with. And I’d also suggest they won’t conclude the buying process, unless they’re confident in the outcomes, that the change that’s being proposed to them is going to deliver.

Scott Santucci 11:21  

Yeah. And I think that’s so well stated. And I think what, what I’m very curious to get your feedback, so we haven’t had a chance to rehearse this, that. So one of the things that we’ve created is an outcome wheel. And the reason that we create that outcome wheel is to provide a checklist of all the things that an executive is probably going to ask in their head, before they’re willing to move forward with something. And we want to we tend to think about step one, I do this step two, I do this step two, three, I do this, but that’s not the reality of human beings. We tend to operate holistically. So the outcome wheel has a, you know, a couple parts starting with what’s the achieved end state. But I think some people start with that’s all an outcome is. So I guess what I want to do is have a conversation with you, Bob about what actually is an outcome?

Bob Apollo 12:16  

Okay. Well, you know, I think actually outcomes apply to a number of phases in the relationship between a salesperson and a prospective customer. That is an ultimate outcome, which is really what the customer seeks to achieve as a result of engaging in a change program. But I think we also have incremental outcomes, which are things which demonstrate progress towards achieving that ultimate goal and to the point you make with your wheel, some of those outcomes tap into strategic perspectives, some into operational perspective. Some into a variety of other perspectives, and you’ve identified half a dozen in that in that wheel. And again, this is really part of the art of conversation as to how we set up an engage conversation with the customer around these different manifestations of outcome and how we seek to move forward progressively with the customer. With many or incremental outcomes or advances however you choose to characterize them, that when they are strung together, result in the customer achieving what they need to and, and, and contrasting that with the situation they’re in at the moment. And I’ll make a brief reference about the importance of contrast. Because I think if there’s only a narrow a perceived narrow difference between the current trajectory the customer is following and the difference An outcome they might achieve. If they accepted your change programming proposal. If there’s a narrow gap, it’s not unlikely that they’ll stick with what they’ve got right there isn’t sufficient meeting it. So we need to be creating a stretching a perceived gap between where they’re heading today, and where they could actually get to. If we work with them, help them collaborate with them, deliver capabilities, help them adopt an approach that maximizes their chances of getting that desired outcome.

Scott Santucci 14:37  

That’s spot on and I what I want to do is, I want to unpack what we’re talking about here for our listeners. Everything that Bob’s talking about, are very specific details that you have to do on a one to one basis. The reason that we created the outcome wheel however, is that you can’t prescribe For Bob, it was a let’s take the role that I’m the sales enablement person, I’m enabling Bob, there’s no way I can prescribe for Bob, what’s going to happen because Bob can’t prescribe what’s going to happen with the customer because the customer is going to have their own conversation. So we have to equip Bob has to be trained and knowledgeable enough to know what value is, how to handle it, etc. And I have to be able to organize content here. So let’s talk about what that outcome wheel is and what its elements are. element number one is to be able to paint or what’s an achieved in state. So what I have to do is I have to be able to say, hey, Bob, here are some end results of where customer where we’ve helped customers be successful with other this identity. And Bob needs to understand it well enough to where he can present that in front of a customer and make it their own

Bob Apollo 15:54  

because it has to be their own. And just to an observation on that. Again, thinking about how we equip salespeople To accomplish this, the power of anecdote and story exactly conveying that vision is if I struggled to think you can properly articulate an outcome without having some ability, custom stories, experiences, anecdotes, and so on.

Scott Santucci 16:22  

That is so well stated. And really what we have to do is we have to blend, Bob has to have the skill of telling a story. And I have to give them the script more or less, I don’t mean script, like, I need to give them the outline of the telling the story. Right. So there’s the both of those parts. The second thing, the second attribute is framed through the lens of an executive owner. There’s somebody who’s going to who’s going to get fired if that outcome doesn’t achieve or is going to get promoted, if that achieved and we have to message it to that person. Speaking in the abstract doesn’t work. Speaking minion level work doesn’t work. It has to be in The language of that targeted stakeholder.

Unknown Speaker 17:02  

Right?

Scott Santucci 17:04  

And so you can imagine how much training goes into learning how to speak that language. But also we have to make sure if we’re preparing content that we’ve done the homework that we’ve interviewed, enough CIOs, if we’re trying to talk to CIOs are enough CFOs. And we’ve role played out that content because writing stuff down and talking to stuff is very, very different. And we want Bob talking with them, because we want them having conversations.

