Ep31 Part 5: COVID-19 Response Series: How do I lead through crisis and change?

Ep31 Part 5: COVID-19 Response Series: How do I lead through crisis and change?

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 31

This is part 5 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, specifically tailored to sales enablement. As sales enablement leaders, we have a huge role to play in helping sellers navigate these trying times.

In our first four parts we covered a lot of critically important topics such as:

  • Part 1 (Ep27): What is really happening in the market?
  • Part 2: (Ep28): How are companies likely going to respond?
  • Part 3 (Ep29): What can Sales Enablement leaders do?
  • Part 4 (Ep30): What are your peers thinking and doing?

In this episode (episode 31), the guys dive into the critical aspects of leadership and provide executable insights with a leadership framework you can use to

1) assess your current leadership stance (i.e., how are you showing up)

2) how are you going to lead through this crisis and change?

To help make this topic come to life, Brian and Scott conduct a live role play in response to the COVID crisis. As you listen, you will think deeply about your leadership skills and approach based on their lively interactions.

In this episode, they provide a walk through the HEROIC Leadership Framework. A framework 11 years in the making and followed by some of the most strategic and results-oriented sales enablement leaders in the technology industry.

  • H (Holistic): Leaders recognize the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • E (Engineered): Leaders understand how the parts best fit together
  • R (Reality): Leaders understand how the human element impacts how the parts behave
  • O (Ongoing Operations): Leaders build continuous and sustained improvement
  • I (Impactive): Leaders understand how they message to the community of stakeholders will ultimately drive action
  • C (Collaboration): Collaboration and inclusiveness are required to drive cohesion in the commercial process

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.


Nick Merinkers 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 and 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 01:04

Today, we’re talking about leadership. And before we get into it, pop quiz, Scott, I’m going to hit you with a quiz, awesome, right off the bat, who’s your favorite leader and why? And it can’t be somebody from your family. Who’s your favorite leader, and why from history? Mine? Mine happens to be Teddy Roosevelt. I’m going US president on that one. Because he’s a he’s definitely a man of action. And he, he was very courageous for his time. That’s my that’s my favorite definition of a leader. What about you?

Scott Santucci 01:38

So, here’s what I love. I love that our prep, we didn’t talk that we would be doing a pop quiz. This is I love that already gets the juices flowing. And so, I would say that, so I’m literally being put on the spot right now. And he, we do this, when we have the scrolling and just scrolled up this this thing here too. So, I did buy a little bit of time to think through what it is. And I’d said George Washington of all time.

Brian Lambert 02:06

Awesome. Cool. Like for that. And you know, we’re talking leadership, because fifth episode in our COVID response. And this is interesting, because we plan on stopping that series, but we’re getting so much feedback, and we’re getting so many downloads, that we’re continuing this series, and we’re talking leadership because somebody from our team, the insider nation, actually brought up that leadership’s critical in times like this. And you know, Scott, when we look at leadership to me, enablement, leaders really have an opportunity to apply timeless leadership skills to today’s modern time. Anybody can be a leader, and everybody that I talked to believes they’re a leader. From a sales perspective, leadership is blending to be more about consistency, and outcomes. And in 2020, here were a lot of sales teams that we’re supporting, are driving change, they’ve got to bring change to bear salespeople have to be leaders, sales leaders have to be leaders. And you know what sales and delivery teams and marketing product teams have to be leaders too. And none of these changes are going to happen in our clients that we’re supporting without aligning multiple decision makers. So, when you look at today’s success in times of crisis, change management requires strong leadership. Crisis Response requires strong leadership, aligning processes, or incorporating multiple perspectives, all these things that we’re talking about on the show, require strong leadership. And so, Scott, with that said, clearly, I’m passionate about the leadership topic. What metaphor are you going to use to frame out this topic?

Scott Santucci 03:58

To summarize what you said, in order to simplify the commercial system, that all of us are in that sales enablement is the biggest beneficiary of you need strong leadership? I think one of the things that we have to get into is what actually is leadership? How do we make it tangible? I think a lot of people point at leadership and think that they’re a great leader, because they’re empathetic or whatnot. But are they driving results? Or they point to people who they think should be leaders and can highlight what what isn’t a great leader. Here’s the best story of a leader that this is a true story. And I think it’s very timely. We have to go back to so now we’re going way back in time. Our centering story starts in 1777. That’s right, 1777. And what I want you to do is sort of imagine it’s it’s the dead of winter, and the Continental Army, which if you can, you know, remember your history. Is this ragtag group of nonprofessional soldiers that have volunteered for this weekend romp because they were fired up about the British and what they were doing to their, to their friends in Massachusetts. And it’s pretty easy to be gung ho. We’ve all seen that seen that happen. And by this point in time in the war, in 1777, the British Army, which was the by far and away the most powerful military, on the planet, had captured the Capitol, which was Philadelphia, things look bleak. At the beginning of 1777. The army was 40,000, strong. At this point in time in the war, there were 12,000 people, 12,000 troops, who had stayed on and the Army’s barely keeping it together. If you don’t have an army, you don’t have an opposition. If you don’t have an opposition, anybody who signed a declaration of independence is going to get hung. Let’s just make sure we’re clear the time period of what’s going to happen and what a king does.

Brian Lambert 06:08

Seems pretty bleak.

