Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 55
Our focus is on you a sales enablement leader and orchestrator. In your role, you’ve got to be mission and goal-focused to drive results by design, not effort, unlocking energy, and creating momentum and catalyzing change through collaboration. In this episode, the guys are talking about utilizing social media to gather information and insight. Not with the purpose of amplifying what’s already known, but rather, for the purpose of understanding different perspectives. A key concept of Orchestration.’
In this episode, we’re joined by Greg Smith, a long-time listener. He joins the show to talk about one of his most recent posts on “SDR bashing” and what happened when he posted, what he learned, and why the subsequent discussions were valuable.
That’s really what we want to talk about here is we have a great opportunity for an awesome topic that requires a good healthy exchange and conversation. When we think about digital, why are we treating it as a separate medium? Why are people using it to share information, instead of understanding different points of view?
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 00:33
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, I’ve 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 what’s more importantly, what doesn’t
Brian Lambert 01:00
And our focus is on you the sales enablement leader and orchestrator, as you know, you’ve got to be mission and goal focused to drive results by design, not effort, unlocking energy and creating momentum and catalyzing change through collaboration. Those are just some of the attributes of being a great orchestrator. And as we continue to advance through COVID-19, we’re having to do that a lot more digitally. It’s a digital driven need for orchestrators. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today, the idea of digital environments and leveraging them to help us orchestrate success. And Scott, why don’t you kick us off with the story and introduce our guest?
Scott Santucci 01:42
Thanks, Brian. And we’re not going to go back very far in history, because how far back in history can we go when we talk about digital environments, but we’re going to do is maybe it’s more of an anecdote. So in 2017, I started the sales enablement society. One of the things that was really interesting about that is it was all run on my cell phone and through LinkedIn. So the ways of engaging what I learned about how people engage, what the techniques are, etc, if you just sort of look at LinkedIn as a big collection, sort of like a conference, or you know, you go to a basketball game, and you want to talk to people in the stands, if you look at it that way, then use the rules of how you engage others. And that’s really what we want to talk about here is we have a great opportunity for a awesome topic that requires a good healthy exchange and conversation. But I think one of the things is when we think about digital, why are we treating it as a separate medium? Why don’t we look at it as just yet another way that we can have conversations with people. So that’s our centering story.
Brian Lambert 02:54
So, so what so so what does that have to Do the sales enablement.
Scott Santucci 03:01
what it has to do with being an Orchestrator sales enablement and thriving in this, in this rapidly changing world is to find the sources of insight. The idea of taking quote unquote best practices and rolling out inside your company is almost silly right now. And this is why conversations are more important. And I think one of the things that’s really fascinating is when you look at somebody posting something, or even somebody who’s done a presentation, or a keynote presentation or like a webinar, there’s always stuff to learn after the fact. And that’s really what we want to do here is we’ve got Greg Smith joining us. And actually, what we’ve what we’ve got is a we’re really picking up a conversation on LinkedIn, Brian, once you once you frame that out a little bit of knowledge, and then I’ll introduce Greg more specifically.
Brian Lambert 03:56
Yeah, that’s great. So you guys were having a conversation and Greg started it and the title of his post was something like bashing SDRs is cheapening, LinkedIn and your own brand. And then he goes through and says, here’s what I’m saying, here’s what I’m seeing and basically wraps up the post with, hey, hashtag COVID coaching. We’re all we’re all new at one point, let’s have some empathy for those starting out during tough times. And then, you know, my favorite part was the last line he had, which is SDRs need coaching, not humiliating. And I thought that was great. And this this was early on in the in the back and forth and Scott chimed in and said, hey, I’ve tried to do what you suggest. And basically, he gets many scathing curse word laden diatribes about what, uh, what a jerk. He is, and this is literally, you know, publicly in on LinkedIn. And so that now, here we are, I think about two weeks later in that and Greg has about 33,000 views on it and many, many likes and shares. So in that discussion, we said, hey, let’s carry this forward over to the podcast. And to your point, Scott, this is a a medium in which a conversation is happening. What we want to do is use this as a bit of a case study for how to engage, how to enroll different perspectives. And then also, what’s the value add here, because as many would agree, arguing back and forth adds little value. However, when you look at what’s happening here on this post, there’s something valuable going on and what is it so we’re gonna bring in Greg, on this. And Greg, thanks so much for joining us here on the show. And also, you know, thanks for being transparent and just putting that out there. I would love for you to just share your background and and then why did you post what you did? And then what was your What was your angle on posting that?
Unknown Speaker 05:53
Yeah, thanks for thanks for the intro. And thanks for having me today. It’s good to join with you both. So my current role is Is to head up digital offerings for sales performance improvement company in partner based here in London with a well known virtual presence all around the world. Whereas we’ve had offices in the past. I’ve spent my whole career kind of why started out as an SDR at IBM. And I think that’s kind of where the origin is my feelings game for that particular post. But since then, I’ve very much been at the intersection of sales, training and sales technology. And so for whatever reason, and that’s just become Yeah, my forte, and I don’t know, I think, you know, having worked from home all year and probably spent more time on LinkedIn because of that. And you know, a lot of people having a rough time, I just kept seeing people kind of just bashing on young salespeople or sharing screenshots of what they deemed to be a poor prospecting attempt and, and sharing that around. I just thought that that’s really not helping, like right now. More than ever, I think people just need to kind of put all their ego and pride aside and just kind of help each other and get on with the job. Because, you know, we’re kind of all in this together, I see our GDP in our recovery as sort of a joint quota for us all to be trying to attain, and I think we’d be better served helping each other.