Bob Apollo 17:31  

And just to the point of the executive stakeholders, I think we also need to judge because sometimes it can be a bit deceptive content. People can carry titles, but not necessarily either the authority or the desire for change, that we’ve got to make an assessment whether the person we’re depending on not to champion our solution, but to champion the project. That’s really distinction is somebody who’s a change agent and respected change agent. within their organization is somebody who understands how to get things done.

Scott Santucci 18:07  

That’s right, and what So basically, what I would need to do is I would need to go and find other change agents in our customer base, come up with some sort of criteria to inform Bob of what that criteria is. But Bob has to know, to determine whether that person that he’s talking to is, so Bob has to have the skill, but if I’m not providing him the things to look for, based on research, or based on what we’re doing, we’re putting all the burden on Bob, and that’s not fair. How can Bob know how many people have Bob has Bob worried about or talk to,

Bob Apollo 18:43  

to bring this back to the sales enablement agenda? You know, there’ll be a handful of salespeople in any organization who are just naturally gifted at this and they might actually be the source for some of the insights we want to share with their peers. But the greatest impact on absolutely convinced this is by elevating otherwise, you know, good enough core competence salespeople to be that much more polished and effective.

In in having these conversations.

Scott Santucci 19:12  

Yes, yes. And the Polish matters a lot. So that’s why we want to have good training that’s in sync. It also has to have the right structure as well. So the third, the third attribute is framed as an initiative. And what does that mean? executives fund initiatives. They don’t fund your products. There is nobody out there who’s going to say we’re going to do project by product from you. That doesn’t have it’s not how it works. They come up with an initiative. They give it some sort of internal identity. They know where they’re going, and they’re after their business result, not your software or not your consulting or not your research. You have the opportunity to look at how projects are organized. and organize information to help salespeople deliver it in that way. We can’t expect salespeople to be project man, you know, PMI certified. Let’s just organize the information that way.

Bob Apollo 20:13  

But, again, to your point, this is both part of qualifying and part of engaging with the customer. If we can piggyback on a current priority or initiative, it’s likely to be funded, it’s likely to already have executive visibility. It might be a new initiative in which we could attempt to get in from the start yet but many of these initiatives fail or a struggling. So other another point of entry for us is to find how we can help them bring an initiative they’ve already started back on track to deliver the results they were looking for. And that can be just as productive as looking for absolutely Fresh painted brand new initiative, we can find the determined to do this. Yeah, but not yet happy with the results or the outcomes that we’re currently achieving with that with that initiative or project.

Scott Santucci 21:16  

So imagine if we have reps, salespeople that had the ability to do that with Bob, I identified, and we had a categorization of common initiatives, and then sub initiatives underneath it, that were framed that way, not what products we’ve got that map to it, but just what those initiatives are. Imagine how much more powerful Bob would be in doing his job.

Bob Apollo 21:43  

Just one more element to the existing rather than the brand new initiative is and what sort of obstacles typically surface that preventing customers from realizing the initiatives that are already underway, and how is it that we help eliminate those obstacles?

Scott Santucci 22:00  

Yep. So we get into the next the fourth spoke, which matches well with the executive insight, which is measurable results. Now, I want to have a little quick commentary here and love Bob’s comments on that. When I say measurable results, I do not mean a detailed ROI calculator with lots and lots and lots of numbers that as we’re getting into forecasted future revenue or anything like that, we’re talking about, here’s what your world looked like before. And these were three or four key metrics that you’ve got that measure that high level viewpoint, and here’s what your world will look like in the future. And here’s what other people have achieved that level of a measurable result. First of all, it’s really hard to organize information that way that simply but secondly, that’s the what the executives are looking for.

Bob Apollo 22:57  

Absolutely, because they kind of one of the reasons One of the really complex models sometimes struggle is executives know that if they were trying to sell a point, they’d manipulate the model. Yep. So you know, and they expect a salesperson to manipulate the model in order to deliver the results that they’re trying to suggest the customer will achieve. If you keep it simple, you haven’t got that sense of, Oh, this is all complex. And so I think the second observation is, don’t make the claims so positive that they become unbelievable. I had a client who had actually got just amazing results with a relatively small number of customers. And they were pushing those as the, you know, the reason for change the reason to go with us, and it just got to a point where the numbers were in, although they were right. They were incredibly high, and actually did better to come up with a more sort of not skimming the cream off the top. But just this is what a typical customer achieves. And that was just, they had certainly more stories to back it up and so on. And they that was still a positive enough positive enough level of change by a margin, actually, to justify going ahead with a program.

