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Ep31 Part 5: COVID-19 Response Series: How do I lead through crisis and change?
Episode 3130th March 2020 • Inside: Sales Enablement • Scott Santucci, Brian Lambert, Erich Starrett
00:00:00 01:05:54

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Welcome to the Inside Sales Enablement Podcast, Episode 31

This is part 5 of 5 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, specifically tailored to sales enablement. As sales enablement leaders, we have a huge role to play in helping sellers navigate these trying times.

In our first four parts we covered a lot of critically important topics such as:

  • 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?

In this episode (episode 31), the guys dive into the critical aspects of leadership and provide executable insights with a leadership framework you can use to

1) assess your current leadership stance (i.e., how are you showing up)

2) how are you going to lead through this crisis and change?

To help make this topic come to life, Brian and Scott conduct a live role play in response to the COVID crisis. As you listen, you will think deeply about your leadership skills and approach based on their lively interactions.

In this episode, they provide a walk through the HEROIC Leadership Framework. A framework 11 years in the making and followed by some of the most strategic and results-oriented sales enablement leaders in the technology industry.

  • H (Holistic): Leaders recognize the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
  • E (Engineered): Leaders understand how the parts best fit together
  • R (Reality): Leaders understand how the human element impacts how the parts behave
  • O (Ongoing Operations): Leaders build continuous and sustained improvement
  • I (Impactive): Leaders understand how they message to the community of stakeholders will ultimately drive action
  • C (Collaboration): Collaboration and inclusiveness are required to drive cohesion in the commercial process

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 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 00:49

Together, Brian and I've 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 more important, what doesn't.

Brian Lambert 01:04

Today, we're talking about leadership. And before we get into it, pop quiz, Scott, I'm going to hit you with a quiz, awesome, right off the bat, who's your favorite leader and why? And it can't be somebody from your family. Who's your favorite leader, and why from history? Mine? Mine happens to be Teddy Roosevelt. I'm going US president on that one. Because he's a he's definitely a man of action. And he, he was very courageous for his time. That's my that's my favorite definition of a leader. What about you?

Scott Santucci 01:38

So, here's what I love. I love that our prep, we didn't talk that we would be doing a pop quiz. This is I love that already gets the juices flowing. And so, I would say that, so I'm literally being put on the spot right now. And he, we do this, when we have the scrolling and just scrolled up this this thing here too. So, I did buy a little bit of time to think through what it is. And I'd said George Washington of all time.

Brian Lambert 02:06

Awesome. Cool. Like for that. And you know, we're talking leadership, because fifth episode in our COVID response. And this is interesting, because we plan on stopping that series, but we're getting so much feedback, and we're getting so many downloads, that we're continuing this series, and we're talking leadership because somebody from our team, the insider nation, actually brought up that leadership's critical in times like this. And you know, Scott, when we look at leadership to me, enablement, leaders really have an opportunity to apply timeless leadership skills to today's modern time. Anybody can be a leader, and everybody that I talked to believes they're a leader. From a sales perspective, leadership is blending to be more about consistency, and outcomes. And in 2020, here were a lot of sales teams that we're supporting, are driving change, they've got to bring change to bear salespeople have to be leaders, sales leaders have to be leaders. And you know what sales and delivery teams and marketing product teams have to be leaders too. And none of these changes are going to happen in our clients that we're supporting without aligning multiple decision makers. So, when you look at today's success in times of crisis, change management requires strong leadership. Crisis Response requires strong leadership, aligning processes, or incorporating multiple perspectives, all these things that we're talking about on the show, require strong leadership. And so, Scott, with that said, clearly, I'm passionate about the leadership topic. What metaphor are you going to use to frame out this topic?

Scott Santucci 03:58

To summarize what you said, in order to simplify the commercial system, that all of us are in that sales enablement is the biggest beneficiary of you need strong leadership? I think one of the things that we have to get into is what actually is leadership? How do we make it tangible? I think a lot of people point at leadership and think that they're a great leader, because they're empathetic or whatnot. But are they driving results? Or they point to people who they think should be leaders and can highlight what what isn't a great leader. Here's the best story of a leader that this is a true story. And I think it's very timely. We have to go back to so now we're going way back in time. Our centering story starts in 1777. That's right, 1777. And what I want you to do is sort of imagine it's it's the dead of winter, and the Continental Army, which if you can, you know, remember your history. Is this ragtag group of nonprofessional soldiers that have volunteered for this weekend romp because they were fired up about the British and what they were doing to their, to their friends in Massachusetts. And it's pretty easy to be gung ho. We've all seen that seen that happen. And by this point in time in the war, in 1777, the British Army, which was the by far and away the most powerful military, on the planet, had captured the Capitol, which was Philadelphia, things look bleak. At the beginning of 1777. The army was 40,000, strong. At this point in time in the war, there were 12,000 people, 12,000 troops, who had stayed on and the Army's barely keeping it together. If you don't have an army, you don't have an opposition. If you don't have an opposition, anybody who signed a declaration of independence is going to get hung. Let's just make sure we're clear the time period of what's going to happen and what a king does.

