Ep41 Engineering Valuable Sales Conversations & Gray’s Anatomy
Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 41
In this episode Scott King joins the show to help “dissect” the revenue engine and discuss the wins he’s accomplished in partnership with product, marketing and sales teams to drive profitable growth at his company.
We tap into their shared experiences to discuss the revenue and profitable growth “anatomy” that exists within companies and how sales enablement leaders can help decrease seller burden and elevate sales conversations at scale in partnership with sales leadership.
Join us at https://www.OrchestrateSales.com/podcast/ to collaborate with peers, join Insider Nation, participate in the conversation and be part of the continued elevation of the profession.
Welcome to the inside sales enablement podcast. Where has the profession been? Where is it now? And where is it heading? What does it mean to you, your company, other functions? The market? Find out here. Join the founding father of the sales enablement profession. Scott Santucci and Trailblazer Brian Lambert, as they take you behind the scenes of the birth of an industry, the inside sales enablement podcast starts now.
Brian Lambert 00:34
I’m Brian Lambert. And I’m Scott King. And we’re the sales enablement insiders. This podcast is focused on helping you be successful overcoming sales complexity, so that your salespeople can be more effective in the market. If you’re an enablement leader, looking to elevate your function, expand your sphere of influence, and increase your impact with customers. You’re in the right spot. Thanks, Scott. Those of you who are longtime listeners, you heard that right. That was Scott King, not Scott Santucci. So Scott King, are you ready to take the guest host spot today? Yeah, man. I’m excited. I’m jumping into the co host seat so we can put Scott Santucci on the hot seat. I want to talk to him about engineering sales conversations. That’s cool. Yeah, we’ve got to Scott’s on here so we’re gonna have fun and Santucci. Are you ready for this? We’re all friendlies here.
Scott Santucci 01:24
I love the I love the script. It says say something witty.
Scott King 01:29
Scott King 01:31
I watch God Scott.
Scott Santucci 01:33
That’s a lot of pressure. Uh, are you excited? I’m excited. Yes.
Brian Lambert 01:36
All right, cool. Simmer down. Alright, so the reason why I’ve got this scripted is because I want to brag on Scott King. And usually what we do with leaders is where we first met them with their origin story is so Scott King and I go back a little bit, but he actually goes back to Scott Santucci even further and that was when Scott Santucci was at Forrester. And there was a conference in Phoenix, where Santucci was talking about sales as an ecosystem. And he had a keynote around the selling system. And for those of you at that event, he had this interactive exercise to map out your company’s selling engine using like stickers on a on a board. And it was a big risk because people loved it or they hated it. And it was pretty cool. Since I had gone through this process of moving through and to a different company. I actually didn’t meet Scott King at that event when he met Scott Santucci.
I was actually in North Carolina. I had reached out to Scott King. He’s at a company called progress in Raleigh, and him and I started having conversations and I told him about podcast and he I said, Hey, do you know, Scott Santucci? And he said, Oh, yeah, I remember him from Phoenix and, and so as I got to know Scott King, I realized that these guys are kindred spirits. Scott Kane’s been in sales management. He’s been a seller. He’s actually done cradle to grave sales enablement for seven different businesses. And those businesses event 20 million to 600 million in revenue. He’s really at the forefront of digital transformation, coordinated content strategy, elevating productivity, and the product marketing and product management teams by 60%. And decreasing sales support needs and how they work to streamline and simplify the support that they’re giving to sales. He’s also got a competency based approach to hiring and sales success. And that’s helped his organization exceed revenue goals by 100% year over year with an a team that had just seen substantial turnover. He’s currently at 90% track record of new hires achieving quota within their first year. And I was really impressed with his approach because he showed me in that meeting, we had a bit of a whiteboard discussion around his frameworks and tools and how he was thinking about sales enablement. So I said to myself, here are two guys that have been on parallel paths. they’ve they’ve met each other once in Phoenix, they know of each other. And they’ve built their own sales enablement approaches. And I thought it would be good to come together on the podcast today to talk about what that looks like. So Scott King has has a copy of engineering valuable sales conversations. That’s a report that Scott had written over 10 years ago when he was at Forrester, that’s our centering document. It’s 10 years old. So we’re going back in time a little bit and now here we are, so Santucci this is not not a trial, like our listeners might be familiar with the the trial of the decade. This is not a trial. You guys are both colleagues and I got to ask you, Scott Santucci, we usually start with a centering story. So I have to take you back to 1827
Scott Santucci 04:46
I love it.
Brian Lambert 04:49
1827 do you know Henry gray
Scott Santucci 04:53
in 1827? Yeah. Henry Clay Henry gray like the South Carolina senator
Brian Lambert 05:01
Oh, no, no, that’s not the one I’m thinking about.
Scott Santucci 05:05
Is it clay? See Ray?
Unknown Speaker 05:07
A Why? Or like the color gray? Oh, Henry gray.
Unknown Speaker 05:11
I’ve no idea who that is.
Brian Lambert 05:12
Okay. Well, he was born in 1827. And he studied the human body. And he studied the development of endocrine glands in the spleen. He was an expert in spleen science. He was appointed a lecture on anatomy at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1855, he approached his colleague, Henry Van Dyck Carter with this idea to produce an inexpensive and very accessible textbook for medical students. You know what that textbook was? It was the Grey’s Anatomy book, The Grey’s Anatomy book in 1853. So how would he do it? Well, following the laws that were passed in London, which was called the workhorse and hospital mortuaries act, in 1832, he could actually collect bodies from the morgue and dissect them. Yes. So he did that. And he worked 18 months on this book to make the human body accessible. And that name of the book was called the Grey’s Anatomy book. There you go.
Unknown Speaker 06:18
So not the TV show. Turns out,
Unknown Speaker 06:20
not the TV show, right?
Scott Santucci 06:22
So this is the part where we’re supposed to say so what, like, What in the world are you talking about here with this book, and I love being on the other end to get really, really channeled? So what so what what are you talking about? Was that anything to do with me and Scott King?
Brian Lambert 06:38
And or sales enablement?
Scott Santucci 06:40
Well, right, now, we got a guest on the show, right?
Brian Lambert 06:44
Yeah, I think, from my perspective, I think this is a it’s a, it’s a great starting point, I’m a little bit embarrassed to, you know, kind of admit my, you know, kind of entree into sales enablement, kind of rolling out of the field was that that event there in Scottsdale, so, you know, for me, kind of, I guess, the world started the day I was born that way, I didn’t kind of look back at the, at the research that was available. So, um, you know, up until very recently, I wasn’t aware that this engineering, the conversations kind of structure existed. So as I was going through it, you know, for me, there’s a lot of lessons that I could have learned by not running through brick walls. And that’s why I’m excited to kind of talk about this report. I know that it has been around for a while.
