Fostering Culture During Times of Crisis – Sales Enablement Soirée, Summer 2020
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CT: Welcome to our panel on Fostering Culture During Times of Crisis. This panel topic is especially important today because we are living in unprecedented times. And so, I am very interested to hear what all of our panelists have to say about what they’re doing at their organizations and the challenges they’re facing when really fostering a healthy and positive sales culture. And so, I would love to get each of you to just introduce yourself, your name, your company. John let’s start with you.
JM: I’m John Moore. I’m the collaborator. And I’m the VP of revenue enablement here at BigTinCan. Much like Kayde, I think we’re all doing a number of different things. In my role though, I oversee the organization to make sure that every single buyer and customer touch point is a great experience, that they get value from it. Now I’m not trying to pretend we do it flawlessly. We certainly don’t, but that’s the goal and that’s where we’re continuing to focus and trying to improve every day.
KP: My name is Kate Philpot. I head up global sales enablement for an organization called Getty Images.
KG: Kayde. I lead the sales enablement team at Carta. We, our mission is to help create more owners. And so private companies work with us to manage their cap table as well as offering those companies liquidity, et cetera. So, I have a team here that I manage. We support a little bit of a different business structure. We have what are called business units and they are basically little tiny mini organizations within Carta. They have their own engineering team, their own sales team, their own marketing team, et cetera. I have five of those that my team support.
CT: So, we are going to jump right into our panel questions today. And the first one is going to be just, I would love to hear from all of you about what you have seen, kind of the biggest shift in ship sales culture and how it’s been impacted in the past few months, as we’ve all adjusted to this new world work where so many people are virtual and working remotely.
KP: I guess the obvious that I assume everybody will talk about is that we’re in the throes of a global pandemic. So that has had a significant impact on our organization, in its entirety, not just in the context of the sales org, but we have, goodness knows, I can’t even tell you off the top of my head, how many offices. But we have been historically an office-based organization and pretty much effective middle of March of this year, the entire organization was sent to work from home. So that meant the sellers, that meant customer service, that’s meant all the support functions and yeah, it has required a real shift of mindset for the entire.
And again, speaking specifically now about the commercial organization to be able to wrap their heads around that, I guess the good thing is the customers did it too. So, it wasn’t like we all were sent home and our customers were doing the same thing. So everybody was in the same boat. So, there was a sense, I guess, community and understanding that you just had to kind of get on with things. And I guess the other thing that is, it has really inspired within our organization is a need to think creatively about how to surface opportunities when the obvious opportunities have just fallen off a cliff. So, I’ve seen some amazing work that’s gone on in the last couple of months where sales teams have done exactly that.
And it’s interesting because on the one hand you would like to think that it wouldn’t necessitate a global pandemic to inspire that level of creativity, but there you go. It has. And I there are some things, in fact I just got off a call where we were talking about, what do we want to hold on to as in when things returned to normal, if we could even say what normal will look like in the future. But you know, the kind of things I think we do want to hold onto are that creativity, that willingness to genuinely think outside of the normal parameters of business. And I think that’s been really inspiring.
The other challenge, and we have a part of our sales open, it’s all to do with assignments and particularly sport entertainment. And for that team in particular, life has been incredibly challenging. You know, there’s no Olympics this year, there’s no, you’re a 2020, most of them major sporting events for the first half of the year have disappeared off the calendar.
And again they, I was on another meeting this morning and just saw some really incredible work that’s gone on, for example, on e-sports. So, you can’t do real sports, but you can do e-sports and there’s, there’s a whole world of e-gaming e-sports that is just absolutely booming of the back of the pandemic.
And then on top of the pandemic terms of the challenges that we’ve had to face, obviously we have everything associated with George Floyd. And the death of George Floyd and the impact that that has had on the employees within our organization, who are people of color. And I think what has been really interesting in our businesses that a lot of our leaders and we are, like a lot of organizations, far whiter than we should be.
