The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 4 years ago

Scott Santucci on How Sales Enablement Can Turn Your Sales Org Upside Down

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Throw away your 57-step sales guidebook and keep it simple, stupid.

In the most recent episode of the podcast, Chad sits down to talk to Scott Santucci, Director of The Alexander Group and founder of The Sales Enablement Society.

Scott sees countless inefficiencies in many sales orgs today, but he has developed a method of simplifying the whole approach through Sales Enablement.  This interview explores what the term “Sales Enablement” means, how to keep the sales process simple, how to implement these practical tips, and how the Sales Enablement Society came to be.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

You're 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, were tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the be tob revenue executive experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. Today we're going to be talking about sales enablement. To help us do that, we have with US Scott Santucci, director of the Alexander Group and founder of the sales enablement society. Scott, thank you very much for taking the time and welcome to the show. Thank you, Chad, and I think everybody should know how much prep work you put man in our set up. We were just talking about that and it's kind of amazing how much work you do to make that so. I'm sure that all of your listeners appreciate that. It's fantastic act so well. I hope it was a good experience for you as well. I mean that's what it's all about, is making sure that the guests come in a little bit more forewarned and we can have a good time doing this and everybody knows kind of what to expect right. It's expectation alignment. Yes. So we started the show with a typical off topic question. Would love to know about a defining moment in your career that you go back to over and over again take lessons away from. Kind of what was that and what lessons did you learn? So I'm going to asked for to because they are Yin and Yang of this and sort of like a thing that I'm learning here is that there's two sides to each coin and the more we look at those, the more we can navigate. But I think there's there's two events. One event was when I was a top selling rep way back when, and maybe nineteen ninety one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine, and I was the number one wrap and I decided that I was dissatisfied with our marketing department for a variety of a variety of reasons, and I was much, much younger. So Chad and I talked earlier. You know, I talked earlier about being Gen xors hardcore chip on my shoulder, Jen actor, and decided to throw my weight around of being a top Rep and to voice my concerns about about marketing. Why? It doesn't really matter, but I built a relationship with our CFO. I mentioned that. Our CFO lean forward. He said, Scott, I think you're onto something. I've always felt that about fifty percent of the money that we're spending here is worthless and I think you can help me prove it. So they Haha, glad to lad and you know, we wipe board it out, some metrics and measures and you know, I went away and then I got called back a week later to fly up to our headquarters where I was asked to present to the executive committee. And it's the first time a salesperson and presented to the executive committee and I talked about, you know, what those what those findings were. was asked to leave the room and thirty minutes later I had a new position. My position was they made me the VP of product marketing and management, which, you know, really was a precursor to a sales and a won't roll and I had a lot of support from the CFO. We I had him do a lot of the metrics and we're really successful in transforming our sales for so we improved our average deal size by fifty six percent, we cut our sales cycle time down by thirty three percent, we improved our win rates by twenty five percent and we had finance measure at all. was like really, really successful. But there was a lot of pain in all of that. And hopefully can imagine I was not as I wasn't a touchy friendly I was loved by the Sales Organization, maybe not so much else. So I had all these you know, these great successes and you know, my head...

...was a you know, a little big, and I got the opportunity to become vp of sales and marketing for a company. So, you know, twenty nine years old, have all these successes and you know, we grew the business or whatever, but I got fired from that job by the board of directors. Big so that's sort of this the the other side of the equation, Chad, and that was I got fired. It there in two thousand and three and I think maybe it was until two thousand and seven that I sort of said, hey, maybe it was me. You know, it wasn't, it wasn't them, and that's that's like a huge hard lesson to like to do that, but what I realized was the financial acumen that finance and investors use is a completely different metric system that you and I would use as sales leaders. And that disconnect has only grown. And Fortunately I've seen it and I've been a at least I've been able to build relationships with other CFOs to figure out where my gaps are and and correct it. So I think those are the sort of the two parts, sort of the hey, you have unconscious competence, you know, as a wrap, and I was able to do that in trade on my own personal brand within that company. But then when I lost all that personal brand, I didn't realize what I didn't know because it's too confident. And what I did and that failure has been, you know, I think, a God sent. So it's like to two sides, but I go back to both of those scenarios each time and I've learned a lot from that. And so how does that take use, you know, from those lessons now, director of the Alexander Group and founder of the sales enablement society, hope help us understand the the the next progression. What what made you want to go into sales enablement as aggressively as you have. I think there's a couple points in that. So, being in sales for a lot of my life, I have a core belief that it's kind of unfair that sales people in the sales organization is the most blamed for, but also the most accountable function in the muritisertion. Yeah, it's what attacks someone us, the sales right. I mean it's usually about numbers, right, but they're all morons. Right, if you talk as we're only coin operated, we're almo over. There's yeah, right, exactly. You know, our job is super easy. We just need to take people out golf and have an expense account. You know, are the product just sells itself. I mean I work for a CEO once that said any monkey can sell our stuff. We said that to the whole company. So I'm like, okay, great, we're a bunch of monkeys, but it doesn't work that way. And so I think there's that's one element. But I think another element is I really really resonate a lot with the idea that selling as a team, team sport, and that there is a bunch of value inside the company that if we can get sort of organized and streamlined behind and sort of configure that the business as a supply chain behind sales, that it doesn't need to be so much conflict oriented. I think if we change our focus, and, you know, Chad, one of the things we were talking about before, and as an experience for customers, that if we all recognize that no matter what we're selling, whether it be some transnational thing like a doorknob or something, you know, so strategic like a digital transformation, anywhere in between, at the end of the day we're still dealing with people and people make both logical and emode of decisions. And if we recognize that and start doing you know, start moving away from too much of the build out of the words or demonstration of the product and showing all the metrics and start going back to more of the human side, I think everybody will benefit. Everybody's job will besier, marketers job will be easier, salesperson's job...

