Ep7 Establish & Startup a Sales Enablement Function: An Insider Case Study

Sales Training Enablement

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 7

Want to learn from others in the Sales Enablement Space? 

One of our listeners, “Elizabeth” connected with Scott via LinkedIn. A few messages over LinkedIn later and we decided to do a special podcast to see to us (Scott and Brian) on the spot.  

This is a live, unrehearsed conversation reviewing Elizabeth’s situation and talking through some ideas for how to address it.  We summarize action items, define next steps, and get Elizabeth’s feedback.  

Some of the topics discussed include: 

  • how Elizabeth got into sales enablement in the first place 
  • working with sales managers 
  • determining the difference between sales managers and sales enablement 
  • how to use the ‘business within a business” framework to help bring clarity 
  • how to bring marketing into the conversations 
  • how to move from a reactive to a proactive state 

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.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

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 00:33

Hello, I’m Scott Santucci.

Elizabeth Connor 00:35

Hey, I’m Elizabeth Connor.

Brian Lambert 00:37

And I’m Brian Lambert. And we are the sales enablement insiders. Our podcast is dedicated to helping leaders ask the big questions they should consider in order to be successful with sales enablement. In this podcast, we’re going to rethink, reframe, and revisit the sales enablement function and role to clarify so you can take action, lead others and ensure success. And today, we actually have a special format. We’re calling it tackling reality. And I’m super excited about it. Scott, why don’t you frame it out for us?

Scott Santucci 01:07

Sure thing, Brian. Remember the episode that we had when we were doing the debrief of the Conference Board meeting? When I was in Atlanta?

Brian Lambert 01:17

Yeah, Yes, I do. And I remember I called you and you didn’t answer.

Scott Santucci 01:21

Yes. I didn’t answer not because I was ignoring you’re being a jerk. I think that you implied a little bit in the last. I didn’t answer because I actually was engaged in a LinkedIn discussion, a God’s honest truth, who links a LinkedIn back and forth with Elizabeth at the time, and I just didn’t pick up because I was really engrossed by it. So, Elizabeth, who’s joining us today, had reached out and connected to me on LinkedIn and said, Hey, listen to your podcast, I wanted to connect. I shot back. Thanks. You know, what do you like about it? Baba, bah, we got to talking. And the idea came up, why don’t we confront reality, and address her issues live on the show? So, we’ve changed her name, her name isn’t really Elizabeth. Her company will, you know will change we’re going to protect the innocent. So, she’s going to be able to talk to us and we’ve never met before. So, we’re doing this live for the first time. Isn’t that right, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth Connor 02:17

Absolutely. Yeah.

Scott Santucci 02:19

So why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you came to our podcast, and you know, what you liked about it? What was the impetus to to reach out and then share was this why the heck are you here? Why are you doing this? This seems kind of crazy.

Elizabeth Connor 02:34

Well, what I actually loved about your podcast is there was nothing that sugar coated, any of the experiences that anyone goes through. So, what I’ve come across a lot is that a lot of the sales enablement, blogs and things like that are just the old positives, but there’s nothing about the real day to day, and the challenges that you do face when starting in this role.

Scott Santucci 02:58

Excellent. And then what made you decide, like, who actually decides to do this? I mean, just if you’re listening, this is a total stranger who’s agreed to get on a podcast to talk about the challenges that you run into. So, I want to know a little bit about like, you like, why are you doing this?

Elizabeth Connor 03:16

So, I mean, I’ve been in sales for a long time, more more years than I care to admit. I absolutely love just speaking to people and shaving those experiences. And moving into the enablement away from the actual sales rep role. That is a very big main shift. And you’re not speaking to as many people you don’t have the same support around you as a team of 10 sales reps to be on one sales enablement. So, I’m sitting going you know someone speak to me.

Scott Santucci 03:50

Great, well, well, well, we’ll talk and basically your voice is going to be heard, and maybe there’s somebody else or hopefully, there’s more people out there that are just like you. So, what we’re going to do now is we’re going to do the way that we set this up in our in our email is, what we’re going to do right now is what we’re calling speed date consulting. So, we’re gonna go through rapid fire. We’re going to learn a little bit about Elizabeth world, what some of her challenges are, and some of the reality issues. I’ll I’ll interject with questions. We’ll go back and forth really quickly. And Brian will wrap us up.

Brian Lambert 04:23

Yeah. Just one quick thing, Scott, if I could add Elizabeth to, I would say, we want you to challenge us. And you know, you’re not in the spotlight. Here we are. Right. So, if you know through the course of this, you want to push back, you want to ask why we’re asking it. Or if you you know want to redirect that’s that’s your prerogative, right. So, Scott and I are the ones here that are on the witness stand, if you will, or working through this, not you this is a safe place for you. And let’s just you know, have a real conversation like you said.

Elizabeth Connor 04:57

Cool, absolutely.

