Ep11 Bringing Sales Kickoff Back? What’s the Return?

Sales Kickoff Justification

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 11

Many sales enablement leaders are responsible for some (or all) of their company’s sales kickoff. When it comes to adding the right value and ensuring a return on investment, it’s important to view the kickoff from the lens of your customer — the sales leadership team.

In this episode, Brian and Scott revisit some research Brian did while he was at Forrester, and shed color on what we’ve learned since then about the good, bad, and ugly of sales kickoffs and what executives are getting for their investment. The key finding of the research?  

There are 3 reasons why sales kickoffs exist. To launch, improve rep skills, or evolve the sales team. Find out more by listening to this edition of Inside Sales Enablement.

This podcast will help you rethink sales kickoffs.

  •  Does your company create an overall plan with a planning cycle starting in August, or do you do most of the work in December or January? 
  •  Can you quantify the economic value of the sales kickoff? 
  •  Do you have a 30-60-90 plan post kickoff? 

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 joined 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. Our podcast is dedicated to asking the big questions that you may be wondering about, especially if you thought something might be wrong or something might not be quite right. And I got to ask, you know, are you getting the value out of sales enablement? And are other people seeing the value of sales enablement that you would expect? In this podcast, we’re going to into a specific time tangible activity that many organizations are involved in. And that’s the sales kickoff. Scott, what do you have for us?

Scott Santucci 01:09

We’re actually recording this. This episode. This is our episode number five. We’re recording it after our first episode has been released. So, I wanted to share a little bit of feedback that we’ve gotten from some of the people who’ve listened to our first episode. And then of course, I’ll let you let you share some of it too. So, one of one of the elements of feedback that I’ve gotten is that folks really like the color the way that we’re describing it in the banter that Brian and I have and and the format. One of the requests that I got was, Hey, you know, the background and the history is really important. It’s always great to know where we’re coming. Can we talk about some more tangible, not tangible, that’s not the way that was phrased more things that I’m dealing with in the trenches right now that will help me be successful? So those are those were two of the feedbacks, what we’d love for you to do is keep sharing feedback with us. Do you agree with that feedback? What feedback would you add to it? How can we improve to make this a better experience for you? Share your thoughts with us on LinkedIn, call Brian or I, or better Email us at engage at insidese.com. Brian, what what are some of the feedback that you’ve received?

Brian Lambert 02:31

Yeah, I shared this on one of our drives, drives home, we tend to call each other at the end of the day when we’re driving. And one of the things that I was hearing was this idea of, you know, rethinking, and hey, I hadn’t quite thought about that before. So, I had somebody shoot me up, you know, shoot me a message on LinkedIn and be like, Hey, that was a great way to think about it. These stories, you know, Galileo, really interesting and made me think differently. So, there was this rethinking piece What we’re going to do today, you and I talked about when you got that feedback with something that that folks might be more involved in, it’s this idea of, of revisiting. So that’s the second thing that that I took away. And the third one is, both of you and I have developed the technique. And I was at a thought leadership conference last week at Stanford. And it has to do with this idea of reframing the problem. And somebody came up to me after the events and said, Hey, you know, the way you’re framing this out, is completely different because you’re actually focused on the customer. So that’s the three Scott rethinking revisiting reframing, and those are basically going forward here guys, the the three that we’re going to go with, so we’ll have different episodes where we either reframe something today we’re going to revisit sales, kickoffs and some research that we did a while back, and then the rethinking piece which we are helping folks move forward in a new way of working and the new reality that they’re facing. So, let’s talk a little bit about Scott moving forward here, how to revisit and let’s revisit sales kickoffs.

