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Ep52 Orchestrating Relevant Sales Conversations with Imogen McCourt and Doug Clower
Episode 5217th August 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
00:00:00 00:57:09

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Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 52

What happens when you get people together remotely or in-person to build something to "help sales sell?". Take an Insider's look at what it takes to navigate internal perspectives, challenges, and vision to co-create value together.

Imogen and Doug join the guys to discuss their work. They provide real-world examples that illuminate and provide structure to the challenges they overcome while working with marketing, sales, and product groups. You'll hear a lively discussion about what it means to orchestrate by blending together both strategy and tactics to simplify sales while achieving business objectives.

Take a listen to learn more about:

  • Why orchestration is valuable to executives
  • What orchestration "looks like" to the leaders involved
  • Ways to overcome internal bias and people who want to "steamroll" the solution
  • Overcoming siloed thinking by creating clarity through the work


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 00:34  

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 and I have 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 most Importantly, what doesn't?

Brian Lambert 01:01  

That's right Scott. And our focus is on you. The sales enablement orchestrator. As you know, as leaders in your business, you need to develop specific characteristics that we've been calling Orchestration, we want you to understand what it means to help clarify the measures of success. We want to give you examples, Orchestration looks like as you you operate in the gap between strategy and execution to do both at the same time. And we want to give you confidence to engage up down and across your organization to help with that and breathe life into this concept of Orchestration. We actually have two guests with us today, and they've been on the show before, but they're also helping and they're very passionately involved in clarifying the role of sales enablement, as orchestrating role and what it means to be an orchestrator. So we've got Imogen McCourt and Doug Clower joining us today. Hey guys, how you doing? Can you introduce yourself?

Unknown Speaker 01:54  

Certainly, Brian and Scott. Thanks for having us on again. I guess we didn't do too badly Last time, so we get to come back and do a little bit more. Anyway, my name is Doug clower. I'm a, I'm a global enablement director and and I'm an orchestrator to I guess that's the best way to describe it. I'm passionate about this. It makes so much sense. And it does give so much value to the companies that we work with. So thanks.

Unknown Speaker 02:19  

Yeah. And I'm imaging McCourt, and it's lovely to be back, spending some more time with you chaps, I co founded an organization called and And we focus on helping companies with the business of sales, helping the senior executive team understand exactly how they should be orchestrating things like that. So I'm really delighted to be part of this today, and also the other work that we're doing at the side.

Brian Lambert 02:39  

That's awesome. Yes, very excited to have you guys on and thank you so much for the time that you continue to invest in sales enablement and sharing with our listeners. And what we had is a bit of a shared experience this week, all all four of us. So me, Doug, image in and also Scott. He did a webinar this week, and he did the webinar on the concept of routes to value. And this was a great discussion you can find out more about it if you go to Commercial Ratio comm you can get the recordings and I definitely encourage everybody in insider nation to listen to that recording is a really important concept about linking your your company's capabilities to your customers challenges and outcomes, and the role of salespeople and the selling ecosystem and closing that gap in a route to value. This particular podcast. What I wanted to do is really slow down and talk about the concept of orchestrating what seems to be a simple concept of, of helping salespeople connect the dots and, and sell to customers. And I wanted to ask you imagine, you know, how did the webinar relate to you and what takeaways Did you have from it?

Unknown Speaker 03:49  

Well, I mean, it's a fantastic the whole series has been really powerful to listen and learn and be part of and, and the webinar yesterday, I'm going to have to pronounce it root value. I'm sorry, when you listen to the webinar, you'll know that there's English to English translation thing. I'm just, I'm sorry, I'm protecting the global political audience. But yeah, it was really interesting. I, you know, there's such complexity in keeping focused on the strategic work that we need to do is orchestrators, but also understanding some of the practical and tactical things too. And so much of it resonated. But there's one slide, which was a panoramic view of a workshop very, lots going on lots on the walls. And I'll be honest, it was like, it was like flashbacks to a workshop that Brian and Scott You helped me design and run when I really just started as head of sales namens at Forrester.

So I don't know how much you guys remember about that. But we were trying just to simply think about the new go to market strategy that they were they were pivoting around, and how what value that might mean to our clients, but actually, what we were trying to do and what we ended up Doing was just trying to get a pick list of priority for the sales enablement group for my small and immaculately formed team. And I'll be honest, it escalated out of all control. So we started with a pick list of heads of department, head of marketing, things like that, to try and do this to try and get us all on the same page about how we work together. And then I think there was 30 plus people in the room, and all hell broke loose. And we were just trying to get everybody to come together around the story of why we had decided to move to this and what value it brought to the marketplace. And it was everybody had an opinion, everybody brought their agenda into the room. So you know, seeing this workshop sort of slide put out in front of me with all of these incredibly important and valuable things to do that it just took me straight back there, right. That's the beginning of running sales name of departments. And I'll be interested what you thought of that session and whether you have any memories from it.

