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Ep29 Part 3: COVID-19 Response Series: What can Sales Enablement leaders do?
Episode 2923rd March 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
00:00:00 00:13:17

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Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 29

This is part 3 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, specifically tailored to sales enablement. In our first two parts (episode 27 & episode 28) we talked about what is going on, and how companies are likely to respond. 

In this episode, we're synthesizing the information so you can take action. The panelists (Kunal, Lindsey, Howard) provide their thoughts and guide your decision-making by providing ideas that connect the dots and focus on what matters most.

Concepts like "stitching together growth" and helping sales teams sell have a whole new meaning against the backdrop of the global pandemic. Working together, Sales Enablement leaders can provide sellers what they need while also improving engagement, and helping teams get back to being productive. In times of crisis, great leaders synthesize the information, confront reality, and overcome the disconnects that exist.

Our agenda for this podcast series in response to the global pandemic has five parts:

  • Part 1 (Ep27): What is really happening in the market?
  • Part 2: (Ep28): How are companies likely going to respond?
  • Part 3 (Ep29): What can Sales Enablement leaders do?
  • Part 4 (Ep30): What are your peers thinking and doing?
  • Part 5 (Ep31): How do we lead our teams, our companies, and our initiatives to help sellers be successful?

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


Nick Merinkers 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 00:36

I'm Brian Lambert and together were the sales enablement insiders. Today we're going to do a special edition to help our audience be the most equipped and prepared to navigate these trying times, insider nation. We're continuing our four-part series with part three, what you can do to take a leadership role in your company. If you remember the first two episodes in this series, we talk through what's going on in the global economy, how this particular situation compares to others, such as the Great Recession. And we also talked about the volatility and uncertainty and how companies likely react. You know, there's patterns to that. And we covered that in the second episode with regard to what john chambers, the former CEO of Cisco believes is going to happen, as well as the perspective of our distinguished panelists, Howard Dover, Lindsey, Kunaal and Scott as they talked through in much like a coffee shop format, what they believe is going to happen and how you as a sales enablement leader can process all of the complexity. In this particular episode, which is the third in the series, we're going to talk through what you can do to take a leadership role inside your organization. So, with that, let me hand it over to Scott.

Scott Santucci 02:01

Okay, what is it? What's that show with Joe? Joe Scarborough Morning Morning, Joe, and how they wrap up that show is, you know, what do we learn today? That's what we're going to wrap it up with and then and then close out our our special edition. So, I'll start with you. Dr. Dover. What did you What did you learn today?

Howard Dover 02:23

So, I'm not going to behave, Scott because I think there's an important piece that I don't know that we did touch. Okay, that is that as people go to work from home, we have a blind spot with sales management training, not necessarily occurring and not a good strategy to develop sales management leadership. Now we just dispersed everybody to their homes and went virtual. So, one of the pain points that exist and that need to be addressed immediately. Is this area of how do you support the work from environment when you used to be in the field and knowing that we had the blind spot before. So, transparency, things like conversation intelligence, things like analysis tools that allow us to be able to see what's happening and be able to address it quickly, are going to be essential. I've been on the phone or in communication with several CEOs in the SAS space, talking about enhancing, you know, work from home environments, their phones are ringing off the hook, because of the fact that sales management needs visibility and impact transparency into the field. I think that's a quick hit. And I think anybody who can do the lifting, I think sales nailing once again, this is an opportunity to go in and stitch the groups together and develop that transparency. What did I learn today? I think I learned I don't Know that I learned much new I think that that's the challenge is that I think many of us that are on this call have seen a lot of things that we've seen before. So, I'll stop there.

Scott Santucci 04:12

So did an educator just said and learn. Is that what I heard?

Howard Dover 04:18

I read I got information that reinforced my bias.

Scott Santucci 04:23

So that's interesting hat's interesting. I'll take that for this. I want to thank you. So how about you know, what did you learn, or do you have another thing that people should do that we missed?

Kunaal 04:37

Gosh, I learned from selling our and I should wear an Iron Man suit. And not ring the doorbell because I might get shot. Jeez like, actually, no, seriously, if if I love the Iron Man analogy, actually because he had all the tools kind of at his fingertips to be successful, and I liked where Howard was going with that, in terms of making sure our field is it has the range of tools they need to be equipped. You know, I think creativity will certainly result in a just dramatic changes to how we sell in work, because the constraints that have been applied right now are so extreme people, you know, and human ingenuity is just going to kind of rise as a result because it has to. And then three, I think, you know, what a consistent theme of continuing to bear hug your customers so to speak, will continue to be an important play that that sales enablement is going to have to equip their organizations to, to be effective.

Scott Santucci 05:54

Gotcha. Great. Thank you. How about you, Lindsay?