Scott Santucci 04:59

So, with that Elizabeth, tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What kind of company you’ve got, just give us the basics, please. So

Elizabeth Connor 05:08

So, since I went into sales of kinda, sold most things, and including what they were classes, the difficult ones, advertising, office supplies, and then into it and no working in the SAS market. So, I’ve kind of done face to face on the phone, demos, I’ve done all the sales jobs. And I had experience doing training, I thought, no, that’s great, I want to go. And in establishing that training enroll, we actually discovered it was more of a full-on enablement role we needed within the company.

Scott Santucci 05:43

Gotcha. So, tell me a little bit about the business problem that you thought you were addressing with the training role.

Elizabeth Connor 05:48

So, we grew very, very quickly. And I know that’s a positive challenge that a lot of companies face. But what happened was, we grew so quickly that we had all these people in place, and nothing to actually onboard them or train them in our products to do ongoing coaching. We had no one working on marketing on collateral. We had no sales training, collateral nothing. And it became over cutting issue with the rep saying we need training, we need training, we need training.

Scott Santucci 06:21

Got it? And then when you say it became a full-on enablement role. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t necessarily say there’s a huge consensus about exactly what the scope of enablement is. And where does it start and stop? From your viewpoint? What does that full enablement role look like? And when you say, Wait, who’s wait.

Elizabeth Connor 06:40

And so, when I say we was the whole sales team, because I’m still a rep at the time, but for me, there’s the whole there’s the process, there’s a documentation, there’s, as you’re communicating that properly to the team, there’s tracking that the content we’re giving is actually working. And it’s not just going out there to float about in the ether. It’s actually good customers, it’s helping with the conversations, it’s helping with a value proposition. And we had none of that we were everybody battling against the sales team. And by moving into a training capacity, I started going, whoa, we actually need that. I mean, he thought from marketing when he thought from support, we need that from our success team. And that’s how we ended up more of an enablement role, because it was agreed you can speak to everybody in other departments. Here you go.

Scott Santucci 07:35

Gotcha. So, to put words in your mouth, spit out what doesn’t fit. What you start out training, because the belief is, our reps really don’t know what they’re doing. I’m oversimplifying. So, we go in and get them to look at what we’re doing. And oh, by the way, we need information from product, we need information from marketing, we need information from customer success, and we don’t need it the way that you’re giving it us. We needed it in a different kind of way.

Elizabeth Connor 08:03

Exactly, we discovered it was a much bigger challenge than we thought it was when we started drilling down, and I was trying to find the content and find the collateral to train the team in. So that was kind of grew from there.

Scott Santucci 08:17

Gotcha. So, I think most people in a SAS environment can relate to that. So, tell me where you are today. And in our speed day consulting, what what can you challenge us with to see whether we can help you or not?

Elizabeth Connor 08:29

So, here’s the biggest challenge we’ve had. So, we’ve got all the sales team hoppy, they’ve got their quarterly training plans, they’ve got me they can come to for collateral requests, and they know all that’s going to be done for campaigns and stuff. The issue I have is not with them. It’s actually with the management of those teams. So, the they’re, they’re younger, they’re less experienced in the work environment. And they keep trying to take parts of my job. And you start feeling quite territorial, and it becomes quite a conflict. And then as the more experienced one, I keep thinking, I’ve got to take a step back and go, No, we can deal with this. And it actually ends up making me more wind up. So, the whole dealing with the managers who I’m in the same team meetings with is the real challenge.

Scott Santucci 09:29

So let me speculate a little bit here to see if this is if this is common. I have run into situations where managers might say, look, the reps that work for me are my responsibility. I’m in charge of developing them. You are not. And you’re and I’m kind of very, very much paraphrasing what you’re doing is getting in the turf in space that I’m responsible for. And I wouldn’t do it the way that you’re doing it. I want him to do it this way. Is that about right?

Elizabeth Connor 10:09

Yeah. So, they’ll sit there and go, you need to train my reps. Okay, great. What training? Do you feel your reps need to put training or coaching? And do your reps want? I don’t know. You just have to shame them. Yeah. All right. Okay, well, we’ll come up with a plan, great, then it comes to onboarding. And you’ve got manager going, I’m having nothing to do with onboarding. And then the manager comes in and says, No, I want to do the onboarding. Mm. You know, you’ve got that you’ve got another manager, if he’s going ahead and schedule in training, away from what you’ve planned, then your reps going to spend a lot of times in training here. And it’s not me, but I’m the one that gets the negative feedback.

