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Ep55 Unpacking Social Media Interactions To Find Insight with Greg Smith
Episode 551st September 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
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Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 55

Our focus is on you a sales enablement leader and orchestrator. In your role, you've got to be mission and goal-focused to drive results by design, not effort, unlocking energy, and creating momentum and catalyzing change through collaboration. In this episode, the guys are talking about utilizing social media to gather information and insight. Not with the purpose of amplifying what's already known, but rather, for the purpose of understanding different perspectives. A key concept of Orchestration.'

In this episode, we're joined by Greg Smith, a long-time listener. He joins the show to talk about one of his most recent posts on "SDR bashing" and what happened when he posted, what he learned, and why the subsequent discussions were valuable.

That's really what we want to talk about here is we have a great opportunity for an awesome topic that requires a good healthy exchange and conversation. When we think about digital, why are we treating it as a separate medium? Why are people using it to share information, instead of understanding different points of view?

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Intro 00:02  

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 00:33  

I'm Scott Santucci.


Brian Lambert 00:35  

I'm 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 00:47  

Together, Brian, I've worked on over 100 different kinds of sales enablement, issues as analysts, consultants or practitioners. We've learned the hard way, what works and maybe what's more importantly, what doesn't


Brian Lambert 01:00  

And our focus is on you the sales enablement leader and orchestrator, as you know, you've got to be mission and goal focused to drive results by design, not effort, unlocking energy and creating momentum and catalyzing change through collaboration. Those are just some of the attributes of being a great orchestrator. And as we continue to advance through COVID-19, we're having to do that a lot more digitally. It's a digital driven need for orchestrators. And that's what we're going to talk about today, the idea of digital environments and leveraging them to help us orchestrate success. And Scott, why don't you kick us off with the story and introduce our guest?


Scott Santucci 01:42  

Thanks, Brian. And we're not going to go back very far in history, because how far back in history can we go when we talk about digital environments, but we're going to do is maybe it's more of an anecdote. So in 2017, I started the sales enablement society. One of the things that was really interesting about that is it was all run on my cell phone and through LinkedIn. So the ways of engaging what I learned about how people engage, what the techniques are, etc, if you just sort of look at LinkedIn as a big collection, sort of like a conference, or you know, you go to a basketball game, and you want to talk to people in the stands, if you look at it that way, then use the rules of how you engage others. And that's really what we want to talk about here is we have a great opportunity for a awesome topic that requires a good healthy exchange and conversation. But I think one of the things is when we think about digital, why are we treating it as a separate medium? Why don't we look at it as just yet another way that we can have conversations with people. So that's our centering story.


Brian Lambert 02:54  

So, so what so so what does that have to Do the sales enablement.


Scott Santucci 03:01  

what it has to do with being an Orchestrator sales enablement and thriving in this, in this rapidly changing world is to find the sources of insight. The idea of taking quote unquote best practices and rolling out inside your company is almost silly right now. And this is why conversations are more important. And I think one of the things that's really fascinating is when you look at somebody posting something, or even somebody who's done a presentation, or a keynote presentation or like a webinar, there's always stuff to learn after the fact. And that's really what we want to do here is we've got Greg Smith joining us. And actually, what we've what we've got is a we're really picking up a conversation on LinkedIn, Brian, once you once you frame that out a little bit of knowledge, and then I'll introduce Greg more specifically.


Brian Lambert 03:56  

Yeah, that's great. So you guys were having a conversation and Greg started it and the title of his post was something like bashing SDRs is cheapening, LinkedIn and your own brand. And then he goes through and says, here's what I'm saying, here's what I'm seeing and basically wraps up the post with, hey, hashtag COVID coaching. We're all we're all new at one point, let's have some empathy for those starting out during tough times. And then, you know, my favorite part was the last line he had, which is SDRs need coaching, not humiliating. And I thought that was great. And this this was early on in the in the back and forth and Scott chimed in and said, hey, I've tried to do what you suggest. And basically, he gets many scathing curse word laden diatribes about what, uh, what a jerk. He is, and this is literally, you know, publicly in on LinkedIn. And so that now, here we are, I think about two weeks later in that and Greg has about 33,000 views on it and many, many likes and shares. So in that discussion, we said, hey, let's carry this forward over to the podcast. And to your point, Scott, this is a a medium in which a conversation is happening. What we want to do is use this as a bit of a case study for how to engage, how to enroll different perspectives. And then also, what's the value add here, because as many would agree, arguing back and forth adds little value. However, when you look at what's happening here on this post, there's something valuable going on and what is it so we're gonna bring in Greg, on this. And Greg, thanks so much for joining us here on the show. And also, you know, thanks for being transparent and just putting that out there. I would love for you to just share your background and and then why did you post what you did? And then what was your What was your angle on posting that?