Scott Santucci 06:10

Really super bleak. To add more bleakness to it. In this dead of winter, they were ill supplied. So, George Washington would write off notes to Congress at the time the Continental Congress, but each one of them were pointing fingers at each different state, what Virginia pay for it, let Philadelphia pay for it. I’m not gonna pay for it. We’re just Delaware. So, he would write and write and write, and he wouldn’t get any supplies. So, they didn’t have shoes. They didn’t have enough food. They lost 1500 horses during that winter, they lost 1000 people, 1000 people out of 12,000 people die. Put that into comparison about how many people are dying with with COVID across the world. And how many billions of people there are in a sample set of 12,000 people 1000 died because of disease diseases like typhoid, or smallpox. It’s a side note. One of the things that came out of this is that they developed what are now called vaccines. So, they innovated to stop the smallpox to do that. During this bleak time desertion was a problem. How do you handle desertions in a volunteer army, you got to keep the army together, but their volunteers? So, George Washington did something that he didn’t want to do. He had some he had some public executions to establish order. What else did they do? They brought in and they said, we need to get these guys formally trained. So, they brought in Baron Friedrich bronze student who was a prussian, and they started drilling. So they were drilling who wants to drill who definitely wants to drill when you have no shoes in the winter, and out of this when you’re starving, and you’re starving, and you got no horses, and you got no resources, and the British are there and Philadelphia having a great time, and super warm, and you’re doing all this going up against the most well equipped, best army on the planet at the time. So, what happened as a result of this is they came out of that be a completely transformed unit, because of the because of the training stuben. They actually fought, they started fighting traditional way. So, the myth that all of the all of the Continental Congress was guerrilla warfare is just not true. It’s not a it’s not a true thing. They just used very innovative and radical tactics that the British thought was guerrilla. But it wasn’t true. So, what they ended up doing is between after said between 1778 and 1781, they ended up defeating with the help of the French, the most powerful military in the planet. And it was this point in time, there was this pamphlet that that circulated, and a guy named Thomas Paine wrote it. And I want to just read a little passage because it’s very relevant to today. In 1777, Thomas Paine wrote, these are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier in the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country that he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women tyranny, like hell is not easily conquered. yet. We have this constellation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Brian Lambert 09:26

Wow, that’s really cool. That’s a great history lesson. Again, and I obviously I am resonating with the timeliness of that especially the disease part and in the bleakness of it all. But I gotta ask, what’s what’s that have to do with sales enablement right now?

Scott Santucci 09:45

That’s a great segue. There’s so what right? Yeah, for Insider. What we’re going to talk about is these are in the examples of leadership. Leadership isn’t easy. Leadership requires courage. Leadership is never Cookie Cutter leadership is dealing with, with the events around us and trying to figure out how to make it better. Sometimes you have to go into deep dark places to find out what that looks like. So, what Brian and I are going to introduce is a framework that has been developed over an 11-year period of time to give sales enablement leaders the toolkit that they need to be leaders. We call it be a relic.

Brian Lambert 10:27

Yeah. And that’s right. You heard that right. 11 years, and you’re about to hear it right. The good thing about this is it is timeless. The second thing about this is it is evolving, the more clear, so we’d love your feedback on it, Scott, give them the framework.

Scott Santucci 10:46

Okay, so the framework is this being heroic. So why is that that highlight the highlight is you have to live breathe it, you don’t just it’s not an emergency, break glass, pull out, be a leader framework, you have to be a practice every day, so that when you’re ready for crisis situations, you can actually just be it you have to just be it must be authentic. So, we call being heroic, why heroic, it takes a heck of a lot of courage. Imagine the courage, it took George Washington, if you imagine all the chips that are on his back, and the fact that he will be swinging from a tree, just like the other people sign a Declaration of Independence, the burden that it was on his back. No, that’s it takes in a tremendous amount of courage to do something different. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to come up with the tactics and, and to have the discipline and try to say we’re going to train instead of just suffer through this. All courageous moves. Yeah. So that’s it, we’re not trying to be you know, silly about it. But heroic also is an acronym. And our acronym stands for these are the attributes that you need to develop.

Brian Lambert 11:56

So, hang on a second before before we get into that, right. So, I know, we were gonna roll through this, but I just want to make sure you guys are tracking on this because this, this idea of heroic we’re going to give you and it’s not just a catchy catchphrase motivational type of thing. This is actually a clickable framework, and we’re going to talk about it. So, Scott’s going to give you what heroic stands for. It’s an acronym. So, what is H what is E what is R what is O, I and C. So here we go, so first one is holistic.

Scott Santucci 12:30

And holistic, really is the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, what it means, is it’s about being able to see the bigger picture. And we’re just keep it simple right now. And then we’re gonna unpack them move forward. E stands for engineered, basically, how do the parts fit together? And, you know, the practical application is, is how do you figure out the 8020 rule? What are the 20% of the things that matter the most? for George Washington, this time, the number one thing that will matter the most is keep the army together. And then when they get out of Valley Forge to actually be a fighting force, so they don’t get the butts kicked, like they did up and down everywhere in 1777. R is confront reality or be reality focused. And that’s really how do all of the parts involved in your system? How do they behave? This is also about looking at the data and then go and talking to people and see whether that data is really real or not. I like to think about this as confronting bias. The next one, O, is ongoing operations. How do we develop and continuous sustained improvement? Think about it, think of it this ways, oh, is the difference between throwing or rolling out a training program, and then having the reinforcement strategy to make sure that there’s the adoption of that training program, big difference, it might sound subtle, but the difference in terms of business results is massive. I is impactive impact it really is the the message that you give because leaders have to have messages to address all the stakeholders in the community with which they’re leading. So how you message and communicate is critically important. And we call that impact. And then finally, C is collaborative and inclusive. In order for you to succeed as a sales enablement leader, your role in order to simplify that commercial system that we that we referenced, you’re not going to own all of the mechanisms. So, you’re going to need to gain buy in and collaboration across many different cross functional groups. So, you don’t have the muscles to do to do it collaboratively. And in an inclusive way, where they don’t feel put out, you’re not going to be able to get the buy in of all of the different, all different humans rolling in the right direction.

Brian Lambert 14:58

I want to make sure this is really resonating. And when I’m thinking about is okay, look, George Washington, was he holistic, that’s the age, it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t holistic. And his approach was the engineer, you know, and how he was processing? What was going on in Valley Forge. R reality, and how is he confronting the reality? O, was he thinking about the ongoing operation? The outcome of the war? I was he impacted? Was he writing the letters to make sure that he was enrolling the right people and see, was he collaborative? In order to get this done? The answer to that would be a resounding yes. And if you thinking about it from your role, as you know, my my project, how am I being holistic in my project, my engineering and my project and my confronting reality, my project? What we’re what we’re talking about here, Scott, seems to be a little bit different than implementing a project, which I think a lot of people think in terms of leadership, what’s your take on leadership at the this level of George Washington, and with regard to project based work?