...will be easier, finance person's job will be easier. So the bridge between where I am now as leading a practice at the Alexander Group and also found on the sales and they with society. Between those two points I had a huge opportunity to be a research director at forster so if you don't know about the research companies, the analyst companies, do a lot of research or you do a lot of research and in order to build out so I've built out the the sales and they won't practice. Two Thousand and eight we actually published a definition of sales and they won't which we still, you know, seem to be doing today. The key idea, Chad, you're about my age. Did you read spin selling? Yeah, so spin selling is great because here we have is a it's a shrink right. Nell rack them was a trained psychologist and he had this idea of talking to the head of sales at Xerox, maybe talk to other heads of sales, I don't know. I don't know neal rack them right, but I read the forward in that book and I just thought it was such a cool idea of saying, Hey, I'm a psychologist, maybe I can find patterns at Xerox sellers of what works, and that simple idea and going on interviews he found some common patterns and boom, now we've got spin selling and customer centric selling and solution selling and all these other derivatives. Genius. Well, that core idea. I always wondered how come. No one did that for buyers. So that's what we built our research around at for stor is executive level buyers and the gap man between what buyers are looking for, the executive level buyers and be tobes selling Chad and what we're teaching them and what we're equipping with, it's so giant that it's almost impossible to communicate. It's just night and day different, and we're even like they'll use a word outcome, and then I'll talk to like some executives at, say, Cisco, is like, well, of course we sell outcomes. Is like, well, that's not Wi. The executives that the executives that just interviews said that you're not. And they're using the same words and talk of past each other, and I think understanding that stuff chat is exactly why we need to be more informed as sellers and why I sort of got out of the research business, because I think what I found is that the research that I would publish I wrote for like the twenty percent of organizations that were really doing this strategically, and as I got more and more strategic, the more negative feedback I get from everybody. That's not the way to do it. That's not sales. Of them as like it's interesting, I've got measurable results over here and you're telling me it's something else. So I think that we're only going to be successful if we find the twenty percent of people out there that are really doing it right, and that's why I joined the Alexander Group. The Alexander Group's been in business for over thirty years really working on optimizing sales forces and building out sort of the financials of what a sales organization looks like, compensation, the segmentation, all of this connection to the business strategy and this whole idea of how we enable the supply chain behind sales at better conversations. As a new and virgin in area, so bump joining a consulting company, we can work in a lot more detail about tackling some of these problems in big companies. But the kin of that is, like all consulting, you just sort of get consumed in, you know, maybe five big projects a year and I lost all of those connections. So that's really what what led the starting the society is really it started out officially in February two thousand and sixteen. When I try to do a meetup group basically to get some friends and DC and I start talking about things and you know, we had about twelve people show up to that first meeting and we've grown since then. So what was the just for our listeners who may not be tracking, what was the definition, or maybe not even the...

...forester definition of what is your definition of sales enablement today? Well, I think since that's something that we're tackling as a society, I'd rather not offer what my personal opinion is. I think what we what we need to really really look at is what does it mean in each of the companies that were in? Because what I'd like us to do is stop the religious debates that are happening. It seems like sales of the marketing or Christians and Catholics, Christians of our Protestants, of patholics, were just pounding each other and then the rest of the world, you know, the Pagans around the world, are going, what the hell is going on with these people? They don't know what the Hell's going on. We don't want to listen to their you know, going to listen to their religion, and I think that's what we're doing now, is we're doing too much bashing. So for me, what I'd rather us do is how do we find systemic ways to unlock and unleash the growth potential that is in every one of our companies and that would want to do. We look at it at more of an executive Lens and how do we how do we examine, how do we get out of our way of looking at everything in an organizational silo? So for me, conceptually, I don't want to say the definition, Chad, but really the idea of sales enablement is a execution fabric that you lay between the sales organization, WHO's trying to solve problems or create new potential for customers, and the business that's set up today that has to be organized around products because of financial reporting. But products aren't what people are buying today. People are buying experiences and outcomes and in order to change and pivot we need some new some new strategies to overcome sort of the organizational construct. So if I were to have you know the one phrase of that, it would be the concept of sales enablement is unlocking the growth potential embedded in every single company today by creating an execution fabric to get the rest of the company streamlined around solving problems for customers and equipping sellers to do it. And so that'd be different company to company. I mean, if you think about kind of the way team I mean there's a typical structures, right and and typical organizational hierarchies that show up. But each company, at least I'll tell you every at least I've been telling me every company, of course they have different problems, although I don't really sound the same as the last time clients I had but back them. But there are there are some nuances, and so I like that they like that use of the of the term fabric because it seems more flexible and something that can become more more of a differentiator for the organization as a whole. Is that a fair kind of an assessment of how it can be implemented and potentially benefits realized? Yeah, I think I think your spot on right there. Is I think part of our collective challenge, is sales and marketing professionals, all of us, is how do we get the wreck of the company to recognize that it's not the products where the strategy that differentiates is in the market place. It's how that's perceived by the individual wallow owners, the collection of individual wall of owners that are writing checks. So I think one big challenge chat is to help move away from so one thing I like to to talk about is it's important to have a go to market strategy, but I think it's also important to have a go to customer strategy to and a go to customer strategy means hey, instead of focusing on what products we've got, what possibilities white might we be making for our clients, instead of focusing on, you know, all of the different places or distribution mechanism to how we could get it in individual conversation. We already know sort of, sort of the place. So what is the prescription that we're offering or the pattern like? How do...

