Ep36 State of SE Panel 4: Sales Enablement L&D Training

Ep36 State of SE Panel 4: Sales Enablement L&D Training

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 36

We here at inside sales enablement are dedicated to making sure listeners are successful overcoming the complexities in their own companies so that they can keep more effective in the market.  there are many names used to describe what that, and we’ve been calling it sales enablement for the last 12 years

As a continuation of our State of Sales Enablement panel series, we created a “guest analyst” program. These panelists are super engaged. They are really spending time on the data, and they’re here to share their thoughts on the data.

In this episode, our guest panelists include:

  • Barry Shields, Director, Customer Experience Training & Enablement, Avalara
  • Garth McKinney, L&D Sales Consultant Red Hat
  • David Somers, Director Field Enablement GitLab

To view the research method, visit https://www.OrchestrateSales.com/research/

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.


Intro 00:02  

Welcome to the inside sales enablement podcast. Where has the profession been? Where is it now? And where is it heading? What does it mean to you, your company, other functions? The market? Find out here. Join the founding father of the sales enablement profession Scott Santucci and Trailblazer Brian Lambert as they take you behind the scenes of the birth of an industry, the inside sales enablement podcast starts now.

Scott Santucci 00:33  

I’m Scott Santucci 

Brian Lambert 00:35  

I’m Brian Lambert and we are the sales enablement insiders.

Scott Santucci 00:39  

Hello insider nation Welcome to Insidesalesenablement.com the only destination that is designed specifically for veteran sales enablement practitioners. Brian and I are doing our part to combat all of the fake news and Saikal snake oil peddlers and the deafening hype noise out there in the marketplace. We’re excited to share with you yet another special edition episode as part of our state of enablement study. Before turning it over to Brian to introduce our great panelists. Let’s review how we got here so far.

In mid-March, we had an amazing COVID-19 response panel. That included that included Dr. Howard Dover from the University of Texas, Dallas, Kunaal metho, an executive at private equity firm TCV and Lindsey Gore, who is a rep salesperson at Microsoft, in the strategic accounts area. And her job was really to keep us all honest. I love that. Any rate, if you’d like to listen to what motivated to our state of sales enablement study, go into our archives and listen to episode number 28. And pay particular attention, particular attention to the part where kunaal is talking about the need for sales enablement leaders to stitch together programs, how it’s not happening in pretty much any company. And what kind of friction it creates, from the point of view of investors, you’re going to hear what inspired this whole study the state of sales enablement. So how do we get here, what we get is coming off of that insight, we decided, boy, we really need to investigate what’s going on here. So we crafted a survey. And the survey was really designed to capture the voice of sales enablement, leaders. We had a 12 question surveys, and most of them were open into questions.

So if you know anything about building surveys, it’s generally really, really, really, really, really, I could go on but I think you get the point hard to get people to respond to open-ended questions, let alone a survey that’s mostly subjective to start off with. So when we when we feel that this and we feel it through my LinkedIn network, and Brian’s LinkedIn, Brian’s awesome, LinkedIn network, we thought this would be success if we got 25 responses. So of course, in typical sales manager fashion, I decided, I’m going to double the quota on myself and said, We need to get 50 responses out in a week. So that first the end of March, the first the first few days of April, we fielded this study, so we wanted to get 25. I set the goal at 50. How many responses to this? Did we get? What did you insider nation do? Did we get the 25? That are that was our target? Did we get 35? Like, you know, wow, that was good. We exceeded our target. Did we get the whole 50 that our goal is no none of those, you insider nation gave us 70 responses within a week. Think about that. That’s amazing. And it’s all open ended feedback, subjective feedback. Today, we’ve got 99 responses. Yes, some of us are the fashionably late crowd to parties. So that creates a high quality problem. How do you analyze 70 responses when you were planning on 25? Is it almost a 300% volume increase? How do you analyze all that? So we recruited or deputized, however you want to think of it, a guest analyst program. And what we’re after and interested in are people who are veterans in the space, or practitioners from all different walks of life or angles. So we’ve got CEOs from companies like highspot, seismic, and show pad looking at looking at these responses and giving us input. We’ve got authors like Tamar shank, and Eli Cohen who are giving us their perspective. We’ve interviewed so far as of this recording. I’ve personally interviewed over 20 leaders, including executives who run incredibly large departments and major multinational company which which we’ll hear about. Then what we wanted to do is, boy, these interviews are so rich, and the perspectives are so great. We wanted to create a model to synthesize that information.

So we created this idea of these panelists is these panels. So we get a group of, you know, basically you’ve heard that saying of birds of a feather flock together. So wanted to get people who are like-minded together and find areas where they agree. So the reason that we do these panels is one, we want to be transparent with our research process, too. We want to get information out to you inside our nation as quickly as possible so you can follow along with with the information as we get it. And three, we want to tease out common themes across the entire community of sales a day went so that when we’re prepared, we have a really effective findings presentation on May 19.

Please mark your calendars may 19, 11 o’clock am Eastern time, please visit www dot inside se comm to register. You won’t want to miss this event. I’m not as of today, I’m not planning on sharing my slides or making a recording available, so please make sure you attend that. Okay, so what have we done so far in the terms of panels? So far, we’ve already published out our enablement experts panel with Tamra shank, Mike Kunkel and Josie mashburn. We’ve also published our sales experts panel of skip Miller, Bob Apollo and Steve crepeau. We will be publishing so by the time this goes out, we will also have published our practitioners, practitioners panel with Shivam fetcher imaging McCourt and Doug Kleiner clower. One of the themes that’s been emerging that’s very fascinating is that sales enablement has a different texture, flavor perspective based on your background. So what was interesting is the last panel, not a single one of them had a learning development or any kind of formal training experience expertise whatsoever. And that tracks to my background, I have no l&d or professional training background whatsoever yet, I was pulled into the sales, sales enablement arena. So what’s interesting is we want to provide the lens, the perspective of people who do have a strong lnd perspective. And with that, we asked Brian who has much more of an l&d credentials in l&d than than I do, to pull together this panel that we’ve got. So to give you guys all introduction about Brian. There’s a reason I call him Dr. Brian Lambert. And the reason that I call him Dr. Brian Lambert is he’s earned a PhD. I haven’t most of you haven’t. And what is this PhD is it’s an organizational Buffett behavior. He’s written three books on sales process and actually ran the, at the time it was called astd. Most of us now know it is a TD sales training practice. Those are the things that he did before we before he joined our team at Forrester. And the rest is, as you know, I guess history. So Brian’s pulled together a great, fantastic panel of people definitely have an l&d background. Brian, could you introduce the people that you pulled together for our experts for this panel, please?

Brian Lambert 08:29  

Yeah, sure. Thanks, Scott. I’m really excited about our panel today. I’ve known these guys for quite a long time. And they’re all interestingly enough, based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, and I’m in Charlotte. So I guess we have the North Carolina crowd today, which was a bit of an interesting piece of trivia for us. They’re also members of and participating in the sales enablement society. So that’s, that’s cool to me as well. The first person I’m going to introduce is Barry shields. I’ve known Barry since 2006. Actually, when I was with at the senior staff, when I launched that community of practice, which is now the sales enablement practice, I was doing global research for a sales competency framework. And one of the folks that I reached out to was Barry, and since that time, he’s been great to really have discussions around everything from brain science to how people learn and also when I was actually new in my my new gig and a fortune 50 company, actually brought Barry in to run the the experience team on my team. So Barry, Barry shields, can you introduce yourself, please? 