Scott Santucci 16:12

So, let’s let me answer this as if it’s a decision tree. Step number one is sales enablement. Is it to you just training, and we do the things that are asked of us? Or is sales enablement, a strategic function, where you’re activating or making the company better? If you’re a, this podcast isn’t for you, if you’re B, what we need to really do is highlight what that means. So that’s creating the simplification to create the commercial system sales and marketing to work together. And to in order to activate that you have to develop a skill that blends strategy and execution. So, Brian, and I call that Stratecution. So that means to the executive team, you need to be able to communicate executable insights. And that to you and to your team, you have to develop success methods to carry that out. Those two have to be blended together in order to drive the business results or the goals, the big goals that you’re that you seek, rather than the activity that’s easy to measure measure. Hmm.

Brian Lambert 17:31

Yep. Yeah, I know, we’ve talked a lot about that. And I thought it was really important to pause there and make sure that we’re processing the heroic framework this way. And one of the things you’re bringing up here is this commercial system and simplifying that you and I have had a history since 2008. Working on that, I think it’d be helpful to, you know, we talked about this as an 11-year journey. Let’s give our listeners a bit of that overview of how we’ve gotten through this process and where this came from, because I really want them to have confidence to be able to apply something like this.

Scott Santucci 18:04

Okay, sure. So, one way to do that would be for our listeners to go back and listen to Episode 20, where we talk about the detailed, maybe minutia, detailed definition of what we see sale, the name of the opening line of the definition of sales enablement that we created at Forrester was sales enablement is a strategic ongoing process. Right there. So, because it’s a process, and a role, how do we look at that. And so that’s what we talked about the commercial system, we’ll talk about making that more tangible later, let’s just park that concept for a second. The issue then is because that’s what our focal point was. And we published that report, you can probably imagine, we had a lot of inquiries or engagements with many, many, many, many, many different people, from companies all around the world. So, in talking through that, we had the opportunity to hear from people who were being very successful, bringing that vision inside their companies. That was the Leadership Council, where these members could get together and talk about what they were doing. And one of the things that we observed was, huh, the people at Cisco, or the woman who’s running this at Cisco, she’s got really good skills and communication. And the people running at sunguard are really, really, really great at defining key performance indicators. Or the people at Informatica cheese. These guys are operationally amazing. Like, this is like, looking at Southwest Airlines. Right now, what we realized that we needed to do is to create a mechanism to allow these pockets of excellence eliminated. Yeah, came up with the concept of this hero conference to spotlight them.

Brian Lambert 19:59

Yeah, remember That and we had this conversation about, boy, if we could take the best of everybody and create like a superhero sales enablement superhero, what would that look like? And we actually, that’s where this came from this framework because we saw how they interacted, that we actually saw their, their strengths, and we put it together into this leadership framework. We applied it, we rolled out the conference. Remember? Remember, Scott, we won that successification award at Forrester? Because our conference that was put on around this framework was the highest rated conference that year?

Scott Santucci 20:33

Yes. And it wasn’t close, either.

Brian Lambert 20:35

Yeah, not that we’re competitive or anything.

Scott Santucci 20:39

But I think that the reason is, is because it was 100% designed about making the role as we defined it a strategic sales enablement function successful. And in doing so, we didn’t have a lot of the buzzwords that you would see today, it was spotlighting each of these different individuals. So, we built the way that we that we designed the entire conference had one core theme. And if you want to think about this, in a weird metaphor, think about it as a giant hamburger. Brian and I were the bunts. So, I went first, I had the initial kickoff, and really didn’t talk much. I had a few stories about sales enablement to frame it out. But really, I sort of introduced this concept of the hero journey, what a hero’s story is how to write your own hero story. And then each of the different h er Oh, my goal, my objective is to introduce the concept. And then we scripted out the agenda so that people could digest this over a period of time. And then Brian had the closing keynote, of how to put it together. So, I introduced a new idea, which was hard to digest it first, by the end of the day, or at end of day two, everybody was getting it and it was activating. And what we did is between those between those two buttons, if you will, we had the different layers. So, the first layer was Ah, and Mitch Liddell, who is the SVP of sales and applications at a company called microchip had a really great way of talking about and seeing the whole, the how does his sales organization fit into the community of his customers, and also the community of the individual people inside his company. And his conclusion was, and this is his radical view, that he changed his compensation plan around sales, to not be around quota. It was around goals obtained by customers. So, if you just lead with that, that’s pretty radical. And it’s hard for a lot of people to absorb. But when you hear his story about fitting in, in the overall ecosystem, and that they’re in business, of helping their customers succeed with microchips and build new new capabilities, his logic makes a lot of sense. And then if you look at his business results before and after, boy, does it make a lot of sense, but you know, took a lot of a lot of time for people to absorb that. Mm, where’s Mitch today, he’s still in the same role microchip doing the same. And he’s, he’s been what he was one of the original people behind the challenger sale. He, he still is trying to advocate the comp plan model, and he’s still getting the same kind of pushback, and he’s still getting, you know, delivering better than his pure results.

Brian Lambert 23:42

Yeah, he’s got 10 to 10 times the longevity of other people. And the role is still there. Yeah.

Scott Santucci 23:49

So, let’s go on to E. So that the next one is he engineered, and that’s Ken pal, Ken pal, at the time, was the head of sales enablement at sunguard. And what he did was he walked us through seven slides that were very mathematical. But they were simple. So that it’s basically what he went through was a CFOs dream. And walk through, you have this amount of people who do these things in our system, and they go through this batch, and this is the this is the services, the sales enablement services that we provide. But instead of talking about what services were, he concentrated more about the metrics, and he was he be key is developed a really great skill to be very KPI and measurement focused. And he stressed the importance of the 8020 rule. Most of the things that you’re going to do or think about doing don’t matter, have the discipline to concentrate on finding the 20% that do and then having the courage there’s that word again, to making sure that you really focus on those 20% because just so easy to get caught up on in terms of activity. So where is where is Ken? Now? Ken now works for a very large private equity firm where he goes and observes and talks to talks to private equity companies, their portfolio members about what kind of metrics they should be putting in place. So that’s where he is now.

