Ep62 Leading the SE Function To Achieve Impact with Brian King

Ep62 Leading the SE Function To Achieve Impact with Brian King

In this episode , we’re joined by Brian King. Sales Enablement leader who brought a cross-functional team together to develop and clarify the value of his team at Intercontinental Hotels. In this podcast, we talk through bringing together cross-functional leaders (all who have a myopic lens of “value”) as well as understanding the commercial ratio and how to leverage to elevate the strategic conversation and strategies.

And our focus is on you, as a sales enablement leader and Orchestrator, sales enablement, leaders need to develop specific characteristics that we call Orchestration, operate in the blended domain of strategy and tactics, where you do both. Our goal on this podcast is to help you clarify what that looks like, provide examples that you can then take an action in your own company and give you confidence to engage up down and across the organization.


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 00:36  

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

Scott Santucci 00:48  

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

Brian Lambert 01:02  

Our focus is on you as sales enablement leaders and orchestrators as a sales enablement orchestrator, you need to develop specific skills to blend both strategy and tactics together to help your company succeed. As you work across the sales and marketing, you’re also bringing together a lot of different inputs, and you’re turning those inputs into value for your company. As usual, we have a centering story, Scott, what do you have for us today?

Scott Santucci 01:27  

So our centering story goes way, way, way, way back.

Brian Lambert 01:31  

usually say that it doesn’t isn’t that far. Either way.

Scott Santucci 01:35  

With that.

Brian Lambert 01:36  

When you add all the emphasis you blow it that it’s not that far back.

Scott Santucci 01:41  

We have the benefit of actually knowing what the story is because I’m including you on this one. So that’s a little unfair. I’m using

Brian Lambert 01:47  

the fact that I’m not in the dark this time.

Unknown Speaker 01:50  


Scott Santucci 01:52  

But so we’ve we’ve had stories that go way back as I remember around BC period, BC when we talked about the invention of improv.

Brian Lambert 02:05  

That’s right.

Scott Santucci 02:06  

That’s how far back we’ve gone. So this time, we’re going all the way back to episode six gaven, episode six of our actual podcast. So how modern are we getting here? So if you haven’t, if you haven’t listened to Episode Six, you probably shouldn’t do it. It’s we published this in in June of 2019. And there’s actually a funny story about that. What prompted us to do this episode was a call that I made to you, Brian Lambert, of when I was in Atlanta, what was that call? Like?

Brian Lambert 02:42  

That’s right, you called me and you’re like, guess where I’m just leaving this meeting. And first you had some sort of travel disaster you went through, because there was some sort of major issue in the meeting had to start without you or something. And then you

Scott Santucci 02:54  

think our guests might have some comments on that.

Brian Lambert 02:59  

And then, you went to you told me about this guy who was like, you’re not going to believe this. Brian, he got Lambert, you have this guy who brings who brings us all in when we’re going through this idea of his charter. And then he actually at the end of this meeting, get this he briefs and brings in his executive team to do the readout. And that’s what this two day meeting was about. How awesome is that? That this guy would put his, you know, team through this. And this is a group of people that actually was coming together for the Conference Board. It wasn’t even his team. That’s right, we’re just super jazzed up about it.

Scott Santucci 03:34  

I am always so if anybody if any of our listeners has a idea to tackle something different out of the box, call me and I’ll get in the foxhole with him because I just love anybody who does that. And our special guest, this is the guy or we’ll talk about who he is in a second. I was the program director, whatever you call it for the for the Conference Board. And for those who don’t know, the conference board’s 100 and x 160 year old organization. It’s actually the organization that came up with the 40 day 40 Hour Workweek that’s that’s true story, got labor and management together. And then during the Industrial Revolution, and ever since then, has been creating these councils. And that’s how I met our guests. This guy, his name’s Brian King, and he was one of the members. And we were having a meeting. I think it was at Tiffany’s. We literally had breakfast. Two days at Tiffany’s. Brian and I right. That’s right, Brian,

Unknown Speaker 04:35  

right. Yeah. Ray would have breakfast. Every everyone’s dream.

Scott Santucci 04:40  

Yes, exactly. So we were at we’re having our meeting at Tiffany’s. And we we had the situation where had everybody present out what their, what their sales enablement. Charter would be if we were on CNBC and it didn’t go well. So we realized we needed to work on our messaging instead. We’ve got to adopt this idea of a business with our business. So Brian King goes while do that, that makes sense. I’ll do that. So we decided on the spot. You know, little did we know, why don’t we have our next meeting, our next Conference Board meeting at in Atlanta at international, intercontinental hotels group in Atlanta, so they have a big hospitality company. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to put all of us on the spot and create an agenda, where we’re going to provide a readout for as executives. Now how cool is that?

Brian Lambert 05:38  

I that’s amazing. That’s,

Scott Santucci 05:39  

I think it’s I think it’s the coolest thing. So anybody who’s got the stones to be able to pull that off is immediately going to be somebody that I idolize. And we have that person now with us, Brian King. So Brian, tell us a little bit about that story. And, you know, pick us up and what we’re going to be talking about today.