Scott Santucci 04:05

Yes. So, to put this into perspective, when we’re reframing something that’s giving background or asking you to take a step back, when we’re revisiting something, what we’re going to do is first we’re going to hold ourselves accountable and break down and critique some of our past reports, to eventually critique other people’s reports and other people’s information and revisit some of the research that’s been out there. And then the last one here is let’s rethink, and today we’re rethinking sales kickoffs. So, to frame this out, what was interesting is why would why would you even tackle sales kickoffs? You guys are the knock or the pro depending on how you look at it. You guys at Forrester were really strategic. Why in the world were you covering sales kickoffs? And what I want to do is let you understand a little bit of perspective, again, more than inside baseball. When you’re an analyst and at at the time, it really depends, you might want to ask other analysts how many inquiries that they get ask them questions about inquiries, because that’s really the one of the big driving forces of the research agenda. And at the time, when we were at Forrester, our department, our group was maxed out on inquiries. We had inquiries, when we were we had some of the highest inquiry loads of the entire company. And one of the one of the trends that that emerged was a lot of questions around sales kickoffs, interestingly enough, and I was very curious about it, because the questions that we were getting asked, were all over the place. So here we have same rolls from similar sized companies, asking about the same topic from completely different ends of the spectrum. And for me, the one that Character characterize this, make it to a research one of our research meetings to discuss what we’re going to talk about was one of the inquiries we got from Novell. And that particular individual had shared with me that they had done an audit and analysis of return on investment and that they got a negative return on investment of their sales kickoffs, when they factored in all the travel time, the opportunity cost of lost sales time expense of all the glitz and glamour. And what they’ve decided what they decided to do is to go to a completely virtual experience. And as a researcher, I try to resist my initial reaction having been a salesperson my whole life, how in the world am I going to go and have tequila shots with my peers?

Brian Lambert 06:48

I was wondering the same thing or go karting or

Scott Santucci 06:51

Right, it, where am I going to get those interactions to build the culture, but then I just thought about it and what we what we did is we introduced this, that this topic and we assigned this topic to Brian to, to carry out. So, what we’re going to do is we’re going to ask Brian Tte first question, which is, how did you go about doing the research to figure out what our position might be on sales kickoffs?

Brian Lambert 07:17

So, we because we have such a high volume back then I had a, I was keeping records and, you know, as any good salesperson, you want to be able to tailor what you’re doing and what you’re saying and also build relationships with folks over time. So, I basically went through my records and found that indeed, I had actually talked about sales kickoffs, and, and how, brainstorm sales kickoffs and come up with ideas, etc. So, to move forward on Okay, what is perhaps the challenge that folks are facing? Or, you know, to the big question of how much of a return are we getting? What I did was I engaged through my relationships as an analyst with at least 10 companies, you know, companies like Cisco Or HP, Informatica Symantec etc. and asked about, you know, found found that the folks that were involved in planning a sales kickoff and or executing the sales kickoff, so kind of on the supply chain side, if you will. And then I also talked to the individuals that were recipients of that, that service, so sales managers and salespeople to try to get a 360-degree view of this experiences that was being created.

Scott Santucci 08:30

And to add to that experience, one of the one of the traits is as a Forrester analysts, you’re often at least I was often, and I know, Brian, you, you went to several yourself, asked to participate and hired to speak at at sales kickoff. So, we have the experience of being immersed in the situation as well. Now, just so you’re following, I still have a little bit about the researcher in me. I hope you notice that there’s a bias at the point in time at Forrester, our research group was focused specifically on the tech industry. So, we didn’t do a lot of research in other industries and other groups. So, this is information that has a bias to the tech industry. But Brian, what were some of the things? What were some three level? One of the one of the findings in that analysis that you had is there’s really basically three types of goals of what a sales kickoff is about, is that right?

Brian Lambert 09:31

Yeah, that’s right. And to get to those three goals, you know, wading through at all, you know, different expectations, different needs, different objectives for sales kickoff, there’s different time horizons. Some folks would plan for a year other people would plan for 30 days. And but where all came together was basically three outcomes or three key objectives. The first one was as a sales organization or in support at a sales organization. We’re going to help our sales team take a different tack or go in a different direction. That was one big area of focus. The second key outcome or objective of a sales kickoff was, we need to get started. So, we’re going to initiate something new, such as a new product, the new focus from the executive team, etc. And then the third area was we need to fine tune, we were doing well. But there’s some things that we want to tweak things that we need to adjust as we get in tune with our customers. So, we’re going to go in a completely different direction we’re going to work is one. The second one was we’re going to take it first step and get people started on a path. And then the third one is we need to elevate or transform or fine tune, either the skills, the processes, the models, approaches, etc, of our existing team.