For me, it was new, and seems still very, very relevant. So I appreciate you guys kind of even you kind of sharing this with me, because, you know, from my perspective, it started with those stickers, and I’m a sucker for stickers and colors. Right. But I think from from my standpoint, what I’d like to do, Scott is is kind of dig in on on kind of maybe four buckets as it relates to this report and kind of how that applies to today, and what changes might be made or kind of some of the different ways that that maybe I’ve approached it, but the way I’m looking at it is, what is the scope? So if we’ve, if we’ve defined it, as, you know, profitable revenue growth, as it relates to this report, and as it relates to kind of the research that you guys had done a number of years ago, how did you define the scope? What do you see the scope is being? And then kind of digging down from there into? What are the components of, let’s say, the anatomy? What are the components? What are the big, you know, the big organs that we’re going to be concerned about, and then kind of dig down from there into the critical integration points, and then kind of taking a look at the critical parts that we could potentially dig into. I don’t know if you think that sounds like a fair approach. But that was kind of the way I was, I was thinking about having the conversation.
Scott Santucci 08:42
No, it sounds great. Happy to follow your lead here. Doctor, I
Brian Lambert 08:49
think it should be scary for all of us, actually. Um, well. So yeah, as I was going through your report, and maybe it does make sense. And I’m sorry, Brian, maybe it does make sense to kind of just if you wouldn’t mind kind of give us that that high level view. And the in the initial report that you did is you defined what the goals were of the CEO and the different kind of business structures that you saw, how did you come to that kind of gauge, if you can give us kind of a high level view of what those things are for those people that don’t have the report sitting in front of them? To me, it was it was really insightful as a as a starting point for how revenue is impacted by organizations and how they have to align to it to achieve that goal.
Scott Santucci 09:33
Sure thing, so having had a bad carrying sales role before and then also having been a VP of sales. As the bad carrying salesperson, you think the VP of Sales has a lot of control over your destiny, and then when you’re a VP of Sales and Marketing, you realize, oh my gosh, the board here really has a lot of sec or has a lot of We’ll call it input. The CEO has a lot of input. So there’s a lot of expectations that as a newly crafted VP of sales, sales and marketing, I was honestly dumbfounded and shocked at how little the board and the CEO really understood about sales. So what you learn is, Oh, my gosh, this is a community wide thing, it’s a team sport, I can carve out my turf. But what I’m going to do is I’m going to sign up for 100% of the number, and then the products and everything like that the things the rest of the organizations doing that impact, our team’s ability to hit the numbers isn’t working. So that illuminated a holistic problem. And, you know, I carried that around with me, and I thought that was my own insanity. You know, like, there must be something wrong, there’s got to be a way to do it better and alike. And then I joined Forrester, and we had a variety of working sessions with VPS of sales and VPS of marketing. And sure enough, they have the same problem that they call the different things, you know, because these situations that we run into, are going to be symptomatic by by the lens that we see it.
So for example, sales might say, well, we don’t have we don’t have the right products. Or they might say our marketing is bad. Marketing might say, well, salespeople don’t know how to how to bring it up, or they don’t know our customers well enough. And when you frame problems, that way, you don’t get really you don’t get really curious. So what we did is we brought a variety of we brought 10 VPS of sales and 10 CMOS together and said, you know, figure this out, let’s let’s figure out where these gaps are and put some texture around it. So that’s, that’s really the driving force. And then you know, sort of to do that is knowing full well that both of those parties, even if they do come together, you’re going to have to have something to connect back to the CEO, because the CEO is definitely going to be involved in anything that’s dealt with cross functionally, how do we go do that? So you know, the answer there was to read, I don’t know, 50 annual reports. And then specifically, the q&a section and the earnings calls, and just highlight the areas, we printed all those out and highlighted all the areas where questions from the investors, we’re about sales and marketing execution, and then try to put all those things together, you know, while highlighting this theme of Mad scientist’s this Frankenstein, Frankenstein picture of all these pieces together. That’s that’s how we scoped it out.
Brian Lambert 13:00
Yeah, what I liked what I liked about the scope when I when I was reading this, and is this is absolutely not where I kind of began my journey with with enablement, I think, you know, for me, instead of looking at the whole body, maybe I articulated it, that I thought I was looking at the whole body, but in reality, I was looking at, you know, something specific, the respiratory system. And, you know, you go about trying to kind of fix that component thinking it’s going to, you know, fix the body, and it doesn’t, I think you brought up a couple of good points, especially in this report. And then again, which is, you know, kind of the, the creating an overarching go to market strategy is a cross functional, you know, kind of process. And, and sales really is the cap end, and from my perspective, or the execution arm of that go to strategy or go to market strategy.
And I think a lot of times, because we don’t necessarily look at it as a whole, we take each individual and then ask if they’re playing well together. I think there’s a lot of opportunity, where, you know, the the marketing executives speak with a different language than the sales executives, right. And we kind of have to look at what those translations mean, as you’re trying to drive to a, you know, kind of a larger goal. What I yeah, I just, I really felt like it was important. And it took me a long time. And once again, I’m embarrassed, I didn’t I didn’t get to this information earlier. But I really wasn’t framing. I wasn’t framing the problem, I was trying to solve at a high enough level, to I think, at least for the first couple of years, to really be able to dig in and actually start to solve, you know, kind of real problems that that, that we’re going to actually help the revenue versus kind of just digging into exactly what you’re talking about, which is the name calling. Well, our leads are terrible. And then you dig into the leads or you know, and at the end of the day, if I’ve got somebody with a heart condition, why am I Why am I fixing a sprained ankle, and I think that we have a tendency to want to do that. Mm hmm. What I really liked was then kind of how you broke that into The different styles of companies as it related to sales kind of describing the way that people kind of looked at their go to market process and what that what that motion looked like through through sales. Do you have a second? Maybe you can kind of describe what that looked like the the product base versus solution based kind of conversation?
Scott Santucci 15:21
Is that the coping with complexity part?
Brian Lambert 15:24
Yeah, I just, I really, I really feel like it says a lot if you’re, if you’re a sales leader, or a sales enablement leader, to me, taking a look at what the expectation is that the, of the sales team, given what they’ve been handed by product marketing by human capital, you know, by the sales management team, or sales operations, the structure that’s put in place, I really liked the way that you did the engagement model around, you know, the commodity perception, I think we all sort of falling.
Scott Santucci 15:54
Okay, I gotcha. I like you. So one of the things that’s really difficult is, for those of us that are a little bit older, and you remember the 70s, if anybody had cancer, your your grandparents or parents would whisper it be like, Brian Lambert, did you hear what happened to him. And here we are in 2020. And the diagnostic of cancer is so good, the survivability rate is so high, when you when you capture it in pretty much all forms, like pancreatic cancer used to be a death sentence. And it’s got a survivability rate of 90% if they catch it early. And that phenomenon of medical science and being much more informed by just saying, look, half of the battle is we just have to talk about the problem. And the reason I that the reason I bring that up and frame that out that way is the problem that we’ve got is mismanaged complexity. And how many organizations do you know or people want to talk about complexity, I don’t have time for that is the fingers in your ears with that.