Scott Santucci 10:56

Right.Gotcha. Okay, so too, you know, in the speed day consulting, boom, I’ve clicked in on a couple things. So, number one, let’s talk about expectation management, in a role like yours, and I go back to the first time that I created a crater role. Managing everybody’s expectation is really difficult. When I first started, I actually had four different sales regions, one of the sales VPS of the sales region hated me. It’s like, Okay, well, I just won’t do anything. I want delivery services for him. Step number one is, let’s think about our, our function as a business within a business, right? You’re the president of that business, and you can choose who to service or not service, you just have to make sure that the people, your investors that people were paying for your salary, and your and your department are happy with the overall results. So, let’s start there. Let’s talk about what overall results to whom do you report to? And what is their expectation?

Elizabeth Connor 12:02

So, I report to our sales director, nine, he’s very much of the opinion, he has said to me so many times, your role was critical. You need to push back on the managers. But then, and the other word that on the other side of that he’ll see, you know, but you do have to accept you do have more experience than them. And you’re sitting kind of going, I don’t know what to do here. Yeah. Because obviously, he’s gonna look after all of us. We’re all his direct reports. But you’re sitting looking at monitors and can let me do my job, and you won’t have to do my job.

Scott Santucci 12:43

Yes. So, I think the first thing is, if we go level up to managing expectations, we need to we need to something clear that says, here’s where sales enablement starts and stops. And here’s where frontline sales management starts and stops. And I think so for example, if our frontline sales manager, I might be really high on development. And I’m going to call the things that I’m doing developmental training or training, because what the hell is just the word, right, we all use the word. But it might be different, like you might be providing performance or capability training. So, I think if we could get really clear and say, all right, let’s, let’s delineate roles and responsibilities. The scope of what we’re doing for sales enablement is to equip it is to raise the aggregate ability of all the individual reps, so that they are conversant to talk to the customers that we’re that we’re dealing with. They’re able to speak at the right altitude level, they’re able to position our capabilities in a business, business-oriented way. And they’re able to navigate all the internal stakeholders required and be able to work with the internal resources that they need to like, that’s my job. And where I started where I stopped. The individual sales manager is responsible for the actual performance of the team. I’m sales enablement is evaluated on the aggregate like the overall salesforce, not anyone in particular individual. And that way you make it clear that the sales the sales manager is responsible for the individual seller, but you are responsible for the overall environment of which selling operates in that might be one way to make it to make it clear. That’s that’s step one in terms of scope. Does that make sense?

Elizabeth Connor 14:41

It does but once you’ve set those expectations, if there is then someone who does go ahead and schedule something that should be in an in the enablement space. Do you let that go on and send the message to the team of oh, well, it’s okay? We can go to our managers or do you actually say to that manager? No, you need to counsel that and that has to come through me.

Scott Santucci 15:04

I think the way that I prefer to handle that is if you click on the business within a business service, you escalate that to the sales director, and and ask and then that way they can ask, is the quality of the service that you’re providing to that manager? Who does that? Is the quality of the service that’s being provided? Not to your standard? Is that why you’re duplicating this effort?

Elizabeth Connor 15:31

Makes sense.

Scott Santucci 15:32

And then that way, you’re not in the position of yes or no, it’s, if you’re providing a service, and that sales manager doesn’t think that they’re getting the right service, they should have the they should have the ability, because they’re responsible for performance, also, they should be able to go around that. And then that way, you have a more or less, it’s like a contract, just like you would want with your with your customers to be able to have a good get, it’s the same thing. And that way, you can escalate in a positive way. And it shows that you are an assert your your service oriented. So, if if the thing that I’m providing isn’t adding value, and that’s great. What that’s probably going to do is put more of the burden on the sales manager to ask, hmm, am I really duplicating effort, because this is time out of calling, this is time out of the field. And the other thing is, maybe you quantify a thing that I’m a big fan of doing that is to or Elizabeth, I need to sound European that way, is quantifying time, it is using time as a metric. In other words, we have our reps, each seller generates X number of dollars of bookings per hour. And that you will use that as a metric for meetings, we use that as a metric for anything that’s timeout, if it’s $500 per hour, is this is taking them at an hour out worth $500 or can we solve this problem somewhat something different, use that as your form of currency, because then you can or dollars, sorry, pounds, pounds, euros, whatever to form a currency. But you use that and that way you can work the other way too, if the sales manager is is requesting those resources, well, that’s timeout, and that those resources, you know, also belong to the sales director, they’re not only the responsibility of the sales manager, they belong to everybody. So, if they’re making a decision to take people out of the field to duplicate time and material, and there are five other managers who aren’t doing it, then that manager is going to get the level of scrutiny and just ask the question, why. And if they have a good reason, then great, you should incorporate their feedback and make your your training program better. If not, then they’re going to they’re not going to be able to defend their action.

Elizabeth Connor 17:55

And from the training point of view, that makes complete sense. What happens more on the whole working with the other teams, though? Where, you, you’re working on some thought you’re working on certain collateral for one of the teams. And you know, there’s needs of another team, and they’re going to that team directly, they’re not coming to you at all.