Scott Santucci 10:46

But let me add some color to that because I got after this report, I was I started paying very attention, very close attention to the sales kickoffs that I was involved at and what my role was as a keynote speaker, so let me add some stuff. Learn what Brian said. So, the first example was what Brian?

Brian Lambert 11:05

The first one is, hey, we’re calling an audible, we’re making a hard right turn, we’re going in a different direction.

Scott Santucci 11:13

So, the way that I’ve interpreted that is basically the business has a new strategy. So, take for example, net app. In, you know, the 2013 timeframe is, oh my gosh, we got to move to cloud, or a lot of a lot of tech companies move into to a cloud-based business. So, CEO comes in talks about their business strategy, aligns it etc. And that’s one element. Brian, what’s number two?

Brian Lambert 11:46

The second one is we’re going to help our sales team kind of get started on something. So, in other words, we’re going to ask them to start doing something new.

Scott Santucci 11:56

So, the way that I’ve interpreted that I think a lot of us can appreciate reshape this that’s introducing challenger sale or some new new sales technique or based on some of my experiences at the Alexander group in management consulting, rolling out a new coverage plan or source or something like that. So, we’re going to go about getting started. So, you can kind of imagine what the flavor is there. And what questions and the attitude of the Salesforce is in both of those buckets. Brian, what was number three?

Brian Lambert 12:29

The third one was this idea of a sales team. You guys are doing some great things. However, comma, pause, we need to fine tune. So, we need you to start doing some things specifically. We need you to stop doing some things specifically, and we need you to fill these gaps.

Scott Santucci 12:49

What resonates with me there is having participated in a few sales kickoffs on that one. Immediately, I’m drawn to the readout the head of sales, who is sharing data about pipeline and forecasting, and talking about how many, how much of the multiple do we have in the forecast and how much of how much behind we are and what we need to do to accomplish that, etc. So, it’s basically a call to arms, we’re behind on missing a number, or we’re behind on some of our clarity, or we’re not doing these particular things pretty well. And it’s a rallying of the troops and a very clear message is delivered about what we want to do to improve those, that would be my color of those three buckets. So, Brian, my next question to you is if we think about the goal for each one of those three things, what is the structure of a sales kickoff? So how do people structure these things? Are they all going to wear Novell did and Experiment with delivering this all online? Or how do they use their time and, you know, are their breakout sessions curriculum? What’s the what’s your what does it look like?

Brian Lambert 14:12

Well, what I’ve what I found back then, and I, and I believe it’s still true today, given the conversations that I’ve had recently is, first, there’s this choice of how much in person time do we want to have with the salespeople? So, in other words, when are the tequila shots at hand? When do we need to have everybody show up? And how much you know, team building and how much quote unquote fun Are we going to have? And how much time will that be allocated? If the question comes back that we don’t need to get together and we’re not going to do that fun stuff. It tends to go pretty quickly into something that’s a little bit more remote because I think the bias has been that these kickoffs are about knowledge transfer, or quote, unquote, you know, telling the troops and so that’s the first thing is how much face to face. Do we really think needs to happen if it goes on the other side where we need to have the face to face, we want to look people in the eye, we want them to pause their activities for a minute, take a step back and get re engaged, then it comes down to what’s the best way to manage that in person experience? And there’s some there’s some, I think some cookie cutters there which has to do with you know, a group session at first and then some breakouts either by region or product, some knowledge transfer that needs to happen along the way and then you know, that kind of a lining up of different internal groups who want to you don’t have access to the sales team.

Scott Santucci 15:38

So, to add color to that, so my involvement in sales, kickoffs has been, you know, sort of all over the place. In some cases, I’ve been asked to be the whole facilitator of the whole thing to keep everything together. other cases just show up and be pretty and deliver the message

