- Why doing a listening tour is vital for effective revenue enablement
- Her top enablement metrics
- Why you need to listen to what your sales reps aren’t saying
- Creating quick wins through 'triage enablement' when developing your program
And much more!
This episode of the podcast was sponsored by Uniphore's Q for Sales. Check out the highlights from the interview below, or listen to the full episode here. 👇
Why a listening tour is vital for effective revenue enablement
Q: At Juniper Square, what does revenue enablement look like in terms of the team setup and how you communicate with other teams in the organization?
A: Enablement was a new function when I came in five months ago, and as I did my listening tour and I met different people in the org, everyone kept saying: “We're so glad you're here. We've needed enablement for so long.”
The first question I’d ask was: “What do you think enablement does?”
I collected a lot of very different answers from sales reps and different parts of sales leadership, product marketing, and marketing.
The amalgamation of that answer gave me a lot of different views on how different parts of the organization viewed enablement.
So for the first couple of months, my goal is to be very light touch.
I'm not coming in to try to change anything. I'm trying to understand the status quo, the buyer journey, and who our sales reps are.
We've started two projects that are really large, one of which is enabling our team on the selling skills behind one of our critical products, which is a services product (versus a traditional software product), and really leaning into that different sales motion.
We've also worked to do small enablement projects for each of our go-to-market teams - they’re very personalized to that group.
One of the things I think enablement struggles with is how to create content that resonates with everybody, while still creating content that resonates very specifically with the needs of an SDR group, for example, or an enterprise group, or an account management group.
We're trying to do a little bit of both in having content that’s org-wide, but also have content that's very specialized to individual roles.
That lets those roles feel that special set of attention, and creates the understanding that those skills are very important to their jobs.
Q: How much of an influence is the listening tour in creating those specialized pieces of content and being able to provide for each of the groups individually?
A: It’s so influential - and it's iterative.
What we hear at the beginning of our listening tour is colored by the fact that we're brand new.
I did a listening tour at the beginning, and I'll go back in six months and talk to reps that I maybe haven't met one on one with yet.
I want to hear the answers to questions like: “How are you finding the enablement? What's resonating with you?”
We do surveys at the end of every session, and we do that because we want to have measurable results at every step.
But there's nothing that beats having those one on one conversations and just talking to the reps about what we've done and what’s stuck with them.
I jokingly call them a pop quiz - I might ask them some questions that have come up in training.
It’s less about what they remember and more about: “How are you applying that? How has that changed how you've worked?”
Top enablement metrics to prove your success
Q: What are the top metrics you look at when you're trying to measure sales?
A: I joke about this actually - I read an article years ago called ‘The 21 sales metrics you must be measuring now’ - and I thought “oh my gosh, for goodness sake, please no!’.
I try to look at four or five at any given time consistently. I'd rather have fewer metrics that my team can look at and say: ‘This is what really matters”.
I want to look at it from an onboarding perspective - not just time to first sale, but, time to consistent sale (three sales in a row).
Then, ‘When is the first month you hit quota?’, and also ‘the first three months you hit quota.’
That's showing us that not only have you learned it, but you've learned it and can repeat it. You know how to build and execute on a pipeline.
Those are some of the key onboarding metrics, but I'm also looking at quota attainment across the board.
Very often as an organization, we're looking at quota attainment as a: “Yay, we've hit 100% or 120%.”
But very often that 80/20 rule comes in, where you've got a handful of people who are producing at 200% or 180%, and you have a handful of other people that are producing at 60%.
I want to get the bottom up so that everybody's hitting a minimum of X. And then we can celebrate everybody that goes over 100.
But if you can move the needle on the middle group that's maybe hitting 80%, and we can get them to 90% or 95%, that has an exponential effect.
So I'm not necessarily just looking at those easy metrics, like, “Hey, everybody's hitting quota, yay.”
But instead, going down a level deeper to really understand how that affects the individual performance and what we can do to bring up that middle group and focus on them to get more performance across the board.
Why you need to listen to what your sales reps aren’t saying
Q: What are some of the most unexpected challenges you’ve had to face over the course of your career?
A: I think one of the biggest challenges is that we have to listen to what the rep isn't saying.
Very often, when we talk to reps, they want to learn more about the product. They don't know the product well enough. It's all about product, product, product.
However, what we're hearing behind that is that their confidence in selling the product, and their skills aren't where they need to be.
It isn't that they haven't studied the product tech sheet enough. Typically, they have. It comes down to what the core sales skill is behind that.
Very rarely do I have a sales rep who says: “You know, Gail, I'm just not very good at closing.”
Typically, it's: “I’m struggling because clients are putting projects on hold” or “I'm struggling because the economy’s slowing down.”
So then we have to go back to the sales skill and say: “Okay, how do we build their confidence and also build that skill? How do we maintain urgency? How are we going back and mapping our pain to the actual value of our solution?”
Because if you've done a good job of really showing the value of that solution as the salesperson, price becomes much less of an objection.
So I think the biggest surprise for me is how much therapy there is in trying to determine what the skill or confidence gap is behind the challenge the salespeople are having.
Create quick wins through 'triage enablement' when developing your program
Q: If you were brought in by an organization and they asked you to create an enablement program from scratch, what would be the first thing on the agenda?
A: I've had the opportunity to do that both at Juniper Square and the previous org I was at.
It started with the listening tour, but it also started with what I would call ‘triage enablement.’
Triage enablement is to find a couple of small areas of quick wins, where enablement can create some learning and training, get in the room, do an e-learning session or a workshop, and show people that this is what enablement is and how it works.
This is what it looks like, and this is how we're going to teach you.
So before we start building out some big program and ask folks to lean in across a five or six-month cadence, I like to do a lot of little things.
I think those touches help people get a flavor for enablement and build their excitement for it.
Sometimes the little ones might be a session for the SDRs on leveraging video for prospecting. It's an important skill, but it's not rocket science, it's not super hard.
It's something we can accomplish in an e-learning, in a live session, and a follow-up live session.
I call that light, but it's a great way to get the SDRs excited.
They’re thinking: “Oh, someone's here to teach us a new skill, and this skill’s going to enhance our work. We’re excited about this.”
I like to get on the ground with the reps as fast as possible, and then start tying that back to leadership and say: “Okay, here are the little things we're doing. Now let's talk about the next big things. What are the big rocks we need to move?”.
So that when we start to do that, it feels very natural and evolutionary for the reps and the teams as we’re working with them.
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