Barry Shields 09:39  

Hey there, Brian. Thanks for having me. I’m Barry shields. I’m now with avalara avalara is a company that computes sales tax in the cloud for retailers both online and brick some mortar and so I currently lead the the Indian learning function, three things a few things I haven’t led before Both the learning architecture and design and development, but also this time around leading the delivery side of the house also. But I do that for our go live team or implementation consultants, if you will, for account managers, folks who manage the account after the initial sale, and also for our customer support organization. 

Brian Lambert 10:21  

Thanks Barry. The next person is David summers. And David and I have known each other for a couple years now, I actually reached out to him as part of my, my networking when I moved to North Carolina. And he was actually just starting his global enablement role at GitHub. And GitHub had made an investment and they brought in David to stand up sales enablement from scratch. So that was a really cool position for him. And he’s done a lot of work since then. And we’ve stayed in touch, especially around building out sales enablement, building out a team, new hire, training, etc. So, David, so glad you’re on the panel today. Can you introduce yourself?

David Summers 11:00  

Yeah. Thanks, Brian. I just quick clarification. I’m with Git lab. And when we get it, we get GitHub all the time. And it’s funny, because that’s actually part of our sales onboarding program of yeah, helping the sales team. How do they respond when somebody you know, mistaken that they’re from GitHub, which was purchased from by Microsoft, and the tune of 6 billion plus a little while ago. So Git lab is a private company looking to go public later this year, or we’ll see what the market conditions allow. But yeah, I lead our global field enablement team, which includes looking at how we help our pre sales and post sales field roles, be more productive faster, and accelerate their time to productivity and help reach the desired outcomes from the sales organization. So that includes both from lead gen reps to the sales team, to solution architects, and to our technical account managers as well.

Brian Lambert 11:57  

Thanks, David, I appreciate that. And I guess I need to go through new hire training.

Scott Santucci 12:01  

I think you just did.

Brian Lambert 12:02  

I think. Thanks so much for that. Sorry about that. The next next awesome person is is Garth McKinney, and Garth is at Red Hat. And we met through my company. We actually had some folks on his sales team go through our sales management development program, interestingly enough in South Africa. So one of those attendees introduced us to Garth here in the headquarters at Red Hat and him and I have done some great whiteboarding sessions around the sales manager role, how to partner with sales, the performance and expectations that are, you know, coming in, and also they’re going through the IBM merger. So that’s been great to get to know Garth and Garth, can you share a little bit about your background? And welcome to the panel?

Garth McKinney 12:49  

Yeah, thanks, Brian. I do work at Red Hat. We’re an enterprise open source software company. And we were recently acquired by IBM. And so that’s been really interesting, as we’ve been trying to, you know, integrating in but staying separate, right, because we are keeping our roots as an open source company, while also working with IBM that has a lot of proprietary software. So it’s this, it’s been an interesting connection, as we try to drive our culture forward and try to drive what made us famous, while we’re merging with this larger company, and that’s really my role is a sales and services learning consultant for Red Hat. So I work with the sales leadership, to kind of understand what can we do from a behavior and from a skills learning and kind of mindset perspective in order to drive the performance of their teams. And this is at the leadership level for their teams, as well as down to the sales teams, and everywhere in between. So that’s what I do.

Brian Lambert 13:54  

Thanks so much, Garth. Appreciate it. And thanks. Thanks, everybody, for joining. So my role on this is I’ll, I’ll be synthesizing at the end. I’m going to turn this over to Scott and Scott. There you go all from the tech industry, members of scfs of the l&d background, and they’re all in the space of developing their sales teams.

Scott Santucci 14:13  

That’s fantastic. And I can’t help but resist the vibe that I’m hearing. It sounds like the Raleigh chapter is calling out everybody else to say get, you know, get in gear and in terms of sales enablement society to get in gear, get active, get engaged. So maybe that’s what’s going on. But that’s fantastic. I love competition. What we’re going to do right now, is each of our responses have been or each of our panelists have been given the responses. So the 70, spreadsheet organized of of the information, and we’re going to ask each of them very open ended questions. So the first question so that we’re gonna break this down into segments, and then each respondent or each panelist is going to get a chance to cancel To talk, and I’m going to do it in order. So the first question is to you, Barry. And then we’ll get Dave’s feedback and then Garth feedback. And then we’ll allow you guys to respond to each other. But I’m interested in just sharing your perspective of this question. Having looked at the survey findings, what are a few things that stood out for you?

Barry Shields 15:21  

Yeah, I think one of the big things that stands out as folks are saying, you know, what kind of business should sales enablement be? And a lot of the responses are saying that it’s either a consulting, business, it’s a service business, or it’s a coaching business. One of the things that weighs on my mind is I look even avalara and a lot of other companies have been part of is that it seems like the manager that isn’t showing up, right, the sales manager is focused on reports that sales managers may be selling themself, or they’re focused on things and not focused on outcomes. I think the sales enablement survey that you put together especially aligned to the question, What business would sales enablement P is the sales enablement team saying they’re finding themselves doing a lot of coaching? When I came in, I didn’t know that I was actually going to own a lot of the sales enablement piece, at least for account managers. But there’s a counterpart who owns building things for the the sellers, the folks who make the initial sale. And he’s a single point of failure. It is a small company, but I asked him about what he was doing. And what I what I realized was he was a person without llmd background. But but but a person who was a top performer who knew this the complexity of sales tax, and it is really, really confusing and complex. And so he was spending all his time coaching, he has office hours, he he has sessions that are meant on specific topics or products every Thursday and Friday. But beyond the office hours, he teaches those products, but then, and then the people show up and he finds himself really more coaching in terms of how to sell or how to overcome depression, if you’re not meeting your quota, or how to have a conversation with your leader, all of the things that we would have expected, the sellers manager to have been doing. And so when you look at these results, it seems like that’s what people are saying sales enablement should be consulting and services. It should be coaching, it should be, you know, like a design firm and an agency etc. So, you know, I’m thankful to be in the enablement space folks allow me to play there because of my learning and development background. But it seems like we’re we’re saying, maybe the issue is not with the sellers. But it’s really with the managers and how they might enable their team. Wouldn’t it be true that these teams could do a lot more sell a lot more if the manager stepped up for what we need them to step up to?

Scott Santucci 18:11  

Gotcha. Thank you, Barry. David, how about you? What was your having? What are the studies? What was your reaction? What stood out to you?