Scott Santucci 18:19

So that’s another thing, branding, anything that goes for you gets a brand. And then you say to all the sales teams use branded material, and I can vouch for it. If people want to go directly to sales teams and give them stuff, that’s great. Just know, it’s not going to be branded. So, if it stinks, you don’t have you can’t come to me, I, you know, it’s non sanctioned content. So just branded, anything that comes to your department will be branded, and carry that brand. And then you could basically say, look for this label, you know, the stamp of the stamp of Elizabeth. And that way people will know that that content is been verified by your group, again, the whole idea of business with a business, it’s your brand. So

Elizabeth Connor 19:09

That’s kind of getting the buy in from, for example, our marketing team I’ve seen new, anything you’re doing has to come to me. If it doesn’t come through me, you’re just wonderful. You’re on your own. I can’t vouch for it.

Scott Santucci 19:22

I might. So, cons conceptually I’m 100% agreement with you. What I’ve learned is you guys are grading good stuff. I can help you get it to be used by sales. If you go through me and let me provide my value-added service. I’m only going to make available material that’s that’s branded if it meets the standards and I would create a set of standards because the thing that you have to be aware of is people in Product Marketing have been trained to create information about products, and that’s what they know. And even when they think they’re being customer centered, it’s still customer centered through the lens of the product. You as a salesperson, think in terms of the individual human being with whom you’re talking to. And you and I both know those human beings could give a hoot about what the product. You know this, I know these marketers don’t know this, because of what they’ve been trained on. And it’s reasonable when you break it down that way. So, what I might do is create like a spec, like a bill of materials, you might call it or something like that. This is our standard of sales content. If you choose to produce sales content, not on this standard, you don’t earn the brand that I put behind it. I am going to be branding, this brand, and representing this brand, I’m going to weave it inside all the content is going to be in the structure of all the training that we do, we teach people how to use the materials in the training. So, if you want to be a part of that, you need to be able to get the brand. If not, well, you can go ahead and release it to sell sellers. For the time being if you want, I’m not going to say no you can’t. The issue is it’s not going to get, it’s not going to get the certification. So, it’s not going to get woven into how we work. And I have found that that message, particularly with the business unit ads, they love that. Because you’re not threatening them, you’re helping them, you’re not telling them their content sucks, which is basically the position that we’re normally in, you’re able to highlight the work that they’ve done, that’s good, they tend to do a pretty good job on sort of a market framing, right? And the research, it’s really good. It just kind of go overboard. And then like when they start writing questions to ask as customers, that’s ridiculous, because they never talked to a customer before. So, highlighting out here’s sort of the here’s the bill of materials, here’s the information that we’re going to that we’re going to prepare, that helps a lot. And I and then I’d say the third area that I’d suggest is I’m sure that you guys have a sales process, one thing that I would publish for the, for the rest of the company I call the company, all the other people that are aren’t in sales, sort of the supply chain behind sales. What I would consider is is sharing with them that they don’t need to know all the details about the sales process. Right? So, what I’d say is look at what we’re talking about is i’d like you guys to produce resources to help us advance opportunities for our sales funnel. At the end of the day, there’s only five things that need to happen in sales. The first one is we have to target the right people. Are we all clear on what who the wallet owner is for the stuff that we’re selling? Do you guys have information? Have you talked to any of those stakeholders before? Like you, you need to be able to say this is the this is the level of detail that we need. If you aren’t talking to these people, there’s a difference between researching from Gartner or Forrester or whomever about what they think a role once and actually getting on the phone and talking to somebody. If they haven’t done that, how do we know for sure that that target audience that they’re after is accurate? So, you can push you get you can use that as a litmus test on quality. So that’s one thing, are we targeting the right people? Because if you’re giving information to minions, and we’re asking our salespeople to sell to adult level, adult level buyers, right from the get-go, we’re off. Right, right, right from the get-go. Second thing that you can provide is okay, the second thing that we need to do in sales is now that we know who we’re going to target, how do we get access to them? And then again, that gets to are your leads targeted at the altitude level we’re targeting? Or are you just trying to find anybody who wants to listen to our products? And again, that sets up a big-time big difference. And these are things that are easy to understand.

Elizabeth Connor 24:19

Yeah, previously, we have spoken to everyone. And so, we are trying to get one more targeted on that. But it’s interesting what you were saying there, but the branding site. So, in our company, we have everything stored in one place, and it’s actually accessible to most to nearly everybody. But we are looking at the possibility of bringing in sales enablement too. So, what you’re seeing that a bit the branding would that work with, okay, if it’s had the SE branding, it’s going to be in that tool. It’s not in that tool, then it sits with marketing.

