The Evolution of the Sales Enablement Charter – Soirée, Boston
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Brian Lambert: Hey everybody, my name’s Brian Lambert and we’re going to talk about the sales enablement charter. So, let me give you a little story, some context. Any boy scouts in the room? The Lifesaving Merit badge. What they teach you is something a little counterintuitive, because you’re supposed to go out and save lives, but what they tell you to do, and the first rule of the whole thing, is when you get out in the middle of a lake or whatever, you stay away from the people who are drowning. Do you know why you do that? So they don’t, out of panic, grab onto you and take you both straight to the bottom. And this is an important context here. You heard it from Peter, this idea of everybody coming to you and saying, “Hey, can you help?” And then your remit gets huge. And then the next thing you know, you know, a little bit does straight to the bottom. So, there’s a lot of things that can come at you. Obviously, we’ll talk a little bit about survival today. No, just kidding.
But I want to shift it actually into the business impact of that. Of staying calm, of having a plan, of setting the right expectations, managing those expectations with those people around you. And then keeping a little bit of an arm’s distance when you go in because a lot of us are in a transformational role. And when you do that, you need to have a plan and a purpose. And the charter can help you do that.
Okay, so we’re going to ask some questions. The way that I wanted to run this, because we have 30 minutes and there are so many awesome people up here with awesome talent. I mean, look at these companies, right? I appreciate all of these folks coming in, and we’re going to have them go right down the line here in a second. And they’re going to talk about what they’re doing in their companies. We’re all practitioners. I’ll start.
I’m actually with the Sales Enablement Society, one of the five original founders. But I also run enablement for a large telecommunications company. I run a 30-person team and we manage all the intake and architecting against what Peter was talking about with the design, the build, but we do it for the process, knowledge management, curriculum, and also leadership development. So, we’re a little bit of a hybrid process-knowledge management training team.
My value-add to your guys is, I don’t know if you knew this, but there’s actually a compensation study going on. There’s a company called Growth Matters, so write down the URL growthmatters.today. Go fill out the two-minute compensation study. Personally, I’m trying to figure out how much, I’m trying to advocate for HR how much enablement people should be costing us because they have a slightly different perspective on the value of you guys. So, the more people the merrier because I’ll get the results, and you all will too if you go there. And that’s what I wanted you guys to take away from that. So, that’s my background. We’re going to start next with Jill. Hi, Jill, who literally just came in. Did you Uber here or what?
Jill Guardia: I taxied here. And I’m local so that’s embarrassing that it took me so long to get here. I went to my Lyft app and it came up $68 to get here. I live in Summerville. For those of you who aren’t local, about a mile and a half away. So, I called the local taxi cab company and it was less than $20 and I got here but in the nick of time.
So, hey everybody. I’m Jill Guardia. I run enablement for a company called Trinet. Trinet is a PEO, professional employer organization, which means that we sell HR services. And it’s interesting, I’ve been talking to the person who runs L&D for us, and we did a comparison and she wanted to downgrade the comp on my team because it was nowhere near the comp on her team. So I said, “How about we upgrade the comp on your team.” So, my organization is 17 strong and we’re just introducing a new role is a field sales trainer, so they’re going out and training and coaching. It’s a new role for us, so I’m pretty excited. We’ll have three people on that team. And then otherwise, we do the traditional stuff. We do training, we do communications, we work on our sales methodology and process, and of course, the big-ticket item: sales kick-off. We also like to do regional kick-offs, so we keep busy.
Mike Kiely: Mike Kiely, I’m with Dell Technologies. Before that, I was with EMC. EMC and Dell merged about two years ago. My background is I was in charge of sales enablement for then-EMC at the time, probably for about 4,000 sellers. And then when we merged with Dell and became Dell Technologies, it became a salesforce of 40,000. At EMC, I was part of the team that really started the sales enablement function grassroots effort. Now, however, I’m on the services side of Dell Technologies, going from 4,000 sellers to 40, now I’m back to 4,000. I’m kind of starting it again on the services side of the organization, so I’m responsible for messaging and enablement there.
BL: Thanks, Mike.