...we help our clients unlock that? Instead of promotion, how we're going to get the word out? I don't know about you, but I don't like being it. I like being interrupted at dinner so little that I don't even answer my phone at home anymore. I don't know about you, I like my mom gets frustrated at mays. You can never get ahold of me, mom. You gotta text me. Two thousand and seventeen call me at home because I do not answer it at all because I don't like being disrupted. So promotion isn't it isn't is sort of disruptive. What about a providing a path? How about we provide our clients a path to success? How to get there? And it's super confusing today because everything is changing so rapidly, and I think customers, I are no customers, value that and sort of the last thing is, instead of, you know, worrying about pricing too much, I think at the end of the day it's really sort of how do we prove what it is that how what we're providing is going to make you successful? And the way I like to think about that is, let's write the press release of what happens after we've work together. How have you, Chad benefited from our company's involvement? And once you start thinking like that, then things become both super super complicated real quick, but they also become super super simple real quick also. Well, and simple's not always easy, right, like the sclicity of it is almost harder, I find it times for people to wrap their heads around than anything else. It's like I know what I'm working with clients and they so well, we lost this deal on price. I'm like a prices of fandom objection. It must right in my pas. It's a fandom objection, it's a BS it's a B s objection, like you're going to cold call. All they did was basically tell you to go away. They hung up on there. You didn't do your job. not to sound to gen x rough around the edges, but if you're losing on price, then you're not you're not selling the right way, you're not engaging the right way. You don't understand the people that actually can sign the checks. You don't understand what they want and how your solution connects to that. That, that is so, so, so right. That the way that we've built out our measurement processes and in most be to be companies, is we don't really even have the ability to map out where the real problem was, which was we never connected with the you know, adult wallet. You know they the with the adult money, with the person with the wallet, right, right. We never identified with them in the first place. We never map to their vision and one of the things that I find a lot I'd love to get your thoughts on this chat, is that when companies use bant to score opportunities. I'm like, guys, you're shooting yourself in the foot already because, from a buyer standpoint, once they've identified budget, they've already gone through the approval processes, right. So, therefore, once they've are gone through the approval processes, procurements become involved because they have to be involved. They have to in most companies. And if it's if procurements involved, guess what, we're in a bakeoff. Yeah, and we weren't. If we weren't first, we're probably going to lose. And that's another thing can if you don't mind if I'm going to ran a little bit. I hear a lot of us talking about the CEB data, or now Gardner data, about the fifty seven percent of a buyers journey is already completed before salesperson even engages. Like, well, you know what, that might be true if you use the word buying and if you use the were buying and as sort of urfp responding. Well, yeah, but that's not selling to me. That's not the selling that you learned. That's something selling that I learned. Selling is about engaging around a business problem and helping to develop that idea. And guess what? You could say that it's sort of like a tail to sell cities with sailing. If sell selling is tell to cities, for as many opportunities that are out there, where there are already through the buying process, there's probably more opportunities where the clients have no freaking clue...

...what to do. Right, and I am being completely, completely non hyperbolic here, they've literally have no idea what to do with a lot of this stuff. Will those are as, I mean those are always the best deals to find. I mean, when I was an individual contributor, I didn't want somebody to come to me and say, Hey, this is the problem I have and this is what I need. I wanted to work with them and show them, Hey, you okay, that's cute. You think this is your problem. That's really not the problem. Here's the business problem you've got. Now let's talk about something that's going to solve that problem, because I know you're not looking at it that way yet. Right though, engaging in that way, it's shit. That's why I got into sales. That type of that type of engagement and big problems that went straight to the business don't come to me and tell me you need a new server or you need more data storage or whatever it is. That's boring as hell to me. But when you can engage with somebody and actually talk to them about the problems that their business is having and help them go through that journey because they didn't know where to go, like you were saying, that's where the that's where I think the true acumen of a sales professional comes out. You're so spot on with right that that and here's I think part of the difficulty is because our businesses have overrotated so hard to these financial analyzes. One of the one of the problems of the financial analysis is they look at the sales force and aggregate and one of the thing, one of the projects that I like to like to deal with our clients is to basically break the sales force down in the quintiles. And what's interesting is when you do that. So that's like vs is A. Sorry, I sounded like a decided like an animals for a second there. Yeah, I know, right part. You wanted to punch me in a face. There there's the worst part right there. Just, yeah, exactly. You know, I'm gonna I'm going to work too I know what to get rid of it. You spend too much time in Boston and that stuff rubs off on it. Break Your Day, break yourselves forth down their fits and then when you look at it up, you know one client in particular, or this is basically true, that anyone but their top twenty percent of sales, salespeople, their average contribution was four point four million dollars in a year. The next year after that was one point five million, the next year after that six hundred thousand, the next year after that two hundred and fifty thousand, the next year after that twenty eight thousand. Think about that. But what they were doing is because they were analyzing everything by aggregate performance. They were building out assumptions based on all of it, based on the Amalgam of all of them. So no program was working for any of them. And when you look at that and you say what are the top reps doing, the top reps are literally trying like hell to not listen to what they're being provided for by the rest of the company. But yet more we've actually found that enablement actually impedes top reps success. The difficulty is top reps can't really articulate what it is that they're doing and we're not asking them the right way. So I think that's a big challenge and I think the difficulty is imagine that you're a top rep and and you have to navigate to your clients want combinations of a lot of your capabilities. So if you're assass company, you might have two or three different SASS products. So you would have to engage subject at our experts there. But then you'd have two different kinds of training needs by your client. You'd have training needs on the on the fun end part to make the buyers feel comfortable about what it is, you know, working a different way, and then training on the back end part about how to leverage the capabilities. And then you'd also have different forms of professional services. You'd have professional services to help get the client and buy in and then they have professional services to help implement it.

The way companies are today is every one of those things that are described or separate pl units, and they'd each want you Chad to give. They don't care about the other the other groups. They want you to get the most money out of that account for their one thing right. So you then you can't really trust them to put in front of the client because they're going to over rotate the story that isn't going to be about your client. But you don't have any way to articulate it because every one of those people thinks you're an idiot, that you can't possibly know what the hell you're talking about. So we have these problems of how do we configure those right resources? And then some of the clients will actually say, okay, we'll fix that by a business architect. But then when do you bring that business architect into your account? If you're measuring all your opportunities by wilves got, it is the client got funding. It's like, well, I don't know, but I've got access to the CIO. I think you can come up with some money. Right. We're over instrumenting things and not using sort of common sense, and I think a lot out of the friction that that happens. We put our seals. People like you add a massive disadvantage because of this instrumental instrumentation that we put into it. Well, you also have, I think I've seen you have, sales exacts who want to figure out like how to best enable their teams. But I sense, and maybe it's just me, but I sent some of them have great deal of trepidation, right, and a great deal of fear because maybe they don't understand enablement. Maybe there's two caught between the spreadsheets and their teams. How do you help sales executives, revenue executives, get over that fear and actually embrace an effective type of enablement? So I think there's a bunch of points to that question. I think, putting myself in the seat of a sales leader, one of the reasons that they tend to be resistant to, you know, help. It's sort of like, you know, so, Chad, you and I are sort of picking on this gen x or thing, on the Gen Xit thing. It's sort of cynical, like hey, you know, we're from the government, we're here to help, like hey, we're from we're here from corporate right, here to help, and the sales leaders like I really need help, but boy, I really don't need that help. So it's sort of like roll on my eyes. But then on the flip side, the sales leaders do such a really piss poor job of internal communications. Like the the greatest external communicators, but internally just get too frustrated, right, and people don't listen to them. So part of the problem that we've got is a requirement discussion and no one wants to take the time out to talk about requirements. We just want to do things. Do, do, do, activity, activity, and then when you get a lot of activity, you get a lot of random acts. So I think the first thing, if we're looking at it through the lens of a sales sales force, might be something as simple as taking and simple as hard. I don't want to make this as too difficult, but an area I like to start with is, hey, let's break down so, Chad, let's say that you're the head of your the stick vp of state and local sales for a company. So let's make it a little bit more real, Chad. Let's break down our pipeline and let's look at the opportunities that we have. Like baseball. How many? First of all, tell me who is the adult wallow owner that we want to have our sellers have have appointments with, in other words, which batters to want begin with? Right, and that question alone is super hard for people to answer. It's like, okay, well, we should probably know who is the wallow owner that we're after. Let's tell me a person. Don't tell me a market, don't tell me state and local, don't define it by companies, tell me an individual, because some people have individual conversations.

