Ep52 Orchestrating Relevant Sales Conversations with Imogen McCourt and Doug Clower

Ep52 Orchestrating Relevant Sales Conversations with Imogen McCourt and Doug Clower

Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 52

What happens when you get people together remotely or in-person to build something to “help sales sell?”. Take an Insider’s look at what it takes to navigate internal perspectives, challenges, and vision to co-create value together.

Imogen and Doug join the guys to discuss their work. They provide real-world examples that illuminate and provide structure to the challenges they overcome while working with marketing, sales, and product groups. You’ll hear a lively discussion about what it means to orchestrate by blending together both strategy and tactics to simplify sales while achieving business objectives.

Take a listen to learn more about:

  • Why orchestration is valuable to executives
  • What orchestration “looks like” to the leaders involved
  • Ways to overcome internal bias and people who want to “steamroll” the solution
  • Overcoming siloed thinking by creating clarity through the work


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.

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 00:47  

Together, Brian and I have worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enablement, issues as analysts, consultants or practitioners. We’ve learned the hard way what works and maybe most Importantly, what doesn’t?

Brian Lambert 01:01  

That’s right Scott. And our focus is on you. The sales enablement orchestrator. As you know, as leaders in your business, you need to develop specific characteristics that we’ve been calling Orchestration, we want you to understand what it means to help clarify the measures of success. We want to give you examples, Orchestration looks like as you you operate in the gap between strategy and execution to do both at the same time. And we want to give you confidence to engage up down and across your organization to help with that and breathe life into this concept of Orchestration. We actually have two guests with us today, and they’ve been on the show before, but they’re also helping and they’re very passionately involved in clarifying the role of sales enablement, as orchestrating role and what it means to be an orchestrator. So we’ve got Imogen McCourt and Doug Clower joining us today. Hey guys, how you doing? Can you introduce yourself?

Unknown Speaker 01:54  

Certainly, Brian and Scott. Thanks for having us on again. I guess we didn’t do too badly Last time, so we get to come back and do a little bit more. Anyway, my name is Doug clower. I’m a, I’m a global enablement director and and I’m an orchestrator to I guess that’s the best way to describe it. I’m passionate about this. It makes so much sense. And it does give so much value to the companies that we work with. So thanks.

Unknown Speaker 02:19  

Yeah. And I’m imaging McCourt, and it’s lovely to be back, spending some more time with you chaps, I co founded an organization called and grow.io. And we focus on helping companies with the business of sales, helping the senior executive team understand exactly how they should be orchestrating things like that. So I’m really delighted to be part of this today, and also the other work that we’re doing at the side.

Brian Lambert 02:39  

That’s awesome. Yes, very excited to have you guys on and thank you so much for the time that you continue to invest in sales enablement and sharing with our listeners. And what we had is a bit of a shared experience this week, all all four of us. So me, Doug, image in and also Scott. He did a webinar this week, and he did the webinar on the concept of routes to value. And this was a great discussion you can find out more about it if you go to Commercial Ratio comm you can get the recordings and I definitely encourage everybody in insider nation to listen to that recording is a really important concept about linking your your company’s capabilities to your customers challenges and outcomes, and the role of salespeople and the selling ecosystem and closing that gap in a route to value. This particular podcast. What I wanted to do is really slow down and talk about the concept of orchestrating what seems to be a simple concept of, of helping salespeople connect the dots and, and sell to customers. And I wanted to ask you imagine, you know, how did the webinar relate to you and what takeaways Did you have from it?

Unknown Speaker 03:49  

Well, I mean, it’s a fantastic the whole series has been really powerful to listen and learn and be part of and, and the webinar yesterday, I’m going to have to pronounce it root value. I’m sorry, when you listen to the webinar, you’ll know that there’s English to English translation thing. I’m just, I’m sorry, I’m protecting the global political audience. But yeah, it was really interesting. I, you know, there’s such complexity in keeping focused on the strategic work that we need to do is orchestrators, but also understanding some of the practical and tactical things too. And so much of it resonated. But there’s one slide, which was a panoramic view of a workshop very, lots going on lots on the walls. And I’ll be honest, it was like, it was like flashbacks to a workshop that Brian and Scott You helped me design and run when I really just started as head of sales namens at Forrester.

So I don’t know how much you guys remember about that. But we were trying just to simply think about the new go to market strategy that they were they were pivoting around, and how what value that might mean to our clients, but actually, what we were trying to do and what we ended up Doing was just trying to get a pick list of priority for the sales enablement group for my small and immaculately formed team. And I’ll be honest, it escalated out of all control. So we started with a pick list of heads of department, head of marketing, things like that, to try and do this to try and get us all on the same page about how we work together. And then I think there was 30 plus people in the room, and all hell broke loose. And we were just trying to get everybody to come together around the story of why we had decided to move to this and what value it brought to the marketplace. And it was everybody had an opinion, everybody brought their agenda into the room. So you know, seeing this workshop sort of slide put out in front of me with all of these incredibly important and valuable things to do that it just took me straight back there, right. That’s the beginning of running sales name of departments. And I’ll be interested what you thought of that session and whether you have any memories from it.

