EPISODE 356: Roderick Jefferson Explains What Sales Enablement Professionals Must Do for Impact for Right Now

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a replay of the Sales Game Changers LIVE Webinar sponsored by the Institute for Excellence in Sales on April 28, 2021. It featured author of “Sales Enablement 3.0” Roderick Jefferson.]

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RODERICK’S TIP FOR EMERGING SALES LEADERS: “First, get away from being viewed as the fixers of broken things. Sales Enablement is not the junk drawer where you’ve got a thimble and a spoon, a paper clip and a dirty sock. You have to put together a charter that outlines and defines specifically what your organization is responsible for and what it’s not responsible for, and that doesn’t mean this is NOT what we do. What it means is this is not the highest level of value that we will bring to the organization. You’ve got to have that charter, otherwise, you become the fixers of broken things and that junk drawer. Lastly, you cannot HOPE that this is going to work, you can’t hope that Sales sees the value. You can’t hope that you’re going to get the results that you’re going to need. You can’t hope that you’re going to be able to right size your organization and you can’t hope that you’re going to be viewed as an integral partner internally. Because as my hashtag goes, #HopeIsNotAStrategy.


Fred Diamond: Roderick, it’s great to see you. Your new book, Sales Enablement 3.0. As I was telling you before, at the Institute for Excellence in Sales, typically our audience is VPs of enterprise business to business sales and they join the Institute for Excellence in Sales to help their members or employees retain, get motivated and get elevated to the next level. But more and more sales enablement professionals have gotten on board with the institute and they’re the liaison at some of the companies that I had just mentioned.

First off, congratulations on the book. It’s great to see you, you look great, I’m very excited to hear you. You’ve gotten a lot of attention, you’ve gotten a lot of press. Whenever I jump up on LinkedIn, which is pretty much 20 times a day, I see something either referencing Sales Enablement 3.0 or a great post for you.

First off again, thanks for being here, congratulations. Sales Enablement 3.0, Roderick, everybody wants to know who is this guy and why should they listen?

Roderick Jefferson: First of all, thanks for having me. I’ve been a long-time fan and I’m watching what’s going on the background and I’m absolutely honored to be here. Keep doing what you’re doing because it is much needed. I love that the audience has started to diversify from beyond just sales leaders to who are literally our collaborative thought partners, which are sales enablement and sales and product marketing, etc. I’ll talk about that. It’s great to see that there’s a wider audience.

Good questions here. Look, none of us go to the movie without knowing who’s starring in it, what it’s about and how long the thing is going to be so I do the same thing. If I’m sitting in an audience like the folks are here both live and also on the podcast, I want to get two questions answered. Who is this guy and why should I listen to him?

First and foremost, I am not a trainer by trade, I’m actually a former BDR and AE. Carried a bag myself, been to President’s Club, won, lost, the whole 9. I believe that I come from a different level of credibility. I’m also one of the guys that coined the phrase sales enablement and it has grown. I look at it as my baby that I am absolutely thrilled and honored to watch it grow up.  And it’s gone to some places where I never thought it was going to be.

Next is one of the founding members of Sales Enablement Society. For those of who that are not aware of what that is, think of us as PMI, project management institute, but for sales enablement. The goal is that we have consistent nomenclature, tools and templates and things of that sort.

I’ve been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award which says I’m an old guy and I’ve been around for a while, and I’ve done some things that are being appreciated in the sales enablement space. And I’ve worked in some of the biggest and well-known companies in the world from Siebel to NetApp to Salesforce, etc.

What that means is an enormous amount of experience that I’m going to share with you. Let’s start with what does sales enablement do. If you’d asked me this before the book, I would have said what it says here on the screen. We break the complexity of sales into practical ideas through scalable and repeatable processes that lead to accelerated speed to revenue, increase seller productivity and also customers for life, and ultimately driving revenue.

Now let’s get into what that actually means in speech. First of all, it’s about communication. How do we get all of the things that we need to get across in the right language and get our sellers to really speak in the languages of their ICP or ideal customer profile?

Next is how do we collaborate, how do we become the wheel that sits in the middle of the entire organization and all of the other parts of the engines around us, and we make sure that everyone is coordinated?  Finally, orchestration. Think about this as an orchestra, you’ve got wood winds, strings, percussion, brass, all those things that are trying to create this beautiful music and song. The problem is they’re all on top of each other, sometimes there are sour notes.

