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Ep46 Orchestrating Cross-Functional Enablement with Cathy Rowell
Episode 4616th July 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
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Welcome to the Inside: Sales Enablement Podcast Episode 46

There is a whole class of leader working in the gap between strategy and tactics, to blend together the right programs, actions, and processes to achieve outcomes -- often with people who don't report directly into them.

In this episode, we're joined by Cathy - a sales enablement leader working in her company to bring together groups of people to drive outcomes.

In this engaging discussion, we discuss:

  • The value of orchestration to the sales organization
  • Working with line managers who have the resources
  • Enrolling people to achieve an outcome
  • The difference between orchestrating teams and individuals
  • The blend of strategy, process, technology, and information
  • Examples of orchestrating people and groups
  • The differences between project management and orchestration

Join us at to collaborate with peers, join Insider Nation, participate in the conversation and be part of the continued elevation of the profession.


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 00:34  

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 00:48  

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, what doesn't.

Brian Lambert 01:02  

Thanks, Scott. And on this show today, what we're going to do is we're actually going to go back a couple months and we're going to talk through the state of sales, Nyland research but more importantly, the the findings presentation.

Scott Santucci 01:13  

Wait only a couple months last podcast, we went back to 1217. Oh, no.

Brian Lambert 01:18  

I know, I shouldn't say we're going back at all, because Dallas is nothing for you. That's right, it feels like forever ago in a way because we've been actually producing a lot of content podcasts panels, we had our one year anniversary celebration, we're now in season two. And but what I wanted to do Scott is actually bring a listener on we have Kathy that's going to join us here. And what I wanted to do is just talk through the findings presentation, because not all of our listeners were on that. And the reason why I want to do that is it's it's the executive summary of what's happening in the sales enablement space, and more importantly, where it's going. So we're not going to recap all the panel discussions in all that listeners can listen to that. But more importantly, how does this land from a sales enablement leader perspective, like we have on the show here today? And how is this being internalized in action? If at all, right, because the findings in and of themselves are great, but how do people process it? And what do they do with it? So I've got Kathy joining

Scott Santucci 02:22  

me here. Before we do that, let's just remind our listeners. So what is Brian talking about? What the research. So in March, we had a panel COVID panel where we had Dr. Howard over could all meta, meta and Lindsey Gore. And from that, we launched a survey. We did a survey and we had over 100 hundred people 100 sales enablement practitioners respond to that survey we recruited and by the way, you can go to our site to look at what the research process was. We had 43 we deputize 43 analysts, so to speak, to help us out, we ran six panels, and then produced the first of a series of webinars that we're doing to unpack all the things that we learned. And that was a that was the first one, which was the findings of all of these things, I guess partial the findings, because we've had, we're getting ready to do our fourth webcast. So Brian, go ahead and take it away and go ahead and introduce Kathy.

Brian Lambert 03:24  

Yeah, absolutely. So I've got Kathy on. And Kathy has been somebody that I learned from a lot via LinkedIn. And she's chiming in a lot around the inside sales enablement, content in the state of sales enablement research that Scott just alluded to. Her name's Kathy rollin. She's with nectar. Hi, Kathy, how you doing?

Unknown Speaker 03:44  

Hi, Brian, I'm good. How are you?

Brian Lambert 03:46  

Good. And for the last two months, we've been going back and forth on LinkedIn in a variety different ways. And I thought it'd be good to just have the public conversation. So I appreciate you jumping on the call with us here and processing together. What you learned.

Unknown Speaker 04:02  

Yeah, happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

Brian Lambert 04:05  

Sure. So um, let's go back a couple months ago, we had our inside state of sales enablement research. So Scott presented that. I just like to open it up with you. What did you take away from that? And what kind of resonated with you as you were processing that content?

Unknown Speaker 04:24  

So I'll be honest with you that the webinar happened at a time when I was buried, missing that happens right to all of us in our day to day jobs. So I didn't have a chance right away to kind of absorb everything from the webinar. And I went back Scott posted something on the sales enablement society. Board discussion board and, and I was like, Oh, yeah, I should go in. I should go back and look at that. So I actually went back and looked at all the materials that that Scott had and you had pulled together The big thing all of a sudden, I had an aha moment. And it was around that you all have finally put a title to something I've been doing or felt like I've been doing for a really long time. And that was the Orchestrator title. Like, that's, that's brilliant. Because this is something I feel like I've been kind of doing for a long time he both here at nectar, and in a previous role, right in, in previous life at different sales enablement roles, where it's not always about the tactics and, and getting everything, doing things and just sitting around and getting that right, but also about the whole strategy and, and marrying the two together. So all of a sudden, it was like, Wow, you guys finally like let me know what I did. I literally that day, went on to my LinkedIn profile and changed my headline to include Orchestrator.

