The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Linda Page on The Power of Coaching

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Good coaching empowers individuals, inspires teams and drives results. But it’s often undervalued because it's not always accessible and its importance may not be obvious.

To help tackle to topic we sat down with Linda Page, AVP Global Field Enablement at Splunk, a company that makes machine data accessible to everyone. Driving productivity across all customer-facing roles, Linda’s role is to help the company scale to the next level.

You were listening to the BDB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping the executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're talking about the power and importance of coaching in your organization. I would empowers individuals, inspires teams and drives results. To help the tackle the topic, today we have with US Linda Page, a VP of global field enablement for SPLUNK. Linda, thank you for taking the time to be on the show today. Thanks for having me Dad. Looking forward to the conversation. So let's start with the obvious. For those that don't know, how about just a quick overview of splunk? In your role, they're sure happy to say spots mission is really to make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone. It's it's a great company. It's a growing company. We've got over fourteenzero customers, headquartered in San Francisco. Stop three thousand plus employees worldwide and really focus across a lot of different core verticals, solutions and IT infrastructure operations, security and CON client business analytics and Internet of stays in industrial data. So grown company just just hit over the one billion dollar mark, which is a unique group for so software company. So very excited to be working at spunk. As my role, to answer the question, or role, I'm reading the Global Field enablement team, which is responsible for driving predctivity a really across all of the spunks customer facing roles. So that I mentioned. You know, splunk is in this unique league of the text software companies that's crossed over the billion dollar mark and part of my job is, you really to help the company scale to the next level and we're that. We believe that every company out there eight spot for security or I operations and eventually for the other areas that I mentioned. So my charter is really gensure that the workforce, sales, tech, consulting, customer success teams are empowered to help our customers on that journey. That's a that's a big description for the company and that's a big role. It is a big roles and it's exciting roll. And I'm very fortunate that our CEO and our head of sales both failed and enablement is critical to the business. So I'm really connected and have a seat at the table, which is a bit of the holy grail for someone in my space. Yeah, in order for it to be successful, that's definitely where you want to be. But I'm curious. So how did we end up in the enablementfield? Was it a goal or just someplace that you kind of found yourself? How did that happen? Well, I'm guessing like many of us, I'm going to accidental enablement professional and I did not know that this was even a job where learner, there was something I could have studied. But I had a an early care outside of tech and have my first opportunity to get into this industry at macrimdia number of years ago, but it came in on that product internationalization and localization side. But that what they did is that gave me access toward good field organizations that were, you know, obviously primarily self focused. So I started with that Lens and then it's very quick to you know, you can get very quickly to the point of interest around how to ensure that those on the front lines the customers are actually able to be successful. So I had being at the company was, you know, at the size and side at that time. I was able to jump into the enablement world and really start a certain my career there. You know, that kind of almost startup mentality right where people get opportunities to take job that they haven't really had a back earn in before. Yeah, most people enablement in sales. When you ask them, you know, when you were a kid and you were playing with your toys, when did you say, Hey, I'm going to go into enable manner sales, and the answers always know, yeah, exactly, not existed, but it's still good,...