Brian Lambert 25:22

Yeah, quite a journey.

Scott Santucci 25:24

Yes. So, the next, the next person for R is reality focused. So that’s Carol Stella, and at the time, she was the director of sales enablement semantic, and what she highlighted, and she laid out all of the different people who are involved, and all of the different groups with which her department goes and does outreach for, you might call it if you think about it in terms of project management, it looks very stakeholder management ish. But it’s very it’s not it’s very human. It’s a it’s about who cares about what what are their perspectives? What are their orientations, she used one of the frameworks that that that we provided to help gain that consensus, which were around the four sales objectives. Brian, that’s a sales at the end of the day is about getting access to the right people is number one, once you’re there having an effective meeting that the client agrees to explore further, that’s number two. Number three, creating a shared vision of success over a period of time, it’s number three. And then number four, is you got to close creating that business case. And using those kinds of things to create an experiential understanding of what’s happening is what made Carol very successful and continues to make her successful.

Brian Lambert 26:44

Yeah, and if you want to learn more about that, that was episode nine. If you want to listen to those objectives in more detail, yeah. And she’s, she’s a VP at power school group. Wow. That’s, that’s amazing story, too. Yes.

Scott Santucci 26:59

Power score. That’s where Yeah, yeah, that’s great. And then the last layer, I guess, the meaty button, or the meat, you know, the meat or the bacon, wherever you want to.

Brian Lambert 27:09

Or the lettuce, I mean, one of the leads of California right,

Scott Santucci 27:12

whatever, whatever the lead it, whatever the layer is, is for ongoing operations is Daniel West, who at the time was the VP of enablement, and, and the university and Informatica and what what he laid out was us he basically called it industrializing sales enablement. And he uses he uses the metaphor, the Henry Ford metaphor, even use the quote from Henry Ford. What is it? What they want it right, if I, if I ask customers what they want, they want a faster horse, right? And that’s really what he was talking about is, everybody thinks that they want something, if you go and just answer the mail, what you’re going to do is produce faster horses, rather than create cars. So, what he what he highlights is, what is the system to go about doing that? How does he How does he concentrate on the operations and defining the roles and responsibilities for everybody, because he believes that if you do that you can first better control and manage expectations of those around you. And then you can produce great outputs, and make sure you can scale your results more effectively. So that’s what that that’s what Daniel shared. Where’s Daniel now? Well, Daniel is as SVP role at Oracle, basically doing this. So, obviously, he’s graduated as well. So, all of these speakers have done really well for themselves of the past eight years. And we think, folks, you’d be able to learn from them.

Brian Lambert 28:48

Yeah. And they’re, they’re courageous and heroic, which is our framework, and they’ve done clearly done well for themselves. And I’ve learned a lot from them, as well. And I think what’s cool about each of them is they’re very approachable. So, reach out to them. And then when you look at this, Scott, that’s a tr o, we have a heroic framework. So, what about I see what what is the I what is the seeds impactive. Remember, everybody pocket is impacted and collaborative. Right? So, what about I see where did that come from? Scott.

Scott Santucci 29:26

So that came from a lot of people don’t know know this, but the the concept around the sales enablement society was half. Hey, we should all get together, but probably more half and probably what I was more interested in is a test. And the test is can we create what can we create an organization from scratch that doesn’t involve or or forcing ourselves to figure out how we can be more collaborative and cross functional and in doing so, I set out to say okay, I have to lead. So, I’m going to use this hero framework in the leadership. And while putting it to practice, I realized there were two things that were missing two things. And maybe it’s maybe it’s more an issue of modern and that we’re in a digital world. And there’s so many different stakeholders involved. But the two things that that added are one it. So, the eye is how do you message you how you message matters so much more today than what you think. And I gotta stress to you, everybody is going to say, Yeah, I know how to do that. And I’m going to tell you, you don’t. Because the impactive part really matters and actually impacted is an acronym. One of the things that we’re Brian and I are going to have is an episode, Lindsey Gore, if you remember her for as far as a salesperson, when her and I work a lot together. And we’re going to really unpack this being her own framework and how it matters to salespeople, it’s going to be really exciting. But anyway, the point is, in order to get the community of stakeholders rowing in the right direction, of whom many see the world differently, and many disagree with each other is a lot harder than anybody gives themselves credit to. And one of the things, Brian, that I learned about this is, through the through the story arc of running the society that the interesting things are that people reached out, one of the people reached out to talk to me about this issue was a mayor, a mayor of a town was tracking all this stuff, and said, how the heck do I govern? Everybody’s at they’re at war with each other? What did you do? I don’t know. Right? So, we just sort of work together on packet. And that’s really what what what came about it is the messaging matters so much more than I think people give it credit for

Brian Lambert 32:03

Yeah, and whatever you think the word messaging means right now just pause on that. And we’re going to have to have a separate episode, this is for you listening. Because it’s not the messaging, you think. I’ll just put it that way. It has to do with more more about how it’s received, and the perspectives of the people involved than you communicating to them. It’s more about what they hear. So, we’ll, we’ll talk through that in a different episode. And then the next one that came up, Scott was collaborative. Talk about that one.

Scott Santucci 32:37

So, it’s, it’s collaborative. And I also like the way that I like to think about it’s collaborative and inclusive. And it doesn’t mean inclusive the way of diversity projects, right. It’s really interesting how words can can mean things and when you tease it out about how to execute. But what what is really important, is including people into your plan, so that they can buy into it. If you don’t have buy in from product marketing, and you want to work on messaging, for example, and the marketing department and things like that, if you can’t help them see what the challenges really are, you’re gonna create perpetual friction, because you’re like Pennsylvania and Virginia arguing at loggerheads, rather than saying, what’s our common goal. So that’s being inclusive, and being collaborative is really about every, every department to even within the sales enablement community, a lot of people can zoom in to 10 infinite degrees of depth on individual topics. But a salesperson can assimilate individual depth on all of the different mechanics around, you know, running a good meeting. I mean, you got people read books on that no one can digest all of that it to put it in motion. So how do you collaborate to identify what is the what’s the low hanging fruit that you can connect to simplify it so that salespeople can execute or that customers can understand it? That requires collaboration roles, people get really upset. And that upset is what turns into lack execution. So those are the two things two lessons learned there. I think it probably be a good idea to you know, unpack those things together. But I think what we want to do right now is let’s let’s let’s try to put all the pieces together in a way to to understand, then we’ll have another episode where flip it around, and I had to apply. Yeah. So, Brian, where are we now?

