Ep63 Helping Salespeople Communicate Value with Jen Burns

Business Enablement

Welcome to Inside: Sales Enablement Episode 63

How do we make sales today and one of the things that we need to concentrate on is selling the value of what is actually value mean in the first place? No human being on the planet can live without water. But water is cheap, and prevalent, and inexpensive in most places. Whereas none of us need diamonds to survive. But diamonds are expensive. So what actually is value?

In this episode, the guys are joined by Jen Burns who runs sales enablement globally for IQVIA. The reason the concept is so important today is as we move into a digital into the digital economy where customer experience becomes so vital.

The key questions you must be able to help your sellers answer are: What actually is valuable? Is the product and service that you have, is that what is valuable? Or is it the outcome the customer achieves? Is that what’s valuable. That’s what we’re talking about today.


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 00:49  

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 01:03  

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. And as usual, we have a centering story. So Scott, what do you have for us today?

Scott Santucci 01:34  

So I’m going to lead with a quote, and I’m going to ask you to see if you can think place the quote and the time period.

Brian Lambert 01:42  


Scott Santucci 01:44  

Here’s the quote. Why is water that is vital for all life. cheap. And diamonds are so expensive.

Brian Lambert 01:56  

Isn’t this say? Something tells me that this is like the 1980s or something that a technology reference like a Steve Jobs keynote or something?

Scott Santucci 02:06  


Brian Lambert 02:06  

It is

Scott Santucci 02:07  

very close. Yes. It’s Aristotle. And it’s about 300 BC. You were right. Close. My hopes

Brian Lambert 02:17  

only to bash it upside that. Okay. Well, fine. Aristotle’s a smart dude. I can get go for that.

Scott Santucci 02:22  

I guess he’s Steve Jobs. Yes. And essentially, he’s got, you know, big thoughts.

Brian Lambert 02:27  

And they probably are more like sandals.

Scott Santucci 02:29  

There’s the close part. So why are we talking about this and diamonds, around the time of Aristotle, many of the people many of the Greeks actually believe diamonds were literally tears of the gods. And between, then, and in the dark ages, many kings wore diamonds on their armor because it was a great, it was a great sign of health and virility and safety. And then in 1477, I guess that’s the Renaissance time. maximillian, who at the time that this happened was the Archduke of the Habsburg Empire, babe later became the Holy Roman Emperor. So there’s your Italian Kwazii connection there for you. Thanks. You’re welcome. Nice pay out there. But this, this is pretty interesting. And 1477, he became the first person to actually propose to a woman using it using a diamond ring.

Brian Lambert 03:32  

So it’s his fault. I see.

Scott Santucci 03:34  

It is his fault. So set so that then so we fast forward to 1938. And the reason 1938 is a is a good is a very important time is because at this point in time, that De Beers organization we all know about the beers cornered the diamond industry. And they commissioned a study because most of the diamond sales were happening in the United States at the time. And what’s significant about 1938 Yes, it’s during the Great Depression. And there was a big dip in diamond sales. They commissioned a study figured out that before 1938 you know, who they were trying to sell diamonds to directly to women. And what they found out is that they needed to sell diamonds to men, and specifically around this whole engagement ring phenomenon. So a woman named Dorothy diam did did a bunch of this research and when it first came out, they came out with a she’s the one who came up with the Diamonds Are Forever program.

Brian Lambert 04:37  

What’s her name?

Scott Santucci 04:38  

Dorothy was Dorothy Diane.

Brian Lambert 04:40  

I thought I thought you said Dorothy diamond. I’m like what that did she changed her name. Okay.

Scott Santucci 04:46  

Great. Yeah, actually credited as being one of the first people to do product placement so that

Brian Lambert 04:52  

diamonds are forever. That’s right.

Scott Santucci 04:55  

So that’s that became a slogan and wrote by By the 1950s diamond sales that drunk jumped at the time they were promoting one, one month salary for what you should pay for a ring that went so well they doubled it to two months. So those things are all going on. Now what’s interesting then, and at the same time, in 1954, so think about alchemy, we’ve talked about alchemy, before people trying to make gold, and people have been trying to make diamonds or synthesize diamonds. And it wasn’t it wasn’t until 1954 that synthetic diamonds could be produced today, synthetic diamonds are its own industry and upon itself. So you have the regular mined diamonds that are used mostly or for gems. But then the synthetic diamonds are used for machine and cutting tools. They’re used as thermal conductors, they’re used as optical materials, electronics, and increasingly as gemstones and to bring this full circle. Part of the reason gemstones are becoming an option is because of environmental reasons and be poked, people are becoming more concerned with it. So for example, it takes about 250 tons of earth to produce one carat of diamonds, or also some of the poor working conditions are like, so what you have is, you know, coming back full step full circle to Aristotle. Why is water? vital? And why are diamonds so expensive? Well, there’s a whole bunch of reasons for for diamonds, and a whole bunch of people have different value for it. So that’s our centering story, full circle from Aristotle, the Aristotle between 300 some odd BC to 2020. And we’ve covered a lot of ground here.

Brian Lambert 06:56  

Yeah, thanks. Great, great lesson, I guess. But I got to ask. So what? So what does this have to do with sales enablement?

Scott Santucci 07:05  

So this has to do with sales enablement is the first part of that word is sales. How do we make sales today and one of the things that we need to concentrate on is selling the value of what is actually value mean in the first place? No human being on the planet can live without water. But water is cheap, and prevalent, and inexpensive in most places. Whereas none of us need diamonds to survive. But diamonds are expensive. So what actually is value. And the reason that that’s so important today is as we move into a digital into the digital economy where customer experience becomes so important. What actually is valuable? Is the product and service that you have, is that what is valuable? Or is it the outcome the customer achieves? Is that what’s valuable. So that’s what we’re talking about today.

Brian Lambert 08:02  

Great. Well, we have with us to help us unpack this. And actually, we’re using this and it this podcast in a in an interesting way. I think our listeners are gonna love to hear about this. We’ve got Jen burns with us, Scott, why don’t you tell us a little bit about Jen and have her introduce herself. And then I’ll come back at the end and recap what all this means to orchestrators.