...great, excellent. And so as we're preparing for this conversation, we talked about we wanted to focus on creating a coaching culture. So I'm helped our audience understand why you feel this is such a critical topic for organizations. Sure, so. I'm pretty passionate about it because I believe that, you know, the moment of truth really happens between the first point, manager in the rep or the individual that they're the responsible, you know, to manage. So the opportunity to motivate the change to improve really happens with that interaction. It's not that we can't, you know, help that along in other ways that but it really to me that's that's a sweet spot, you know, from a company perspective. They also, you know, I mentioned my charter earlier. Really the only way I can see the scale is to ignite that first line manager and you know it's Funk I'm trying to frame it as creating a movement around coaching which really translates to getting more than just the enablement team involved in embracing the ideas of the coaching in this idea of continuous morning and improvement. So, you know, the other points of interest, I think, for around coaching, for me, is how do we anticipate and proactively address leading indicators of success versus just magical measuring the wagging indicators which are really less actionable. And for me, you know that I want something that I can maybe directly correlate success around for my team. So it's you know, it's really difficult to do something once trouble starts or once you start seeing things show up with performance. Kind of two weight. But if you start looking at coaching two compliment sees that's really more in our control can help us predict the team's ability to hit the numbers in the future. And you know, it's also in terms of the idea of innovating and a all companies have, you know, they have self team performance goals, but not all have improvement goals or coaching quoted. So you know that we can then look to that and say, Hey, you know, how do we see an increase in our revenue? But but often skills and knowledge that lead to revenue and customer success as well as, I believe you, Employe retention. Soach, I guess, one way of saying good coaching can really create a hall moments and make Knowledge Sticky and ultimately helped improve bramptons from the employees as well as results. But it's interesting to me to get ahead of the new repersions that being on the back end of that. Well, on the the proactive coaching is so critical. I mean I think we're cut from the same cloth when it comes to that. The challenge becomes, at least that I've seen, is there's definitely a difference between coaching and feedback. A lot of managers struggle right with that, and so I'm curious how you you know, how do you work to make sure that the behaviors that people that are coaching are actually doing coaching instead of just giving feedback? Yeah, I mean that's an interesting one, right, because I think you've got to start by being clear on the difference between the two. So and when you really should use both, because you need both. They're useful. But, you know, I think coaching is more around unlocking from one you know long you know long term potential. So you know, there may be real need for that situational type forecasting at customer meeting, an instant feedback, but I really the developmental coaching piece and unlocking that longer term pieces is, you know, a place where you can have more of a forward focus. So I think that's that's the first step, is just understanding a feedback as time place for feedback kind and place for coaching. And and then from there I think you have to help build it into the existing cainance. Right. So, you know, frontline managers don't really want you to add something new to their plate there. You are usual a little bit of verse to that, Right. So, but but they they do. Usually they're open to maybe making something already scheduled easier and more effective and if they can see the connection to performance improvement and revenue, then they might consider it and, you know, you know and be willing to congage, to run a class, you know, conversation round how we can do do things better. So I think the other pieces that fell leaders don't...

...took places themselves in the learning business. So it's really upsetting. ENABLEMENT team to partner effectively right and provide the tools and portfolio, coaching portfolio, for them to remove those barriers but, you know, really helping kind of empower them to do what they need to do well. It's extremely empowering, I think, for managers when they're taught how to be effective coaches. It makes them more successful, it makes you know, there's a lot of intrinsic reward, not just the business value that comes out of it, but there's a lot of intrinsic reward that comes from that. But we're not, you know, we don't just wake up one day. And also we're a great coat. It takes it takes a lot of coaching the coach or training to the train, whatever you want to call it, and and a lot of the front line managers that I know if you ask them, they probably say their jobs hurting cats, and so that's putting something new in a way that's going to provide the value. I think is is critical. But you have to start with, and you'd mentioned this kind of in the in the back and forth we had before this, about a coaching baseline or a profile of excellence. I was hoping you could expand on that a little bit. Yeah, happy to you know, I think when I think about a baseline, it really means well, I started calling it a line around what good looks like. Our head of the field sees challenge me around that. She said we're not interested in good, we're interested, we want to be more interesting, what great looks like. So what great looks like and taking the time to really define what excellence means for that role. That the aspiration for that profile. And I think he went again. People don't always take the time to really define that all the way from starting from the hiring profile. And then how do we want to, you know, to Aligne to that? Once you have that, you have a really clear, you know idea of that, of that profile of excellence, then it's about determining focus. We can't you know what's really important to tackle for us. You've got to break down that profile into a peable steps to that goal and maybe take bitesides things to coach to. And then, obviously then that would lead to another element, which is measurement. I. And and how will we measure progress against those things that we selected to go after? And we're just really taking that up at a front which you have to set the starting point, that measure the before and after, and they could be things like, you know, a standard the river right where you're seeing if someone can do something before after, or it could be kind of things like, you know, really trying to diagnose or started looking at metrics like, you know, pipeline maturity. How how is the pipeline composition maturing and how can we maybe apt to to, you know, how is this changing our ability to sort of make that more robust? And then, you know, we talked that. I think we kind of mentioned this little bit earlier thing, but that it's good if we can, if it can make this more than than just, you know, giving some feedback or that curtain where you you diagnose the problem. What's the action that we want to take and how can we respond to training? Or Support After that coaching moment. So think those are the elements if you think kind of you know, profile, focus, measurement and then ability to sort of diagnose and prescribe as your kind kind of how I think about the elements and in terms of creating that baseline and profile and acting on it. Okay, so this is I don't mean to catch up guard. I've got a question that wasn't in the in the prep list. Anybody who's been on the podcast will know that I send out the question so that we can staydpoint. But I have one popped in. I've got to ask when you, when you look at the impact of coaching has had, is there a story or an example that you can give where maybe somebody was a little bit, you know, reticence to engage in that type of coaching behavior, but all of a sudden something happened with a light bulb went on. Yeah, I mean I think I think the White Bulb happens a lot of times where I think we have a lot of people who are probably very confident that indefinite sales roles right. So some of sometimes a white bub bub go goes on when you say can you do that? And they're like yeah, absolutely, I can do that right, because that's that's kind of person you wanted these they as...