Brian Lambert 05:55  

Yeah, well, I’m gonna ask, you know, Scott, actually to help our listeners out To make sure that our listeners Scott are aware a little bit around why workshop and kind of what was happening in the workshop that that slide generated from the webinar. Because it’s a it’s a panoramic his his image and said there’s a lot of things that happened in the room I was in the room and there was a lot of things like value map or stakeholders and, you know, here’s a space to think out loud, or here’s a different space to show some tools or progress. And there’s a lot of things on the wall. And but really, what was the purpose of the workshop? Scott and what why workshop and how does that relate to what imaging was talking about everybody coming together? Yeah. So

Scott Santucci 06:38  

let’s distinguish a few things. So Imogen talked about routes to value and her past experience with that, and it took her back to a time I don’t know maybe 810 years ago at Forrester. Yeah, yeah. Trying to get a whole bunch People together. So one of the one of the concepts that we had talked about earlier in this, in this webinar was the concept of Productitis. And I think what, we didn’t have that term 10 years ago, and again, but we were seeing absolute symptoms of Productitis. Individual marketers who just didn’t really care necessarily about the value proposition, but Okay, so what leads do we no need to go generate for who individual are it’s tough to come p&l groups, but different businesses, like Forrester had, at the time had a leadership conference counsel product, then there’s the general research product, then there’s the consulting group, and all we were trying to do is say, what’s the what’s the simple one value proposition that we give to each of these different customers, and to images point, everybody was showing up with their own ideas. I was I, you know, if I’m in consulting, I really don’t care what the research value proposition is, or the Leadership Council group sort of proposition is I care of making sure the consulting value propositions delivered. And so what is this balance? What is our actual business strategy so that the business strategy images was mentioning was a pivot to be role focused. So instead of having research around topics, the research and the delivery mechanism was going to be around individual roles.

So that’s a tough pivot and upon itself as well, so it’s a strategic pivot. So you have all of these different variables going on at the same time. So that was then. So kind of the Wayback Machine 10 years ago, what what Imogen was referring to is a slide, which is part of the process. So at the end of our Rouse devalue presentation, we talked about, hey, here are the problems and in the middle section we talked about, let’s illuminate What an outcome is from a customer’s point of view. Now the second part, then the third part then would be, what methodology Do you follow to put it all in action, because you can’t just have one group go and build a playbook or another group build a value map and another group do something else, because nothing’s going to tie it all together. So what we were doing is introducing a series of workshops or techniques that follow design thinking principles to get everybody together. So what when Brian was saying he was in the room, Brian was in the room of the picture that was described or the panoramic view image and says it way better than I do. And what we’re trying to eliminate here is let’s let’s plot out all of the different Verrier variables of why you people just, you know, go get people involved. So going back to the images point of view at the beginning, which was, Hey, this is simple. All we were trying to do is simply get Ba ba ba ba well Sales is simple but simple is hard. And I think that’s what we’re what we’re experiencing. We’re experiencing in this story, real life examples of Stratecution coming to life, real life examples of the need for Orchestration, what happens when you don’t have it? Things disintegrate into into utter chaos that’s unbelievably frustrating for everybody involved. And what’s the value moving forward? Because the situation that Forrester was trying to address is exactly the situation most companies are in today.

Brian Lambert 10:36  

Yeah, that’s great. And you’re mentioning and this is highlighting to to phenomenon I love you know, dog or image you need to chime in on this, but one is this phenomenon of, Hey, you know what, I talked to you perhaps individually, and everybody’s focused on customers and everybody wants to do the right thing. Yet, however, when you get in a room full of 30 other people what what is Turn into and what happens there? So there’s this phenomenon of individually doing it versus doing it in a group that that can happen. And then the second piece is, Scott, you said very specifically, well, you can’t have one person do a playbook you can’t have one person, maybe building a message. And then you know, I would add, you can’t have one person, you know, aligning it in the in the platform or of enablement platform or whatever. But yeah, that’s, that’s what that’s what people do. So of course, of course, they can do that, but you added the qualifier of, or else it won’t be integrated, and it won’t be integrated for sales. So those two phenomenon this idea of what happens individually versus a group and then the other phenomenon of how the work gets done where you parse it up out and you get it done you check it off versus integrating it from the for sales or the lifeblood of sales. What do you guys think of that? That’s what strikes My mind is what what the challenges of orchestration are and a picture like this? A dog or imaging Do you have any thoughts? on that,

Unknown Speaker 12:01  

I think what is so illustrative of that particular image or that picture, that panorama of it’s in there. It’s really about all the different elements or people that have a role or some sort of outcome that they’re chasing. And in most cases, everybody says, I have the customer in mind, but a lot of times they come with their own conceived agenda is like, the customer needs this feature, or the customer wants this executable or this guarantee, or they want this price or whatever it happens to be. And the idea is, you have to collectively bring those together and bring them into alignment. That’s one of the bigger challenges. I think, augmentation to this particular picture that that we’re referring to, for me was the outcomes slide. The one words it’s the building and there’s like six different outcomes and those outcomes you have to understand what level you’re talking to. So the idea of orchestration, it’s hard because you got to get get everybody to begin to understand what are we targeting? What is it we’re looking for? What is the customer expect? What’s the outcome we’re trying to get to, which I think was at the heart of the webcast. It was this beautiful discussion, it goes back to that, that one diagram, Scott, that you put together, where outcome was in the middle, and the six elements were around the outside. That was the power of that. And that’s where the the challenges and at least that’s the way it resonated for me. That’s, that’s one of the challenges I’ve, I’ve dealt with on a number of occasions.