Brian Lambert 34:41

Yeah, I want to breathe some life into this. And so, when you and I were talking, I said let’s use a situation, right? So, I’m going to be a sales enablement, professional. And I’m going to give you a situation and I want you to help me be heroic. And let’s see let’s let’s do it that way. And I hope this, this will help anchor this for our listeners so that you can give us feedback because we really want to hear how you would apply heroic as well. So, you can follow along with this and we’re going to go through and and talk about the way to apply this. So, here’s my brief situation would be Scott. I feel I feel like Frasier is so Frasier. I’m old. Hello. Caller calling in.

Scott Santucci 35:30

Okay. Are you Frasier?

Brian Lambert 35:33

Your Frasier, okay, great.

Scott Santucci 35:36

So, we’ve been, we’ve been doing a show. Yeah, let’s let’s stick with that metaphor. I’m Frasier. We’ve been doing a call. Yeah. Hello, caller talk to us about being a robot.

Brian Lambert 35:45

Yeah, yeah, here’s my situation, I is responsible for a major program around sales management development. And the reason for that is in this COVID-19 era, our leadership team has really prioritized sales management development. And when that came down from the pike, everybody’s got ideas on what I should be doing, listening to the heroic framework, I believe I should control my own destiny as a sales enablement leader, and incorporate what you’re saying, but I’m stuck. I don’t know exactly how to do that.

Scott Santucci 36:23

So, step number one is, language matters a lot here, I would say for your own benefit, you must lead. Because if it doesn’t work, somebody is going to get blamed. Right, there is a rope to choke. So that’s step number one is accepting that accountability, and really leaning into it.

Brian Lambert 36:49

Like, yeah, that’s a key part of leadership. Exactly. We know my, that’s a great point. So, I have, I remember, in my military days, I’m still a caller. That was really important. And you have to know your own limits and know your own strengths and weaknesses. And you have to come to grips with the accountability that you have in a time, like this. So, thanks for reminding me of that Frasier problem.

Scott Santucci 37:11

So given that, let’s talk about holistic focus, the focal point shouldn’t be on the coaching, because that’s just an end result. What is the goal that we want to achieve? So, I would imagine, in this time and age, the spending has been pulled back on training for individual reps. And the goal is, we have to figure out how we’re going to navigate this, this crisis. And we’re going to do what we’re going to do two things at the same time. One is figure out how we empower our frontline leaders to make sure that troops for lack of a better word, are comfortable, focused, but build the muscles that we require once this comes out, so that we are better prepared than our competitors. Mm hmm. Is that is that fair?

Brian Lambert 38:08

Yeah, that’s absolutely fair. Sounds very George Washington. Like, by the way, that’s it? Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And with that, we know, my leadership team has told me, they believe that sales managers are not equipped to go into this current work environment. So, there’s actually a short term need here as well, to make sure the troops are well taken care of in an all-virtual environment. And doing it virtually.

Scott Santucci 38:38

Right leveraging the the wisdom of another leader that people give a lot of credit for his leadership, as Winston Churchill, never let a crisis go to waste.

Brian Lambert 38:47

That’s right.

Scott Santucci 38:49

if you have the short term, boy, they’re not prepared to be able to do it. That’s what you’re implementing. But if you’re only focusing on that, you’re not actually creating anything. So, remember, what George Washington did is, what did he do is he brought stuben in to come up with this discipline and train these guys to become really fantastic soldiers. So, two things are happening at the same time. And I can’t stress how important that is to have that kind of idea. So, my tip to you color would be please don’t call this a coaching program. Because that’s going to have everybody involved in your in your program, focus on the wrong thing. This isn’t about coaching. Yes. Technically what it is that you are doing is deploying coaching the best but there’s not you’re not answering the why. What does management get out of it? So, I would work on crafting your own message similar to the Thomas Paine, these are the times that try men’s souls come up with some sort of statement that’s more aspirational and inspiring, rather than just man coaching.

Brian Lambert 39:50

Yeah, yeah. That’s great. Thanks. And also, continuing through this. I have Listen, you know, listen to the the podcasts. And I know I don’t want to be random, you know, I don’t want to be just engaging in a bunch of activity, even though we have a new hire starting on Monday. And they’re asking me what we do. And with this person, I’m resisting the urge to just jump in and start starting flinging, but I’m having trouble, you know, with that messaging as well, and what to do to make sure that it’s additive to the H.

Scott Santucci 40:23

So, what I would say is, concentrate on your goals. There’s got to be measurable goals. So, let’s think about channeling our inner Ken, from Ken Powell. What are the goals? And can you highlight them? So, what was George Washington’s goals? Goal number one, throughout the whole winner was keep the army intact. Goal number two is when we, after we keep the army intact, make sure it’s a better fighting force than it was. All the other daily activities that they had to do deal with are all just tactics, he stayed focused on those two things. Mm hmm. So in this particular case, from your period of time, from when you’re starting to when you’re ending, what are the two or three things that must be focused on and make sure that’s the thing that you stay concentrated on that, like, think about Rocky, these are the things that you put on your mirror as your training that you concentrate on over and over and over and over again, because you’re going to get overwhelmed by people’s opinions, people’s points of view, etc, they’re all going to pay for I get be distracted. So that’s engineered is and the more you can make those measurable, the better off you’re going to be.

Brian Lambert 41:41

Yeah, that’s right. I like that. Look, you know, I’m now in a work environment that because of this, I’m working remotely. And I get what you’re saying. But the reality is, you know, our reality, the reality is, is that my email is slam on, you know, video conference calls all day. And it’s, we’re in a very reactive crisis driven mode. That’s reality. So, the idea of, hey, this is going to be a whole holistic, ongoing, you know, we’re going to do this over time engineered approach doesn’t seem to fit the current times.