I align this to the internal lines of business. Marketing, product marketing, engineering, etc. We’re all trying to do the right thing for the customer and the prospect. The problem is sometimes where we’re stepping on each other, messaging and positioning may not be right, competitive may be off. Or god forbid, information is going out to the same prospect or customer from different parts.

Until one person or organization, which I believe is enablement, steps up, we tap the stand and all of that chaos becomes a beautiful sheet of music. So I would have said again that we get teams into the right conversations, the right way with the right people. That has shifted.

Sales Enablement 3.0, why is that and why should you care? Quite frankly it’s, I’ believe, an innovative approach focused on increasing sales productivity through a systematic, highly personalized now and collaborative approach designed to support what I’m calling the conversation economy.

What does that mean? We’re now moving from and have been forced to move from giving presentation to truly having conversations and selling has never been more personal than now. All the other things that matter before are different. Now it’s about risk mitigation, how do we help our prospect to reduce cost? And how do we become part of the strategic positioning for our companies?

What I mean is we have an opportunity now to be woven into the fabric of the company, into the go to market strategy so that ultimately, we can help our customers and our prospects keep the customers that they have today. The world has shifted, I don’t believe we’re ever going back to where we were at one time. And for enablement, I’m glad that we’re not.

I think what we have to learn to do is get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The tools, the process and programs have all shifted over the last 20, 25 years that I’ve been doing this but our approach is stuck in suspended animation. We are automated, we’re scaling, we’re still doing things the same way. COVID flipped that one on its head.

Now we have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so what does that mean? I think there are five stages of optimization that we’re going through as sales enablement practitioners, and this all started with COVID.

At first, what happened? We all had to pause because this was something like we had never heard of, never thought of in our lifetime. We had never seen a pandemic, didn’t even know what it meant. Once we got through that, panic set in. Then the media kicked in, all the things that we were seeing, all of the infection rates going up, all of the panic that went on from the changes.

Then next, from panic, what happened? We’re enablement folks, we go into planning mode. The budgets are starting to loosen up again, we’re starting to figure out the way to do things differently from a virtual perspective versus all of the face-to-face enablement we’ve done.

What comes next? I believe that by the end of the year we’ll move toward that excitement and that optimism of advancement and progression that we see, and then the final P is prosperity. We’re going to move forward and we’re going to get back to a hype. I don’t think we’re going to do things the way we’ve always done it. I.e. I don’t foresee us having those 5,000 person conferences anymore like we used to do. And I’m okay with that.

I think we’re going to see more of a hybrid approach to enablement. Some live, and also some recorded and also some things that are on virtual. We need that, because what’s going to happen when we get there is we’re moving to what I call the next normal, and the next normal has four components.

The first is focus. It’s making sure that you are taking all of your energy and goals and all the deliverables that we have jointly with our sales enablement folks and sales leaders working even closer with enablement than you’ve ever worked before. Taking all of that and moving it towards your company goals and selling the experience now, not the process.

We don’t sell products, we don’t sell solutions, we don’t even sell platforms. It’s now the experience that a customer or prospect can only get from you, which leads to the second. Relationships have always been the backbone of success, but let’s be honest, selling has never been more personalized than it is today. We’re inviting folks into our homes.

Now, leading as a sales leader with humanity, empathy and EQ has never meant more than it does today. There’s no more peanut butter approach to leadership, you’ve got to get away from being a sales manager and moving to becoming a sales leader.

The next is how you’re going to have to adjust, and that means delivering an even deeper level of value around things like discovery and qualifications. Offsetting the negative press that is going on and keeping your folks focused on the pieces that they have to focus on.

The next piece is how do you do this all virtually? And finally, you’ve got to incorporate what I’m calling Sales Enablement 3.0 into your programs, into the culture and be woven into the culture and the fabric of your company. Enablement has an opportunity now to be a part of the go to market strategy. I think that’s where we go to that virtual selling piece that is not going away anytime soon. Let’s talk about what that looks like.

