Revenue: Enablement’s Responsibility?
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Pam Didner: Thank you for coming to this session, we really appreciate it. And a very quick introduction – my name is Pam Didner, and like he indicated, I’m a marketing consultant and also the author of two books. The first book I wrote was “Global Content Marketing: How to Scale Content Across the Region”, and the second book is “Effective Sales Enablement”. That will not be launched until October 28, but we have 25 copies at the end of this session to give away. Highspot sponsored that, so thank you to Highspot. And this book is only 250 pages, that’s how much I can say about sales enablement, really. It’s pathetic. The thing is, I’m never a salesperson, I’m actually a marketer through and through. I wrote a book from a marketer’s perspective. It’s a therapy session. No, I’m kidding, I’m kidding.
If you’re sales enablement managers, actually working very closely with a marketing team, you might find this book useful. Okay? After the session, and we’ll take it from there.
In the meantime, that’s my shameless plug. And I’m going to introduce the four panelists, starting with, I have to choose, okay?
PD: Okay, so it’s John Dougan, Director of Global Sales Performance and Productivity at Workday.
PD: John has led a team to manage the emerging talents, obviously the new salespeople, speed, readiness, and productivity for the salesforce at Workday. Welcome. And next one is– anything you want to add?
JD: No, other than I believe Workday is the best company to work for in the Bay Area. Not voted by me, obviously, voted by people in the Bay.
PD: Okay, very well. Alright, the second best working company, I’m kidding. James Bridgeman, the head of sales enablement and operations at Siemens. It’s a huge company and you lead the Siemens building and technology divisions and work extensively with the sales team to enable them.
JB: Thank you. My mom just texted and said thank you for calling me James.
PD: Should I call you Jimmy?
JB: Yeah, exactly. And I hope that 200 of those 250 pages are pictures because I’m a sales guy.
PD: Damn it! I didn’t get a chance to do that! Definitely. Alright, Vrahram Kadkhodaian, did I say it right? No, totally wrong.
VK: You did okay.
PD: I tried to practice multiple times. Alright, the CEO of Prolifiq and they actually have a booth right in the hallway, so I would encourage that you stop by and check out the platform.
I understand that you are the CEO and you are driving Prolifiq’s visions and also in the sales enablement space. Do you want to just have a quick five-second elevator pitch of what Prolifiq does, so people can stop by and check it out?
VK: Well, thank you, I’m happy to be here. Prolifiq has, for 20 years, been in sales enablement, specifically digital content enablement, so we’re one of the only vendors that have not only the two most valuable selling motions baked into Salesforce, we have account planning and we also have digital content enablement. We are 100% native. You’re up and running with account planning and digital content within minutes, there’s really no implementation, and we’re looking forward to talking to you guys.
PD: Okay, very nice, thank you. The last panelist, Cameron Tanner, you manage and lead the sales productivity and readiness for AWS. Tell us a little bit in terms of what you do for AWS sales performance team.
Cameron Tanner: Sure, and John was so kind as to say that Workday was the best company in the Bay. Working for Amazon is the best company in North America.
A little about what I do – I lead sales productivity and readiness for the two largest revenue-producing divisions of Amazon Web Services, which is everything from how you manage your storage and database to leading services like AI and ML and IOT, and I am charged with everything from onboarding to always boarding of the field.
PD: Always boarding, well said. Okay, very good. I’m going to start with the key question that everyone is coming to this session for. Is revenue sales enablement’s responsibility? Period. Okay, I know that’s kind of like yes and no, whatnot. Starting with Vrahram.
VK: Sure. Don’t be surprised by this answer but yes, I do think it’s enablement’s responsibility. I think it’s getting harder and harder to grow businesses. I think competition’s getting much smarter, better, I think the generations of information workers are evolving. Enablement is becoming such a big deal, and I spent my entire career in CRM. I recently was an executive over at Salesforce, worked with Dan, and when you think about all of the customers, the hundreds of customers, the thousands of end users that I’ve talked to and worked with, every one of them is talking about, “How do I become smarter, how do I get my team members to do more with less, how do I get them to actually leverage CRM and Salesforce as a tool that helps them grow their businesses and service their customers?”
When I think about the question, specifically, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that revenue is directly tied to enablement and not only for field sales reps or sales reps in general, I think it’s the entire company’s enablement that is directly tied to revenue.