Brian Lambert 05:56  

Wow. That's, that's amazing. And that's great to hear. Actually humbling to hear. So I appreciate that. And it's it's one of those things where you go through it, you just, you do the findings, you publish it, you don't know quite what the impact is. And one of the things that's interesting here is, you said your sales enablement, professional and you've been in this sounds like you've been in the space for a while. Why didn't it? Why don't you compare and contrast a little bit the sales enablement, title role versus the Orchestrator title and role? Why? Why does one resonate perhaps a little bit more than another? Or give me some insight into the difference between the two to you?

Unknown Speaker 06:36  

Yeah, so I think, sales enablement, right, has kind of gone on this growth path. And we've all tried to figure out what is it? What is in it? How do we define it? Scott, and you and others have done a great job of saying what sales enablement is. But if you went out and at one point, if you went out and talked to 10, different sales enablement, professionals, you'd get 10 different answers about what it was. And, and not any of them were wrong if they were just different. And so I think you having a title of sales enablement, depending on your perspective was a question about what it is that you actually were responsible for. And so I've always been kind of a broad strategy person and been able to kind of see a bigger picture. And so to me, when I someone said, oh, we're going to do sales enablement, I said, well, it's not just training. It's not just content. It's not just this, we have to look at the whole, right, what what from the whole makes a salesperson successful. And it's much broader. And there's many more things than just those things that make it the whole, and then it kind of morphed from there. And I started growing back, because then it wasn't just the salesperson because there's other people responsible for the success of the company. And the revenue generation. That's your channel, where I have a particular focus today is on our channel partners. And then there's the channel and then it's like, Well, yeah, but it doesn't really stop when the order comes in from the customer. So there's this whole holistic thing.

So I think, I feel like sales enablement might have pigeonholed a little bit for me, and Orchestrator was a much better way I actually moved away from my sales enablement title a little while ago, I went to strict enablement, because I have responsibility across the revenue chain. So I took sales completely out. And then I changed it again last year. And I said, Well, that's not exactly even what I'm doing. Because I'm really responsible for the efficiency of our channel and our sales, to get the customer to success. So it just it resonated. The other thing that resonated a lot was it's about being able to work across different functions, and work with people who don't report to you and make them all successful, right to be successful together. And to be able to work across that and, and meet a common goal. So there was a lot of it that really kind of stuck in my head.

Brian Lambert 09:21  

Yeah, so I'm hearing the, the sales enablement, title and role felt a little bit restrictive in a way and probably because of how people communicated or how the market was receiving as a training role.

Unknown Speaker 09:35  

I think it was a perception, right?

Brian Lambert 09:38  

Yeah. And then it sounds like your charter or your remit was broader than that pigeon holing if you will, or that step boxed in, right. So you thought about dropping sales and just being enablement and just enablement was something that you did actually, it's, he said, and then from that perspective, it's it became about this broader picture. which we've dubbed the the ecosystem view. And we're actually going to have a podcast soon around that. And then And then the final piece that you're talking about, which is obviously really intriguing to me. And actually what we've been chatting back and forth around on LinkedIn is this idea of working together with people to achieve an outcome and a goal together. Whether or not they report into you or not, I'll throw that in there, right? Because that's implied that you don't have to have the headcount reporting MTU to be an orchestrator. In fact, it's part of the role of orchestrators to not have the headcount actually reporting into you. Right. So what what, what do you think about that as a part of the role, this idea of working with others to achieve that outcome? And goal? And and then what have you, what have you seen or taken away from the last couple of months, that's perhaps struck a chord with you around this idea of I'm an orchestrator.

Unknown Speaker 11:09  

So, you know, I have lots of experience working with a cross functional teams that don't report to me. And, and it's, it's an interesting thing, and I think we've had this conversation on a little bit on LinkedIn, right? So you have the people with a bigger challenge, when you have that is you have your tree huggers, people who are like, Oh, no, this, this piece right over here, this is my piece, and you can't touch it. That's the way it's going to be. So try and and, you know, get those people to see what the broader picture is, and, and come to a consensus. And it's it, when you put it in the context of the benefit not only to them to their departments, and more broadly to the revenue and the company, then they'll start to see and take ownership around that. And it's, it's when they start to see that piece of it that's really enlightening, and they become much less of a tree hugger, and they want to participate more.

Brian Lambert 12:11  

So what's it What's a tree hugger? A tree hugger? In Kathy land? A little bit?