Unknown Speaker 05:58  

Yeah, well, thanks. It’s great to join. Both you gentlemen today, always have a great time chatting with you With you both. And talking about sales and commercial enablement, that that meeting was so interesting, because we had pulled together a considerable number of corporate executive board members, they all came to Atlanta, we sat in our boardroom. And for two days, we talked through challenges around value propositions for sales for sellers, about our product, and our product ID, intercontinental hotels, at that point in time was our brands. So everything from a Kimpton to a Holiday Inn to, to an intercontinental across our brand categories, and why our sellers who sell to them in the b2b space, so they would sell to the IBM’s, the Cisco, the Coca Cola has, etc, in order to get their business travel, as well as their groups and their meetings and titles. And so we spent a lot of time really kind of focused on value propositions as well as loyalty. And we, as a sales organization, had a kind of working knowledge of what, what our ideas were, but we wanted to have loyalty and brands Come and join us in the room and listen to what other corporate executive board members like. Like Ernst, and young and Tiffany and Microsoft and anhand are really exceptional group of sales leaders. And listen to what they think about these value propositions and where we were going with with loyalty. Anyway, long story short, that room represented over half a billion dollars worth of business travel.

So a great opportunity for our executives to get in front of the those groups who travel most predominantly salespeople, these are all sales leaders, and really kind of worked through the the output of that session. And it was was a phenomenal session. I think everyone participated. Great. But it shows something it should cast the light on this idea that you guys have been talking about with the insider nation around Productitis. You know, that real belief that the features and the functions of the product, which in this case is a hotel, really have more meaning or more value for our customers for our customers experience than than what the sales relationship is really providing. And so I’m really saying that those executives kind of came in and they nodded their heads, they listened. And then they exited stage left. And

Scott Santucci 09:00  

it was those executives You mean the executives within IHG? Correct?

Unknown Speaker 09:05  

Right? That’s correct. Yeah. I think it was the guy who ran loyalty to the brand leaders ran upscale brands. And it was a it was a an eye opening experience. For me. It was an eye opening experience for the team of people that I had brought in on my team, whether we’re speaking marketing or sales enablement teams, and then we actually had sellers come in as well, and sellers who are actually aligned to the accounts that are representative. So a great a great experience and a great learning for me. A lot of different

Scott Santucci 09:42  

levels. to Brian, I’m getting fired up. Because you’re making me remember and I know you’re holding me at gunpoint making me remember right like it’s Yeah, but I am remembering that situation. We should probably do a whole podcast just on that but go through each part.

Unknown Speaker 10:00  


Scott Santucci 10:02  

people in loyalty just kept asking questions about loyalty and how it didn’t connect at all with

Unknown Speaker 10:08  

like, yeah, yeah, they want to have a points conversation,

Scott Santucci 10:12  

right? What are you talking about? What do you mean? What

Unknown Speaker 10:14  

are you talking about here?

Brian Lambert 10:16  

And there’s a couple of things on this. Like, there’s the whole idea of just bringing these folks together, which I think a lot of our listeners would be intrigued by, like, how did you actually pull that off? And then there’s the what happened in the room? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 10:28  

yeah. Yeah, there’s, and there’s also it would probably be great to have one of the other attendees come to it too. Because I think there were two perspectives of the folks that came into the room, there was, Hey, I’m, I’m coming. I’m going to help Brian. But I actually have the same challenges that Brian’s got with value propositions or with, let’s call it loyalty or retention of our clients or, or what have you. And so I can wrap my head around me helping Brian is actually helping myself. And then there were other folks in the room who were like, no one sent me the memo on this, or I didn’t understand what’s happening. I’m just here helping Brian, like, I really would prefer to maybe engage in a different way. And in this, so I think there are there are so many different perspectives and layers of how that meeting down that Yeah, we could totally do an entire.

Scott Santucci 11:18  

So Alright, well, let’s do this. We’re gonna call out so we’re gonna, we’re gonna I’ll reach out to Greg and Samir. Yeah. And let’s try to recreate that that magic a year later. Let’s see what happens. But the purpose of this is, is your reactions to the last of our commercial, commercial enablement seminar series. Before we get into that, can you introduce and tell folks about how you ran or runs, run sales in a month, a little bit about your department, your your game plan and how you did it?

Unknown Speaker 11:55  

Yeah. So I, in my last position, which is with hp, which I left about a year ago, I ran global sales operations enablement,

Scott Santucci 12:07  

I want to hold off on Wait, before we do that, when I mention a qualifier, there is no correlation between Brian leaving in this meeting that we had, I just want to make sure that correlation doesn’t exist, there’s other factors go on.