Unknown Speaker 13:36  

And then if I may, I’m going to add to that to Doug, I think you’re actually right to bring it to the outcome piece as well. You know, we the last time we did our podcast, actually, we talked about how important their conversation the actual conversation between the salesperson and the client is and the value is added when you can discuss what great outcomes you can work with them, what they eat, what they can change towards them and why. But to me, I also think there’s this piece about walking riches, there are so many moving parts, you know, there are so many people who passionately care about, do we understand who the wallet owner is or where the budget holders are, and that will help our sales organization and, and then that suddenly internal again that suddenly about the company structure or how we company and sell to them. But what’s really hard is actually taking this, this idea of an outcome that we could deliver, and turning that into something that we can actually add value with and not complicate our clients lives. You know, the forester workshop, everybody came in, really believing that they had and having out the clients best interests in heart, but not fully understanding how you turn that translate that into something that can be sold. That is empathetic that drives and delivers value that can be understood in the marketplace. And I think that’s the really smart bit about Orchestration here is simplifying enough. Without dumbing down and providing enough of the environment and facilitation to make people look at each other and see how they can come collectively together to drive more value, not look at each other and think, well, they’re just going to take sales resource that I really should have because my products really powerful for our clients or, but now marketing are going to focus on something else. I want them to focus on something else. And I think the Orchestrator has to be both incredibly strong leader as Scott, you’ve said over and over again, but also this really powerful, quiet person who’s sitting behind the scenes making sure that everybody understands. And the bigger picture the whole that the outcome that Doug’s talking about, which is always client side is always client side outcome.

Brian Lambert 15:44  

Yeah, these are great. I mean, you’re outlining image and and this concept of many moving parts, and I think everybody would agree with that. So for example, if you have a room full of 30 people representing product and marketing and sales enablement and sales, and Maybe the Commercial Officer, they’re all in the room, they’re probably gonna say, you know what, there is a lot of moving parts here. There is a lot of individual perspective that we need to bring in. You know, everybody has a point of view on what’s worked before perhaps, or, you know, what, we all should have the same. And we probably all Do you have a definition of value. Is it the same? I don’t know. But we probably all think we know what’s valuable. And we probably all believe that we should be working together to figure this figure this out. That’s why we’re in the meeting. So this idea of, you know, we we’re going to be in an environment, and an environment is going to be created for us to to work together. And then yeah, somebody’s probably going to lead this and I’m going to participate. these are these are knowable things. And yet something happens in the room that might get in the way. And, you know, what is that? And then, you know, to your point image in this idea of how do you lead through that lead a group of people who are all smart that really do want to do the right thing, however, might Not necessarily see, the bigger, I don’t know, synthesis of the bigger components or the large components that need to come together in a customer conversation, right? Well,

Unknown Speaker 17:11  

at least in a case like that, don’t doesn’t that individual or that group, that department that silo whatever you want to call them? Don’t they sort of have their blinders on? They can’t see the bigger picture. They’re still focused on the on the customer, but they’re not necessarily saying, well, they’re focused on the customer too. So how can I work with them to deliver a more powerful outcome for the customer from us as the company? That’s, that’s one of the key things. It’s it’s a blinder syndrome. And, and I’ve seen that before imaging, you seen that analogy? Does that make sense to you?

Unknown Speaker 17:48  

Yeah, absolutely. It’s like and the harder it gets, the more entrenched people get, the more they focus on what they know. They’re good at what they know they’re particularly gold at rather than having the opportunity to raise their heads and go okay. The, you know, my marketing department is about driving brand awareness and ultimately creating profitable growth for our organization because the sellers on cold calling their warm calling, everybody knows who we are, etc, being very white washing with all of the amazing things that marketing can do. And this self naming team is almost there to say, yes, but chunk up, right, let’s think about in a coaching manner. Let’s, let’s show you a better way. Because if I tell you a better way, it’s going to look really hard. And you’re just going to put your heads back down and get on with delivering what you’re doing and creating the content we’re doing. But if we can show you the better way to do this, can we then all agree on something and buy into that? And they’re really hard things to do when you have 30 4050, loud, bright, brilliant voices, all teams, always corporate level goals to deliver on to say way, step back a moment because client success and client outcomes and how all of us are going to achieve what we’re trying to do for this company. Yeah, yeah. It’s really tough. And it’s, it’s hard.

Scott Santucci 19:02  

Yeah, let me get Let me take a step back here and put some structure for our audience. So one of the things that we’re referring a lot to so Doug referred to a outcome chart, please feel free, we’re going to have it on the inside sales inside sec website, you can download the whole, you know, the deck and the and the presentation. But let’s just talk about let’s take a step back and something that we all can relate to would be image and story that she mentioned at the beginning. Let’s look at it let’s look at complexity and confront complexity because frankly, that’s what we’re addressing. And our brains are designed to where we don’t want to confront complexity. And complexity really only has two pieces of it right, two big buckets. There’s the number of moving parts, and then the connections of those moving parts. And the first thing that you need to be able to do is to organize all of the moving parts, so people can see what we’re asking our salespeople or customers to absorb. Because if you don’t do that, people are going to show up and think, Hey, I’m only producing five documents, I’m only asking salespeople to do five documents are asked five questions off of my five documents. How can this be so hard? Are they that stupid that they can’t take five documents, but what they don’t see is that there are many people all producing five documents. And some of the people in the room are incented every quarter by how many documents they create. So just in the number of parts, there is an exponential factor that involves with each person in the room, they’re contributing more of the parts.

