#216 Regan Baker - Master The Art of Sales Enablement
Welcome to episode #216 of the How To Sell podcast where we unlock the secret sauce to perfecting your sales enablement strategies. Join your hosts, Luigi Prestinenzi and Dave Fastuca, as they dive deep into the world of sales with industry expert Regan Barker from Grant Thornton.
Regan shares her insights on tailoring your sales approach to your business and clients, providing a game-changing perspective on the buying process from the buyer's point of view and how sales enablement can sky rocket growth for your company.
- Tailoring Your Sales Approach
Regan Barker, a true sales virtuoso, will share her unrivalled expertise on customising your sales strategy. Discover how to forge authentic connections with your audience, leaving a lasting impression that transcends the transactional.
- Multi-Stakeholder Decision-Making
The key to successful sales lies in understanding how your solutions impact various stakeholders within a business. Regan reveals the art of involving a diverse spectrum of decision-makers, going beyond the usual suspects like the CTO and CMO, to ensure your pitch resonates on every level.
- Leading with Insights
Regan's groundbreaking insights will reshape your approach to sales. Say goodbye to the hard sell and hello to a paradigm where nurturing and educating your clients take center stage. Learn how to lead with insights that not only address your customers' challenges but become the guiding light that leads them to long-term success.
Whether you're an industry veteran seeking to refine your strategies or someone curious about the intricacies of modern sales, this podcast is your passport to sales excellence.
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Regan Barker: 0:00
If they're a high user of LinkedIn, they're likely going to be absorbing a lot more video, a lot more of the like, your carousels and whatnot. So, you know, try to lean into that, Whereas, like, if you're not seeing a lot of that, they're more likely going to be using email. So try that. I think that not one thing is going to work with all buyers either. Professional services, the people that I work with. They own the business, they are the relationship partners, they manage all the billing, they manage all the risk, they teach their teams, but they're also the experts. They're the ones that are providing, you know, compliance, regulatory services to support every sort of style and makeup of business. So their time is precious right, simple as that. Their time is precious.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 0:46
Welcome to the How to Sell podcast. I'm your host, Luigi Prestinenzi, and I am welcomed by my fellow co-host, Dave Fastuca. Pleasure to be here. Fantastic, and what's going to make this episode even better is we have a very special guest, Regan from Grant Thornton. So welcome to the How to Sell podcast.
Regan Barker: 1:06
G'day gents, how are we?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:08
Oh, we're better now, because you know what I love about these podcasts. But, regan, I must say having you on the screen is better than having Dave on the screen, that's for sure. Just wait.
Regan Barker: 1:23
You may be changing mine soon, yeah.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:26
Well, hey, I know that you know our listeners are probably hearing this game, you already brought this up but it's a big game for Australia Matildas, the women's soccer national team or football national team, this weekend, so we're very excited about that Go.
Dave Fastuca: 1:41
Luigi Prestinenzi: 1:43
When you listen to this, you already know the answer to if they want to lose, but at this point we're still excited, so we're still anticipating a great game. However, this is not a football podcast, even though we always start the episode, Dave, talking about football.
Regan Barker: 1:55
Yes, it can be. I'm happy to talk about football.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:00
Yeah, actually yes, because tell us which team you follow in the UK.
Regan Barker: 2:08
Oh look, I've got a soft spot for men. You shout out to my niece who actually plays for them in the academy. So I've got a bit of a soft spot for them, yeah that is cool.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 2:18
Yeah, soft spot for men. You, she hates Harry Maguire, but he's going to West Ham United. We won't talk about that right now, but, however. So thank you for coming on the podcast. Hey, before we jump into today's session, which is a really exciting session, we're going to talk a bit about you know, from your perspective, you're you're head of head of head of enablement. You've got people reaching out to you, so we're going to talk a bit about what triggers you to take a meeting, how do you go about purchasing, et cetera all the fun stuff that we talk about all the time, regan, but tell us a bit about you and what you know you're doing your role at Grand Thornton.