Scott Santucci 24:19  

Yeah. And I think what, when we talked about the achieved in state some of the things Bob was talking about before is the delta between what my current state is my future state is, is the juice worth the squeeze? This is really what the measurable results are. It’s manifesting is the juice worth the squeeze? And then secondly, do I believe that that’s real, that’s the juice I’m gonna get. And I think it’s really important to be able to help highlight, highlight that and again, you have to have the right organized content, information, etc. And also the right skills to be able to Delivering both

Bob Apollo 25:02  

timely quote by the way because here I am in the middle of Valencia, the orange capital of Spain so there’s a lot of juice worth squeezing out here.

Scott Santucci 25:10  

So Bob is using that as an opportunity to shift me because we spent maybe three minutes preparing beforehand and he mentioned that he was in he’s already mentioned in our pre that was in Spain, and I said now I’m jealous and now I’m sad and I he’s he’s waited and waited and waited and boom, he should be got and got me so the listeners that were to

Bob Apollo 25:34  

another convinced

Scott Santucci 25:36  

everybody knows now that Bob is in Spain and Scott is not and he is enjoying orange that’s what makes it timely I love it.

Bob Apollo 25:44  

I’m the juice is worth the squeeze Exactly.

Brian Lambert 25:48  

Perfect. And for those people that were tuned out as they were running are now having to hit rewind and go What the hell did I miss?

Scott Santucci 25:54  

Yes. What’s going on here? Wait, why are they talking about orange juice orange juice now This podcast is sponsored by sunkist. Any red joke joke, a bad joke? Ah, back on the flow,

Brian Lambert 26:09  

all right, I was laughing hysterically by the way I was just on mute.

Scott Santucci 26:12  

Thank you. That’s always good to have a good co host that’ll play along with you. Alright, so the next spoke on our wheel is impacted stakeholders. Here’s a funny thing about executives. They don’t actually do the work, they delegate it. And what’s difficult is executives have a hard time managing the people that work for them, particularly when they’re taking on a change initiative. So your job is to help them navigate those stakeholders if you want to be value added. So think about all of those people in their team, but also if what they’re implementing is cutting across silos. Think about what job you can do. You’re a salesperson, you’re good at communicating. That executive is probably a good communicator too. But you You can be the bad cop, and he can be the good cop. And then you can come out with what that role is. That’s a giant, giant opportunity. We’re not providing salespeople enough of tools to navigate those agreement networks. But Bob, I mean, navigating all that stuff is a critical success factor if you want to sell outcomes, isn’t it?

Bob Apollo 27:20  

Well, I think it is. And one of the ways in a very simple sense that what you’ve just described can be reflected is, for example, in the executive summary of the proposal, where if we were suffering from product Titus, our executive summary would all be about how great our product is, how much it costs, and what a great company we are. But really, there’s a much more powerful executive summary to be written, and it has to do with the issue. It has to do with the outcome and the outcome probably at a number of levels. What this means for the organization, what it means for the key functions, who are in involved, and what it means to the key stakeholders in the decision making process. And building a really clear value story progressively through your engagement in the customer can help you maybe even co write with your sponsor a really compelling executive summary of the proposal that doesn’t just sell you. It doesn’t just sell the company, it doesn’t just sell your product. It sells the need for change and the positive impact of the approach you’re proposing on all of these other important stakeholders and contributors.

Scott Santucci 28:39  

Yeah, so let’s let’s reinforce a couple things that Bob highlighted that I want to make sure we’re delivering on. So he mentioned earlier on the skill of storytelling. One thing that I really liked what he said that’s really critically important is allowing the story to evolve over time. If you’re organized and being disciplined and providing, providing your client enough to get them through the next hoop so to speak, you’re going to be in a position to co write that proposal with them. And if you do that, you’re probably going to win it. If you don’t get that you’re probably not. It’s kind of that simple.