So let's say that we want to have a conversation with department leaders in state and local, state, local. Great, now let's come up with the list of all of those. How many of them did we meet last year and how many of our sales people currently meeting with? Oh, zero, baby, we should concentrate on getting meetings with those people. But maybe let's just do that. Maybe let's just try to get on first base, you know. So let's have successful meetings. And what would that look like? What is the messaging? What is the content? What kind of skills do we need, and do we have the right skills to engage with those people? And, more importantly, how are we going to give sales people a chance to feel comfortable? Because I myself, when I try to call and see I was way back when, and you know, one thousand nine hundred and nine ninety a scared shitless can on executives and it would have been so much better if I could role play it out to realize that they're people too. But we don't do that right. Just go out and do it, like go my calls, go my calls, and that makes you stress too. So you don't want to make mistakes. But if you don't ever have that first conversation, you're never going to have it either. So you're never going to get on first base to begin with. So then the next thing would be what do we need to do get on first space? Then the next thing that I haven't seen any company really do a good job of is, okay, now we need to get on second base. So how do we get a share at how do we know that we've had a successful meeting with that adult water law it on her which ch had you, and I know that's a simple thing. The client agrees. Hey, yeah, Chad, I'll explore that with you further. Great, that's a verifiable step. Awesome, perfect, we did it. The question, though, is what does that conversation look like? If we're showing up with prefab presentations or too much structured white boards or whatever and we're not listening to them, the likelihood of US getting invited back is huge because theyy're taking investment in time and their resources, in their people, and we're going to have to learn how to navigate a lot of people, because there's a lot of stakeholders involved. That person that we're talking to, Chad. They're not going to do anything. All right, so go buy it, but they're not going to do anything. They're going to delegate all their tasks. We got a now our job is to go get the buy in from everybody else. We have to advise him or her who needs to be involved, what the sequence of steps, the evaluation process could look like. We can't expect them to know it because they've never bought the thing that at we're selling onto a world before, so how would they know? So there's a lot of stuff in step two that just doesn't get done, that we put on the backs of salespeople. Then step three sort of get the third base. How do we get a shared visioness success? Maybe that's our problem. And when I do this, by the way, step for is close the business, you know, get the home home place the well, what's interesting, chat is when I when I do a pipeline analysis using these four things and not all the sophisticated sales steps, and you know of an eight step or twelve step. I've seen a fifty step sales methodology. It's it's Riggor for rigger's sake, but it's not really informative when I look at it based on on this, most of the sales cycles pipelines that I see they don't look like that Nice, neat inverted triangle. Look like a bowl constrictor that's even Kig yeah, and where are they stuck? Those opportunities are stuck in Stage three, that shared vision of success. At the end of the day, the client just can't see why moving forward will help. And if they can't see it, if they can envision it, they're not going to feel comfortable. The political risk is too great, so they'd rather and invest the money in their political capital elsewhere. And it's such a big problem that I've had to give it an identity when I do readouts. Is that your biggest competitor is in Dui. No decision incorporated, because too many people are focused on who they think their competitors...

...are. But when we when we create the variable Indie, it dwarfs. You can add up the losses to all the other actual competitors and add them all up. It's still doesn't add up to losing the NDI. That's how giant of a whole. We've got at Stage three and I don't see a lot of conservative effort to focus in on that either. And then, you know, bringing at home if you've done if you got on first base, second base and third base, closing, that's just a lot easier. Well, it should be a should be a normal outcome of a well executed sales approach. It shouldn't it right and it's never like okay, home, home, maybe the clothes, but when I work with clients it's always about I'm more interested in okay, yeah, you got to close, but when are you going to be back in there, back with them, analyzing the value that you've provided? When are you going to go back and say, okay, they had this business issue, you sold them, got them around the you got him around the field and now you're coming back for the All Star game to talk about, Hey, what were the results your business saw, as you know, out of buying and working with us on this? Let's look at the value realization and that allows you to upsell, cross sale, go across the organization, things like that, and I just I'm not seeing a lot of people do it, and I I don't know. I mean, like I said earlier, it keeps me employed because that's what I helped to do. But, but, but I don't understand why, why everybody is so focused on the spreadsheets, on but this is where I am and at this step, and this is where I am at this like you, yes, you need to do that, but there's a you get paralyzed almost I see. I see sales exact and reps get paralyzed looking at their computer screen instead of being in front of and working with the customers. You're right, and I think the direction of this, though, is I want to make sure that we're not saying the source of the challenge is with sales. I mean the all the thing that I will say absolutely that sales can do a much better job of a saying simplifying, because I think that when they talk about the pipeline and the forecast, they overcommunicate so much detail that I learned they know why I got fired. I can need so much detail that the bosses, first of all they don't want to admit that they don't know, but they don't. And then it's so much overwhelming information that they feel uncomfortable and and and it's too easy to point out in consistencies when you have a ton of stuff, when you just lead with say, Hey, here's a simple model to think about sales and we need help in these particular areas. Now I can articulate what my requirements are. But on the flip side, though, the rest of the organization, there's no one throat to choke. Using Jen x language, you can. I'm sure you're rolling your eyes and thinking about all the human resource violations that I'm doing when I talk to you, but I know it's all good. It's all good, exactly right. You know tool, you know middle Middle Age guys talking. There is no throat to choke. First, the the supply chain behind sales. Is it marketing? Who in marketing? Is IT DEMAND JEM? Is it the solutions marketing? Is it the product marketing? Is it the brand marketing? Is it the analyst Relations Group? Who says that that they do that? Which group is it? Or what about within sales themselves? How many different sales overlays or sells best practices are so excellence or seals operations or sales training or sales playbooks or things are we generating? Or Heck, what about human resources? Getting into the game with the recruiting that they're doing and the work that they're trying to do there, or the learning and development activities of the training program other kinds of training programs, of the culture work that they're doing, and finance, bless their hearts, are trying to help by providing more structure to the pipelines and forecasting in the light. So everybody is in the business of helping sales and there is no structure or governance or prioritization to all...