Unknown Speaker 12:21  

That’s true. That’s very true. And so I came into the organization and I was winning strategic accounts, and I had some other aspects to my role. And, you know, the system was broken. The, the dots were not being connected on the inside of, from everything, from analytics, to operations, to process, to engagement with legal and other business partners. The technology that was there was fragmented, we had over 29 different product technology products that we used in the world of sales, which was bizarre to me. And ultimately, what I did is I ended up taking an internal position, because I wanted to kind of start to sort all of that out. And in doing that, we had to centralized specific parts of the team of teams where maybe analytics have been regionalized, for, you know, Greater China and for the Americas or Europe. It was really bringing all of those together as centers of excellence, which I’m not really a fan of that term. But who says you’re Excellent. So I am, I would give

Scott Santucci 13:38  

myself labeling. Yeah, I mean, I could bring my own exercise, right.

Unknown Speaker 13:43  

Yeah. So but but really centralizing a lot of these functions that we’re having pregnant for a long time. So the team grew to about 200 people across eight different countries. That really was set to enable the global sales organization. And we developed a really a vision statement with the leaders as I brought everyone together. I said, Well, what is our purpose was our mission here. And we we said, you know, it’s really to unlock the value of sales. So when you guys talk about value, and without clear clarifying value, and how that’s really not rocket science is you’re right, it doesn’t have to be. And what we did is we make sure everyone can see themselves in that mantra every single day, that regardless of whether they were working in the technology area, or if they were working operations or effectiveness or training or you name it, they were they were all contributing to unlocking that value so that our sales people could do what they needed to do best. So and help simplify and make things seller ready for the sales teams because we had so many different parts of the organization. burdening them with their own agendas and we kind of became The stock app to prevent that from happening. And with design and simplify, in order to help release that burden from salespeople reduce the workflow or just the number of approvals reduce the produce all of the internal stuff that our customers don’t care about. Because they, they don’t need to hear from the salesperson, it’s gonna take another week and a half to get the contract, when they’re waiting for it. The holdup is on our and we should be able to move in a much more agile pace. So anyway, so we had that organization out. And I’m really aligned each of my direct reports to their to their most relevant business partner in the organization, whether it was finance or it or HR, HR for training and effectiveness and talent. For for, for all of our technology with it was our product management teams, etc. So, um, and as we’ve created those partnerships, a lot of the, the business partners were like, Well, wait a minute, why are you doing training and sales when we have a training learning department, we, we feel like you’re kind of getting in our space. And we spend a lot of time saying, actually, we can do this together. And this was really, when orchestrating things really started for us, we can actually bring this together, you can still have a role in all of this.

But we’re the subject matter experts in sales, you’re the subject matter experts and adult learning, let’s actually combine those two things, and figure out how we do this together and weave our agendas or priorities together, when we did that across a number of fronts. So when I met Scott, it was through that corporate executive board. And I thought, I thought organization was kind of like the last to the party on this. And so when I first met Scott, I was very kind of quiet in terms of what we would have been able to accomplish that he and, and this concept of orchestration, and really come to the forefront of my mind on Well, that’s what we were doing. And Scott would talk about this was you call your unconscious, your unconscious,

Scott Santucci 17:15  

unconscious competence?

Unknown Speaker 17:17  

Yes. And every time I would talk about something that you’d say, well, there’s that unconscious competence. And so it became more and more evident that what we were doing was really starting to orchestrate the enterprise around how to more effectively enable salespeople at every step of the buying journey. And, and that’s kind of that’s just a little bit about what I was doing. And he, um, and so I guess, I have to say, um, you know, thinking about this goes to customer webinar that, that we just

Scott Santucci 17:56  

let me let me go produce that that topic gives some space. So okay, as a list or sort of digest that I want you to sort of imagine this is what Brian’s doing. This is how he’s running in his organization help you level set about the scope and scale of what he’s working on. So I asked, I asked Brian, hey, you want to do a podcast and react to our go to customer? webinar? So as you know, we’ve we’ve asked other people to do that. So I don’t know anything? He may hate it. I have no idea. So um, hopefully he does. He doesn’t hate it. But I asked him to come up with three thoughts. But I think it’s important that you, as a listener, have a frame of reference of where he’s where he’s coming from. Yeah, thank you.

Unknown Speaker 18:44  

So the first thing is, well, you got a lot that goes on in this webinar. And so to the inside our nation, you have not listened or watched or taking copious notes on basically the growth enablement webinar series, this this COVID series that you guys have produced you and Brian, I strongly recommend blocking out several spots on your calendar to take time to listen to these. They’re invaluable. I and I wish I would have had these types of educational opportunities and the connection to someone like Scott to be able to, to understand more, versus kind of cobbling things together on my own. I think you’ve got really delivered something that’s it’s invaluable, very interconnected. And what I love about the series is that it’s really a holistic series. And what I mean by that is, you’ve got concepts and frameworks that you unpack, and each one of these webinars, and all of them have some level of application to help solve really kind of full challenges, I think, sales enablement, depending on where you are, as you know, as a listener, your company where stable sales enablement is today and I think the first time that we’ve had some conversation around where settlement sells and goings when you did the surveys, and we had some, some great chats about that, this to me helps outline a path forward for sales enablement leaders to understand kind of where they can go. And where we are today. And this point in the year, most companies should be in the latter phases of planning for next year for 2021.