...well. Sure so, I think one example reason more from it. This is actually focused on the manager versus the individual. But I'm going to use an example of a deal review in this actually types. Its the work we have. You know, we were doing specifically with with with one of our partners with externally. So if you you know, you got someone like Dj deal or you yeah, absolutely, okay. Well, when let's let's show you a model of what good looks like. Okay, now you do it, and then you know that didn't come quite so fluidly. And so at the end of the calls you, I think, that the acknowledgement was okay, I thought I could do this right. So you start there and then showing what good looks like, right, showing that pross that kind of hears what we really are mean by an extensive deal review across all of the different spections. You know, you caught that, right, we could have caught that at this deal at this point in time. And then that I'll Hallam. It was. I don't I cover, you know, happiness, or three quarters of it. I don't. When I think of a deal review I'm really focusing in on one or two areas. So I've saw, you know, I've been the light go off, okay, I'm going to start doing this, and then that the real indicator was a couple quick as later when you start to see that it really actually the person identified that they were not getting stuck in the self stage in the same way, because nine times like a lot of the issues that was coming up later in the celt cycle would have been caught in a good deal review. So that going into the bit specific person. That's an example of where I think, you know, sometimes, you know, it's easy for someone I think they're good at something because we haven't really you know, that that all they know they are. But until you really define it, then they can say, oh, okay, well, I'm I am good at part of this but not all of it, and then they goes to the challenge and then started coming all the basis and sort of make that coaching really part of the culture. I have no doubt you have to work, you know, with a lot of different areas in the organization. How do you work with them to make sure that it's, you know, coaching isn't just another box that shows up on a on a list. It gets checked somewhere. Yeah, I mean I I think it has to be seen as essential. It can't be separate. It can't be a separate thing that enablement does. I would just say, you know, data is our friend selves up to their friends and you know how sells is being measured and how people want to lead and the Dash Woods and inspection tactices are all part of this right. So, from for me, it can't be seen as a check the box thing that enablement is pushing out. It has to be owned by, once again, the people on the front line. They have to be value in it and then we have to, you know, partner with all the organizations to hold it into a day in the life, because if it's something that's separate and distinct, it's really hard to create that movement I was talking about earlier. Okay, it's a let's pivot a little bit here and just we talked on some of our podcasts a lot about the enablement function, how it impacts sales individuals and because that so for context and just kind of give people a little bit more focused, can you describe the way you've kind of structured the team at's plunk and how you're how you're coaching your coaches to be effective in the organization. Yeah, and so remember, I've been at point for just over all wapping two months. We're going to give them vision, we're going to get people that listen that we'll give them a sneak peak into the vision of what's coming. Yeah, exactly, and that's gotten a little sneak preak because I did have done my initial read out. But I so this is a definitely a work in progress. But I can save a couple of things. And you know, like I think, like many enable and learning organizations, we're really making a shift from just being that training and content development or and shipping to a credctivity organization. So that's something that's not certificate to sponsor. Mean it's topics on many people's minds you days. That doesn't mean we don't, you know, when they enable and train, but it doesn't mean that we're investing in a predict to be what I I would guests to call a to be practiced, which would mean, you know, a focus group of people that are thinking...