Brian Lambert 06:08

Seems pretty bleak.

Scott Santucci 06:10

Really super bleak. To add more bleakness to it. In this dead of winter, they were ill supplied. So, George Washington would write off notes to Congress at the time the Continental Congress, but each one of them were pointing fingers at each different state, what Virginia pay for it, let Philadelphia pay for it. I'm not gonna pay for it. We're just Delaware. So, he would write and write and write, and he wouldn't get any supplies. So, they didn't have shoes. They didn't have enough food. They lost 1500 horses during that winter, they lost 1000 people, 1000 people out of 12,000 people die. Put that into comparison about how many people are dying with with COVID across the world. And how many billions of people there are in a sample set of 12,000 people 1000 died because of disease diseases like typhoid, or smallpox. It's a side note. One of the things that came out of this is that they developed what are now called vaccines. So, they innovated to stop the smallpox to do that. During this bleak time desertion was a problem. How do you handle desertions in a volunteer army, you got to keep the army together, but their volunteers? So, George Washington did something that he didn't want to do. He had some he had some public executions to establish order. What else did they do? They brought in and they said, we need to get these guys formally trained. So, they brought in Baron Friedrich bronze student who was a prussian, and they started drilling. So they were drilling who wants to drill who definitely wants to drill when you have no shoes in the winter, and out of this when you're starving, and you're starving, and you got no horses, and you got no resources, and the British are there and Philadelphia having a great time, and super warm, and you're doing all this going up against the most well equipped, best army on the planet at the time. So, what happened as a result of this is they came out of that be a completely transformed unit, because of the because of the training stuben. They actually fought, they started fighting traditional way. So, the myth that all of the all of the Continental Congress was guerrilla warfare is just not true. It's not a it's not a true thing. They just used very innovative and radical tactics that the British thought was guerrilla. But it wasn't true. So, what they ended up doing is between after said between 1778 and 1781, they ended up defeating with the help of the French, the most powerful military in the planet. And it was this point in time, there was this pamphlet that that circulated, and a guy named Thomas Paine wrote it. And I want to just read a little passage because it's very relevant to today. In 1777, Thomas Paine wrote, these are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier in the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of their country that he that stands by it now deserves the love and thanks of men and women tyranny, like hell is not easily conquered. yet. We have this constellation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Brian Lambert 09:26

Wow, that's really cool. That's a great history lesson. Again, and I obviously I am resonating with the timeliness of that especially the disease part and in the bleakness of it all. But I gotta ask, what's what's that have to do with sales enablement right now?

Scott Santucci 09:45

That's a great segue. There's so what right? Yeah, for Insider. What we're going to talk about is these are in the examples of leadership. Leadership isn't easy. Leadership requires courage. Leadership is never Cookie Cutter leadership is dealing with, with the events around us and trying to figure out how to make it better. Sometimes you have to go into deep dark places to find out what that looks like. So, what Brian and I are going to introduce is a framework that has been developed over an 11-year period of time to give sales enablement leaders the toolkit that they need to be leaders. We call it be a relic.

Brian Lambert 10:27

Yeah. And that's right. You heard that right. 11 years, and you're about to hear it right. The good thing about this is it is timeless. The second thing about this is it is evolving, the more clear, so we'd love your feedback on it, Scott, give them the framework.

Scott Santucci 10:46

Okay, so the framework is this being heroic. So why is that that highlight the highlight is you have to live breathe it, you don't just it's not an emergency, break glass, pull out, be a leader framework, you have to be a practice every day, so that when you're ready for crisis situations, you can actually just be it you have to just be it must be authentic. So, we call being heroic, why heroic, it takes a heck of a lot of courage. Imagine the courage, it took George Washington, if you imagine all the chips that are on his back, and the fact that he will be swinging from a tree, just like the other people sign a Declaration of Independence, the burden that it was on his back. No, that's it takes in a tremendous amount of courage to do something different. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to come up with the tactics and, and to have the discipline and try to say we're going to train instead of just suffer through this. All courageous moves. Yeah. So that's it, we're not trying to be you know, silly about it. But heroic also is an acronym. And our acronym stands for these are the attributes that you need to develop.