Whenever that kind of looks like given the goal, really the current environment, but I think these webinars, you can offer a really practical guide to some of your priorities next year, depending on what part of enablement you’re sitting in. So yeah, first and foremost, I think that you’ve just done a great job with the entire piece. This is going to customer when really, really brings it all together. And so for me, it was great to go back and there was one or two that I didn’t listen to. But after listening to the last one, I thought I was going to do a disservice to myself, basically, by not by not finishing the series to listen to this one. This concept of sales as simple and simple as hard, it’s got to be I would love to have it tattooed on my chest or wear it in some kind of way. Because it can seem insurmountable to take a commercial system that is broken, and slowly find ways to put it together and streamline it. And so one of the things that you mentioned in this webinar is really the amount of time it’s going to take and so there’s not a you know, quick pill that you take, and suddenly you take the red pill, the blue pill, and then you’re on your way to Orchestration, it’s, it is like a year and a half, two year or maybe even longer journey. But there’s, you’ve given kind of a way for people to choose their own adventure and how they do that with what these webinars give.

So there are a couple things I wanted to talk about. And if I talk too much, you can just interrupt me at any time. One is this idea, you kick this webinar off with this change blindness. And I’ve never heard anybody talk about it in that way. And when I think about the way you ended the webinar, it’s really about orchestration, and what are the characteristics of workers, orchestrators. And to me, there’s this polarization. If you’ve got change blindness, and you’re sitting in a sales enablement position, you’re not going to be one of the orchestrators. If you’ve got change blindness in your in your leadership team, you’re it will be that much harder to cook, particularly with Orchestration and the value that Orchestration really has to your leadership team or to the stakeholders that you will have to engage with the most. I mean, I’ve seen it work. And I’ve saw we I struggled with it when I was at IHG, the change blindness aspect, when I was trying to start with some of the orchestration, I see it now with some of my clients, where you’ve got the one individual who wants to help orchestrate and simplify and streamline. And that change blindness is a real, it’s a real roadblock. And so there may be

Unknown Speaker 23:31  

an opportunity to really kind of dig into at some point, how do you overcome that with your leadership team or with with other key stakeholders? Because to me, you know, are we still in a place where people don’t think change is happening? It’s happening constantly. I mean, if we look at what’s happened just because of COVID. And the fact that I think McKenzie came out of the study, three months after COVID said, from a digital point of view, we’ve within 90 days, we’ve grown nine years in the digital space. So I almost feel like if, if you’re a few who have a leadership team, or you’ve got folks in your organization who aren’t keen to change, there’s, they’re going to be lucky.

Scott Santucci 24:17  

So it makes sense. It does make sense. So first of all, thank you. I think get that that idea that the change blindness, why do you think that that happens, and why don’t folks get So Richard, I know that for example, when I’ve tried to bring up the impact of digital transformation, right? The digital economy. Now in some places, who Oh, yeah, I know that. But they literally are behaving the same way they’ve always behaved. And it’s like, well, if you know that, then why aren’t your why aren’t your behaviors changed? What Why aren’t you matching the behaviors? Or do you just think digital transformation is just interchangeable words with business synergy or some other? Some other business buzzword? Why do you think That is,

Unknown Speaker 25:02  

um, I, you know, I like to think that you know, the term digital strategy and digital transformation, it was things have been around for a while and people just merely Think of it as Oh, I’m, you know, I’ll use the hospitality example. Okay, we have a mobile app, that’s digital, check out the website. Okay, people can book online check. And it works. We have all the social channels, check. Okay, so what else is there? And I think that there’s a, a complacency that sets with the digital side of things or with, yeah, we’re doing that. And the reality is, well, how are you advancing it? How are you taking it forward? What is the mission for it? And what is the goal? How are you going to achieve that piece? I don’t necessarily think people take the time to think that because of Oh, we’ve got a team. It’s the digital team over there. They do it. So yeah, we’re on it.

Scott Santucci 26:03  

Yes, and I think there’s a there’s something really related here to why are we so far away from our customers? And then when we if we would say that inside our companies, we probably have our heads taken off? We mean, of course, we know our customers look all the survey data we’ve got. But what’s their actual experience that they’re having with us? and experience? That’s touchy feely stuff? Well, kind of isn’t. So how do we? How do we wrestle with all the data all the certainty all the absolutes? And how do we elevate that in a way to? I don’t know, I guess simplifying? And because, you know, markets don’t write checks customers do. I don’t know about the customers?

Unknown Speaker 26:54  

And how do we know? Which, how do we align the right selling activities to the customers preferred channel. And, you know, with where we’ve come this year, I feel like there’s just going to be such a rise of interaction in the digital space, that will lead to more interdependence of people and processing technology that takes these traditional sales models and kind of topples The, the conventional way of thinking about sales. And I don’t think there are a lot of sales organizations who will be prepared for that.