Susan Savona: Susan Savona. I work at Monster Worldwide. We are a talent acquisition company. Before that, I’ve been there for about a year and a half. Mike and I actually worked together at EMC for a while. And I have been kind of in sales enablement and enablement for a long time. I won’t actually go into the total number of years. But right now, I manage a team of about six people globally, and we are really responsible for all of the kind of sales enablement functions: training, content management, coaching, things of that nature. So, we’re in the midst of a pretty big transformation at our company, so enablement is playing a really key role as part of that to make sure that we are enabling our sellers too, as part of the whole change management for our transformation. So, happy to be here.
Kevin Starner: Hi, my name is Kevin Starner. I’ve spent the last 24-25 years carrying a bag, managing sales people and then the last eight and a half years, I had an opportunity to start a sales enablement function from scratch and grow it to a little over 60 folks worldwide within the organization. And we focused on everything from presale support to sales training, onboarding, ongoing leadership development, and really focusing on creating capacity and improving the productivity of our frontline sellers and frontline sales managers. And it’s just an amazing opportunity. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been doing a little bit of consulting, looking to help organizations start their sales enablement organizations as well.
Alex Mackenzie: Cool. My name’s Alex Mackenzie, I’m the head of midmarket SMB sales at Aleggo. It’s a sales readiness platform that focuses on both formal and informal learning. So, I’m not a practitioner, I’m a sales leader. Probably one of my reps has cold-called you, so apologies for that. What we help companies do is help get their enablement functions off the ground using technology. I’ve helped companies that have no enablement people, from a team of one up to 50. So, looking forward to being on the panel.
Brandon Bussey: My name is Brandon Bussey, I’m from a company called LucidChart, also known as Lucid. I head up our revenue strategy, operations, and enablement team. So, it’s a pretty broad organization. I’m excited to participate on the panel.
BL: Great, thanks. So, I’m going to start us off with the first question. It’s for Jill. And one of the things you said, you’re starting up your function, so how have you gained executive buy-in on your charter and then who else in the organization have you had to navigate to also get their buy-in?
JG: Yeah, so building your charter is a lot of work. And we sometimes don’t make the time for that, we kind of just get into our day-to-day activity. But going through the process of this new role that we put on the team, these regional field trainers and coaches, we actually to go to our executive leadership team and provide for them, some education about what enablement is. And that really came through developing the charter. So, I had to do a lot of work with our CRO to get him comfortable, and then he actually presented the message to the ELT to gain the buy-in. And then we got the blessing. You know, it’s certainly not just as easy as that, “Okay, yeah, go for it.”
BL: Tell us a little bit about, how long did it take? How many meetings?
JG: It took a good three months of focused time to prepare to work back from: this is when we’re going to present it to the executive team, going back several meetings with several VPs to kind of get the voice of sales into it. And then back and forth with the CRO to make sure that it was really put together at an executive level, right? So, you speak a little differently when you’re speaking to the entire executive team. They don’t know our lingo. We tend to speak in code a little bit. So, we had to really kind of “English-ize” it and really get it down to something that almost was common sense obvious, but really explained what we were hoping to achieve around some sales productivity results.
So, a good three months, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Then the presentation was just two slides and it was approved and then the devils in the detail. It’s all about doing some costing analysis. You know, what’s the role for description and all of that. And then working, we have a very big sales leadership team with 14 sales VPs, because we have regional VPs and then overlay industry VPs. So basically, we had to negotiate with each one of them to make sure that we got that consensus. It’s the way the company works, so that was a lot of meetings with each of the VPs, individually and collectively.
And then, there are a lot of stakeholders. I mean, it’s just never done, and I have brought a hard copy with me in case anyone asks, “What’s on your charter?” So, we keep reviewing it and keep coming back to it and using it as our map or our guide when somebody asks us to do something. Is it relevant to the charter we put together? If yes, okay. If no, then we have to say no.
BL: Right. And we will have a Q&A, so we’re going to keep moving. So, that’s an example of one getting started. Now I want to go to Mike. And so, let’s assume that everything included in the charter is important and delivers some type of value. What areas, in particular, do you feel are driving momentum in a sales enablement org, and perhaps delivering the most perceived value in the mind of the stakeholders?
MK: And I forgot the question, I’m thinking real-time here. I should have known that. You know, perceived momentum, that’s kind of an interesting thing. I think for us and what I have found forming the sales enablement group at EMC, it was really starting with the quick hits, finding those gaps. A lot of it was around skills. We actually discovered had they had all the product knowledge, but being able to actually execute and have an engaging or an effective conversation, we found that there was a huge gap there.
