Welcome to Inside: Sales Enablement Episode 60
We're in the experience economy and Sales Enablement Orchestrators are working to bring together the valuable contributions of multiple departments in their organization to improve the customer experience. How are they doing that? By pulling together people, processes, technology, and information to benefit sellers and address the gaps in the selling eco-system.
Curiosity is the new competitive advantage, as savvy leaders are taking a "how do we figure it out" approach and learn by doing. Forgoing the big-bang efforts for laser beam experience "labs" to figure out what works.
In this episode, we’re joined by Bill Ball, a founding member, and one of the members of the Sales Enablement Board of Directors. As sales enablement society founders and members Scott, Brian, and Bill share their examples of creating an all-digital organization of volunteers through a shared and common experience to elevate the role.
As Bill shares in the podcast; "We're navigating an evolving profession together. We have to get to know people and to help people, to figure it out together."
Listen in as the guys share what they're seeing, and more importantly, what they have learned to help your own organization orchestrate and bring together people through a common and shared experience
SES EXPERIENCE 2020 - Forward Momentum for a New Decade October 26 - 29 Virtual
Join the members of the Sales Enablement society at their annual conference http://ses2020.sesociety.org/
Make sure you join Scott Santucci (SES Founder) in the Founders Room on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 4:15pm Eastern.
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
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. Together, Brian and I have 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 most important, but doesn't. Our focus is on you as sales enablement leaders and orchestrators in that role that you have in your company, you've got to develop specific characteristics that we call orchestration. That means blending strategy and tactics together to achieve results to help sales sell and simplify the selling ecosystem. And as usual, we have a centering story, bill, bill, what do you got for us?
Bill Ball 01:29
Thanks, guys. I want to take us way back to the year of 2016. I know that's not quite as far as you gentlemen generally travel back in your centering stories, but it's important.
Brian Lambert 01:45
Scott Santucci 01:46
you know why? It's so it might as well be that Fargo. Right,
Bill Ball 01:50
right, right. I mean, cuz who can tell at this point anymore? It seems like 1000 years ago is my relationship with you guys go what's happened this year, and how far the sales name one society has come. So um, the reason I'm going to talk about 2016 is that's the year all the wheels started to turn in the sales enablement society. Now, I wasn't involved right at the very beginning. Because I didn't know Scott and Scott didn't know me and I didn't know what sales enablement was. That's right. I'm saying I didn't know what sales enablement was in 2016, until I found a LinkedIn group called the sales enablement society. And so I joined it. I was like, that sounds like some of the things that I do. You know, I'm helping grow sales people. I'm helping train sales people, I'm helping them with their messaging. But you know, that that sounds a little bit like what I'm doing. It sounds a lot cooler than trainer. Yeah. Or, you know, that kind of thing, right? Because Because, my, my students or, you know, the, my colleagues aren't dogs. So, so I can get behind this.
And so I joined the group, you know, and I was like, okay, you know, maybe I'll get a digest or something, if people actually talk in this thing, because like, back back, then you subscribed to a lot of LinkedIn groups and hope, you know, one out of 15 was good. And within that same week, I got a phone call. And it was Brian. And it was like, Okay, this is weird, because I feel a little stocked, I joined a LinkedIn group. And, and Dude, you're breaking the fourth wall, like what's going on right now? And, and he proceeded to vet me, you know, but like, in a really nice and thoughtful way, like, Hey, I see you're, you're in DC, and I'm in DC. And that's where the sales enablement society was, you know, originally had a chapter. And we talked about my role a little bit and he was super complimentary. You know, I taught it and now knowing all the things that Brian's done, like it was really nice for him to say that, right? Because I was just beginning my journey as well not beginning but like, this is my first role in what anybody would classify as sales enablement. And he was like, so you're kind of like the Yoda for SDRs and and I thought like, Yoda, I would never say that. But But yes, I have to be sometimes and definitely my age versus the SDRs I'm easily Yoda that way so so so we'll keep that so so we talked again after that, I was like, Wow, that was really weird at first and then super nice. And like now I'm more curious about this thing. And so we talked again, and he was like, Hey, we're actually having a meeting. And I found out it was like way out in Leesburg at some Country Club. Yeah, like I was like, do I have banjo to get in
Brian Lambert 04:46
his city slicker he's out cuz
Bill Ball 04:49
Yeah, cuz I'm in Arlington, Virginia and for those on the podcast like Leesburg and DC traffic like that's a haul from from from where I am and you know, that's just part of living in a big City. So, so yes, I know, I know. And I know it's hard Down on the Farm, Scott. So So I went out to the country club. And you know, I didn't have to have a banjo and I saw Brian and and I saw, I got to meet Scott. And I saw other people who, around that same time, Terry was doing that podcast on sales enablement, which was like, super groundbreaking at the time, and he was interviewing people in the sales, manual society. So I was like, you know, I know a little bit about Scott, I know a little bit about Nicola, Brian, because she talked about all the Van Halen shows that she went to like in the 70s, or the 80s, or whatever that happened. And I was kind of jealous. So I have heard him talk about that with but, you know, so I thought I was gonna have these, like, you know, one off personal discussions, and we got serious really fast in that meeting. So we laid out a few things about business within a business and a lot of the things that we're trying to establish at that time. But then we had an exercise, and I was like, I have never been to, you know, I've been to all kinds of sales meetups and all those kinds of things. I've never been to one where we actually had to do an exercise. And I was like, Okay, this is this is for real. And this was the exercise.
