Inside Sales Enablement

The Hubble Space Telescope & Clarity for Sales Coaching (Ep #12)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 12

Sales Coaching the definition matters. Especially with regard to enablement and Sales Management

There is A LOT of noise in the market today about "sales coaching" 

The question is, does it help sales managers become force multipliers, or is it a source of conflict? 

In the episode, the guys use a role-play (Scott based on feedback he's heard from many different sales enablement leaders and Brain-based on research he's currently doing on front-line sales managers).  

Key points:

  • Understand what is on the plate of your sales managers
  • Be very clear about what your sales coaching program will do 
  • Make sure you're building a program with an impact to help managers 
  • Find ways to measure the results 

 

 

Sales Kickoffs - What are Executives Getting for the Investment? (Ep# 11)

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.  Find out by listening to Inside Sales Enablement.  To launch, improve rep skills, or evolve the sales team.

This podcast will help you rethink sales kickoffs. Make sure you listen to this episode learn

-  does your company create an overall plan, 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? 

 

The NYC Police Department & Drving Sales Objectives (Ep. #10)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 10

Are you: 

  • overloaded by your inbox?
  • concerned with the myriad of things being asked of the salesforce? 
  • Worried you might be contributing to the chaos? 

How would you like to move from being highly reactive to how you are enabling revenue growth, to being more proactive? 

In this episode, Brian Lambert & Scott Santucci discuss practical applications of using five (5) sales objectives to help diagnose root cause problems and then prescribe more integrated programs that move the needle.

Highlights in this podcast

1)  How do you apply the 80/20 rule to sales enablement? 

2)  What are the five (5) universal sales objectives (and how are they NOT a sales methodology) 

3)  How companies who follow this disciplined approach have win rates as high as 70% 

4)  Understand then for yourself first, and then figure out how to socialize them internally 

5) Good conversations about strategies on socializing the ideas inside your company. 

 If you want to have the biggest impact with your sales enablement efforts, you need a structure to help illuminate the real problems your sellers are encountering.  Sales is actually a very simple process and profession.   Executing it is incredibly difficult.  If you want to add the most value to your sales force, imagine part of your job is being about to translate what you sellers are experiencing and the REAL help they need to all of the internal groups who are sure they know what sales require.  

This universal sales objective framework provides the "rosetta stone" to help bring to light what sales require with a way to illuminate the "minimum viable product" solution and provide the foundation to actually measure those results. 

The Movie “Beaches” & Unclogging the Sales Pipeline (Ep# 9)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 9

What can you do to help unclog the sales funnel? 

Most companies focus either at the top of the funnel (leads and prospecting) or the bottom (negotiating) but the real opportunity is to break down the sales pipeline into five (5) customer-verifiable objectives and then focus on what can be done to make it easier for sellers to accomplish them.

In this episode, Brian Lambert & Scott Santucci zoom into challenges of losing to no decision.  In their typical, tell it like it is style, unscripted style - the go from a scene in the movie Beaches, connect that to buyer research, and then go deep into tackling a big problem inside MOST companies - losing to no decision.  

The more you understand the challenges, the better job you can do to take proactive steps to prevent it from happening. 

 

Building the Brooklyn Bridge & Sales Productivity Strategies (Ep #8)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 8

 Are you tackling symptoms or "right cause" challenges?

Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert tackle decision-making in times of rapid change.  Unintended consequences are a common variable when some humans make decisions where other humans are a big element in the success of that plan.  In hindsight, its easy to say "why didn't they just...." but human nature prevents people from asking some of the right questions at the right time.

They guys use an interesting story about problems the builders of the Brooklyn Bridge encountered and how, by following their beliefs, make the problem worse and more drawn out.  It took looking at the problem from a different perspective to finally come to a simple solution.  

The parallels this story and the decisions B2B businesses are making to prescribe and track activity and tasks today is uncanny.  "Doing stuff" and "pushing more activity" is actually creating a situation where sellers are LESS enabled.  This is an extremely hard problem to see when you examine the problem through spreadsheets and classic linear thinking problem-solving models.  However, sales is (and will always be) an act between two people and sales processes are predictably unpredictable.  