First, we’ve got to work with our sellers to build rapport differently in a virtual environment than ever before. You don’t have the cocktails, you don’t have the golf that you can go out to. That means building a stronger virtual community of sellers and sharing that tribal knowledge and enablement professionals harnessing that tribal knowledge and scaling it in ways we’ve never done before.

We’ve also got to fight virtual fatigue. I’m on Zoom just like everyone else, 8, 10 meetings a day. We’ve got to figure out a way to make these meetings engaging, interactive and also what I call edutaining. The next step is from here, customer service cannot drop. I don’t care if it’s virtual or face-to-face, we’re still in a service industry. We are here to make sure that our customers and our prospects are bigger, faster and stronger in ways never before. How are we going to do it?

I think it comes through clear, concise and consistent communication. I’ve got five more Ps for you. The first is you’ve got to know your purpose and you’ve got to now readdress that purpose across the organization with enablement, with sales, with product marketing, with competitive, etc.

What’s your culture about? You’ve got to have a charter, you’ve got to know what success looks like. The next is do you have the right people in place? Because we all talk about ICP, our ideal customer profile. Because we don’t have enough acronyms, let me drop another one. You’ve got to know your IEP now, and that’s what’s your ideal employee profile because that shifts with the maturation cycle of your company.

And then you’ve got to figure out, we know compensation drives behavior. And then how do we create more leaders, not just individual contributors and followers? From a succession plan perspective. The next is enablement folks, your programs have to shift, your onboarding is different. You’ve got to look at global initiatives and you’ve got to work closer with the competitive folks than ever.

Mergers and acquisitions have changed the game and dare I say it, there’s going to be a lot more coming up soon. You can’t just focus on your own domain expertise, you’ve got to also know from a performance perspective. What are the communication tools? How are we teaching our leaders how to coach rather than just be leaders? What are we doing for continuous education to sharpen the sword so that we’re not sending them out to war with a plastic spoon?

Then metrics, metrics, metrics. I’m not talking about smiley sheets and butts in seats like we’ve done before. I’m talking about true revenue-impacting metrics that show the value of what we bring to a company. There are two types of metrics, one that we influence the impact and another set of metrics that we own.

Finally, what are the platforms? And I talk about this in one of the chapters. Don’t get stuck in shiny tool syndrome. Just because it’s cool, it’s new, it’s shiny and it’s sexy does not mean it’s going to work at your place. And another asterisk, just because you used it somewhere else or someone else, one of our peers in enablement uses it, does not mean it’s going to work in your company.

You’ve got to know how you’re going to scale with those tools and platforms internally. What are you going to use to automate? What are you going to use for coaching, for your integral pieces of the organization that are behind the curtain that most people don’t see until they’re broken? All of these will help us stop being what is known as the fixers of broken things and broken people.

We become a true partner across the organization and we become that orchestra master that I talked about earlier. How are we going to do it? It’s through what I call being the translator of dialects and languages. What that means is we’ve got to speak marketing, product marketing, engineering, HR, etc.

Go out and meet with prospects and customers. Come back and say, hey, you know what, product and marketing? I love the company page but slide 7, I’ve seen it presented seven different ways. Maybe we need to do an accreditation around that to make sure we’re on the same page. Product management, I’ve had the same request 10 times. How do we now move that up on the release cycle? And then go to HR and say, “Let’s talk about that IEP now.”

We’re talking at a much more senior and seasoned level. I heard someone jokingly say, because I’m a seasoned guy with gray hair, “I love that you came because I’ve got belts and shoes older than the person that’s actually talking to me.” We’ve got to make sure, maybe you need a more senior level of seller. Maybe you’re moving from a volume velocity sell to a complex sale or from a complex sale into a big-ticket sale. With each one of those chasms, it requires a different type of seller to come in.

Fred Diamond: We have a quick question, could you tell us again what IEP stands for?

Roderick Jefferson: IEP stands for ideal employee profile. I’m all over social media. If you’ve got deeper questions after we talk today beyond things that I’ve answered here, I’m on Instagram, you can find me on LinkedIn, on Twitter, on Facebook. Also, you can go to my consulting firms, YouTube page and there’s all types of information out there that go much deeper on this.

For those that are transitioning into enablement, what I’ve done is actually created a course on Udemy that gives a framework of how to build an organization, how to build a charter. I’m actually giving away the farm, I’m handing out my templates on what’s a charter, how you build this thing, how you collaborate, communicate and orchestrate. What does that really mean in practical application?