So there was a marketing business plan, you know, given with a scope and an amount of time and an ROI. And, and Scott was leading this exercise, and he said, Okay, I'm going to split you up into two groups. So he divided the two groups into one group, which was, you need to make the business case for this, your sales enablement, you need to come up with reasons to support this. And then the second group, you're the CEO, you need to find reasons to shoot this down. Because part of being in sales enablement, little did I know at that point was selling your initiatives and making a business case your initiatives upstream, even at the CEO level. So to my delight, I worked at a small business at that time, and I reported to the CEO. So to my delight, I got to play the CEO groups, I was in a group with Brian and Rao Gupta and a couple of other folks. And I knew exactly what my boss would say about this. And so when we came back as a group, like we like, wrote on notepads, and we came up with talking points, and we came back as a group and debated, I did not hold back, I totally went CEO, and I rip that plan to shreds. And it was an amazing plan, but I just played the CEO, and I ripped it to shreds, and I could just, you know, Scott was facilitating, but I could also see his face kind of contort a few times when I was when I was kind of going at the plan. And did I know at the end of the meeting, that it was a plan that Scott had submitted. So I felt like a huge ass, but I also felt like, you know, dude, you put that out there, and you gave me permission to take some swings. And this is awesome. And I cannot wait to come back to this thing. That's awesome.
Brian Lambert 07:59
Yeah, remember that? there? Yeah. Yeah. So let me ask bill, I always ask asked after our centering story, so what?
Insider Nation 08:08
Scott Santucci 08:09
Well, wait, let me help you out, Bill. So okay. So first of all, who the heck are you? Who's this person talking? And who's taken my space for my centering story? That's like my, my value contribution. That's what I do. So for those of you who don't know, Bill ball joining us, Bill ball, it gave us his story about his first experience within the sales enablement society. And now you're on the board of directors, right?
Bill Ball 08:36
Yep. So I practice sales enablement. For an IT staffing and managed services firm. I'm in the process of transforming my practice from a traditional learning and development practice, because it's a traditional business into field enablement practice. And so, so I'm super excited about that. But yes, I have the pleasure and the privilege of being not only a founding member, and a past Board of advisor for the sales enablement society, but now I'm on the board of directors with four other awesome hard working volunteers.
Scott Santucci 09:14
So the reason that this is this centering story is important in the so what Brian so now, that way they know who the heck this bill guy is in the first place. He just starts talking about getting calls and making fun of us rednecks out and media. And he's making history again, the first ever centering story. That's not Scott. That's right.
Scott Santucci 09:34
That's right. But I think the bigger issue is, where is sales enablement as a profession today and how much influence has the sales enabled society had with it? There's been a huge explosion since 2016. And funding for companies like seismic highspot, etc. A lot of that is because of the visibility in sales and a warrant that was created to make investors feel more comfortable with it. There's way more research out there. So those businesses are converting some of that research that money that investment money. So high spots, got the sales enablement, sell the name or Pro, because of that traction, you've got other conferences now that are, you know, squatting on the sales enablement society, timeframe, but that's a different issue. All of this has been done and built. So let's kind of review what's all been built by volunteers serving and it says Key Point bill, how much money you get every year for your your efforts as being a board member?
Bill Ball 10:36
I have two answers to that question. One, the overwhelming amount of zero dollars, infinite and, and a lot of pride. And then and then also I pay to go to every single conference, I've paid for my travel, and this year won't be paying for my travel. But I've paid for the conference as well as as a board member and as a practitioner.
Scott Santucci 10:58
So not only are you going out of pocket, so you're paying for your part, but you're not getting any money either. And I think that's really important for you, as our audience to really pay attention to understand what the society is all about. The cells in a one society is driven by volunteers who care about the profession. And the volunteers are people like Bill, who are practitioners who believe in this role. And I think that's really, really important. Because as you think about all the different things that you could attend, and all the stuff that you could do, having insight of how things really work matters. And you should be participating in the things of where people are putting their money where their mouth is, there's a lot of other resources out there that are quote unquote, sales enablement, where people aren't putting their money where their mouth is. But what we're going to talk about here is the remarkable thing of Orchestration.