Scott Santucci 24:56

So, I think that that is a way of enforcement. So let me know So your question specifically. So, if you bring in a sales enablement tool, there’s lots to choose from. Most people put all the content in it, I think that’s a huge mistake, if you bring in a tool gives you the opportunity to brand it. And what most most of the vendors will say is they say, Oh, your contents awesome, we just need to get away to access it. That’s not true. Most of the content isn’t awesome. Um, and it’s not awesome, because it’s not, it’s not like people didn’t put effort into it. It’s just not awesome, because it’s not targeted individual stakeholders. And it’s not in the guise of having a conversation. So, it’s just not purposeful for driving sales conversations. So, if you do invest in a tool, I’d be incredibly rigorous about what goes in, and not. Because the second you have a tool that has crappy content in it, sellers won’t go there anymore. So, I think that’s that’s your opportunity to, to highlight it out. And I think the step before that you do it is published what your spec would be, because then it’s clear to everybody in marketing, what goes in it. And just make sure you have it, you know, the ability to back it up. That’s why I like those, those five sales objectives whenever I’ve talked about it with any, and I’ve only gone through two of them with you, but I’ll go through all of them real quick. The reason that’s really valuable, is because I’ve never met a CMO who doesn’t agree with those things. And then it’s easy to buy in and they get Oh, I get it conversations are different than the kind of material we’re providing. Exactly. We’re not saying to not do those things, we’re saying, if you want to put it to if we want to call it sales enablement content, it needs to have this kind of brand. That’s all we’re saying. Right. So, in other words, you’re influencing by leveraging what your power base is, your power base is that you’re providing training, if you want to get the content that they’re doing into the bloodstream of sales, it has to fit the spec. The reason it has to fit the spec is because people have to be able to train on it. It’d be like, why would you do a physics lab? And lecture material that you have is completely inconsistent? You wouldn’t do that in university, why would we do it in business doesn’t make any sense. And it’s really hard for anybody, pushback on it with that kind of logic. And you’re also not being confrontational, which is really the big rub is the Unfortunately, the people in sales organizations are poor, internal communicators, they’re dealing with so many things that they come off hot, and it makes the 80% of the rest of the company not want to listen to them. And we need to flip that around and say, Look, let me explain why we’re doing this. This is what we’re gonna do. If you’d like to have my brand, when you do these things, if you want to release it elsewhere, great, but it’s not going to be in our tool. Because you guys have branding standards we need to follow, right? We have conversation standards.

Elizabeth Connor 28:04

Okay.

Scott Santucci 28:05

And it’s perfectly reasonable. And they don’t, it’s hard to push back.

