Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 53
Nine 4x2 Lego blocks have over 9 Billion unique combinations. How many "legos" does your product, solution, or service have? No matter how you define a "lego" at your company, the permutations are astounding, and yet this is the challenge salespeople navigate daily.
On top of this, your company is changing -- rapidly. Moving from one form or the other. This journey represents another challenge salespeople must navigate.
In this podcast, Brian and Scott are joined by Chad Quinn, the CEO & Co-Founder, Ecosystems and Jason Cunliffe, Group VP Content Marketing Services at IDC. Chad and Jason have created a partnership. How did it form? By a shared client's definition of value and the blending of capabilities to help sellers navigate a complex buyer-seller relationship.
In this podcast, you'll hear:
Welcome to the inside sales enablement podcast. Where has the profession been? Where is it now? And where is it heading? What does it mean to you, your company, other functions? The market? Find out here. Join the founding father of the sales enablement profession Scott Santucci and Trailblazer Brian Lambert, as they take you behind the scenes of the birth of an industry, the inside sales enablement podcast starts now.
Scott Santucci 00:34
I'm Scott Santucci,
Brian Lambert 00:36
Brian Lambert and we are the sales enablement insiders. Our podcast is for sales enablement leaders looking to elevate their function, expand their sphere of influence, and increase the span of control within their companies.
Scott Santucci 00:48
Together, Brian, I've worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enablement initiatives, as analysts, consultants or practitioners. We've learned the hard way. What works and maybe what's more Important, what doesn't.
Brian Lambert 01:02
Our focus is on you as a sales enablement leader and orchestrator. As an orchestrator, you need to develop specific characteristics to operate in the blended domain of strategy and tactics where you do both together well to help your company win. Our goal on the podcast to help you clarify the measures of success, gave you confidence to engage up and down and across the organization, and provide real examples of what it looks like to execute strategy and execute tech. As always, we start with a centering story. So I'm gonna pass it over to Scott Scott, what do you have for us?
Scott Santucci 01:36
So today's centering story is about a glass of water.
Unknown Speaker 01:43
There we go.
Brian Lambert 01:44
So well, that's gonna be hard to date.
Scott Santucci 01:47
No day Exactly. Well, it's timeless, right? So water is a is timeless with with regards to humanity's concerned. But when you think about water, it's its chemical composition is it's a bunch of molecules. those molecules are bouncing around. And what's interesting about water isn't the only substance on earth that exists in three different states. It's a, it exists in a gaseous state, so we breathe it in all the time. It exists in the liquid state. So Jason has a bottle of it right now. So it can deal with the heat down in Miami. And it also exists in a solid state. And that's really what we're going to zoom into is, is that the difference between the liquid state and the solid state? So did you know Brian, that ice actually is considered a mineral?
Brian Lambert 02:40
I did not know that. I might have known that, but I probably forgot it.
Scott Santucci 02:44
And so what's interesting about that is at at at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, zero degrees for our international listeners, something amazing happens is those molecules START STOP bouncing around so fast. They go really, really slow, and literally stop or freeze. And when they freeze, a lot of things happen. So one thing that happens is that the volume of this what was a liquid that now is now a solid is 9% larger. So if you've, if you've ever frozen a glass of water in your in your freezer, why does the glass break? It's because it's bigger. The other thing that's interesting about that is that in an in a solid state or a mineral state, it's less dense, so it floats on top of water. So there's a lot of interesting things about it. And what's even more interesting about that is when you just add something as simple as salt to the equation at a certain, you know, at a certain ratio. We're not really here to do a chemistry experiment, but that freezing point can drip down to negative six degrees Fahrenheit, and I didn't do the calculation for our international community. Sorry, I'm American. I know No matter,
Brian Lambert 04:00
the only international sometimes
Scott Santucci 04:02
Yeah, exactly. So somebody can go calculate it and post that out. But that's a 38 degree difference between a freezing point by just adding salt, salt to the equation. So those are some interesting facts about water. The last point that I want to make before I get the dreaded question from you hear, Brian, is that what's also interesting is, when you think about the people who study scientists who study water in its liquid form, they're very different than the people who study water in its frozen form. So think about glaciers. glaciers are just ice, they're studied by geologists. They're not studied by any other people. So and also the, when water gets transformed to water vapor, it's studied by meteorologists. So there's a whole bunch of different dynamics going on here with this simple liquid that we take for granted. I don't
Brian Lambert 04:58
know if you know this, Scott. But I think he said The word interesting seven times. And I'd have to ask our listeners, how many were interested that much in water ice. And I do have to ask you, though, because I'm really curious about this. So what?
Unknown Speaker 05:13
Brian Lambert 05:15
So what is this?