Scott Santucci 08:22  

Well, I’m super excited to introduce Jen for a variety reasons. So Jen and I go back aways. Jen actually was one of the participants, Brian, if you remember, the sales enablement society didn’t start as a sales day was sorry, started as the washington dc local sales enablement. networking group, which I titled that was my baby.

Brian Lambert 08:47  

That’s why you’re not in marketing.

Scott Santucci 08:48  

That’s true. I’m not in marketing. So Jen, Jen, join us there. Jen has been the been on the board of directors of the sale today and once it along the way. And now she runs sales enablement globally for a company called a cavia. So when they The third thing there for actually The fourth thing that I’m excited about is I’m really interested to see how Jen reacts to our centering story and connects the dots of what we’re going to talk about. Jen, would you care to add some color about who you are and introduce yourself to inside our nation?

Jen Burns 09:23  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I’m kind of nervous about the pivot to the centering story, but we’ll see what we can do. From that perspective. It was a great one. So see, I’m Jen burns, and Senior Director of Sales, global sales strategy, enablement training at IQ vs. Scott mentioned. And and I’m really excited to be part of this podcast and it I think it’s been quite a number of years actually, since Scott, you and I have been on a webinar or podcast together and Brian similar to that, so. So it’s great and a lot of has happened since then. Particularly since our early days. It days for sure. But um, you know, but I’m very excited to kind of get into this topic today, particularly because we’re preparing for a keynote, this coming week at our global sales conference, which Scott is, is going to be leading, and I will be joining him in the discussion. So really important that we start to flesh this topic out and wanted to use this platform to really kind of think through some of the key issues to ensure that when we put it in front of the sales team, you know, it makes sense, and they can start leveraging some of these techniques. So it’s really important, you know, for me, and for my organization to ensure that we continue to drive, you know, value to our customers, and very, very excited to discuss what that actually means today. So yeah, really great to be here, guys. Thanks for having me.

Scott Santucci 10:46  

Oh, no problem. So in case you’re wondering. And following along, let’s make sure we’re paying attention really clear, crystal clear, Jen is doing this podcast, because she’s practicing. And she’s practicing for a keynote presentation, that, well, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna do, we’re gonna do together. So we’re gonna do a keynote presentation for the sales kickoff that she’s got in a few days. And we’re practicing landing some of the concepts. So I just want to make sure that everybody recognizes that we all have to practice we all have to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations, we’re asking our sales people to do it don’t get outside of their comfort zone. I think this is a great opportunity to highlight that Jen’s doing exactly that. So with that, having said that, let’s talk about value. And why is this topic so important? Don’t doesn’t everybody know what value means? Gen y’s, why is talking about values such a central theme for sales organizations in 2020?

Jen Burns 11:52  

Yeah, so I think, you know, it reminds me back to the days when we were trying to put a definition behind sales enablement, right? It kind of means something different to every person. And, you know, I think for every sales enablement practitioner that’s listening to this, or even a salesperson or marketing professional, it’s the word value is a very nebulous term. And I think, you know, frankly, we throw it around, you know, in a way that it doesn’t really clearly provide value. Right? So when we say we’re value selling, or we’re driving value to our customers, I think we really need to be careful about how we use that term, because what ends up happening is it doesn’t carry meaning. And, you know, one of the reasons you know why Scott, I’m so excited to, you know, to be working with you, and growth enablement and trying to, you know, work through what, what the definition of value really means to to our sales, sales organization, so we can continue can continue to drive growth, it’s really thinking about, you know, what it means to the customer, because I think we all want to define it from our lens. But really, you know, the value is what the customer thinks it is not what we think it is. And so there’s a lot of, you know, ways that I think we can get to that answer. And so really excited to, you know, to start working through, you know, one, how we do that, and to how we communicate it to sales so that they can articulate it in a much stronger way to our customers,

Scott Santucci 13:22  

right. And one of the things that where this problems begins, or starts, really comes down to as businesses, we tend to go to market. And when we go to market, we think, let’s make a list of all the different products that we’ve got our capabilities that we’ve got. Now let’s compare those capabilities, and how do we compare those capabilities, either by the speeds and feeds that we can prove and demonstrate or what we can demo, or by how we compare against our competitors. And I think the observation that we’re on Jen and love, you get some add some more clarity about that, is, as we build more and more capabilities, one, we can’t communicate all that stuff to people, it becomes overwhelming. And to from a customer standpoint, one of the challenges is how are we going to get everybody who is who’s involved in that on the same page? And how are we going to turn those capabilities into value for us? So are you seeing similar similar situations? And how do you go about preparing the right kinds of materials to have a value driven conversation?

Jen Burns 14:32  

Yeah, so let’s, let’s unpack this a little bit, because I’ll give you my perspective. And then actually, I’d like to get yours right on, you know, potentially a different direction. so well done in a very, in a very simple way, right? The way that that you know, and I and I will come out and be transparent and say that this is how I typically view value right and i think others do as well is that when we’re trying Trying to prepare our sales organization to sell more effectively and have better deeper conversations with buyers, we often anchor that conversation to what our solutions are going to drive. Right? So, you know, what can we increase or decrease? Can we drive revenue growth rate, all of the key buzzwords that everybody uses in their marketing materials or sales conversations. And you know, of course, that’s all talking about product. And while we absolutely want to share those things, and they’re very meaningful at different parts of the conversation, and conversations that we have with buyers and other key stakeholders, I don’t think they’re the things that really set us up for a good consultative relationship so that we can help our buyers understand, you know, what is that value that that they’re looking for? Right, because we think myopically that it’s directly, you know, related to our product and what it can do versus what actually is going on with an organization that directly impacts that definition to them. So I would actually turn it back to you, Scott, and just get your thoughts on, you know, one is, is the pattern kind of that you see, directly correlating value to product versus, you know, people actually digging into the value that the customer believes that they’re trying to drive, which may be influenced by things going on in their environment? And then how do we actually think differently about that? As we’re crafting, you know, our resources and tools for sales? Because it’s a very difficult thing for me to kind of get my hands around? Yes.