I think a lot of, seen the most senior of our leaders have, were really shocked when they realized how much of a burden, particularly the people of color in the organization were carrying because not only were they and their families disproportionately affected by COVID, but then they’re seeing the likes of the George Floyd death, and others played out on a daily basis in on the media. So, they’re carrying all of this burden and trying to rock up to work and do their work in a professional way. And I think it was, it took a few very frank conversations for some of our most senior leaders to understand what impact that was having on for us.
JM: For us, we’ve been entirely a remote sales team, or nearly entirely remote sales team since the day we were founded. So, the shift to remote work did not make a big difference for us. The only exception to that was really our SDR team, which is spread out globally. Had been working in different offices but going from to their home locations versus in the office, wasn’t a big shift.
So, for us, the biggest impact has really been around sort of the cultural and physical uncertainty that’s going on in the world. We all have that higher level of sensitivity to what’s going on in each other’s lives as a result of it. And I think that’s been a positive, in my opinion, a positive outcome of COVID, if there is such a thing. There was a lot of discussion about is it safe to do this as a safe to do that?
And we’re simply having a lot of conversations with each other where we’re genuinely saying, how are you. And not simply saying it as a meaningless set of words where we’re really saying, how are you holding up? So that’s been a really positive impact for us. And thankfully we haven’t had anybody directly, we haven’t lost any employees, which we’re extremely grateful for, of course. But a lot of employees are still seeing a lot of illness and death around them, which is tough.
The other thing though and Cassandra, you and I were talking, talking about this a little bit beforehand. I think what we’re seeing in the marketplace and it impacts the culture as well is simply the fact that, well, a lot of deals are still moving forward, we’re having a lot of great conversations, but people don’t necessarily have budget right now. And they may not have budget for one or two quarters out. Which from a cultural perspective, I think initially led to some level of sensitivity and frustration, but we sort of made it a more comfortable thing by telling the sales team look, make it about building relationships.
Don’t worry if you’re not going to close that deal. Obviously deals matter. We all live by making money, but we also made it about building a great relationship and really use this time to fully understand what the customers need. Existing customers and prospects. So, when they have budget, we’ll be in a better place to move on it.
I don’t know. What are you seeing, Kayde? I don’t know. Are you seeing the same kind of thing?
KG: Yeah, very similar. Where initially when COVID hit, we focused really heavily on getting some trainings out there and we did start to really the same thing. The trainings we should be doing, or how do you maintain and build that relationship. And so how do you really specialize for that customer and give them what they need? Our marketing team’s been amazing at rolling out some really good free COVID resources, especially for founders, since that’s a lot of our customers. Just to help say, Hey, we’re here for you and when you’re ready. And when this craziness is over, we’re here if you want to buy Carta which has helped. But very similar it’s, it’s a lot more about relationships now rather than, Hey, what’s that close date? You ready? Let’s get that thing done.
CT: And so, we’ve talked a lot about kind of what sales culture, and I’d love to know and get your insights on what a positive sales culture should look like. Especially today when we’re all kind of very overwhelmed. There are a lot of things that are uncertain.
KP: At first, I guess you would have you been surprised to hear me say inclusive, but I think we have to be clear about what inclusive means. Almost by location. So, we have a reasonably allowed sales team in Japan for example. Inclusive in Japan is different to inclusive in London or in Chicago or in New York or in Sydney. And so, we have to be clear about what that means a bit. There are some broad challenges for sales leaders around hiring practices. It’s very easy and arguably too tempting to recruit in your own image, to recruit those who you maybe have a preexisting relationship with rather than be again, creative and sufficiently curious when it comes to looking outside of the four walls of your organization and identifying the kind of people that you want to bring in.
And our commercial organization, again, is way more homogenous frankly, than it should be. And those are the kinds of live conversations that we’re having as an organization right now. You know, and really again, it’s a shame that it took the death of yet another black man on the streets of America to precipitate it, but it really does feel like this is a different kind of conversation. With a real willingness on the part of the entire business to do something, not talk about it, but actually do some things differently. And so, if anything good comes to what’s happened and it’s that, then fantastic.