David Summers 18:20  

One of the things that even with, you know, the macroeconomic context with everything happening with COVID-19. You know, I still, I left feeling really good about the percentage of the respondents that said, for example, is about 90% of the audience said that he would you know, if sales enablement were a stock, would you they would either buy or hold things over half would buy, over a third would hold. So I wondered, going into it. My hypothesis was perhaps there would be more cynicism. And there were some comments that talked about that have a first thing to go when you’re looking to cut and trim on given environments like this, then it is potentially perceived as redundant, right or unnecessary. But I was I felt reassured that others see it the same way I do it if no, this is a strategic importance to the organization. And it talked about I think over half of the respondents did consider sales enablement to be really a linchpin to help execute transformational efforts in the sales organization. So I the cynic in me went to some of the information about well, who were the folks that were saying that you know, that it’s not that. And so I looked at the the 10 of 70. Folks that talked about how they believe it’s peaked. And I’m just trying to understand more about kind of what what can we glean from some of the things that they were saying. So but that was the biggest thing for me. It’s just what stood out is overwhelmingly there were very few people that said sales enablement is just a fancy word for sales training. It’s much more than that it is more strategic than that. It is looking at the organization does need to transform because buyer behavior has changed, macroeconomic situations have changed. And sales enablement plays a key piece to say, Yeah, what are the behaviors? What are the skills? How does our organization need to continue to evolve to take advantage of the opportunity?

Scott Santucci 20:22  

Awesome. That’s great reaction. So a data point for you, David, and for everybody in the panel. One of the things that we promised survey respondents is that they would get the findings back once we were able to polish them up in emails back, we had nine does not work here anymore. Email balances from corporate corporate addresses. So that’s 13% of our respondents were no longer at their companies. So just a just another data point in terms of that balancing act between you know, how cynical and how optimistic that does one Look, just presenting facts. So moving forward, Garth, how about you? What was your takeaways from the survey findings?

Garth McKinney 21:08  

Yeah, the you know, as I kind of went through it, there seems to be a real hope for the for the role of sales enablement. A lot of the statements were real positive, they were they were, they were trying, it seemed like there was kind of a need for it. And kind of a hope that it could kind of help the organization out at each of the different levels of the respondents. Within that there didn’t seem to be a lot of clarity as to what sales enablement really was. Each person seemed to have a different point of view, and seem to be targeting a different element of sales enablement. And so I think there’s a little bit of lying, lack of clarity there. But at the same time, while they while it seemed like almost each person was making some assumptions about what they thought it was, there seemed to be a desire that whatever it was, that it worked, because there is the need. And so as they were describing kind of what they’re hoping for, that it would did it was doing or talking about the value of sales enablement, they were all there seemed to also be added to that an element that said, and we really need them to do that as well. So it was a little bit more in the written responses. But I thought that was really interesting. Because I experienced that a lot in the work we do, where everybody has a different definition as to what it is or isn’t or what it should be or shouldn’t be. But it’s rarely the issue of we don’t need it, we absolutely need it, whatever it is this kind of outcome that I hear mostly.

Scott Santucci 22:44  

So basically, it’s, hey, we know we got something and we need it. Yeah, but we don’t really know what it is that we need. We hope it’ll work out, but we’re not really sure what it is.

Garth 22:54  

Yeah. And then and then with that each person says, Oh, I mean, like, I guess if you point blank people, they would say, Well, I think it’s this, but that very likely would be different than the person sitting next to them.

Scott Santucci 23:06  

Gotcha. So with that, so Barry, what are your reactions to what David and Garth said?

Barry Shields 23:12  

Well, with regard to what you’re just talking about, I think it depends on who’s on the team. And, you know, at a point in time, I saw at Cisco, we had just a group of individuals that were sort of creating a, and that was when I met Brian, you know, charting the path for sales. And then there was the great recession, and there was a reorg. And we had early retirement and layoffs. And then all of a sudden sales enablement is owned by a new crop of folks. And those folks have a different set of skills. And so now you have to reset expectations with stakeholders. And so now, sales enable is being reinvented. And then what happened there in 2010. Marketing, I don’t know they had some folks who were pushed out of the marketing group, but they were still pretty talented. So they fell into the sales enablement space. And then those people who came from marketing, we’re competing with a new group of sales enablement talent. And again, it’s just a turn and swirl as it relates to what talent you have at a specific point in time. And stakeholders really get frustrated with that, because they’re asking where’s my old team, my old team was innovating. And we wanted to create a product out of what that sales enablement team was doing. The new team is, you know, a group of folks that really aren’t that talented. And so now we found this vendor and we’re going to outsource things for a little while to that vendor. And then there’s another reorg and so, I think that that Co Op petition with marketing is a contributing factor and I came you know, to avalara and you know, something different is going And maybe they don’t, at least right now have the same level of talent, as you know, a larger firm does. So I think everybody’s in a different situation based on the talent that Corporation has at that moment.

Scott Santucci 25:15  

Thanks, Barry. David, what were your reactions to Barry and Garth?

David Summers 25:19  

Yeah, I think it makes sense. And one thing that stood out in looking at some of the data was, I guess, to Garth’s point about people coming at it with different perspectives. I would agree with that of there. There are different flavors of it. I think maybe that’s an indication still of kind of being early in the maturity model of what is sales enablement? There was one of the comments in the survey responses that talked about, I think it was in the section Hey, what what should we have asked that we didn’t, and somebody said something about, you know, value chain analysis and, and gap analysis with that value chain, it begs the question, like, what is the sales enablement value chain? And maybe it’s similar to what Garth had commented on, you know, if you ask five different people, what the sales enablement value chain is, you get five different answers. And so I think doing a gap analysis is all well and good, but gap analysis relative to what? And so I think there’s still an opportunity, just where we are at with the function as a whole of just kind of where it is in terms of the maturity curve, to get more standardized, more refined around, what are what is themselves enabling the value chain, what’s the scope of what it includes what it doesn’t, etc.

Scott Santucci 26:38  

Gotcha. Thank you. And Garth, what was your reaction to David and Berry?

Garth 26:44  

Yeah, I have actually a similar response, as I heard kind of David describing as he was talking to this with regards to, there seems to be a lot of value to it from like the question about the stock question. And it did, it did. It did catch me by a little bit by surprise that there was so much positivity, because we often hear opinion fluctuate back and forth, where, on one hand, there’s positive opinions of sales enablement. And on the other hand, it’s like they’re not doing what we want, or as much of what we want. And that seems to oscillate back and forth, depending on who you’re talking to, and when you’re talking to them. Because it is difficult for, you know, for in our company, sales enablement, is a very, very small team. And the resources we have to put against it are relatively small compared to what you would expect in an organization the size of ours. And so you can’t be everything to all people by any stretch. And so it was nice to see within the survey, that there was such a positive opinion of, of the state of sales enablement, and there wasn’t a lot of, you know, let’s scrap it and go back to a previous time, there was a lot of you know, this is something we need to do better at, it is on the rise, it is something that we need to almost double down on to get better versus this is something we need to stop doing.

Scott Santucci 28:12  

Got it. So, some of the some of the themes that I’m hearing from you guys are gonna ask you guys to, you know, react to it, because the goal here is to tease out common themes. A common theme that I’m hearing from you guys is, for lack of a better word, this came up in one of the other interviews, it’s sort of a little bit of schizophrenia, and what I would share that buys even within the community, who are bullish on sales enablement, there’s a whole bunch of different descriptions or different perspectives of it, which then I think to Barry’s point, how would you represent this, that sales enablement department, if the practitioners in the space have lots of a lack of clarity? How are you going to manage expectations of many, many different departments, each of whom are going to have their own slice to it? Is that a fair? How do you guys react to that summary?