The other thing that we’re not factoring into is how many people our salespeople are engaging with either which is another part. So these are taking inventory. Of all the parts and helping everybody to recognize that then you can actually get people to empathize with the number of permutations of all this different stuff. You’re talking about just managing information in the billions of piece parts, which is impossible for any human to digest. Then the second thing that you have to worry about are the connections. And this is why I like the word conversation or the design point of conversation. It’s piggybacking on something image in said before, at a individual moment in time, what’s your best path of connecting the dots with an executive? Is it through a conversation with a lot of renewed relatability? Or a very prescriptive prescribed sales playbook? What do you think is good? What do you think the reality is going to be in real life? It’s going to be a conversation. So not only do we have to distill all this information, but we have to make sure that our salespeople have the right techniques and the confidence to engage with those executives to make it relatable because they’re going to relate To pictures, some are going to relate to numbers. Some are going to relate to just stories, because they’re human beings and human beings respond to information differently. There is not one silver bullet. And that’s the power of conversation. And we all know how to have them. We just tend to think what we have to do is stuff more stuff down sales people’s throats. And I think that these are the these are the variables that I think we as a sales enablement, leaders need to do a better job of communicating to our executives, how difficult it is to drive execution. What are you, Doug, what are your thoughts or reactions to that? I tried to organize the piece parts,

Unknown Speaker 22:39  

I think, I think spot on, I think, and I’ve had a lot of conversations with different people about what you just referred to the seller burden is, you know, I’ve got one group that says yeah, I’ve just got these five documents, so well, that might be marketing. Then you’ve got the, the pre sales consultative side of things where they say I’ve got this stuff and before You know, there’s 60 things that they have to look through to figure out how to distill this. But how is that organized? First of all, are all 60 necessary and sangoma? How do I organize them to have a conversation with the director of it versus the chief financial officer or whatever it happens to be? And so the idea of how do we lighten that burden is really important. I thought one of the quotes you had was really spot on it said, Wow, we’ve spent as a CIO, we’ve spent all this money. We spend more on training and and learning and stuff. And that’s not that’s just on training, learning not out of the office. I went through the same exercise at one point with an organization and looked at the burden of time a stellar had to do organizational type of things, including learning and development, if you want to call it that. And it seemed like 16 hours of a week they were spent doing things That we’re not selling related. They were they were reporting related or compliance related but not selling related. And we have to be careful of that too. So being very, very discriminant, about the kind of material and what it should look like, given the conversation, or the the outcome we’re trying to accomplish, is really important and powerful. That was, that was a really good part of the webcast the other day as well.

Unknown Speaker 24:29  

And if I may, I think what’s been fascinating to me is that not only is this absolutely true, but in the sales, you know, how do I wade through two and a half thousand documents for 170 products to decide what’s appropriate? It’s also, you know, where is my actual client in their buying cycle? So what do they need from me? And also, where are they in the organization because, as we said, as you guys said in the webinar, but it’s, you know, I hope more commonly understood the buying committee now and they’re not all executives. A lot of them are but there are influences and there are people who are going to have to live with this product or service or whatever it is, that are part of saying, Hey, this is going to work or not right, we can make this work or we can try and make it awkward as possible. So the salespeople are navigating away from products to solutions and best case outcomes. And they’re also saying, okay, so today, it’s the C suite, we need to be talking about EBIT da and market share and share price tomorrow with a BP head of department. So I need to be talking about, you know, measurable revenue outcomes or margins. And you know, the next day, I’m talking to the user team, so they’ll need to know actually predict a function and how many they’re going to get and how often they’re going to get it that’s, that’s

Scott Santucci 25:39  

while you have to manage the energy of everybody. Because change resistance is massive. Every group wants the environment to be different, but each individual group doesn’t want to change. They basically say, if everybody were else to do what we do, the entire company would be better. And you can just sort of imagine each different department going Screw you. What about, why don’t you just adopt what we do, instead of compromising and giving some ground and coming up with something new. That’s not inherent of how we’re set up and what happens. But ultimately, that’s what’s required in order to, in order to create a new approach that, you know, that can work. So

Unknown Speaker 26:28  

well, however, if your organization is, and we all like to think that we’ve got fantastically agile organizations nowadays, you’re still selling change, change is hard, and it will be disruption along that way. So this outcome that you’re selling and building the vision of and everybody buying into, there are still people from the executive three all the way down to you know, the it boards who are making this happen, who are like, God, this is going to be painful. And really do I have to let go of all of that, and the answer is yes, because a clever sales team in this case almost certainly has worked for the clever buying team. To create the true future vision, there’s something better, something more valuable. And that goes all the way back to how on earth you orchestrate that vision and value. And all the stakeholders and all the impact statements and all of those tactical clever pieces as well, without overwhelming anybody, let alone the people trying to do it.