Brian Lambert 07:17
Yeah, that’s great. Greg, and I, you know, let’s not forget that there’s actually buyers and potential prospects on LinkedIn, as well. So when the when the the sales community starts turning on its own and eating their young, so to speak, what does that say for the profession as a whole? Because, you know, LinkedIn is a huge platform. I mean, I’m not everybody knows that, I believe, right? If you do, so. This is an interesting, so you didn’t, he didn’t come back and call people out with your own screenshots. What was the angle on your post? You know, you’re talking a little bit about something a little bit more aspirational or maybe just your point of view and you put it out there. Tell us a little about that. And then what happened?
Unknown Speaker 07:59
You Yes, it was. I mean first, firstly, disclaimer, I don’t purport to be some sort of expert on on these things. I just know what
Brian Lambert 08:07
isn’t what an expert to post on LinkedIn though?
Unknown Speaker 08:11
No, I don’t know, I don’t think so I think it should be for everyone. And I think you can learn something from everyone. So, yeah, I mean, I just posted I didn’t expect such You’re such a response to be honest. There was something like, as a well over 100 comments on there. So I’ve had to go through all of that. And it was all very positive. And if someone was challenging it was in the way Scott was in a really constructive manner, versus like, you know, what the hell’s your problem now, all this kind of stuff. So I found it being really constructive. And whereas I probably sounded really down on LinkedIn just now I think that’s, it served a really strong purpose there to kick off conversations and so yes, it was a little cheeky dig at some of the sort of self appointed, you know, quote unquote, gurus and all of that because, you know, I don’t rebind to that, I think I think everyone has The right to, to chip in and help but um, yeah, yeah, it was a little cheeky dig but also just a friendly suggestion from my inexperience. Again, I’m just a 33 year old who spent, you know, a number of years in this space and just wanted to share a different perspective.
Brian Lambert 09:14
Well, let me break this, this post down and then I’ll get Scott’s reaction because he posts a lot too. But you said you start with, hey, I’ve noticed an increase in gurus railing against STI. So you start with a personal observation. And then you in your next paragraph, you you kind of say look, you know, SDRs are working hard then then you say in a third paragraph, I was one. It’s a hard job, it’s a beating. And then you you subtly call for something, you know, a little bit more aspirational, which is I would be made way more impressed if if they shared a screenshot and then responding with some coaching points. Yeah, right, something a bit more positive and constructed and and then and then a challenge. Let’s take LinkedIn from a shaming, like baiting dumping ground. Yes, you wrote that, yes. And then into a place of peer. So this is the, you know, hey, go forward and then and then you gave three suggestions, try this instead declined politely for some feedback, and then maybe even follow up with them and see how they’re doing 30 days later, right. So that’s the post in and of itself. Scott, what’s your reaction to that? And then how would you How would you categorize what Greg did here?
Scott Santucci 10:33
Well, I think it for me, it’s more the reaction. So first of all, I know Greg, and, and I like Greg so it’s, it’s, I always have the mentality of how can I get somebody back? However, there was a you know, a lot of what it was saying, I mean, I definitely an anti shaming. Let’s let’s get that really clear. However, the idea that knee is a buyer should follow up 30 days later to see whether or not they’re they’re doing it or evolving, just isn’t didn’t really resonate with that because I actually tried that having been a salesperson, myself. Heck, I personally called the back in the day, the personally called the CIO of Campbell’s soups, 80 days in a row, getting less and less various, various voicemails, I know what it’s like. And I wish that somebody would have told me what’s valuable or not valuable. However, when I’ve tried to do that with, you know, I can’t distinguish whether it’s a BDR, SDR, digital salesperson or all these labels that we give to it. It’s just somebody trying to connect to me. And when I’ve tried to give advice or suggestions of what would resonate with me, I’ve been aggressively with curse laden responses back given feedback, something like man, you know, it kind of goes two ways, right? You have to be the individual on the other end needs to be coachable, and recognize that they want my time and my money. And if I’m going out of my way to give them some tips on how to be more valuable to me, to call me in a hole for doing it is, seems to be very extreme.
So I just wanted to I thought Greg’s what I liked about Greg’s posts or what resonated with me, was, it’s it came off as very authentic. And when I see somebody comment on us, often in an authentic way, I can’t help but want to engage. So that I just found myself starting to engage and then I’m trying to accomplish it, you know, make sure that I’m being polite and respectful to Greg, knowing full well that other people are going to read it, but also offer a different perspective so that we could have a conversation about how we had This issue, which would be the effectiveness of salespeople, making contacts with with folks. So that’s, yeah, that was the the dialogue, the difficulty is words get into can can get interpreted in a variety of different ways. How do you have a conversation about it? So it was happy to see more and more people chime in and engage with, with Greg with respect. I’m curious, before we get into the conversation that I want to have. I’m curious what Greg learned from putting it out there. Because I think that’s another thing that we’re not doing enough of is learning from the people who put the stuff out there in the first place. Because they have an idea. They’re making themselves vulnerable. They’re putting themselves out there. What did you learn by putting that post out there, Greg?
Unknown Speaker 13:46
Yeah, good question. Um, well, firstly, firstly, it was clear that a lot of people agreed. Secondly, it was it was nice hearing that you have responded and others said similar things, but how You know, I’ve tried coaching. And and I think it is unrealistic to do that with everyone, right? You couldn’t possibly nobody would have the time with the amount of prospecting that’s going on to get back to all of them. So
Unknown Speaker 14:15
yeah, I definitely appreciate that.