Brian Lambert 15:57

Thats hard for you I know

Scott Santucci 15:59

Yeah, very hard, requires a lot of makeup and in some props deliver the message that we want you to do in this box and go away and shut up. So, air, it tends to be all over the place. What I what I do notice is that the composition of a, I asked a lot of questions about the agenda. Maybe it’s because of the background of a researcher. But I see a, you know, a lot of breakouts that don’t necessarily make sense. They don’t, they don’t map to the flow. So, give you an example. I was doing one kickoff, and I’m going to not name the names of the companies because I don’t want to embarrass anybody. But the CEO was very insistent, and very, very clear that we’re entering into a brand-new business model. We’re selling to completely different buyers. And what was interesting was after the CEO left and everybody said, Yep, we understand it. The conversations were all about how do you get better at targeting the existing people that they’re selling to More or less the whole agenda from from Eric ranging from, how do we have better? How do we prospect better to our current patch? How do we let’s roll out new playbooks that we’re going to do and let’s certify the salespeople on what those playbooks are? Let’s introduce the new analytic program that we’re rolling out. Let’s have it let’s hear from marketing about the new lead generation process and how we’re going to go and fill those things. And I’m listening, and I’m participating in each one of those and taking notes. And at no point in time, did any of those acknowledge the fact that the CEO is asking them to sell to a completely new buyer completely new. And so essentially, what the result of that sales training program was, people thought they were doing the right thing, you know, checking the box, but all of it was in direct opposition of what the CEOs goals were. And I see that time and time and time again, because how our sales how our sales agenda is put together. So, Brian, what based on your research, how did you find sales agendas were put together? Is there structure to it? Is there one person who has say in it? How do they get set up to be focused on a business objective?

Brian Lambert 18:17

Yes, that’s a great question. And in the two-tier story, Scott, this is interesting, right? Because it pans out or plays out almost every single time. You know, if you believe a sales kickoff is for communication purposes, that’s going to set up a whole bias for the whole entire experience. However, if you look at a sales kickoff as a way in which to equip sellers to be successful against the sales strategy, that’s a whole other thing. So, in this case, you know, hey, we need to sell to a completely different buyer. The pattern one would be let’s communicate all that stuff and you know, make sure they understand it. So, the what of it. In pattern number two, it’s like holy cow, we’re gonna sell to new bye Maybe we should equip sellers with actually how to do that. And either way, you’re in a, a cross functional definition or a cross functional filtering of what that means. So, on the communication side, we’re going to communicate, you know, marketing would have a position about what to communicate, operations, analytics, even compensation, here’s what we need to communicate to drive that behavior. On pattern two, which is now we’re going to equip salespeople to actually go do it, you’re going to have a cross functional lens there. And that’s interesting because as somebody with an l&d background, you know, I would be in the space of, Okay, well, let’s roleplay these, let’s model this out, heck, let’s bring in one of these buyers, and have them you know, clearly explain the expectations of sellers as they interact. And these are these are more quote unquote, behavior type of elements, it would be in pattern two, and oftentimes, you know, that cross functional view, may or may not embrace that type of skill building through you know, an a broad kickoff experience in it. And you know, that’s the battle. So that’s that’s that’s the the framing out to get to what’s the agenda? You know, there is no set agenda, you know, from a consulting speak perspective, it’s that it depends on what you’re trying to do and the type of salespeople that are in the room.

Scott Santucci 20:22

So, one of the things that I tend to bring up so when looking at a sales agenda, I always imagined the experience of the reps first. And then secondly, I imagine is that experience setting them up to be successful for what ultimately is expected of them. And when I talk with sales enablement, leaders or sales leaders about what their goals are, and what’s the one thing that we would evaluate, how do we know whether this sales kickoff is going to be successful or not? That’s a question that they don’t want to answer it it seems like that’s very Just sort of stupid or superfluous or, you know, geez, we need to get them to do these things. But the reality is that when you overload salespeople with too much information, they walk away with nothing. And one of the things that I personally like to do is I like to test and do a lot of the things that practice what I preach. And one of the reports based on this report that Brian did inspired me for how we were going to design one of our conferences, the conferences that we got to run at forester. The first two, we are our department had a lot of say in it in terms of the second one, I had pretty much total control over the agenda. And then over time, the events department took control over over the agenda. That was a battle that was not winnable, but the one that I’m talking about. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, Brian?

Brian Lambert 22:02

Yeah, that’s right, the hero conference. That was awesome.