Scott Santucci 16:35  

So Jen is leading with all of you guys. She has a more refined view than what she’s what she’s sharing. The Jen, you and I both have had experience talking about this concept of prototypes. And it’s been really the width inside your company. I think that’s really where where things start, is that we’ve just got so much muscle memory, about wanting to talk about what we’ve got, that we’re losing sight of what’s valuable for customers. That’s one point. The second point is, I think it’s really difficult when we so let’s say that Brian, were a real estate agent and genuine I had a business partnership where we’re looking to buy some real estate. Brian referred to us as buyers, we’re going to be put off because we haven’t bought anything yet. So I think another another challenge is let’s, let’s move off of thinking about the people that we’re trying to sell to as buyers because it desensitizes it, we treat them like there’s some formulaic thing out there just waiting. They have all this demand for whatever our product and services, but the reality is they don’t. The reality is to create demand with them. And maybe we don’t treat them as buyers, we treat them actually as customers and human beings.

Jen Burns 18:06  

Yeah, no, that’s that’s a fair point, honestly, and, and frankly, if we were doing our jobs well, as salespeople, you know, we want them to recognize, you know, in many cases, problems they may not realize exists. So if there’s no problems in their mind, they’re not buyers. That’s right. So it actually makes sense to say it that way, I agree with you.

Scott Santucci 18:26  

So when we when we when we unpack that, then what makes it be makes it very difficult is we’re in the b2b world. So in your case, Janet acuvue, you sell to pharmaceutical companies. So pharmaceutical companies are multinational, large, complex entities and word that’s what we’re technically selling to. However, we’re also selling to human beings as well. And I think this is where things become challenging is to not confront the complexities that exist in a b2b organization to start off with. So one of the things that we have developed is a, what we call a value equation. And there’s three simple parts to it, there is the impact that we can bring to bear to the company that you have to co create or agree on. There are costs. There’s a bunch of different categories of costs, from switching costs to opportunity costs. And then there’s risk factors. And I think the reason that I want to spend more time on the risk factors is that’s where a lot of humaneness kicks in, in most cases, we’re selling across multiple stakeholders. And that’s hugely, hugely politically risky for people. And if we’re not putting ourselves in their shoes, the fear factor of doing something different becomes overwhelming. So that’s another another aspect of it is how much empathy Do we really have for the stakeholders that we’re selling to? Do we understand enough about what they do on a day to day basis. And then how do we connect the dots between the breadth of our capabilities and helping them achieve an outcome? So we’ve been through a, some of this at, you know, together on this, Jen, what are your remarks on focusing that way? And why do you think this stuff is so important?

Jen Burns 20:22  

Yeah, I Well, it’s, you know, certainly the complexity of the sale, you know, in different environments certainly drives a lot of that, right. But I think if I’m kind of making it relevant to the, you know, the sales environment that the sales organization sells into now that I support, of course, you know, we need to really focus on and, you know, in order to serve our customers in the most effective way, you know, how we can understand not just their business, right, because anybody can go out and do research and learn about how these organizations operate, you know, but really make it unique to the specific things that are driving that organization and the different stakeholders that have to engage with each other to make things happen. You know, and of course, the more and more we try, you know, to lean into the complexity and understand how, how it all you know, functions, and all orchestrates together to to be successful, I think the more successful we will be as salespeople and as an organization and supporting our customers. And it’s important for us to think about those things as we go into sales conversations versus how does my product fit into this company? And I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do, I think it’s, it takes a lot of preparation and hard work and practice to be able to build a narrative around what that value story should be.

But the difficulty becomes, how does it impact the different, you know, to your point, like, if I’m dealing with different stakeholders across this organization that I know, I need to all, you know, get to gain buy in to drive my relationship forward, you know, understanding what value means to each of those different people is, is not an easy thing to do. And, of course, you know, from a politics perspective, and operational perspective, a cultural perspective at all, you know, that all matters and has to weigh into the overarching strategy. And I have to say, like, I, you know, I don’t know a lot of people that just inherently operate that way. And so it’s a really exciting challenge to try to think about how this value equation can be leveraged to, you know, systematically change the strategy, but also give us very specific ways to look at individual stakeholders and how they all should work together to, you know, to solve the challenge or, you know, drive their execution strategy forward.

Scott Santucci 22:45  

I could tell listening to Jen, that you want her to use some specifics that we’re struggling with right now, and that he did a good job of generic and not revealing any, any details for your company? One thing that I would say is, what’s so challenging is that putting the details, or putting the things that are important in a human to human conversation into PowerPoints or documents, is really, really difficult. But wouldn’t you agree that when we ask people to stop thinking about the deliverables and the stuff, and concentrate more on on having a conversation about these individual stakeholders, say, a chief Commercial Officer, a business unit leader, who owns a therapeutic area, a CSO different folks like that, it becomes way easier? Would you agree that that’s been at least par for the course when we’ve been dealing with some of the sales people?

Jen Burns 23:49  

Yeah, absolutely. Because it’s, it’s more easy, easier to attach, you know, your approach to an individual person and what their role is in that organization than it is to look at the big, big picture and try to sell something that just is going against the grain, if you will, right. So breaking it down in that way, I think is is more digestible for a salesperson to attack. I mean, they need the tools and resources to be able to do that. But yeah, I mean, I and, you know, I’ve listened to previous podcasts that you guys have done. And there was, you know, I think Bob Apollo, who spoke recently was talking about, you know, the importance of finding someone who wants to drive change. And normally, you know, that is it well, if we’re thinking about kind of the grouping of stakeholders that you know, that most sales people will be focused on, you know, targeting, you know, you might be lucky to find one person who is who has that type of mentality or is in a role that’s a change agent, if you will, and maybe it’s more than one and that’s fantastic. And then you’re really, you know, in for an exciting ride for sure. But I think if we think about it that way, you know, it will make it much easier for a salesperson to, to kind of break down their their strategy and tackle it with the most amount of, you know, leverage that they can going into these conversations. So yeah, I totally agree with you.