Unknown Speaker 14:18
But it kind of learned that, you know, perhaps there’s a failure somewhere and in some cases, it’s going to be on the individual str or BDR. Right. So in your case, they just didn’t want to get better. I don’t know if that’s the exception or the rule. I would lean towards it being an exception. I actually did a not a follow up post but one this week about SDR as being mostly Gen Z and I used to coach some Gen Z university students through different sales programs around the US and I think they’re gonna be brilliant, because they’re curious and they’re tough. And I think they do want to improve and get better So, so yes, I, I completely agree that Yeah, you’re going to try and help some of them and they’re just going to burn you think what the hell’s the point? You know that they don’t seem you know that they can the gift horse in the mouth right so yeah, yeah so yeah, I think there’s probably somewhere along the line this is where I think we’re exposed that there’s some something’s broken just
Brian Lambert 15:23
yeah so let me offer a bit of a Let me ask you guys so you’re on LinkedIn Do you guys get pinged by SDRs in your roles? Yes, obviously obviously Scott you have I have to. So you know, for the last two years because in prep for this podcast I was going back and thinking the number of people that have reached out to me to fill the top of the funnel with some sort of funnel system, marketing lead gen system to get me leads, etc. It’s probably 100 times greater than anything that I could actually relate to, like, for example, I’m not into filling my funnel. I’m, you know, trying to be more sales driven, etc. I’ve had zero reach outs around things that I care about, and 100 hundred people reaching out around pretty much the exact same can message. I mean, it’s fascinating to me that 100 people can reach out with the exact same thing, selling the exact same thing. So, um, that’s what’s happened to me. And I tend to agree with you, Greg, if that’s happening, this is a somebody there’s something going on where that’s expected. Like, that’s normal. I would prefer to have somebody engage with me around what what I would consider a bigger challenge of messaging, for example. So this is what’s happened to me. Do you guys have any stories about trends about how you’ve been reached out to and are you seeing the same thing where it’s a bit
Scott Santucci 17:00
Well, I didn’t give her perspective on that, Brian, I don’t necessarily think it’s an issue of trends. This isn’t new. Social media allows us to scale behavior. So putting myself in the BDR shoes. So what I liked about Greg’s post is and here’s another key point, I think it’s incredibly important to engage. If you’re not engaging with people having conversations. There’s no way you’re going to learn what’s going on. So that’s a tip to our, to our audience, engage with us get on the podcast, put yourself out there like Greg is doing right now and having a conversation without any script or any any forewarning. But what I think is happening is I myself as a rep, once email came, so I’m much older than you Greg, when email came into place, and like wow, this is a great, much more effective way I can cut and paste a rap and send it off to 30 people for the time. It takes me, you know, that will take me one minute. And in this case 30 people, it would take me, you know, 10 minutes time.
Brian Lambert 18:08
In this case the wrap is a scripted email, right? Actually around that m&m
Scott Santucci 18:14
practice that was before, before midnight, so a story or some hook or something, right. And I would cut and paste and you know, blast those away before there was email rules and everything like that. Or, you know, I got into sending faxes because I didn’t think people were checking faxes anymore, anything to get to get attention. I think what’s different today is that we’ve gone to LinkedIn and we think LinkedIn is sort of the safe, the safe environment to engage yet people are using the the end credits to bombard bombard people. And I think what’s happening is that a bit Is aren’t really thinking through the models of all of the different ways to engage, they’re just looking at how they they can spray or shoot out as much activity as possible. Without quality, and just activity. What do you do you harass people, and it’s almost like you’re getting, you know, in the mid 90s, early 2000s, we had to have legislation to prevent, you know, at end in the long distance people calling you in the middle of dinner, you know, so it’s sort of that to me, it’s sort of the same thing. It’s always been the case. So I don’t think it’s a new trend. I think what it is, is it’s because of the scale of social media, it’s just amplify.
Unknown Speaker 19:43
Yeah, I agree with that totally. And, and a lot of sales enablement. Organizations are just so obsessed with the activity metrics and I’ve, you know, I was an account rep at, I’ll just say a software company might name them but like, very easy, find out if you went on my profile, but the They were just so obsessed with the metrics. I found myself kind of stressing about that and it actually sacrifice some more strategic activity. Now I was an account executive. So it wasn’t my job wasn’t just prospecting it was part of it. But I literally found myself kind of rushing other stuff, because I knew that my manager would be slavish Li looking at the metrics and Tableau or whatever to make sure I’d made my call numbers for that for that week or whatever. And it’s that classic quantity versus quality problem that doesn’t seem to go away.
Scott Santucci 20:34
Now. That is the trend. to piggyback with what Greg said, Brian, if we want to talk about a trend, that’s a trend that I think we should be talking about, which is somewhere along the line 20 years ago, businesses, sales leaders weren’t as obsessed with call metrics. Mm hm. Today, the amount of focus of you know, It’s as if, and sales is definitely a numbers game. But it’s not only an activity game, part of the numbers are quality, and not having balanced between activity and quality. And trying to be so simplistic that that you can run sales on a spreadsheet. That, to me is the big challenge. And the thing that that I want to get out and really what is an To me, it’s sort of like the under the surface challenge of Greg’s post, because here I am saying, Hey, this is a guy I agree with all the time. He’s a good dude. I’ve had a lot of great conversations with them. I, how am I? How do I have a different perspective of what he put out there? But Do I really have a different perspective of what I put out there? Or is there a system systematic problem going on? And that’s what I’d love us to, to be able to talk through.
Brian Lambert 21:56
Yeah, no, I think to your point. What’s the But what’s the purpose of LinkedIn? Then? You know, is it a, it is an amplifier of what you’re talking about Scott to me is it amplifies strategies or tactics and scales them. So it appears that if this behavior is going on, it’s being driven, I doubt that SDRs wake up and say, I have to do this. Somebody’s coaching them, training them, teaching them to Greg’s point earlier, there’s probably some sort of approach or mandate or, you know, watching the numbers, but then it begs it does beg the question, what’s the purpose of LinkedIn? Isn’t it just a megaphone? Because that’s
Scott Santucci 22:39
not the question, or is the question What is the goal of the BDR? And is LinkedIn just a tool like a phone? Yeah, like a regular email, like a letter,
Unknown Speaker 22:50
like a fax? Mm hmm.