Barry Shields 29:10  

Yeah, I think that’s good. And I think what people do is they show up and they define sales enablement, the way they need to based on what they’re facing and who they have around them in the moment. And and that confuses stakeholders over the long term, because a vendor comes in like seismic and defines it very differently. Then maybe how, how I have in the moment, and the stakeholders like well, who do I believe, is it Barry’s definition? Or is it seismics definition? And is it really a thing? Oh, nevermind. I’ll just go to marketing.

Scott Santucci 29:48  

How about you guys? Dave?

David 29:50  

Yeah, I think I would agree with that. I think some of its just inherent to the fact that sales enablement as a function is so cross functional, and so it’s not like Organizations are starting from scratch, there are elements of, you know, whether it be defining process and looking at, you know, processes and tools to support enablement, whether it’s bringing in the performance management aspects, and you know, how adults learn, whether it’s looking at how do you enable the sales team to optimize some of our marketing investments with activating campaigns with customers? I mean, so everybody has, yes, there’s a little bit of schizophrenia, but I don’t necessarily think maybe that’s too harsh of a word, maybe not. But having every organization starts at a different place. So it’s a matter of understanding kind of what all the different flavors of enablement are, understanding what what the desired outcomes of that organization are, and then understanding kind of where is the starting point, and then figuring out a tailored strategy for your organization, based on those inputs? Gotcha.

Scott Santucci 30:56  

Thank you. How about you Garth?

Garth 30:59  

Yeah, I would agree with that. I think that sales enablement, it is a new enough of a discipline, yet it uses words that people understand inherently. And so there is the ability to have a lot of preconceived ideas as to what it is even before you have a definition of it. And because it does sit between the sales team and marketing and operations, you know, it does end up like how much does it bleed into which area really depends on the company, like, like David was saying. And so I think there’s a natural kind of ambiguity, if you look at it from a general sense, and it is really the role of the enablement team, to create clear definition as to what it means to this organization. And to reinforce that. Now, what we’ve found is that as we’ve created that definition, and created that that scope, then the teams around, those roles have also then had to, or have stood up their own enablement teams to cover the things that weren’t covered by the sales enablement team. And that’s like, either by under resourcing that sales enablement team or not giving them enough of a mandate or things like that. So I think having clarity, having greater clarity as to what the role in the discipline of sales enablement, is within an organization is useful. Like when you talk about finance, or it or marketing, you have some pretty good ideas in your head as to what those roles do. And I think there’s a lot more ambiguity around sales enablement. So I think that’s something that will happen just with maturity in, in, in that role. But also, you know, a key part of it is making sure that sales enablement team is actually enabling the organization, the company to understand what their role is, and where they play and where they interlock with these other teams. So that’s something that we as enablement experts really need to take as our responsibility to reduce the confusion.

Scott Santucci 33:01  

Excellent. That’s the thing. That’s a great segue to question number two. Question number two, and we’re going to start, David, you’re going to be the first person and bear you will be last this time is sort of rotating around. This question is, what is your favorite question? And why? What was your favorite question or why?

David 33:24  

My favorite question was the one around which business strategy should sales enablement pursue? And it was interesting just to see the really the dichotomy of two different answers, it was either, you know, operational excellence, or innovation. The reason I liked it so much, right? Even just going back to some of like the, you know, Peter Drucker basic strategy, like you can’t be everything to everybody. So really, where do you want to focus? And, you know, I recognize coming into it, I’ve got my bias and perspective of thinking, you know, oh, I’m in one of those, one of those two camps. And so I was really curious to say, Well, I wonder what enablement looks like, if I’m in that other camp, like, you know, what, what does that look like? And what strategies are those leaders pursuing? So that one I hadn’t given a whole lot of thought to, even though, you know, Brian, and I had talked earlier about the old business in a business concept. And it’s fundamental to, you know, what is your strategy, but just hadn’t thought about it ness, like kind of pitting innovation versus operational excellence like that against each other. So I’d love to learn kind of dig more into that to see what, how folks respond. I didn’t take I didn’t look at every single answer. But I’d love to spend some more time with the data to figure out what are those two different perspectives? And how does sales enable what a sales enablement look like from those two different camps?

Scott Santucci 34:46  

So what’s interesting is the reflection of Hmm, if I were to run sales enablement as an innovation lab, versus running sales enablement at like soccer Southwest Airlines. What would that look like? The people who that question was favorite was their favorite did exactly the pattern of thought he I could have replaced your your words with pretty much anybody else and anybody that people like that question to both had that same kind of thoughtfulness? Where did you come down on it? What was your original goal? And then by reacting and having to think through it? What were what were some of your reactions?

David 35:31  

In terms of which camp Am I in? Right? Yeah, I’d say. So, you know, I’m more risk averse and more conservative, I was taking the approach of operational excellence. This is about understanding the process and looking at or it will first to get the desired outcomes, what are behavior gaps and knowledge gaps that we need to close? If given the existing things I had, I haven’t traditionally approached it have to say, Well, how can I like re reinvent the process to be even more efficient, right, or think of turn things on its head to innovate differently, it’s more about just really seeking to understand and optimize kind of the current, you know, mental framework of how all this stuff works together.

Scott Santucci 36:13  

Awesome. Thanks. And thanks for letting me put you a little bit on the spot there. So Garth, how about you? What was your favorite question? And why?

Garth 36:21  

I gotta admit that Who are you? I mean, a deep existential question in the middle of a survey got my attention first. But then the response options were a little bit more playing. So maybe I’ll pick another one. The one that I really kind of liked was the which of the statements matched your opinion of sales enablement profession? You know, has it peaked? Has it declined? Or is it on the rise? And I was surprised, because I realized that there that as a profession, it is a little bit newer than a lot of them. But I have, it has been around long enough that I thought that the pivot on this would be a lot stronger towards it has either peaked, or in some cases, it might have declined. But it was nice to see that, you know, the state of sales enablement from, from the respondents point of view was that it is growing, that it is on the rise. And to me, that means there’s a lot more that we can do. And there’s the need for us to do it.

Scott Santucci 37:30  

Excellent. Thank you so much. And Barry, how about you? What was your favorite question?

Barry Shields 37:35  

And why? Well, I always like to see, you know, where folks are providing the most tough, tough love feedback. So I like why is sales enablement on the decline? They seem to get folks really to open up and one of the responses was, it seems that sales enablement is is getting fused with sales and marketing and the availability of tools is going to result in a decline. And it also just when things get tough, and cost is an issue, the enablement and the training is always the first to go. And I’ve, I’ve kind of experienced that. Over time as well. I was meeting with seismic last week, and they were showing me the, you know, an implementation of their tool, and how they were tapping into the marketing brandfolder. And, you know, the content that was exposed on the internet and both the internet and pulling it all together, like the degreed platform does. And I realized that Yeah, you’re right. Once these tools get a bit more mature, and if they’re implemented, well, Marketing Leaders, the CMO, for example, for our company, is actually saying, why would you need sales enablement, if I implement seismic in the right way? I mean, the data sheets, the one pagers and so forth, that marketing is creating and some of the, you know, user generated content that some people in sales build, really could just be funneled through a seismic tool. And it’s not very clear then why you actually need the sales enablement function. So that’s what kind of stands out to me. What is the technology, that driving marketing to believe they should have conversations that lead to the elimination of sales enablement and marketing taking over everything once again, that that that civil war between marketing and sales enablement is always a huge, huge thing that I like to kind of watch for.