Regan Barker: 2:55
Yeah, absolutely so. Regan, head of sales, sales enablement, a GT. A lot of my role kind of sits in two buckets. There is the sales enablement side, so really helping facilitate our partners and our senior leaders to go to market with the right strategies, right approach, and then, separate from that, I've actually built out my own and continuing to build out a separate sales function as well, which is really exciting. It means that I can learn from the sales that we do day to day and really channel that back through to our coaching, advice versa. It also gives us a safe space to test different approaches, see what works, see what doesn't. So that's really exciting.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 3:41
Yeah, awesome, okay. And so, even though you're head of sales and enablement, are you a lover of sales more than enablement? Like I know, this is a spicy question.
Regan Barker: 3:55
Look, you know, it really depends on the outcome. I think that if it's, if it's a good day of you know, winning great opportunities with fantastic clients. It could be that, but if I can get an aha moment from part of my coaching session, it's just as big a win.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 4:12
to be honest, yeah, awesome, hey, so I can't wait. I'm actually, like I said, really really pumped to jump into this because obviously we talk all the time about this topic, right, About cold emailing and outreach and all that sort of stuff. But let's start at the. I want to start at the top of the funnel. So you're obviously on the receiving end of a lot of salespeople trying to get your attention. Um, tell us what would trigger you to take a meeting, versus just hitting delete, receiving that call saying I'm too busy, I'm back to step into a meeting or not the right time for me. Um, we'd love to get your, you know, get your feedback. It's a pretty juicy question there, luigi.
Regan Barker: 4:58
I think that there's a few things to it. First of all, if I'm looking at sequences, I will wait. I will wait until you run through your sequence to see what you actually do. Uh, so I don't know if that's pretty cruel, sorry to the sellers out there, um, but I do test as well. Like you know, are they using multi-channel? What sort of messages do they come with? And I think the biggest thing for me is don't sell straight off the bat. You don't know me, you don't know my priorities. Like, share insights. Uh, I can't tell you how valuable insights are to me, particularly when both hats. Uh, you know, I want to make sure that I'm constantly learning. If you've got something that, uh, an idea, uh, a product that creates amazing value and benefits, I want to hear about the value parts first. So I would definitely say, um, strive to get insight first, value first, more than anything in terms of outreach for me, personalization, take five minutes to get to know me. Like, I'm pretty candid, I'm pretty transparent. You can see a lot of the stuff from my LinkedIn, uh, so, really, you know, if you take five minutes on that, um, then I'll likely see it in how you've approached me as well and and we'll likely take a meeting. I don't say no too often, it's just more. You can see what's automated and what's not.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 6:24
Yeah, so in the, in the, in the case of in the case of in the case of in the case of the occasion that you do say no. What drives you to say no?
Regan Barker: 6:34
Yeah, like a personalization, getting my name wrong. That's a pretty simple one. And then also, if I say, you know, at the moment I'm very busy, I've got a few deadlines to reach in a month or two. If you reach out and you've made an effort, that would change. But if you don't take me out of your sequence after I've said, hey, I'm really busy at the moment, you know, come back to me in a month or two and I'm still getting your emails, then I'll just go the potentially block you, which makes me like an old person, I know.
Dave Fastuca: 7:11
Well, time is precious right. So what's important to you, Regan, in your role, and what insights are you looking for?
Regan Barker: 7:20
Yeah, that's a really good question. I think that for me, you know, it's all about that flow from what I can learn, what I can take from those learnings and repurpose as well, both in the head of a sales leader and then the head of a sales enablement leader as well. So for me I'm interested to know what's working and what's not. But I think ultimately it comes down to not what you're selling, it is really the learnings that you can kind of provide and the value that you can kind of bring. I'm probably already repeating myself, but yeah, I think that with this, I don't really care about the tech, if that makes sense it's more about that value piece.
Dave Fastuca: 8:10
Yeah, that's interesting. I was going to add a follow on to that. It is like everyone's always asking for time. Here's some insights. Can I grab 50 minutes of your time? Right? I'll find a time on my calendar and so forth. Do you prefer it, if it's something that interests you but you're jammed with time? Were you still opting in to book into a calendar, or would you prefer the insights if you respond back and say, yeah, this is great if the insights were delivered to you in a video or summary where you could consume in your own time? What's your preference?