Scott Santucci 25:16  

Yeah, that resonates a lot with me sort of that, that hero’s journey that people go through. And you’ve got to be able to find somebody who has the intestinal fortitude or the appetite or the courage to actually tackle something new, what we’re talking about is that our sales people are actually change agents and upon themselves, and they have to find a counterpart, who is willing to have the courage to drive that and recognize that it’s actually a journey. So those are some of the things that are that we’re talking about. I think the difficulty we run into Jen is, the farther you get away from the, I guess, the point of sale or the customer. And the more you think about abstract things like markets and personas, and you know, tear sheets and things that folks would build in silos, it makes it really difficult to connect the dots between the breadth of capabilities that we have inside our company, versus the kinds of materials that our salespeople need to equip engagements with the things that they require.

Jen Burns 26:27  

No, it exactly. And I mean, what you just described is Productitis. Yeah, going into market based on the things that you want to say, because you need to get it out. And you believe that that’s valuable, versus, you know, listening to an earnings call, and understanding what drivers, you know, are happening across the organization, and then, you know, kind of back end, you know, backing into it right around, well, who should I be going after, right? From a stakeholder perspective that would care most about this initiative based on how it aligns to, you know, the solutions that my company can offer, like that is a different strategy in my mind, that can help set salesperson up for success versus caring about, you know, a tear sheet that that just isn’t, you know, gonna gonna move the needle and the fastest way for most, most salespeople, so I think it’s just thinking about it differently, finding the opportunities to change your eyes, high level value, and then connecting to the right person to understand where it really becomes relevant from a very specifics perspective.

Scott Santucci 27:35  

But how have you been handling as a sales enablement? professional, you’re stuck in between these two opposing forces, right? On the one hand, you want to be more customer centered. On the other hand, you have an organization that’s organized into individual silos that wants to tell or prescribe salespeople What to do? How are you balancing between those two? And what do you what would be ideal for you? If we could create a better definition or or Northstar of what value is?

Jen Burns 28:11  

Yeah? Well, I would say, one, it’s remarkably difficult. And it’s in every organization, right? I mean, every organization I’ve worked in, it’s very much the same. And I think it’s a common challenge. And it’s really hard, because obviously, you know, in, in most organizations, particularly sales and marketing, there’s goals and objectives that everyone has to meet, you have to drive leads, you have to grow the pipeline. And I think organically, you know, we get stuck using the same muscles over and over and over again, because, you know, we know that they do work in a lot of cases, but it doesn’t work in the ways that we really needed to, to, to change the game. And so, you know, for me, it’s been hard because, you know, obviously, you know, most of the things that that that sales enablement leaders anchor onto is, you know, how can we make our reps sell more effectively? How can we leverage, you know, value based selling versus, you know, features and functionality selling or, you know, product selling, if you will, and all those things are very effective. But really, when it comes down to it, I think we’re not, we’re not doing the best buyer sales organizations.

If we think about that alone, right, it’s more, what does the customer you know, really care most about, and then organizing our tools and resources around that. And in order to really be able to do that you have to drive change across your different cross functional teams that support sales, because it has to be embedded as we know, right into the heart of everything we’re doing, whether it’s product strategy, marketing, enablement, and even into customer success and delivery. You know, so there’s a lot of things that that we need to do to kind of make that change happen, but The best place to start is, you know, like we’ve been talking about, here’s the customer. So I think for me, it’s really kind of building the structure and framework around understanding how to do that effectively. Because, you know, like, we you kind of mentioned earlier, it’s not about a buyer persona. And not every, you know, cmo or CIO or CTO cares about all the same things, and they played different roles in different organizations.

So being able to think about what are the ways that you can get to understanding how roles work in each of the different organizations that are in your territory? Or in your name that countless, or whatever it is, how do you tackle it, in understanding that, you know, the different stakeholders and and what they’re doing to move the needle in their organizations every day? And then, you know, figuring out how to build resources to do that as an easy and what we’re taught. That’s why we’re talking about this today. That’s right. So, you know, it’s daunting, and I’m just being honest, because, you know, look, I, I work in a big organization, there’s a lot of different moving parts and pieces, I can’t walk into a meeting and say, This is what we need to do, let’s change it by tomorrow. It takes a lot of, you know, teamwork and collaboration, orchestration, you know, internally, and we’re at the beginning phases of really trying to drive a more customer centric model. You know, but it’s, this is, I think, the very beginning stages of an exciting, you know, path that we’re going to go down that will transform the way we support our customers moving forward.

Scott Santucci 31:35  

So I want to piggyback on that was

Jen Burns 31:36  

a lot sorry.

Scott Santucci 31:38  

Get excited, this is great. A part of what we’re trying to do for our podcast is to just have honest conversations for people like yourself, what I want to highlight and I think, you know, we talked about this all the time, Jim, I think you do yourself a bit bit of a disservice about the wins that you’ve got, one of the things that has been fascinating, is to actually have a conversation about who’s the adult wallet owner. And what we have found that there’s not a lot of general agreement of who exactly the adult wallet owner is. You have some people say that our, our Huckleberry, for lack of a better word that the person that we’re after, is the CIO. Some people say no, it’s, it’s the head of a brand, or, or an individual drug. Other people say no, it’s the executive committee, or the head of head of sales, or the chief Commercial Officer. And what we’re finding is all of them can be right, based on the based on the situation. So how do we create more scenarios based on that, while moving away from this idea of a persona? And these things are challenging, but as long as you stick to it, it’s been? It’s been very illuminating, would you agree?