If you don’t get enough there, the final piece is I have written a book. I was talking earlier to Fred and I bore my soul on this one. I’m giving away not just the tools and templates, but good, bad and ugly. Everything’s not unicorn and rainbows, folks. I talk about where I screwed up, I give you ideas of what not to do and what does not work.

I’ve been honored and blessed that this week it was named a #1 new release and also a bestseller. There must be a couple of people out there that are starting to believe that this thing actually works. If there are any questions around it, any conversation, feel free to reach out and we are good to go. I’d love to open this up, Fred. I know I’ve thrown a lot out there in a short period of time.

Fred Diamond: We have a lot of sales enablement. Like I mentioned, the Institute for Excellence in Sales, our mission is to help sales leaders acquire, retain, motivate and elevate top-tier talent. Again, I was also one of the founders of the Sales Enablement Society back in 2016. The reason that I got involved was because like you said in the description here for the book Sales Enablement 3.0 – and we’ve been through these exercises with the great Scott Santucci.  What is sales enablement? We’ve debated for weeks and months what it is.

We have some sales enablement people who are joining us here. If you guys have any questions, submit it to the panel. Here’s a quick one, “What do you think makes up an ideal sales enablement professional?” You mentioned that the goal of the Sales Enablement Society was to do what the PMI did for the project management professional. Talk a little bit, Roderick, if you could, what are some of the traits of the ideal sales enablement professional?

One of the other reasons I’m asking is because it’s a relatively new position still and may not be recognized by the C-level suite, so to speak. It’s become more and more, as we know. Talk a little bit about the ideal sales enablement professional and what are some of the skills that they have?

Roderick Jefferson: I think there are a few ideals. For me, personally when I’m hiring folks, and I’m in hiring mode right now in my new role as VP of Field Enablement over at Netskope, so I’m living this every day. I look for folks that have carried a bag, someone that has walked in those shoes. I think there’s an enormous amount of credibility by being able to say, I’m not just giving this in theory but in practical application.

I’m looking for someone now that is flexible enough to say, “I can handle the end-to-end customer journey now. I’m not just a specialist that only does boot camps or I only do sales leadership.” You have to be a Swiss Army knife now because we have to be lean and mean in enablement and be flexible enough to have those skills that’s across the board.

Also, never give your internal customers – I don’t call them stakeholders, because stakeholders says, “I’m betrothed to them.” No, it’s a partnership. Never give your internal stakeholders what you think they need, always start with a conversation and never give a presentation. When I’m talking to especially a sales leader or someone in C-level and I take it down into my team meetings, I start with one three-part question.

First, do you want me to listen, do you want me to coach or do you want me to fix? And it does two things. One, we are natural fixers as enablement folks, but that may not be what’s needed. It tells me what ear to put on and it also says to the individual, this conversation is all about you.

Which takes me to my final piece, and that is we are not sales servants, we are not sales scribes, we are not sales support either. We have to be a partner across the entire organization. When you can have those organizational conversations and back to where I was talking about being the translators of dialects and languages. When you can change those hats and talk their language and not try to get them to talk sales enablement, then you are truly a high valued partner inside of the organization.

Let me not leave out channels, an important part. Got to make sure that you can talk across all the internal go to market and also, your external partner. Don’t treat channels like a third cousin at a family reunion that you wave at and hope they don’t come sit at your table, yet you want them to bring you revenue. Bring them over, give them a nice cut of steak and make sure that they’re a part of the family.

Fred Diamond: We’ve got a whole bunch of questions coming in here. This question comes from Jeremy and Jeremy is in the DC area. “What’s the difference between sales operations and sales enablement?”

Roderick Jefferson: Fantastic question, and they are one of the three or four-legged stool. Sales operations is generally focused on that, the tactical operational pieces. What tools are we going to bring in? How are we going to carve up the territories? How many different sales folks do we need in each territory and how are we going to make sure that we’ve got the right tools, the CRM, the forecasting tools and all of those pieces?