Brian Lambert 28:11

Yeah. So, guys, this is Brian. And I wanted to just, you know, looking at the time here, kind of jump in and recap a little bit of where we’re at. And then Elizabeth, you know, based on the recap, we can get your reactions and also get your thoughts on what just happened. Okay. So, um, for our listeners, the, the key of this is through through the process of questioning, and this is applicable to all, I think sales enablement, leaders is making sure the context is understood. So, you know, Scott asked some questions about what’s, what business you’re in, what what the focus is, and those are, you know, good contextual questions for somebody on the outside, but for somebody who’s, you know, engaged in the organization, these relationships matter. And also, you know, the key that Scott was driving to, because things kind of move quickly here. But the, the thing that he was driving to is, you know, what’s, what’s the problem? And when, when you look at what the problem Elizabeth was trying to tackle, you know, she had a perspective of, you know, highly credible, right, that probably came through to our listeners, somebody who’s gone through sales, and actually, the sales team. I don’t know if you guys heard that, but they all tapped her on the shoulder and said, would you help us? And created a role for her and asked her to fill it, which is cool. It’s like a promotion by the peers and doing an enablement role. And things kind of became quickly, more and more larger, the scope continued to increase across. I don’t know I think I read process documentation. And tracking etc. And you can, you can kind of see that expectations were continuing to rise on Elizabeth and you know, she’s trying to be helpful, but then there’s these other groups. So, the bigger the role, and I’ve seen this before, the bigger the role, the bigger the expectation, the more cross functional it is. And you guys, as you’re listening, probably heard some of that. And when you look at it, one of the key things that Elizabeth said was, it felt like everybody was battling against the sales team. But and, you know, the implication there is that they were trying to help. And one of the things that she said that she was doing to tackle that was to be a translator, across these groups. And I think that’s obviously a key skill of any sales enablement leader, the challenge is, you know, it looks, it looks easy, and we can use frameworks, but relationships matter. And, you know, when the sales teams happy, everything’s great. In this case, the sales team was happy. And but there was some friction, and the friction was in the management team. And, you know, one of the things that’s interesting here, in professional view, and Scott and I have a lens across a lot of different touch points, but there is a, there’s a point in every managers, professional background, I believe, where they have to decide if they’re going to do things in spite of the system, or, you know, with the help of the system. And, you know, mark my words, I would say, 99.5% of the sales managers that are that are out there, have learned how to do things in spite of the system, and in spite of the hell for years, and it’s just the way it is. And you know, there’s a lot out there about do your job, stay focused, you can only control you control, this is what sales managers are taught. So, when you come in on your white horse and say, I’m gonna save things, it’s like, yeah, you know, right. And they, you know, that’s not your job, that is my job, etc. So, what ended up happening, you guys probably heard was Elizabeth moved into this, you know, I call it whack a mole and band aids, right. So, you’re, you’re, you know, things pop up, you tackle them, or you put a bandaid on it, you move on, people started going rogue. And, you know, the implication of the role of sales enablement, as Scott said is, you know, sales enablement, should be focused on the aggregate view, or the all up view of sales enablement. And let the managers you know, tackle it. So, there are three, three or four key things that in that story that I wanted to call out. And, you know, when you look at the root causes here, to me, what I heard was, you know, is it clear what business, Elizabeth said, and, you know, the advice, Elizabeth, that Scott gave was, make sure you’re clear in the business within a business construct, what value you’re adding, and to whom you’re adding it to. So, if your focus is on the aggregate sales team, and managers are responsible for individual development, has that conversation happened? And is it clear what the scope of your business within the business is, versus the relationship of a manager, etc. So that’s one thing. The second thing when this is the probably the biggest bucket? And to me, it kind of stems from the first thing, but it’s this idea of engaging with clarity. So, when you show up, is it consistent and clear what you’re doing? And, you know, you guys had a long discussion about what I would consider, and I just label, you know, rules of engagement. Or sometimes we call it scope of support. You know, here’s what I’m gonna do, here’s what you’re gonna do. Functionally, here’s the roles of the functions that are involved. Here’s who’s doing what, and you know, and Elizabeth, I think, and this is natural for sales leaders and myself included, I think we’re really good one on one, right? Because that’s the nature of, of our backgrounds. I came from sales to, you know, one on one, I can talk to marketing one on one, I can talk to training one on one, I can talk to a manager, but boy, when they start ganging up, that’s a whole new ballgame, you know, get two or three of them. And I’m like, uh-oh, right. So, and I think that’s where Scott was at around the idea of standards, branding, and watching the relationships across the supply chain. And him and I both have talked about the idea of you got to spend almost more time working cross functionally on relationships in the supply chain than you do on your own team, or your own sales relationships. So, one way to do that was the five sales objectives that Scott outlined. And you know, those that and then, you know, for me, one of the things that I would just encourage, you know, and just as a quick recap, one, what business are you in to how do you engage with clarity? And then three, how do you drive you know, the sales objectives cross functionally to deliver the right value? Those are the three big things, but I’m gonna highlight a second, a fourth bucket here and this is just me from my background. I think Elizabeth, you heard Scott, you know, kind of allude to this, but I want to call it out just because I’ve been burned by it in my own background, when you say stuff like, you know, I’m older than them and they’re younger, that implies, you know, by the level of your position and your age, you automatically have authority. And I think it’s easy to go into that, or, you know, maybe it’s because of my gender, or maybe it’s because of where I live, these things are, you know, he never said that I’m just, I’ve heard it from other other folks that, you know, they’re different. And or I don’t relate to them, because it has to do with some sort of demographic, from, from my experience, that’s never the case, it stems from those those challenges of clarity, and scope of support, not that they’re younger or older, because to be honest with you, from what I heard in the beginning, they’re actually all you know, one, they believe in you and, and consider you credible, but in two, they wanted you to help. So, you know, watch, watch the language on that. But also, you know, and I’ve done and I’ve done that, so I’m telling you from experience, it doesn’t ever go well, because it starts to us versus them. And once that us versus them starts, it’s really hard to ratchet that back. But the other part of the us versus them, that’s a challenge, and I’ve done this myself is, you know, running around, telling people that their stuff sucks, you know, and passing judgment on it. And I think Scott did a good job highlighting, you know, the skills, the perspective of these functions, and what they’re what they’re bringing to the table, start with that start with what works, start with what’s positive, and then you know, offer this idea of, I’m going to help you get into sales, I’m going to help you be successful. And I talked to this other other guy, two days ago. And, and I learned a lot from him. Because from a sales perspective, if you look at selling move, it’s moved from an individual sale to a team, you know, you’ve got to navigate all the buyers in the network. And I would say, apply that internally, you know, when you have everybody around, trying to help what’s in it for them? How do you connect the dots internally? And how do you become an internal seller, to make sure you’re not alienating, you know, driving a wedge and accidentally, you know, turning people against each other. And if you use the language of should, you know, those, those guys should do this, or those folks should do that. That’s a bit of a red flag, I call it shoulding. So don’t don’t should on people. You know, I say that on purpose to make it stick, and I have no shoulding rule on my team. So, but I love the soundbite now and here, which is I can help you get used by sales. And an end by that is, you know, I can help salespeople, I can relieve the burden from them. You know, I can be a clearinghouse of complaining, send all the sales complaints to me. So, you don’t have to deal with that. You know, and when you see my brand, you know, you can believe in it. Right? So those types of things might be able to help move forward. And I know that’s a big, big debrief there. But those are some of the things the top three and then I added my fourth because I’ve had a bad experience with with that type of a thing in the past around relationships. So, Elizabeth, what are your thoughts on that? And I brought this up, so I’ll send it to you after this recording over, but you know, now this is where you get to react to one Scott’s diagnosis my recap here and I’d love to get your reaction to that.