So what we wanted to do is say, look, this complexity, and by complexity, we mean the information, the valuable information that’s being transferred between your buyer and your seller. That’s really the root of why you have so much inefficiency at the point of sale, your customers world has gotten has gotten more complex, your world has gotten more complex. So let’s call a spade a spade. And the thing that we need to address is complexity. So that’s, that’s part one. So then the issue is whether you are addressing the complexity, or you’re choosing to not address the complexity, like treat the symptoms, you still have a strategy, a default strategy strategy is being is happening, you are dealing with it. So if you are dealing with it by not confronting it, well guess what happens? The product, the people who are producing the messaging, maybe product marketers, product, people are producing lots of product based stuff. They’re throwing it over the wall to sales, people who don’t know how to discern it. And then they push that product based information onto customers. So basically, we’re forcing our customers to deal with our complexity. And what do they do? Scott, you and I both know, Brian knows this too, as salespeople, if you give customers a whole bunch of stuff, when you leave, they throw all that stuff in the trash can.
Brian Lambert 18:32
That’s Yeah, I agree with you. Right. And I also think there’s an accountability component in kind of what you’re describing as well, that I think gets lost sometimes. Right? Yeah. Which is, you know, I think we are trying to push a lot of our complexity on to the customer. And you know, especially in, you know, sort of a very product based selling motion, you’re really expecting them to diagnose their problems in a vacuum or by being able to gather information from forums. And they’ve decided that, you know, this is going to be what’s going to help them solve that problem. And we’ve pushed that work, let’s say onto them. And when it’s not successful, or if it’s not successful, or it’s not driving the revenue growth.
What’s interesting is if, from my standpoint, a lot of that does sit on sales, I think it comes down to the fact that we forget that the sales teams really at the end of the day, what 50% of their income, is is you know, almost always going to be you know, variable income based on their success or failure. I think in your previous podcast, I think it was podcast number 10, you really kind of highlighted that sales is a zero sum game. And I think we as a VP of sales, or a person that’s carried a bag, you sort of understand you either win or you don’t win. And I think when you’re coming when you’re getting your information or you’re getting your lead flow or you’re getting you know marketing, you know, information pushed to the field. A lot of times they tend to be more task driven because they don’t live in a world that is zero sum? Do you think that’s a mean? Is that kind of what you see? Or do you think there’s any validity to that point?
Scott Santucci 20:08
Well, I definitely think there’s validity to that point, I think, where we’re at today, if you were to make a mental picture of what Scott what Dr. King and I are describing, it is, if you can kind of picture three boxes going left to right, the box on the left, sort of label it your message. And imagine that being all of the content, your product, people, marketing, people, etc. And then in the middle box, your messengers, your salespeople, and client facing people. And then the third box being your customers, we’re pushing the burden onto them. Now, to answer Dr. King’s comments, I definitely see that I think we have two challenges. I think that as a salesperson, our binaries are whether we got a good meeting or not, then it’s the next stage. Did the client agree to explore further with us than the next stage? were we able to get shared, shared buying with all of those? All those stakeholders are involved? Then the next stage? Did they accept our business process? Right, it’s a series of micro closes always be closing, right? We’ve learned that for our life.
I think the difficulty is there are some people in the company, maybe marketing product, etc, who think about things on a scale, like, you know, the quality of content is a scale of one to five. And you know, we need to get it to level four and things like that. So there are different barometers used. But then at the top level, they also think binary, unfortunately, they think binary of we either got a deal, or we didn’t get a deal. So what we’re dealing with is the sales people have to have to be binary over a process. So there’s a time component that I don’t think is well understood by the rest of the organization. marketing, marketing and product groups are on scales, you know, the Harvey ball kind of thing. And then management is in a different kind of scale binary. So we’re not even in sync about what our goals are, and what what makes a lever to pull or not pull.
Brian Lambert 22:19
I think I think it even sort of, from my perspective, even expands beyond let’s even say marketing. And I’ll highlight it, I’m sure, you know, listeners, and folks probably know this as well. But, you know, as we push more work, let’s say to the customer, maybe we try to take some of that work back and we put it on our salespeople. To your point, if you have an inefficient sales process, you know, maybe your legal processes difficult, you have different supporting infrastructure that touches that that, that selling motion, any sort of inefficiencies that you have in that space are really going to impact the customer’s, you know, kind of experience in buying from you, they have to like you that much more to move from it kind of through those four gates, right.
Scott Santucci 23:04
So what we’re talking about is the difference between so the first model that I shared product puts out a bunch of information, sales, just puts that information and puts that on the back of the client. Maybe we call that the show up or show up in throw up model. Yes, yeah. What you’re talking about Scott is where a lot of people are today is like, Well, that doesn’t work. Dang it, it’s sales, people’s responsibility to have better conversations, let’s train them up. Let’s make them challenger reps, or let’s bring solution selling in or whatever. And let’s get them to absorb all this information. So we’re going to keep training on all the products that we’ve got. But somehow the salespeople who are 26 year old people or whomever are going to be able to put all of the dots together, and then craft them into valuable messages to customers. So we’re doing that. So we’re trying to train a lot of salespeople, the data has been consistent from now, it was consistent in 2010. It was consistent 2000, it was consistent in 1990, for 40 years, only about 20% printing 20% of your sales force can can do that. Even the sales training companies will tell you only 20% can do that. Yet, we’re still throwing more and more training at it more and more training at it. But that’s sort of scenario number two, we call that the heroic effort, where we’re asking salespeople to put all of this information on their backs and make absorb, absorb that complexity.
Brian Lambert 24:34
Yeah, and that’s what I see that the transition is. So I’ve done a number led a number of sales transformation efforts. And this move from kind of this this commodity, you know, kind of approach into how do we do the solution selling, you know, and how do we become customer first tends to be the biggest move that we make, and that’s where, you know, from my perspective, you know, being sort of hyperfocused on, let’s say the sales people, it became a conversation with the organization and with our sales leaders around, what are the competencies that you expected the sellers. So if I’m coming from a competency Bay, or I’m sorry, I’m coming from a commodity based sale, let’s say, or an inside sales model, where my leads are coming in deep into the selling motion, and then I want to move them to enterprise and provide value to the customers that you would get from a solution or I don’t think there’s a you know, I don’t think the organization, the greater organization understands the level of effort that it takes for a single seller to grow those skills and be effective. So I think they tend to discount what it requires. A lot of times, I’ll see, you know, our inside salespeople, well, you know, we just will call them enterprise people, and we’ll go out, we’ll start prospecting. They don’t realize kind of the shift that that’s required in order to make that happen.