Jen Burns 33:00  

Yeah. Yeah, no, absolutely. Because, you know, I’m very guilty of building buyer persona maps, I’ve done it multiple times. So I cannot act like I have not fallen, fallen into that trap before I absolutely have. But you know, now that I, you know, looking at it from a different perspective. One, there’s, there’s a couple kind of thoughts that I have, based on what you just said, One is, you know, if if there are varying thoughts about who you’re selling to in your organization, one, I think there’s some positive ways you can look at that. But also, it’s, you know, it’s also very telling that the concept of buyer persona actually doesn’t exist, because, you know, our sales organization and our sales leaders are very successful. They have varying opinions. But what that tells me is that they’re selling to roles, not buyer personas. So in their mind, right, the sales strategy that they have in tackling, you know, these different markets that we’re selling into, even though one might think it’s this person or this role, and one might think it’s this person and that role. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, right? I mean, maybe on the surface, it’s confusing as to how that could happen. But really, ultimately, what that means is, our strategy is probably more aligned than we think. But maybe we need to mobilize it around something different, like to your point, right, so what are the roles that we should be tackling not titles? So yes, of course, the C suite, everybody wants to get there. Yes. So we can ignore that fact. But in reality, is every person in our sales organization selling to the CIO? No, not even close. Right.

So how do we think about where those impact points are, those value points are and we sell to that versus selling to the title, you know, of that person in the C suite. And I think if we do that, then We’ll more easily get to the C suite, because the story that we’re telling will resonate so much more strongly with that individual than otherwise, you know, it would have so. So anyway, I yeah, I mean, this is a topic, I think a lot of people would have a lot of opinions about, of course, but, but that’s kind of what I’m saying.

Scott Santucci 35:20  

Yeah. So I think what’s, what’s challenging is, there’s a lot of existing tools that you can plug in, to do a to create a set of slides that says, hey, here’s the answer. Yeah. Cuz, though, that those are all just different perspectives from either a marketers viewpoint, a sales trainers viewpoint, or an individual salespersons viewpoint, it misses the mark. And I think what, what we’re finding is that if you identify, hey, these are, these are the different people who have money that can spend with us, let’s just make a profile and see how big of those bags of money they are. Eight, because a sales operations person might not have many bags of money at all, he or she might just be an approver. So as we plot that out, then we can say, based on where they are in their organization, what levers, what value levers can they pull, and what’s important to them politically, because that’s where the humaneness kicks in. And when you start plotting that out, for for those listening, Jen and I were we Jenna, and somebody else we’re working with Matt, we’ve been playing around with this idea, like we’re playing the wire, we’re plotting out the crime syndicate or whatever, it makes it a little bit lighter. But what you see are very, very clear patterns, that there are some things that are impactful for some stakeholders that other stakeholders just don’t care about.

There are some cost drivers that some stakeholders care a lot about, but others don’t care. And then there are risk factors that are common that everybody cares about, that we’re just not equipping our sales people on, on how to handle. And it’s those risk factors that if you think about that value equation, we talked about, the impact that we can bring to bear is going to be unique to each individual stakeholder. The cost drivers are that are associated with it are going to be unique to that individual company. But the risk factors are going to be common. The common risk factors being can we execute on this? How much political capital Do I have to invest? How hard is it going to be to drive adoption or operationalize it? What would I do else? Instead of doing this, and challenges around your culture? Those are all real human things that go into the decisions that we’re just not talking about?

Jen Burns 37:59  

No, I mean, it’s, it hits such a chord with me, honestly. Because if you think about the impact and the costs, right, those are things that you have more control over in your, in your, your dialogue with with your stakeholders, right? You know, the impact points, of course, differ depending on, you know, the organization or, you know, the specific individual stakeholders that you’re working with the cost, of course, you know, to, to acquire a new technology or switch or what the implementation is, right, we have a little bit more control that because those are known factors in most cases. You know, but the risks are the things I think we lack empathy for. And I think the Productitis, you know, conversation is so critical here, because this is where, you know, you can say, Oh, we understand our buyer needs and we align our solutions aligned to the needs. And you know, we’re going to drive these business outcomes. And we understand that if they want to switch from this competitor to us, it’s going to cost x. All those things are known factors, but it’s lacking complete empathy for what that particular stakeholder or champion or change agent has to deal with in order to get this over the finish line. And if our sales people understood how to navigate that complexity, I think everything else falls into place, because it just takes one wrong conversation. And it doesn’t matter how much your solution can drive X, Y or Z, it falls flat on its face. So if we can prepare our sales people to actually think about those things as they head into these engagements, I think it will make them drastically more successful without question. And I guess, Scott, you know, just from your experience, and you’ve interviewed a ton of executives, you know, executives, you know, across sales organizations and sales people, I mean, you know, more Have you found, I guess, is kind of the biggest missing factor that people are not thinking about as it relates to risk?

Scott Santucci 40:10  

Wow, I think just having a conversation about risk, frankly, uh, one of the things that I like to do is put a put a sheet in front of folks that just ask the questions and really be able to say, Look, I know you and I both know that you go to, as we go off this meetings, you know, going well, but you’re gonna wake up the next morning, and you’re going to have some questions and, and they’re going to reach at the pit of your pit of your stomach, and it’s gonna make you feel like, you know, the juice ain’t worth the squeeze. So we need to be able to have a human based way to bring that stuff out. So what I like to do is think about like it just asking some questions, or actually having it on a sheet of paper. So I’m not asking them, it’s, it’s even lighter than that. on that sheet of paper, can my team execute and accomplish this, whatever we’re talking about? If you’re even watching that, let’s talk about it. Hopefully, you’ve got resources, you know, in your company that can do that. That’s one. Another one would be opportunity cost. If we do this, what Won’t we do?

So let’s keep people, let’s remind people that if we’re tackling a change initiative, and tackling change, it means you’re going to not have to do something else? How do you factor those things in? How do you begin to make the case? To get there, you don’t just immediately start doing something you have to plan it out a little bit about the political capital? How will I sell this program internally? Here’s the thing, I would say the number one thing that we’re missing with salespeople is to realize that they’re great communicators. And if we can turn them to help do help with the internal selling for our, our stakeholder, who what executive wouldn’t want that help? I mean, Who wouldn’t? Wait, you’re gonna help me get by and other people? Well, let’s turn our salespeople to be that internal advocate. Benefit realization would be when will we see their early results? So you give them a game plan to say that focuses on where the quick wins will be? And then a culture fit how to? How do you define what common cultural barriers are to overcome? I think those are those are the five most common things that no matter what executive, you’re talking to, being able to diffuse a lot of the intensity, and the emotions are in sales that are involved in evaluations today, having conversations like this helps diffuse a lot of that.