Elizabeth Connor 38:28

Well, thank you for doing, you’re your summary data at the end. I have to say I was sitting here nodding so hard my head could have actually fallen off just from nodding. So now, I everything that you guys have said has been so good. And it’s actually got me more excited, again, a bit going in and going right, okay, I need to put things in place now that I should have done six months ago, I so you know, actually putting out the message of you know, I’m here to get your stuff used. I’m I’m really excited to get going. And that makes it a bit more difficult to put into words. And, but listening to Scott as well, actually being able to come up with the possible solutions to these challenges straight away. It means, it really makes me feel like you guys have gone through this and the, in this kind of space, there are people going through exactly the same thing. This has been absolutely fantastic for me.

Brian Lambert 39:34

Yeah, I appreciate that. And, you know, Scott and I both have the battle scars. And I think I’m a couple inches shorter. I think I’m 50 pounds heavier than we started. Yeah, it’s I appreciate that. And, you know, we do try to tackle reality. And like I said, I typed this up, so I’ll send it over and I might even put this in the show notes for other folks because like he said, it’s probably one of those things that other people are dealing with. So, Scott, I’ll give you the last word, then I’ll wrap it up. Do you have anything you want to add?

Scott Santucci 40:07

Yes, actually, what I’d love to do is, let’s talk about next steps. What? Let’s try to prescribe three or four things that you can do. And then if you’re open to it, let’s do another podcast three months from now and see whether or not the things that we shared with you, if you tried them, if they worked, so, what would be three or four things that you can think of immediately, and just, you know, throw it out there, and I’ll I’ll work on putting some words like it each time you say something, I’ll replay it back of how I heard, so you don’t have to worry about how to message it just sort of gut react.

Elizabeth Connor 40:47

Cool. Okay. So definitely working with the other teams, to show them how I’m there to make make their lives easier, and their material a lot more utilized.

Scott Santucci 41:03

Gotcha. So, um, it’s provide a message to when you say other teams, are you talking about specific-

Elizabeth Connor 41:12

Marketing, yeah, marketing success, those guys

Scott Santucci 41:15

Gotcha marketing, customer success, product groups, maybe even demand gen. Two is, are we getting access to those people? And that’ll be your responsibility to provide that data back to them. Three is, are we having successful meetings measured? as do the clients agree to explore further with us? And you side note, that’s a big hole that most organizations don’t track. Third, is, are we creating a shared vision of success? In other words, we have a lot of stuff. Are we using SAS language to our clients who have no idea what we’re talking about? Well, that impedes the sales process. So, are there ways that we can use different language to describe the same thing that’ll help us get through that shared vision stage? And then on business case, are there different scenarios where we make different business cases, some clients might just want to buy an individual product, others might buy into our overall solution, the business case used for both of those are going to be very different. And if we just stick to those four, five objectives, it becomes really clear, and it helps your marketing partners better empathize with what the sellers are going through.

Elizabeth Connor 42:25

Yeah, absolutely. And by focusing on it that way, it also means that we’re not just as Brian summarize, we’re not just putting a bandaid on it, we’re actually solving the issues.

Scott Santucci 42:36

Exactly, exactly. So that’s one thing to do. Second thing.

Elizabeth Connor 42:42

A second thing is to work with the managers to set the plan out on who’s responsible for what within the development of the team.

Scott Santucci 42:53

Gotcha. So, my suggestion on that would be, I would create a draft of what that looks like, first for somebody to react to. And before I do that, I would get buy in from the director saying, my scope is the aggregate performance of the environment, right? are we creating the environment for all of our sellers to thrive, and the manager is responsible for making sure the people that report to them are, are successful. Just that one sentence, if you get him to agree on that, him or her to agree on that, that’s really valuable, because that becomes your, that becomes a foundation, the rest will be just debate off of off of nuance. And so, you’ve won, you know, sales one on one, right, try to win the agenda, you’ve won the agenda, if you get buy in on that point. So, I’d start there first, then I’d have something to react to, and you want them to beat it up. Because then when you come back with your revision, they’ve exhausted all their pushback. And then game over, you know, they, it’s, they’ve agreed to it.