Scott Santucci 25:57
I think that’s spot on. Right. And I think that’s the that’s the big failure point. You know, sort of projecting where we are today. I think that’s the big failure point of sales leaders is our inability not going to make a value judgment, just we’ve been unable to communicate how complex that conversation has become. And
Brian Lambert 26:23
I think so right. And it’s not, I would suggest to you that maybe it’s not even just the sales leadership, because even the conversation from a marketing standpoint, you know, if they’re used to doing a more product based selling motion, and they’re thinking, you know, a one to many message that’s going out to the marketplace about their product, and they want to be taken seriously, as a as a kind of a solutioning, or a problem solving organization. It does mean that the content strategy, at a much more macro level needs to also shift to support that shift. I
Scott Santucci 26:58
totally agree with you. I’m not what I’m not saying what I’m trying to articulate here is, I think the communication of the problem is the responsibility of the sales organization. Because we are more or less or sales leaders or more, or sales departments more or less canaries in the coal mine, that as the sales world is getting more and more complex, we are not the feedback loop coming back into the organization isn’t clearly communicated. So I think a lot of times what I find, particularly when I talk to a rep Scott, or Dr. King, Mr. Lambert has asked us to make sure that we highlight our last name so we don’t get get Scot confused. But what I see is that when you talk to the AI reps, the only way they relate to you is through other stories. They don’t have specific words to describe what’s going on. Yet the words that the rest of the organization describes around they take information that they get from forest or Gartner and everything like that. And they say things like 67% of the of the buying process is already done before salespeople engage. And it’s just so devoid of any kind of reality. And they drive these decisions on and create more and more content. So what it does is creates this perception that the people behind sales, understand the customers, but they don’t understand the customers empathetically. And we don’t have the language in the sales organization to help communicate that. So what do you do when when you’re not communicating? You get frustrated? And yeah, yell at people. And that that, that that then you have no communication whatsoever. So I totally agree with you. And I think the reason I’m highlighting that to be a sales responsibility is at the end of the day, whose throat is choked if the revenue number isn’t hit, is though.
Brian Lambert 28:53
Right, exactly. Right. That’s exactly right. And you add extra complexity, especially in a transformation, you know, my God, right? Yeah. Right, because now your comp plan, potentially is working against what your seller should be doing. If I, if I have a sales team that has been doing transactional, let’s say, mid range, low end deals, and I think we can go to enterprise deals. You know, how much trust are they going to put in the organization B as a seller, knowing 50% of my income, yet is tied to my success? How much do I want to take a shot at an 18 month sales cycle when I know I can get some base hits? And I’ll get some runs on the board? Right? I think it becomes much more complex unless you look at it and you go, who is it? You know, unless you can document at those at those higher levels? Who is it that we’re trying to target? Why would they want to listen to us? What do we want their experience to look like and how are we aligned cross functionally, to achieve that? I think if you put it on the sales, that, you know, you may be overburdened, you’ve overburdened the guys that you really want on the phones versus handling it internally and not disrupting, you know, kind of your sellers that are out out in the field.
Scott Santucci 30:00
I think that’s spot on, right. And you said something earlier in our show about the go to customer, the go to market model is a team sport. And exactly to what you’re talking about, there’s there’s a lot of evidence of how when you don’t sync these things up, it creates bad conditions. And for whatever reason, we’re not learning to them. So one case that comes to mind is we were studying some of these when we’re at Forrester. And in 2009 2010, BMC Software had this amazing vision that they call business service management. And the idea was, instead of selling monitoring tools to, you know, lower level manager people, let’s click this up. And basically, we want to be the ER p equivalent for IT organizations. So very compelling, compelling vision, as you can imagine, that’s a CEO, cio, CTO level sale, which is probably going to take 12 to 18 months to sell exactly like you said, however, they had just acquired blade logic, they brought in the head of sales there, and the CEO loved their transactional sales model so much, he said, let’s scale that. So they implemented a sales model that pretty much said, if you don’t meet your number two quarters in a row, you’re fired.
So what happened, all the reps who had the skill to sell to the CTO CIO level, all left? And then they had to report back? You know, you’re a year year and a half later, literally, we have all this documented, I should we should write these up, Brian and share them out for folks. What was the dialogue with the investors on these earnings calls, and BMC literally said, we, you know, we made a call here, we just didn’t get it quite right. And we have to rebuild our wholesales engine again. And, you know, it’s going to take us two or three years, because they drove off all of the people to do it, because they didn’t think through such a simple question. Our business strategy is what we’re selling to C C level people, the cadence should look like what so therefore, the sales model should look like this. They didn’t connect the dots. And these are the kinds of gaps all of the people involved by the, by the way, we’re all smart people. It’s just having the process to recognize this is a complex ecosystem. And you have to have checks and balances to think it through. So I agree with you completely about what you’re talking about.
Brian Lambert 32:28
Yeah, I think the approach needs to be from my standpoint is the approach needs to be a simplification of your internal messaging, right? Less is more in that case, if you are, let’s say, commoditizing, the skills of your sales reps, and you want them to plug into a machine, you know, then it’s incumbent upon us to keep that message very simple. They know who they should be speaking to, they know what’s going to resonate, and then they can get about making their phone calls, what I find is, is that we have a tendency, you know, we say show up to throw up for a sales rep. But I do think that we spend a lot of time showing up and throwing up on top of our salespeople, and expecting them to understand what they’re supposed to do with it. And what’s crazy is one of the things that we did, you know, kind of recently in the digital transformation of our sales messaging was really work with our internal teams to say simplify, simplify, simplify, they need five assets, no more. If you feed a sales rep too much, they’ll lose confidence and make less phone calls.
And at the end of the day, we still need them out in front of customers or you know, obviously, virtually now, but they still need to be able to go do their job. And it’s amazing that that we do kind of kind of throw up on our sellers. And the question is really in that example, I think is if you have sellers that run their business, like a franchise, then they feel invested in their franchise, and maybe you’re breaking that trust with them as you’re moving to a more transactional model. But as you move to that transactional model, you better have your ducks in a row behind them. And everybody needs to be pointed in the right direction. Right?
Scott Santucci 34:01
Well, I think you’re bringing up two points that are I think we need to discuss, let’s talk about the simple part. First. My experience with what you said we need to think make things simple for sales. You the reaction is, well, of course, duh. So what do you get? You get a lot of people who make eat watered down content. And you get more of it in small bullets. That when you look at them, when you look at the material is almost meaningless. How do you balance quality content with less? And how do you teach people who are sort of conditioned to provide product based information? What is the information that the less is that you’re after? And what does it look like?
Brian Lambert 34:48
Yeah, that’s a it’s an excellent point. Right. So one thing that I say a lot and we do a lot in my current role is I probably spend as much time training my sellers Let’s say on a selling system, as I do the internal audience, right? So what you know, people tend to forget, you know, we say all the time, if you will this customer 60% through the sales cycle when they come to us, well, that’s not true. Right? Right. Maybe one of the people that might be an influencer are 60% of the way through the sales cycle, there are other people that are starting their sales cycle that will also be influencers on those deals. I think that, you know, my product marketers, my product managers, even my engineering staff don’t understand that the bulk of a sellers job, a bulk of a sellers role tends to be in that first 60%. You know, once they’ve identified a deal, and a customer has agreed to explore their value proposition and move into a technical proof case, look, at the end of the day that is deep into a sales cycle that is being forecasted, you know, deep and we expect to win it. What they’re not seeing is the 90% of the work where, you know, we’re trying to, you know, kind of kick down that door. And they don’t understand that that’s the job. And I think that i think that’s kind of endemic.