Jen Burns 42:54  

Yeah, I mean, this couldn’t be more spot on. And honestly, I would love to spend 10 minutes going into each one, because not not literally just, you know, I think they’re all really important topics, as it relates to how, you know, our sales team engages. And, you know, one of the things that I was thinking about as I was listening to explain kind of the different components of risk, you know, is how the salesperson could take each salesperson could take each of those different elements. And think about how it impacts the different stakeholders that need to engage. Because I think most of us just inherently, you know, sell one way. And even if we think about all the different dynamics that are, you know, key stakeholder would would be faced with in their journey, and in driving the engagement forward. It’s preparing that person to face all of these things. And to me, like those, that’s where I can drive more value to my sales organization, as if I could, if the end outcome of this right is that I could support my sales team with tools, and resources, and they may not be tangible things, right, but more so just a change in mindset. Because they’re fantastic. And they can find creative ways to, you know, to do this in their own way. But just having the mindset shift around, you know, thinking about the different stakeholders and how they sell the program internally, what does that mean? It means something different to every single person along that chain, it’s not just your direct stakeholder that you’re working with, it’s the five other people that have to you know, sell this up the chain potentially, or across the organization. And each person will have to do that in a different way.

So they need to look at the engagement in a different way. And I think, you know, we, you know, I’m sure there are people that do this inherently, but most will just, it’s a one, you know, one track train that goes down, right and we try to do the best we can to say You’re out how to manage different people. But I think it’s, we really have to break this down and give them the tools and resources to think about each of those components for the various stakeholders that they have to engage with. Because it really does matter a lot. But my reaction to that is,

Scott Santucci 45:15  

is a couple fold. Right? You mentioned, it may not be chanted, tangible, it might be a mindset, I think part of our challenge is, we have to help create more space for sales people to think about the human element. And part of the way of creating more space is to eliminate a lot of the quote unquote, things that are things that people think are so concrete and tangible, but are just slides for slides sake, then we need to create tangible things that help have these conversations. And what’s interesting about this is, if you just get a salesperson, or frankly, anybody to ask, okay, that’s the kind of thing that you’re going that we’re asking our clients to do, would you advocate it for you inside our company? Would you be willing to take that kind of risk, because if not, then just showing up with more deliverables isn’t going to cut it, you have to recognize that people are putting their careers on the line for this kind of stuff. And we have to make sure that the reason sometimes our salespeople are so pissed, is because they know they’re asking their clients to take career, make career bets with them. And if we’re not showing up and showing up and giving them stuff and thinking that risk management is some sort of lecture or something, you can put on a on a on a key card, it isn’t a risk management really is about the risk of the people that want to we want to champion for us their risk of getting fired. That’s what what we mean by the risk factor, it’s more of a, of a of an emotional, or, actually, it’s combination of emotional and reality. And the more we take the risk out and make us easier to do business with the greater off, we’re going to be and the more valuable, they’re going to be able to see and perceive.

Jen Burns 47:21  

Yeah, no, it’s exactly. And I what comes to mind to me is, you know, a lot of people think, you know, I have this account in front of me, and I have to go sell them absolutely everything in my bag, because that will make me smash my quota. And I’ll sell lots and I’ll make tons of money. And while of course, we all want to do that, right? It’s more about really understanding how your value cascades. And it’s, you know, of course, we’re not saying we don’t want to get the big deal, right, we all do. But are we planting, you know, the right seeds along the way to really ensure that, you know, we’re driving value to that customer in the most meaningful way long term. Because it isn’t always about, you know, going to grab the biggest deal. And, and, you know, moving forward to the next one, it’s it’s really about late, you know, setting those foundational elements. And I think this strategy, around leveraging this value equation will help us, you know, really understand how to manage our relationships with our customers more effectively, which will mitigate a lot of the risk that you know, that we don’t want to end up, you know, not positioning our key stakeholders, you know, well enough for, if that makes sense. It does. And it’s, yeah, it’s not going to be easy to do that. But I think if we change if we first change the mindset, and then we and then we, you know, upskill, around, how do we do that effectively in our current ecosystem? And then three, it’s how do I, right, as a leader in my organization, more cross functionally and in an orchestrated way with my peers, to ensure that we can evolve and transform our support infrastructure for the sales team, to be able to do this more effectively. Because, you know, initially, we’re going to have to rely on people to you know, start taking these steps on their own. And then ultimately, our goal, you know, will have to be to build, you know, kind of this treasure chest of things, if you will, that will help us, you know, do this, you know, moving forward. So I think it’s exciting.

Scott Santucci 49:36  

Yeah, so as we wrap up, I just want to share one key point. Yeah, interesting is when you start back where you are able to say this is the business problem that exists inside our companies, the client companies their organizational business problem. This is the adult wallet owner who owns it. And here are their risk bunkers. That’s the only thing that mitigates the deal size is what access level you have, not how many products or services you’ve got. And that’s kind of the big shift is that if you’re going to sell to the adult wallet owners, then you could have, you can literally close big deals on one sheet of paper. Because that’s how executives think. And they want to, they want to move forward on things that are going to move the needle on their business. They don’t want to spend a ton of time on it, they want to take action. That’s the way they work. If we think that we have to show them speeds and feeds of 75 different products and services and bring in 30 different people to demo it. Well, what executive is going to want to listen to that, heck, would you want to listen to that? be insulted? I wouldn’t? Would you?