Scott Santucci 27:17  

Yeah, so one of the things that’s really resonating here with me is in prior podcasts, and one of the things that we try to keep highlighting on inside sales enablement comm with with insider nation is this idea of how do we focus on uncovering your unconscious competence? Mm hmm. And one of the things that I found really fascinating The last time we had dug an image and on was Doug’s background, his training as an architect. So a lot of the kinds of structures and processes about designing a layout, you know, the organization, you know, what needs to be organized and the like, probably fit right into Doug’s wheelhouse. We have To find a way to get Doug’s expertise out, but what your respect not but because that negates that what you’re saying, image and resonates with your background being anthropology, which, as far as I understand, it’s sort of the evolution of, of people and sort of how humanity works. And if we think about that, human beings have always had to change from, you know, being hunters and farmers to suddenly now we’re in cities growing corn. That’s a change from being agrarian to industrial revolution that’s changed. All the while our brains are pretty much the same. You know, our brains have evolved in the last, you know, 2000 years that much, but our society and our civilization civilizations have evolved, and that that core humaneness and how things happen in a group are all things that I get It just is just natural that you get a you know, impassioned by that. And I think if we could start blending, and I’m sort of signaling here to me image in your, what needs to be managed and and how we structure that stuff. How do we take images chocolate, of the what needs to be managed and Doug’s peanut butter? What needs to be organized? And how do we blend them together? Because that’s orchestration? What How do you guys react to that?

Unknown Speaker 29:29  

I think that’s really one of the important elements of being an orchestrator is understanding where the pieces of orchestration exist and blending them together. And, and to be quite honest, also developing your own competency in all of those areas. So where Imogen is strong, I learned from her about ways of viewing things and saying it and maybe she learned some things from me and therefore Both of us as orchestrators get stronger and better. But it’s recognizing that here’s where our competence is, or unconscious competence and then developing the other ones, because we have to see the big picture and be able to work together and reach out and go, that person is really good at this. It’s, it goes back to, I’m going to go back to Mission Control now and the initiation of the space race and everything. When these people started coming to john F. Kennedy, and he said, You raise a good issue, there’s a problem there. So I’m going to put you in charge of it. And somebody else comes in and says, we’ve got a problem here. Well, it sounds like you’ve got a really good handle on that. I’m gonna put you in charge of that. So the idea is, the orchestrator in that case was JFK. And he was able to identify those people that had passion in that space, pull them together, and execute toward the mission to put somebody on the moon in 1969.

Brian Lambert 30:54  

So this is interesting, right because these are tactical and strategic. The issues that come together in this concept of orchestration, right? And to us orchestration is it’s it’s one, it’s real. And two, it’s valuable and needed because it helps connect these dots fill in these gaps, these gray areas, and having these kinds of conversations gets us to questions like, well, who determines what value is or who determines what good looks like? Or, you know, what’s the best approach for salespeople? And really, no one, no one person owns that answer. And the answer is found among and between people who have different perspectives. So that’s, that’s why, you know, I see a lot of focus, I believe, that’s why I see a lot of focus on things like collaboration and creativity and design thinking, etc. But the business value and the business impact of that is never talked about. It’s just a given, you know, hey, you should get everybody together. Well, we’re talking about in this podcast, we get everybody together and then to use images where all hell breaks loose.

Unknown Speaker 32:01  

I just want to respond to Doug’s comments as well. Because a I do learn every time we get the chance to speak either almost publicly like this or privately and the other work that we’re doing together, but actually, you know, the human being looks for stories and patterns and structure. And I think that what we’re trying to do here is provide something for things to hand off so that it can be remembered and called upon and be present in the moment with the for the sales people because, you know, ultimately, those ideas, it shouldn’t be owned by one person the orchestration is about we’re all bigger than two plus two people five, you know, we’re bigger than the individual moving parts. So, you know, I think that there’s something really important about how we support each other, but also how we try and keep clarity about what it is we’re working on what we can manage what’s on the green, and how we can really push the envelope on this. Think about this idea is not ours, but it’s something we can actually make better It possibly is because we come together to think about it with everybody who participates in it or delivering it or writing it.

Brian Lambert 33:06  

And if you think about it, I may ask, you know, the anthropologist here, you know, are our people taught these things? Are we brought up in a way that brings 30 people together to work on something and understand the perspectives of people? Is what people are taught? Are they equipped to have these kinds of interactions and really experiences where the answer is found among people? Or is there something else going on? That we’re wrestling with here with how people are trained, certified, etc? What do you think?

Unknown Speaker 33:43  

Um, so I must just say that I did do anthropology but I also did archaeology. So to set myself up as a you know, the trained and perfect topologist would be deeply unfair, but I would say that we are we are tribal groups. Right monkeys tends to come together as groups. And you know, we work best when we are supporting each other and playing our own strengths within that collective hole. So we can talk about societal constructs and all sorts of things. But, you know, I hope it’s not a sad fallacy to truly believe that we do work as a pack that we think about the greater good, and that we want the best for ourselves, whether that’s economically or whatever, you’re motivated by right happiness, and intellectual stimulation, etc. We’re moving way off topic here. But I think the point is that to orchestrate is very natural for those who are naturally orchestrators. And we can talk about the competencies, we can talk about the skills and the behaviors of an orchestrator. But they’re also incredibly valuable parts of this problem, if you like, which is the people who do get stuff done, who are tactical and detail orientated and make this happen in a way that really brings it to life. You know, there No innovation without actually getting stuff done without the tactics too. And so I think there’s many, many important roles in driving forward the sales enablement, enablement agenda, which in turn drives the profitable growth agenda. And I think the constructs and the processes and the patterns and the stories allow that to be repeatable and shared and sustainable as well.