Scott Santucci 39:41  

Awesome. So Dave, you went, David, you went first? What are your reactions to Barry and Garth reaction to their favorite questions?

David 39:50  

I’ll respond to berries. I actually really liked that question too. If you’re the cynic in me, like I said before, I want to go to right who’s not thinking like I am and why are they thinking that way? So Question. Oh, yeah, why do you think it’s on the decline? But I actually honed in on a different response. So rather than the sales and marketing and tools piece, there was a response or a couple responses that talked about just that age old conundrum of activity versus results. And that one hit home. You know, really, for me, I think there’s still a huge opportunity in the industry. For I think that there is this and this is a, this is a gut reaction, not based on data. But it’s, I believe that sales enablement professionals, there’s a difference in kind of how we would approach the kind of consulting and services and advisory advice, advice that we give to sales leaders in terms of dissecting, you know, knowledge and behavior gaps to get to desired outcomes. I think there’s a gap between what sales enabled leaders think and then what sales leaders think I think, oftentimes I still find myself, you know, getting the question of, well, Hey, can I just see your calendar? Can I can I just the calendar of things that you’re delivering, you know, where’s the list of all the stuff that you’re doing to support the organization? And really want to try and, you know, to change that conversation to where, you know, yes, there is some degree of having a regular cadence of continuous learning and development. But it’s not about activity, it’s results. And I think that’s where, in terms of it being on the decline, I think, myself included, all enablement functions are challenged with, how do we quantify really the impact that we’re having, and be able to show them with demonstrable proof that this is having a positive return on investment, and it’s not easy. We’re making strides, but to me, that’s the kind of the biggest risk I see of just being able to substantiate the value.

Scott Santucci 41:59  

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So how about you, Garth, what was your reactions to your peers? And what their favorite question answers were?

Garth 42:10  

Yeah, the I’d really did like the the question around the which business strategy, should sales enablement follow? I think, because in my company, that discipline and is kind of an early stage of his maturity. So it is largely around the operational excellence. And I think once you get some of the block and tackle stuff in place, there’s, there’s, you know, driving the innovation is where you get the real return on investment. So you know, it starts off with simple training programs that we’re driving everybody through, then you build out your competencies and things, stuff like that. So people can start driving their own development. And then you kind of mature from there. But what, when sales enablement gets really fun and really exciting is when you get a lot closer to what the sales team is doing. And then you’re optimizing those tools specifically for how they’re selling with the customers they’re selling to. And so that you get smarter enough that when they’re like, I wish I had a document that did blank, you know, they would, they would it would be right there waiting for them is kind of the ideal, so that you are the support in driving higher velocity and sales execution. But it does take time. So I, you know, what, I appreciated David’s perspective on that. And I think that I and I wonder if you know, which of those you would pick would also be directly connected with the maturity of your sales enablement organization, and how they’ve actually taken over more of that sales enablement role, so that they’re not just doing the, you know, the programs and, and comms, but they’re actually expanding it into more robust things where the tooling is, is more highly sophisticated to the names of needs of the seller, not just the needs of the marketing, which is how the reason, you know, part of the reason why the sales enablement display even exists today is because people forgot the salesperson in the midst of, of all of this. So I thought that was a really interesting perspective. And I appreciate David bringing it up. And the idea of the tooling is really kind of interesting to me. And I think this is one that we’re gonna that we struggle with, we struggle with this and from a training perspective, we also struggle with this from an enablement perspective, is you always buy the great tool that does the job, but if it’s not implemented well, and if it’s not done in line with the with the training and the support and the reinforcement, all those things, then suddenly you have these incredibly great tools that everybody hates and they’re not working. I started my career working years ago in helping sales people use their automation tools as a part of their role. You could easily see just from the first day of training, which companies were going to use it and get a ton of value out of it and which ones weren’t? And it really depended on how close it was to how the sales people would use it. Like, how did they do their day to day job? And does the tooling really support them doing that? And was the tooling designed to help somebody else or to help that salesperson drive their business? And so I think that, as we look into that, it’ll be interesting to see that tug of war continue. But even with great tools, that no way diminishes the need for a good sales enablement, support of those tools, and making sure that they land and they’re used.

Scott Santucci 45:47  

Awesome, thank you. So Barry, you are the the anchor person here on this relay? What were your thoughts or reactions to everybody else’s dialogue or contemplation about the future sales? Anyone question from your peers?

Barry Shields 46:05  

Well, I’m just so thankful that that my peers are experiencing the same thing as me right in that is, the product teams push us to build, not necessarily programs or Indian learning experiences, they just they push us to build things by Friday, or by next Thursday, right. And the next thing, you know, everyone’s wanting you to put together a taxonomy so that you can categorize the 1349 things you build a month, and all the random acts of sales enablement. And, you know, that’s, that’s what we’re good at. Right? Is, is designing these things. And next thing, you know, we realize we didn’t have the tough conversation to say maybe less is more. And in who is our customer? Because I think it’s it’s so inside out rather than outside in, right? It’s, it’s, oh, I’m here to support the product team, because the product team has said to me, it must be true that I’ve got to build training for their their dot release, or further major release, and Oh, great. My company has 19 products, that isn’t nicely put into a solution. So is our customer, the product team? Or is our customer, the sellers? Or is our customer, you know, the the companies that are buying what we’re producing, right, what the company that you work for is producing. And I think that not everyone is on the same page. So we stop fighting, and we just say, Okay, we’ve got a team of people who can build stuff. So let’s just build it, let’s do a cube, er and count up all the things that we build, then go present that to the Chief Operating Officer. And we’ll get credit not for a great return on investment. But because we built one that 123 knowledge articles per week, you know, and we can calculate that it only took four days per knowledge deliverable, etc, etc. Thus, we need more headcount. Yay, we get to survive another year. So it’s about counting rather than communicating value. And I think we just get stuck in that.

Scott Santucci 48:18  

Right? And then if I’m a salesperson, and I have 123, what did you call them? knowledge articles?

Unknown Speaker 48:25  


Scott Santucci 48:28  

How would I use 123? knowledge articles?

Barry Shields 48:31  

You don’t?

You don’t use any of them. You actually asked for coaching one on one, by the sales enablement guy or from your manager.

Brian Lambert 48:41  

So I take office hours from your peer. I was trying to as you were describing your peer at Burberry, I was trying to determine whether or not he’s running, he’s a professor, or is it or if he’s a psychologist, and I was sort of balancing, you know, or the office hours to provide therapy or the office hours to provide courseware. And it to me plotted out, it sounded like 5050.

Unknown Speaker 49:07  

Yeah, it’s both.

Barry Shields 49:10  

Okay, and it, it’s a single point of failure. And so that’s a really big deal.