Scott Santucci 22:52
So I’d love to hear you know, Greg, what what are your thoughts? What is what is the question? That we’re actually having a conversation About
Unknown Speaker 23:02
Yeah, so that’s a good question. I mean, I think it’s
Brian Lambert 23:06
well firstly a question with a good question.
Unknown Speaker 23:08
Yeah, I think I think your point about LinkedIn just being another medium is spot on it’s it’s a it’s a another phone or fax or letter or physical code. Cool, isn’t it? So it’s being used for activity and then it I don’t know, but then some people are trying to coach through it but then the coaching often seems more self serving, hence my posts, right the screenshot thing and, you know, it’s more about the person posting it than about the people he’s smashing are trying to help. And I yeah, so I think it’s exposed the lack of kind of first click resource for for young reps to use as their kind of learning center, their tribal Learning Center, right. And I think some of the best sales training I’ve had and, you know, I work for a sales training company and you know, we have amazing material and we do some really great things, and there’ll always be a place for that. And it’s very formal, right? You kind of go through the workshops, everything. But sales training doesn’t stop, it’s ongoing. And so some of the best little tips I’ve had have been just that they’ve been kind of ad hoc conversations with people, you know, with my dad, or you know, driving a car or some random I sit next to on a plane or something like that I’ve learned random things they stick in my mind, because that’s how we learn. And so there doesn’t seem to be a place virtual or otherwise, that fosters that environment of peer to peer learning. I know we’re getting into it with the sort of advent of lsps and that’s something I’m designing right now. Within party. But but we’re just not there. And so LinkedIn sort of all we’ve got is just the first place to go right now. But you know, I see LinkedIn position actually being disrupted because it’s not serving the peer to peer coaching function the way a lot of times 10 producers think it is that fair, but I think I answered, I think that’s I think
Scott Santucci 25:04
that’s perfectly fair. I think part of the difficulty that we’ve got with these topics is that we don’t have the vocabulary to describe them. I mean, you know, imagine, you know, Ben Franklin didn’t just say, boom, here’s electricity, right? I mean, they, they used to talk about ether and things like that, just to try to describe this thing before scientists came around and actually gave it a label that everybody could could use. We’re struggling with that big time. So I think part of what we can do, Greg, you talk a lot about self enablement, right. So talk to me a little bit about what self enablement is, and then I’ll share a perspective of my lens, which is systems thinking. And maybe we can put the two ingredients together and make take your chocolate in my peanut butter and come up with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. Yeah,
Unknown Speaker 25:51
yeah. So my self enablement thing. It came out of reading a book actually called new power. It’s about sort of flattening of organizations and It gives examples of trends and movements and kind of purposeful business and things like that. But it spawned from that, that, especially my generation and below, we’re kind of we’re not quite so interested in hierarchy and elite. I don’t really care where answers come from less, as long as it’s sort of socially validated. It makes sense for me. And it’s easy to digest. I mean, if you googled something like, maybe you’re an Excel and you don’t know how to do a pivot table, so you go and Google, how do I do a pivot table? The first thing that comes up is probably some really grainy recording from some kid and I don’t know, North Dakota, and it’s got a million likes or views or whatever, and it’s really helpful. It doesn’t matter. It’s not Bill Gates in a studio telling you how to do it. You see what I mean? We, we sort of don’t care. As long as we get to the answer, we kind of were more open to trusting people who weren’t normally seen as authorities on on topics and so the self enablement thing was more around like Were getting only so much from the official sources of training and coaching, I needed to get to the next level, I kind of need to take control of that myself. And there are, you know, we’re seeing with like the MOOCs, right? All these courses where you can kind of take over your own learning path and go and opt in to take those things yourself, regardless of what your company’s doing. And so I think we’re going to see more and more of that. And, and so that’s where I came up with this phrase, self enablement. I actually use that very casually on a phone call with Robert Peterson is a sales professor. I know you know him. Scott. Yeah, from Northern Illinois. And he went wild. He’s like, Oh, my God, I love that. He’s like, go buy the domain. So I was like, if it was available, I was like, okay, so I now have a website called self enablement, calm and it’s just for my content. But that’s kind of the origin of that. I think it’s going to become more and more of a trend.
Scott Santucci 27:56
And what’s interesting about that is my My lens in my perspective is more sore the system. However, I am equally mistrustful, I’m a Gen X ER and Gen Xers were are also mistrustful of authority. However, or authoritative figures. However, you know, I think we’ve kind of become cynical, you know about it and maybe less, less optimistic. And I think part of our difficulty is embracing some of these new mediums and being open minded to address them. So I think part of that part of our difficulty, Greg is, I can’t have a team of 10 people whom all are doing their own thing. Sure, right. Because what happens is we don’t get any leverage. We don’t get any economies of scale. I can’t simplify that process. So what’s the balance between self enablement where you’re going literally, to some guy In North North Dakota, that there’s no way I could know what that is, what the heck he’s telling you, versus things from our top reps that we know are proven and are working. Yeah. How do we create this balance between the system? You know, let’s, let’s create a team. So, you know, football, English football, instead of American football, is, you know, people have to play their parts, but they also have to be dynamic and anticipate also, right, you’re expected as a midfielder to develop yourself personally. But you’re also expected to develop as part of a team. Yes. How do that in a in a world where we we really haven’t been taught in business to be a team contributor. We’ve been taught to be individual contributors.