Scott Santucci 22:06

So, the hero conference concept that we started, I guess maps very closely to pattern number one, we want to introduce change. And in the hero conference, this was our second conference when we were at Forrester. So, we built our role and everything like that. And the goal was, how do we equip sales enablement, leaders with the tools required to execute this strategically because as you’re probably listening to this right now, if you’re like, the members that we had back then, Oh, geez, that’s too highfalutin, or too theoretical or whatnot? It isn’t, it just requires exposure to a new idea. So, we wanted to just spoon feed or baby step out what it would be required and give a story. So that was what we did is we created this theme of hero and the hero had an accent. We’re research analysts, but we had this picture of, of a superstar. And we basically said, you guys are all the heroes in training. And our acronym stood for the capabilities. We thought strategic sales enablement, leaders needed. H for holistic E for engineered R for reality, and O for ongoing operations. So, Brian, why don’t you talk a little bit about how we went about doing that?

Brian Lambert 23:30

Yeah. So, you know, what are the what are the ingredients here, and, you know, you guys would have to take our word for it, but we had great, great feedback from everybody there, including vendors who were part of this experience to help sales enablement, leaders, you know, be heroes. And it was probably one of the best conferences that I’ve been a part of delivering. And actually, the audience said, it’s, it’s been, you know, the best one that they’ve ever attended. But if you look at the components of the ingredients of success there it goes back to the research, which was, you know, what’s the single goal? And can we just have one goal? And I think, you know, this is the paradox of simplicity. You know, the single goal here is, you know, how do we equip sales enablement leaders with the tools to be strategic, that’s the one goal. And but when you look at it, equipping, what does that mean? Who are sales enablement, leaders? And who are not? How would you define that? What do we mean by tools, each one of those is open to interpretation, depending on who’s involved? So, when you say creating an agenda to achieve that singular goal, then everybody has a role to play. And we use this connecting theme, this hero idea, which was indeed superheroes we had a lot of that type of visualization, etc, it unified everybody. So, they felt like they were, you know, part of something bigger. So, it was it was a very architected experience. And and I think that’s that’s a key aspect here because I did this same thing, Scott, I ran into end sales kickoff for for one of my clients after I left Forrester. And we did we followed this this playbook, if you will, what’s the single goal? What’s the agenda achieve that goal? What’s the the unifying theme? And then the last piece, which was how would we measure it? How would we know? And that’s a simple concept that you followed and when we built the hero conference, I was a participant in the overall experience. And, you know, the ability to have light bulbs go on, have people take something away and use it the next day? The follow up conversations that went on for a year afterwards, you know, this gets to the to the side of creating a lasting experience. And I think that’s what salespeople appreciate.

Scott Santucci 25:49

Yeah. So, the to that point, what’s involved in in building that out, you really have to know your your subject matter, you can’t you can’t fake it or you can’t really outsource it. So, what we what we were able to do is for the acronym, I kicked it off, and I provided very little research, I said, here’s what we’re seeing. Here’s the call, here’s a construct that you’re probably gonna, we knew people weren’t going to like, but we wanted to lead with where we were taking them. And then we filled out a blank hero story was blank. And we gave it to everybody and said, what we want to do is help you fill this story out while you’re here. Use your peers, use use folks, etc. And then we in order to do that we use the keynote presentations to introduce different parts of it. So, we had Mitch little he’s the VP of sales, it was the VP of sales and applications and was approaching how his Salesforce in a very holistic way. As a matter of fact, one of the things he shared with us at that event is he’s done away with sales compensation went to all teams compensation because it aligned to customers. That was really radical. But when he told it in a holistic view, it made perfect sense. And it was very clear. If you tried to understand it just on the individual tactics like you might learn in a, you know, a regular session, it wouldn’t make any sense. Then the next person who shared was Ken Pal, Ken Pal now today actually works at a private equity firm creating a lot of the things that he was sharing with us. And Ken Pal breaks things down, he looks at engineering, and he he really concentrates on what the key metrics are. If you don’t have key metrics that you’re looking for, it’s going to be very hard to measure results. And again, if you broke each one down and tried to learn all the individual metrics that he did individually, it wouldn’t make any sense. But when he told it in his overall story about how he was using it to drive strategic results, it made a heck of a lot of sense. Then the next person that spoke was Carol systella. Carol had R and what Carol is amazingly gifted at is capturing, getting beyond the data and capturing the stories of the sellers and bringing to life their, their their plight. And the reason that I think that’s so important is our salespeople in a lot of ways are like canaries in a coal mine. they’re experiencing the changes that are happening in our buyers way quicker than than any of us can understand. And if we don’t have the skills or talent to be able to communicate what they’re wrestling with, it makes the rest of the organization very hard and very difficult. So, hearing that story and hearing canary in a coal mine on a one-off basis might sound and why would I do it, but if you hear Carol talk about it, it’s amazing. And the discipline that she puts into stakeholder management and making sure that each message is delivered to each individual stakeholder in a very unique way. The following the what’s in it for me, element was was really critical. And then the We got to O, we had Daniel West. And I love Daniel West. He’s got this really great model for how he does and sets up sales enable. And he’s done this now at Informatica, he started this at HP that I think that’s where I met him. Way back when it was hp. He’s been at salesforce.com. And now he’s now he’s at Oracle still running this playbook and tweaking it, of course. And he’s got this, this metaphor about using industrialization practices from the Industrial Revolution, about how to set up and scale a sales enablement function. So, you put all of these together, and then we had we had you as sort of the closer and Brian what was your What was your presentation about?