Scott Santucci 05:17
What does this have to do with anything? Right? Yeah. Well, I, I love this quote from Mark Twain. It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure. That just ain't so. And what we're talking about here is that, let's really think about the difference. So as us as human beings, literally outside it's one degree if we're in London, or it's to me in DC, it's 33 degrees. Can we really tell the difference between one degree and zero degrees? Or one degree or 3033 degrees and 32 degrees? Can you tell that difference? None have us can observe that difference or tell that difference. We can't feel it. But it has a major transformative effect of going of converting ice from a liquid to a frickin mineral. Think about that.
So the reason that that that's, that's so important for our theme here today is that in the state of change as we're in this digital world, where we're we have all these different social capabilities, we've got digital capabilities, we've got new ways of rearranging content. We've got different ways to combine different different capabilities and an entirely new things like look at Uber, for example. They don't own a single cab, but yet they're the biggest transportation fleet on the planet. What's going on here? So the reason that I think water is a great metaphor to talk about our theme here, which is what what makes something valuable in a rapidly changing in a rapidly changing environment. That we do have something to base against, which is water. It's something that all of us take for granted. But it's the only substance that exists in three different states that that, that we all can relate to.
Brian Lambert 07:12
I love it makes sense. And, you know, we're in a very transformative state. And some of us are boiling and some of us might be frozen and locked up. And we need to transition states. I love that analogy.
Scott Santucci 07:24
And the reason that we're bringing that and the reason I'm excited for our special guests here today, is that sometimes going back to that quote, it ain't what we don't know. That gets you into trouble. AKA be curious. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so. It's not freezing out. It's just cold. Well, the ice around you will tell you differently. So I'm really excited to introduce Jason and Chad to join our show, and they'll introduce themselves a little bit here. Jason works with With ITC, and he's, he's responsible for their sales enablement and content and contact practice. And Chad is the CEO of ecosystems. And these two people have mixed their water and salt together or they're, you know, in our prep, we were calling a chocolate and peanut butter. They've got some new ingredients together. So I've known Jason for quite a bit bit of time, he was very helpful in helping us launch the sales enablement society. So Jason, welcome to the show. Would you like to introduce yourself a little bit to our audience?
Unknown Speaker 08:36
Scott, thanks very much. Yeah, it's name is Jason Cunliffe group VP of our content marketing services team at IDC responsibility for sales enablement practice as well. And, you know, I am a also a former bag carrying quota carrying sales representative prior to my career at IDC and One of my, you know, personal objectives that I'm constantly trying to solve for is being that icebreaker if you will, between attended, right between the marketing and the sales function, right is it sometimes you know where we're stuck in the ice up in the frozen tundra in the Bay of Fundy if you will. And we need to we need to see movement between these two functions. So happy to be on the on the show today and have a good conversation.
Scott Santucci 09:36
Excellent. And Also joining us is is Chad. So I mentioned Chad, Chad. I know I've known Chad mostly by following what he what he posts. Chad's been way out on the vanguard way, way, way, way out on the vanguard about advocating outcome selling and if you've been following on our on our podcast, Episode 51, we had a deep dive into it. Come sound with Bob Apollo. Well, Chad's been advocating this kind of approach for just eons of value and value selling approach. So Chad, welcome to the show. Tell us a little bit more about yourself and your company and what you're doing.
Unknown Speaker 10:13
Thank you, Scott. Great to be here. great pleasure. Also, thank you, Brian. And great to have some time with Jason Chad Quinn, CEO of ecosystems, really, our passion and purpose and ecosystems is to make value clear. And we have a sales excellence platform that does that. To kind of riff a little bit off of Scott's centering story, if you think of that glass of water, and you think about value value is always subjective. It's always in the context or relative to the situation you're in. So having gold you would say arguably, a gold bar has a lot of intrinsic and extrinsic value. But if you're in the desert, a glass of water is much more valuable. And so that's the fun excitement we can have in our discussion is the relativity and the subjectivity around values. And how to best convey to our customers.
Scott Santucci 11:03
I was so hoping you were gonna go there. The reason I picked a glass of water is because of that exact analogy about intrinsic versus objective value. And you you will work perfectly. Oh, that's fantastic. I'm so excited. This is unrehearsed by the way. So this is how great our our guests are. So what we're what we're doing is what I'm really fascinated with is in the state of change, as our listeners have. We've done more post COVID research than anybody we've published. Over 20 different podcasts of accessible content. We've had four keynote quality deep deep dive webinars, we've got another one coming up. And what we're seeing is a lot a lot of change around and what's what sparked me was there was this announcement maybe a month ago, where ecosystems and IDC announced a partnership and I want to unpack that but What I want to first start off with is, let's get to know our our guests a little bit and figure out the origin story of how the heck these two ingredients got got together. And let's figure figure out how we mix the mix the water together, so to speak. So Chad, you've been on the soapbox for a long, long time, as I alluded to earlier about selling to value. What trends are you seeing that that are happening that b2b companies are missing?