Bob Apollo 29:22  

You’ve quoted some very compelling evidence in the webinar, which I completely believe in, you know, the sales personal sales organization that’s most involved in shaping the potential customers vision of a solution is the one that ends up winning it

Scott Santucci 29:38  

75% of the time. Yep. And that’s from executive buyers not studying salespeople. Yep. No, I think that’s that’s one point. Now the challenge though, is, imagine what we’re asking salespeople to do. Imagine what we’re asking Bob to do. We have a complex product. How in the world is are we preparing Bob to say Here’s what’s in it for finance. Here’s what’s in it for manufacturing. Here’s what’s in it for sales, the more departments your solution touches, the greater the burden, your executive sponsor is going to have to socialize it. And by the way, the more stakeholders involved most of them, what do they want to do? They want to say no, because they don’t want to change. They want the company to change. They don’t want to change individually. But we have to get them all to change. So think about how difficult that is and what we’re asking salespeople to do by just providing them training. Oh, go learn how to go do this. Go learn how to talk to three stakeholders and then to two sponsors and one executive owner. It’s so generic and abstract. We can model this out because we should know what our stakeholder maps look like. We should know what those agreement networks look like. And we should prepare Bob to say to tell His executive sponsor, Hey Bob, we typically see that there’s friction between security and apps people. And here’s the specific friction that they’re going to run into. So Bob can throw out to his executive sponsor, hey, I recognize that we’ve got a lot of people to socialize this to just be aware, in past examples. These two departments have ADD friction. And then when that friction happens, guess what, Bob’s no longer take it out, because that’s what those people want to do is take them out by complaining, Bob has become more of a trusted adviser to that executive, because he showed him that was gonna happen. But we can’t get we can’t help Bob do that unless we’ve created those maps already for him. These are normal things.

Bob Apollo 31:43  

Yeah. It sort of requires the confidence and the ability to preempt these issues rather than wait for them to emerge, because sometimes they won’t. Sometimes there’ll be sort of, you know, under the carpet, we’ll never get to the real reason why a deal stalls That’s so you see patents, I think it’s absolutely in our interest to make ourselves person feel confident about surfacing those potential issues. I mean, they may turn out to be non issues. But then they also turn out to be something that if we ignored them and just hoped it went away, it wouldn’t.

Scott Santucci 32:22  

That’s right. We’re data, you have no idea what can kill you in a deal. Sure.

Bob Apollo 32:27  

Now, and by the way, I’m not going to suggest another thing you’re suggesting that these things are simple. And it’s actually one reason why the foundation training for this part of the outcome centric selling is an in depth session on how to herd cats. And then once you’ve mastered that, we can then move to this.

Scott Santucci 32:47  

So definitely so if you if you follow me on LinkedIn, you know I say sales is simple, simple as hard all the time. Our job is our job is to make things simple, for Executive buyers, they appreciate the work of doing this. And simple also doesn’t mean just giving three random bullets because they’re fewer. That doesn’t mean it’s simple. It’s doing the work to find out what are the right three. So our last, our last spoke on the wheel is over a lifecycle. And what does that mean? It means that if you’re selling a vision or outcome, it’s likely that they have a destination that they want to hit to that’s maybe a year out or three years out or whatever. But you have to give them ways to pull down value quickly. And does that mean a cost reduction first to pay for phase two? But that’s how we have to think about it. And if we don’t equip our salespeople with how other clients have realized value in iterations, it makes it way more difficult for our salespeople to get the executive to buy into our bigger picture. And I think you were you were alluding to some of that earlier on. Love to have your comments on sort of that payback period.

Bob Apollo 34:08  

Sure. Well, a few observations. Firstly, in a world where increasingly what we sell is being sold, delivered and consumed as a service, if we don’t get renewed, we’ll probably never make a profit. So, you know, we need to satisfy the customer from an early stage in our engagement with them that we’re starting to deliver tangible value, and that value will continue to increase the longer that relationship continues. A couple of other things, though, so I think the whole as a service movement has got some really Stark in implications for you know, we can’t afford a multi year project that only delivers value at the end of year five. I don’t think people are buying those. Now they’re looking for tangible deliverable, preferably incremental value. So where can we deliver that value early. And, you know, I always encourage the sales teams I’ve worked with, to look for projects or to create an aura around projects, such that the projects are strategically important or relevant, you know, tied to an initiative. tactically urgent, something needs to happen. Now if the customer delays that, you know, the outcomes will actually be either delayed or worse. And thirdly, that the way we deliver our so called solution to them, demonstrates rapid time to value strategically relevant, tactically urgent, rapid time to value. You then build the sort of relationship where you can continue to expand your presence in the account built on trust built on delivery. And really almost keep stretching the potential outcomes that can result from continuing the relationship you’ve now established with them. That’s, that’s so spot on,

