Inside Sales Enablement

The Securities Act & A Foundation to Elevate the Profession (Ep#20)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 20

Since starting the podcast, the guys have gotten a lot of feedback from listeners who've built more advanced functions.  These listeners have one thing in common... they all are using the "old Forrester sales enablement" definition Scott authored in 2008 and peer-reviewed by Brian and published for Forrester clients in 2010.  

In 2017, acting as the President of the Sales Enablement Society, Scott sponsored work by enablement professionals to bring together:  analysts, academics, practitioners, and vendors to create a common definition that was published and shared at the first annual sales enablement society conference. 

Yet, here we are in 2019 and Forrester has not only a new definition of what sales enablement is - but also Sirius Decisions' definition to rationalize.   Gartner is talking about "buyer enablement" and "sense-making" while CSO insights have narrowed the focus to be about enabling the sales force.   Meanwhile, marketing has moved into their own versions of helping "sales" by advocating: content marketing, account-based marketing, and growth marketing.

The guys think this has gotten out of hand and have decided to become far more definitive.   In this episode the guys:

1)  Highlight the key enabler that propelled accounting into the finance department and the rise of the CFO 

2)  Contrast the similarities between finance and the sales enablement space 

3)  Outline the drivers that exist in the economy that point to a huge gap between strategy and execution 

4)  Discuss the purpose of sales enablement is to bridge that gap 

5)  Observe the only way to solve that problem is to do it cross-functionally 

6)  Review the basic pillars of what should be in the scope of a department tackling the strategy/execution gap 


The Professionalization of the Role & Inside the 1st Sales Enablement Summit (Ep#19)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 19

The first Sales Enablement Summit (a new conference) was held in September 2019 and Inside Sales Enablement was there.  Held in San Francisco, it attracted Sales Enablement leaders from the world’s largest companies and exciting startups to share success stories, experiences and challenges of the people actually doing the role.

Companies presenting included Yelp, Salesforce, Workfront, Oracle, Lyft, Sage, Progress Software, Pluralsight, and Zendesk.

Brian was one of those keynote presenters and blew away the audience with his talk that included: interactive exercises, findings from you - insider nation, some frameworks from Scott, mixed in with his own personal experiences. 

In this episode, Scott unpacks the lessons learned and the overall experience so if you didn't get to go to the conference, you will be able to get something out of it. 

Some observations the guys discuss 

1)  Three of the keynote presenters are still using the originial Forrester definition of sales enablement 

2)  Indivdual contributors, progam managers, or department builders:  What type of sale enabler are you?

3)  The state of sales enablement in 2019

Managing Up & Deploying Technology World-Wide (Ep#18)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 18

In this episode, a listener (Amy) calls into the show to discuss managing disparate workgroups globally. The great thing about Amy is she has a marketing operations background -- and considers herself a sales enablement practitioner.  Because she has a marketing operations background, she has a broad, yet practical view of what sales enablement deployments look like. 

Her biggest challenge? Managing up. 

As someone who helps sales sell, the experiences Amy has experience in
• “Connecting dots” across a variety of stakeholders including business units, marketing ops, sales ops, sales enablement, and sales leadership
• The idea of “governance” and what it means to ensure the various stakeholders have a say and protect the brand
• The feedback loops using analytics and voice of sales data
• Participation in the governance conversation
• The idea of “taxonomy” and what it can mean to a variety of different stakeholders
• The regional/global view of enrolling others in country

Take a listen , and give us your feedback.

Setting & Managing Expectations: A Case Study in Stakeholder Management (EP #17)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 17

In an earlier episode (#13), Brian and Scott discussed the incredibly important concept of Stakeholder Management.  When we published that episode, we received a lot of feedback from the Insider Nation.  One of those feedback items was a person asking us for a more in-depth discussion on stakeholder management moving beyond the Chicken Hawk concept and asking us to breathe life into the idea.

In this episode #17, Scott interviews Brian and his recent work internally at a large company.  As a Sales Enablement leader, Brian shares his learning and experiences in managing across the organization and managing up the organization. The guys walk through this important concept and dive into the operational challenges. They also talk about expectation setting approaches, and they explore the importance of managing the message to multiple altitude levels.  

Listen to the episode, and you'll hear what Brian and his team did to work up, down, and across the organization to: 

  • Communicate
  • Manage the message
  • Declare victories 
  • Handle push back and feedback from sales

Let us know what you think!  Including the sound effects :)


Dimitri Mendelev & the Evolution Sales Management (Ep #16)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 16

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  For example, there was an old classification system the early Greeks came up with to classify the basic elements. In 1869, Dimitri Mendelev evolved that concept and began to classify the elements by their atomic mass.  The idea of classification is critical to how you understand something. While sales managers have been critical to sales productivity for 100+ years, it's an often misunderstood role. The same applies here. Classification matters.