Regan Barker: 8:47
That's a really good question. I think that video always helps, recordings always help because, particularly, like you said, that time limitation, we're all busy. If I find it really valuable, I will make time for you, the individual. I think that I'm a lifelong learner. I will want to make sure that I learn as much as possible. So I think that if you've got that value, if you're able to send that through, I can consume. If I've got questions and then there's an open channel of communication, I definitely take that up for sure. But I'll also make time for those who are in Australia. We get a lot of individuals selling from the US, particularly early morning, late night. I'm okay to take those, as long as I know that there's something in it for me. You can really isolate the sellers that are in it to only make revenue or those that really want to make a long-term impact on businesses.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 9:47
This is a really good insight. I'd love, just before we jump into the whole, really trying to understand some of the key metrics and what drives you from an enablement perspective. You did mention video, so I do want to talk about that. If you were to, I know you probably don't know the exact percentage right, but if you look at your email, out of all the email outreach that you receive, what percentage would have video added into it?
Regan Barker: 10:18
Minimal like 0.2%.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 10:20
Regan Barker: 10:21
I would say very, very minimal. I think I've only received it from about two sellers, and one of which was we're an existing client of. The other one was just before a meeting and I actually sent it onto our CMO and being like this is impressive. This gives that real personal element. You see them raw, they might even mumble through a little bit of it, but it really brings that human element back To me. The human element even when I guess your restrictions on time is, I think, a real priority for me.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 10:59
That's really interesting. You've got not a lot of people using video as a leverage. Because it doesn't have to be perfect, right.
Regan Barker: 11:09
Yeah, no, it doesn't. I don't want you to sit there for like an hour trying to get the right video. I just want you to stumble over something and then get to the point. You know, and one of the things, luigi, I would say is that it doesn't have to be their content, like if they've seen a really interesting podcast and look, you know, you're great at this. You will always send things through to me that you think is relevant to me. I will consume that. You know, particularly out on a run, you know, from driving into work like those, those times I can, I can still be absorbing the information that's being provided.
Dave Fastuca: 11:46
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Regan Barker: 12:31
It is, yeah for sure. I agree that in those first few reach-outs and you know, or or mix it up, yeah, if it emails not working, then send a video, or vice versa. You know, I think that one thing is Not to be set in stone with your buyers like, really try to understand them. If they're a high user of LinkedIn, they're likely going to be absorbing a lot more video, a lot more of the like, your carousels and whatnot. So, you know, try to lean into that. Whereas, like, if you're not seeing a lot of that, then more likely going to be Using email. So try that. I think that not one thing is going to work with all buyers either.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 13:12
Yeah, now this is them. When we get in the meeting stuff, this is good, right, because we've spoken about the top of the funnel, we've spoken about you know what would trigger you to take a meeting, what gets you know, put through to the, to the, to the junk inbox, etc. Now somebody. I just want to, because obviously messaging is pretty vital, right? Yeah, you mentioned that you're looking for insights, you're looking for education, but in order for somebody to deliver that inside an education, they need to have a bit of an understanding of what some of your challenges might be in your role. We'd love to dive into that from an enablement perspective. What are the biggest challenges that you find, then, you're trying to overcome in your role?
Regan Barker: 13:54
Yeah, okay, so for me and look, this might just be for where I work professional services, right? So, you know, for the purposes, I guess, in context of this, professional services, the people that I work with, they own the business, they are the relationship partners, they manage all the billing. They, you know, manage all the risk, they teach their teams, but they're also the experts. They're the ones that are providing, you know, compliance, regulatory services to support Every, every sort of style and makeup of business. So their time is precious, right, simple as that. Their time is precious. So anything that I do In the enablement space for them almost has to have two real contributing factors. First one will it save them time? Simple as that. Will this help save them time in their day? You know, I'm not trying to add more to their plate. In fact, I'm actually trying to take stuff away from it to make their lives easier so they can be the best that they can be and also help support our clients as best as possible. So it would be how do I save them time and how do we ensure that they can be confident in what we're delivering as value? So then they can. They can, you know, use it because Really they have to be confident in what we're giving them, to then go often and, and you know, try it on their own day to day as well. So I think they're probably the two key things for me Before going any further, to be honest.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 15:37
Yeah, so really You've got very limited to all. The partners that you're working with have very limited time. So it's all about how, how you can help them save time right.