Brian Lambert 11:56

So, hang on a second before before we get into that, right. So, I know, we were gonna roll through this, but I just want to make sure you guys are tracking on this because this, this idea of heroic we're going to give you and it's not just a catchy catchphrase motivational type of thing. This is actually a clickable framework, and we're going to talk about it. So, Scott's going to give you what heroic stands for. It's an acronym. So, what is H what is E what is R what is O, I and C. So here we go, so first one is holistic.

Scott Santucci 12:30

And holistic, really is the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, what it means, is it's about being able to see the bigger picture. And we're just keep it simple right now. And then we're gonna unpack them move forward. E stands for engineered, basically, how do the parts fit together? And, you know, the practical application is, is how do you figure out the 8020 rule? What are the 20% of the things that matter the most? for George Washington, this time, the number one thing that will matter the most is keep the army together. And then when they get out of Valley Forge to actually be a fighting force, so they don't get the butts kicked, like they did up and down everywhere in 1777. R is confront reality or be reality focused. And that's really how do all of the parts involved in your system? How do they behave? This is also about looking at the data and then go and talking to people and see whether that data is really real or not. I like to think about this as confronting bias. The next one, O, is ongoing operations. How do we develop and continuous sustained improvement? Think about it, think of it this ways, oh, is the difference between throwing or rolling out a training program, and then having the reinforcement strategy to make sure that there's the adoption of that training program, big difference, it might sound subtle, but the difference in terms of business results is massive. I is impactive impact it really is the the message that you give because leaders have to have messages to address all the stakeholders in the community with which they're leading. So how you message and communicate is critically important. And we call that impact. And then finally, C is collaborative and inclusive. In order for you to succeed as a sales enablement leader, your role in order to simplify that commercial system that we that we referenced, you're not going to own all of the mechanisms. So, you're going to need to gain buy in and collaboration across many different cross functional groups. So, you don't have the muscles to do to do it collaboratively. And in an inclusive way, where they don't feel put out, you're not going to be able to get the buy in of all of the different, all different humans rolling in the right direction.

Brian Lambert 14:58

I want to make sure this is really resonating. And when I'm thinking about is okay, look, George Washington, was he holistic, that's the age, it's hard to argue that he wasn't holistic. And his approach was the engineer, you know, and how he was processing? What was going on in Valley Forge. R reality, and how is he confronting the reality? O, was he thinking about the ongoing operation? The outcome of the war? I was he impacted? Was he writing the letters to make sure that he was enrolling the right people and see, was he collaborative? In order to get this done? The answer to that would be a resounding yes. And if you thinking about it from your role, as you know, my my project, how am I being holistic in my project, my engineering and my project and my confronting reality, my project? What we're what we're talking about here, Scott, seems to be a little bit different than implementing a project, which I think a lot of people think in terms of leadership, what's your take on leadership at the this level of George Washington, and with regard to project based work?

Scott Santucci 16:12

So, let's let me answer this as if it's a decision tree. Step number one is sales enablement. Is it to you just training, and we do the things that are asked of us? Or is sales enablement, a strategic function, where you're activating or making the company better? If you're a, this podcast isn't for you, if you're B, what we need to really do is highlight what that means. So that's creating the simplification to create the commercial system sales and marketing to work together. And to in order to activate that you have to develop a skill that blends strategy and execution. So, Brian, and I call that Stratecution. So that means to the executive team, you need to be able to communicate executable insights. And that to you and to your team, you have to develop success methods to carry that out. Those two have to be blended together in order to drive the business results or the goals, the big goals that you're that you seek, rather than the activity that's easy to measure measure. Hmm.

Brian Lambert 17:31

Yep. Yeah, I know, we've talked a lot about that. And I thought it was really important to pause there and make sure that we're processing the heroic framework this way. And one of the things you're bringing up here is this commercial system and simplifying that you and I have had a history since 2008. Working on that, I think it'd be helpful to, you know, we talked about this as an 11-year journey. Let's give our listeners a bit of that overview of how we've gotten through this process and where this came from, because I really want them to have confidence to be able to apply something like this.

Scott Santucci 18:04

Okay, sure. So, one way to do that would be for our listeners to go back and listen to Episode 20, where we talk about the detailed, maybe minutia, detailed definition of what we see sale, the name of the opening line of the definition of sales enablement that we created at Forrester...



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