Brian Lambert 05:55  

Yeah, well, I'm gonna ask, you know, Scott, actually to help our listeners out To make sure that our listeners Scott are aware a little bit around why workshop and kind of what was happening in the workshop that that slide generated from the webinar. Because it's a it's a panoramic his his image and said there's a lot of things that happened in the room I was in the room and there was a lot of things like value map or stakeholders and, you know, here's a space to think out loud, or here's a different space to show some tools or progress. And there's a lot of things on the wall. And but really, what was the purpose of the workshop? Scott and what why workshop and how does that relate to what imaging was talking about everybody coming together? Yeah. So

Scott Santucci 06:38  

let's distinguish a few things. So Imogen talked about routes to value and her past experience with that, and it took her back to a time I don't know maybe 810 years ago at Forrester. Yeah, yeah. Trying to get a whole bunch People together. So one of the one of the concepts that we had talked about earlier in this, in this webinar was the concept of Productitis. And I think what, we didn't have that term 10 years ago, and again, but we were seeing absolute symptoms of Productitis. Individual marketers who just didn't really care necessarily about the value proposition, but Okay, so what leads do we no need to go generate for who individual are it's tough to come p&l groups, but different businesses, like Forrester had, at the time had a leadership conference counsel product, then there's the general research product, then there's the consulting group, and all we were trying to do is say, what's the what's the simple one value proposition that we give to each of these different customers, and to images point, everybody was showing up with their own ideas. I was I, you know, if I'm in consulting, I really don't care what the research value proposition is, or the Leadership Council group sort of proposition is I care of making sure the consulting value propositions delivered. And so what is this balance? What is our actual business strategy so that the business strategy images was mentioning was a pivot to be role focused. So instead of having research around topics, the research and the delivery mechanism was going to be around individual roles.

So that's a tough pivot and upon itself as well, so it's a strategic pivot. So you have all of these different variables going on at the same time. So that was then. So kind of the Wayback Machine 10 years ago, what what Imogen was referring to is a slide, which is part of the process. So at the end of our Rouse devalue presentation, we talked about, hey, here are the problems and in the middle section we talked about, let's illuminate What an outcome is from a customer's point of view. Now the second part, then the third part then would be, what methodology Do you follow to put it all in action, because you can't just have one group go and build a playbook or another group build a value map and another group do something else, because nothing's going to tie it all together. So what we were doing is introducing a series of workshops or techniques that follow design thinking principles to get everybody together. So what when Brian was saying he was in the room, Brian was in the room of the picture that was described or the panoramic view image and says it way better than I do. And what we're trying to eliminate here is let's let's plot out all of the different Verrier variables of why you people just, you know, go get people involved. So going back to the images point of view at the beginning, which was, Hey, this is simple. All we were trying to do is simply get Ba ba ba ba well Sales is simple but simple is hard. And I think that's what we're what we're experiencing. We're experiencing in this story, real life examples of Stratecution coming to life, real life examples of the need for Orchestration, what happens when you don't have it? Things disintegrate into into utter chaos that's unbelievably frustrating for everybody involved. And what's the value moving forward? Because the situation that Forrester was trying to address is exactly the situation most companies are in today.

Brian Lambert 10:36  

Yeah, that's great. And you're mentioning and this is highlighting to to phenomenon I love you know, dog or image you need to chime in on this, but one is this phenomenon of, Hey, you know what, I talked to you perhaps individually, and everybody's focused on customers and everybody wants to do the right thing. Yet, however, when you get in a room full of 30 other people what what is Turn into and what happens there? So there's this phenomenon of individually doing it versus doing it in a group that that can happen. And then the second piece is, Scott, you said very specifically, well, you can't have one person do a playbook you can't have one person, maybe building a message. And then you know, I would add, you can't have one person, you know, aligning it in the in the platform or of enablement platform or whatever. But yeah, that's, that's what that's what people do. So of course, of course, they can do that, but you added the qualifier of, or else it won't be integrated, and it won't be integrated for sales. So those two phenomenon this idea of what happens individually versus a group and then the other phenomenon of how the work gets done where you parse it up out and you get it done you check it off versus integrating it from the for sales or the lifeblood of sales. What do you guys think of that? That's what strikes My mind is what what the challenges of orchestration are and a picture like this? A dog or imaging Do you have any thoughts? on that,