Brian Lambert 49:15  

So we’re getting up to the last question I did did want to share with you guys something that I found pretty interesting. So this is our fourth panel. And the top two questions that have been been resonating the most with the other panels. Were the letter to shareholders question. And who is the customer sales enablement? And I think this is pretty funny. Skip Miller said, I thought that was a stupidest question until I read the answers. And it’s it’s pretty revealing. So I think it’s pretty interesting what you guys thought were the most important that are outliers from you know, your other cohorts. So what I would recommend that you guys do is listen to the other other panels and see how we can build on everybody’s mind. perspectives, and add more of a tapestry here to this, but I thought that was I thought that was fascinating. So that is a backdrop. It’s crystal ball time. I’m gonna ask you guys to dust off your crystal balls. No, you can’t take your magic eight ball out, right? That’s not that’s not what we’re after. But your crystal ball? Where do you see the future of sales enablement from here? So, Garth, you’ve been? You’re up now. And then we’ll you know, rotate back around. So Garth, tell us your crystal ball forecast of where you see the future sales enablement from here. Hmm. I love that, that you sounded like sarnax. Already,

Garth 50:42  

that’s exactly right, I have I’ve got my hand, you know, in kind of an arrow under my chin thinking deeply,

Scott Santucci 50:48  

like suddenly.

Unknown Speaker 50:54  

It’s a little murky. But as I look, gaze deeply into it.

Unknown Speaker 51:00  

I think this, I think the role of sales enablement, and I have seen this theme over and over again, is that there is a, a real need to drive greater performance out of the sales team. And the performance isn’t connected to a lack of skill, it’s not exclusively a lack of tools. It’s it’s, you know, lack of being heard. It’s that, you know, sales manager capability, there’s just so many dimensions to this problem. That’s, that’s there. And there’s really nobody else this tackling it. And I have conversations with marketing regularly, they have no idea what a salesperson is, or does in any tangible way, and none of the other one other people do. And then when you go into the sales organization, they’re so focused on themselves that they don’t care, they can’t make that connection to the others. So the sales enablement role, as you know, as I look into the future is something that’s going to get stronger and more robust. And I do feel that it will be less about doing things and creating widgets and producing stuff. And it’s gonna be a lot more about connecting these organisms, these different groups together, and creating kind of the glue in the middle to make sure that when there is content that’s coming out of the marketing team, that it is actually designed to help the salesperson actually sell that when you have, you know, things going on through the operations team and tooling to help the sales team that actually supports their sale, that the data we’re collecting actually helps the salesperson understand how to do things better, and that it’s connected there and that it resonates. And it’s about you know, them being able to see what are the things I can do differently. Because they’re, they’re, you know, they’re smart people, they’re capable people, you know, they just need insight, so that they can then drive a lot of their own change. And so I think what we’ll find is the sales enablement function will mature to the point where it really then does deliver on the promise of sales enablement that we’ve been touching in a lot of different ways. But in a more holistic way, within an organization, I think we have a pretty long ways to go to get to that level of maturity. I think we’re tackling it in a lot of different pieces. But when we get but I do believe that we’ve come a long way in a very short amount of time. And the next, you know, five years will be really interesting to see if us as sales enablement. practitioners have the courage to stand up and stop doing so much and just do so much better in a targeted way. That really, the sales team walks away and says thank you, because we’ve actually really met them where they are and help them drive themselves forward. So that’s what I see.

Scott Santucci 53:55  

Excellent, excellent, excellent. Okay, Barry, how about you what is your crystal ball see for the future sales in a month from here?

Barry Shields 54:03  

Well, I think the the civil war between marketing and sales enablement is going to be won by marketing. When you look at the marketing, function organization, you’ve got brand marketing, digital experience, channel optimization, campaign operations, marketing, analytics, etc. And for some reason, the CMOS always leave out sales enablement, and I think that sometimes training teams try to do that and or there’s a sales enablement team or the sales team sort of owns it themselves. I think marketing is going to give up the ghost and, and mature and say, that’s a thing that we always struggle with. And for some reason, people always create a separate entity. Why don’t we just pull that in and make it a very clear discipline within the marketing world organizational structure, that’s what I think is going to happen. And then the marketing team is going to write better to design better. And partner with companies like seismic in in probably lead to sales enablement, as we see it today. Just not being around not being there, it’s going to be a clear discipline within the marketing organization.

Scott Santucci 55:25  

Wow. I love it. That’s a that’s a very challenging bold prognosis. I guess. That’s great. All right, our last person. So David, how about you? That’s the crystal ball, bring us home? Where do you see a sales and a white rock going from here?

Unknown Speaker 55:46  

I believe that there’ll be several things that force sales enablement function to mature and, and I’ll highlight a few of the areas. I mean, that’s a that’s not all that thought provoking. But the areas to mature one is just being a just like, I think the great work that the sales enablement society did to define the definition of sales enablement, I think a next step, and maybe this is already happening, but like, really understanding what are the, for lack of a better word? What are the functional competencies of a sales enablement team? I really like what Barry mentioned earlier talking about what depends on the perspective and skill sets you have in the team. When I started thinking about, you know, all the things that a good, you know, world class sales enablement function can and should do, I don’t know that there’s an individual that has all the requisite skill sets, I really do think it’s about finding leaders that can build a diverse team with different perspectives, ranging from sales acumen to process orientation, to how adults learn, to having technologists that understand opportunities for automation, and artificial intelligence and machine learning and how that can advance things. Looking at the discipline of change management, being data driven, and then also just marketing savvy. sales enablement, in many respects is like internal organization marketing to the sales organization. So I think it’s rare, it’s going to be difficult to find, again, professionals that have all of that. So I think it’s about building a team of folks that bring all those different capabilities and experiences to bear. But nonetheless, by defining those and being more explicit with what those sales enablement, functional competencies are, it starts to provide a more explicit development path for folks that that that come into and want to take part in sales enablement. And in other areas of maturity will be I think the executive leadership’s expectations for sales enablement, will and should continue to increase. And so they should be able to go to say, Look, I know there are these eight flavors of making that number of sales enablement. In sales enable, it’s not a function, it’s a cross functional process or way to work together, we need these four things, because we think that’s going to be most impactful to the business. So sales enablement team, I need you to deliver on these four things, instead of it being a little bit more amorphous or ambiguous than it is today. I think the other pieces are yet we’ve got to get more mature around metrics. So just like we enable the sales team today to have conversations with customers about understanding the delta between where they’re at today, and where they’re trying to get to identifying what the required capabilities are for to get to this desired end state, and asking the customer to say yeah, and how are you going to measure that? We’ve got to do the same thing with our internal teams to understand how are we as a sales enablement function going to be measured? And we need? It’s not only on us and sales enablement, professionals, but also, frankly, on the sales leadership team to look at Do we have the right sales data and sales analytics support to really take a look at is this moving the needle or not? And so some of that’s going to be more A B testing in a more pilots have did this work? Does this not and a lot more just kind of agile work so that we fail fast? Things that worked great, let’s continue to invest in and prove it, but if it’s not, all right, awesome, throw it out. Let’s try something else.

Brian Lambert 59:21  

I got to ask a question for all the guests. First of all, every one of your answers was incredibly thoughtful, self reflective, you connected the dots to your other departments. You thought globally, you answered in the short term and also projected out to the long term. All of you guys had the same format. And it’s been different from other folks. I’m just curious from a Myers Myers Briggs standpoint. What are your guys’s personality profiles? I’m just super curious.

Barry Shields 59:52  

This is Barry mine is Ian tj. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 59:57  

Same here. I’m yeah, I’m better He but

Scott Santucci 1:00:02  

parently That’s funny.