PD: But a lot of times, sales enablement tends to be related to sales training and sales development, and also sales onboarding. And it’s kind of hard to tie that with the revenue impact. John, Cameron, and James, do you guys want to chime in, in terms of the client’s side, how do you guys do that?
JB: Yeah, I agree that it is sales and training, but we need to try to figure out how that drives revenue. At Siemens Building Technologies, it takes the average– we’ve got it down to the week– it takes the average sales rep three years to get fully ramped up. And then once they hit three years, it’s a pretty steady state. That’s an opportunity in and of itself to continue to have them ramp up.
We’ve implemented a program called Ready to Sell, which is about providing, during the course of the year, key milestones for the sales rep to achieve via their manager. I’m a sales guy, I don’t know how many sales folks are in here, but it’s usually trial by fire.
And now we’re coming out with a program called Ready to Lead, because how many people’s sales leaders are just fantastic leaders all around, and they weren’t just great sales reps who got promoted? It’s giving them the skill sets so they’re not just trying to figure it out on their own. If we can expedite that ramp-up time, it’ll have an impact on revenue.
PD: Is that program back-end integrated into the CRM, into the HR system, all tied up so that you can track in terms of the performance of the sales team?
JB: No, we’ve got a little bit of a way to go on that, but yeah, we’re measuring the impact. Integration with CRM is definitely an opportunity.
PD: Understood. John?
JD: I think it’s difficult, Pam, to just look at sales enablement through a training lens. When it comes to sales performance at Workday, we certainly put, I would say, four quadrants of one lens on that. That is, not only the actual “what they need to know”, the knowledge pace, but also then the skill set which probably pertains to what you were mentioning. But also the motivation, so the mindset that people talked about in the previous panel. And then finally, the environment. How do we integrate what we do as an enablement function to make sure that they are successful every day, and have something to practice every single day?
PD: That’s related to content. Do you have to actually provide necessary content in addition to training?
JD: Yeah, I think content comes in a variety of different ways, but there are many things we do outside of just the training piece, including when you look at the environment, sales operating rhythm, cadence, structure, support, that sits alongside that as well.
PD: Understood, very nice. Cameron, do you have anything to add?
CT: Yeah, it certainly is an interesting question. I think something that recently I’ve been figuring out, and I was speaking to one lady in the audience, is kind of defining enablement a lot more crisply in your organization. I coined it down to transformational enablement, role-based enablement, and then tactical. I think at role-based and tactical, you’re much more in the front line with your managers and reps to help move the needle. I think when you’re talking about things that are going to take more than a year, which is what the annual number of the director is, then you shouldn’t be tied to that, which is often I think why we’re seeing a shift away from enablement reporting up through the sales leadership, into more transformational of what the sales organization should become.
PD: You brought up a very good point, Cameron. I do agree, listening to multiple different sessions this morning – I went to every session I could go to – I came to realize that everyone defines sales enablement a little bit differently. And your organization or your job or your role or your department, you define sales enablement the way that is best fitted to support your sales team.
And I do agree with your comment in terms of defining what that is and use that as a baseline to determine and calculate in terms of what the impact will be, in terms of what you do as a part of the sales enablement function.
Interestingly enough, when I was writing this book, I found there is probably twenty-some definitions just on the internet. Sales enablement is actually a niche field, not necessarily like solution selling or content marketing or whatnot, and everybody defined it a little bit differently. And I end up defining what sales enablement is from a marketer’s perspective, and then I used that as a framework to write my book.
Now with that being said, the next question I would like to ask is obviously, we’ve been talking about the revenue impact as part of the sales enablement. Then the next question is, from your perspective– I’m looking at John– what does the optimal sales enablement organizational structure look like? If you do actually want to make that impact to sell, would that be part of the sales team, part of the sales operations, part of the marketing team, or even part of HR? What is your thought on that?
JB: I’m going to give it to the Irish guy.
JD: I’ll take it.
PD: We’ll start with John.
JD: I think we’ve done really well at Workday in defining the role of enablement in two ways. One strategic, one tactical, and I’ll talk through them both. First of all, we report into our SVP of sales strategy and enablement. He is the right-hand man of our chief sales operator. That benefits us greatly.
PD: That’s part of operations, okay.