In this podcast, the guys will talk about how changing a few variables in your productivity calculations can create an entirely new perspective for what enablement strategies should be for your company and how to go about doing it.  How do you factor in the experiences of your sellers and buyers into your productivity equation?   What implication does that have on training, messaging, or alignment with other programs? 

Find out as the guys go deep into sales productivity on this edition of Inside Sales Enablement. 

 

 

A Listener Joins & Establishing a Sales Enablement Function (Ep #7)

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.  

Listen to the episode.  Send us your questions and comments back to us at engage@insidese.com.

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 

 

Special Edition! Inside the Conference Board Sales Enablement Council Meeting (Ep #6)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 6

 

What's going on in the Sales Enablement space? Especially with companies pushing the envelope?

In this special edition, Brian Lambert catches up with Scott Santucci after a two-day Council Meeting of Sales Enablement Executives.

At the beginning of 2018, the Conference Board received requests from its members (large businesses) to form a council to explore the emerging role of sales enablement in order to establish the foundations for developing and running this new function. 

Members include leaders from large companies representing diverse industries such as:

  • financial services,
  • high technology,
  • business services,
  • hospitality,
  • and manufacturing.   

The group is invitation-only and works to create insights based on the practical experiences of its members. 

Scott Santucci serves as the program director of the group (on a contract basis).  Through the process of norming, storming, and forming - the group is developing new ways to gain insights from different industries.   When you look at the forest from the trees, new patterns begin to emerge.   What we are learning is that for B2B sales, the sales execution problems that Intercontinental Hotels Group and Microsoft are far more similar than they are different.   Regardless of your industry, the practice of B2B selling is similar.

  1. You need an overarching "one company" value proposition that is more detailed than your brand, but less specific than products 
  2. Your company is organized into product-based silos, but you need to bring a different, integrated, and more consistent experience to customers
  3. You have many different stakeholders involved in a sale - there are "buyers" who give you a hunting license and then "buyers" who drive usage
  4. The challenges sellers have navigated the 'agreement networks' within large companies is easy to explain through experiences (in the readout to executives we performed a 10 min skit to illuminate the challenge) but hard to conceptualize is traditional management consulting readouts, metrics, and charts. 
  5. The solutions to fix these problems are actually simple when you follow design thinking concepts, work collaboratively across organizational silos and focus on the actual experience of customers.  However, explaining the approach sounds excessively complicated and far too risky based on managements comfort level with traditional projects.   In addition, because the solution required cutting across so many different organizational functions, identifying an executive sponsor and gaining the funding to even start a pilot program can be challenging. 

The council is still forming and deciding what concepts to share, how to test insights and ideas the group comes up with, and how to publish its findings.  Here are things it's agreed to so far.

  • The emerging role of sales enablement is a by-product of the digital transformation of our economy
  • The value of the function is unique compared to other functions - it creates value by eliminating things 
  • The council believes that for sales enablement roles to add value to their businesses, they must be organized as cross-functional groups 
  • The council has embraced a "business within a business" framework to provide the foundation for this new role 
  • The council has also developed a review process to develop insights and then methodically test those ideas within the member organizations

To this end, the membership as adopted the midwest mindset of "show me" when reviewing the various claims, reported data, and various "best practices" advanced by industry experts and management consultants.  Our members have engaged virtually all of the management consulting firms, read reports from industry analysts, and are evaluating most of the technologies provided.  The group has decided to focus on sharing its experiences with these groups and what results (or problems) they create.

The #1 thing our members have learned is they learn from each other through actual experiences (working on team exercises or case studies) and in the meeting June 17-18 in Atlanta, the council was hosted by Intercontentinal Hotels.   In this meeting, IHG openly shared its business challenges (all council members are under NDA) and other council members broke into groups to provide a readout of findings and recommendations to IHG business leaders. 