Scott Santucci 27:35  

Yeah, so I think one, you might have other topics we want to get into but I think in the interest of plugging new shows that we should work on. One of the people that I had to talk to immediately after learning about IHG and specifically how complex it is selling to an enterprise, like the b2b selling of, of hotels and hotel rooms and hospitality is a lot more complex than I think a lot of our listeners would think. But the person that popped in my mind is Lindsey, so Lindsey gore has been on our show. She’s a She’s a friend of mine. she’s a she’s a strategic account executive at Microsoft. And I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t get out of my head. How similar. The business model at IHG is to where Microsoft’s going with subscriptions cloud and things like that. So maybe what we can do in the interest of unpacking this change blindness part. Let’s also maybe celebrate how similar we some of our businesses really are that we wouldn’t have. We wouldn’t have thought of, maybe we can get Lindsay on with you. And maybe we can find some of your some of your sales people and say, Hey, here’s a here’s an IHG strategic account person. Here’s what she does. Here’s a Microsoft she care person. Here’s what she does. Guess what, they’re literally doing the exact same things, like almost identical, and yet, we’re treating them like they’re radically radically, radically different because we have so much detail that we’re getting in the way of what that customer experience looks like. Maybe that would be something cool. We can do. Yeah. Awesome. So we talked about change blindness. We talked about the over series. Did you have other you know two other?

Unknown Speaker 29:27  

Yeah, you know, I was I love this. I love this idea of Productitis. And when when I first saw it, or when we actually first started talking about it, I thought to myself, are we still there? Is the world still in a place where we’re just pushing features and functionality. And we’re not talking about value or benefits or the challenges that we’re trying to solve. And ourselves people still kind of just showing up and saying here’s the widget, it’s purple expands It does these things, but you want it. And you put some great metrics up in this webinar, really kind of talking about the exact same things that I remember when I was first coming up in sales, you know that you really want us the executives want a salesperson who understands their business, they want you to be knowledgeable on your industry. And your trends. I always looked at as you need to be a student of the client’s business. And you’re constantly studying what’s coming, what’s happening, where or where it’s going, and you play follow the money inside of their business, where where the strategic priorities being placed? And how, how can you get into a position where you’re able to actively listen, understand client issues? And then you figure out, Okay, how do I now work through what the sales point of view is going to be? In this instance, I had dinner last night with a vice president of sales and hospitality for a different company. And she was on a call with one of her sales people with a client. And instead of kind of doing the sales pitch, the VP of Sales was just like, tell us a little bit more about your priorities and what it is and how you’re being measured throughout this year, or even for next year, versus going through and saying, okay, we want to start to have this conversation about RFPs, for negotiated rates at all these hotels. And I mean, I’ve I’ve helped put together and launch various types of training, and educational opportunities for sellers to really level up those sales skills. But why is it that salespeople keep going back to just just selling the widget? I feel like it’s kind of the same. It’s happening over and over and over again, the world doesn’t seem to evolve, to say, Oh, I really should sell value. You know, I actually had someone say to me the other day, we should put a pricing sheet together for some of the things that we’re putting together. And I said, Absolutely not, why would we put a pricing sheet together, pricing will depend on what we’re trying to achieve, and the value of what that achievement will look like? Well, so if,

Scott Santucci 32:13  

if you grow up, say in Georgia, if you live in Atlanta, now, if you grew up in Georgia, you’re gonna develop an accent. Yeah, and if you’re in a company, and it’s got a lot of go to market motions, and they check the boxes and come up with strategies about Look how great our products are. So you’re going to develop that dialect. So you can go to all the schooling that you want to, once you start having a few drinks, guess what that twig is going to come out there. And I think that what we don’t even have is the skills to, to refine that. Because all full all full on the marketing department, finance department, executive management, they want to know updates of are we selling our product line, how are we selling this product or that widget?

So it it infects the entire ecosystem. And if we try to blame it on the salespeople, and like, let’s over train them and keep training them, that’s great. We can we can train you all you want to that to the people in Boston, you sound silly with your Southern accent. It just, it’s just not going to click. They’re just Yankees, you know, whatever the case is, it’s just not going to click. And that’s, that’s really the premise behind Introducing Productitis. It’s something that if if infects the entire organization, and because we’ve gotten so good at measuring things that maybe don’t matter back to that simplicity part, that I think the problem is worse, not better. And I don’t think it’s as much the sales, people’s fault. It’s just all these words, all these things, all these forms that people need to fill out. They’re about products, and they’re about metrics, and they’re about stuff that is the speeds the feeds the color blue checkbox here, if they bought blue, or they want red, all of that stuff is it’s conditioned.