JD: Definitely. We’re part of operations but directly linked to the chief sales operator which is great. But from a strategic level, let me say this. At Workday, we’ve split our enablement function into a back office team and a front office team, and the back office is more to do with the strategy of ensuring that we are the point of the spear. When you look at competitive intelligence, product marketing, sales operations, whatever other function within our organization touches our salespeople, and I spoke about it earlier, from the perspective of what they need to know, what skills they need, what needs to motivate them, and what environment they need to perform in. We are the moderators of every single communication, every single play that comes through those people. Irrespective of what it is.
PD: Messaging, content, talking points?
JD: We are almost the protectors of our sales function, and that’s led by Christine Cefalo who’s in this room. So from a strategic point of view, our field organizations aren’t bombarded by all of these operational asks around the cadence, around their salesforce, around whatever it happens to be, we do that.
From a tactical point of view, and this is the team that I lead, I would call us consultative diagnosticians. And what I mean by that is we are aligned to each functional sales leader that sits within our business, irrespective of what our role is. Therefore, we’re taking part in things like QBRs, in daily reviews, war rooms, coaching clinics, sales leadership summits, you name it.
PD: All the business discussions.
JD: We are there at the very front line where those conversations that impact revenue are happening. And in fact, you know it’s a kind of subtle MBO that sits across my team, but they are tasked with “what deals that are currently in our pipeline are you advancing or are you contributing to?” And therefore when I think of your very first question, when I said sales enablement are contributors to revenue, we are tasked with that.
That’s kind of the structural– I think that’s quite optimal when it comes to how revenue is impacted by sales enablement.
PD: I’m going to regurgitate back to you. It sounds like the way that you define sales team, there is the sales enablement tactical function that you do in terms of helping them, from the tools, the processing, contents perspective, but there’s another role which is a more consultant type of role. You work very closely with your accounting, and you are part of that conversation to facilitate the sales conversion.
JD: Yeah, I think from a tactical perspective we’re there, so I’m trying to now regurgitate what you said.
PD: We’ll get it right!
JD: We impact front line sales efforts, yes. But then from the strategic level, and many things I’ve heard today and what the other guys will probably talk about is the scalable, repeatable processes that impact your sales force en masse. That’s done at a more strategic level.
PD: Understood. James, Cameron, Vrahram?
JB: I joined Siemens a year and a half ago, heading sales operations and the challenge there was to try to lean our sales processes. We’ve all shamelessly plugged our companies; I work for a 170-year-old company, and a German company, so we love process and we don’t always think of it in terms of the customer or the salesperson. My mantra coming in was, “if it doesn’t make the customer happy or doesn’t help the sales rep hit quota, we should really be questioning.” Fortunately, we have a CEO who says we need to reduce the internal process by 50%. Now, it’s great to have that leadership saying it at that level but then there’s this 380,000-person bureaucracy that wants to push back against that.
What we’ve tried to do is look at every process involving the customer, involving sales, and lean it out, and then translate. So that’s part of what the team does and the other part is that tool, and what suite of tools do we need to help drive a better sales rep and customer experience?
PD: Understood, understood.
VK: If I were to add to that, I actually really like what you said. I think it’s too complicated. I think everyone is mindful that sales enablement is important, but there are too many processes. It’s not a people strategy, it’s more of a tactical mission for most organizations. And I feel like there’s complexity in simplicity, right? Making things a lot more simple is difficult, it’s a lot easier to say, “here’s another SOP that’s part of this manual that’s got 500 pages in there”. Simplifying sales enablement I think is probably the right way to go.
JB: It’s not easy.
VK: Not easy.
CT: I would just say that at Amazon we have a concept of home teams and away teams. Our home base, which is what John was just talking about with tooling, methodology, content production, sales kickoff, is centralized out of a home team, and the away team is mapped on the front lines to specific leaders.
PD: It’s kind of interesting when they talk about sales organizations – I want to summarize really quickly – that especially on the client’s side, the organizational structures tend to be different from industry to industry, from company to company. John was talking about strategic level and tactical level, and Cameron was talking about away team and home team.
My question back to you, while you are listening here in terms of organizational structure, I know a lot of people’s organization structure is probably very simple. You are a team of sales enablement managers, you probably have two or three teams that are supporting it, but maybe looking ahead for 2019 in terms of what your roles and responsibility will be that ties back in terms of how you want to measure your revenue. Then look at your organizational structure and how you want to do it.