So what we do is spend a lot of time trying to walk them through what the expected motion is of the seller so that they can understand, I don’t need you to simplify the product messaging, if it’s early stage sales cycle, they should be able to speak to the market and the persona. So the content changes, and we need to get them educated there. But I do get concerned. And I mentioned this earlier, I do get concerned that, you know, we’re building the sales reps, kind of in your model where you’re discussing the the heroic effort, which is, you know, in my organization, if I have 250 salespeople, am I really setting the bar that I need to have, you know, 250, all star subject matter experts that we need to have up to speed all the time? Or is there a way to scale that back and institutionalize some of that subject matter expertise, that the sales reps can tap, and continue doing more meetings and drive, you know, more activity into the marketplace? Right? I just think it’s a maybe it would be a difficult, difficult task to expect everybody to be at 100% of their game all the time and always up to speed, especially as we’re feeding them, you know, 30 page or 300 page ebook so that they can get up to speed with with marketing saying versus making the 15 phone calls they could have done in that same time?
Scott Santucci 37:24
I don’t know. Maybe I want to say yes. And like to piggyback on top of that, about how unrealistic the expectations that we are placing on our Salesforce. Scott in the in the sales organizations that dealt dealt with what’s the average age of the seller?
Brian Lambert 37:43
Yeah, that’s a it’s a good question. I’m working with what three generations of different sellers, so right. Yeah.
Scott Santucci 37:50
So we have different generations of sellers. number one. Number two is, how quickly does your market change now?
Unknown Speaker 38:02
Yeah, very rapidly. Right.
Scott Santucci 38:04
Right. So is it realistic for us to expect those people to be able to connect all those dots and and keep up to date on the market knowledge? If they don’t get to be full time consultants? No, that’s not realistic. The next question that I’d ask is, How frequently do you do product updates? Today?
Brian Lambert 38:23
Yeah, well, that’s, that’s brutal. Right now, as more and more people are moving to agile development, if you’re selling a perpetual software package, it’s brutal on your on your sellers.
Scott Santucci 38:32
Exactly. So you know, for example, I was having this conversation with some folks at Salesforce. And they said, Well, we only sell three clouds, like that’s come on. That’s ridiculous to say that it’s that simple. Because you add functionality all the time, I’m a Salesforce client, for God’s sakes. And I get pushed new updates. So to say that it’s that simple, is ridiculous. How How are you equipping the sales people with the capability knowledge, as you add to it, you know, how many new new uploads are done each month? The market is changing. And then we have the other aspect of how did the salespeople learn the get the empathy for the all the different executives involved in buying decisions to where they taught that?
Brian Lambert 39:24
Well, and that’s and that’s the key, right? And so that’s kind of where I default back to kind of your your structure, which is, at the end of the day, I don’t necessarily prescribe or care, you know, what the the sales methodology is that’s being used as long as there’s a methodology being used. So that we know at any one stage, what are the steps that we would expect to see what would How do we know that a customer is verified and we’re moving effectively into the next gate? Um, but what’s interesting to me is, you know, if you if you dig in and you look at it, I want to know The the competency level and the skills levels of my sellers so that as they’re going out and executing, if they’re finding success, I know I can document that and replicate that success. So we shouldn’t necessarily put it on an individual seller to go figure it out, if we’ve got the right infrastructure in place, and it’s simple enough, we should be able to go in and say, you know, we’ve got a new go to market, our sellers are all qualified to do these steps. And we know that these steps are documented this way without disrupting their motion. If I know that I’m delivering a message similar to the way you deliver a message and the message not resonating. I know it’s not on my sales team. I know it’s on my marketing team.
You know, we shouldn’t put that on the sellers to figure out because then you have product marketers going to individual salespeople and saying, well, is my message resonating? Well, that seller is selling in a region of the world, and a very specific market, we shouldn’t be making market decisions off the opinions of a couple of sellers, their opinions should be propagated across all the interactions that we’re seeing. But I think a lack of focus on that cradle to grave, kind of the the bones or the skeletal structure. And having that documented in place. Really kind of, you have to put it there so that you can control certain variables to test other variables, I guess, is what I’m saying. I don’t know if any of that makes sense. But what I see a lot of times is if you go and you ask, uh, you know, one of our sales leaders or a sales leader out there, you know, what do you what do you guys using as a, you know, your sales, your selling system? And they’ll say, Well, I’m using solution selling, I’m using medic, and you go, Hey, what are your frontline managers? What’s their weekly, monthly and quarterly cadence? What are what are the activities that they’re measuring? And how do we know that those activities are any good? they’ll walk. So this is Brian, this is what this leads me to wonder. And I’d like to get both doctors thoughts on this is there’s a lot that we’re talking about here in this anatomy analogy around sellers, and conversations. But let’s let’s put this into the kind of the sales execution bucket.
So what I’d like to do is click up and think about what it looks like to executives, as you guys are going through these details. Does your frameworks or does the anatomy book the engineering valuable sales conversation help illuminate the what’s happening here, to the executive team? And to the C level? Can you guys talk a little bit about that? What are you saying? And does this help a sales an element leader? have those conversations with the C suite? No, I think that’s a it’s a good point. I’m sorry, Scott, I’ll take it from my perspective, because I want to I want to hear yours. But what I see is, you know, kind of, I look at the world kind of in five tiers, right? And the top tier for me is that go to market? What do we what is the intended impact of what we’re doing on that customer journey? And then below that, I’m asking, what is the selling system that supports that customer journey, and then do we have the skills, and then the content to execute effectively at any one of those stages, you know, to support that customer journey. And to your point, I think what I see a lot of times is the actual emotion in an organization, let’s say of product coming out, through our product management or engineering teams tends to be you know, very product specific. But if you go up line into the executives, they’re speaking the customer language, but their process isn’t following that language, their people aren’t aligned to think customer first, they’re still thinking that they want to get their release out. And what that tends to do is then drive, let’s say, the marketing the marketing engine, to then gear up behind those product releases. And even though at an executive level, and even on your website, you might look or feel like you’re solving business problems. In reality, you’re still functioning very much like a product selling team. And if the sales teams can’t effectively, you know, put the spin on the, you know, kind of the spin on the ball coming out of the gate, you end up with a very, you know, sort of product based product focus easily commoditized bubble, mess message that actually hits the customer. That’s what that’s what I tend to see. Dr. Sen. doochie What was, is that is that kind of what you see, or you’re seeing the opposite out there?
Scott Santucci 44:23
Well, it’s I wouldn’t say when we’re dealing with complex systems, I think it’s difficult to say the opposite, right? There’s just so many textures to look at it. I’m going to click up to Brian’s question was, does this model help communicate to executives? And I would say yes and no. Here’s, it really depends on what your expectations are. If you take this report and give it to an executive, probably not. This is a report for you to get your thinking clean. Yeah. And it’s really important for you to get your thinking clean because there’s so many Gosh darn moving parts. And our value contribution to the company is I love what you said, Dr. King is we need to connect the dots between our business strategy and our ability to execute. I like to call that Stratecution. And very few people are looking at the parts. And I think at a trend that resonates at an executive level, it’s Look, the market has changed. Let that sink in.