Unknown Speaker 34:14  

Yeah, you know, I, I think about the fact that when I was considered a buyer, because we all are at some point, right? You if you had the you had to understand what my business even really to be in the consideration set. And if you ended up getting a meeting with me, it would, I would want to assume that you already had a working knowledge of what my business partners or goals were. So we weren’t gonna kick off a conversation with those types of questions. Because, to me, a seller networks, the teams in the building as a being a student of the business to understand exactly what’s the best way to position and if you didn’t know anything about my priorities or goals, there are meetings wouldn’t go very far, and sellers need have to do so much. To identify the right relationships, the right approach is really to swim upstream in decision making process to be a part of helping shape the agenda, be part of priority setting where maybe their solutions are a part of that. Which to me is why that commercial system has got to support the seller. And you, you highlight those three different groups, those three areas of the customer environment, Salesforce environment, the company environment, and all three of those in the way that we’re putting on salespeople, it just becomes, it’s just too much. I mean, they can’t do all of the things that I would expect them to do, if you they were coming in to pitch me on something. Because of the number of problems, the number of vendors, the number of stakeholders, the credibility or the upscaling the administrative burden, your name it, there’s there’s just a lot it’s that gets put on people that Productitis is a real thing. And and by the way, you have this one slide in your webinar, that I think you should turn into a diagnostic or a diagnosis that you could give to a client or or, you know, any of the insiders here could go and take from from the webinar. And they could have a very honest, authentic conversation with their leadership about how they score themselves could be a very sobering activity for sales team leaders for VPS of sales really to go through in conjunction with their products in their marketing teams. I’m not sure if you notice I’m talking about but it’s got Are you market focused or customer?

Scott Santucci 36:58  

Is that the one that had

Unknown Speaker 37:01  

the red dots down the middle?

Scott Santucci 37:03  

The dots with Devin five, five dots? Got it.

Unknown Speaker 37:06  

I mean, you can easily turn that into a diagnostic, because that would be something if I were as an insider, I would take that out of the webinar and use as a very practical tool to start to have a dialogue about Who are we? Are we looking for our markets to cut checks will they can customers do? So how are we going to be honest about ourselves and have that kind of moment? And then have some kind of scoring? And then Okay, well, where do we need to start? Maybe this becomes a starting point.

Scott Santucci 37:36  

We were we were actually talking with the Brooks Batts is is with omnitrax. And she had a similar thought she wanted to turn it into something lightweight. And I think we we got to you, you’re probably if you’re listening this you’re going to say what are you talking about? But Brian King is going to know exactly how I how we would arrive here, but making it like a Cosmo. Sort of lightweight chat, because if it’s too heavy people tune out and they get too scared. But sort of like, you know, here are five signs that your wife’s about to leave you here are five signs your customers about the lady. Yeah, maybe make it a little more digestible and lightweight so that people don’t continue with that degree of weight.

Unknown Speaker 38:27  

You don’t want to scare people with it. But you definitely want them to, to understand the gravity of what the difference between the two.

Scott Santucci 38:36  

Yeah, and I think this is part of the difficulty. I’m glad that you brought up the change blindness part. One of the things that’s difficult to have these conversations is to create the environment actually just have the conversation. I think a lot of people know things are broken, but they’re so confused. They don’t want to admit it. So that’s why they’ll yell at you. And they’ll just prescribe more stuff to go to. But that just makes things worse. You know, part of the art form that orchestrators and training enablement, professionals inside our nation that you have to develop is you have to develop the right kinds of skills on how to bring it up. So when Brian King mentions his assessment, part of what we’re talking about here is what’s the bedside manner that goes with that? goes with that assessment. You don’t want to just do an assessment and go, Oh my gosh, you’ve got stage four Productitis you’re about to die. That’s, that’s a little heavy, right? So how do we add it? How do we bring those conversations up to where people feel comfortable to engage with other stakeholders because it’s not just going to be on the sales organization, it’s going to be the marketing organization, you’re gonna have to include product, you’re gonna have to include finance, probably brand not to be okay with that you got to be okay to include other groups.

Unknown Speaker 39:55  

I mean, if you’re just doing it as a silent sales, you’ll never get anywhere with it. But You really need to bring the other groups along. Um, and, you know, I feel like sales leaders could handle it, I feel like they could hold a mirror up to themselves totally. I don’t think the marketing teams or product or others would be as, as, as open to it.

Scott Santucci 40:22  

So it to give you some data to back that up, we have a friend, a friend of the show, Catherine Shaab, who just recently, she just recently retired from IDC. So now I feel okay, telling some of the stories. She worked for IDC and did a lot of research around CMOS, PR, and I, I she was a client of mine when she was at Sybase. And one of the things that was interesting was she’s she’s with us, she’s in the in the crowd of work backwards for customers. So she put together some, some research presented with CMOS, and she she was dumbfounded by how much resistance CMOS of large companies just sort of dismissed her research, and just dismissed it, but wouldn’t even talk about it. So that’s, that’s bad.

Unknown Speaker 41:12  

But it starts from the customer.