...of those random acts of sales enablement. So step number one is, I think the sales organization needs to step up and say here's what the requirements are. But then somebody's got to look at this and say, okay, what are we enabling to? Are we enabling a checklist based on a whole bunch of product launches and reactive things, which is what we get today, is the by products of lots of deliverables and not of things thrown over the wall to sales people that somehow, miraculously, Albert Einstein couldn't put together and figure out what we're going to ask our sales people to do? That's one thing. Or are we talking about enabling salespeople and say that you know what? The assumption is that most of our sales people suck and we need to make them more executive sellers to sell to cxos, and I have yet to meet a cxl like a specific c level person to sell to. Thank you. Thank you. Not See that. So so are we going to enable them to do that, or do Chet be challenger sellers or whatever? Or are we going to enable them to be customer advocates? And then, if so, who's the one source of knowledge about customers inside a company today? And there isn't one. So I think there are some really fundamental questions that need to be asked and elevated for this sales enabling a problem to be truly truly addressed, and I think the head of sales could do do themselves a huge favor by taking the time to call it out instead of resisting in a sort of a when I talked to other sales leiser chat, it sort of like this thing of like Ascott, why don't want to want to fight with City Hall? Because I because you haven't fought city hall and ten years, Dude, and now you don't really have complete authority over your hiring practices. It's shared with finance and human resources. You don't really have a the right say in terms of the head count that you want because it's always going to get a line. When you build groups overlay groups. Finance says that becomes too expensive and you can account for it, so they make you cut it. You don't really have to say in terms of the messaging because that's done by various marketing departments and like. So I'm going to ask you, other than the people that you manage directly, what control do you have? Or your faith? And we got to quit fighting city hall, and so I think that, through the lens of the sales leader, that's a place to start. And with is going to be interesting. Is, or what I found is interesting, that the biggest allies typically the CFO. If you can get past the pipeline conversation, which tens and not, you know, then to the end of the weeds too quickly. So is that is all that we're kind of the idea for the sales enablement society came from. Where was what was the inspiration for founding that and starting that and getting that rolling? Well, that's a great question. So that the I guess in retrospect, to make it simple, is when you, I don't want to say this is true with anybody, when I got involved at Forrester and you get there for six years and you have all of this input. I mean I I interviewed, I interviewed a Tcfos, I had data points of two thousand executive level buyers, both and survey data and interviewed data over over period of time. I presented the sales kickoffs of at least fifteen, Twentyzero Reps. you get hired to be, you know, a keynote speaker, all this other stuff. Of the people kind of kiss you, but you tend to think you have the answer and you can kind of become a little arrogant. So I think I was sort of pushing the answer too hard. You know, say I got the answer, I got the answer, I got the answer, but I don't think that we were, as a market, really aware of what the challenges are. And guess what, I didn't have the answer. I had a part of the answer, just like you have a part of the answer. So the idea of the society was really and one of the things that that I do is, first of all, what a are we? We are a completely volunteer organization. So I mentioned that. We started...

...out sort of like as a local meetup. It was for me to have friends. Is Sort of a transition Paradi of Med ass a fhul, the assholeifying myself. Or maybe you can edit that out for the kids. Oh No, keeping that is an asshole. No, no, I'll just put msfw on the images for this one. Not Safe for work. So that'll help with the ratings. Right, right. Yeah, it'll probably be the most downloaded episode we're going but as part of that process and having these meed up grows, some interesting things happen. You start to realize that, hey, we want to be inclusive here. We don't have a you know, Catholic Protestant debates. was be all inclusive. Everybody in the organization should be focused on revenue growth, right, it's a team sport and why are we being exclusive of that? Let's be inclusive. So we got to a point where we were having these local chapter meetings that were just awful. So that's I'm going back to fed you know, from February, March, April and two thousand and sixteen. These are terrible meetings because they're sort of unstructured and open or whatever, and we'd have about twenty people come here there. But if you saw a fight club, we start to having other chapters or the people in other cities saying hey, can you start that? Can you start a group there? And as difficult to do when it's all volunteers. And you know, I have a day job of actually doing consulting work in trying to win business that way. So we got this idea of having on November, in November, two thousand and sixteen to take a section of our Alexander Group's conference and invite people to show up, sort of like the declaration of independence thing. You know that? That can continental Congress. Yep, it's invite people who had an opinion about sales and any want to come in and say, Hey, what should this be? So we officially formed at that meeting where we had over a hundred people show up and create a, you know, emission that everybody sign like the decoration of independence. To that we exist to promote and elevate the role. So our story now then, is all right, we want to test this thesis about what growth actually is and in order to test that, we made sort of like this pack we picked out. We made very crazy objectives in February of two thousand and seventeen like ridiculous objectives. I mean we don't even have an we didn't have an organization. We just founded. We only had like two or three chapters and we said we're going to be an organization dedicated to figuring out what growth is. And we picked some really ridiculous goals. So, you know, keep in mind your found an organization. Pick to regid get those goals. So one goal was that we were going to have fivezero members by the end of the year, as crazy. Then we said we're going to have pretty chapters, you know, which is also just crazy. We were going to create our own platform for all of our members. By the way, memberships free right now, right. So how do you create a platform with no resource, no money, no full time employees, literally from scratch. How do you do that? But now that's a goal that we're going to do. We're going to create a common platform for the dedicated place for everybody log in. You know what we're going to do? We're going to have a conference. And how do you get a conference going without any money? I mean company places, you have to have it at a place. Right, we can have it a barn. Get to have a place. So you have to get a place to agree to do it and they want money. How do you do that? But ask row. We'll figure it out. So we're gonna have a conference. We were going to reach out to an entity to cover us, you know, to like one of these magazines or places, because there was no dedicated sales and they want to coverage at this time last year. What else? So those are just a few of the few of the goals and here we are on October eleven and somehow without again on what...