Scott Santucci 42:16

What do I do? Well, here’s the funny thing about reality. There is what it is. And then there’s what what we project onto it. So, if you are going to come at it thinking through through being anxious, then you’re going to see a lot of anxiety. If you flip it around and say, look, we just have to get this done. We’re in Valley Forge, we got to get it done. Let’s not let all these other factors that we read about distract us. The issue is we have to get it done. The variables are, you know, would we like to be in office? Sure, but we’re not. So let it go. And then what you need to be able to do is gauge the morale of the troops and then have one on one conversations and help the rector Think about it, one way to think about it is you can think about it as people like like magnets. And if those magnets aren’t polarized to the same goal, then it’s going to be very difficult to get through. But you as the leader, you just can’t think that way. It does no good to add the burden of the weight that’s on you for the accountability. The accountability you need to concentrate on are the three or four engineered goals. That’s it. Yeah, you allow yourself to be burdened by these other factors, these these other pressures, then you’re taxing your ability to execute those goals.

Brian Lambert 43:40

So, this is good Frasier, because now you’re popping into my mind, right? This idea that leadership can be in times of crisis and how I respond is important. And like for example, you know, you know, Papa John’s pizza, right? They, I just got on it. What you’re triggering in my mind is they’re they’re being really responsive by confronting reality. You know what they did, they actually this morning push an app update that says you can update your pizza delivery to no contact. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to touch anybody. And I want to have Uber hypersensitivity to virus delivery. So, they push the whole app update. Is that leadership? I would say it is yes, it’s highly grounded to reality, and it’s being helpful, and it’s being positive to your clients. So, thanks for reminding me about that.

Scott Santucci 44:34

Actually, I want to add on top of that. So, let’s also factor in that issue of reality. One of the things that is very common in the sales enablement world will be you lead with the statement that management says the sales managers aren’t prepared are prepared to lead in this environment. Many sales enablement people because leadership says that take that as fact. And then they will go and say to sales, sales leaders, you’re not prepared for this? Well, guess what? First of all, you don’t know for sure if they’re prepared or not prepared. Secondly, why in the world would you say that to them? And thirdly, if you did say that to them, haven’t you created resistance? to begin with? In terms of reality? How would you know? Do you have a rubric to say, here’s what makes somebody a leader or not a leader? If you don’t have a rubric? What criteria is it that the management is basing it on? If you just do it, and you’re doing things, and you have an isolated what that core thing? How do you know what reality actually is? Yeah, that’s what somebody else said. And these are the kinds of things that we have to be really thoughtful of these are human beings. Yeah, not sales managers, because they stink. They are sales managers because they’ve done something great. And we highlight what they don’t work well, on of course, they’re going to be resistant. And are they going to be more resistant in a time of crisis? Heck, yeah. Because they’re worried about their own futures, too.

Brian Lambert 46:07

Yeah, that’s a great point. And what you’re reminded me of as the as the color here, the conversation I had this morning was exactly to that point. I probably should have said some of the things I said, and also, I wasn’t prepared for this crisis, either. probably right. You know, who’s really prepared for this. So, there’s so anyway, yeah, that’s great point. Okay, so I’m trying to stay in character, you know. Alright, so the last one, then is Oh.

Scott Santucci 46:35

No, it’s not the last one we gotta do C.

Brian Lambert 46:38

So, I see my bad. So oh, I see the left. So oh, you know, obviously, with sales management development, my sales leadership has is has told me that we’re going to react to this, as he said, but it is going to be a key pillar going forward of, of the enablement strategy. So, I think it’s, it sounds like I need to be clarifying these things, too, when we come out, and making sure that, that we’re able to be successful. So how do I manage the need, that everybody’s going to come and want to plow a bunch of stuff into this one pilot in and start shooting sales managers, as Brian calls it, where they should do this? And they should do that? How do we stop that from happening? And how do I decide what to put in?

Scott Santucci 47:26

So, these are the these are some of the difficulties in the ongoing operations bucket, you have to define what your product is. What happens is we define all the deliverables that created and that’s it, we do that because those are concrete things. But what’s the product? What is a effective sales manager? And how do we measure them? Are they effective sales manager after we deliver them sales manager training? No, we have to be able to be we have to be able to see it? What is the criteria involved? The measurable criteria that we can put in place? And then who’s responsible for developing it? Isn’t it the VPS jobs? Who the sales manager report to to help with that? How are they not part of the curriculum? So, define what the product is? Then the second thing that you have to define, is the people involved in building it, what is the production line? Who’s gonna do what, because define building something that’s an ongoing service is uncomfortable for a lot of folks. So, you need to be able to do both of those things. If you’re going to do ongoing operations, well, if you don’t do those things, what’s going to happen is you’re going to get pulled into building lots and lots of deliverables, based on what people’s own perspectives and experiences are, which will put you at risk of meeting the measurable goals. So, you need to be thinking about this as the measurable goals or what the factory output that your your boss wants. And then the factory plan is defining the roles, responsibilities, and the production line of producing those things. If you don’t do those things, it’s going to be very difficult to coordinate all of the development. And you’re going to get people going on Google search to find the silver bullets to plug in here. And then you’re going to get a giant laundry list of stuff. That will look great. I’m sure you’ll do a lot of fantastic job on the look and feel, and it’ll be polished and, and a look well. And it’ll seem right. And people will probably give you good feedback on the initial rollout. But will it move the needle? Don’t know. So that’s why it’s important to find what the product is.

Brian Lambert 49:37

Sounds like he and Brian need to do another podcast on just O, because nobody in my company is thinking that way. That’s for darn sure.

Scott Santucci 49:49

Well, I wouldn’t say nobody. It’s what your executives expect. So, let’s let’s be careful on the reality part. Yeah, not reality. You’re exactly want results, not deliverables?

Brian Lambert 50:03

So, they would so you’re saying then they would rather have the ongoing operation here?

Scott Santucci 50:09

Well, that’s how you’re gonna get it done. They don’t care. They’re an executive isn’t gonna care how you get it done. Right. That’s the quandary. You don’t have to have approval of everything from executives. You know, what do you 13? Do you have to ask your approval for everybody?