Unknown Speaker 1:00:05  

Yeah, I don’t know mine off the top but I’m, I’m more impact. David and I are pretty different.

Brian Lambert 1:00:14  

Interesting. So that was just I I was blown away you guys did a fantastic job. So I’m gonna I’m gonna use that to transition on so if you’re listening insider nation, and if you see any of these guys around please buy him a beer even though Barry doesn’t need to have a beer apparently berries bunkered out on his own his own beer supply. Still, it’s a sign of respect. I think it’s it takes a tremendous amount of courage and a tournament tremendous amount of support for you as a community for these guys to be this open and and sharing. I’m incredibly competitively impressed. Uh, Barry. David, Gar, thank you so much for your participation. That was excellent. These are not easy questions to answer open ended questions never are. Brian, can you wrap up or summarize what what you heard to the findings? And let’s get our panelists to agree on what they’ve agreed on.

Sure. Yeah, absolutely. And I echo those comments, you know, guys, on the last podcast that we’re dropping, we actually discovered a new a new disease on that previous podcast called Productitis. And you guys can hear about it on the previous episode, but on this on this one, you know, Barry, you done killed off sales enablement, gave it to marketing. So, we’re gonna probably have to unpack that a little bit more for that as well.

Scott Santucci 1:01:36  

It’s gonna be funny, because he’s gonna be a hero along our marketers, because I’m literally interviewing CMOS this week. So he, you know, get buried to be their advocate. Yeah,

Barry Shields 1:01:46  

I thought that’s what everyone thought. Yeah, I’m surprised.

Brian Lambert 1:01:49  

Well, so. So that’s gonna be the first theme is, I’m going to net it out as doing well, maybe different than doing with needed. So I think that’s that’s the takeaway that I’m getting out from you guys. Here is this idea that doing what’s right, it might be different than what people would consider doing well, right now, like, for example, you talk you’re talking interconnected, what sales teams need, not what you know what they want, but the idea of blending, you know, this this blend that’s happening with frontline sales managers, and the enablement teams. You know, that’s, that’s, you know that that’s an interesting discussion point for a lot of enabler enablement leaders to have Well, it’s the role of management, what’s the role of enablement to move the performance needle? You guys talked about courage and doing what’s right. And being more focused and laser beam then obviously, Barry’s comment about marketing. So that’s my first theme is doing doing well may be different than was doing what’s needed. And you guys are talking about what’s needed, not necessarily what people want. So what do you guys think about that? I’ll start with you. With Garth, do you agree with that as a theme of your discussion today?

Unknown Speaker 1:03:00  

Yeah, I mean, I might be just a little self focused here. But I mean, that’s, that is absolutely the theme. That’s kind of been the resonating theme for the last couple of years. For me. Coming from a, from a bit of a training background, just us doing simple training properly, like, like thinking actually had two adults learn, you know, bringing them into a room and telling them 100 things within, you know, a 12 hour days highly effective for driving retention, right. And we’ve known this since, you know, the late 1800s. And yet, we haven’t found a way to be more thoughtful as to how we

Unknown Speaker 1:03:36  

deliver content so that people can retain it. So

Unknown Speaker 1:03:41  

that is an ongoing theme that we’ve been really, really looking at is, you know, how do we how do we convince people real? Or how do we help people realize that what they’re asking for won’t get them the result that they’re looking for? There’s a different way to do it. And that’s, that’s been a struggle for us. And, but I think that’s a great theme that you pulled out.

Brian Lambert 1:04:02  

Okay, thanks. Well, I got it from you guys. You guys are awesome. All right. David, what do you think? Do you agree with that?

Unknown Speaker 1:04:09  

I agree with that. I think it’s laced the undertone is there is cautious optimism, or maybe it’s optimism for the future of the function. It’s a recognition that, yes, things do need to evolve and mature and certainly one of those is yet focused on doing the right things, not just what everybody wants you to be doing.

Brian Lambert 1:04:30  

Yeah. Okay, great. And Barry, what about you doing what’s needed versus what other people are asking for?

Barry Shields 1:04:36  

Yeah, yeah, I just think the marketing leader, not the sales enablement, leaders and sales enablement doesn’t exist anymore in the future. No, but the leader right of either the learning organization, sales enablement, organization or marketing needs to be able to have a tough conversation. I wrote a product engineer who wanted some API training to all customer service agents by Next week, and you know, you’ve got to be able to stand up to that individual to say, less focus on what they need to learn where they are in the evolution in terms of their skills, and we’ve done performance assessments. And we know, you know where they are today. And let’s make sure that we can net it out, because we know because we’ve spent time with these sellers, that, you know, they’re busy, and they don’t want to take training and not for nothing, they, they just, they can’t keep a lot of this complexity in their heads. So why the heck are we teaching them that anyway, let’s focus on the needs. And if you don’t have a strong leader, who can push back either on the CMO or the or the product team, or whomever else is asking for it, then the individual contributors in the learning organization is going to just do what they know how to do, which is pump out a lot of content, and no one’s going to be in the right place. So that’s, that’s what I think if it really is about the leaders in the sales, norburn organization, and if they can say no, if they can’t, you’re just going to overwhelm salespeople with content.

Brian Lambert 1:06:19  

Great. The second theme I have is perceptions reality. So if you guys, you know, remember, if everybody has a different answer about what sales enablement is, you know, what’s the impact of that? And I think Garth said it. If everybody has a different perception about enablement, they’re not going to agree and other departments are going to pop up to cover. And if you’re not clear, so if if that is the perception you’re setting is you’re not clear, then that’s that’s going to create some impact. Vendors don’t agree with leaders, the seismic discussion, there, you pointed that out, then you said, you know, if the seismic definition and how they approached it is different than how you approach it? What’s that create in the mind of your executive team? If marketing doesn’t agree with enablement, then what does the executive team think if you start in one place and evolve to another constantly? Are you being confusing to internal people? Right? So these are, these are aspects and in sales, you know, perceptions reality. So if you’re not unified, you’re not unified. If you’re not clear, you’re not clear. It’s black and white and sales. So that perception is reality theme was loud and clear here. And I know you guys are, you know, you’re synthesizing or analyzing the existing data. This is the data talk. And and, and now I’m summarizing you guys. But you know, one of the things that I’m pointing out here is this perception is reality. And watch out the Watch out for the gotcha around that. So start with you. Barry’s, what do you think about that as a theme?

Barry Shields 1:07:49  

Yeah, you’re, you’re absolutely right. That perception is the reality. And that’s why I think that setting expectations is so important, why, why looking at the data and seeing what the trends is, and, and having the tough conversations or out that you’ve got to manage those perceptions and be able to connect the dots, even when you’re just reading an email, or you’re seeing what people said on chat, or you’re hearing back back in stories about this person said that person said, he said, she said, You really need to pay attention to some of that noise. Because that gives you the detail on what the perceptions are, and what negative value is being perceived by your stakeholders. If you don’t manage that perception, you you’re not going to be successful, even if you can calculate and show the true return that’s actually happening.

Brian Lambert 1:08:54  

Okay, great. Thanks. How about you, Garth perceptions reality as a theme?