Brian Lambert 29:49

Yeah, mine was about using your superpowers to actually activate all this stuff through people. So, the theme was, you know, kind of greatest American hero one of the superpowers that you can use on a day-to-day basis to action this, and I was you know, trying to bring a touch of levity to it. But also anchor this experience is something that could be achievable, even if it might feel a little clumsy, might come out fully polished, you know that stuff’s okay. It’s about focusing on the outcome.

Scott Santucci 30:22

That was the overall story arc that we delivered. In the keynote presentation, we gave the map of where we were we were the goal that we knew going into this because we’d been role playing it out with our members, we modeled it off of our more successful members. There’s a journey to go through just like there’s a journey that your sellers are going to need to go through the journey that your sellers are going to need to go through on step number one is hey, we have to sell to new different buyers. Well, what’s that plot out that course make those your keynote sessions and then provide supporting material in the in the breakout sessions and the breakout sessions until Animals create space for them to do exercises to show that they get it together create the environment for folks to learn together. So that was the ark that we were doing. And each step along the way, we changed a little bit more about the environment. So, we were also in control of the environment. We were in control of the music; we were in control the sound and each step along the way. We went from being less about forester and more about members being less about, hey, listen to this gig to more about what do you think the answer is? And by navigating that flow, a lot of the people walked away from there completely energized. And we ended up manufacturing a lot of big strategic leaders out there that are, you know, well renowned in in the industry today. And those a lot of those people today had their first experiences with what sales enablement was at that particular conference, mapping that back forward to a sale kickoff, you can navigate that particular story of that particular architecture and kind of control the story because you’re going to know doggone well, the human effect that that people are going to have. So that’s been, that’s been my experience with that. And to Brian’s point, we did get a lot of feedback. That was really positive. As a matter of fact, we had several of our members ask us how we put it together so that they could develop their own sales training curriculums or or training curriculums, kickoffs, following that same method. So, Brian, what were some of your takeaways from this report? And since then, what are your thoughts with regards to sales kickoffs?

Brian Lambert 32:44

Yeah, so the big thing that was we’ve hit on was this idea of having a specific objective and goal etc. So, you know, carrying that forward, how would how would we do that? There are two key takeaways that I have one is this idea. of shifting inside out outside in and helping people through that. So, this idea of what does the customer expect? What type of conversations? How do we take more of an outside in lands as opposed to all the things that salespeople need to know? It’s more about what is sellers need to be successful around. And how would we help them do it with an outside in lands? And if your kickoff, for example, is about customers, maybe you should have them there or could have them there and make it more about the customers reality. To get there the second takeaway I have and Scott, you and I’ve spent a lot of time on this, over the years is this idea of from what to what? So, they’re here now we need them to go there. What’s the how would we clearly define the from what and clearly define the to what aspects so we can close that gap through an experience? So, you’ve outlined some here we’re going to talk less about Forrester and more about them and their success. That’s a from what-to-what journey that can be architected through a series of the agenda items, for example, that’s very tactical. But, you know, every hour the dial would get cranked to the to what state? And how do you manufacture that engineering that you know, experience? So that’s that’s the two takeaways from the outside in versus inside out. And then the, from what to what, actually going in there and being a Sherpa of that, from what-to-what experience over time.