Unknown Speaker 05:53  

Yeah, thanks for thanks for the intro. And thanks for having me today. It's good to join with you both. So my current role is Is to head up digital offerings for sales performance improvement company in partner based here in London with a well known virtual presence all around the world. Whereas we've had offices in the past. I've spent my whole career kind of why started out as an SDR at IBM. And I think that's kind of where the origin is my feelings game for that particular post. But since then, I've very much been at the intersection of sales, training and sales technology. And so for whatever reason, and that's just become Yeah, my forte, and I don't know, I think, you know, having worked from home all year and probably spent more time on LinkedIn because of that. And you know, a lot of people having a rough time, I just kept seeing people kind of just bashing on young salespeople or sharing screenshots of what they deemed to be a poor prospecting attempt and, and sharing that around. I just thought that that's really not helping, like right now. More than ever, I think people just need to kind of put all their ego and pride aside and just kind of help each other and get on with the job. Because, you know, we're kind of all in this together, I see our GDP in our recovery as sort of a joint quota for us all to be trying to attain, and I think we'd be better served helping each other.


Brian Lambert 07:17  

Yeah, that's great. Greg, and I, you know, let's not forget that there's actually buyers and potential prospects on LinkedIn, as well. So when the when the the sales community starts turning on its own and eating their young, so to speak, what does that say for the profession as a whole? Because, you know, LinkedIn is a huge platform. I mean, I'm not everybody knows that, I believe, right? If you do, so. This is an interesting, so you didn't, he didn't come back and call people out with your own screenshots. What was the angle on your post? You know, you're talking a little bit about something a little bit more aspirational or maybe just your point of view and you put it out there. Tell us a little about that. And then what happened?


Unknown Speaker 07:59  

You Yes, it was. I mean first, firstly, disclaimer, I don't purport to be some sort of expert on on these things. I just know what


Brian Lambert 08:07  

isn't what an expert to post on LinkedIn though?


Unknown Speaker 08:11  

No, I don't know, I don't think so I think it should be for everyone. And I think you can learn something from everyone. So, yeah, I mean, I just posted I didn't expect such You're such a response to be honest. There was something like, as a well over 100 comments on there. So I've had to go through all of that. And it was all very positive. And if someone was challenging it was in the way Scott was in a really constructive manner, versus like, you know, what the hell's your problem now, all this kind of stuff. So I found it being really constructive. And whereas I probably sounded really down on LinkedIn just now I think that's, it served a really strong purpose there to kick off conversations and so yes, it was a little cheeky dig at some of the sort of self appointed, you know, quote unquote, gurus and all of that because, you know, I don't rebind to that, I think I think everyone has The right to, to chip in and help but um, yeah, yeah, it was a little cheeky dig but also just a friendly suggestion from my inexperience. Again, I'm just a 33 year old who spent, you know, a number of years in this space and just wanted to share a different perspective.


Brian Lambert 09:14  

Well, let me break this, this post down and then I'll get Scott's reaction because he posts a lot too. But you said you start with, hey, I've noticed an increase in gurus railing against STI. So you start with a personal observation. And then you in your next paragraph, you you kind of say look, you know, SDRs are working hard then then you say in a third paragraph, I was one. It's a hard job, it's a beating. And then you you subtly call for something, you know, a little bit more aspirational, which is I would be made way more impressed if if they shared a screenshot and then responding with some coaching points. Yeah, right, something a bit more positive and constructed and and then and then a challenge. Let's take LinkedIn from a shaming, like baiting dumping ground. Yes, you wrote that, yes. And then into a place of peer. So this is the, you know, hey, go forward and then and then you gave three suggestions, try this instead declined politely for some feedback, and then maybe even follow up with them and see how they're doing 30 days later, right. So that's the post in and of itself. Scott, what's your reaction to that? And then how would you How would you categorize what Greg did here?


Scott Santucci 10:33  

Well, I think it for me, it's more the reaction. So first of all, I know Greg, and, and I like Greg so it's, it's, I always have the mentality of how can I get somebody back? However, there was a you know, a lot of what it was saying, I mean, I definitely an anti shaming. Let's let's get that really clear. However, the idea that knee is a buyer should follow up 30 days later to see whether or not they're they're doing it or evolving, just isn't didn't really resonate with that because I actually tried that having been a salesperson, myself. Heck, I personally called the back in the day, the personally called the CIO of Campbell's soups, 80 days in a row, getting less and less various, various voicemails, I know what it's like. And I wish that somebody would have told me what's valuable or not valuable. However, when I've tried to do that with, you know, I can't distinguish whether it's a BDR, SDR, digital salesperson or all these labels that we give to it. It's just somebody trying to connect to me. And when I've tried to give advice or suggestions of what would resonate with me, I've been aggressively with curse laden responses back given feedback, something like man, you know, it kind of goes two ways, right? You have to be the individual on the other end needs to be coachable, and recognize that they want my time and my money. And if I'm going out of my way to give them some tips on how to be more valuable to me, to call me in a hole for doing it is, seems to be very extreme.