Unknown Speaker 29:48
Yeah, I’m hoping it’s a hypothetical question because I’m not completely sure because that certainly is the challenge. I think it’s about your How do you find that balance of people find their own
Scott Santucci 29:59
sense That’s what we’re gonna get Brian to comment on that later. Okay, he’s been researching on Yeah, yeah. But I think in terms of where I’m coming from, is I think that as a leader, my responsibility to set my team up. So if you’re representing an individual BDR, for example, and we have a high degree of poor BDR engagement, which, by the way, this desist, I don’t have any statistics on BDR engagement, I do have statistics of what executives think of sales people, and it’s poor. Only 11% of executive buyers think that their interactions with sellers are good or valuable. Is that on the salespeople? I don’t think it is. I think that’s on the system. So I’m an advocate of system reform, which says, look, we can’t be training our salespeople to know everything that there is to know about our products and nothing about the role of being Executive are what they care about. And I so I think we miss this question this quandary, which is how do we highlight what’s good and what’s bad if the if most reps are delivering a poor are engaging executives where they’re not adding value to the person that they’re trying to sell to, the person that they’re trying to sell to isn’t going to give them the time to actually have a conversation in the first place. That’s one side of it. On the flip side of it, to your point, Greg, it takes a lot of courage to make those calls in the first place. And I know because I’ve made those calls before what it feels like. So how do we balance the feeling of you know, you’re you’re literally Your job is what 90% rejection? How do we do that in this in this world where everything that we hear is about how crappy we are? How do I create an environment of positivity, but then also, how do we make sure our design point is on adding value Do the people that we’re trying to connect to in the first place? whose responsibility? Is that? Is that the leadership or management’s responsibility? Or is that your responsibility as a self enabled person?
Unknown Speaker 32:13
Yeah. Another another good one. And I think it’s both. I think there’s an element of responsibility. I think. I think a lot of the issue with like, the BDR role is the role itself. You know, Brian, and I talked about this the other day about how, at least from my perspective, like when I started with with IBM, it was coming out of the recession. I graduated December Oh, wait. So I remember reading in Forbes, that was the worst time ever to graduate. And I kind of had odd jobs here. And then and then I finally started with IBM, and what they had clearly done because they hired us to be account reps, but by the time we finished global sales school, we were bdrs. So they’d sort of created this role while we were in training, and they’d already taken rent. That would manage the entire sales cycle. They laid them off because they cost a lot. They’ve been there for 2530 years. And they chopped up the sales funnel. And they gave us the top of it only. And it we fell under marketing because and I think it was just because they needed more leads, right? I had very few tools very little to no coaching or anything. That that role by nature is going to be your 90% 90% rejection, it’s going to be miserable, because it’s a pure numbers game. But I think as I move you into more senior sales roles, that is the more of the cell cycle you manage, I think, the more inclined you are to get better yourself because it isn’t just a pummeling every day. You see what I mean.
So I think we’re going to see those different roles start to come back into one I think the whole is going to contract. I don’t think we’re going to see that massive armies of videos for much longer. I think we’ll start giving them actual quotas, they’ll become account reps, so there’ll be By functions. And so. So that’s also easy to coach too. So I think, I think by changing the structure of the different sales roles, it will, it will empower or keep the BDR themselves more interested and more motivated. And it will give more touch points for management to coach to. So it’s kind of a third element there, right, you’ve got the management, you’ve got the reps themselves, but you’ve also got what the actual remit of the job is. I think that needs to have some, some fresh eyes on it as well. Would you agree?
Scott Santucci 34:34
I totally agree. So let me give you some some color. So I’ve been a management consultant for for quite some time. And one of the things that a lot of people don’t do, a lot of companies don’t do is actually just audit how many sales roles they have. And I’ve worked in, done this analysis and people say, Oh, we don’t need to do that. We already know what our roles are. I’m telling you, you don’t as a company, you don’t flat out I’m telling you, and it’s because you haven’t done the work. But one company that’s people would call blue chip company. We don’t want to expose it because we don’t want to shame anybody. That was a pun intended there. Yeah. But we analyzed the we took the number of reps that they had in this case, it was 20,000 directly from their annual report. The first wave of feedback was the sales operation said that’s not the number, our headcount is different. So well, let’s reconcile here you said 20,000, in your earnings earnings calls right, in your annual report. So we went and correlated that with the HR and finance data, and sure enough, they do have 20,000 reps. And then we did some more analysis and realized that they had 525 different roles for sales. Now tell me how anybody is going To get any kind of sense around what’s what’s happening. And then when you start looking at all these patterns, what’s really happening are a lot of people are saying that the entire sales process isn’t working for them. So anybody’s really hiring a role. And Heck, inside your company, you got folks that are super smart.
So you come up with jobs like evangelist and stick it in the business unit. And then they get up, they get a quota, to help justify the payment of it, but people aren’t adding up all the quotas, because that’s just not happening. So I think what what part of the difficulty is, is that in this view that more is better. We think more roles are better, so we can assign a number to it. So therefore, we chunk out responsibility so micro that they can’t really add value. So to your point, Greg, if you’re a BDR and your job is to only throw a lead over to a salesperson, what kind of empathy Are you really going to have? As part of your job for the customer, do you really care? Yeah, provisional job, just, you know, a number of, you know, warm leads or marketing qualified leads or sales qualified leads, or all these other detailed metrics. So I think your point is, is really well. Well spot on.
I’ll add one other point here with with my soapbox here is what’s been very fascinating is when you do the work, and you show look, you can move some of your customers to a digital Support Center where people don’t need to go and visit them. You can manage the whole sales cycle end to end with this class of people. We’re not saying that’s for all of your customer types, but this customer type, it can be done. Here’s how it can be done. The resistance of sales leadership is massive because they say No, it can’t even know you. You can show all the proof there is. So I think part of the difficulty that we run into Greg is is what’s the system view? What’s the struggle And then also, what’s the role of the individual people? So I think your observation they’re spot on. What do you think of? What do you think of that? Are you aware of, you know, although roleplay refer a proliferation
Unknown Speaker 38:15
I mean, to a degree, I had no idea company could have 500 types of roles within sales. I mean, and you know, your point about this, the evangelists that, you know, that I see that and I see like, you know, growth hacker or revenue strategy or these sort of wishy washy titles, and, and yet and they all seem to this, they all seem to claim the same deals like I remember back and forgive the sirens in the background in the city here, but I remember with with IBM and they used to Siebel back in the day and you’d have like 10 or so different people claiming quota relief from one Deal? Yep. Because their name was in a different part of the sales process. So I was the opportunity identifier. So I my name had to be in that field. And then there was the owner Tech Rep, the brand, rep, whatever it was. And sometimes someone would have done absolutely nothing. And I knew of a people on my team and I won’t name and shame them. But um, you know, one of them, his dad worked at the same company, and he had his dad just put his name on a deal that he was going to close. And it was like insider trading. I mean, they’re just fudging numbers in CRM. It was, it was kind of crazy, like, Yeah, all these different people claiming the same deal. Yeah, complete mash up. But yeah, I had no idea you could have 500 plus sales roles within the same organization.