So, I’m not sure that fully answered your question, but certainly from a culture perspective, I think inclusion is everything. Defining what that inclusion means is also important. And then thinking about practically, what are the steps that you’re going to take in order to make that inclusion feel meaningful for the people that you are trying to include, is also really important.
So, for example, we do a lot of training within my team and we’re training people globally. Unfortunately, the five people in my team do not speak 14 languages. So, 99.9% of our training is delivered in English to what’s probably 40 to 50% of our sales team who don’t speak English as a first language. How inclusive is that? And the bottom line is not inclusive enough. So, we’ve done a lot of work in the last 12 months. For example, we’ve set up a YouTube channel. We do all of our, we put all of our recordings into a YouTube channel. That means that at least those recordings can be subtitled in the language of the viewers choosing.
It’s not perfect, but I don’t have the resources to hire in-situ trainers for all of the offices that we have people in. So, I think just being willing to ask the end user, in my case, my team’s case, the internal customers, what do you need to make this better? And then coming up with, again, creative ways of answering those questions is really important.
And then the other thing is training the managers, reminding the managers, that inclusion means not just always going to the default two or three people that you always ask for help. Or, you always give, you always delegate to, but spreading out that load or opportunity, whichever way you want to put it and make sure that you’re involving everyone.
JM: You know, great sellers are curious. They’re empathetic. They’re great listeners. They’re collaborative to begin with. And all those words are so often overused that they really don’t mean a lot, but I think a great culture enforces, the right and the skills to do those better. So, a great sales culture. When I think about it from an enablement standpoint is, we’re helping them understand how to be more curious. Giving them exercises that forced them to explore, not simply accept the surface level answers and thinking, but to go deeper.
We’re giving them exercises that are making them really work on their listening skills. And again, those words are so often overused to the point that they are meaningless, but we’re trying to use this time to build that sales culture up to your point, Katie, I think we were already doing a good job, but you can always improve.
So, Cassandra, to your point, we’re trying to focus in on those four areas: curiosity, empathy, listening and collaboration, both across the team and within the buyer or the customer and the customer committee, buying committee overall. Because they’re really important skills that are really important aspects of a great sales culture, in our opinion. That’s where we’re spending a lot of time. I don’t know. What do you think, Kayde?
KG: Yeah, I think what makes a good sales culture for us shifted dramatically during COVID. we were all in the office. And so, we had a San Francisco and Salt Lake City base where our sales team was, some in New York, but we were in the office. We didn’t have anyone remote. And so, what’s shifted for us dramatically is that we’ve had to start to understand like, Hey, we have SDR as in, they’re living with five other roommates and it’s going to become really tricky for them to make 200 dials a week. All of a sudden, and we’ve got AEs whose kids are sitting on their lap as they’re trying to do a sales call.
And it’s completely shifted for us to say, okay, our sales culture of driving hard and being really excited if someone stayed till seven and made all their dials has totally changed. And so, you’ve had to say, how do we actually adjust to the work life that you’re living in now? Cause it’s very different. And for us, it’s been supporting them in that.
It’s also been really recognizing those who go above and beyond. And just those who are surviving in what’s happening right now, just to say, Hey, you hit your number and that is awesome. You have four kids at home right now, you were homeschooling them. So, congratulations. That is above and beyond what we could ever expect.
And so, I think we’ve seen a dramatic shift there for us. And it’s just because nobody was remote. And so, they’re all learning how to be remote, but also learning how to be with their family or their roommates and how to still have a good sales call while your roommate’s yelling about a fridge being clean as you’re trying to sell a deal to a CEO of a company.
And I just stick to that as a whole has been a big part of our culture shift. I think.
CT: So, I liked that kind of shift gears a little bit and talk about how your kind of. Promoting this healthy sales culture at your organization and what you’re doing.
KG: As we thought about just the big shift our team had of going or I’m out and the things they would face. There are some key things we focused on the first was just recognition. And so, our all hands became about 30 minutes longer because we spent time recognizing people who hit quota, who had a really good call. Can we call that out? We did that anyways, but it was more of like, Hey, great job to these three people. And now it’s like, who can we call it from each individual team to say, Hey, you’re still important. And we love what you’re doing. That’s been a big shift for us.