Enablement is that partner that works with them that says, that’s great that we’ve got those but how are we going to scale and how are we going to ensure that everyone that’s using those tools is proficient on the tools? How are we going to validate that with accreditations and certifications? How are we going to make sure that we can go from the initial onboarding all the way through the entire lifecycle of someone that is a part of the sales organization?

When I say sales, I’m talking BDRs, SDRs, AMs, CSMs, SEs, ABCDEFG, all of those that come into play.

Fred Diamond: A question comes in from Chelsea, Chelsea is up in the New England area. She says, “Is there an ideal ratio of sales enablement professionals to sellers within the organization? For example, 1-50, 1-100.” What are some of your thoughts? And then I also want to ask you a follow-up about what the ideal sales enablement organization looks like today.

Again, we’re talking about Sales Enablement 3.0. As I mentioned in the beginning, a lot of our members of the IES, we’re dealing with sales enablement people right now which is amazing. Give us some of your thoughts on an organization of, let’s say, 1,000 sales professionals, what that might look like. But first question is, how many sales enablement professionals in the organization to sellers? Then what are some of your thoughts on how the organization should look like?

Roderick Jefferson: I’m going to give you a vaguely specific answer on this one, because there is some math to this and I’ve always looked at it like 1-60, 2-60. But as I’ve matured in my enablement time frame, I look at it this way. It depends upon what enablement means in your organization. Back to what you said earlier, Fred, if you ask 10 people, you’re going to get 10 answers and that’s a good and a bad thing.

Bad because of inconsistent but good because enablement means something different at every company. In some companies, you’re in hyper growth mode, your enablement’s going to be focused on pure onboarding for the most part. If you’ve got a more seasoned sales team, then you’re probably focused on more things like continuing education and sharpening that sword.

But then you’ve also got another where in some cases, enablement may mean leadership coaching. It could be playbooks, all kinds of things. It’s really going to come down to where your company is and the maturation cycle as to what enablement means to your particular company.

Fred Diamond: We’ve got a question from Josie, “I am in charge of sales enablement for my company and I report into marketing. Is that the right place for me to be?” You just said a second ago that every company defines enablement differently and actually, with sales enablement 3.0, the goal is to get more and more companies. Everybody knows what sales is, everybody for the most part knows what marketing is or product or development. But what are your thoughts? Where should ideally sales enablement reside?

Roderick Jefferson: Josie, fantastic question. I’ll give personal experience, I have reported into the Head of Sales, into COO, I’ve reported into marketing. I’ll give you this and it’s quite simple. The further you get away from the sun, the colder it gets – and don’t steal this, because I’m merchandising it. Sales is the sun. The closer you can get to sales in a reporting structure, the more that you will have value and the more you will have immediate impact. The further you get from the sun, the colder it gets. Sales is the sun.

Fred Diamond: Another question is, “How should I start my day?” This question comes in from James and James is based in Maryland. I think what he’s really asking is what is my #1 priority? For example, when I wake up in the morning, Fred Diamond, Institute for Excellence in Sales, I think about how am I providing value to VPs of sales? Who are typically the customer of the Institute for Excellence in Sales, and their team and the enablement people.

Let’s talk about this from a priority perspective. If you’re looking at the slide right now, you see purpose, people, programs, performance, platforms, there’s like five or six bullets for each one.

Roderick Jefferson: Five, that’s what I wake up thinking about every day is those five pieces.

Fred Diamond: Five’s a lot, so let’s narrow it down.

Roderick Jefferson: That’s strategically, let me give it to you tactically. My day starts out the same way every day. I’ve got a board right up above my head and it’s segmented into three different pieces. One is what are my priorities? The other is what are my big rocks? No more than three or four things that my team is working on right now. In the middle is what are today’s priorities?

That’s going to be one, two, three things that I have to get done today before I shut my laptop off and I walk away. But here’s the important part, I create those priorities before I look at email. Because what I want to do is get into fire prevention mode instead of fire fighting mode. Now, if there are fires that come up in my email, certainly, I’m flexible. But I’m giving three things that I have to get done that relate back to those three or four big rocks every single day. When I get this done, now my day is complete.

Sometimes it’s, I must have this meeting with the VP of Sales to discuss blah, blah, blah. Then I put a fourth on there and there’s always a fourth. That fourth is what am I going to do for me personally to make me better today than I was yesterday?