With that being said, my next question again is tied back to the revenue. But looking from a sales stack perspective – I’m going to look at Cameron – in terms of a sales tech stack, what kind of tool is needed? You don’t have to name a specific vendor per se, but what category of tool is needed to actually measure the impact of revenue? AWS probably does quite a bit of that. I know everything is data-driven and has a tool to support it. Do you want to share some insight?
JB: Did you sign an NDA?
PD: We can get that going now.
JB: Lock the doors.
CT: Yeah, Pam, I think that’s a topical one, and you can see the amount of vendors that we have outside the door at the moment. Just a fun fact and I don’t know if people in the room have seen it, I went digging for how the growth of sales tech in the last couple of years and CB Insights posted how there have been 500 sales tech vendors in the last eight years that have got over 100 million dollars in funding. 500 in the last eight years. And another close friend of mine, she outlays the MarTech stack that has 5,000 now. And so I think that we really, truly need to acknowledge that we’re in that eye of the storm. First it was MarTech and now it’s sales tech and the next term is rev tech. But I think that as enablement practitioners, we need to have a strong and deliberate strategy for what sales tech we are choosing and how we’re bringing that into our business because I think there’s a lot more coming.
Maybe before specifically I answer it from my perspective for what we have, I’m just curious in the room, how many practitioners do we have? People who are in seat, in role, doing enablement? About half the room. A couple of questions if you can just raise your hand if you’ve got this, how many of you have deliberately mapped your sales technology to your performance in the sales funnel? Just a couple of hands. Next one is how many of you have goals on adoption from your sales directors and your sales managers using the technology that you provide? Just a couple hands as well. And how many of you have a deprecation strategy at the end of the year for what tools you’re taking away instead of adding?
CT: One, two, three. And so I asked those questions, and it’s kind of coming back to my first point – I think we’re in trouble. And I think that as enablement practitioners we need to get really good really quickly at understanding our sales tech stack and how we’re mapping that to the funnel, how we’re making sure that we have the right adoption metrics in place for our field, because they’re not going to use them and the investment will get squandered. And their fingers are going to get pointed at us as the champions of change for that. And lastly, I haven’t done it yet so I can’t throw any stones, but we need a deprecation strategy too if something’s not working, because the innovation that’s coming out of the market is simply incredible so we can’t keep adding or our CFO and SVP is going to be looking at our costs of sales going up and up and up.
To specifically answer the question, for me, I would centralize it around three areas. First, double down on technology that helps you prospect. I think prospecting is, and our SVP calls it, the calisthenics of sales. The second is tooling that helps your sales rep do less data entry. If you look at the great research that’s provided and comes out every year, right at the top of the list of qualms of what sales reps absolutely hate is data entry, but it’s how operations make great insights and informed decisions, so double down on things that give your reps time back around data entry. And the third is that I think we’re in a really exciting space where there’s a lot of technology that is giving insights into the buyer. And that can be things like content, it can be things like their social presence, it can be things like sales engagement and acceleration technology. And the fourth, some form of coaching technology. That’s how I would answer it.
PD: Well said. James, you want to have anything to add?
JB: No, I agree with everything that’s been said. I’d say typically our tool suite’s been kind of back office. It’s been CRM, quoting, proposal generation. The more we can push up, with 60% of the buying journey complete before the sales rep’s involved, so whatever we can do.
We’re probably going to sound behind the curve on this but we’ve had a lot of success with the LinkedIn Sales Navigator in terms of prospecting. We talk about revenue being enablement’s responsibility, it’s hard to put revenue expectations around some of those other tools, but that’s one that’s been a success story for us. Our CFO will say, “What’s the RoI? Because you’re sales guys, you like to spend money. I need to see the results.” And we’ve been able to show tremendous results with that. I think we’re going to continue to face that challenge, and the more we can use it to drive interest and the funnel earlier on, the better we’ll be.
PD: Okay. John?
JD: Yeah. First of all, what a thoughtful answer from Cameron Tanner. That was really lovely.
JB: Are you surprised?
JD: I’m not. In full transparency, Cameron Tanner is a very good friend of mine, he was at my wedding, so I had to give him some sort of plug. I think we have a philosophy which is, “don’t implement technology if it doesn’t solve a business problem.” And what I mean by that is that we’re Workday and the truth is for many years now we’ve thrived on the fact that our product was simply superior to those that we’re competing against.