So, we started to work on some quick hits. Start with a theater. Start with a sales leader that would love your help. And we actually would start small and get that sales leader’s buy-in. And then, of course, that would create credibility and visibility. But if I was to nail it down to one thing, it was really, for us at least, focusing on the skills, that kind of buyer engagement, that Peter talked about.
BL: And then did you have to celebrate those little wins along the way? Give us an example of how you maybe communicated that out.
MK: Well, actually the way we celebrated those wins, a lot of them were communicated out by the theaters. If you can get the sales leaders to communicate out, the biggest win is when you get an email that copies all the way through all the sales leadership up to your global sales leader or your CRO, which says, “This thing we just did in our theater was awesome.” That’s typically how it worked for us. Those are big wins.
BL: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, Susan to build off of that, you heard about a little bit of the why and it sounds like you’re building transformation. Raise your hand if you’re in what would be considered a transformational role at your company. Pretty much everybody, right? So from that perspective then, why is a charter important in a transformation, and also, what are some key components that help ground people?
SS: Great question. I mean, I think for me as part of this transformation, the charter is so important because it’s your blueprint. It tells you: who are you going to be, who are you going to support, how are you going to support them, and then where roles kind of start and stop. When I first got to Monster, there really wasn’t an enablement team. There was one person doing some sales new hire and that was pretty much it. And so, over the course of the year and a half, we’ve built out a team of six people, which has been fantastic worldwide, but we, as part of the charter, needed to determine, well how do we work with product and product marketing? What do they do versus what do we do? What does L&D do versus what sales enablement does?
So, the charter was really fantastic about outlining exactly: who’s going to do what? What were the interconnections going to be between all of those groups? And then how do we do some of those handoffs? What was our mission going to be for our sales organization? In Peter’s presentation, he had that laundry list of things that sales enablement can do. If you want to bite off all of that as part of a transformation, you’ll never be successful because you’re, what did they call that, death by a thousand cuts. So, you really have to use the charter to focus on the most important components.
And then, who were we going to include in that charter? Is it going to be all of sales and the support staff? And the presales? And all of these different types of people. The charter was really how we used it as that blueprint to determine who we were going to be, who we were going to support, how were we going to support them, and so a lot of that was in the charter.
So, things to think about would be: Who is your champion? What are your mission, vision, and value? What are some of the key measurements and outcomes? Even some of the things around funding. If you think about, what was L&D going to fund from an enablement perspective versus what we were going to? All of that charter has all of those key components so that you can really have those right conversations with executive leadership, knowing who your audience is and making sure that you understand what those connection points are. So, for us it’s critical and we constantly update as needed and as to how things change with our transformation.
BL: So, that’s a lot of prioritization and communication.
BL: One of the things that pop into my mind, and I have not seen your charter, is what about arbitration? When people disagree, is that covered in your charter as well? Or through your work?
SS: It’s more through when we talk about the champions and audiences. So when people say, when we first got there, all of the VP’s were like, “Wow, sales enablement can do everything.” We were like, “Well we can do everything.” We have the skills to do everything. But is that really going to move the needle? Is that really going to get us where we want to go?
So the good thing about being a part of a transformation and going through that as an organization, you have a lot more flexibility to say, “Nope, we’re not doing that.” Because if you put that as part of your mission and this is what we are going to do, anything that falls outside of that, you can say, “Wow, sorry, we can’t do that.” So, that’s where the charter really helps and that arbitration of where do we really want to focus our time and effort? And then we’ll always come back to that and weed and change as needed.
BL: Great. Kevin, so tell us about the importance of keeping sales management in the process and keeping them in the loop throughout that transformational work.
KS: Yeah, so just a quick question, quick poll. How many sales managers or sales leaders are in the room? Okay, so most of the rest of you are all sales enablement practitioners?
BL: Everybody needs to buy them a drink tonight.
KS: Alright, so will tell you that having been a sales manager in 2 different organizations, there’s nothing more frustrating as a sales manager than getting initiatives rolled out when we’re not bought in and not ready for it. And I will tell you from the sales enablement side, there’s nothing more frustrating than when you try to roll out a new initiative, methodologies, etc. and they’re not ready for it, they’re not bought in, they’re not ready to coach. So, they are critical catalysts to driving whatever you’re looking to do. We all have enablement in our titles, but everyone in the company should be an enabler of sales. So, they have to be onboard from the beginning. And we talked about the charter and what should be in the charter. Making sure that they’re a primary audience for what you’re rolling out is critical. So, I’ll go to the how.
