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Street cred…

There is a lot to developing and delivering a professional sales enablement program…

Prior to this year, I would describe my sales enablement work as “making it up as I go”.  Not that it was bad – just the opposite, actually.  The audience of our department’s efforts could not have been more complimentary about the practicality; real-world aspect; and effectiveness of our program.  One of our clients put it this way:

This is the first sales enablement program we have participated in that is delivered by someone who actually sold the products we’re being trained on. 

Matt Kenney

That was an acknowledgement of “street cred”.  According to Tom Stanfill and his piece, “The Six Pitfalls of a Sales Training Initiative”:

The person chosen to deliver the program is as important, and in some cases more important, than the content itself.

But I’m learning that content is important, too.  In my current role I am being exposed to a truly professional sales enablement approach for content development.  The scale and sophistication of the program our leaders are leading, and my colleagues are delivering is awesome!

As for me, well let’s just say I’m handicapped on the “engineering aspects” of instructional design and program development.  As a sales professional vs. an engineer I guess I am easily amused about my technology field.  Add me to the list of not daring:

Gallois’s Revelation

If you put tom-foolery into a computer, nothing comes back out but tom-foolery.   But this tom-foolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled, and no one dares to criticize it. 

Unknown Sage

Our output may be a bit “over-engineered” but I’m not criticizing.  What we are able to accomplish is amazing!  So, I’m learning more about engineering:

What does the optimist say about the glass and the water?” he asked.  “It’s half full”, was the reply.  “And what does the pessimist say?” he queried.  “It’s half empty.”  “And what does the process engineer have to say about it?”  Silence – until the consultant revealed the new additional answer: “Looks like you’ve got twice as much glass as you need there.” 

Unknown Sage

One pillar to our sales success is superior product engineering.  Technically, functionally, financially, I love representing our product line!  Or more accurately now – since I’m an enablement professional and no longer on the street – I love helping my colleagues compete with our arsenal of tools, tactics and techniques all built on a platform of product superiority!

Product superiority is nothing new to my company:

Jay Nussbaum, who had joined Oracle from Xerox in early 1992, summed up what Oracle’s product superiority meant to the sales force: ‘A dog with a note in its mouth could sell it technically’. 

Larry Ellison

OK, maybe a bit over-simplified; a little sales engineering might be appropriate.  We still need to enable our sellers with excellent content which is best delivered by people with street cred.  Back to Tom Stanfill:

The recommended standard is to choose a facilitator the participants would want to emulate.  When they throw out situations or challenges they face (sometimes the greatest learning opportunities) will the facilitator be able to respond in way that quickly builds credibility with the audience? Can they go off script and apply the model to any situation, based on real life experiences?  If not, buy in diminishes and the learning objectives are jeopardized.

Yes, there is a lot to developing sales enablement content.  There’s a lot to delivering it with credibility, too.

GAP

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2 Comments


  1. Steve Kastell
    Aug 07, 2019

    Gary, as a 250lb kid from Brooklyn, how could I not jump right into “Street Cred”? For a guy not on the street, I do think you still have cred. I also think while sales programs need to have content, so does what you’re selling. The facilitator that the client wants to emulate allows you to show the product the way the client would see and use it.

    Nice job..


    • Gary
      Aug 14, 2019

      Thank you so much Steve for such kind comments! Makes my day – and makes me feel credible LoL! Thx, GAP

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