Brian Lambert 39:48
So when you look at this, let me let me jump in real quick on just to connect some dots, right. So on one hand, you have the system view, and that’s not tech system technology system. It’s kind of the ecos system view that Scott has, which is sales and marketing, I was saying, you know, two sides of the same coin. And we’ve talked a lot about the Commercial Ratio as an indicator of that. So if you want to, you know, learn more about Commercial Ratio, go to Commercial ratio.com. And then you’ve got self enablement, which is, in the era of today, rooted in what would really be considered hyper specialization, right? Back in back when I came into the business world, I believe that silos were like sales and marketing and service, those are how I defined silos. Now you’ve got marketing is so siloed there’s, you know, 15 different types of marketing in 12 different types of, you know, customer service, and then it I don’t even know what 50 different, I don’t know there’s everybody’s got hyper specialization, and even you know, certificates, degrees, etc. So in In that view, bringing it back to LinkedIn. This is where I get fascinated. Because when you when you look at this, what’s happening on LinkedIn? Is it the hyper specialized view? Is it the ecosystem view? And then to Scott’s point earlier, where’s the conversation? And, and when you look at LinkedIn as a reflection of what’s happening in business, it’s simply a, you know, an amplifier of what’s happening in business.
A lot of the challenges that are happening on LinkedIn with irrelevant messages, everything everybody declaring everybody else’s a moron. People saying, here’s my answer to everything, those that look for help get pounded on. Those that put out anything that’s contrarian to that to other people get, you know, piled on even flame. You know, I wonder if that’s happening within business. Wonder if that’s what’s happening within departments and functions and teams? Right? And my guess is that it is because I’ve seen it. So I just wanted to tie this back this conversation, we’re having a dialogue about, you know, the role proliferation, and how this shows up on LinkedIn. And Scott, one of the things that’s really fascinating to me is we started with, you know, the SDR space and what’s the, what’s the role of an SDR? And how can that be, you know, unwound and really complicated? And then, you know, what’s the role? Or what’s the what’s what is the what is LinkedIn? You know, it’s a mirror in what’s happening. I’d love to hear you know what your take is on that. And, you know, I’m just trying to connect some dots here and synthesize what I’m hearing across this conversation. What do you think about that? And are you seeing anything else? Maybe a little bit different than what I’m seeing?
Scott Santucci 42:57
I think if we were taking a step back And instead of focusing on LinkedIn, or social, or new roles or new things, and just take a step back and look at human nature, it’s no different. So the things that are in a state of change the tendency of human beings is to go to the herd, right? I mean, we’re biologically designed to be parts of tribes. And our brains are not set up to deal with change. And our brains are certainly not set up to deal with rapid change. So just like, you know, Hey, hi, I’m Galileo, I’m going to make the observation that the world actually revolves around the sun. Well, guess what? That almost got him killed by the Inquisition, in the 1600s. Now, today, everybody sort of accepts it because there’s a lot of proof behind it and a lot of people did the work. I think what’s challenging here is the rate of change that’s happening. What the buying, selling Dynamic looks like is happening so rapidly that and businesses are so siloed and how they look at it, and people are specialists in their own fields. We’re not taking a step back and saying, Hey, what’s the overall environmental change that’s occurring?
So I think if we look at LinkedIn as a microcosm of human nature, we’re going to see whatever we want to say. And I think what Greg posted is a observation. You know, in the scientific process, hey, I have made an observation. And then being another scientist, I’m commenting on that observation and saying, I observed something similar, but through a different lens. And we have the capacity of human beings to connect all these dots together. That’s what we’re advocating with regards to orchestrators. So that’s what I that’s what I perceive as as going on. I think it’s way too easy to zoom too much into the day. tails of make it all about LinkedIn. We’re human beings we can make Lincoln to be what it does. Greg can choose to ignore, or whatever what the posts are, I can choose to engage with Greg or I can choose not to the choice is ours. I think the issue is we need to spend a lot more time meaning, or understanding, which is where I really resonate a lot with Greg’s self enablement part. Maybe, Greg, an idea for you would be a self enablement, set of tools to help people navigate such a complex world, a vuca world.
Brian Lambert 45:37
So one of the things that’s popped into my mind then on that in a vuca world, which is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, we talked about that on an earlier episode. What’s popping into my mind, Scott, when you talk about the human nature of this is the idea of bias. And I see a lot of what would be considered confirmation bias on LinkedIn. Which is basically, you look at stuff with the purpose of interpreting it, to confirm your own belief structure, or what you believe is true, you will, you will look for it and point out what confirms what you believe is true. And drag on that view, the vuca environment requires people to be really clear on what their biases are, and then also what problem they’re trying to solve. The challenge that I have with you know, and we talked a little bit Scott talked a little bit about it is the idea of self enablement or this hyper specialization. You end up in a space where you actually people can actually not know what they don’t know. And this is an interesting phenomenon that I’ve myself I’ve gone through I thought I knew a lot and it took some some productive friction to get me out of my my comfort zone and To think, break down some of the confirmation bias that I had. And that’s not happening as much. The curiosity, the idea of let me, let me just explain for a minute here, and the immediate, you know, responses that people get with their confirmation bias, it really makes it hard to navigate a complex world, which is, you know, interrelated parts, for example.