Lindsey Gore 06:00

thought this is a great discussion and just sort of codified a lot of points about sort of what's going on in the market right now and how to think about what's important in terms of some of the near-term stuff. And then the longer opportunity for, for innovation and creativity to to come out of the recession that we're in. Also, I thought it was interesting some of the the metrics in terms of the sales organization, so I think it was a 2018 at 5,280% increase in sales development reps and, and then all of the analogies that kind of came along with that in terms of building out a machine that's very activity focused and very, you know, trying to get those initial conversations going, hence the Iron Man analogy and the overcloud field analogy. So, you guys were going with I thought that was an interesting framing, to think about how things could be done differently and likely will be forced to be done differently. Coming up. The economic state we're in.

Scott Santucci 07:02

Awesome. How about you, Brian?

Brian Lambert 07:06

Yeah. When you look at the the bulk of this, and I appreciate everybody continuing to hang in there. And listen, I think, you know, we went with the outcome and went over on time. But you know, I think when you look at what we covered from depth and breadth perspective on this, we've got we've got an very clear inventory of of disconnects that we can go tackle. And I think that's, that's how I would summarize it. You know, we talked at length about the disconnect between strategy and tactics, the disconnect between sales and sales enablement, the disconnect between investors and those who are responsible for taking action. We got disconnected inventory items around what john chambers would do in a time like this versus perhaps what we're seeing on LinkedIn as what everybody's focused on. We've got a disconnect between the idea of history repeating itself and learning from that history to to lead. And all of these things are good to identify. And from there, take action on as a sales enablement leader. So, embrace the disconnects, is what I would say is what I've, I've learned today.

Scott Santucci 08:25

And here's here's my lesson learned. While a lot of these trends are knowable to some people, they're not no to enough people. And I am becoming increasingly light bulb, if you will, learned, incited whatever that whatever the right word is, is how little of a vocabulary we have to describe the systematic problems we're running into. So lacking vocabulary to describe things and why we had to use so many analogies and sound like Yoda all the time is we're not using parables because we're trying to be cute. We're not using a noun historical analogies, because we're trying to show how smart we are. We literally don't have the vocabulary to describe the environment around us. That the more I have these conversations, and the more I hear kunaal speak and when kunaal I talk one on one, it's got a heavy bias to financials and operating metrics. When I talk with Howard, one on one, it's very much trends and analyses and, you know, historical references, or Brian and I, it's a lot of shared personal experiences. And same thing with Lindsey but through a completely different lens, like what actually is happening. And for me, the aha moment is how important it is. That it's all of them and how Do we create an environment where I want to understand things the way I want to? But how do we bring enough people along? Because the only way that we're going to solve this problem is creating cohesion. And cohesion only comes by understanding other individuals. To me, that's really the crux of the problem here. How do we give that more of an identity, lacking the vocabulary lacking the business processes and lacking the techniques and methodologies to do it, so that we can achieve these results, and we can do it under the pressure that we're under? So those are those are, those are my lessons learned, hopefully. Hopefully, that makes sense. So, moving forward, what we'll do is hopefully you guys got a lot of value you the audience got a lot of value out of our special edition. I know I personally did and anytime I get to hear or talk with I mean, geez. Forget about what you did and what you're taking off. Think about it. You just heard from a professor Speaking extemporaneously about lessons learned, not a prepared speech, not a prepared lecture, feedback that he's dealing with on a day-to-day basis. You've heard from Kunaal, who works with, you know, dozens of portfolio companies that are struggling with this on a day-to-day basis, so you can hear the lens or the challenges that they're going through, you've gotten to hear the voice of a really well accomplished a levels, salesperson, and be able to pull all these things together. My challenge to you would be you guys are all educators, learners, professionals, what can we do as a community to start elevating that and tease out these lessons learned, and to make them more actionable, not one of us here on this call can do all of it alone. We need your help, and we need some of your ideas. So hopefully, you'll give us some feedback. And we'll use that to inform other podcasts. Thank you so much for joining. Thank you, insider nature insider nation, for being here. You are in giving us some feedback on on help this. Thank you so much Dr. Dover for this being your idea. I want to stress that it was your idea. We just took advantage of it. Thank you. Thank you Kunaal for taking your time out. The fact that a private equity person spent two hours with us is a big deal. So, it should share it share with you how important that is to him. Thank you so much. Lindsay is taking your time out from selling days to help us out. And thank you as always, Brian, for your help and pulling this together. Thank you, insider nation, and we'll see you next time.

Nick Merinkers 12:37

Thanks for joining us. To Become an insider and amplify your journey. Make sure you've subscribed to our show. If you have an idea for what Scott and Brian can cover in a future podcast or have a story to share, please email them at You can also connect with them online by going to following them on Twitter or sending them a LinkedIn request

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