We actually really focus on keeping activities that we had beforehand, that drove numbers. And so, we’ve got dial blitzes and before we were all in the office and you were ringing a gong and it was all really high energy. How can we keep those without totally losing the effect of it all? And so, we’ve got gift cards and we still do a big dial blitz on Friday and everyone’s dialing and they’re posting the meetings that they’ve sent in Slack. And just ways to say, Hey, we’re going to maintain some level of normalcy while also still giving you that competition and excitement that you might not have anymore, when we were in the office. Those are big ones.
And then of course keeping it fun and lighthearted. I can talk to a few of the things we do. Our SDR leader, just recently did a Taco Tuesday. And so, on Tuesday, all of our SDRs, they got the same taco recipe. They were on zoom making it together. And then we had a competition and based off of pictures of who did the best. And so how can we keep it lighthearted and still maintain a good cohesive team culture. That’s been a big part of it.
KP: Well, the other thing that we did, we’ve done in the last couple of months, because we have all been geographically dispersed is, we’ve put a program of refresher trainings in place for the entire organization.
And ironically, we’re talking about this the other day, we, like a lot of people who were responsible for training, would say, sometimes it’s hard to get people to come to training and it’s even harder to get them to pay attention in the training. Oftentimes and you know, they’re really busy or they can only attend half a bit what we’ve done, and I’ve guessed we have maybe more of a captive audience given the whole COVID thing.
Is we put into place, this program of refreshment with different, we consciously said, it’s not training, its refreshment. So, there was no suggestion that you can’t already do it. This is about coming back and reminding yourself of the best practice. We made all of the sessions optional. So, there was no sheet dipping of people we just said, come if you want, don’t if you don’t. And it was an open invitation. We had just over 700 attendees over 12 sessions. And those were people, we don’t have 700 people in our sales org, so those were people who were coming back regularly.
And I ran the sessions every 10 days over a number of topics: selling best practice, strategic account management, negotiation, best practice presenting, the usual stuff. But what was really interesting was the spread of participation. You know, the numbers for people who joined, who were coming from literally every office. Well, every office as it would have been. That we have within the organization and we got some really great conversation.
I think it’s also about how you tee up the session. So, there’s no wrong answers. This is about sharing best practice. Everybody’s opinion is valid. Speak, please. And if you don’t speak, they’ll be out I’ll be calling you out and asking you to, because otherwise I’m going to hear myself talking for an hour. And that’s really dull and tedious, but we got some really great participation. And also, interestingly, some really good feedback from people who, because they would have been in a smaller office usually, and therefore, I would not have been able to get to them as frequently. They were able to participate and get exposure to their colleagues and other offices in a way that wouldn’t historically have happened. So ironically, the fact that we’re all remote and the fact that they were all dialing in actually gave them, it delivered more inclusion than what would have been the case otherwise.
CT: Shifting gears a little bit. I think that we all know that this new work environment comes with many cultural challenges. And so, I’d love to hear about what the biggest ones you’ve been facing are, and then how you’re addressing those challenges at your organization.
KP: It’s ironic. And you know, my team is tiny for the size of the sales org that we have. So, we’re a very small team and we have a relatively small budget to travel. So, we’ve never been able to do a lot in person. So, I really, I guess for us, it’s not that much of a difference. I think the biggest issue and the biggest challenge has been, we had a big program at the beginning of the year of hiring new people into our organization and all of that, which would have been in person as in live in person in front of another human being has pivoted to being virtual.
So, two of the people in my team have, bless their hearts, done an absolutely incredible job. They’ve onboarded just shy of 70 people since the beginning of January, about half of whom have been onboarded virtually. So that means that our same three-week program delivered via zoom calls rather than in person, in a room. And that is challenging for sure. We all know that it’s more of a drain on your energy levels to be on nine hours of zoom in a day. So, we’ve had to break the sessions up. Offer more breaks. Make the, I mean, the great thing about zoom is you have the opportunity to use things like breakout rooms. You can use polls; you can use the chat.