Scott Santucci 41:14  

Right? Right. Like it starts from the customer. It’s all about the customers viewpoint of their interactions with sellers, which they engage with their opinions of brands, they disengaged, just not talking about anymore. She said only about 20 25% really understood the input implications of our data. So I think that the point here, that that we’re bringing up is yes, it’s good to have assessments, we just have to have ways to bring it up, bring up conversation, because if people are gonna just put their heads fingers in their in their ears, and then and then they’re not talking to you, all you’re gonna do is be frustrated talking about your buyer journey mapping and all that other stuff ain’t going anywhere.

Unknown Speaker 42:01  

But I mean, I love I love it, because it it is a it can be kind of a cornerstone piece to how you can confront that change blindness. And I think change enablement, change enablement, sales enablement, leaders need to meet sometimes the permission to have these kinds of conversations with our leaders and with leaders across the enterprise. And that’s not always a simple thing to be able to get. So I think having something like that could be only for that kind of conversation to start. Awesome. So

Scott Santucci 42:40  

topic number one was changed blindness topic number two Productitis. What’s topic number three, and then we’ll move to wrap up and Mike, Brian Lambert, summarize and follow along with what Orchestrator should be processing.

Unknown Speaker 42:59  

The last part really is you have sharpened the pencil on who orchestrators are, and what their characteristics look like. And they are change agents. So you know, we start with change blindness. These books are, you know, they’ve got their eyes wide open. And they need to be goal oriented. And I’m so happy that that is one of the very first ones, or very first items that you talk about of who Orchestrator videos are.

Scott Santucci 43:29  

Because Brian, let me interrupt you here. The reason that, where did that list come from? I listened back and forth to the replay of the panel conversation with you, Greg, and Samir, over and over and over again. And I wrote down the notes. And then Brian Lambert did the same. We compare notes, and we got people to talk about it. And we ask other people to listen to it and share the feedback. So, you know, the point is, that was a lot of it was based on yalls panel.

Unknown Speaker 44:03  

I mean, I remember I resonate with you. I remember that well, then I’m glad I’m glad it still resonates with me, because I do remember talking a little bit about goal oriented versus results oriented and that there’s a big difference there and orchestrators are the ones who see the big picture. They’re the ones who see the connectivity between different organizations. And they can kind of see these dotted lines or lines that create How would these How would I need to what kind of operating model Do I need to extend into other parts of the business so that I can, you know, accomplish the things that we need to do and really orchestrate the way that we need to do? And so I was just really happy to see that, like clear. Number one. I think all of the characteristic traits here are really embody what an orchestrator is about. I think what’s interesting and that is What How do people start to achieve these areas in their own self development? And what are the ways that I’m aspiring orchestrators, or procedures and training or inside any of the insiders? What’s the right way for them to start really kind of thinking through how to accomplish and demonstrate these types of characteristics? And a lot of it is experience, right? And I think it has to be, what’s the word I wanted to use here, it has to be evaluated experience. And evaluated experience means I want to make sure I’ve debrief with myself and with others, what the experiences that I’ve had, when I’ve tried to drive results by design and not effort. And I only, only in my point of view, only evaluated experience has meaning going forward. Because we all have experience, everybody’s gonna experience my experience waking up this morning, that was great. Good for me. But evaluated experience is one where you’ve, you’ve really taken the time to deconstruct how did how did that thing, how did that activity or that relationship or that connection, actually work?

So the song was just really happy to see vision and goal focused as related as number one, because I think that’s critical in terms of seeing the big picture. Now, then, the next takeaway for me is great, we’ve got six antastic criteria or characteristics of what Orchestrator leaders really embody. So to me, it’s how does an Orchestrator and training someone who isn’t sales enablement aspiring to be an orchestrator? How do they start to really know that there are embodying these very specific, characteristic traits? And so then that I think that there is experience and most people say, Yeah, my experience, that’s what I’m going to use my experience to show that I’m able to unlock energy and create momentum, or I can catalyze change through collective collaboration. But to me that there’s a big difference between experience, because everyone has them.

Everyone has experiences, I woke up this morning, I was my experience, I got out of bed, it was great at breakfast, but it’s really evaluated experience in these types of issues, or these types of challenges that you’re solving across the company to create outcomes. And so you have to take a look and basically deconstruct how you prioritize the right goals at the right moments, because there is a value if there’s an evaluation of exactly how you were successful in that, what and your ability to say it was the right moment, or when you’re guiding the narrative by confronting reality. You know, after you’ve executed that, you confronted that reality, you have to go back and evaluate the experience that you’ve just gone through, to then be able to either teach it to the people who work for you teach other people who are interested to see how and why you’re so effective at what you do. Um, my point really is, most people can say, I would just use my experience to me, you can’t, you actually have to have an evaluated experience, because that is the only time that you really can on Earth, the nuggets that made you successful in those various specific characteristic traits. And so those that’s that’s really kind of my last key takeaways is I really love the Orchestrator concept of the Orchestrator characteristic traits. Productitis. And I know that Orchestrator is will only be successful if they can confront change blindness.