Let's face it.  Buyers have evolved, marketers have evolved, IT teams have evolved, leaders have evolved. And that leads to an important question -- What about sales managers?  How have they evolved?  Companies expect a LOT out of their sales management team. How they view (categorize) their sales management team at the organization matters. Do they expect forecasts on time? That means managers have to spend time in spreadsheets and opportunity reviews. 

What makes a sales manager today?  As organizations modernize and evolve to close the gaps to customers, their role is evolving. How?  In this episode, Scott and Brian explore the expectations of today's sales management team. They discuss the expectations placed on sales managers. And they offer a practical view of enablement that aligns not only to the challenges sales managers face, but also the productivity challenges in leading a team of customer-centered sellers.

Listening to this episode, you'll walk away with:

  • A view of the challenges sales managers face
  • A practical way to get started with enablement initiatives designed to help
  • Helping managers tackle the pressures as they juggle execution with operating in a sales function
  • Insights into the relationship between managers and sellers today


As always, let us know what you think.

From PIP to Perform & Sales Simplification Strategies (Ep# 15)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 15

There is a lot of talk about:

  • The burden on Salespeople
  • Customer buying journey and buyer enablement
  • What sellers must do to sell more

In episode 15, Brian and Scott bring these issues to life, through the lens of a seller.

Scott shares real-life situations of his journey (very openly and honestly — you likely will not hear this kind of stuff from your sellers unless you have deep personal relationships with them). He talks about his journey from selling products to selling solutions to executives. 

The story starts off with a lot of excitement and thrill about doing something new but, by doing what he was told and taught - Scott found himself on a PIP (performance improvement plan).

Uh oh.

  • How did it happen?
  • What happened next?

Tune into the story.  

To make it relatable and actionable, the guys use the 5 selling objectives they introduced in episode 10:  The NYC Police Department to help connect the dots and illuminate what could have been done organizationally to help Scott be more successful earlier.  

Through this process - they highlight many common situations your company might be creating for your own sellers. In actuality, the work might make it difficult for your salespeople to execute.

For example, challenger, selling with curiosity, or any other selling method focuses on shifting focus away from products and more to value. The key question: Are your Salespeople ready?

In this episode you will hear:

  1. A story that will resonate with your sellers so you can empathize with them and design the right enablement solutions 
  2. An easy to follow framework (5 sales objectives) to help align sales enablement activities and initiatives. Based on Episode 10 (The NYC Police Department & Selling Objectives) 
  3. Ideas on how to bring marketing content and selling content together 
  4. A way to talk about complexity with your sales leadership in ways that  empower you to tackle it 
  5. What progressions a seller is likely to go through as they move from a product focus to insight focused selling.   




Joe Gibbs & the Power of Coaching (Ep #14)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 14

One of our listeners, Rachel, shared her companies view about sales management and the difficulty managers have in transitioning from being a top-performing rep to sales management. 

Joe Gibbs won Super Bowls 3 different quarterbacks. How? He coached to a system, encouraging people to be themselves, and focusing on outcomes. There are a lot of people talking about front-line sales managers and having them "go coach more."  As much as that's been discussed, sales coaching hasn't really taken off. 

The guys talk about:

- What is sales coaching

- What are the components of a successful coaching program?

- How do we get past talking about coaching and enabling managers to be successful

Sales managers have to live in two worlds, traditional "management skills" and also sales productivity contribution.  Sales Enablement leaders looking to implement sales coaching need to be clear about their focus and intent. What can sales enablement leaders do to add value?  

The guys discuss

  • The difference between sales coaching activities and sales coaching programs
  • Unleashing the value of coaching, by embracing the sales leadership perspective
  • The attributes of successful coaching programs


The Chicken Hawk & the Importance of Stakeholder Management (Ep #13)

Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 13

Sales enablement is a cross-functional job.

You have to work positively with:  salespeople, sales managers, sales leaders, sales operations, various HR functions, IT professionals, finance professionals, product marketers, field marketers, customer success professionals, sales engineers, product leaders, and manage expectations from the c-suite. 

How do you do it?

It can be manageable when the breadth of your remit is focused solely on onboarding.  However, if you don't have a framework and toolset - you can submarine yourself quickly without a stakeholder management strategy. 

In this episode, Scott Santucci and Brian Lambert introduce the idea of a cartoon to introduce the simplicity of the core idea around stakeholder management and we connect it to a famous quote from Zig Ziglar "you can get anything you want in life if you help enough people get what they want"  

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?