You have to think about what would I do in a classroom. Because you wouldn’t as a trainer, you would be very unlikely to stand in a classroom for hours on end and just talk at people. You would ask them questions. You’d ask them to turn to their neighbor and have a chat. You’d ask them to put their hands up and say whether they agreed or disagreed with your question. All of that’s available through the technology. It just requires you to think a little bit in advance and decide which bits you’re going to use when.
So, I think from our perspective, while there have been challenges, I guess the summary is, probably not as much as for organizations that would have been a lot more in person than we are. And then I guess the, the only other challenges, just the number of hours in the day. So, having committed to do this program, then had to revisit all of our old trainings and update them and make sure they were all fit for purpose. And there was a lot of work to do. And I guess all of the panelists will probably say that they’re probably doing longer hours working from home than I have commuting backwards and forwards to an office because there is heaps to do. And you don’t have the excuse of going, Oh, I’ve got to train to catch.
KG: The big three for us would probably be all of a sudden, since we’re all remote and we’re all used to being in the office together, we are taking more time to meet with each other. And so, it’s just back to back meetings a lot of times, and that’s like it is for sellers.
And so, then sellers are like, wait a second. When do I actually get to sell things? Isn’t that what I was hired for? And so, working around here, protect their time. Our engineering team, actually, this was a mess, but I think we’re going to head that way, just implemented some deep-thinking time. And so, they’re blocking off time where they can do some deep thinking just to say, ‘Hey, this is my time. Don’t schedule a meeting.’ Everyone has the same time block so that we aren’t scheduling meetings. So, I’d say that’s a big one of, Hey, we can’t all communicate. And so, we’re having to overextend ourselves in the zoom meetings and on Slack, et cetera.
Second, it would just be that typically our normal workday was at the office. We could go home, and we were home and that was fine. And now it’s, ‘oh, kids have to get to school.’ And so those hours change and so retraining ourselves to be more patient, especially with sellers and the new ones to say, ‘Hey, go do what you have to do and maybe your typical time isn’t between nine to five and you’re selling it at 7:00 PM and that’s just how it happens.’ We know really good hours where we’ve got a lot of responses. And so, we’ve got them blocked there to start collecting calling and emailing, et cetera. But beyond that, their timeframes change. And so, all of us adjusting to say, Hey, that’s okay. We don’t have to sell nine to five, there’s other ways to do it.
And then I think the other one, and similar John to what you said, is that we’ve actually become better collaborators with our people. And so, it’s marketing engineering, et cetera, where we’re all in the same boat. And we need to talk to each other, but more. And so, we’ve got some really good cross-functional things that have happened that we typically wouldn’t see I think if we were just in the office and not in the situation that we’re in. And I think that’s not a hard time, but it’s actually a benefit, but it’s a huge thing that we’ve seen as well that I think is going to help us post-COVID when we start to work together.
JM: Our struggles are a little bit different, but you hit upon one of them that I just always am concerned about. Taking away from non-taking away from selling time. It’s so easy cause we all fall into that trap of, Oh crap. I’m not seeing you now throughout the day. I’m not bumping into you at the water cooler in the kitchen or whatever. We all just started scheduling time together.
And even though everybody was mostly remote, those people that weren’t previously remote, were doing a lot of those scheduled extra meetings. So, we started to implement, and we were kind of doing it before, but we more formalized it a little bit more shorter meeting goals. So, try not to schedule an hour-long meeting, but if you do schedule an hour-long meeting, make it a 50-minute meeting.
So at least you get a little bit of time in between because to your point. Not your point, but you made me think of a Katie, your dogs, they’re barking, your dog needs to go for a walk. Give me 10 minutes in between as I’m doing things, to try to be sensitive to people’s needs. So, we’ve been really battling a little bit with that, but I think we’re on the other side of it now. In terms of just really trying to be sensitive to those time blocks the deep thinking one though, I want to really emphasize because I’ve done that for a long time.