Scott Santucci 48:53  

Excellent. That’s fantastic. So thank you so much for doing that. What up before we turn it over to Brian Lambert to wrap up? What advice would you give somebody who, and what I’m what I’m asking you to think about? Brian King is imagine the people who were in the sales enablement community with the Conference Board, imagine your peers what would you tell them about what’s important to becoming an orchestrator? How do you go about getting there and is it worth it?

Unknown Speaker 49:36  

I would tell them, it’s worth it. Because, you know, for me, I always want I always wanted to create change in the lives of others, whether that’s personal or professional, and if I could can optimize and simplify a commercial system that empowers and enables a seller To achieve what they want to achieve, without having Productitis, and all these other issues, and to me, it’s worth it. And that becoming an orchestrator is, is more just about influence, then it is about control. And people will, if you have these characteristic traits around being mission and goal focused and confronting reality and driving for results, by design and not through effort and the others that you’ve listed, people will want to be a part of what you’re doing. People will naturally gravitate to where you’re trying to take things, and they want to be a part of that type of journey. So that’s really the the guide, the nine seven gap is, if you have the capability and the know how to manifest these types of characteristic traits from the Orchestration point of view, then you have the opportunity to lead in a way that corporate America is lacking at the moment. And, And that, to me is exciting leadership than anything else, because I think the best leaders give the best and they get the best. And those people who want to be a part of the best thing they possibly can within their company.

Scott Santucci 51:31  

Awesome. Thank you so much, insider nation. That’s some great advice for everybody else. Brian Lambert, why don’t you summarize up whether key takeaways against the same scorecard that we’ve been using all along and highlight what the thoughts are recap our session today?

Unknown Speaker 51:51  


Brian Lambert 51:51  

thanks so much, Brian, for joining us. I the recap you did on orchestrators was was awesome. And I like the criteria that you use there. I’m gonna use the same ones and and focus in on basically basically a quick run through So you talked about change blindness, Productitis, and orchestrators as change agents as your top three takeaways. And, you know, you started with this idea that change is happening constantly. And that quote around in the last 90 days, there’s been a, almost a nine year advance, I think those from McKinsey to talk about, you know, that attribute there of confronting reality. And that I think, launched the discussion because one of the Orchestrator attributes is confronting reality guiding narrative by confronting reality. And I talked to a company A while ago, about two weeks ago, and they’re still using last year’s data, they haven’t quite figured out that the whole world is changed, for example.

So talk about confronting reality there. That was a great quote. And then this idea of executing in the short term, but thinking long term by by design, not by effort. That was a great point around that. And then he talked about, you know, it’s a bit of a head scratcher, around this idea of still being in having Productitis just so much Productitis that you see, it’s like unconscious competence to you, why isn’t everybody doing this? And I think when we pivoted to this discussion around, how do we help, sales enablement, leaders orchestrate and catalyze change through collaboration, that unlocked a lot of the conversation, especially around why people might be rigid or a little bit apprehensive about engaging in the customer view, the Salesforce environment, the company environment, and, you know, not not orchestrating not driving that change, not putting their neck on the line, so to speak, and doing that in a way that’s structured. And I think that’s, that’s a huge piece of what you talked about is what does that look like he put a breathe a lot of life into that. And that leads to then What’s your goal as an orchestrator? It’s a bit of a gut check in a way to be an orchestrator to be a leader in the sales enablement space, you have to orchestrate you have to work across silos and orchestrate. And then you have to help people achieve their goals. And this whole Are you results focused or goal focused? That was a great, I remember that still from Episode Six. And that still rings true today. And another conversation this morning about the idea of pursuing outcomes versus just getting stuff done. And it makes a lot of sense on the surface, but it reveals itself as a bit of a paradox to some folks. So those are my my takeaways there. Brian, what do you think of that, and I really appreciated your discussion today.

Unknown Speaker 54:48  

I think you summarized a great, I mean, there’s I think it’s a brilliant piece of work. And I always, always appreciate being asked to come on and share my views. So thanks for hosting me, you guys and we can do this dance again whenever you running.

Scott Santucci 55:08  

Awesome. Well, we’re gonna get some of the gang together again. So yeah, let’s get

Unknown Speaker 55:11  

back together.

Scott Santucci 55:13  

Panel number six not episode six Brian, right you mentioned episode six so whatever whatever episode number that was I’ll take the onus of reach out say, hey, king called you guys out,

Unknown Speaker 55:26  


Scott Santucci 55:27  

Let’s bring the Ico labs. Samir, let’s bring the what company Solvay perspective. Let’s see if we can recreate what happened in Atlanta and modernize it and see how that plays out in a post COVID world. I guess.

Brian Lambert 55:52  

As always, everybody keep the comments coming. Keep the discussion lively at orchestrate sales.com make sure you check it out. There’s always new features being released. And we’ll see on the next episode. Take care everybody.

Outro 56:04  

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 future podcast for 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.

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