Brian Lambert 35:24  

Yeah, great points. So let me ask you guys, right, so we’ve got this picture. We painted this picture, I believe, and, you know, it’s in a, for those that are following along. You know, it’s a big panoramic picture. We’ve got things circled on the walls, we’ve got this idea coming in from the top that we have to organize specific items such as, you know, who are the wallet owners, what’s the value map? Who are the stakeholders that salespeople need to navigate to? So these things need to be organized on behalf of ourselves? dollars that we’re supporting. And then from an experience perspective in to have the room work coming in from the bottom are things like how do people know they’re making progress? Who are the teams that are going to work on what and what types of tools do they need to make to make an actionable impact? And then what are some principles that people need to follow activities or exercises? What does it mean to be engaged, right? How do you create this environment where people can work together to synthesize and create something new together? Right. So that’s the picture that we’ve been talking about. And hopefully, hopefully, you can see that in your mind’s eye. And what I’d love to do is say, Okay, look, you know, Doug, it looks like there’s a lot of design that goes into something like this. What do you suggest? orchestrators focus on perhaps before meeting like this and then you know, image and maybe what what do you think? should happen in and what should it feel like? And what should what should what should happen in a room like this let’s look at before the the activity happens or the experience is created, and then after or during that, how do we facilitate that experience? What tips would you guys have?

Unknown Speaker 37:17  

Well, right up front, I think what you have to do is you have to clearly understand what it is you’re you’re chasing, you have to set an objective and you have to prepare everybody ahead of time that’s invited to something like this is to what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s set that outcome and you have to reiterate that a lot throughout the whole thing. But the next thing is you need to begin to break down, especially the way it’s well illustrated on this particular slide. The key elements that everybody agrees are the right things to be focused on. Because in different cases, it might be a little different, but not substantially but then you get a chance chance when you initially start to say, Is there something missing and some to that. And so, you know, if what you’re trying to do is figure out how you’re going to enter a new market space, you have to say, Well, what does that market space look like? And what our customers have to do with that particular space? Why would they be interested in our entry into that? Or our as Scott would say, Are we just buying revenue for the company kind of thing? So there’s a couple of different factors, you know, how do we enter into that particular space? Who would be the stakeholders we talked to who has a an element to play in this? Is it? Is this all just a product player? Is this something consulting needs to do? Do we have partners that we need to work with? So it’s really about articulating the key elements of what that outcome would look like? Not what the elements are themselves, in other words, the description but what is it we have to include in this and talk about that right at the very end Getting. So that setup is important to get the right people there. And to make sure that we have the right stakeholders, internal stakeholders, so that this kind of a meeting is, is productive, and that we achieve what we’re expecting to do on the on the backside of this. And we have something actionable to work toward.

Unknown Speaker 39:20  

And yet and so to pick up on that I can’t emphasize enough how right Doug is about this ahead of time. So I really feel like our point, our purposes, orchestrators or facilitators in this sort of workshop is to make sure people feel set up for success. They know why they’re in the room, as Doug says, there’s an understanding of the common purpose, what we’re trying to achieve as a group collectively, and what that means for them. Very practically, practically, and we all know how to design great workshops, but you know, with a common purpose piece, I also think we need to set the scene for respectful listening, so everybody will have a voice everybody will be heard. But let’s listen without thinking about the next step that we’re going for. People need to understand why they are there, what we’re expecting of them there then enroll in them personally. And I also, in my experience, if this is a big if it’s gonna do some really good, big thinking with a lot of outputs, so we talked about value maps and impact statements, and stakeholder maps, and so on. And so there’s a lot of outputs there. Sometimes it’s really helpful to have an understanding about who’s going to run with it. This people will sometimes feel very passionate with something that they’ve come up with and they want to own it, that’s fantastic. But they should have somebody from sales enablement to work with them to make sure it doesn’t splinter off into one way or another way. But I also think it’s very helpful to have some people there who upfront say, we’re going to come up with some great things. This is the team of people who are going to go ahead and continue to work on that. We’re going to push that further. And if you want to volunteer to be part of that brilliant, if you don’t, because we’re all super busy, that’s fine too, because these people will report back and keep it moving and you’ll be called in because we all want to be accountable. impulse to move forward. So that’s just some, some very practical things to back up what Doug was saying about, get some common purpose real understanding what they’re there and that ahead of time about with reading, if you need to give them prework let them understand what they’re doing. And I like to speak to people as well as we possibly can. And that I think, Doug, you advocating that too?

Unknown Speaker 41:18  

Yeah, absolutely. But, you know, I think I’d like to touch on the one thing you talked about, it’s the the post meeting the post. outcome of workshop like this is somebody who is in charge and sort of keeps the music going. If we talk about a Maestro or an orchestrator at this particular point, somebody who keeps the music going, because I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in meetings with 1012 1520 people and we’ve got these great plans and this and that and everything else, but nobody walked away with, okay, you have responsibility for putting this on a drip schedule for checking And with everybody to make sure things are progressing to building some of the timelines or executing against the timeline we’ve already set. So it’s it’s this nebulous, undefined leadership. And that’s where I think one of the things Scott talks about a lot is you got to have that strong leader somewhere, they don’t have to be somebody who just, you know, whacks you in the back of the head with a two by four. But at the same time, there’s somebody that keeps you moving forward, or keeps you accountable, because that’s the most important thing you have to be as an orchestrator. You have to be self motivated. You have to be a self starter, you just have to get through it. And one of the things with large teams like this is you’ll end up seeing this dissolving fabric over time and the further away from the meeting, the more dissolved the fabric becomes.