So, you know, I would just throw in on what Scott said, a toolkit around vuca, but also a toolkit around decision making and problem solving, which is really related to this idea of you got to you got to think broadly. What news do you get? Do you read the same news sources every day? When you’re on LinkedIn? Are you curious about what other people post? Do you look for new groups to join? Or are you in a routine that really is your own bubble? So that’s that’s part of what I’m seeing here on LinkedIn is a lot of that. Yes to vacation for things that I’d love your take on that too.
Unknown Speaker 47:59
Yeah, no. I think that’s a really good, really good point actually, because you will just gravitate to the same sort of LinkedIn echo chamber you look at every day. So I really like that and I And therein lies the problem of tools like LinkedIn as learning and coaching is that they’re not combined with the doing and so you are going into this learning in the flow of work trend like I mentioned before, and you’ve probably seen Josh persons work on that. And the the platform like I’m working on that right now within Potter is designed to dish up content and ideas and coaching tips in a variety of different formats based on activity. So you might be presented with some content that you wouldn’t have gone looking for, because we’re going to tie it into the doing so it’s monitoring what you’re doing. And so that’s obviously I’m gonna have speaking of biases, I’m Going to be very much towards tackers as the solution here, but I think once we get an intelligent LSP kind of platform in there that’s that knows what I’m doing can pick up on my competencies and how good I am at particular areas of sales, and suggest and course correct from there. I think that’s how you get around the bias of maybe only going to the same sources of information every time. But of course, that requires a library of content that is wide, right and varied. The training hasn’t just come from one source, it’s come from peers, it’s come from the wider world. It’s come from companies like in Potter, and it’s come from internal sales enablement organizations. Does that make sense?
Brian Lambert 49:50
Yeah, absolutely. And I love what you did there. You published your bias and said, I’m gonna come at this from a tech angle. Yeah. And then because we’re having a conversation, I have no idea what an LSP is.
Unknown Speaker 50:00
Learning Experience platform so, so that learning in the flow of work is one of these terms that’s been getting thrown around a lot. And I love it. Because, you know, for years, I’ve talked with people in within my network about bringing the learning and the doing together, right, we learn as we do, you don’t just sort of learn a bunch of things in a classroom and then go do the results are normally normally quite weak that you have to you have to constantly be tweaking and so LSP is designed to aggregate learning concepts from all different sources and put it into your place of work I within the flow of work.
Brian Lambert 50:36
God, what else are you saying and what dots D Are you connecting here on this type of podcast?
Scott Santucci 50:42
So number one, I’m going to try to break this down into into different categories. Number one, what I learned from this is a lot of how important self enablement is. And it’s not just for BDR or sales people. It’s for everybody involved in the ecosystem. So what I, I’d be willing to do, Greg is, I’m such a big advocate of what I learned here today, I’d be happy to devote some time to help help build that out. Because I think, the world that we’re in, because it’s changing so much all of us need tools and new ways of looking at things. So in order for us to unpack a conversation, for example, many of us have been conditioned to think about the analysis. Okay, so what’s the point of this? What, you know, what are my takeaways tell me what to do. And it doesn’t work that way. You know, in the world that we live in, you have to be able to think for yourself. So I think a lot of those attributes and a word that you said that really resonated with me a lot is the Curiosity part. How do you create curiosity for people who’ve been bludgeoned into, you know, trying to think about metrics? So that’s one area so since I’ve actually sort of called you out and offered that what are your thoughts on on sort of maybe expanding the scope of what self enablement means to say, How do I, how do I navigate such a complex world?
Unknown Speaker 52:10
Yeah, I’m all for it. Because like, I think with a lot of things, well, a lot, the way I think I come up with things like that, and it’s all just just this jumbled up thought in my head. And these things are much better if you can sort of get get an adult in the room and then put some structure behind behind it and crowdsource as many ideas as possible. Self enablement is not a business. It’s not for anyone individually, I think it’s a it’s a movement and a trend. And even though it’s got the word self in it, the idea is it’s about the crowd. So yeah, I’m, I’m actively seeking further conversations with people around.
Scott Santucci 52:49
Okay, so I’m in, I’m online to help. So the second thing that I thought was really valuable here and I wanted to provide structure, maybe we can, maybe Brian, we can make a little one are for those for our listeners. So if you’re inside our nation, your responsibilities, sales enablement, and we’re asking you to be orchestrators. So let me go through, we have a six step process of what an orchestrator is. And let’s apply it to what we’ve learned here today. So the first step is to be mission and goal focused. So if you’re responsible for getting a better return out of, say, your bdrs, let’s go back to what the what the original topic was. What is the purpose of a BDR? Is it just if we’re saying the purpose of our department is just to generate leads? That’s not really aspirational? Maybe if we if we said, Our mission is to spark ideas inside our customers to think differently, how much more impactful might that be, if that’s our mission? The second thing then is the second Orchestrator role is prioritize the right goals and at the right time. moments. So you’re going to have to balance any individual salesperson. Whether they’re prospecting or doing sales is going to have to balance between volume and quality. I know myself that I’ve gone way too much on volume and not quality. I’ve also spent way too much time working on quality like writing my own thought leadership papers or white papers for customers. How do you provide that balance? and somebody’s got to help you provide that guidance. Because when you’re stuck in those roles you’re going to need or those thought patterns, you’re going to need somebody to guide you, you want that guidance, you want help with prioritization. You don’t want people to hit you with a stick, right? The third point is guides the narrative by confronting reality. here’s the here’s the why I resonated so much with Greg’s post.