And now we’ve entered a new phase of competition. And what has happened there is we’ve simply needed to get to know our customers more intimately. We’ve needed to be better and more thoughtful about how we approach them and what we bring to the table in terms of value. And that has driven the decisions that we’ve made in terms of technology that we’ve implemented at Workday. That’s all I would add.
JD: Thank you.
CT: Great job, John.
JB: I was going to say, where’s the love back?
PD: Just to summarize, instead of regurgitating, the sales tech stack from my perspective is actually a lot more complicated. A lot of us, we do sales enablement and it doesn’t matter if it’s account based, marketing, working directly with our sales team, or even the sales training, a lot of stuff we do is very, very solid deliverables. But if you want to scale, the technology part is very critical.
One of the chapters I decided to write in my book is technology, and it’s complicated. It’s a blessing and also is a curse. And when I was looking at sales stack, given that I am not a salesperson, I did extensive research on the sales stack. Just as you say, there was actually one guy, his name is Nicholas, I cannot remember his last name unfortunately, and he created this category, kind of very similar to MarTech created by Scott Brinker. There are 5,000 companies and over probably 28 categories of different technology companies. And there are about 900 companies actually in 2018 that’s sales stack technology across 32 categories. Just on the sales side, they can identify 32 categories from the sales pipeline measurement, down to compensation, down to the CRM, down to the prospecting. They identified 32 categories that related to sales, and there are over 900 vendors.
In terms of sourcing technology, it’s very, very complicated, it’s hard to do. And I think at the end of the day when you are talking to all those technology companies out there, which is outside, my recommendation is to actually understand some of the challenges that you encounter, and focus on the challenges and also the objective that you want to accomplish in 2019 to determine what kind of tools that you might need. And I hate saying this, but you may not get it right the first time. You won’t. How many tools have you tried that sales is just not using it? Right. But you still have to try, you should not give that up. Just bear in mind that you may not get it right the first time. Sorry. I don’t mean to dampen the whole spirit.
JB: My strategy is to just run the gauntlet of Dreamforce of all the vendors and see who can stop me. Some guy said, “You want to make more money?” How can you say no to that? I don’t know if that had anything to do with his product but he stopped me.
CT: Pam, I would also just say if you don’t have that landscape PDF, go looking for it. Use it as a conversation starter with your sales management and directors because they often haven’t seen it to know what’s going on as well. I’ve found that a very enlightening exercise is to educate them on what’s happening too.
PD: Thank you for sharing. With that being said, my next question is actually for all of you. Now, you’ve been doing sales enablement and have a team leading it, working with the sales team. What is your next big initiative? 2019 is approaching, obviously everyone is doing 2019 planning. What is your next big initiative that you are doing? Cameron?
PD: Can you share?
CT: Yeah I can, actually. Stop recording. One of my favorite things about the enablement profession, and John’s already hinted at, we kind of know each other. We’ve had to figure it out to put structure to the industry. I was chatting with this lovely lady and she said, “I recently certified my field on the best practices of top performers and the results were crazy.” And I was like, “Hmm, that’s really interesting.”
And so, talking about the sales tech stack and many of us are aware, we’re moving much more to getting sales reps to video blog almost about what they’re doing and how they’re winning. And so I kind of thought back in my career, both when I used to work in sales training and when I went to implement it. You can sometimes think you’re going to hit a home run with a program and it’s all about creating urgency or discovery or whatever it may be. You’re rolling that out to the field, and the reps kind of go, “Content was okay, I don’t know if that content is that great.”
And so it can be really hard to please the sales field. When I took a step back, I think that’s because it’s not customized. By the time we go to implement something and the way that sales is changing, the content that we’re buying or creating may actually be out of date. I kind of doubled down on this notion of, if I can get content created from the front line, and then I can use my enablement brain to think about the 70, 2010 model and getting content, socialization, and then coaching and reinforcement, and crowdsource that from people that are either performing well in the funnel or the managers that said or did something well, or they’ve just nominated and said, “Hey, I’m really good at this.” If I can take that content and then package it up in a way that’s able to be coached by the managers and disperse it out to teams, I think there’s gold on the other side of that rainbow. That’s what I’m really trying to do at the moment, is really crowdsource that exact winning strategy from the front line and then pass it back and out to all teams to certify them on that. That’s what I’m excited about.
PD: Alright. That’s an interesting thought. Taking crowdsourcing to the sales enablement field.