...makes shes super clear. We don't have a bank account. There's no bank account, there is no money. All of the work is done completely by volunteers. It's people buying into the vision and participating in it and we are built an org structure as we grow. So we didn't have that. So that means people are joining to a volunteer rigization without knowing exactly what to do or what a culture is. But over that, over the time between February and now, we have two thousand two hundred members, which is obviously shy a five thousand, but it's pretty impressive. I mean that's them impressive. A hundred to two thousand, two hundred. Yep. And, by the way, we don't have a single place. There is no website to go to to say here's what a member is says. It's kind of like a quest figure out how to join. And then one of the big questions is, so how do I know what I'm joined or not, like how I know whether I'm remember or not. So the something we're we have a US. They had to work out. Here's something that that I'm kind of proud of. We have twenty nine chapters. Wow, blew that number to the water. Yeah, and here's the amazing thing. We have chapters in Egypt, Egypt, in Germany, in Holland, in the UK and Ireland, in Australia, Singapore, India and Canada and of course, the US. I mean think about the global expansion there in what eleven months, and that kind of footprint. And some of our biggest are one of our biggest chapters is actually in London. Oh Wow, yeah, that's maybe the impressive spread. I mean in eleven months. Yep. We have a platform. So we were able, using our members, were able to persuade or work out an arrangement with higher logic. Higher logic is a enterprise class community platform provider. So we were able to get them to donate that that. Well, not totally donate, there's other things to it, but still in the business of creating something out and nothing to create a deal to let us leverage that enterprise class software. So how do you go about a membership? How do you get two thousand members which are dispersed, when we don't have a common database, because that would require money and infrastructure. How does an organization with no money deploy enterprise class software? Because you have to configure it, you have to build up, you know, sort of a plan for it, you have to you have to deploy, you have to come up with an adoption strategy and all that, and you also have to do program management, all of those things. So in enterprise, you know, if you're if you think about deploying enterprise software, think about like what that would look like. The budget that you do to go through, the program management place that you put them in involve the amount of work that you do on working on the requirements, the implementation strategy, the roll out and how long that might that be? Maybe a year let's say it's six months. You know you're moving really fast, six months and then you have a budget and you can hire external people to go and configure that. We had none of that. But you know what we did? We with our members, who are again volunteering at night doing this stuff. Four months, they can figured it and rolled it out. And in terms of like verifiable metrics, if we have two thousand two hundred members, we have over nine hundred and over nine hundred people who've gone through and fate and logged into the system and established their own profiles. There's a forty five percent rate, you know, activation rate. And in companies today like you can say, well, US do a big deal with sales forces like that's but you put the rule in that people won't get compensated unless they use it. You don't have that. We don't have that, lover. There's no stick it right. We have only the the the goal of influence and persuasion, and forty five percent is a ridiculous metric. And the fact that it was done in four months with no project management,...

...with no people. What was project management done a completely different way. How about the fact that we're going to have a conference and we designed a conference by practitioners for practitioners. It was marketed by practitioners and it's being delivered by practitioners. All volunteers are doing all of that stuff. And of course you look at and say, well, where's the gender? Where's this? Where's that? You get all the the knocks and yes, we had to create we don't officially have a bank account. We've hired a company to manage this stuff for so we can keep the keep true with the we don't have a we don't have a bank account. So we outsource that and we needed to pay for it and we're not. From what I understand it's and maybe a listener can call us out if this isn't true. What I understand, it's very unlikely or very, very uncommon for a company to not lose money on its first conference. Well, we're going to be able to convert some of this money and fun other things. We're set up as a nonprofit orization, so it's not technically profit, but the whole experiences, the the partners. So typically at a conference you'd have sort of a room of of suppliers. Right. Well, we're not letting them call themselves suppliers or vendors or anything like that, and we're not letting them set up as separate booze. We're designing those people. Is Part of the engagement. So the sponsors are designed into the engagement and we're encouraging them. was like, look, if you show up and talk about your products, you're going to come off like jerks. Why don't you tell stories about how you've helped other people be successful? And every one of our members are going to want to do it. We've had a hundred percent conversion rate on our sponsorship requests and none of them know how to do it. So we had to set up a member to help manage that experience. We have all of these things and we're going to have a coverage desks who were going to do live feeds from it to be able to capture the buzz out of it. All of our sessions are interactive and the like, and we're going to sell out to our conference is going to sell out. There's only a few amount of tickets now. On October ten or October eleven there's only a few left, but you know it's going to sell out and maybe this time a month ago people are worried about whether or not we should have the conference or on. Crazy. So, Oh, and then we have a partnership with selling power magazine. So Selling Power magazine has been in business for, you know, twenty years. Everybody in sales you're certainly a familiar with that. Oh, yeah, they're going to do dedicated sales and Ab won't cut coverage and we are the content editors of that and we're going to be supplying all the people to provide membership there. We're going to have an announcement in October that I can't share with you yet. That's dealing with the University of Texas Dallas. We're building partnerships between education educators like Che do you know that? To date there's not been one report written, and I'm sure I'm getting it wrong, thesis or whatever, Doctor O study in the academic community about sales and a want. Not One, not one, not one, not at all, not one, not one, not one, zero. That's going to change. So we're building a community of educators to partner with us on that. We're reaching out to industry analysts and we built a group. We are taking over the definition of sales and they that's why I didn't want to ask you tell you. It's not really for me to say what my definition is. Sells any that I should say here's how I think about it. But in terms of what the definition is to set our profession forward, our members are doing it and we're running it like the constitution. So are coming up with the Virginia Plan Right now. Our South Floria chator is doing it. The whole chapter is doing it. They're working in partnership. We have industry analysts, serious decisions, CSO insights and IDC are participating and helping US craft out that. We have educators involved, we have practitioners, three teams of practitioners, and we have vendors...