Unknown Speaker 12:18  

Yeah, the tree hugger in my world is the someone who's on a team and is like, just holding on to the way things have always been, or they don't they just want to do their little piece. They put their blinders on, they're hugging the tree, like, nope, this is the way it is. When you can't take it, you can't touch it. Right? Touch it. Leave my tree alone. Yeah, exactly. Don't touch my tree. I'm lucky where I'm at now that I don't have a lot of tree huggers, I have a few. I don't have a lot. So that's really good. It's really nice, right? So if you think about a channel, and you you try to orchestrate around that you don't just have your training team and the channel account manager, you also have to think about, okay, who are the support, people are going to take those calls, who are the professional services, people who are going to be involved, who's the marketing person who's going to work with the channel partner to co market and get all of that marketing strategy pulled together to come to market together. So that's one of the things that I actually built into our onboarding program for our channel is to have this cross functional team assigned to every channel partner that we have a contract with. So they all understand who is this partner? What are they trying to do? What's our partnership about? What are our joint objectives? How are we going to get there? What's my role in supporting that? To get us to success? So I'm lucky here, I haven't always been that lucky. I've had some pretty hard tree huggers in the past.

Brian Lambert 13:52  

So do you get do you actually call them that in the group?

Unknown Speaker 13:55  

And they have not? I actually, it actually came to you or chatting on LinkedIn. I was like, Ah,

Unknown Speaker 14:00  

yeah. I don't know if they would like

Unknown Speaker 14:03  

they would not. definitely would not.

Brian Lambert 14:07  

So I don't want to encourage our listeners to start using that

Unknown Speaker 14:10  

know it. But it's a characteristic, right. And I term it as, as a not great characteristic. We want those people to be more open and to participate in that team. And

Brian Lambert 14:19  

yeah, and the reason why I say that is I've made the mistake more than once to come across a bit judgmental to others that don't report to me. And it's not fun to deal with the aftermath of those things. So with with the Orchestration angle on this, it's really an interesting space to operate within. Because you would think that saying, we have a goal, we have an outcome, let's go let's roll together would be fairly straightforward. But what you're alluding to is when we say that there's a certain cognitive bias perspective, and in some ways, hard wiring around way things have always been done. So that's where, to me what we also talked about on LinkedIn, the idea of influence and relationship building. You said, Look, this has to be factored in as part of an orchestrator, the ability to persuade and negotiate and influence and build relationships to drive outcomes together. Why do you think that that's so prevalent and required? And why is it a bit difficult to have folks that are really smart, and they all want the same, the same goal, they all want to achieve it. But it requires a skill set, like what you have to get folks to row together.

Unknown Speaker 15:44  

So I'm not sure why it's so hard, I think inherently people all want to do the right thing. And I have, I have trouble with people not feeling empowered, that when I go into these situations, and you know, we have a cross functional team, I want them to be empowered to, to go and do the right things. And a lot of people don't know what to do with. So, so that's when you need to kind of take a step back, and you just sit with them and say, Okay, so what, how can we make this work? What listening to those team members is really critical, just like it's critical to listen to your customers and to listen to the salespeople you're trying to enable and to listen to your channel partners. It's just as critical to listen to those team members to find out, you know, why are they not feeling empowered? Why do they want to can choose to do things the way they've always been? And how do we move past that? How do we work together? So it's really an important thing for an orchestrator to be able to have those conversations, like we were just talking about, build those relationships to get them pointed, so that we are all rowing in the same direction so that we can get to the desired outcome? You know, I don't know, I don't understand the psychology of why everyone or not everyone, but a lot of people don't feel empowered when they come on to those teams. But some of them are there, because they've been told to be there. So that's part of it. They didn't choose to be part of that team. They're being told to be part of that team. So I think that's definitely a part of it.

Brian Lambert 17:26  

Yeah, there's a lot to unpack in this, this space, right. So you're by the nature of this discussion, we're not in strategy only. And we're not in tactics only we're in a translation of or combination of strategy and tactics together, which is what orchestrators live in and what they do. And when you're engaged in the work of pursuing an outcome together, what you're talking about is a bit of the phenomenon that exists that I've seen as well, which is this. Look, we can be super creative as we, as we tackle this outcome, what ideas do you have? And sometimes, I don't know, people might say, I don't know what to do, or I don't know how to go about it. Or why don't you just tell me what you need me to do? So I can go do it? Is that what you're talking about?

Unknown Speaker 18:19  

Yeah, if that's, that's absolutely right. And then the other thing you have to be prepared for as an orchestrator is that if you ask them, how we get there, and what they think and how we may be more creative and innovative, you...



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