JB: Yeah, we’re building technology as we do security, fire, comfort. Our strategy is the smart building of the future, something that could actually be a net contributor from an energy perspective. We kind of joke at Siemens, we talk about digitalization. The company’s been doing a good job of throwing that word out there with nobody really understanding what it is. But people are starting to get it so we’ve made some key strategic acquisitions, some companies based out here, that are going to help us make buildings a heck of a lot smarter.
We acquired an app called Comfy, I forget the name of the company, but it’s basically somebody who can do constant crowdsourcing of information from their users on: is the comfort level appropriate, walking into a conference room and knowing that it’s available – trying to book rooms in Outlook is impossible. Just a constant feedback loop between the employee and the building. And so to extend that, and we’ve got some – being a German company, one of the things I’ve realized when I went to Germany was I saw an escalator and it was not moving, and I said, “Man, I’m going to have to take the steps,” but I saw somebody walk up to it and it started.
I think we in the States have a huge opportunity to get a lot smarter in terms of how we consume energy, so we acquired another company called Enlighted that’s got some sensor technology and lighting. I think it’s that internet of things, that getting data points as early and as frequently as possible so we can respond to the customer’s needs as quickly as possible.
VK: And you know, I totally agree. I think for us as a vendor it’s a little bit different because we see a lot of different companies and we work with a lot of different companies of all sizes, it could be a small company, it could be a large company. I think our biggest initiative as it relates to sales enablement is the end user. And we can’t talk about that enough, and I don’t think we talk about that enough. It’s always what is the corporate vision, what are the corporate requirements, what are the goals for the business, what’s the growth objective, how are we going to accomplish that? But when it comes to technology and picking the right technology, your end users are pretty smart. They can give you really good feedback, they can navigate you the right way. And I think in all of our customer deployments, the end user is part of that focal point during the discovery process, the solutioning process, the implementation process, and I feel like the companies that don’t have their end users involved are in a situation where they’ve got a lot of different technologies and very poor adoption across all of those technologies. That’s a huge huge part that is underscored in enablement that needs to be talked about more.
PD: Understood, very nice. That’s a good closure. I want to give time to the audience, do you actually have any specific questions? Do we have time?
Emcee: Yeah, we have time. If you have a question, raise your hand and I’ll come around. I just want to make a quick announcement. Pam will be signing her book at the registration desk after this talk and I know some copies went out earlier so if any of you guys pick one up, take it over to the registration desk.
PD: I’m begging you to stop by.
JB: You’ve got him plugging your book as well?
Emcee: Someone over here, this gentleman over here has his hand raised.
Audience 1: I wonder if the panel can tell us which enablement tools went viral in their organization.
Emcee: Which enablement tools went viral in your organizations?
VK: Prolifiq, of course.
JB: For us, LinkedIn. I’ve been on LinkedIn since the early days, so I was embarrassed when I went back. I figured out how to see when I started, I’ve been on it forever but I never realized the power. Sales Navigator has gone viral, and they’re brilliant because then they start giving out free stuff to their users, like it’s called Elevate, which is their pushing of content. That’s gone viral, so little shifty but smart, get sales reps hooked and then they’re going to say, “I’ve got to have it.” So that’s an example for us.
PD: I actually have a suggestion to that specific question. Are you talking about a prospecting tool?
CT/JB: Any tool.
JB: You want reps – from my perspective as a sales guy – to get hooked and do what they do well, which is sell. They’ll sell it to everybody. They’ll throw you under the bus in a heartbeat if they don’t like it, but if they love it, they’re out there being huge advocates. And then they listen to each other.
JD: I’ll add to that one, James, and the reason I’ll add to it is because the very nature of selling an ERP solution is that technology is difficult to implement because they don’t see the immediate results from what they’re actually doing. This is a shameless plug, but Highspot has been something that really has taken off within our organization. I think the participation rate is 96 or 97%. We don’t even get that from Slack, LinkedIn, you name it, and the reason is that I think people want to be able to have eyes on how impactful their content is. Both us from an enablement perspective, and then our sellers in terms of who’s actually reading these pitches, who’s doing something with them, where are they going, and what insight can we then collect to share across everybody else so that they’re likely to be more successful at that stage of a sales process or buying process.
PD: Well said. Please.
Audience 2: Yeah, is this on?