Brian Lambert 50:26

Be a leader. Now you hurt my feelings. I’m sorry. Just kidding. Man. Okay, so let’s go on to die. But that’s good reminder. Right? This is good. I’m still in character. Okay. Okay. So, I is impacted with messaging so that that message has been given to me. What what, how am I supposed to be impacted with messaging when I’m being told what I’m supposed to be doing? They’ve given me the message, and I just supposed to amplify it and do the same thing, say the same thing. You’re telling me?

Scott Santucci 50:57

Have they given you the message?

Brian Lambert 51:00

Well, it’s from the sales managers, and it’s really important.

Scott Santucci 51:03

Is that a message? I’m sorry, I just want to make sure we’re clear color. Is that a message? Or is that a directive?

Brian Lambert 51:12

Well, you’re leading the witness to say that’s a directive and not a message.

Scott Santucci 51:18

I’m on your statements, right?

Brian Lambert 51:20

Yeah. But that’s been the message from the top. So therefore, it’s the message.

Scott Santucci 51:24

The message to whom?

Brian Lambert 51:25

 The message to me is the sales enablement person that this is what we’re doing.

Scott Santucci 51:29

Is that how they’re messaging to the frontline sales managers?

Brian Lambert 51:32

No, they probably haven’t told them yet that this is what we’re doing.

Scott Santucci 51:35

Well, so you made assumptions already. That’s unacceptable. That’s not leadership. You’re not being accountable for your own actions. accountability is you must know.

Brian Lambert 51:45

But as your call or you’re supposed to make me feel good when I have these calls. I’m not calling back.

Scott Santucci 51:50

Frasier is a tough love show know that.

Brian Lambert 51:55

I’m really enjoying this. I hope our listeners are too. By the way, Scott, Scott, and I are still friends.

Scott Santucci 52:00

But totally, it’s Dr. Laura, man, Dr. Laura will come right at you.

Brian Lambert 52:06

Okay, okay, so now that you’re making me think about this, they’re probably giving me a directive, right? So, I probably need to do some work to come up with a message that’s impacted.

Scott Santucci 52:17

And look, it doesn’t need to be as complicated as we think it is, right? It’s developed a little a way of how we’re going to position this and ask your executive sponsor, hey, given this goal, I’m thinking about how I’m thinking about how we might message this initiative. I’d like you to be able to say these kinds of things. This is where executive sponsors become a huge value add. If they if they have a role in doing it, they’re going to look at your messaging with that glance, and they’re going to tell you, I want to say it this way, or why don’t we say it that way. And then then you can actually have a dialogue and you co create that message together. Then your executive sponsors on message, your message, it helps galvanize everybody. So, it’s a simple thing. We just have to be aware, are we carrying out orders? And then you know, we sound like, why did that because I was just following orders. that’s never been an acceptable answer.

Brian Lambert 53:20

Yeah, ever in the military, either. Right? Yeah.

Scott Santucci 53:24

Okay, that’s what we tend to do. I’m just doing what I was told. Yeah, I got the

Brian Lambert 53:28

email. So, time to go execute. That’s not leadership. Where’s the leadership in that?

Scott Santucci 53:32

And this isn’t this is a call-in show about leadership?

Brian Lambert 53:36

Yeah. Okay. So, the last one that is collaboration, which, you know, being inclusive and collaborative. How am I supposed to do that when this has become a sales enablement initiative? There’s a nice softball for ya.

Scott Santucci 53:52

Well, I would first say the way that you’re asking it be more accountable. When you say how I’m taking the way you’re asking it is very passive aggressive.

Brian Lambert 54:03

Well, I mean, we have been told that this is a sales enablement initiative. So, and it came down and as directive came down using that language, we’re gonna go implement it. So, don’t they have to do what the directive is?

Scott Santucci 54:18

Who’s they?

Brian Lambert 54:19

The sales managers and the sales leadership that they’ve been they’ve implemented, they’ve directed that we do this. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this is coming, and it shouldn’t be a shock that we’re going to do it and you know, they are busy. Why would we? Why do we why would we ask their permission?

Scott Santucci 54:37

Say you don’t think that you need to collaborate with people? That you just beat just because the management said this is coming down into expect it you should produce things that?

Brian Lambert 54:47

Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing. That’s what we do in sales enablement. We get the directive and we’re measured on how fast we can pivot.

Scott Santucci 54:56

How are you measured on how fast your pair what’s the metric of pivot?

Brian Lambert 55:00

The level of anxiety that people have. So, they’re less they’re less anxious if I move faster.

Scott Santucci 55:05

Okay, so that’s definitely thank you for that. So that that that goes back to, to answer these questions about collaboration, we have to first reinforce, if you’re thinking holistically, you are taking away anxiety by showing you’re on top of it, wouldn’t we all feel a lot more comfortable? If the government seemed like they were more control over the COVID stuff and more clear and directive? All of us would. So, the anxiety level goes down, the more on top of it, which means it that’s understanding and that those are some of the other elements, the collaboration part is how we’re going to bring this together? How do you create the the awareness? So, let’s assume that half of the sales managers don’t think they need a management help, but they’re great leaders as is? How do you help them? see for themselves, they need to participate in that. That’s number one. And even if you do roll it out, if they’re not receptive to it, they’re not going to use it. So therefore, you’re not driving, you’re not driving. So, these things are really, really important. If you’re going to produce the measurable results that you’re being asked or held accountable for, you have to confront some of these realities. The next thing also would be, who else is involved? Who else is giving sales managers input? In order for a sales manager to lead part of the thing that we have to do is understand what their burden is? That’s being collaborative to before we get into a leadership thing. How many different directives Do you get asked? So, collar on our show, Brian and I have had many episodes about coaching, and we bring up how burden sales managers are, has anybody highlighted that out, when you start doing some of the work to represent the group that you’re trying to impact and show that you’re doing things to help them, they become a lot more open to the things that you want to dictate to them. And it’s just that’s, that’s human nature, going back to sort of the timeless things. So, if you can go and figure out how burdened they are, or where, you know, analysis about where they come from things that you can say, hey, as sales managers, these are things that your company’s being asked to do. We’ve eliminated some of these things for you before we start saying, and now here’s the leadership program, and we wanted to get to what’s going to be more receptive.