I block out three hours every morning, every day of the week. And it’s do not bother me. I’m working on strategic stuff. And we really encourage all of our, at least our customer facing teams. I can’t speak to what our engineers and other members of the team do. But we encourage everybody to do that because, we all know it’s so easy to get lost into the weeds and get be busy, being busy. That’s an overused phrase too, but I’ll use that. And we need to take time to step back and think about what’s smart, what we should be working on?
CT: I will bring us back a little bit and talk about a topic that I think is actually very interesting. And the big question is, is culture measurable?
KP: So this is a live conversation, again, particularly in the context of diversity and inclusion. Which we’ve had a program of addressing for a couple of years now, but the emphasis has been heightened with George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, (they have always, it’s been on the agenda) but you know, the focus internally has been much more acute in recent times.
So, we have had exit surveys, for example, for staff in the past. The challenge, I think for a lot of organizations is they have to, they have to set piece activities that notionally address culture. So, we do an engagement survey every year. We do an exit survey. We do check ins we’re at the six month and the end of year basis.
The question is, (again, it’s really front of mind right now) what are you do with the information that comes out of those things? And if you’re just going through the exercise without then taking the information that’s produced and making some different decisions as a consequence, then it’s a complete waste of time.
Okay. Maybe not a complete waste of time, but its less value added than it might otherwise be. So, we, and again, I’m not going to pretend that this has resolved because it isn’t, but at least now there’s an actual conversation about, okay, so who sees the outputs of the exit interview results? What happens if the feedback from the person who’s exited is, I left because I didn’t feel included? What conversation that happens with the manager of that person who let that happen? And what are the consequences with that manager in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again? Those are the kinds of live conversations that we’re having now. Not only about because you know, by the time somebody is exited, it’s too late, let’s be honest. You want to get people feeling included at the beginning of their experience in our organization, rather than by the time they’ve tendered their resignation.
So, there’s a lot of work going on now to define what do we need to do with the information? My own view is that there’s a step beyond that, which is what targets are we prepared connect to as an organization that will tell us, have we shifted it?
So for example, if you do an engagement survey and not that we do at the moment segment on ethnicity, but if you did get feedback from an engagement survey that said, 50% of your people of color do not feel as included as the majority of the employees who are white.
How would you know if I feel different in 12 months’ time? What steps are you going to take in order to make sure that that happens? And, what’s a desirable target to set for yourself. Those are the kinds of conversations that we have no resolve right now. But as I say it’s a life.
It’s a live conversation. In the London office. I mean, we don’t have a huge, black or ethnic minority population, but in the London office, we had built ourselves a Slack channel about 18 months ago, we had over the course of about a year, increased it. There were about 25 of us. And with what happened in the US back in May we just by chance, said to colleague in your, Hey, should we just invite everybody else to join this?
Long story short, the channel, if now has 117 members who are, either black, Asian, or minority ethnic, as they identify themselves. And so over again, one of the huge upsides of COVID and not that they can really be an upside of the George Floyd death, but we now have this resource group of 170 staff who are challenging thinking, asking polite questions, asking for the data, asking for targets.
And it’s really started to give what felt like 170 or what I think probably each of those 170 individuals felt it was them on their own. It’s starting now to feel like a group of people who have, have a voice and have a right to say, and have a right to challenge and a right to articulate their particular personal situation.
And yeah, we just did a survey as a group and we use not only their experience as employees, but we also ask them questions about their experience outside of work. And one of the statistics, I don’t remember the exact number, but one of the questions was “I’m fearful of law enforcement.” 75% of that group said, yes, agree or strongly agree to that question. And when we shared that with our global leadership team, they were horrified. Because it had never dawned on them that the people that walked through the door every day, who do a hugely professional job and do all the things that are asked of them inside the four walls of Getty images; then leave the office and are fearful of what might happen to them as they’re walking down the street.