Scott Santucci 36:11  

right. And I think one of the ways that you can do this is to model out different quick wins scenarios. So a quick win scenario might be, hey, we need to be able to implement the entire vision of what we’re doing for a very small department. So it’s controllable that way. It could be, hey, let’s find cost takeout across the board as quickly as possible and let us know give finance that when it could be, let’s get this this particular feature. This particular feature set going the point though, is we’re going to have a lot of those different variables and the more of the more variables that we have, the more empowered Bob is. The difficulty is going back to the simple sales. Simple but simple is hard. You have to rewire your brain. We have to rewire our sales people’s brains to not think so linear and say the product is this implement as much of the product as possible, instead of worrying about how to chunk out those, those parts.

Bob Apollo 37:16  

That’s such an important point, this idea of sort of chunking it out if you like, because I’ve seen that, you know, deals go straight, even in pre COVID days, because the salesperson got greedy. Yeah, they thought, how can we make the initial deal as big as possible?

Scott Santucci 37:31  

And then all that galacta Galactus itis.

Bob Apollo 37:34  

Oh, there we go. We’ve got another one.

Unknown Speaker 37:36  

Yeah. All right, what diseases?

Bob Apollo 37:38  

So the bigger the project, the more stakeholders get involved. Yeah, the more rigorous the financial analysis, the more likely it is that it’s subject to some sort of cost control or spending freeze or, or what have you. Focus on if you like, landing the right project to start with. And then be confident that if we do the right sort of job, we’re going to add new, introduce new capabilities and so on. But don’t make it don’t make it harder for your sponsor to accept themselves internally, then it has to be.

Scott Santucci 38:22  

That’s so that’s so true. One way to think about that is everybody loves a reference. People love internal references way more than external references. You chunk it down to where a few people are getting success, radiating that success out is way easier. So those are the things to think through. And actually Bob, part of the challenges would be, let’s say you’re a salesperson and you want to deploy that strategy. You need to also manage your sales manager to not say let’s put everything in the kitchen sink into this proposal to go becomes more of a discipline and the cadence part doesn’t it does it Doesn’t that have to be part of our overall selling strategy?

Bob Apollo 39:04  

That’s one of the most persuasive arguments for why? Certainly the whole of the sales, organization sales, leadership, sales individuals need to be aligned around these philosophers, and to be able to help others within the organization to understand why we’re implementing these philosophies, or even get them to be, you know, raving fans. You’re right. There’s a such a danger of conflicting signals here. If actually, in truth, the best thing for the company would be let’s get this project in and working and build and the sales manager themselves are under pressure from above that you’ve just got to maximize bookings right now. And again, particularly in an as a service business, you are just storing up problems for the future and that future isn’t far away. Right when renewal time comes or what have you. But it I tell you what, it is such a different mindset from the one you would automatically inherit. If you were suffering from product itis, your product itis mindset would be we’ve got a product quota, we’ve got a sales quota, we’re just going to take whatever actions appear to drive fastest time to hitting those performance targets, you know, without any acknowledgement of the consequences of that sort of behavior.

Scott Santucci 40:35  

Yeah, so unpack that a little bit. The reason that I bring this up is this is a common problem. And it’s actually ubiquitous. If we are it what’s very common as an organization says, We want our salespeople to be able to sell value or value sell or do challenger selling or what have you. And we’re going to equip them To sell a product, so the heart of challenger selling is to sell them a commercial insight which maps to your products. And then there isn’t a lot of support after you’ve introduced that commercial insight to manage the process moving forward. So at any point in time, the sales manager can push you because they’re looking at a spreadsheet and say, Hmm, Scott, you have executive executive access, or Bob, you’ve got such executive alignment. Why aren’t you selling them products X, Y, and Z. And without structure to push back on that? It’s just Okay, I’ll put up X, Y and Z. And then the whole deal disintegrates because it’s, it’s gone past the risk

Bob Apollo 41:42  

threshold that we told you. And then to compensate what I’m going to do, even though the customer is not ready to close yet, I’m going to offer you an end of quarter discount to place the order