Unknown Speaker 42:52  

I think I love Doug, the accountability piece, it’s about accountability and ownership. You know, they really feel ownership of what they’ve come up with and they Want to keep it going. But we’ve also had, I know, we’ve all experienced these situations where we’ve walked out incredibly passionate, definitely driven to start motivating, or working with our team to start doing stuff. And then you get back to your task and just go, Oh, God, okay, well, it’s fine. I can do it on Monday, and then that becomes Tuesday. Whereas, you know, there are people who are genuinely there right from the beginning of the workshop to be co owners or even be able to pick up and do some of the grunt work. So it does happen, it does manifest, because you can’t get that level of senior executive into a room and then get them awesome to come back into the room again, to do the same amount of work and thinking and challenging their own concepts. If they don’t see great outcomes from it, and they can’t, if they can’t see how it’s going to change over time and improve how a company can hit its numbers, how salespeople and the clients can be successful together.

Brian Lambert 43:52  

Yeah, one of these things that’s valuable about an experience like this, which I I have seen accomplished, virtual By the way, too, so I know we’re using a picture and it’s it’s in a, it’s in a room. And I know we’re in a virtual setting now with COVID. But this can happen virtually as well. The The interesting thing about it is this idea of how do you help salespeople have the conversations that they need to have, right? That’s really the design point here. And part of the environment that’s created is, well, what needs to be organized in the salespersons mind, you know, to have those conversations? And then how do we manage this idea of working together? These are activities, actions and skills, really built on the idea of group synthesis, of bringing together shared perspective as a as a way to create momentum but really, to the focus and the use of people’s brains, if you will, right. Everybody’s personal computer between their ears. What do we want them to work on? It’s the idea of how do you synthesize across these things? Let’s understand whose salespeople need to talk to you what altitude level, let’s wrestle with the concept of how do we get to a simple value proposition. And let’s get to the concept of who the wallet owners really are, and what the impact statements might be for those specific wallet owners. And this is much more specific than the idea of a persona, or the idea of a buyer journey. Those things are so generic that salespeople find them not. not useful at all. So the idea of how do you have a conversation with the specific roles that have a specific remit took to achieve a specific outcome when they’re faced with specific challenges? Right, and how do you help salespeople navigate those, that’s the synthesis that’s happening at a group level.

So the idea of the group coming together is to not say okay, you know, this is the, the, the flip side of where I’ve seen these types of environments. You know, there’s two patterns, okay. We’re getting 30 people together to train them all. The answers to all this stuff. That’s not what’s happening here. The second one is we’re getting everybody together to delegate the work and turn them all loose to go build a bunch of random stuff from a project management perspective. That’s where I’ve also seen 30 group 3d people come together. So the 30 people pattern of let’s train everybody in the 30 people pattern of let’s delegate the work and everybody go work on it. That is so the opposite of this idea of let’s get 30 people and use your brainpower to help salespeople have a conversation that synthesizes this against the context of a COVID environment, and the environment of COVID. Plus the fact that we’re now selling a platform, for example, and nobody knows what platform is. These are really specific challenges. That Orchestration needs to attack and address and solve. And by not just what a platform it is, but what the outcome of using this platform other than somebody else’s they value that can deliver and how they would measure it and how we would show that value and To be involved in embedding it and making sure that the change process and reading it plays well to because, yeah, we talked about this room as if it’s a physical room, it’s a virtual room. So it’s a coming together a meeting of minds the synthesis of brilliant ideas. But still, we have to keep the client advocate there, right? Just keep going on about it. But what is the outcome we can achieve by bringing these sets of suite of products together versus that suite of products and services together? And can we reduce costs to sell and drive more margin? Oh, and also drive an outcome? You know, it make it fun to and somebody starts talking be like, Hey, you know, I think that’s, I think you’ve got the Productitis bug. That’s all Productitis related, right? Because there is so much internal inertia and muscle memory around our products that, you know, having an environment where people can police each other on that and saying, you know, what, I don’t think the customer is going to care about release, you know, five dot seven dot one, I really don’t write.

So that’s a great point in So, you know, dog, what comes to mind here is there’s this idea that we keep that image is brought up, which is, you know, what is value in the first place. And oftentimes that’s not discussed. It’s just a given, or it’s assumed what value is. And then the second thing is what is valuable. So what is value? And what is valuable? And the idea of what is valuable is what’s valuable for whom? In this case, what’s valuable for customers in a customer conversation, not what’s valuable for product or not what’s valuable for training, right? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 48:33  

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the value in this is we really need to get our all of our customers off this older platform to this new world because the new architecture just gives us so much future capability or ability to sell more stuff. Well, that’s a selfish objective. That’s not something the customer cares about. If you want to really tell the value story, you tell the value story and terms of customer in the future you’ll want to be able to do this, this and this by doing these things now you begin to set yourself up to be able to do so. Not just that I have dated to the latest version of something. And unfortunately we were so driven back to the product this is that that thing that I can’t remember exactly where it was discussed. Maybe it was on a LinkedIn post that that Scott posted it said something to the effect of markets don’t buy products. So go to market strategy is about products and go to customer strategy is about problems, I guess is the way I described it, but I I thought about it since then I said go to market strategy is about envisioning something. So go to customer is about envisioning something not not about go to market because markets don’t buy products