Regan Barker: 15:48
Yeah, ultimately yeah. And with that I mean you know B2B. If you're a sales rep in B2B, that's your job. Yeah being sales Traditionally, it means that you are the partner, still being the expert as well as the salesperson. So if you've got you know, if you have a complete book already and you've got a great group of clients, well then you know your capacity to sell and prospect and nurture. You know new clients are limited, so we want to make sure that we can help them balance that as well, whereas I think a traditional sales rep, your role, is to purely sell.
Dave Fastuca: 16:31
Luigi Prestinenzi: 16:33
Yeah, so there's definitely differences, right.
Regan Barker: 16:35
Dave Fastuca: 16:37
So, as within your role, what does success look like? Like? What are you measured on within the business?
Regan Barker: 16:46
Well, look, I love, I think, that for me. I've made them up, I've gone to our chief marketing officer, I've spoken with our executive team and I said I think that you know I should be measured off of. You know win rate, growth, average deal clothes or days to close, how quickly we're managing our inbound sales. You know how many touches there's there's a lot there, I think as well between what is the the marketing metrics and what is the sales metrics. So I almost play in a bit of both, to be honest. But hey, I love to achieve. It's one of my biggest joys in life. So the more well, not the more metrics, but I think the greater focus on them for me to achieve, the better.
Dave Fastuca: 17:46
Nice, and part of this podcast is to talk about how the people that we're speaking to buy and that process. So can you take us through what the process looks like? If someone's trying to sell into Grand Thornton, in particular, into your role, what does that process look like and who makes the decision? Are you a decision maker? Do you need to take it to someone else?
Regan Barker: 18:11
Dave Fastuca: 18:12
Take us through that journey.
Regan Barker: 18:14
Yeah, so that's a good question. So it would really depend on how many people it would impact.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 18:19
Regan Barker: 18:20
So I would say, for services, for example, if it's a part of an extension of our sales program and sales coaching, that would ultimately sit with myself and influencers being, you know, the my fellow leadership team and then, obviously, who I report to, so our CMO, fraser MacNorton, with that, you know, as a collective, while I would be the ultimate decision maker, it would very much involve a team and collaborative approach. I want to make sure that they're all on board as well, so their teams are on board for something bigger than that. So I would say not bigger, but say for something that requires, you know, technology integration and put into our tech stack. That in itself that's a much larger buying party. You know, I want to make sure that I get my CTO and his team really on board and they're fantastic, right, they'll look at this from a completely different angle to me. And then we also want to make sure you know what does this look like from a risk and business perspective and then, obviously, from a finance perspective, you know, does this bring the value and greater impact for, say, the rest of the business? So you know, those technology pieces, I think definitely would have a larger buying party and they'll come in different stages of the buying process as well.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 19:50
Yeah, and if I love this and if we can just maybe touch on it, we won't name names. So, just like that famous Seinfeld episode we're a Seinfeld fan we won't name names. But you are looking at two vendors for a project. Obviously, you started with one, you're now migrating to the other. Could you maybe because we had a chat about this the other day could you maybe just talk us through how one vendor is probably not in your pro, in your top, not at the top of the list now, just because they in which they've approached you and what they did or what they could have done differently, so to speak.
Regan Barker: 20:35
Yeah, absolutely. And look sorry to this vendor in advance, I would say it's never nice to make these decisions, but again it goes back to that criteria around how much value I can bring to the business. Yeah, so so with that initial one, while yes, it was a great solution, it still is and would suit many businesses. What I found during that decision process, you know I was almost ready to go with them. But then, looking a bit further, you know, another vendor came into the mix and it was almost like the second vendor ended up providing all of these great insights and being like you know what. You can also use this as a part of three different areas of your business. You can use this benefit. Here's some free insights. This is how other professionals, services, firms may use this. Let's loop in, you know, your head of digital marketing to get across this, because it might help from that top of funnel point of view as well. So to me I was like great, well, if it can, if it can benefit not just my team, my greater team, that is an instant win, right. But then in the background, the initial vendor is chasing me on closing the deal and only like closing the deal. When can you get that contract sign? When can you get that contract sign? And to me that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth because I did say it would be a long time. Obviously we wanted to go through the right channels and prioritise those channels and you know, a pose to that was this other firm or other vendor providing insights again. So, ultimately I was. I was going with the first one, but then I was like, oh, this is too good.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 22:20
Regan Barker: 22:22
So, like from that, I think the learning from my end would be don't just try to close the deal Like it's not just you know getting a sign and actually it just makes me feel like a number you know, rather than how you're helping my business.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 22:40
Yeah, but you know what I found really interesting about this? And there's so many like we could build a really cool workshop around this actually. But what's so interesting is you just said it right. You've had a tech solution that impacts so many different people. So therefore, from a sales perspective, if they're not understanding how their solution impacts the business and the different people, and then if they're not catering for that in their sales process, of course they've got time pressure because somebody's on their end going when are you closing the deal? So all their focus is on closing the deal. But if they had to manage this properly to sink you actually there are all these micro steps. Are these people that need to get involved? Actually, this is going to take a bit longer because of a, b and C, and if they'd asked the past space question to say, hey, you know, when you added x into salesforce, what did the process look like, how long did it take to get, to get it across and who was involved, and then they probably get a better understanding of what they need to do to then get their solution across the line with you 100% and I think you just absolutely nailed it there.