Brian Lambert 57:38

Yeah. The the, the collaborative approach that you’re talking about, for sure. Yep.

Scott Santucci 57:44

I’ll tell you. Our, I think one of the things that where I establish a lot of credibility with reps when I do when I do programs, and maybe when we have Lindsay back on, we can ask her about this. One of the things that when so we mentioned in that show, I met Lindsay when I was asked to do the sales training to teach the the net episode people how to do cloud selling in a day workshop. Right? Pretty, pretty narrow, hard goal. And one of the things that we did in there was I had a section where I just had a poll, and I said about festivus. Remember festivus?

Brian Lambert 58:27


Scott Santucci 58:29

Sometimes I kid you not I do this often. And in this particular issue said, right now, I want you to go guys to tell me all the things that are on your mind. All the problems let’s get them out. And the reason I did that is one is there’s no way we’re going to solve all these problems just with doing this, but to they’re not going to listen to me at all, if they’re preoccupied with what their comp plan is, or how they’re going to work with partners. So, we need to be able to get those out, put them on sticky notes, document and say, these are things that we’ll take from you as things that management needs to work on. Now, can we go back and focus on what our goal is today? I feel very strongly that the reason that the programs that I run are always so effective is that you give people the opportunity to share what’s on their mind. So going back to collaborative and inclusive, that’s being inclusive, your audience that you’re trying to impact. There’s a lot of other things on their mind. Maybe leadership isn’t one of them. You never know. But by doing something like that, or having a readout form that way, what it allows you to do is say this is where where they’re on their mind and you’re collaborating with them at that point in time. And more importantly, what you’re doing for yourself is you’re making yourself as a as a sales enablement leader, the active ingredient that simplifies things. And the third thing that you’re doing is you’re creating ammunition for yourself so that when you go back inside the company in the corporate world who just complains about salespeople say, well, aren’t these facts? Aren’t these fair? Like, for example, our comp plan doesn’t align up with our role plan, which doesn’t align with our, what management’s asking us to do. Or how come our products never matched to what our what our messaging is? Or where’s this? Or where’s that? The amount of legitimate concerns that sell salespeople have is massive. By creating that space to allow them to do it. You’re, you’re you’re collaborating with them, but then you have ammunition to direct it back internally.

Brian Lambert 1:00:33

Thanks, Frasier. I’m gonna go crawl, what is it free, Willie, I’m gonna go get in the fetal position and watch Free Willy now. What episode was that? PIP two performance play. Right. Okay, click. And so, Brian’s back. Mm. Oh, listening to the caller there pause button for a second. So, if you’re listening to this, you know, you’re probably into two zip codes, one, you know, heck, yeah, this is righteous, I’ve been doing this, this is very affirming another camp could be, it may be holy cow, I got to rethink what I’m doing here from a leadership perspective. And there might be one in the middle between the two. But I’m just trying to be binary purpose here. So, either reaffirm your unconscious competence, you know, what you’ve been doing all along, or what you’ve learned, or it’s maybe convicted you a little bit around how you’re approaching things, which is either either way, it’s great. And I would say, look, go back, and listen to this, at least one more time, because leadership is timeless. I’m still learning about it today. So, this is not a one and done thing. Scott and I both really wanted to explore this because sales enablement requires leadership right now. And your salespeople need to benefit from that leadership. And corporate America as a whole needs more leadership. And we believe sales enablement, is really positioned for that, and we really wanted to help there. So don’t be overwhelmed by this topic. Go listen to it again and engage in the conversation, you’ve got to be a strong leader. If you’re helping your company change, if you’re helping your company move, be more reactive to the times you’ve got to be a strong leader, if you’re trying to move from product selling to solution selling, you have to be a strong leader. If you’re trying to rationalize the BDR efforts with with the marketing effort, outbound marketing efforts, you got to be you know, a strong leader that works across silos, that applies this holistic framework. My last word of wisdom is, don’t be afraid to be a leader. But to be a strong leader, you have to know yourself. And if anything, I believe that this type of episode, we that we put effort into is going to help you reflect and take stock of your own leadership. And that’s really the essence of leadership is knowing yourself, knowing your boundaries, and thinking through how you might react to something and in a time of crisis, it’s a really great time to find out where you stand on things. So as Winston Churchill said, don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

Scott Santucci 1:03:17

That’s great, Brian. So, I have two concepts. One is what we’re introducing here is what we’re calling an executable insight. So, what is the insight, the insight is leadership is embracing accountability. That’s what leadership is totally going all in on accountability. And it’s scary. That’s why we call it a heroic framework, it takes a lot of courage to stand up and be accountable. However, that’s what’s required to make a lot of these dots connected. And that’s why if you follow the framework, it looks good. And when you think about the collar, roleplay, and some of the you know, kind of blunt things, you’re accountable, you’re accountable, you’re accountable, own it. It shouldn’t make you feel bad, it should be it should feel empowering. The hero framework helps you flesh out how to communicate some of these things, so that you don’t feel like oh, I’m accountable for a deliverable and all the weight and expectations on how well this gets rolled out. There’s many, many, many other factors. And if you help people become aware of all the factors for success, then you aren’t going to be successful, which is our segue into what are what we’re going to do on our next show is we’re going to turn this into a method or what Brian, and I call a success method of how to how to think about it. So, what we’d like you to do is think about this episode is the introduction of an insight. The insight being leadership is required. Leadership is execution, giving you a framework that is executable. And then what we’re gonna do is have another episode where Brian and I flip roles he’s gonna drive. We’re gonna assemble it into a method that you can play.

Nick Merinkers 1:05:14

Thanks for joining us. To Become an insider and amplify your journey. Make sure you’ve subscribed to our show. If you have an idea for what Scott and Brian can cover in a future podcast or have a story to share, please email them at engage@insidese.com. You can also connect with them online by going to insidese.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request.

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