Scott Santucci 34:27

I don’t want to piggyback on the from what to what because as simple as that sounds, a lot of people don’t stick with it. And it’s, in my opinion is the most important thing. First, get clarity about where your Salesforce actually is. So, for example, I participated in a kickoff to introduce actually led the whole session to help introduce a company that was focused on selling on prem work to teach him how to sell in the cloud. The thing that we knew is that the overwhelming majority of those sellers, actually were selling to an infrastructure buyer. And the buyer of these cloud services was actually going to be an application buyer. So, none of these people in the audience had even met with who this who this real buyer was. How do you get people to pay attention to that? You don’t just tell them that. Who the heck are we? You have to create an environment or experience to help them self discover, and then once they self discover, help them through that through that course. And what’s interesting is plotting that out seems very reasonable to the for us but managing the expectations of the business unit owner who wanted to say he didn’t know that they needed to know this, they need to know this. We had to keep that going back and saying but they don’t know that they didn’t they need to know that yet. They don’t know this yet because they have a perspective of reality. So, getting it doing the work beforehand, to really understand where your sellers are is critical, because if you don’t have that ability, then somewhere along the line two weeks out four weeks out, somebody’s going to get a lot of anxiety. Because they don’t see their agenda, they don’t see what what they want to happen in the storyboard. And they’re going to want to push it through forcing you and you might come up capitulate and force a change to the overall agenda, which puts at risk, the overall objective in the first place. So that’s, uh, that’s one common in any any feedback on that, Brian?

Brian Lambert 36:31

Now, we’re running out of time. So that’s, that’s great, great feedback. I don’t have any more Scott.

Scott Santucci 36:37

Okay. And then I want to just share one, one key thought of mine. If you’ve had the opportunity if you participated in the founding meeting of the sales enablement society or participated in the first conference of the sales enablement society, both of those were architected I’ll tell you, the first one was a little bit easier because we had more control. But it was still difficult. A lot of people when folks are coming into Palm Beach start to get anxious and they want to see details and details and details. But when you’re designing it to an experience, and you don’t know what the outcome is going to be, you can’t give them those details. And you can just reassure him that we’ll get there because the agenda is forcing it to get there. It’s, you know, standard learning one on one facilitation, but bringing those things out to all of the people who are super anxious, about a result is challenging. And then when you go to the sales enablement, the first sales enablement society conference was incredibly experiential. We broke a lot of rules. I think we should unpack that one Brian and let’s include Walter in that as well. But we really focused on making it an experience and a lot of discussion and a lot, a lot of opening. feedback. If you were there, you felt that energy. And it created a lot of motivation. I think the the the goal is there’s a way that you can architect this. There’s a, there’s an approach you need to follow. But it’s it’s really challenging. I will say this on all the different goals. And I’ll let you comment and say our last parts parting shots. Brian, I will say this in every single sales kick I bet I’ve been involved with, I always have measurable goals that we can go back and review. And I can assign some sort of return on investment to it, both to the company or to the sellers. And they’re always tremendous, tremendous accomplishments, because of the discipline to focus on where people are and where you want to get to, and that singular focus of what’s the journey we want to take them on.

Brian Lambert 38:52

Yeah, and being empathetic to and saying, you know, when you start hearing the feedback, hey, you know, I need more details and Need more details, instead of discounting that, as you pursue that objective, maybe there’s something simple that you can do. And one of the big, biggest things out of that conference, Scott was that, you know, as you arrive, show up at this bar, we’re going to network. And that decreased a lot of the anxiety for folks wondering what was going to happen when they showed up in the main room. And we had a positive energy. And that was something simple and easy. And instead of discounting the acts that people might have around lack of detail, saying, okay, we understand that here’s what we can do about it. And I think meeting people halfway in times of change is critical. Yeah, and that’s my, my parting words of wisdom, if you will, and thanks so much for listening, everybody. And as Scott said, send us an email, send us stories and engage at insidese.com. keep giving us those ideas, as you can tell, we’re making fast improvements as we go. And eventually we will have other folks on this to help us with this and we want to hear from them. too and I appreciate so much the advice and dialogue along the way. And as always, Scott, I appreciate the time and great conversation today. Thanks so much.

Nick Merinkers 40:10

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


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