BL: Some examples, yes.
KS: So how do you do that? I’ll give you three simple things that aren’t really that simple to do. So the first thing is, they have to understand and buy into the why. And from a buy-in perspective, it’s not just to the charter, it’s to each individual initiative. If they’re not bought into that individual initiative, it might be the wrong timing. They may have too many things on their plate that they can’t drive. So, they have to buy into the why and what their role is as part of that.
The second thing is, and I’ll hashtag this #salesleadersfirst, take them through the process as if they were reps, and understanding what the reps have to go through, what’s expected of them to deliver, what the outcomes are and making sure that they know their role as part of that process.
And then the third thing is, make it easy for them to coach. Has anyone read the book “Crushing Quota”? It came out last year. It was the second book from Michele Vazzana and Jason Jordan, “Cracking the Sales Manager Code”. It’s a great book, and one of the things that they talk about is making, like from a coaching perspective, there are three different areas of coaching that they focus on: coaching to capabilities, coaching to outcomes, and then coaching to activities. Coaching to activities is the most productive coaching type that you can get to. So, making sure that you’re making it easy for whatever initiative you’re driving out, to coach. Do they have the tools, the content, to coach in the content and in the spirit of when they’re coaching to those activities? So again, boiling it down, make sure that they buy into the why on every initiative, sales leaders first, and then make it easy to coach.
BL: Great. So, with Jill, we talked about how do we set this up, how do we get buy-in up and get the money, the funding. Then we moved into this idea of how do we tailor it, right, by region, figure out what should be in it, what’s the low-hanging fruit. Then we talked about this idea of how to use it to communicate, set priorities, maybe even arbitrate. Then we said, “okay, let’s make sure the managers are involved.” We can’t leave them out, that’s an important distinction. So, we move to Alex then. What else would you say is important to when you execute a charter or live out your charter, that people need to do from a best practice perspective?
AM: Sure, so I’d say sticking to the blueprint is really important, but things change in your markets. Your biggest competitor gets acquired. That has a change as an impact on enablement and the people that are out in the field. Being flexible and having some buy-in from other subject matter experts in the organization is really huge. How many of you have a really strong relationship with your product marketing folks? That’s one where I would start.
Another relationship I would start is to find somebody that’s in sales ops. Somebody that can dissect the information. Be an analyst for you. If you don’t have an understanding of what your time to first deal is, what your competitive win rate is, and you roll out a new message or a new product, then being able to support that what you’re doing is actually driving a business impact, is very difficult. And then you have that conversation like Jill has at the end of the year with your HR is, your enablement people are making too much money. Well, no they’re not. This is the impact that they actually had on the business.
So, I would say, I like the sales leaders first piece, but I also like the idea of the coalition of the willing. There are people in your organization that are the first to adopt outreach. The first to adopt Highspot. Your CRM. They’re the note takers. If you can deputize them to be a task force for you, and you can understand what they’re dealing with on a day to day, maybe like a monthly survey or monthly meet up, and let them have a voice, that way enablement is actually meeting the needs of sellers.
A lot of times I see these executive sponsors happen, where you get your CRO completely involved and they’re not on the front lines fighting the day-to-day. So, don’t forget about those individuals in the front line, because that’s the impact, right? If I have one of my sales managers, let’s say, that a new message rolls out, and someone says, “You’ve got to go do this exercise” or “You’ve got to go stand at the main stage on theater” and the manager says, “Hey, that’s actually not that important,” you’ve lost all credibility and they’re not going to take it seriously. So, definitely from the bottom up is really a good way to look at it as well.
BL: Yeah, that way it doesn’t just become a piece of paper. That you know in sales enablement, it’s something everybody embraces or at least understands. I like that.
Brandon, continuing this theme of implementation and rolling it out, and what’s starting to evolve, maybe you guys are seeing it too now, the charter’s becoming something that people are living, they’re embracing, they’re using in the day to day, they’re helping communicate, they’re breaking down silos, etc. Brandon, from that perspective, how do we know we’re successful when a charter’s being rolled out?