Scott Santucci 41:55  

and now we’re talking about Okay, so I need to evaluate the value of the individual parts. After we’re not talking about the value of what we were doing in the first place, and all the work that we’ve done before is thrown out the window. Yep. So the reason that we’re stressing This is that we want our salespeople, our companies want our salespeople to do one thing. But if we don’t get the, and that’s the engine. But if the chassis that we have to drive it is still driving the product sale, Bob isn’t going to be successful. And that’s why we’re, that’s why we’re talking about here is this outcome wheel is sort of a trend away to translate between the what the skills we want Bob to have as the sales leader and sales team. And then me How do we get the engine to tune or the chassis to match to the engine. those are those are the things so what we’re trying to do then is if you have the opportunity to go back and listen to the or watch the webcast, we have an approach of Rouse devalue. That’s about organizing all That stuff. But at the same time, you still need to develop the skills of the sales leaders. And I think these are the kinds of things that hopefully you can hear that Bob has a lot of skill has a lot of competencies and experience, teaching people what those skills would be for outcomes. And then hopefully you’re able to look at it and say, How am I going to orchestrate all this information to be able to do it? So to wrap that up, since we’re talking about orchestrate, Brian, you are advocate advocator for orchestrators. We’d love you to get love for our listeners, if you could give a wrap up of the call that Bob and I had. And, you know, sure, that’s for our listeners.

Brian Lambert 43:42  

Yeah, first, I just want to do a bit of a quick run through through the wheel, just to make sure everybody’s got it. So the achieved end state is the first component of the wheel, the outcome, and the achieved end state is not today by our stuff. It’s framed out with an executive owner, which is The second component around a high level initiative, which is the third to achieve a measurable result, which is the fourth, that measurable result, because it’s framed out at a high high level will impact a lot of stakeholders, which is the fifth. And that’s going to happen over a lifecycle in an ongoing fashion to Bob’s point because we’re selling services or platforms. So those are the six components of the wheel, I would definitely encourage everybody to give that another another listen. And I you know, so if I put my orchestrator hat on, I’m gonna agree 100% with what’s going on, and I want to roleplay this out a little bit with you, Bob. And I’m You and I are in the same organization on the orchestrating sales enablement, lead, you’re the VP of sales. I obviously keep hearing from across the organization and I’ve been involved in a lot of activities, right. So I’ve got my insights that we’ve got They’re right here. I’ve got my personas, I’ve got all this stuff that in all of it says outcome, outcome outcome outcome. And, you know, I know that something’s missing. So I’m going to come to you and because everybody’s telling me that we just need to do more training and I, and I want to, I want to talk to you about that. So that’s the scene. Does that makes sense, Bob?

Bob Apollo 45:19  

Okay.

Brian Lambert 45:21  

So I’m kind of set up the meeting, we come in, and I’m just gonna say, Hey, what do you How’s it going? You know, we get past the formalities. And I’m gonna ask you a question and I’m going to ask you the question. Do you do you think this idea of selling outcomes, Bob, that everybody’s talking about? Well, in this idea of selling our platform or this three Dotto or four Dotto or five Dotto solution we have, you know, and what our executives are talking about? Do you think that’s gonna is that just a talent enablement challenge that I’m involved in, you know, is training or do you think is broader than scales, from your view as a VPS.

Bob Apollo 46:04  

I training, coaching, what have you is an important component of helping us achieve this. But training by itself won’t get us the sort of results that we can if we’re wholehearted in our adoption of this thinking. So what I’d like to do is to work with you not just to put a training program together, but also to make sure that our systems and our policies supportive of this approach to an outcome sent outcome centric selling, because if we don’t have all of those things aligned, if we don’t work together to align these things, the training by itself probably isn’t gonna deliver the sort of changing performance that we’re looking for.

Brian Lambert 46:48  

Yeah, I love that. And I appreciate appreciate the partnership. And one of the things that I have is a framework that covers a lot of the different types of enablement that exist. For example, I’d Totally agree with the idea of policies, procedures, you know, for shorthand, I call that organizational enablement. Obviously, I’m in town enablement. But there’s also this piece that keeps coming up. And I’d love your take on it around the message, you know, the idea of how do we enable the right message, obviously, with my background in talent enablement, I’m not necessarily the best person, but I think that could be factored in. As in I’d like to maybe figure out how we build a bridge to the messaging here, and maybe I could help drive that with you. What do you think?

Bob Apollo 47:34  

I think one of the things we could do together is to recognize that content is just a stepping stone to sales success. It just as training is an essential component. So is the sort of content that’s coming from our marketers and product people. But let’s technology and let’s help them recognize the best content is the content that stimulates the right sort of sales conversation. So I think what we need to pay attention to is making sure we have content that catalyzes, you know, business level issue led conversations with our customers. And let’s see if we can put a program together to make our salespeople comfortable, because this might be a new concept for some of them to really have sort of issue led conversations that avoid this sort of h2 pitch that I think we’ve probably seen in in very product centric companies. Right. What do you think about that?