Jen Burns 50:53  


Scott Santucci 50:55  

So I think that those are the things, you know, to, to highlight here is to make this come full circle. Why are we talking about value? And what value is in 2020? And how does this relate back to Aristotle’s question, the ongoing question that has been with us since we started thinking, right, as human beings, what makes something valuable, and in today’s economy, where there’s a lot of change going on, one of the things that’s really, really valuable that we’re not paying enough attention to, is our ability to listen, to untangle complexity, and to give clients a common clear path forward. And that’s what we’re talking about with de risking. So that’s how we tied it all together that you were nervous about beforehand. How did we do on that? Jen?

Jen Burns 51:45  

Yeah, no, I, I, it was an awesome conversation. And it has me definitely thinking differently about, you know, how I can think about value and prepare, you know, our organization, our sales organization to, you know, to position value with our customers. So I think it was very much well connected, Scott, feel much better about the centering story than I did in the beginning, for sure.

Scott Santucci 52:11  

Yep. And that’s the thing, depending on what you look at, or what lens, you put it in, even diamonds, people evaluating diamonds now, because of the environmental impact 250 tons of dirt to get one, one carat of diamond, as people asking whether or not these things should be valuable or not. So the environment around us changes. So that means what’s valuable changes. And I think one of the things that we have to lean into is, you are in the midst of a major transformation of our economy, we’re in a digital economy now. And that means organizational silos don’t cut it, which means our sales people have to navigate that if they’re able to navigate that, then they’re going to be the ones who are problem solvers for and our competitors won’t be. So that’s, that’s basically our wrap up. I’m gonna let you have any parting shots before we turn it over Brian and wrap up our podcast.

Jen Burns 53:11  

Yeah, no, great. I mean, I thought it was an awesome, you know, conversation, I think it’s good to distill down some of these topics for, you know, obviously for our keynote, and, you know, just thinking through the impact that, you know, that we can have here. And I would just say one final thought, as I kind of pull all of these things together. In my mind, it’s really about, you know, how are we thinking of the bigger, you know, value that we’re driving an organization beyond just the point solution. And I think that that’s the not everybody’s trying to crack. And I think if we can, you know, really tease out this value equation, and it can be, you know, scalable and repeatable. You know, across the different sales strategies we have, I think it will be an unstoppable because we have the value already. Yeah, we do we have best in class solutions. We just don’t articulate it the right way. So if we can articulate it in a different way, a better way, I think we will be tremendously successful. So, you know, thank you guys so much for allowing me to be part of the discussion today. I thought it was really beneficial for me, and I’m excited to take this forward.

ScotT Santucci 54:26  

Excellent. So Brian, wrap this up.

Brian Lambert 54:30  

Great. Well, one of the things that you guys talked about, and I just wanted to tie off on this, Scott was the value equation. And you and I’ve talked about it, but I’ll outline it here quickly. I just want to make sure our listeners are tracking what the value equation is, because you’ve used it a lot on the podcast, but it’s actually an equation that you came up with, where the perceived value is equal to the impact minus cost. So that the impact Have the solution the cost minus the cost divided by risk? Can you share just a little bit more around that Scott’s or listeners have a definition of the value equation?Before we wrap up?

Scott Santucci 55:12  

I think we can publish that out. But there’s, the whole idea is that value is perceived values in the eye of the beholder. The idea that we’re going to create one scorecard or one ROI, calculator, things like that. But that might be true for lower level, lower level buyers, it’s not true for executives, executives aren’t gonna believe our ROI calculators anyway. So it’s all about perceived value. And with that, there are you think about this as impact minus cost is the top is the top part, that’s that that is the numerator. And then the denominator is risk, and specifically risk of getting fired. And if you think about that, what you want to be able to do is you want to be able to come up with your impact drivers, like, are you helping them achieve cost savings, are you helping them with adaptability, whatever the whatever the driver is, then you have costs. And the costs aren’t just the cost of acquiring your products and services. costs include switching costs, cost includes training costs of getting their people up to speed on it, costs are involved with adoption costs, there’s a variety of different cost drivers that are all very common and standard. And then Jen, and I spent a lot of time talking about the risk factors. So just you think about risk, think about why they might get fired, what’s going on in the minds of those executives, they’re in these roles for a reason. They’re good at what they do. And they don’t take a lot of risk for arbitrary risk. So if you can just think through and put yourself in their shoes, how they might think about it, that is way more of a factor. And what you want to be able to do is if they perceive a high degree of risk, their overall value equation to them, or the perceived value is going to be low. If you take risk away, the value increases dramatically. And that’s so that’s the number one variable that you can use, moving forward to move deals forward is to de risk them.

Brian Lambert 57:19  

That’s great. And so if you if you’re drawing this out on a piece of paper, you’ve got perceived value, equal impact, minus cost on the top, and then divided by risk. That’s the equation and you guys did talk a lot about risk. That’s actually where I’m going to start. And as our listeners know, I recap this based on the six attributes of being an orchestrator, focusing on mission and goals, driving results, by design, not effort, etc. So when I was listening to you guys, and that’s why I wanted to clarify what the value equation was, because the number one thing that stands stands out during this conversation, is this discussion in and of itself. Like, where is this actually happening in most organizations? You know, go sell value. You know, Jen was talking about driving value value selling value added, there’s just the word value is nebulous, we assume that people know. And then Scott, your brief walkthrough of this value equation that you just now did with who’s having these conversations internally, to simplify it for sales, and it’s like a sales just go do it, go add value, go sell value. And this conversations been around what can sales enablement to, to focus on missions and the mission and goals to orchestrate this discussion so that sales people have an easier time of it? And it’s a human human discussion that needs to happen?