BB: Yeah, one thing I would say is to look for the language in your charter being adopted by the sales floor. I spent four or five years at Amazon, and for those that have ever interacted or interviewed with Amazon, you’ll know they have their 13 leadership principles, and it’s just ingrained in you from day one- even before day one I was interviewed and asked about bias for action. I can rattle them off to this day and it’s been a number of years later. But, I think often we create these types of charters, these principles, behind closed doors and never share it. And that needs to completely change with the sales enablement charter. It needs to be something that’s discussed, and connected in, almost to a point that it feels like, “Oh yeah, we’ve heard this a million times.” Like that’s what it takes to really engrain this in people’s heads. And then it becomes part of the vocabulary at the company and your sales org. When you’re sitting there and start to hear these things that are in your sales enablement charter, you know that, okay, this is really starting to take root.
I think the second piece too is, have very trackable metrics. Peter talked a lot about some great examples of metrics, but from the get-go, say here are the things we’re going to measure, here are the things we’re going to focus on, and have a very specific goal. I think too often we say, “Hey, we want to increase average deal size or average sales price.” But, what does that mean? By when? And be very, very specific, and then you can know whether or not you’ve been successful. So, be very deliberate about the language you use, and then the metrics you use. Define them ahead of time and I know we’ve covered this multiple times, but that’s your ROI that at the end of the year, even if you’re not being asked, “What value did you provide?”, you can go proactively say, “Look at the revenue that we’ve generated,” whether it’s, these are the metrics we chose and this is how we executed on them.
BL: Great. So, we’re two minutes away from the Q&A, so how that’ll work by the way is you can target it to a specific person, their names are up there and you can ask a question. But now I’m going to come back this way, everybody here on the panel, and we’ll start with you, Brandon. What’s your one piece of advice when it comes to a charter? Rapid fire, 30 seconds or less. And we’ll just run right down the line, and then we’ll hit our Q&A.
BB: I mean, just kind of echoing off what I said, be very deliberate upfront about what’s included. Take more time than you think you need. Carve out days to go through this because it will pay off in the end.
AM: Great. I’d say continuous alignment. If things change in your organization, make sure that product marketing, sales ops, sales leadership, completely have an understanding of why you’re making a change. And then just make sure you’re measuring what the impact of your efforts are.
KS: I would tell you to have consistent one on ones with all of your key stakeholders, and ask them how do they think you’re doing. What could you be doing differently? And then how do you take that feedback and then involve your charter over time?
SS: I would say clear areas of focus and clear lines of responsibility. Making sure that you’re really clear on who’s responsible, who’s accountable, who is going to really help you. And then to piggyback a little bit, I would also make sure that you are getting sales involved. One of the best things that we did was actually created a global sales enablement counsel. And that’s a team of people that meet every month, and we go through: here’s what we’re doing, here’s why we’re doing it. And it really helps to get that feedback from them to be able to modify or change that charter if we needed to.
BL: Yeah, that’s great because as soon as it’s something that’s on the sales floor that people don’t like, and there’s not one voice to come back and say, this is why we’re doing it, it’s pretty impossible to overcome that.
JG: And then when any VP comes to you and says, “Well, who from the sales organization has seen this?”, you can rattle off the 14 names on the sales enablement counsel and it usually helps diffuse some situations.
BL: Yeah, super important. I love it.
MK: Mine’s a little more tactical in the sense that, socialize whether it’s a new charter, whether it’s a new program. And what I mean by socializing is, socialize before the big meeting, you know? Get to everybody that’s going to be in that meeting and one on one, get their opinions, get their feedback, so there are no surprises at the meeting. But at the same time, go out to direct sellers. Talk to the sellers, the managers, and the execs. I’m huge on socializing before the big event, and hopefully there’ll be no surprises and actually, you’ll have all the answers in that meeting.
BL: Now you’re sounding like a salesperson.
MK: Oh, I did sell for IBM for 17 years or so.
BL: Yeah, practice what you preach.
JG: I would say 360-degree buy-in. So, it’s not just something you’re pitching to the executives, but it is also your team, and your stakeholders, and your customers. So, the 360-degree buy-in is pretty important. That gives you the alignment that you need from top to bottom.
BL: Yeah, that’s great. And for me, I’m going to throw in one and I think you might see it today, I mean there are a lot of things we could be doing. My head is already swimming from the awesome content this morning. And I think this idea of simplification is really starting to pick up. And simplifying the different types of salesforces, etc., this idea of outcomes. I have actually simplified now to the point where, an immature sales enablement organization can help their salespeople talk 15 seconds about their customers, without talking about their company, their product, or themselves, that’s an immature sales enablement organization. Fifteen seconds, try it. Ask your salesperson if they can talk about their customers and the problems that you solve, without talking about your company, your product or yourselves.