Audience 2: Great. I’d like to ask the panel a question around revenue being enablement’s responsibility, and has anybody on the panel measured, bonused, anything such as that, based on revenue achievement targets or revenue increase targets that were made? Because we’re talking about that right now where I am. It’s something that I am very interested in putting in place because I know what I do makes a big impact. But measuring it is the hard thing. I’d love to hear from you specifically.
JB: Sales enablement and operations roll up to sales excellence for us, it’s a very simple order intake per headcount. Now, saying you had the impact on that is not always easy, but are we making sales reps more effective or generating more revenue per sales rep every year, and we have expectations to grow that number at least double of our expected market growth? Yes. I mean, that’s just one example.
JD: I’ll add to that as well. I’m actually bonused on it, so from an MBO perspective, performance, which is one of the areas, is how many people made quota. That’s the first one. And then the second one is productivity, which is revenue per head. That’s the two assignments I answer to every day.
VK: I think you can even break it down further and say the end result is revenue. Obviously, you want to do great things with growth. But how do you tie performance back to the inputs? Am I getting better adoption? Are the users logging in? Focus on that because that’s going to ultimately impact the result you’re looking for. You can create a whole circle around that.
CT: I would say, again coming back to a conversation I just had walking in here, it depends on where you’re at in your journey. Some companies start out with enablement kind of being tactile and it’s a bit like random acts of enablement are running around and then you become a strategic function. It’s much harder for the guy that’s running around doing a bunch of random stuff to kind of draw a straight line to revenue. I think if you’re earlier in your enablement journey, then it’s tougher to say that there. I think as you start to mature then yeah you have the results and the run rate to be able to say, “here are my wins”.
Audience 2: Cameron, right?
Audience 2: Are you implementing anything yourself?
CT: Related to revenue?
Audience 2: Yes.
CT: Amazon is interesting in the way that we structure compensation. It’s more around stock than it is ever on bonus, so I’m not personally but there’s a different model in place for that.
Audience 2: Thanks.
Emcee: We have time for one more question here.
Audience 3: I just wanted to answer that as well. I’m gold on application and consumption but also on revenue and retention. Retention of employees too, because my second-year sales guys are going to make a lot more than my first-year sales guys. But I wanted to go back to Cameron about crowdsourcing because I think that’s kind of the next step, is getting information back from your customers. What are you using to do that? How are you getting that information back from them? Are you using a sales tool, are you using Google forms, what are you using to get that back into the system?
CT: I’ve got one salesman in front of me and another one over there so they’re going to like this. Vendor agnostic, there’s a lot of – I’ll plug MindTickle, but there’s SalesHood, CommercialTribe, Brainshark, they’re out there and that’s around this notion of virtual role play or experiential learning, which really gets reps to get in front of cameras so that managers can review and coach their teams on the go, so that’s been around for a while now. But it’s getting them over the hump, to how do you incentivize your front line rep who’s doing very well who just wants to be left alone, to then do an extra task like create sales training for the rest of the organization. That’s the problem to solve and that takes a program, that takes branding, it takes kudos to who those people are. At the end of the day, those people, they’re already well respected on the floor. There’s a line of people at their desk waiting to ask them these things anyway, and that’s why they maybe don’t come into the office to do it.
I think at the end of the day, the majority of those folks, they just want visibility that they’re the best, so if you build a program around branding that and rewarding that then that’s how I’m getting it back. It doesn’t go without commitment and buy-in from sales leadership and sales management, and that’s what I was doing wrong for a little while. I was kind of trying to zip around, begging, bartering for someone to tell me on camera what was their thing that they’re doing, and if I had my time again I’d just never do that. You’ve got to go to the sales leaders, explain the vision. I’ll just say it again, it’s management observing something because observation is really important. They could be doing something well, they’re there in the data so they outpace in win rate or pipeline or velocity. And the last one is that they might nominate themselves. Don’t be the best-kept secret if you know that you’re onto something before your manager or I come knocking. That’s how I’m doing that.
Emcee: Cool, thank you. So before we finish, I’m just going to go through each one of you in turn, and I’m going to ask you the question. Revenue – is it enablement’s responsibility? One sentence answer, okay? Starting with Cameron.
CT: I have no idea why you wouldn’t want it to not be.
VK: Yes, yes, yes.
PD: Of course, yes.
Emcee: Five for five. Okay, thank you guys very much. Can we get a round of applause, please?