Fred Diamond: We have a question here that comes in from Nick, and Nick pretty much asks this question every time we do a webinar. Nick is actually in sales. The question is how do I show myself as valuable to the sales leader? Let me ask you a question like that.

I used to work for Apple Computer. My very, very first job after college was with Apple Computer and I was in service. I managed service providers of Apple Equipment and my boss at the time said, “We’re in charge of the service side.” But I loved your answer before, you want to be as close to the sun as possible and in every organization that’s listening to this, everything really does revolve around sales, or it should. Maybe product, but they’re equal partners.

My boss says to me, “I want you to be in every sales meeting, I want you to be sitting there. We’re going to be seen as valuable if sales sees us as valuable.” So, a follow up to his question here is what are some ways that sales enablement can be seen as valuable by sales? I’m asking that for a couple perspectives.

The sales VP, he or she is typically thinking about quota. How close are we to quota and how are my people getting what they need? We just talked for the last 30 minutes about how enablement is designed to help them be successful. The only reason there’s a position called sales enablement is because we want to make our sales professionals more successful.

So talk a little bit, Roderick, if you could, how can the sales enablement professionals be seen, get on the radar of the sales leaders?

Roderick Jefferson: Love this question and I’m going to give you some non-conventional answers on this one, and I’m not going to make it vague. First and foremost, if you are not a part of the interview cycle, you need to be. Why? Back to that ideal employee profile as this is shifting.

We need to be a part of the interview process because one, we understand the propensity for folks to be successful or not be successful as they’re going through this. The other thing is we have a much higher BS filter than sales because we deal them all the time. Thirdly, we understand what success looks like in our given company. That’s one of the pieces.

The other piece is that you should have someone, and going back to your question earlier, Fred, about the actual structure of the organization. I have program managers. Those program managers are responsible for sitting in on team meetings, for sitting in on calls and actually hearing what’s going on in the real world post-COVID, for going out on different calls with folks.

Why? Because now we’re hearing directly from the sellers what their pains are and then we come back and diagnose that pain and we come back and say, okay, for you it’s Advil. For you, it’s Vicodin. For your problem, it’s an amputation or extraction, we’ve got to stop the bleeding right now. You have to integrate yourself in. That doesn’t mean barge yourself in, that means working with a sales leader to say, I am here to partner with you. I’m not a sales fraud, I’m not here to be your servant or sales support, we need to understand what you need.

Then never deploy anything before it is vetted with sales directly. I.e., you’ve got a new bootcamp you’re putting out in accreditation. As you’re building this, and don’t bring it to them when it’s completely built. Along the way, give them those spot touches so that they get a chance to not only vet but they get to infuse what is the need right now. Also, sometimes, the need future-forward that you may not even be aware of or have thought of.

The last piece is always follow up. Follow up and reinforcement is important. When I say follow up, again, I’m talking about from a metrics perspective. You’ve agreed on what the metrics are, come back on a monthly basis, quarterly basis and say, “This is what we’ve agreed upon. Here’s what you asked for, here’s what we got you, here’s where we’re going next.”

The final, if you’re not sitting in every single QBR as an active participant, not a scribe in the back of the room, get in there right away. Because that’s where the reinforcement’s going to happen. It’s not going to happen on a daily basis, it’s going to build up to that. Most QBRs are, “Here’s where the numbers are, here’s our forecast, blah, blah, blah.” Add another component, “Here’s what you asked for, here’s what we got you, here are the metrics that we got you. What are the fires that are coming up now so we can get again into fire prevention mode instead of fire fighting mode?”

Fred Diamond: Quick question, someone asked what a QBR is. It’s a quarterly business review, it’s basically an account review.

Roderick Jefferson: I hate acronyms and I’m doing it too, so keep asking. Quarterly business review, it’s where they get together on a quarterly basis, they look at where they are generally from a number’s perspective and a quota perspective. But I think every single QBR must have an educational component to it as well. Along with your sales kick-offs, there should always be an educational component to it.

Fred Diamond: Jane asked about follow-up and I think you just answered that question, so I’m glad you did. So many words come up all the time on the Sales Game Changers webinars and podcasts, and follow-up is definitely one. We’re going to be addressing that again in May.