Brian Lambert 44:08

Elizabeth, I’ve got I’ve got a suggestion for a action item here. So that I know this is putting you on the spot. So, I kind of want to meet you halfway and throw it out there. And if you don’t like it, you don’t have to take it on. But one of the ideas I had is this idea that builds off of if you’re going to define manager and sales enablement, roles, responsibilities and scope, maybe what you can do is also write up this, you know, scope and support of these functions. Something simple, you know, what’s the, what’s the functional scope, and sometimes I call it a functional raci diagram, who’s responsible and accountable for what across the organization in support of the sales objectives are in support of the environment we’re trying to create, for example. So, you know, and then and then, in that scope of support, marketing, provide This success provides this, you know, product provides that to these conversations that salespeople need to have. And then that’s that’s a good spot then to start talking about these standards that Scott was talking about. It’s in that in that view of functional roles, responsibilities and defining templates and standards that everybody can contribute to, that you can start maybe driving. Does that make sense?

Elizabeth Connor 45:27

Yeah, I really like that idea. Actually, it’s interesting, he said, raci there. Because that hadn’t crossed my mind of doing that. No, I really like that idea.

Brian Lambert 45:35

Yeah, just don’t overthink it. I, the first time I did it, you know, it was just a massive Excel. And it’s just ridiculous. So, keep it keep it simple. And it’s more about the discussions that you need to have. And then the fourth one in this is me being a bit a bit soft and squishy here. But I would say, if you’ve had relationships where you got a little tense, or maybe use some of the language, just go back and say, Hey, you know, that time I did that, you know, I want to take it back. And, you know, we’re all on the same team here type of thing, sometimes an olive branch can help even with the folks that are, you know, young quote, unquote, younger, right? So that might be an action item to is, you know, these relationships are critical. And I’ve, I used to discount the role of one person and the, you know, and just try to ignore the one person that doesn’t work. Everybody’s that’s involved. You need to have a basically a relationship plan with, if you will, individual by individual, and if you need to mend bridges, you know, do it do it earlier, rather than later. Because there is a point of no return on that, throw that out.

Elizabeth Connor 46:44

Yeah, no, absolutely. And I know exactly who to do that too, as well.

Brian Lambert 46:49

Okay. Great. So that’s four there. Any anybody else have any other ones Scott or Elizabeth want to add another? I wrote these down, so I’ll send them over. But that’s the first one was providing message to marketing, etc. And second one is manager and sales enablement, scope to scope discussion, then there’s the functional raci. And then the fourth one is, you know, the olive branches. You know, man’s man’s man defenses? On this side?

Elizabeth Connor 47:23

I think also, there’s the whole, you know, keep keep the message to the sellers relevant, and, and keep it focused. I think there’s that as well.

Brian Lambert 47:33

Yeah. Okay. So, I’ll break that one out, and it blends in together. So, I’ll put that out. Okay.

Scott Santucci 47:40

And then as an as assignment, for your success moving forward, here’s, I’m going to take a step back. And this is a pattern that we can constantly say, the pattern that we see is how people get into sales enablement is, something’s broken, you get tapped on the shoulder to go fix it, you get tapped on the shoulder to go fix it, because you’re really competent in that area, and you’re a problem solver, then you inherit more and more stuff. And more and more stuff. And more and more stuff in the problem gets bigger and bigger and bigger, but then you don’t have any resources. So, what I’d like you to do is just in the back of your mind, think if I were a company, if I were a startup as a company within a company, right now you’re in startup mode, right? You’re being innovative. you’re solving problems you’re securing You know; you’re serving your customer base, you’re learning about things. But sooner or later, you’re going to run into a situation, we’re going to need resources. How are we going to ask for those resources? Are you going to ask for them? Awesome. All new? Are you going to say, hey, as a business within a business, I need to acquire resources from other people inside the company who are not utilizing those resources effectively? The point is, at some point in time, you’re going to reach a threshold where you can’t do it just yourself, and you need to start building an apartment. It’s better to anticipate that beforehand, so that when the time comes, you don’t suddenly wake up one day and you’re working 80 hours.

Elizabeth Connor 49:12

That makes sense. Yeah.

Scott Santucci 49:14

So, I’d say keep that and I call that executing with bifocal lens. So, the got four things that you can do right now. Five things, sorry, five things. And then one thing, just keep in the back of your mind.

Brian Lambert 49:27

Okay, thanks a lot, Elizabeth, for putting yourself out there taking the risk. And, you know, let me ask you our net promoter. question was, was it worth it?

Elizabeth Connor 49:37

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brian Lambert 49:39

Would you recommend this to others?

Elizabeth Connor 49:41

Yeah. I would say anybody who’s gone through any of these issues, get in touch.

Brian Lambert 49:46

Great. Appreciate it. All right, everybody, as always, send in your stories. Send in your comments, engage at insight, se calm and Elizabeth, thank you so much. And we’re gonna have you back on in a couple of three months here and but in the meantime, feel free to reach out to us and we appreciate you on the show today. Thanks, everybody. Take care.

Nick Merinkers 50:05

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 him online by going to insidese.com, following them on Twitter, or sending them a LinkedIn request.


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