A great sales enablement organization helps reps talk 30 seconds without mentioning their company, their product, or themselves. And a super awesome, super mature sales enablement organization is the two-minute challenge. Can salespeople talk two minutes without ever bringing up your company, your product or themselves? And I’m so passionate about finding this person, that I actually issued a two-minute challenge on LinkedIn last week. We have a global search for the salesperson who can actually talk two minutes without talking about their company, their product or their solution. It actually, we have a Go Fund Me set up, you guys should all donate. It’s $350 dollars, I’m trying to get it to like $10,000 because whoever does it needs to get paid. And I’m dead serious about it, it’s not a joke. I’ve been trying for 15 years in 20 different countries. I’ve been a recipient of about 350 sales calls. I can’t find a salesperson to talk to me for more than two minutes about my problems. That’s how I’m now in the idea of simplification. You’re going to hear a lot of ideas today, and I think it comes down to that conversation that reps are having. So now we’re going to go to Q&A. I already see a hand up.
Audience 1: Quick observation and then a question. The observation is just that it’s striking how much of what you shared as guidance for sales enablement is really how to sell. And my question is, regarding a charter, my sales enablement organization looks after CS, services, solutions, engineering, sales. When you think about a charter, do you want a single macro-charter across core segments and audiences? Or how do you break that down given different compensation models and goals for those segments?
BL: Anybody wants to take that?
SS: I mean, I think you need to have it as one overarching charter, and then within that, what are some of the key components? So, are there going to be differences? Because I think if you don’t do it as, what is the sales enablement function, then you’re going to end up with like little different silos of how they connect. So, if you do it as one overall charter and then look at some of the key components or audiences, and if that’s a little bit nuanced, you can add that into the charter. But your overall mission vision and what you’re going to do should be the same across the board.
AM: I think it also depends on the size of your organization and the technical complexity of your product. If your sales engineers are doing 90% of the demos, they probably need an extra bit of enablement that they’re not going to get in a standard charter.
And then I like the idea of having CS involved too because then they’re delivering the services and they know what sales and solutions consultants are delivering. But having that done in silos doesn’t really work, because there’s so much overlap. And when you’re creating some of the curriculum or some of the face-to-face at your national sales meetings, there can be a ton of overlap and people doing a bunch of different work. So, if you have one executive sponsor that’s kind of overseeing the whole program, you might be able to reduce duplication of efforts.
MK: In Dell right now, we have a core group that we have a sales enablement charter, but we never really had that charter extend to services. So the services organization alone is 4,000 plus sellers. Actually, I think a lot more than that. We have 40,000 plus services people in the organization, so we’re kind of moving where now I’m focused on, with some other folks, on messaging and enablement for services. And the reason we’re keeping it separate right now, because services, especially to a traditional product sales organization, is a little bit squishy. And tangible. Conversations are a little different. The engagement is a little different. So right now, while we do have an overarching charter, we use similar tools, similar measurements, but when it gets down to, in this case, you mentioned services, for us right now, we’re trying to stay focused to establish it. And I do see one day then everything coming together.
BL: Next question. Heading over there.
Audience 2: Hi, I have a question probably for Jill or Susan. And when you’re, we’re a fairly young sales enablement group with a fairly small staff, supporting 200 sellers globally. I’m curious when you build your charter, how did that process work? Was it just your team sitting together? Did you pull other people into a room? Sort of like what, can I get a little sort of how-to few steps in terms of how you actually, who’s actually involved in the process and how did it work?
SS: Do you want to start?
JG: Yeah, I can start. So, for me, actually, I called on the Sales Enablement Society to help me with some ideas initially about where to start. Because I didn’t want to start with just a blank slate. And then, I took it to my team, because I thought we need to have our team speaking on the same language. And at the time, the team was much smaller than it is. And then started to socialize it, and like was said here about getting, do you have a friend of enablement, if you will. And really sat down with that friend who is probably a sales VP to help get their perspective on things. And that was sort of the evolution that we took. So, little step forward every time, but a lot of socializing for me.