And it’s been really incredibly powerful to see the responses of our global leadership team, because I think it did just shine a light in a way that I don’t think they’d ever joined the dots before then.
JM: I do think culture is somewhat measurable. I think we have a responsibility as enablers, as enablement teams, to work closely with HR and with leadership, not just in sales, marketing, customer success, but even in finance and elsewhere. We see symptoms of bad failure all the time. We see it in low tenure for sellers. You know, the average attrition rate, I think, for SDRs is about 15 months, for AEs is probably about 22, 23 months. If you’re seeing people turnover and it’s about 33% a year. So, three out of 10 people every year, of your sellers are going to leave. If you’re seeing rates that are beating that, you certainly can identify that you have a culture problem. It’s not a direct measure, but I think it’s something you need to be sensitive to.
One of the things that I know we try to do, and we recommend people do, is quite honestly pay attention to those metrics, but also survey people. Do it anonymously and all of that and ask people, what are the difficult parts of your job? What’s harder than it should be? What’s eating away at your selling time? What can we improve upon? Just some of those standard questions. And we bring the feedback in and we work hard are to respond to it. Now, if people raise legitimate things, which they do every month or every quarter, every time we bring the surveys up, we always learn something that we thought we were doing okay with that we need to improve upon.
And that’s good. So, I think that’s important. Attrition rates though. On the job performance. Are SDRs hitting their call numbers? You know, for example, if they were hitting them really flawlessly for three months and then all, some things drop and nothing’s changed, like COVID, economic collapse, and all of those sorts of things, that’s something you can dive into.
And more often than not, I believe those are symptoms of cultural problems in the organization, and whether it’s manager problems, managerial problems or something else, you need to be alert to pay attention to it and discuss it.
CT: To end our panel, and we have a couple of panelists who haven’t done a Sales Enablement Soirée before. But after every panel, we like to get the one key takeaway that you want to leave our audience with. So I would love to hear from each of you, the one takeaway that you want our audience to walk away with today.
KP: I think my takeaway is that necessity is the mother of invention. And by that, I mean it’s easy sometimes to see catastrophe as exactly that. And this is not at all to minimize COVID and it’s certainly not to minimize the whole conversation around, anti-racism.
But out of every catastrophe, there is an opportunity. And I think for all of us, certainly within our business and I’m seeing it elsewhere, the really positive thing has been that it has started a conversation. It is getting people to challenge their thinking, thinking that even six months ago, they would have been quite rigid around and people are starting to go, “Oh yeah. But why? Yeah. And does it have to be like that? And actually, no, it doesn’t. So, let’s fix it.” So, I think that that creativity and that desire and willingness to consider an alternative has been, I think, is for me the biggest takeaway and one that I will continue to drive over the coming months.
JM: Oh, look, it’s not just about making sales. It’s not simply about making sellers more efficient in the moment of the opportunity. It’s about making sellers more whole as members of the company, members of the business and recognizing they’re distinctly human needs, which is so good. Easy to just think about a seller as a widget, that’s making sales make a salesman sale.
We have a unique opportunity right now with the world thrown on its head to do better than we’ve done before I think in that area. So, my one takeaway is if you’re not yet partnering with HR, sit down with them, find ways that you can, whether it’s with onboarding improvements that’s simple. If it’s part of the surveys that Katie and I were talking about or other areas, that’s my one takeaway.
KG: I would say my one takeaway would be don’t be apathetic about culture. An apathetic culture can get really toxic, really fast. And it’s on us as enablement leaders, but also on our sales leaders, our HR teams, et cetera, to jump in and be able to shape that culture every single day, including our sellers.
And so, involving those key stakeholders to make sure they’re also creating this culture that is inclusive and welcoming and is helping them become better people in general, versus just saying, “eh, cultural will happen. And we’ll see what happens.” And you ignore the things that really mattered to people. And I think what will keep people. So don’t be apathetic.
CT: All right. So, we’re going to open it up for Q and A. So, if anybody has any questions for our speakers, please feel free to type those into the chat below, and we’ll give you all a moment to do that.