Part of the part of the perspective of Reality is that we’re shaming your we’re shaming people. My perspective of reality is that the details of how poor the cut the the engagements with customers is, is not getting back to the company. Who’s right? Who knows. But the whole idea is somebody’s got to you have to step up and confront the reality and figure out what are the tools that you need the decision making tools to confront reality. The fourth one is drive results by design, not effort. So I think we talked a lot about that is the flogging of salespeople and holding them just to a metric is not as effort. That’s not by design. There are many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many leveraged ideas that you can make. You can create more value by concentrating on what salespeople are doing on a day to day basis and designing that into the into the system Rather than just coming up with new tools and stuffing them on the backs of salespeople, number five, unlock energy and create momentum. If you’re in a role, and you have a team that’s in a role that’s dealing with lots of rejection, you’re going to have to recognize that their energy level is very important to manage. And probably when you throw if you throw out ideas that haven’t been vetted, it’s probably going to be met with a lot of aggression. Why would it be met with a lot of aggression? It’s like, Look, I get I get negative feedback all the time. Can you at least get on the phone yourself and try it out for God’s sakes. So part of the way that you can unlock more positive energy is to say, hey, Greg, I know what it’s like to be out there. I’ve done it myself. Here’s something that I’ve worked out with some customers of what’s valuable for them. Does this model work for you? and having that attitude definitely will create the right energy because now finally somebody is dealing with things that I’m really dealing With instead of telling me what to do, and then our sixth one is catalyzing change through collaboration, part of the collaboration needs to be with our sales ops people is our compensation model, right? sales leadership is our structure, right? Is the role definition, right? Are we having the right fields in place? is our goal the customer? Or is the goal something else?
There’s a lot of ways that you can catalyze change by asking the right questions. So that’s that those are the characteristics of orchestrators of connecting the dots. Then the third thing that came up that I loved again, I’m going to pair up what Brian said, Greg, I love that you said, Hey, I’m leading with a technical bias in order to pull this together. This is a complex system. And let’s remind ourselves of the buckets that we have to deal with. One is people. So every person involved in this process has to have some sort of self awareness or self enablement. Maybe The other thing is we have to think through what is our process? Is our process based on just driving activity and spamming people or putting it out there? Or is the goal of our process to have people with a? Wow, I never thought of it that way. I’d love to talk to somebody about that. What is the purpose of our process? The next category would be technology, technology should serve our process, not technology for technology’s sake. So we should know what role why we have our people what our processes are, so that we can have technology to scale it. And then finally, what information is required, so that we don’t overwhelm people with too much information. But make sure that we’ve got the right information so that the people engaging in the process, that information can be loaded in the technology so we can scale that. So those would be my three. My three takeaways.
Brian Lambert 58:55
Right there. Thanks. And Greg, thanks so much for joining us. Do you have any last comments before we wrap up?
Unknown Speaker 59:04
No, I think that was really great. And I liked the three points there at the end. I guess, from my point of view is just to kind of cap off with, with more positivity. Yeah, yeah. So much of the messaging is just is everyone just smashing each other over the head, and it’s not to help people, it’s to make them look and feel better for a moment. And, again, I posted something this week about SDRs. Because most of them right now, we’ll be Gen Z by nature and having worked with them, you know, I think we’re in a good spot. I think, you know, in the same way that I graduated into recession, these guys are graduating into a pandemic, and we’ll start to see just how gritty they are. And they’ll smash all the stereotypes the same way that my generation has for the most part. And so I think there’s Reasons to be cheerful as they were, as they say. And so yeah, I just encourage anyone this thing to sort of really embrace that group don’t sell them short. We’re just dumping them in a BDR role for years and years, given the responsibility. And,
Scott Santucci 1:00:17
yeah, I want to piggyback on that point, about positivity. What’s really challenging is the English language that we inherited from you guys in between. Welcome. Yeah, exactly, is tooth It has two thirds more negative words than positive words. So the palette that we have available with us to communicate in a positive way, is already one third limited, which means we got to do a lot of work for it. And the other challenge then is when people lead you know, everybody knows, hey, to give people feedback, say 10 nice things before you tell them the thing you really want to tell them. Everybody’s heard that before So if you’re just leading with nice things with the goal of giving them the coaching feedback, then none of the positive feedback is going to land. And we have to learn how to get really really good at providing positive constructive feedback. Because our brains are so wired to be defensive and you know process the negative like oh, what are they really telling me and we’re cynical about it. Yeah, I do. We really work hard to provide that positive feedback. So I think your point there is spot on we can do a whole podcast just on that. Yeah. So I agree with that completely. Brian, why don’t you wrap us up and take us out here?
Brian Lambert 1:01:39
Yeah, good job, everybody. Good job on the podcast get great work. I’m just being positive. So yeah, the and that’s the two thirds comments. God that’s, that’s amazing, right. Two thirds more negative words. So just remember that everybody. Also think through what this means to you, I think this idea of self enablement. We probably helped you with that today. And Greg, for bringing that up. Thanks. Thanks so much for bringing that up. And really think through your biases as you engage with others and be more curious. So as always, give us the feedback, send us a note, engage with us on the site. Also go back and listen to some previous episodes. We’re seeing a lot more traffic on some of our earlier episodes. Thank you so much for sharing with others who are perhaps new to sales enablement, or in the middle of the job change. We’re getting a lot of feedback that this is helping people in their interview process as well. So thanks. Thanks for that feedback. And that’s great to hear. So, on behalf of Scott and Greg, see on the next one and take care.
Thanks for joining us. To Become an insider and amplify your journey. Please make sure you subscribe to our show. If you have an idea of what Scott and Brian can cover in a few Your broadcast or have a story to share, please email them at engage at orchestrate sales.com You can also connect with them online by going to orchestrate sales.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn connection request.