Every executive is going to accept that. In order for us to drive forward, we’re installing a new sales engine, more value based sales engine, hard not to agree with that, yep, we have to do that. However, we’re installing on our product selling chassis. Yeah, when you hit the gas, the gas, but the gas, the red engine just reps, what we have to do, if we really want to drive our value forward, we have to connect the two together. And then that’s a, that’s a story that resonates. But then if you don’t have a way to connect all the dots, you’re screwed, you can’t elevate the problem and not have a plan. And that’s what this report is, is really just, here’s the outline of a plan of how we’re going to do it. And we’re going to do it by modeling our customers first, then we’re going to map our products, our messages to that model of our customers, because our customers change less frequently than we then we do we have a new product, we have a new reorg everybody’s reporting to somebody new all the time. It’s just easier to work backwards from are the business problems of our customers and the adult wallet owners with whom have those problems. And then the third thing then is we have to be able to match match the right you know, the way that you you talked about it’s got the talent or the right configuration, the right competencies with the match or right sellers, with those right customer types. And if we need to build a portfolio of those to match different customer types are aligned different customer types, then we need to do that. But it’s easy to do when you lay it out that way. It’s it’s almost impossible. If you just say, let’s start solutioning Let’s start with you know, so yeah,
Brian Lambert 47:22
kickoff would you guys say though, if you So the interesting thing about this hearing this one, our listeners would probably agree to
Scott Santucci 47:31
what if Dr. King agrees?
Brian Lambert 47:33
Yeah, that’s what I was wondering if he agrees. And then but then too, is like Who the heck is supposed to do that? Right. So. So I agree. Yeah. So I agree. 100%. This is where I see this is where I see it play out, right? And enablement is a nebulous, nebulous word, right. For the most part, it means something different to different people in the organization, it’s going to mean different things, because they’re all speaking different languages. So what you’re describing from my perspective, is really what enablement as a practice should be doing. Right? I look at us and I think to myself, and in your research, one of the things that popped out to me was, you know, I look at, you know, I look at my team, and I think, well, we’re management consultants, we should be able to speak all of these different languages, we should be able to explain to them the value of changing or shifting the way or shifting their thinking to help the execution in the field, right. So we should be able to go to a Chief Product officer, we should be able to go to human capital and say, Look, we are looking for competency database on our sellers, we do want to grow them, we want to understand if we have our right mix, we want to check it on a regular basis, and we want to grow the skill sets that align to the go to market, which is the same, obviously that same motion have to do for marketing. There’s nobody in the organization for my money that’s going to be able to do that better than sales enablement. And what I find is in kind of working with with peers and different companies is that there’s tends to be two different flavors. There seems to be the flavor of sales enablement that thinks of themselves strategically and looks revenue back. And they’re willing to say, there’s problems everywhere. And we’re going to look for the the biggest levers that we can pull. And maybe that is in product or maybe it’s in systems or maybe it’s your salespeople. But you’re you’re taking a cross functional look at your problem solving on what the impact is going to be on the marketplace. And they tend to be in these enablement teams tend to be the strategic advisors in an organization where they’re bringing value to those executives, that they can then articulate themselves. And you’re able to make recommendations and execute effectively. Then I see sort of the other side where enablement becomes a little bit more tactical, where they’re kind of order taking. And I thought it was interesting in in your article and you even mentioned it in a couple of the podcasts that I was listening to which is if you are an enablement, professional that’s in an order taking kind of stance, it’s gonna be very difficult for you to understand is the work that I’m doing, actually impacting what we expected to impact? Or are we just doing these tasks to know that we did the tasks more as a as a CI a motion? So am I training my salespeople Is that really the best use of my time?
If we’ve got, you know, we’re going to pull, let’s say, a handful of our sellers out of the field, we’re going to train them for four days, that’s a series of meetings that didn’t happen, was there a more effective way to help those sellers that maybe wouldn’t have disrupted them? better content might be one of those spending time with the pm case, to make sure that the content is pre chewed before it’s getting to the sales people. Um, you know, how should you be looking at your organization, and I would suggest that there is a lot of low hanging fruit in that cross functional
guess. But the enablement teams, I hear a lot Well, we turned over our enablement team, it just wasn’t being effective. And then I dig in. And it’s usually they saw themselves as a content writing team, and they were, you know, pumping out playbooks. What they don’t understand maybe if they haven’t carried a bag is that as a seller, I don’t trust a playbook. Am I going to go make a week’s worth of phone calls, only to find out that you didn’t do your homework? And I didn’t get any meetings based off of it? Probably not. Right? There’s a different way to do it. You can pilot a playbook you can get the buy in from the sales teams, then you’re saying, Hey, Scott, Santucci was successful with this in the Pacific Northwest, I want to get some of that success myself, and the sales reps will adopt it. So if you look at yourself and think I contents the way I’m gonna solve this problem, then you become the excuse almost you become an order taker and you have less impact on the organization and you get commoditized in your organization, you’re just another set of hands to fight any fire that’s coming down the pipe. Same goes if you look at it, and you become a sales training institute, because a lot of times the problem is not going to be in training your sales reps initially, it’s going to be in making sure that the system you’re you know you’re looking to implement is actually aligned with the rest of the organization, is it well thought through and simplified to where it doesn’t disrupt your sellers.
So your value is in being able to keep your head up and on a swivel and making recommendations and kind of the violence of action, you know, getting out there and making recommendations and trying to go find that success versus sitting back and saying, Well, you know, we did 26 training, and we, you know, we did X amount of web, you know, web content, and we did this, we did that. I just think you put yourself at risk as an enablement person. I mean, I don’t know if you guys agree with that. But that’s kind
Scott Santucci 52:38
of what I see that I very much agree with that. The way that I would characterize it, it is simply not simply that that the means what you just said, this is probably too abstract. But the tactical people have what I call silver bullet itis. They go look for some silver bullet because we go in thinking that this is a simple problem. I’ve seen that, you know, the problem is our salespeople aren’t trained. So we’re going to train them as a challenger sales. And that’ll solve the problem. So that challenger becomes a silver bullet. For what used to be whiteboard selling was a silver bullet. There’s been many silver bullets out there. The reality is, there’s no such thing as werewolves. So we’re shooting silver bullets out there and actually making the problem worse. I think what this is, is a function of somebody gets gung ho. Somebody says this is our problem. They treat the problem. No one people don’t do the diagnostic work. Yes, no, they just launch in and start doing things.
Brian Lambert 53:46
That and I can go ahead. Yeah, because I can. Go ahead. I’m sorry, Brian. All right. I just want to keep us moving towards this. But the or towards the the end of the hour, we’re coming up on it, unfortunately. But the the question that I would have, or the thought that I would have on that is when you look at why that’s happening. If you know shooting silver bullets, and there’s not even any werewolves out there. what’s what’s the the role of of having an anatomy book like this? How does this help? And then what’s the root of the challenge? Santucci? Is it? executives don’t see it? Is it lack of execution? Is it too much silver bullets? Or is it something else?