 In this session the guys cover:

  • How the Conference Board was founded 106 years ago during a changing economy and how that relates to today's digital economy
  • What exactly IS a council - who is it comprised of, why, how does it work? 
  • How is the idea of 'sales enablement' forming and taking root in large enterprise organizations? 
  • How do you set up a working case study and what was the agenda and format of the meeting?
  • What were some of the lessons learned

Topics include:

- The concept of "stratecution" - how important it is to blend strategy and execution 

- Using a "letter to shareholders" format to sell the vision and promise of sales enablement internally 

- Why creating b2b value propositions is so much more challenging than you think it is 

- How do the concepts of customer loyalty and experience blend with a value proposition 

- Why creating a new tool kit for how to drive programs is so important and what industries can learn from each other 

- The importance of getting many groups together and why overcoming "English to English" translation is such a key to success 

 

We realize this is a long episode, but it is jam-packed with the collective insights of companies who are driving sales transformation and innovations from within their companies.  It will be a while before these ideas crystallize into 'best practices' or programs you can buy off the shelf so this will give you the opportunity to hear what's on the mind of other executives seeking more proactive ways to address the revenue generation challenges facing their businesses. 

The School System and The Role of Sales Training Today (Ep #5)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 5

Everyone Agrees Sales Training is Important- So why the friction between sales and L&D?

In this episode, Scott Santucci & Brian Lambert discuss the role of people.  Sales Enablement is a people profession and sales enablement leaders are focused on human behavior and skills of sellers (or as CEOs often say "manufacture their reps." The challenge for many "classically trained" L&D professionals lies in balancing the hyper-specialization and needs of the seller with the desired by executives to run as a shared service function. Sometimes the L&D function and people within it aren't often set up to support Sales.

This creates a fundamental question: Why is so much sales training outsourced? Why are sales processes off-limits to the training function? And when sales enablement equals training, why is it considered tactical delivery?

If training organizations aren't comfortable engaging strategically on developing talent, or aren't deemed "valuable" by executives that's a problem. Brian & Scott talks about his journey to tackle this gap and enable the trainers to close the gap to sales teams through research, processes, and outputs. Why terms like ADDIE and rigid L&D approaches don't resonate with other groups including the CEOs view of "training."

Special Edition! Inside the Sales Enablement Soiree Boston (Ep #4)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 4

 

SPECIAL EDITION: Inside the Sales Enablement Soiree Boston June 2019

The Sales Enablement Soiree is a series of events, hosted by Shawnna Sumaoang and the team as Salesenablement.pro. The first event, which premiered in 2015, was held alongside SalesForce.com Dreamforce and brought together 200 attendees. The next year, the number grew to 600. By 2018, attendance soared to 1,200, highlighting the booming appetite for advice, expertise, and collaborative ideation on the topic of sales enablement.  This year, the event came to the east coast as well, and 250+ attendees attended the inaugural east coast event in Boston.

Didn't make it? Don't worry! Brian attended to gather insights, learn from, and engage with practitioners, thought leaders, consultants, and solution providers in the space. He was able to gather information and conduct a special assignment to collect key insights to share with our podcast listeners. Listen now to hear Brian's debrief with Scott as he shares his takeaways and insights from this very special event. 

About the Sales Enablement Soiree: Known for bringing together the leading sales enablement, marketing, and sales experts -- this dedicated one-day event is a place to learn and network with the best in the business.

 

 

Charles Dickens & Setting Up a Strategic Sales Enablement Function (Ep# 3)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 3

 

Do you believe Sales Enablement is a function and profession?  Find out Brian and Scott's take on the evolution of the role.

In this episode, Scott Santucci & Brian Lambert discuss the challenges they've encountered in living and driving transformations. In today's evolving business landscape, Sales Enablement leaders are often asked to transform from within. Whether it's new programs, new tactics, or even new organizational structures, Sales Enablement leaders and their teams are often "first through the wall." Being in that position, that means you're trusted.  The strategy is entrusted to you. People and resources are entrusted to you. Your credibility matters.

In this podcast, Brian and Scott the evolution of bookkeeper to CFO and what that means to sales enablement leaders.  While many believe that sales enablement is a task or technology, we know that sales enablement is a function that translates strategy to execution. To tackle strategic and tactical at the same time, you have to be purposeful.  To be purposeful, you have to be thoughtful.  Listen to Scott's story about how he got into Sales Enablement and how structures and outcomes are critical to success with the C-Suite.