So you guys all know that since COVID, we're shifting our podcast to be much more about Orchestration. As Orchestration really happened, how two volunteers who've never worked together, don't work in the same company aren't getting paid? How do they put together a conference? Oh, and by the way, even when there is a template for a conference to follow, guess what COVID hits. Now you have to do a virtual conference as well. How does that actually happen? So we've we've asked bill over here for two reasons. One is to get you motivated, so that you will join the conference. The entity is a nonprofit organization, they need the money. But more importantly, you should be supporting an organization done by your peers. But I think more importantly, to for our listeners of our show, how does this stuff actually really happened? So don't? Where does it start? Where does it begin from? How do you decide that? What what topics you're going to cover?
Bill Ball 12:53
A couple of ways. So so we we think about the theme. And there were a lot of foundational themes, when we all met together for the first time at the end of 2016. In, in Palm Beach. And then there were greater themes in that when we had our actual first conference in Dallas, where we were trying to just build foundations for this thing and talk about what happened, you know, with technology companies in 2008. Scott, you did a presentation on that. Howard, Dr. Howard over talked about the Dust Bowl, and how hiring more salespeople wasn't the answer. So there was all of this build and momentum of the need for sales enablement, in that first conference. So since we built on that, two conferences after one in Denver, and then one last year in San Antonio, this year, we had originally planned to talk about the forward momentum, meaning a lot of our practitioners are growing up, we talked to our members, that's how we find out we don't start with the technology and say this is how you do sales and eight, when we talk to our managers, we see what are our practitioners, we see what's happening in our chapters. And what a lot of us, a lot of them were telling us was, you know what, I'm starting to expand beyond my army of one, you know, I'm starting to build out my team. What does that look like? What does forward momentum look like for me, and then there's some people at a at an even greater level that, that that are that are still looking for ways to scale. And you know, there's conversations of different types of enablement at this point, you know, I don't want to get into that too much. But But we, we have a huge audience. And so to do something memorable and experiential for them, we have to talk to them.
Scott Santucci 14:43
Yeah, and I think part of the difficulty, at least from my experience, with regards to society, it's really hard to share what that experience is to other people. And that's what that's what that's the cause. If you will make makes all this work is it's not so much you don't go to the sales enablement society conference. For the speakers, even though the speakers are great, you go there to build the connections that you need, and to be able to have honest conversations with other people so you can do your job better. Was that? Is that what you're what you're after bill? So how do we give more insight of what happens behind the closed doors?
Bill Ball 15:29
It's, it's, it's exactly what I'm after. And that's something that nobody told me. You know, nobody gets told that. I mean, maybe I'm saying it and you're saying it now, Scott, but nobody says that. I'm in the sales enablement society. You find that out, you figure that out, you discover it. When I went to our first founding meeting, back in 2016, started to take us back there again, but it was a big year. I got to meet people that I'd heard on podcast before like Daniel West, right. So like, Who's elevated to a huge role in Australia now? I'm sure mon batcher. Officer. Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's massive, right? So So Siobhan Satcher, who she you know, a lot of people know shavon. But when I met her guys, she was an army of one. Yeah. Now she is a major Orchestrator Vp at ringcentral. With with lots of successful sales named leaders underneath her.
Scott Santucci 16:27
So Palm Beach meeting that people will recognize. So Mario was there, right?
Bill Ball 16:33
Mario was there. Bob Britton was there? Giuliana Stan can pianos there? You me and Brian were there. We had
Brian Lambert 16:44
to think Who was there? Niccolo Brian
Bill Ball 16:46
Cole O'Brien was there Raul Gupta was there. A lot of all of our original founding castle there Michael Abadi. It was one who was um, who also just took took a new role. He's heading up a region, I believe doctors,
Brian Lambert 16:59
the doctors were there. Peterson,
Scott Santucci 17:02
Michael avani. That was his first experience. Yes. He's a board member as well. He was at this he was at meeting the doctors, right. Yeah. So that one of the doctors. So Dr. Dover, a lot of you guys know, actually the sales name was society donated a large sum of money in that first conference to pay his foundation because they were doing the most work. And were offered to host the first conference, then we have been also, Dr. Peterson. Peterson is leading one of the roundtables.
Bill Ball 17:43
Yeah, it's so tying that back to what you're talking about Scott. I don't just hear Daniel west on a podcast anymore. I reach out to him. You know, my 5050 and call a friend right now is pretty awesome. Um, and and it is 100% of the sales success, do the sales enablement society. And and why that's important is not just okay, I have awesome connections. It's because we're navigating an evolving profession together. And who wants to be Sisyphus and push a rock up a hill by themselves, you know, so but by being a part of these experiences, and it's one thing to be a member, right, and join and be on our message board and that kind of thing. But by being a part of these experiences, you get to know these people. And if you get to know people, and you...