Unknown Speaker 12:01  

I think what is so illustrative of that particular image or that picture, that panorama of it's in there. It's really about all the different elements or people that have a role or some sort of outcome that they're chasing. And in most cases, everybody says, I have the customer in mind, but a lot of times they come with their own conceived agenda is like, the customer needs this feature, or the customer wants this executable or this guarantee, or they want this price or whatever it happens to be. And the idea is, you have to collectively bring those together and bring them into alignment. That's one of the bigger challenges. I think, augmentation to this particular picture that that we're referring to, for me was the outcomes slide. The one words it's the building and there's like six different outcomes and those outcomes you have to understand what level you're talking to. So the idea of orchestration, it's hard because you got to get get everybody to begin to understand what are we targeting? What is it we're looking for? What is the customer expect? What's the outcome we're trying to get to, which I think was at the heart of the webcast. It was this beautiful discussion, it goes back to that, that one diagram, Scott, that you put together, where outcome was in the middle, and the six elements were around the outside. That was the power of that. And that's where the the challenges and at least that's the way it resonated for me. That's, that's one of the challenges I've, I've dealt with on a number of occasions.

Unknown Speaker 13:36  

And then if I may, I'm going to add to that to Doug, I think you're actually right to bring it to the outcome piece as well. You know, we the last time we did our podcast, actually, we talked about how important their conversation the actual conversation between the salesperson and the client is and the value is added when you can discuss what great outcomes you can work with them, what they eat, what they can change towards them and why. But to me, I also think there's this piece about walking riches, there are so many moving parts, you know, there are so many people who passionately care about, do we understand who the wallet owner is or where the budget holders are, and that will help our sales organization and, and then that suddenly internal again that suddenly about the company structure or how we company and sell to them. But what's really hard is actually taking this, this idea of an outcome that we could deliver, and turning that into something that we can actually add value with and not complicate our clients lives. You know, the forester workshop, everybody came in, really believing that they had and having out the clients best interests in heart, but not fully understanding how you turn that translate that into something that can be sold. That is empathetic that drives and delivers value that can be understood in the marketplace. And I think that's the really smart bit about Orchestration here is simplifying enough. Without dumbing down and providing enough of the environment and facilitation to make people look at each other and see how they can come collectively together to drive more value, not look at each other and think, well, they're just going to take sales resource that I really should have because my products really powerful for our clients or, but now marketing are going to focus on something else. I want them to focus on something else. And I think the Orchestrator has to be both incredibly strong leader as Scott, you've said over and over again, but also this really powerful, quiet person who's sitting behind the scenes making sure that everybody understands. And the bigger picture the whole that the outcome that Doug's talking about, which is always client side is always client side outcome.

Brian Lambert 15:44  

Yeah, these are great. I mean, you're outlining image and and this concept of many moving parts, and I think everybody would agree with that. So for example, if you have a room full of 30 people representing product and marketing and sales enablement and sales, and Maybe the Commercial Officer, they're all in the room, they're probably gonna say, you know what, there is a lot of moving parts here. There is a lot of individual perspective that we need to bring in. You know, everybody has a point of view on what's worked before perhaps, or, you know, what, we all should have the same. And we probably all Do you have a definition of value. Is it the same? I don't know. But we probably all think we know what's valuable. And we probably all believe that we should be working together to figure this figure this out. That's why we're in the meeting. So this idea of, you know, we we're going to be in an environment, and an environment is going to be created for us to to work together. And then yeah, somebody's probably going to lead this and I'm going to participate. these are these are knowable things. And yet something happens in the room that might get in the way. And, you know, what is that? And then, you know, to your point image in this idea of how do you lead through that lead a group of people who are all smart that really do want to do the right thing, however, might Not necessarily see, the bigger, I don't know, synthesis of the bigger components or the large components that need to come together in a customer conversation, right? Well,

Unknown Speaker 17:11  

at least in a case like that, don't doesn't that individual or that group, that department that silo whatever you want to call them? Don't they sort of have their blinders on? They can't see the bigger picture. They're still focused on the on the customer, but they're not necessarily saying, well, they're focused on the customer too. So how can I work with them to deliver a more powerful outcome for the customer from us as the company? That's, that's one of the key things. It's it's a blinder syndrome. And, and I've seen that before imaging, you seen that analogy? Does that make sense to you?

Unknown Speaker 17:48  

Yeah, absolutely. It's like and the harder it gets, the more entrenched people get, the more they focus on what they know. They're good at what they know they're particularly gold at rather than having the...



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