Brian Lambert 48:36  

Yeah, I love that. And I think what’s triggering in my mind and full transparency, right, because I feel I feel like obviously, we’re partners in this and, and one of the things that I’m I think we’re gonna have to figure out here together is what kind of an approach to take, you know, there’s been a lot of initiatives that have just been implemented. And I think what we need to do is think about this from a programmatic piece. So maybe we need to whiteboard this out together and put it into a bit of a roadmap. So we can we can orchestrate this together. But I’m totally I’m tracking with you. And I think that would be our next step is, let’s figure out what the moving parts are. And then who might be involved and what that journey might look like. And maybe we you know, I heard this webinar from Scott Santucci, maybe we can call him and ask him what he thinks about it.

Bob Apollo 49:24  

On so I’m sure will be very reasonable in any field.

Brian Lambert 49:30  

And that guy, Brian Lambert, man, he’s good looking. No.

Bob Apollo 49:35  

But no, I used a couple of words there, which I think are absolutely critical to this. One of them is journey. These things aren’t journeys. They’re not one off programs. They’ve got to be implemented with a with a purpose and with a long term commitment. And the key word is orchestration, that any successful program like this requires that we pull together, talent and deployment And functions from across the company to put this into practice,

Brian Lambert 50:05  

and we have to work together to resist the urge to jump to the answer and silver bullets, some sort of tactical initiative that’s going to make the problem worse. You know,

Scott Santucci 50:14  

I think you’re hearing this, what we need to develop is some sort of guide. So what I was when I was listening to Bob and Brian, you talk, you brought up message brob use the word content. And in my experience, everybody’s gonna hop in. I already know how to do messaging, we already do it. We already have that content. And we’re not talking about the same things. No. The message that we’re talking about is the conversational guide. The knowledge the I’m a Sherpa to help guide you, Mr. Customer through a journey that I’m painting with you. It’s not a set journey and I I think the other thing is when we talk about content, immediately that’s going to get that tends to get interpreted as pieces that Bob can go put out instead of tools that he uses to engage clients with. So I think we have to work on some of this terminology. And that, you know, we have the English to English translation problem happening right in front of us. Its content means one thing to Bob and means something different to a lot of the people, Brian, that you’re orchestrating. How do we get everybody on the same page? Mm hmm.

Bob Apollo 51:35  

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And there’s a clear danger that we need to be. We need to be thoughtful in the language we use to describe this journey. Yes. And the component parts of successfully navigating the journey.

Scott Santucci 51:53  

And what’s interesting is there’s a sort of a weird balancing act because sales leaders tend to want to go fast. So they don’t want to my experiences they don’t want to. Oh, that’s just a wordsmithing or you’re being syntax or things like that. I think what they don’t realize it, but then what happened so like, for example, salesperson sales leader, just give us a wipe your thought leadership piece. What happens? Many people create different versions of thought leadership pieces, so they get six of them, and they’re all bad. 100% of them are bad.

Bob Apollo 52:32  

And they’re all probably thought followership rather than thought leadership. So

Scott Santucci 52:37  

now they’re all about the products and they don’t have the voice of the executive that you’re after, etc. And then what is the sales leader said, Well, this is all crap. And then now you have six people say Screw you, I did exactly what you told me to do. And that that repeating cycle happens over and over and over again. And this is part of that English to English translation problems. So you as the orchestrator after real lies that the woodwinds, and, you know, the trumpets. It’d be different, right? The woodwinds and the strings. They all see different notes, but they sound different. And I think your job is to say, How do I get this to sing in harmony?

Unknown Speaker 53:18  

Yep.

Brian Lambert 53:19  

You have great points. So with that, I love the conversation. Scott, the big thing for me would be we, we role played this out, we we outlined the outcome piece, right, that was immensely valuable. I really appreciate that discussion. And Bob, that was great to hear the color commentary about how this how this is, you know, embraced and internalized, but also how effective it can be, if done right. And there’s a lot of things that we need to watch out for. we’ve outlined the concept of orchestration, you know, from an audience perspective, what are some things that we can put in play to to build off of this one was that The idea of what’s the language? What do we mean by these things? What else can we do to put this into action?