Scott Santucci 54:32
Well, if I were to put one word on it, it’s a lack of understanding. So you have to have somebody like Scott who understands the ecosystem. And he mentioned that word earlier. I really like that. There’s a ecosystem of how all this stuff works. And most people are unaware that that ecosystem exists. So the root the root problems are They’re not thinking about an engine and a chassis. It’s let’s just fix sales. But no one thinks about, well, what about? Well, sales is a team sport, what about everything downstream? and sales leaders tend to move forward on it? Because Yeah, I’m getting the resources I think I need, and they don’t think it through. And marketers tend to do it, because it’s great, because we get to blame sales. Awesome. You know, so it perpetuates this model of, we’re not operating as a team, we’re not operating as a whole. And well and have to be able to think about this holistically, or else you’re not going to treat the problem.
Brian Lambert 55:38
That’s I would agree, so two solid examples that, you know, I’ve seen, you know, and I deal with, right? One is in the value that you can bring as an enablement person, really, if you think, you know, a little bit more holistically, exactly, to your point, got a sales team. And they’re not their pipeline isn’t where we expect the pipeline to be. And, you know, a lot of the guys are, you know, kind of relatively new. So they’re kind of getting, you know, they’re getting comfortable in their seats. But when you know, so the salt, it kind of the solution generally is, and has been, well, the sales guys, their pipeline isn’t there, we need to get them more product training, let’s get them on some webinars, let’s do some roleplay. So let’s go ahead and, and let’s see them do the presentation. And they go through and eat up a lot of internal resources, once again, from pm from pMk, they’re bringing them in your sales enablement, people are digging in with the sales reps. So we’ve done you know, did that, only to find out that the reason that they were struggling was because none of them knew how to make the first phone call. It didn’t matter.
So the last round of competencies that I did with a team where I was saying, well do we have the skills to do? And how well do they understand the product knowledge in the context of their selling motion, which is the way we kind of look at it, it’s a little bit nuanced, and probably too much for here. But when you looked at it, everybody on that team was top notch, much better than the average seller in our organization. As far as understanding the personas, they should be targeting the marketplace. And in the product itself, they had buried themselves in that when you went right over to their skill sets, you realize the early stage skills that they needed to have. They didn’t have. So as you’ve got, you know, marketing and even sales enablement, my team going well, you know, what are our consumption rates? Well, I don’t care what our consumption rates are, we’re not driving the behavior. And the fact is, is they weren’t even coming out of the blocks. That was the problem. And what what tends to happen is unless you look at it holistically, and go, okay, you know, to use the car analogy, you know, do we have, do we have fire? Do we have gas, you know, you just need to be able to go down that checklist? Well, the problem wasn’t that we needed to throw 10s of thousands of dollars worth of resources, you know, resource hours at these guys, they just needed to make a phone call. And by the way, they knew the product better than most of our other sellers did. So the product knowledge that they were being fed as they were being enabled had nothing to do with their performance or their behavior, where they needed the coaching was, we just need to get very good at starting to make those first phone calls, in which case you don’t need another product. So that was I mean, and I see that a lot where we diagnose to the most complicated solution to get as many people involved. And the answers are usually really simple. Did we?
Scott Santucci 58:30
And I don’t know. I mean, it was I love that because I think what what’s happening is, people want it, I don’t think people really appreciate what simple means. In if you say our reps aren’t working? Well, therefore it must be they need more product knowledge, because the prescription is the simple one, but not the result. So you’ve made it more complicated, more difficult for the salespeople to actually do what the real problem is, is, they’re not getting on first base. That’s row, let’s concentrate on let’s just get people on first base. If we get a if our conversion rate is 25% of people on first base, and we have one person on first base, we’ve got a quarter of a sale, if we have 100, we have 25 sales, and then we can work on moving the needle back and forth. So I think that’s something that’s really important that you’re bringing up, Dr. King, is that we are so metric oriented, but we’re measuring all the wrong things.
Brian Lambert 59:34
And that’s well so that’s where that’s where my model, which is maybe a subset of kind of what you’ve laid out because I you know yours, it kind of outlines what the system should look like. And I agree with it. I’ve worked in those systems. I work in one now, where you can see these different you know, these different factions kind of play out cross functionally. For me, the the sales performance model that, that we kind of implemented that I’m proposing that people should, you know, kind of take a look Look at is when they’re managing their sales force, most sales managers are managing their forecast, right? What’s my commit? What’s my upside? How’s my pipeline roughly? And what I’m what I would suggest is that you need to have a performance metric, which has those components in it, but also is really getting very sharp about what activities we’re tracking the drives pipeline, and how are we doing on those activities? But you also need the proficiency metric, which says, How good are we the skills we expect the sellers to do? Mm, as it relates to the go to market? How well do they know the product in the context of their selling motion, if you’re a BDR, you need to know market. If you’re an inside sales rep that’s receiving leads at the trial download, then you got to know the product. So there’s different contexts that you expect your sellers to do, that’s where you get your simplification, is by just feeding them what they need. And then the competencies, which says what are the behaviors that they have in their skills, that way I can say pipeline is down for set product, I can immediately say, well, do we have enough activities to drive that? If I do, then I except as a sales enablement leader, or as I’m working with my frontline managers, I go, okay, maybe we’re not very good at delivering the message. Or maybe we’re not delivering the message to the right people.
So I can go take a look at some metrics and see Well, now, you know, we’re, we’re pretty good on the product knowledge, but what we are is not so good on these skills. Now, I know I’m training on competencies, versus yelling at marketing. If I find that we’ve got the activities, and my sellers are pretty good at their skills, and they’re pretty good at their product knowledge, at least fairly consistent, then chances are I’m dealing with a messaging issue that should go to marketing. And I’m not disrupting my sellers. So what I would suggest is, even though we think that we’re being data driven, we’re really only using variations of the pipeline in the forecast. In which case, nobody, there’s no metric in there that is really considering the source. You know, especially in startups where, you know, you hear from, you hear from board members, you hear from venture firms where they go, Well, yeah, here’s the here’s the forecast, but I don’t have any trust in it. It’s because they don’t have any metrics to see the seller that’s rolling up that forecast are the 20 sellers that are rolling up that forecast, are they qualified? Do they really know what it means to be at this stage? Do they have an understanding? Do we have a way to measure that? And so I just think we don’t have the right metrics to your point. Well, guys, the good thing about this is using the anatomy analogy, we’ve uncovered for our listeners, a lot of different aspects of profitable growth that need to be looked at. Yes, the question of whether or not we needed the documented anatomy, I think it’s important to have the documented anatomy just simply to know where you could go to solve your problems, what could potentially be impacting it so that you can make an educated decision on where you want to spend your time? Yeah, absolutely. So there isn’t, there isn’t one right answer, but there is a right procedure for this. And that’s, that’s my point. Number one, that’s great. And following that procedure allows you to get the executive team aligned, as well as all the people involved in that.
Scott Santucci 1:03:05
What if it’s a treatment strategy? Like so we say, look, the body, the company has this particular problem, which we’ve diagnosis, you know, some problem, mismanaged complexity, right. And then we say, this is our treatment strategy for us. And then underneath it, we’re gonna have to perform a variety of different procedures.