Unknown Speaker 49:54  

customers do. Check it. I am I’ve done a really nice exercise with my last team. When we sat down and said, Okay, okay, so sell sales enablement to our CEO and CFO now sell it to the head of sales now said it to the, to the head of marketing department now sell it to a salesperson, Id person. And they have to think about the fact that actually our CFO, particularly in the PBX environment that we were in, mainly had to stay focused on EBIT, da so therefore we have to couch every conversation within an EBIT, da ratio, impact, and then you chunk it down and tuck it down and you get to revenue and margin and cost of sale and exposure and accountability, etc, and adoption and so on. But it’s a really interesting, excellent for sales enablement people to do I think, to actually think about that, how would you talk about yourself one thing that you know, deeply and believe in deeply and how do you position that for people? You know, there was a practical outcome of what could you do for even walk into a virtual room to think about the output to help sellers. Just do it, just have a game

Unknown Speaker 51:00  


Unknown Speaker 51:02  

that’s such a good exercise too. I mean, think about this any any software company, somebody’s selling software or hardware for that matter, go sell what’s your own internal IT department and see see how it goes or the CFO who has to invest in, ask them what they think about it. That’s such a compelling exercise, because you can get that done. Now you started answering a lot of questions. When you start getting in front of a customer go, Oh, yeah, I know what they really care about. So

Unknown Speaker 51:30  

yeah, and you know, what we used to get some of the people at Forrester just phone up the heads of departments to try and sell stuff as part of their onboarding. And, you know, the key thing for me was to say to them, Look, you’ve got me this is fantastic, but I genuinely have to go and have a meeting about tech investment meeting about a new sales methodology investment and you know, when about for other things that were not in direct competition with what they were selling me, research, insights, etc. But we’re all on my sort of headspace agenda for that week, about whether I put my budget, what can have the most impact? So, yeah, doing it internally is a really safe way to try out things and see just what it means.

Brian Lambert 52:09  

Yeah, absolutely. And I like this idea of trying to communicate the value, communicate what is valuable. And then also these techniques that you guys are sharing with regard to how do you get really, you know, 30 really smart people or 20, smart people who all have their individual perspective, working together. I used to think it was as simple as saying, well, let’s just focus on the customer. But that’s really was selling selling the whole challenge short, it’s everybody already believes they’re focused on the customer, and everybody is passionate about their impact to the customer. And so the idea of, Hey, you know, it really, we really need to work together. Everybody says, Well, no kidding. Hey, we really need to focus on the customer. Yeah, well, no kidding. I already do that. Hey, we really need to focus on value. Yep, no key I already do that, hey, we need to focus on what’s valuable. Yep, no kidding. I already do that. I already do that. I already do that. Well, what about everybody else? Nope. They’re doing it all wrong. You know. So that’s, that’s the phenomenon here. And that’s the challenge. And you can’t go in with a heavy handed approach to say, Look, you’re wrong, you’re wrong. I’m right. I’m enablement. I’m here to help. I’ve got all the answers I have a better way. It’s like this idea of you have to help people experience the outcome together, so that they can come up with their own learnings, internalize those learnings and act on them. Which means you have to create the environment you have to create an experience where they can wrestle with these things together. And you facilitate that almost as a either a facilitator of the experience, pursuing the outcome or you’re along, to really pre create the environment for that to happen.

But at some point people will need to wrestle with the fact that and I’ve used these before one, what they thought they knew. You know, it ain’t just ain’t so it’s like what Scott talked about with the Mark Twain quote, it ain’t what we know that’s going to get us in trouble. It’s what we know for sure. That just ain’t so. That’s the Mark Twain, quote, that statement is why orchestration is really valuable. Because there are so many people that have built so much of their career on doing so much in their silo, that they’re that hard wiring of that silo really has to be softened and work, you know, unleashed in a new way, the skills are going to be valuable, the brainpower of the people is hyper valuable. The idea of perspective is hyper valuable, it just has to be used in a bit of a different way. And that that way is, you know, among and working together, and that means you have to be able to articulate it to imagens point you have to be able to communicate to Doug’s point You’re gonna have to be able to be a strong leader and say I disagree with what you’re saying, Here’s why these types of skills are not easy to come by today’s mark, really business environment, because it’s been trained out of so many people to not to not debate, to not share perspective to isolate, to focus on what they can control, for example, to get their own results done. These are the these are the things that orchestration seeks to address in the gap between strategy and execution at the same time, bringing strategy and execution together. It’s both ad strategy and execution together to be successful. So on behalf of Scott and I want to thank Doug and Imogen for joining the podcast today is super valuable insights. I love the stories I love the examples. I feel like today we breathe some life into the challenges of orchestration and what it means to be an orchestrator and we’ve given our audience some attributes of what to think about what to do, as we looked at just really facilitating one meeting of many here to an outcome. So thank you so much, Doug and imaging for your time as always, and insider nation. Thank you for all your feedback. Keep it coming. Check out the latest podcast inside se calm. Also check out local straight sales comm if you want a sneak peek at what’s going on. I will talk to you guys later. Thanks so much for joining us.

Outro 56:29  

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 them online by going to inside se.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request.

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