Scott Santucci 54:10  

Well, I would I would take this into if you’ve listened to this. Step number one, let’s start and let’s sort of prescribe it, we should be able to come up with a norstar vision that we want our clients to go from based on the collection of products and services that we’ve got, we should be able to do that we should be able to organize an achieved end state for our customers, that’s very clear that we can get all behind and put a lot of work behind it. So that’s step number one that’s sort of a unifying thing, then we should be able to determine what kind of deal sizes we expect from from that and how long it will take. We should also be able to say hey, if that’s our vision, here are landing parts. You know, we don’t have to sell the entire vision we can monetize it, as we were talking about earlier. With the patterns, the next thing is that we have to recognize is that we have to have some skill training, different kind of skill training. And let’s make sure we’re talking about what training means. Particularly. I think. So we’re watching this video. Brian, when you were talking about training, I saw Bob flinch a little bit because the corporate type training that’s delivered onto salespeople, I don’t think is the training he’s talking about. I think what he’s talking about is the training required to learn how to engage in a bi directional conversation to co create value. Is that is that right, Bob?

Bob Apollo 55:44  

Completely. And I don’t have any doubts and organization’s ability to deliver product training, right? The key thing that I think differentiates organizations and individuals who are really establish value is just the quality of the conversation they’re having with the customer. And the fact that the, you know, they have resources they can draw on that give them credibility. Yep. And certainly an exhaustive knowledge of your product specifications is probably not going to give you that credibility.

Scott Santucci 56:20  

sort of roll that up to what we’re talking about here is we have to be able to carve out when we say the word training, just like we were talking about English English translation, what specifically is the type of training that’s the requirement? So we keep not doing the same kind of corporate carwash training that we’ve done before? Then I think the next point then is your role is okay, now that we know that we want our salespeople to be engaging in valuable conversations, what can I do to organize all of the information into that into a way a format that’s designed specifically for salespeople to use In front of those customers, and then the next track along the way is how are you going to manage all of the internal people who are going to resist that? Because they know for sure what salespeople need to do, even though they’ve never sold before. So it seems like there’s this this this common repeat repeatable pattern of all the things that we talked about. And that’s why you as a listener, need to be an orchestrator. Look at all the things that you have to do dot connecting for and all the things that you have to message out.

Brian Lambert 57:31  

Yeah, that’s right. And Bob, I think he missed one. I think, Scott, there’s some sort of juice squeezing up. Right, Bob?

Scott Santucci 57:41  

That’s right. That’s right. I’m insane. You’re not. That’s what that means.

Brian Lambert 57:50  

Well, with that, I appreciate it. And Bob, do you have any words of wisdom for orchestrators out there, I think that’s a great way to take us out here. You know, you’re a great partner and appreciate the roleplay what we’re doing Wisdom do you have for sales enablement, leaders inside companies that want to tackle this?

Bob Apollo 58:05  

Well, let me just say it almost think of the role of the conductor in an orchestra, you know, knowing when to bring in certain performers, knowing when to get them to increase the tempo, knowing when to when to pause. I mean, I think that those are really the such important skills. And I think the interpersonal skills that you can, you know, you can apply in influencing your colleagues are going to be really, really important to being a good orchestrator. And part of that is understanding where they’re coming from, and how you can help them to achieve things that are valuable to them. I mean, the same way as if I’m a salesperson, I’m working with a customer. I want to get around the customer community and get alignment and help them to see how we can help them I think the sales enablement role as an orchestrator is absolutely to get around the, the key internal stakeholders and help them to see what’s in it for the company by taking this sort of approach, what’s in it for the department and what’s in it for them.

Brian Lambert 59:18  

Yeah, that’s great. I appreciate that. Yeah. Thanks so much. And for all our listeners out there, drop Bob a line. He’s that inflection? inflection point right there. Right.

Bob Apollo 59:27  

Natural hyphen. point.com.

Brian Lambert 59:28  

That’s, yeah, thank you and hit him up on LinkedIn. And Bob, thanks so much for your time. As always, listeners, feel free also to reach out to us and engage at inside se calm. And check out the site where all the episodes are, we’re in our second season and all of the content we create is generated by you through your feedback and through your, your dialogue with us as we co create together. So keep that up nation and we’ll see on the next podcast. Thanks so much for your time.

Scott Santucci 1:00:01  

Thank you.

Outro 1:00:03  

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 at inside sp.com. You can also connect with him online by going to inside se.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request.


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