So they’re, you know, Scott talked about, there’s a lot of tools and slides that we can just plug in and say, Hey, here’s the answer. But those tools are, are not ice. They’re very isolated. They’re very isolated to somebody’s perspective about training or somebodies perspective about field marketing. They’re not about an integrated view of the value equation that we just outlined. Jen also talked about the idea of focusing on understanding the customer’s business but moving beyond just this word customer and, and you guys are pretty loud and clear on the word persona and how generalized that can be to get to the real people involved in pattern patterning out the real people involved, so that we can have the right type of enablement to help sales people navigate. You guys also talked about prioritizing the right goals at the right moments, especially around the Productitis discussion that Jen brought up a couple of times. Were sales and marketing have specific goals and specific initiatives and activities. But those activities don’t actually translating into more customer empathy in their customer empathy is you know, empathy about Bob or john or Sally. You know, individual people on the on the buyer side of the conversation and what they are faced with it really And Jen had a great point, she said it only takes one conversation to kind of tank an executive sale. And the reason for that is you’re dealing with human beings. And they’re not just going to buy because you show them something, you know, fancy and or, or something that’s overly simplified. Another piece of this was the nature of orchestration was loud and clear. The sales people if they do their job, right, they’re asking their customers to change. And in today’s COVID world, it’s more than that. They’re asking their customers to put their neck on the line, to put the career on the line, especially in these bigger sales. And when you look at that, at that way, the hero’s journey and what it means to be successful in that customers organization, they’re faced with a lot of the same challenges that salespeople are faced with. But how who’s listening to salespeople, and who’s actually helping salespeople get the tools and also listening to them in a way that provides the the reality that salespeople are facing, so that they can be equipped. And then the last piece or the last outcome is catalyzing change through collaboration, understanding what value means to people, it’s easier said and done.

We all have to practice you know, the context for this whole podcast is Scott and Jen are gonna have a keynote. And these types of discussions, in role playing this out, is really important for all orchestrators to think it through before you get on the phone call or go live in front of people. And that’s what’s really interesting and fascinating about this conversation. It’s a prep for something that’s going to be live action. And also say in the final piece of this is, you know, this podcast, I wish it could go two hours. Sometimes I hear feedback, well, it’s over an hour, and I don’t have time. But I found myself so like, enthralled with this conversation. I forgot to take notes, because it was so fascinating. And it’s one of the very first and I know we’ve done two other podcasts on value. But to me, this is one of the first ones where it got real in the sense that it’s something that sales people need so desperately, yet the conversation just isn’t happening. So for all you listeners out there that hung with us this whole time, I have my my nature, my mic, that’s telling me that this was the fastest hour that you’ve had, if you’re an orchestrator on our show. So that’s the recap I have for you guys, Scott and Jen, great conversation. And, you know, look forward to continuing those conversations. And Jen, good luck in your, your keynote.

Jen Burns 1:02:39  

Thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

Brian Lambert 1:02:42  

Awesome. And that’s that’s our show. Scott, do you want to take us out? Sure.

Scott Santucci 1:02:48  

So first of all, I want to highlight it’s amazing, Jen, it’s just really, really amazing. You have the courage to kind of roleplay out on a on a podcast. Maybe lied to you that we have six listeners, we have more than six lists. But I think it takes a lot of courage. But at least for me, I think it’s really valuable to get a chance to practice beforehand. And I can tell by where you were going. I think I know where to end up. So hopefully you feel feel good. How do you feel good? How do you feel about having done this and being ready for your for the keynote? We’re gonna do together. I’m not doing it. We’re doing it together. I feel about it.

Jen Burns 1:03:33  

Yeah. No, I feel I feel really good. I mean, you know, obviously, anytime that you roll out new concepts like this, it’s it’s risky, because you got to make sure people understand how to take it and run with it after the fact. So I think in talking through it, it definitely gives me a pretty good idea of, you know, how we need to make sure that we’re giving them something they can grab onto, and then we have to really work hard at evolving it. You know, moving forward, so I feel good. I think it’s gonna land. I’m excited about it.

Scott Santucci 1:04:04  

But it’s, of course, it’s gonna I mean, I’m, I’m doing it too.

Jen Burns 1:04:11  

Yeah, exactly. That was a dumb comment.

Scott Santucci 1:04:13  

But but but here are the things that we were worried about before we wanted to make sure. From a design point, I think this is valuable for for other folks. So we talked a guest last week about what this was gonna have was not more than one, it was more than last week. But number one, we have to have an idea of why should why to get people to pay attention to why we’re talking about value in the first place. And I think we have some good ideas on that. Number two, how do we make it tangible, to where it’s not just not just theoretical, and I think if we talk about the inventory is some of the difference stakeholders and some of the accounts that we’ve had a chance genda to profile this and connect the dots between bit different business problems that different outcomes To levels of stakeholders have the individual stakeholders what they care about, and then be create a lot more space on the empathy FAR Part for the risk taking the risk out. I think that accomplishes Goal number two. And then Goal number three, which which you brought up was, hey, how would we get them to profile it so that they have something to bring it? bring it forward? I think I at least hearing you talk. It was great. I could see I could see your gears turning, I can’t wait to talk and once we stop recording, but do you feel like we were able to accomplish those three design points?

Jen Burns 1:05:41  

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I did. And I think just really quickly, and I know, I’m overstaying my welcome here. But I think the tangible piece is really, you know, for me, the most important because I think conceptually these these folks are gonna are going to be very excited about, you know, thinking about their engagement differently. With some of these concepts, I think helping them, you know, put pen to paper, if you will, is is the exciting part. And I think once we can do that they’re gonna just be super pumped. Yeah. And it’s kind of one of those things where, you know, as a salesperson, and I was one for many, many years, you hear something like this, and you can’t wait to go try it? Yeah, right. Like, this is something I think our sales team, which you know, for the most part are executive sales, people are going to hear this and just they’re not going to be able to wait to go start having these conversations. So that’s what gets me excited. I know they’ll be excited and yeah, ready to rock and roll this week.

Scott Santucci 1:06:44  


Brian Lambert 1:06:45  

Awesome. Great job, you guys. It was great conversation and listeners if you have feedback. If you have thoughts to share, let us know. Also check out orchestrates sales COMM The new home for the inside sales enablement podcast, you can join a site for free. Let us know what you think about the new new site and what we’re doing there. And we’ll see you on the next show. Take care.

Outro 1:07:08  

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 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.

Newsletter Subscriber

Subscribe to our list!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.