I just want to follow up on one quick thing. When I gave my example before, and you’re giving this into so many great words here, you’ve got to show value. If you keep showing value to the organization, then you’re going to continue to be asked into meetings, you’re going to continue to be sought after to be in the interviews.

I worked in marketing for Apple Computer as well and marketing was huge at Apple. But on the sales side it was looked at as an after thought in many ways. You had to fight to get the attention, but once you started showing value,  you were brought into those meetings to give ideas. For the enablement people, go buy the book, Sales Enablement 3.0. Show up and give some ideas.

Roderick Jefferson: You are successful as a sales enablement practitioner when you have more asks from your internal customers than you can fulfill on. That’s when you know you have crested as an organization. And then it goes back to that question earlier about head count, and you’re always going to ask for head count.

But head count is always validated by the metrics. We were able to decrease time to revenue, we were able to increase productivity, that’s the kind of things you’ve got to go talk to a sales leader or to an executive about to get that next level of head count.

Fred Diamond: We’ve got time for one or two more questions. The question is, “What are the top two to three metrics that sales enablement should own versus influence?” This question comes in from Chelsea. She asks a great question here. There are so many things they can help with, but talk specific. Maybe you have a couple KPIs that you think are critical for enablement too to be thinking about all the time.

Roderick Jefferson: That is a fantastic question, Chelsea. I think there are two types of metrics, first of all. There are those that we impact and influence and there are those that we own. I’m going to give you more than a couple, I’m going to give you a list. I think on the pieces that we impact and influence things like average deal size, collateral use and frequency, deal velocity, pipeline creation, number of closed deals. What’s your product mix in regards to cross-sell, upsell? What’s the quota attainment quarter over quarter, annual over annual?

Time to revenue, and I look at this two ways. Time to first close and time to second close because that first close could have been lucky. They could have landed a blue bird, they could have already been working in their favor. But the second close really speaks to how long did it take for them to get ramped up?

Then the things that we own are things like the accreditations and the certifications, the [inaudible 0:34:25] analysis, the program-based surveys, as I talked about earlier, the usage stats for our learning management and our content management system. Communications being deployed, what’s e-learning looking like? Those kind of things.

It has to be a good mix of things we impact and influence, and also things that we own. I’m not trying to sell the book, I’m just going to tell you. Every single one of those is outlined in the book and the definition behind each one as well.

Fred Diamond: I’m telling people to buy the book. Go buy Sales Enablement 3.0.

Roderick Jefferson: All right, go buy the book.

Fred Diamond: I was involved with the creation of the Sales Enablement Society like you were and I remember sitting in rooms in Ashburn, Virginia just going over the same things and trying to figure out what does this mean? There was an assumption that enablement was critical and a large part of it is things that we talked about. Of course, there’s more data. How do you make sales professionals more successful?

The commitment behind the Institute for Excellence in Sales is again, to help sales leaders retain, motivate and elevate top-tier sales talent. And there’s a whole industry of people who are committed to making that happen so that the companies can be more successful and the people can get more out of their lives.

Roderick Jefferson, congratulations again on the book, Sales Enablement 3.0. Congratulations on the tens of thousands of people that you’ve impacted over your career and especially right now with what you’re doing to help sales professionals and sales enablement professionals take their career to the next level.

You’ve given us so many great ideas. Give us one final action step, give us one thing specific that people should do right now to take their sales or their enablement career to the next level.

Roderick Jefferson: I’ll give you two quick ones, if I may. First, get away from being viewed as the fixers of broken things. We are not the junk drawer where you’ve got a thimble and a spoon, a paper clip and a dirty sock. That’s not us. You have to put together a charter that outlines and defines specifically what your organization is responsible for and what it’s not responsible for, and that doesn’t mean this is not what we do. What it means is this is not the highest level of value that we will bring to the organization. You’ve got to have that chart, otherwise, you become the fixers of broken things and that junk drawer.

Lastly, and Fred, you’ve seen my favorite hashtag so you know where I’m going. You cannot hope that this is going to work, you can’t hope that sales sees the value. You can’t hope that you’re going to get the results that you’re going to need. You can’t hope that you’re going to be able to right size your organization and you can’t hope that you’re going to be viewed as an integral partner internally. Because as my hashtag goes, hope is not a strategy.

Transcribed by Mariana Badillo

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