Unknown Speaker 12:30
I think Scott, let's do it as a visual for our listeners. So let's visualize together that there's a door between you and your customer. And that door represents access into how they see value. Today, regrettably, I think sellers are looking through the keyhole. And that's the challenge. They're looking through the keyhole of that door, and only within this very small sliver of what I would call functional value. And we want to work with them to open that door with the customer and look at all the dimensions of value, so that they're not having this very narrow lens into what that word means.
Scott Santucci 13:11
Awesome. That's great. It's very illuminating. So Jason, can you comment on on that? What are you from an IDC perspective? What are you seeing in terms of gaps in value? And what kind of research are you illuminating to highlight that gap? How do we make it better to where b2b companies can get customers to open that door?
Unknown Speaker 13:34
Right. So certainly the buying landscape has changed dramatically, right? In the past few months, companies reinventing themselves in the context of the next normal. Many, in many cases face an existential threat to survival. And I see this every day in calls in terms of, you know, the sales and marketing function, the leaders are still wrapping their heads around On what normal is supposed to look like today, right. And of course, the the selling communities is boxed into the virtual world and have an entirely new value script and buyer landscape that they're dealing with. And, you know, I think these are themes that we've, I've been working on personally, but I think, you know, recent events, economic crises, and so forth, it's just really put all of this under the microscope and force factoring it to, you know, to be solved for in a more meaningful, full way. So we, you know, at IDC, we've put out some research as well on the five stages to recovery. We've worked with Chad on that as well, in terms of helping our own customers figure out how to flatten their own curve, and move you know, through from, you know, cost optimization, the business resiliency to targeted investments through to you know, what the future and future enterprise is supposed to look like. So we've got we've got a lot of talk, a lot of times to want to talk about today in terms of business value and the research that IDC produces to help solve for those challenges
Scott Santucci 15:08
on it. So in other words, the the overall economic climate is not unlike changing the temperature around a glass of water. All right, we were accustomed to one, maybe a lukewarm environment or the maybe the molecules were moving around, not as fast as the molecules when it's super, super hot. And, you know, now things are freezing, or maybe they're freezing, maybe they're heating up. But whatever the case is the the current state or status quo, our current glass of water, it's going to change and it's going to change into something out and that's, that's what both of you guys are observing. Is that fair?
Unknown Speaker 15:51
Yeah. Yeah, I would say that the cost of doing nothing is really high.
Scott Santucci 15:57
Right, right. And so that's been one Have those points? Well, you know, to quote rush if you choose not to decide you still have made a choice, right? Right. status quo is probably the worst thing that you can do. Awesome. So let's go into, you know, the next thing. So, okay. That was an interesting conversation about value and concepts of value. I'm still trying to figure out, Okay, we've got ecosystems has a software platform to help people do that. And IDC have always known. Aren't you guys that the people that write reports on stuff? So Jason, you're in the content business, right? So how would people go about using IDC content to help with sales? Isn't that for analyst relations people or marketing people? I don't, I don't get it. I'm just trying to be like, you know, put some red meat on the table to get us thought acting good acting, Scott.
Unknown Speaker 16:53
Thank you. That's Yeah, that's
Scott Santucci 16:56
it. Thank you. I was gonna go there.
Unknown Speaker 16:58
So So we've You know, we've known for a long time that in the in the content marketing world that that, you know, salespeople will use pretty much any piece of content at their disposal to carry a conversation forward. Right. And some of that content is limited in its value to do that, and some of it is extremely valuable. And over the years, we've found that, of course, our ROI and business value practice that produces a lot of this custom content fits that that latter bill, right, which is, which is business value studies, ROI studies, but these are things that have traditionally been used or what we would call marketing purposes. Right. And, you know, over time, we you know, through discussions with our customers and speaking with sales leaders within those organizations, you know, we really keyed in on the fact that you know, the all of these engagement activities that that the market function typically tees up, it really has to be aligned and put forth in a way that the sales function can carry forward not only in an intelligent manner, but in a measurable way. Right. And so solving for that dynamic sort of been the key to solving for that dynamic has really been a key focus of mine for for many years now because to me that unlocks the whole value of the marketing function where you can tie that back to the impact it's having on sales pipeline, so forth.
Scott Santucci 18:35
Got it. So my reaction to that and I'm putting words in your mouth, please feel free to spit out what doesn't fit in but my my reaction to that is okay, having myself been in a research business. Well we want to do is we want to figure out what do our customers the end customers care about? And want one thing that I think we can all agree on is a lot of the times the things that Customers care about is so different from the agenda of the b2b sales and marketing company, that there's a big rift there. So