Brian Lambert 1:03:26
Yeah, that’s great. I like that. What do you think King? Yeah, I like it. Because I do think that that Scott was correct, when he was saying, look, is it is on sales management to be able to articulate to the executives the complexity, given kind of this discussion, and the idea that we could have, you know, sort of that anatomy, you know, that could be, you know, shared and improved. You know, as more folks take a look at it, it should be the role of the sales enablement to be able to go to those executives, maybe we shouldn’t be saying they need to learn it, maybe it should be it is enablement job to inform them. I so I agree, I think there’s two parts. So as you’re talking about it, I think it’s the sales leader has the burden to do it, but they’re probably not able to do it, because they’re, first of all, they’re too close to it. And frankly, if they bring it up, or they’re going to be met with skepticism, like you’re making excuses,
Scott Santucci 1:04:18
right, you’re gonna need a partner to be their internal communication champion to talk about, here’s what’s really happening in the field. And because there isn’t somebody focused on the empathy of customers are the empathy of what happens in the sits all these sales conversations, that really needs to be the role of a sales enablement leader to be the bring the voice of the customer back into the organization.
Brian Lambert 1:04:42
Let me let me outline a second point and get your get your take on this. So from the conversation today, understanding that what we just framed out there the role of sales enablement to articulate and then enroll leadership as well as others in bringing that voice the customer back in this Second is doing that in the context of the business strategy, getting translated into the sales strategy. So you guys spend a lot of time with this top down view, understanding what’s the business model? What’s the sales strategy of the company, and enabling that. That’s where a lot of this mismanage complexity comes from. in Scott Santucci, you talked about look, you know, much like in the 1970s, it wasn’t very, you know, appropriate to bring up critical diseases. Part of the challenge today is you have to be able to talk about this stuff, and there’s no space for it. So that’s my second point is understand how the business strategy gets translated into the sales strategy, and how sales enablement can help create the space to figure out what parts of the body to operate on, or fix. What do you guys think of that point? Yeah, I think that’s critical.
Scott Santucci 1:05:55
One of the things that we’re not doing a good enough job of in the sales sales and marketing world, is helping the entire executive team see how complex the system is. And by going into the weeds, you further make them put off. And what’s interesting is, what I have learned is that many CEOs and CFOs think heads of sales are jargon Laden. Like, as much as sales leaders say, let’s get stripped the jargon out, we use a lot of a lot of terms that the rest of the organization doesn’t understand. And what I found is when you break things down and say, Look, what we’re talking about here is our communication system, right? We’re a value engine as a business. And this is at the executive level, we have three parts to that value, value engine, we have a strategy system, we have a portfolio or a delivery system. And then we have a commercial system. And that commercial system is about how we communicate.
Sales and Marketing are both parts of that commercial system. And it’s broken into these simple parts, we have an audience that we’re trying to communicate to, we’re communicating bidirectionally, not one way bidirectionally through conversations, we have messengers, which are all of our client facing people. And then we have messages, which are all of the people who have all the capabilities inside our company, whether they be product, professional services, marketers, etc. and if we don’t streamline that stuff, it’s going to look chaotic, to our audience, boom. And that tends to resonate very well at an executive level. And I have tried multiple times, with some some sales enablement. Leaders are just too scared to bring that up, because they think it’s too simple. And they’re gonna get yelled at. Yeah,
Brian Lambert 1:07:46
I like the premise. I mean, I haven’t I haven’t articulated it that way. But I think you’re right, especially as you start to think if you are able to streamline that communication process,
Scott Santucci 1:07:57
oriented that way to Dr. King, is because I’ve learned how to do an activity based costing. And so what I can do is I can show to the CFO, how much money we’re wasting by being out of alignment. Yeah, well, there’s a huge cost factor, that if we just organize the information in a simpler way, and structured it so that we can communicate to everybody, it’s really hard to argue, and then it’s a shared problem. And then people become very coachable. But when you put numbers to it, it is it’s astonishing how much money is spent per rep on stuff to quote unquote, help sales that people don’t think about, because they’re just random acts.
Brian Lambert 1:08:45
That’s a great point. My third point, actually, is that this go to market commercial system that Scott just talked or, you know, outlined, it’s a team sport. And understanding the message the messenger in the audience is plural, the messages the messengers, because there is no one size fits all Salesforce or customer facing team. Understanding the audience is to a deep level where conversations happen and can be navigated. That’s a team sport. And that means aligning processes, skills and tools to support that. That’s the third takeaway. Yeah, and I think that went for me, it’s been valuable. Obviously, for me, it’s been valuable, just simply because, you know, all I’m trying to do is look dispassionately at the selling motion. Now, granted, I feel like now I should be looking. I should be looking much broader about kind of what metrics are we measuring? Or why are we solving the problems we’re solving. But if there’s a weakness in the sales, the sales motion, if I’ve got a weakness in a sales team, you’re exactly right. Maybe I plug in more sales engineers, maybe they’re subject matter experts that we can, you know, kind of play in so that we don’t miss those deals at that stage. While we We’re getting our guys back up to speed, right? So you can you can look at it that way. So, you know, I agree there’s, we do have to look at it as a team sport. And I think the value of looking at it as a team sport is if you are working with groups internally to support, you know, your selling team, you can coach them through how they’re impacting the business and if they can be tied to your point, Scott, if it can be tied to true financial gain, even if it’s a little bit of a mess today, you’re going to be able to show probably cost savings, but also probably revenue increases that then they can tie in places in the organization. They’ve never been able to tell that message before. And they certainly want to tell that upline, you just have to get his little
Scott Santucci 1:10:42
wins exactly to your point. One of the one of the big wins that anybody can do today is if you go and break down how much money’s getting spent to quote unquote, help sales, if you can identify where the waste is, and just call it. We need to reinvest over here. There’s not a CFO on the planet that doesn’t realize the Salesforce needs more investment. The problem is, where’s the money gonna come from?
Brian Lambert 1:11:08
It’s It’s crazy, right? I mean, so much money gets poured into it. And a lot of times it wasn’t thought through. It was a kind of a knee jerk. Right. So Scott, Santucci, do you want to wrap us up here. Before we go, just take us out.
Scott Santucci 1:11:23
Sure. So first of all, thank you so much, Dr. King for that that was really, that was really insightful and helpful. What I would love to be able to do is this report. Well, number one, we can’t share it, Brian, because it’s technically not my property. It’s the property of forester. However, it needs to be revised. So what I’m going to do is, maybe what we do is invite Dr. King, maybe invite some of our listeners, how would we update it? I mean, there’s many parts in this that I would want to update it ever have read it in preparation, because I didn’t really know how this conversation was gonna go. But I think we need to, I wouldn’t maybe not rewrite update. So let’s make an update of the of the to your user analogy, the Grey’s Anatomy, one
Brian Lambert 1:12:10
appreciate your time, Dr. King for doing this and investing the time over the years to really tackle the sales enablement challenge. You’re one of the folks that doesn’t run away from the complexity you go at it to simplify and your background in sales and sales management has been really helpful here to have a really rich conversation around the anatomy book analogy. So I appreciate it. Thank you guys. It’s a lot of fun. All right, insider nation. Thanks so much for joining us today. We’ll see you on a future podcast. And as always, remember to give us feedback and also your thoughts on this episode. Take care.
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