Unknown Speaker 1:08:59  

Yeah, um,

Unknown Speaker 1:09:03  

I think I liked your description of a little bit better than than the words of it. I think it’s really about defining and creating clarity, and over communicating clarity.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:17  

And I think as you do that, because you’re exactly right, without that, that clarity.

Unknown Speaker 1:09:24  

You really do create a lot of Miss perceptions. People expect different things in what you’re delivering. And you’re always kind of having to run a defensive in defensive mode, trying to justify what you’re doing rather than having a clear plan based on clear expectations, and then delivering on that. And I’ve just seen that over and over and over again, in the sales enablement space. And so I do yeah, I absolutely agree with the sentiment as the as the theme that we’ve been, we’ve been discussing,

Brian Lambert 1:09:56  

and clarity, clarity is being critical to that. Yeah, that makes sense,

Unknown Speaker 1:10:00  

like I think of the lencioni stuff where it’s just, you know, communicate clarity reinforce clarity, like, you can’t be clear enough almost. And with with a role that has so much ambiguity around it, I think that that need to be clear, is even more of a responsibility of the enablement team to,

Unknown Speaker 1:10:21  

to kind of lead in creating that.

Brian Lambert 1:10:24  

Gotcha. And then David, what about your, your take on this? My, my view of the summarization is perceptions reality, and then, you know, building off of that, if, if the perception is you’re not clear, that’s gonna have downstream impact.

Unknown Speaker 1:10:40  

Yeah, I agree with that, I think an implication being just as we teach our enterprise sales teams, that you know, about the importance of and how to do strategic account planning and aligning, you know, the value that our technology helps to solve with what the customer cares about, I think we have to drink our own medicine there from an enablement perspective to think about are all of our key stakeholders? And are we building a strategic account plan to influence them right and understand, you know, who are they? Who are the proponents? Who are the the detractors, what’s the plan that we’re doing to turn folks around or to educate folks that to a different point of view, and how this is, you know, what we’re off what we’re offering here is a better path to getting to desired results. And we’ve got to, you know, line that up to speak to their language of what they care about. So I think, an opportunity of just more of the How is putting that into play?

Brian Lambert 1:11:34  

Gotcha. All right, in my last theme, and I know we’re running out of time, but my last theme that I came up with was the third one is, know what you need to say no to. So no, knowing what you need to say no to and what you can say no to. So you guys are very good at, you know, this idea of stakeholder management. And we’ve talked a lot about that in this podcast series. But what can you say no to might be different than what you need to say no to. And that’s the theme here, too. You know, the value that you create, sets an expectation it’s placed on you. So if you’re going to be supporting product all the time, you’re the product support megaphone. That’s the expectation that’s placed on you. If you are part of the customer journey, or the product team and the seller, what what are they buying from you? And what are you going to say no to I think that was what Barry brought up. And then, you know, David was talking about this idea of building out what needs to be built based on what the sales team to ask him for and what they need. And then I think it was either barrier guard said, you know, is less more I think it was Garth, his idea of, you know, if we’re going to provide something that’s higher quality, and how do you set an expectation around that. So, you know, it’s a bit of the chicken and an egg theme. But the the netting it out is what the value that you create, sets the expectation? In other words, know what you need to say no to and what you can say no to, that’s the theme there. What can you say no, to? What and what, what do you need to say no to? So I’ll just leave that open to any of you guys, because we’re running short on time. But what do you guys think of that? 13th third theme?

Unknown Speaker 1:13:15  

Yeah, just just for clarity, Barry said at first, and I piggyback on it. So is he was the one that reinforce the lessons more, I think. And I think that’s a great theme. I think it ties in really closely to doing, you know, knowing how to do what’s what’s right.

Unknown Speaker 1:13:33  

I think those tie in very nicely together.

Barry Shields 1:13:36  

Sometimes what I like to do is I’ll ask the sales leader or the support leader, what is your allotment of time for which we can deliver learning on a monthly basis. And they’ll always cap it. Like, they’ll say something like, one hour a week. And I actually use that to my advantage. And then because when I go back to the prioritization, and the governance with the product teams, or whomever is trying to push things out, I’ll use that to say, you’re pushing more things out than we can actually consume. So you can continue doing that. And we won’t, you know, halt you from going live with your product, but no one’s going to sell it that the company needs to get its act together with regard to some kind of governance, because we don’t have the 11th mile individuals who can who can actually do their job and keep up with the pace of the new things that are coming out. So I try to create a constraint and just make it easy for myself in terms of the pushback and saying no.

Unknown Speaker 1:14:45  

Right? That’s a great point. So I just add yet it’s all about prioritization, which is the same thing I think of what you say no to, but it’s like in terms of how are you? How are you prioritizing. How are you saying no to it’s got to be grounded in desired outcomes kind of that level for metric to work. But it’s also the inherent that you have to have some kind of you start with the end in mind, what’s your architecture for what you’re building and thinking about it? modularly so that when you say yes to something, you understand you’re not just saying yes to that thing in and of itself in a silo, you’re saying yes. And here’s how it fits into the bigger strategic construct.

Barry Shields 1:15:18  

Yeah, that’s important. Because that way they can go back and you can create a quote, unquote, First Year Experience, for example, for new folks that come in. Because I think that it’s easy to create a path for new people. But what’s hard is how do we keep you know, existing folks who have great deal of expertise? How do we fit this ongoing training or ongoing enablement into where they already are, especially when the folks that have been around for like four or five years, they don’t want to take any training at all? So you’re right, if it fits into that, you know, this is what the job role is, and how you would come up to speed as a new person, then, then you’re doing the right thing.

Brian Lambert 1:16:06  

Great. There you go. Scott, those are the three themes for today. This idea that clarity is critical, know what you can prioritize and know where your values coming from.

Scott Santucci 1:16:18  

Right. Thank you, Brian. And just to wrap up was one thing that you learned. So I think we we lost David. So Garth, how about you? It’s one thing that you learned today,

Unknown Speaker 1:16:30  

the state of sales enablement seems to be super strong still, and it’s growing and getting better. You know, with some of the pressures we have in the role, we feel like it’s like, like, maybe we’re maybe there’s too much pressure against us as we’re moving forward. But it does look like things are moving positively in a good direction, which is, which is exciting.

Scott Santucci 1:16:52  

Okay, about about you, Barry.

Barry Shields 1:16:53  

Well, I you know, I killed off sales enablement and moved it over to the marketing. org. So I looked at the data again, and and you know, it’s interesting, no one said that. No one said, what I said about killing off sales enablement, nobody thinks that marketing and sales enablement are a competitor. And so that that’s something I learned that I thought everyone thought that way. So that was a big surprise.

Scott Santucci 1:17:23  

Well, you haven’t heard the feedback from the CMOS that I’ve been interviewing yet. So you’re not a minority. I just put it that way. So thank you so much. This was a fantastic panel. Thank you, Brian for a fantastic summary. So this is a wrap of our fourth panel of sales enablement leaders with more of a training and l&d background, please make sure that you join us on May 19. At 11am you can write a circle and go to WWW dot inside etsy.com Thank you so much. Stay tuned insider nation for our next panel.

Outro 1:18:04  

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 at inside sp.com. You can also connect with him online by going to inside se.com following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request.

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