...involved and I don't know of an a standards group that's ever been run by practitioners and executed by practitioners. Norman, it's like, you know, the companies getting together, like Sony and be Sony and everybody else getting together and say this is what vhs is. You know, we're going to decide for you. Yeah, for you morons ourselves, and it's super hard because all we want to do is disagree with each other. Of course, guys, we got to elevate and we're rolling out the Virginia plan there and we're going to have at our conference like this war room where people can come in and and and comment on it, and then after that we're going to ratify it and send it back out to our twenty nine chapters and have each chapter vote on it and then say we have decided that this is what it is. So I just think it's it's a it's a miracle. What can happen when you unlock and unleash humans who are focused on growth and passionate about sales and marketing. What we can accomplish if we're freed up from conventional wisdom and not having anybody that we have to answer to by money helps us do it. And then after this conference, when we show all the amazing things that everybody's doing, Chad, we're going to be able to say, look what we accomplished, look at these growth mestrics without any money, without any resource, without any organizational structure. Now imagine what we could do if you'll let us do it inside our companies and give us the resources to do it and give us the right way to do it. This is what we can do and help unleash growth and everyone or our companies. It's an impressive arts was that. It's an impress impressive accomplishment. I mean it seriously. I mean in that kind of time frame, to pull that kind off that many people around the globe, I mean not all volunteers. You don't hear that. You don't hear stories like that these days. No, no, and it's because we stayed focused instead of talking about all the things then that the amount of knocks. You should do this, you should do this, you should do this. Those were all checklist things. We are focused on the community, we are focused on, you know, the bar, the kinds of things that you talk about all the time when you talk about what sales people should do. We're just trying to do that at a at a broad Broadway, and the things that we're learning is how difficult it is, because it's so hard to build an organization around an experience of customers. And that's really what what we're going to accomplish at our conference is. We're about elevating each individual person's ability to perform a little bit better when they go back on Monday. We're about elevating their role in their department, inside their organizations, and we're about elevating the profession. And when you look at each of those different lenses there's different tracks for each one. But when you look at all of this, all of this information together, we've learned a lot by doing rather than thinking about it or building spreadsheets or checklist or anything like that. We didn't build one checklist and we didn't build one spreadsheet. Concentrated on focusing on members and what that would look like and having the conversations that I think you and I both learned, you know, when we learned about sales way, way, way, way, way back when. So any rate it's I'm goddamn proud of what these people but I really am, and it's remarkable to be part of it. I mean you should be. It is again, a definitely an impressive accomplishment. So let's kind of pivot here for a second, change direction a little bit. I always ask our guests two standard questions at the end of every interview. First one is you know you're working for the Alexander Group. That makes you a prospect. The that's the plight word. It makes you a target for sales professionals. So I'm curious when somebody wants to get your attention with somebody wants to sell you some something that you don't know. What's the best way to go about capturing your attention and building credibility with you? That's a that chat. That's a remarkably great question that everybody should ask all the time. I think it's be authentic, and what I mean by that is be blunt. Hey, I'd like to start a conversation...

...with you. Be Sincere. Say Hey, if it doesn't work out, it's cool. I just want to get the conversation going. And then, number three, show that you know something about me or aligned with me, that we're going to be able to have a valuable conversation. What I can't stand is, Hey, look at my demo. Or, Scott, are you in the in the need of x, Y and Z, I should start publishing. Maybe, maybe this is something we could do to Chad. Start Publishing. Like the bad examples, actually bad sales people. I use the crab runs in class all the time. Yeah, publish it. Let's make them known, like this is terrible, but just show that you're going to be a human being with me. And I don't know all the answers. That's the miraculous thing about the society or that's also the like. It's tough to say as a as a consulting head, that I don't have all the answers. Maybe that's not good for business, but you know what, it resonates because it's authentic. My job isn't to come to you as a as an executive, and say I got all the answers. My job is to share with you the war stories. It says I've been there with you before and I have an approach of how we can figure it out together. If people engaged with me that way, damn I'd spend a ton of time with them, and then I'd also want you to sort of participate with me to figure out what we could do together. Because money is it is the grease to make the growth engine go. I want to give out money if it's going to help grow, but if I'm just giving you money so that I can meet your quota or buy yet another technology that I'm not going to use, I'm not really interested in that. It goes back to the experience thing we were talking about. It is it's got it. It's got to be back to the experience, working from the customer back, and everybody, people buy from people. End of the day, it's not going to change. People buy, YEP, Yep. So showing up and being authentic is really, really hard, but at least on my end of the table it resonates so much more. Excellent. All right, so last question. We call it our acceleration in sight. There was one piece of advice you give to sales, marketing or professional services people, just one piece of advice that you believe would help them hit their targets, you know, achieve their goals, what would it be and why? It's not about you, and pausing for dramatic effect, about you, and I'm saying this is sort of a self recovering person who beats the crap out of myself about my God, I'm not doing this, I'm not doing that. It's not about you. Humans, everybody's got a different mindset and and view of the world, and your number one job is to figure out what. So let's say that you're selling to a customer. Your job is to first figure out who the adult wallow owner is and figure out what their mindset is, Aligne to it, and then what is the mindset of the people that work for them, so that you can match and make that come true, then you have to do the same thing with all the resources that you need to bring to bear inside your company. It's not about you. You're just a conductor and if you start recognizing that it's about being that conductor, you'll be way, way, way, more successful. I just think it's extra hard and today's Day and age, Chad, because we get these one hit wonders of you need to do this, you need to do that, you need to do this, and we're on monthly sales calls to evaluate the pipeline. That reinforces know it is about you, Chad. Your number suck, your numbers are great, or your numbers were great last quarter but they suck now. You know what have you done for me lately, and rising above that is critically important to be successful because no one's going to buy from you unless you're about them. And it's just so, so hard today. But it's not about you. Agreed...