So I just wanted to I thought Greg's what I liked about Greg's posts or what resonated with me, was, it's it came off as very authentic. And when I see somebody comment on us, often in an authentic way, I can't help but want to engage. So that I just found myself starting to engage and then I'm trying to accomplish it, you know, make sure that I'm being polite and respectful to Greg, knowing full well that other people are going to read it, but also offer a different perspective so that we could have a conversation about how we had This issue, which would be the effectiveness of salespeople, making contacts with with folks. So that's, yeah, that was the the dialogue, the difficulty is words get into can can get interpreted in a variety of different ways. How do you have a conversation about it? So it was happy to see more and more people chime in and engage with, with Greg with respect. I'm curious, before we get into the conversation that I want to have. I'm curious what Greg learned from putting it out there. Because I think that's another thing that we're not doing enough of is learning from the people who put the stuff out there in the first place. Because they have an idea. They're making themselves vulnerable. They're putting themselves out there. What did you learn by putting that post out there, Greg?


Unknown Speaker 13:46  

Yeah, good question. Um, well, firstly, firstly, it was clear that a lot of people agreed. Secondly, it was it was nice hearing that you have responded and others said similar things, but how You know, I've tried coaching. And and I think it is unrealistic to do that with everyone, right? You couldn't possibly nobody would have the time with the amount of prospecting that's going on to get back to all of them. So


Unknown Speaker 14:15  

yeah, I definitely appreciate that.


Unknown Speaker 14:18  

But it kind of learned that, you know, perhaps there's a failure somewhere and in some cases, it's going to be on the individual str or BDR. Right. So in your case, they just didn't want to get better. I don't know if that's the exception or the rule. I would lean towards it being an exception. I actually did a not a follow up post but one this week about SDR as being mostly Gen Z and I used to coach some Gen Z university students through different sales programs around the US and I think they're gonna be brilliant, because they're curious and they're tough. And I think they do want to improve and get better So, so yes, I, I completely agree that Yeah, you're going to try and help some of them and they're just going to burn you think what the hell's the point? You know that they don't seem you know that they can the gift horse in the mouth right so yeah, yeah so yeah, I think there's probably somewhere along the line this is where I think we're exposed that there's some something's broken just


Brian Lambert 15:23  

yeah so let me offer a bit of a Let me ask you guys so you're on LinkedIn Do you guys get pinged by SDRs in your roles? Yes, obviously obviously Scott you have I have to. So you know, for the last two years because in prep for this podcast I was going back and thinking the number of people that have reached out to me to fill the top of the funnel with some sort of funnel system, marketing lead gen system to get me leads, etc. It's probably 100 times greater than anything that I could actually relate to, like, for example, I'm not into filling my funnel. I'm, you know, trying to be more sales driven, etc. I've had zero reach outs around things that I care about, and 100 hundred people reaching out around pretty much the exact same can message. I mean, it's fascinating to me that 100 people can reach out with the exact same thing, selling the exact same thing. So, um, that's what's happened to me. And I tend to agree with you, Greg, if that's happening, this is a somebody there's something going on where that's expected. Like, that's normal. I would prefer to have somebody engage with me around what what I would consider a bigger challenge of messaging, for example. So this is what's happened to me. Do you guys have any stories about trends about how you've been reached out to and are you seeing the same thing where it's a bit


Scott Santucci 17:00  

Well, I didn't give her perspective on that, Brian, I don't necessarily think it's an issue of trends. This isn't new. Social media allows us to scale behavior. So putting myself in the BDR shoes. So what I liked about Greg's post is and here's another key point, I think it's incredibly important to engage. If you're not engaging with people having conversations. There's no way you're going to learn what's going on. So that's a tip to our, to our audience, engage with us get on the podcast, put yourself out there like Greg is doing right now and having a conversation without any script or any any forewarning. But what I think is happening is I myself as a rep, once email came, so I'm much older than you Greg, when email came into place, and like wow, this is a great, much more effective way I can cut and paste a rap and send it off to 30 people for the time. It takes me, you know, that will take me one minute. And in this case 30 people, it would take me, you know, 10 minutes time.


Brian Lambert 18:08  

In this case the wrap is a scripted email, right? Actually around that m&m


Scott Santucci 18:14  

practice that was before, before midnight, so a story or some hook or something, right. And I would cut and paste and you know, blast those away before there was email rules and everything like that. Or, you know, I got into sending faxes because I didn't think people were checking faxes anymore, anything to get to get attention. I think what's different today is that we've gone to LinkedIn and we think LinkedIn is sort of the safe, the safe environment to engage yet people are using the the end credits to bombard bombard people. And I think what's happening is that a bit Is...