SS: And for me, it was definitely socializing. We actually used some of the charter from SiriusDecisions, which is a nice map that we used. Because there was really no enablement when we came, and enablement at Monster is part of sales effectiveness, which is operations. So, there are lots of changes that were happening. We started much as just kind of a small group of people and then as we got the product marketing team onboard, there were some tweaks that were made based on having those conversations. So, it really, to Jill’s point, we started out kind of small and then kind of added in and talked to other people as those organizations became developed.
BL: Great, next question.
Audience 3: Thank you. One of the value propositions of my company to its customers is, do more with less. And I’m just, because there are lots of cuts in IT and we sell to IT, and I was just wondering if – I guess my question would be directed at Mike – have you been able to make the argument that EMC can get more productivity out of these 4,000 folks with the same amount of resources without having to spend a whole lot more money to hire more people? And if so, what did that argument really look like?
MK: If I go back to the EMC, you know now with Dell it’s a little different. I mean Dell, for example, we’re hiring like crazy, a sales organization just because we’re short on sales talent right now. But from an EMC perspective, yeah it was about driving efficiencies. We started to observe. I think Peter mentioned it. We started to observe behaviors in the field and we built a case to say, look, people are spending too much time on this part of the sales process and we can help you get it down to this. Because they’re just wasting too much time, perhaps prospecting, perhaps on the front end of the deal.
So, we did some of that but it was less, we didn’t really, to be quite candid, pull up the kind of “do more with less” efficiency. We talked to our customers that way and IT, how they can do more with less, that’s part of our story. But internally, it was more about how can we accelerate revenue. It wasn’t as much, do more with less. How can you help us accelerate revenue and build this, just build our revenue stream? So, that’s how we did it.
BL: Yeah, that’s good. And I think most executives want more yield from their sales team. It’s probably not a, do more with less, of the sales team, but this idea of your charter, tying it back to sales enablement, I think where you’re going there is doing more with less on enabling the sales team to be successful.
MK: Sure. Absolutely, and that’s where all the tools come into play. You know, all the folks that are here that have tools that can help us be more efficient, so we as enablement folks can do more with less. Absolutely.
BL: I think we have time for one more, right? Yeah, let’s keep it rolling.
Audience 4: Hi, this question could be for anybody on the panel. Just to piggyback off of the first question that was asked is, in your opinion, what should go under the umbrella of sales enablement? I know that we mentioned sales ops and things like that, do sales ops and product marketing and like other functions, do those operate as a separate branch? Or in your opinion, what should go under the umbrella of sales enablement?
BL: Yeah, I’ll take a quick one at that if I can. Can I do that? You guys probably can build off of that. So, this idea of sales productivity that Peter talked about, it falls under me to two things: effectiveness and efficiency. A lot of what we’re talking about today is helping salespeople be effective. The world of operations could be, should be, about efficiency. Doing things faster, better, organization, etc. When it comes to effectiveness, that typically is sales enablement to me. So sales operations plus sales enablement should equal productivity. So using that as a framework, what kind of thoughts do you guys have?
JG: I’ve always looked at it as the enablement team is the human side of the equation, and the operations side is the data side of the equation. And I’ve been in places where enablement reports directly up into sales leadership. I’ve been places where enablement is part of ops. You know, I guess there’s probably not one exact right way and it’s going to be situational for your own organization.
KS: This is why the charter is important.
BB: I’ll add my two cents here because we’ve recently actually joined our operations and enablement team into my team. And one of the things we found is by bringing the enablement team to sit with the ops team, they’re much more informed of what’s happening. There’s this interesting osmosis sitting next to each other of, hey, this big initiative over here, maybe it’s a sales initiative. Maybe it’s some sort of operations thing. Well, it’s critical for our ops side to leverage what enablement can do to be successful, and vice versa. We’ve also noticed that our enablement folks need to also be sitting by and intermingling with our sales reps to learn from them.
So, enablement is this tough one that they can’t really be in one place at one time. You’ve got to have them getting, kind of intaking, all sorts of different input from various groups. Even product marketing. I don’t necessarily encourage them to sit with product marketing for an extended period of time. Not too long. By just having those regular touchpoints with them, and then even just sitting with the sales field has been remarkable. I have them sit with us for a couple of days, and sit out, they have like two desks basically. And our team has been really, really beneficial.
AM: It’s a mixture of art and science. So you got to have, depending on the size of your team, you’ve got to have some people that were maybe ex-sellers or former BDR’s. and then you’ve got some people that are L&D focused and know how to kind of instructional design. So, it really depends on the org.