...one hundred percent, Scott. IFELOSSENER's interested in talking to you more about the cell Nabian society or Alexander Group, what's the best way to get in contact with you? So that the number one easiest way to get a contact with me is on Linkedin or my email address. You know, send me a direct email. So linkedin just find Scotts and touching and connect. I'm kind of liberal with the connections there because I like to engage with people, but on email them. You know, please keep you know, be sincere. But that's s sa Ntucci at Alexander Groupcom. Those are those are my preferred methods. And then, if you know, eventually I may give you my cell phone, like the best way to get ahold of me. Now we were talking about that chat. I like my mom and the phone, but yeah, text is is a great way because I can at least respond back to when I'm on a conference call or something. Excellent, Scott, I can't think you enough for taking the time today. Has Been absolutely great to have you on the show. Can I plug this for a second? Sure, I want, I want everybody to know a couple things. Number One, the questions that you asked are really smart and I think sometimes when you're listening to something, you just sort of go and just sort of listen. Every one of the questions that you asked are practical and pragmatic, not theoretical. So I think that's really important to know. Is that when you're listening to information, are you are you listening to something that's about can I execute it and will it work, rather than that's a good idea. Everybody's talking about artificial intelligence. Of course the world is going to be all robots selling to robots. I think that's incredible. I think also what no one else knows, that's listening. The amount of effort that you personally put in to prepare for this is amazing. Now, I'm not saying this to be critical, but I get as email and I've done several podcasts before. Normally what I do chat is I just sort of take over. If I don't know what's talk about, I'm just like that's what I'm going to talk about. But what's amazing about having structure is it actually allows for a lot better conversation. It seems oxymernic, but what what Chad does is first of all he has somebody reach out, you know fine fine people to go connect with, which is like, okay, that's kind of neat. Then there's the scheduling step and then I'd give some talking points or some ideas, and then step number four, I get this email. That is I don't want to say long because I don't want to. I don't want to have that implication. Let's thorough and it's organized and it's structured and it shows, number one to me, what commitment you have to your listeners, which is goddamn fantastic chat. Have we ever talked before? I don't believe we have. I'm I think we've exchanged some emails, especially in the earlier days of the enablement society, but I don't believe we've ever actually spoken every even spoke before. And listen, I mean it sounds, I don't know, I don't know about you, but it sounds to me, to me, I think, if I'd be listening to this, it sounds like we've known each other for a long time. That kind of delivery is only only able if you go through that sort of structure. And we chatted, you know, beforehand, like humans. Hey, tell me your story home, tell you story, what you think, and we talked a bit about Jen Xing and things like that. So that's why we were referring about Jen Xing. Con I think it's remarkable and I think that that kind of dedication that you show to your just for something that somebody could think is as trivial as a pot, trivial as a podcast. Says a lot about you and you're definitely somebody that would love to stay more in contact with, because I'm terribly impressed and sometimes when you're listening to something you don't appreciate all the work that goes into it and shit chat. I think you should do a podcast and how you make a podcast. It's it's funny actually. So we when we first started this, we...

...started using an agency called sweet fish media and James Carberry, he's pretty prolific, on Linkedin and he put up a post about how he does podcasts and he I mean he aims for fifteen to seventeen minutes. I'm going for longer format, but he and they do it daily, so there's a couple of differences. But he puts up he's like yeah, we just pick a topic and then we hop on skype and we start talking. And I got on Linkedin and I'm like, you know, I totally disagree. I don't believe that that, especially for the types of guests that I want to bring on and entice in the value that. Look, I'm doing it for selfish reasons. I'll be right up front. I like talking to the executives and sales professionals to learn from them. I want to learn and I'm constantly trying to evolve. Yeah, okay, it turns out that our listeners enjoy it and we get a lot of great feedback. With the end of the day, I got a goal here and that's educate myself and make those connections and be authentic. So I to me, it just takes it takes more time, it takes more thought and out of respect for your time, my time, in the goals of the the you know we're trying to accomplish her, I think it takes a little bit more time than Hey, here's my skype ideal. Let's just wrap for fifteen minutes. Yeah, and and I well, hopefully it chose. If I think, if you're I hate to call us out, you can maybe edit this out if you don't want, but if you're listening to this podcast, I think you should give Chad some feedback. Like this is the kind of effort this person puts into something. I'm one hundred percent sure if you gave them feedback as hey, here's how I do it. I put my headphones on and I listen to you while the lawn and I like the fact that it sounds like a conversation, that I'm into it about topics like give them that kind of feedback so he knows he's on the right track, because I don't know about you, Chad, but I've gotten accustomed to only getting negative feedback and like it. Can't keep rechanging everything. But about but about give them the feedback of the stuff that's working or I think also what would be valuable is don't you want to hear what you know three shows ago, what somebody did, and then give Chad some of that story? Because I'd love, he'd I'm sure he'd love to be able to say, Hey, you know, three episodes we talked about prospecting, here's one of the ideas of one of our listeners of what they did, and here's how they turn that idea into action. I think if you could give him some of that feedback, Dang it, I think it would be fantastic. And as a listener of podcast myself, I'm like, I get invested in the author and, you know, to have somebody put this kind of effort into it, I'd be all bested in the know what Chad thinks well, help chat out. Give him a call or leave a voicemail form or something like that. Send him an email and say here's what I did, here's what I liked about that, here's what what matters to me, because the reason that you're listening to this is you want to get better. Who wants to hear about complaints? Well, I'll take it all, and we do. Actually, if you guys hit the B to be rev exact, website, there's a link you give you. We got a feedback form. If you give me feedback, I'll shoot you five dollar starbucks Gift Card for your time. Good, bad and different. I like Scott's ideas. Again, I'm doing this and we ask for the reviews on itunes because I want to know what you guys want to hear. I mean, yes, I'm doing it for selfish reasons, but there are other people out there. I get emails, I do get some of those complaints, I do read them. For those that don't get a response back, I'm a GEN X or my response back would not be particularly professional. So so so, but I do want to feedback and I do appreciate that. The compliment Scott again. It's been awesome. Haveing you on the show. Everybody, please check out the be tob REV exact website. Share the family with friends, show the show with friends, family co workers. If you like what you here, please drop US review on itunes. We do look at those regularly. Until next time, we have value prime solutions with you all. Nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the B Tob 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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