...about observing a stuffing and coaching and building that Straw on our managers, and I'm a big believer, and having that set within the business and regions so that they can really be seen part of the core team. So we'll be putting that in place and trying to find the balance between supporting and development managers. You know that that you can scale, because these two individuals won't really they can't ultimately be the managers shop to them like, but what they can to new develop and support and help them, you know, Call Walk, run to to the goal that we have in place and we move barriers and things. So that's the big thing that we're putting in place. So the idea that those teams leverage are global programs, right, so tho thinks, you know, that profile of excellence and on boarding and in the portfolio as those are really things that we want to plug and play from. So we have a team focused around, you know, the global programs and content, a core curriculum if you will, and then can currently we're really focusing our our content infrastructure teams on driving, and I'm pretty bowner experience, you know, across the board, really working to increasings, but discoverability. The way we have delivered justerent time learning performance support that I'd have democratizing, you know, learning for the for the field, so that it's both a push motion motion but at a very you poor motion as well, which include a lot of things like pere to here and a lot of the kinds of things about there right now. So yeah, so that's our structure. Definitely in a global, global programs organization, predictivity practice in region. And then, you know, our core core learning teams. That is there a way that the organization you're familiar with, of course, the value selling framework. So I'm going to use some terminology that you would obviously know, but is there a core way that your team's going to be measured, key metrics that they have to hit? How does that roll up into the organization so the investment, enablement and all of that is justified? Every goes yes, this was worth it. Or their key metrics that you see either, and maybe you don't need to get so specific, it suppoint, but just in general, maybe what are the some of those key metrics that enable me, as as an organization, should be focused on achieving? Yeah, you know. So, yeah, I'll talk about it at and broad strikes the it's always tricky, right, because the connecting to the why, why people want to go through the enable it. You really have to have the same objectives that the company has. So you know, it's what people understand that what you're doing is impacting it. You know, they had the focus on a cheating balance attainment or or scaling or customer success, the overall, the overall metrics for the company. But think what you're alluding to is, of course we can't enable to take whole credit for any of those things. Right. We can't say this because we put somebody and our programs. They made their number and so you know we can't go that straight line back to regulate. So so where I see, you know, where I think every organization is looking at. You can't really just look at completion as a a lot of companies have been doing out over time. Right, that's just that they got through the program and you know it's a metric. It's probably not a compelling metric. It's necessary but not necessarily the most important. I think looking at things like thinking about sort of your content more like company think about their content like consumptions. You should usage adoption those kinds of metrics. I think it's very important for us to think about in terms of engaging learners and that type of thing. And then going back to the coaching team, really the measurement, the measurements. That's when what makes me also very exting coaching because while I can't say I you know, directly and put impactive revenue, what I can do is measure that before and after piece. Right, we had ten people who could do an excellent build review, we had five who really couldn't and then we had two people that were terrible. If I can leave somebody from, you know, that middle category to the top category from a before and after doing that, that's directly measurable to the programs that we're running. So I think...

...a lot more on that that, you know, demonstrated knowledge side to the house shifting more to that versus just and then, you know, we're also looking at some things like how doyle's tie up to sort of how, once again, the pipeline piece and called that pipeline, not just the quantity but the quality, velocity shape pipeline right, the mix, and I think there are some activities you can drive so, for example, that you want to see increase in partner contribution to your pipe. You know, you go through when you see you have a problem in certain places, certain agents, with certain teams, you run a drill, you run an exercide, you see if that starts to change. That the result from the pipe. said, it's just a few ideas of maybe some places that the teams are looking to go thanccellent. I appreciate that insight. And so what is it that you find the most rewarding about enablement? You know it's kind of Corny, but I there was a guy ahead of the Boston sohmonic been and I think of the game, that had this metaphor about head of a moment of truth where he realized he's standing in front of an orchestra and his doably to make other people powerful and and orchestrating that is is actually kind of an art and so I'm not claiming that I'm as artistic as that, but I do like the kind of the idea of being able to empower teams to achieve greater result. And you know, I mentioned this earlier as well. It's very rewarding when you can get us see at the table for yourself into the team and when people see as this a strategic part of the business and you feel that you have you really can impact the success of the company. So there's, there's are probably the two main things for me. Excellent, excellent. So I asked our guests to standard questions towards the end of each interview. First is simply as a revenue executive, a VP for very wellknown growing company. That makes you a prospect for many people out there and there's often we spent a lot of time in the sales profession talking about, you know, what's effective prospecting. So I like to ask executives what is it that would capture your attention if somebody were to reach out to you? Not a referral kind of like, not like how you and I met, but just as somebody called who really thought they had a solution for you. What would capture your attention and help them build credibility? All right, well, I wish I had something surely unique. I'm sure you've seens in this area, but for me it comes down to relevant and understanding my business. I'll add a little bit of a an Akind of that's very much doing. So I had a little bit. I think one thing that you can never under undervalue. The importance of is is timing. So timing is everything. So you know, and some of that is pure accident, that some of it can be be planned by understanding what people are doing. And so the if you know, if they can particulate an issue that I'm in the process of dealing with in that moment, even if I don't know them, tip often times I will talk to them or have to run from my team talk to them. So this, this is it is still that. You know, the leader piece of that is is understand my business. But you know, given that I'm a new person, you know, at a company right thinking about that. You know what what might I be dealing with in that point in time? How might there see certain things that are happening at the company translating into my n charter? Are the things that they know that, you know, they can kind of do due dougents, run a figure out what what I'm specifically working on. That is that kind of thing probably for me, is the biggest one. Perfect perfects. The last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. There's one thing you could tell sales, marketing or marketing professionals or any professional that if they listened and I always saw that in there. If they actually listen, then apply to that. You believe would help them hit their targets, crush quote up be more successful. What would that be? M Why? Well, I say once say'm probably a little bit not the...

...first time to the person to say this, but do the work. There's there's a lot of good practices out there, but there's not a silver bill beyond during the work. It's all about planning, being prepared and then being able to ask on the opportunity presents itself. So I'm a I'm a big believer that preparation allows acceleration and that if you know self diversifier and getting better at what they do and not just on the revenue number, then they're both going to come. So that would be that would be my acceleration inside. I think you called it excellent. Much appreciate it. Lend if a listeners interested in talking more about the topics we touched on today, is there a preferred way to get in touch with you? Linkedin? Email, phone call? Yeah, I'm a fan of Linkedin, so I definitely reach out on Linkedin and let me know what your interest is and I'll I'll respond that way pretty quickly. Okay, excellent, and I can't thank you enough for taking the time today. It's been great having you on the show. Thank you. It's fun. It's always fun do anything that I was really fun because it's is put to do the pods and really think about what you're trying to accomplish on the top of yourself. So it's always a learning experience. said, to put something like this too. Thanks for that. Oh No, thank you. Thank you all right, everyone that does it for this episode. Please check us out at be to be REV exaccom. You know the drill. I ask it all the time. I'm sure friends share this with friends, family, Co workers. I feel like what you here leaves a review and keep in mind until next time. We have value prime solutions with you all. Nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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