Regan Barker: 23:55
It's one of the things that I love about being on the sales side but also the buying side is evaluating those sorts of questions, those past questions making sure that they really understand that background and decision-making process. Then also those future questions around well, what will this achieve? The second vendor was able to connect those dots a lot quicker. Will they have been able to bring in those additional experts that they'll? Oh, I heard that around the digital marketing side. Let me connect you to this person. In fact, let me give you that demo. You can just have it run for it. We'll give you some free data and insights. That, to me, was really really good. I was very impressed. I would say, though, there was one part in there that I was a bit on the fence about. They bagged out their competitor. That to me, yeah, I think Luigi and I have spoken about this in the past. It's probably the worst thing that I personally think you can do. Be confident in your ability and what you bring to the table, because that bad-mouth thing is just not nice.
Dave Fastuca: 25:10
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Regan Barker: 26:43
No, I don't think decisions are made in SalesOS at all. I think that, no matter what, all big decisions, all important decisions that impact our business will have way more than one buyer and we see this with our clients as well is that there's more than one. There's generally more than three or five. It can get up to nine, 10 or more. So I think being able to have that collaborative discussion up front is a very powerful thing. It will show you it's not just Regan who has a driver around performance, efficiency and revenue. It also has criteria in there that we need to balance out, from minimising risk, a smooth integration process around 100% support and 100% uptime. All of these things will matter as a part of the decision-making process. Just because it might not be an immediate priority to me doesn't mean that it's not an immediate priority to the overall business.
Dave Fastuca: 27:47
Well then, based on that right. So I'm talking to you, I've got the. It may deal with the marketing team. So I've got the marketing team involved. Digital may be another area of the business and now I start to multithread and communicate with you and the others in that conversation. Now, if I've gone directly to the CMO as well and gone around, do you feel like that's gone around? You Like, how do you feel about that whole multithreading process?
Regan Barker: 28:18
No, I think it's important. Like you know, one of the things that Seller could do really well is arm me to help influence. If I think it's an absolute necessity to move something forward, then give me the tools to also be able to influence their decision, but also, you know, understand the other drivers. I would much prefer for that multithread to happen, because by the time we get to the table to discuss this, you know there is, I guess, a limitation around or that, or there's a full understanding. You know everyone's being able to understand the value that it might bring, and from their different views, to be honest. So yeah, I would say, go for it.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 29:04
Cool, yeah, this is good insight, right, this is really good insight around because I think that a lot of people fear multithreading because they think, oh, you know, I could piss my bio, my champion off. But I think you're right, like it's. Depending on that, it all depends on the mindset that you're taking with multithreading. If I'm multithreading I'm trying to go over you or I'm trying to bypass you, then yes, you should fear it. But if I'm multithreading to think, well, actually I really want to start to educate and provide insights and just give, and I'm not asking for anything in return, then that's a completely different mindset and we shouldn't be, we shouldn't be fearing that because you're giving stuff, I guess like.
Dave Fastuca: 29:48
So the reason why I mentioned that was, like in my previous role I did that right. So like I was selling to procurement and then I thought, you know, it'd be great for me to have a relationship with the CFO. So I went to the CFO and said, hey, I'm speaking with procurement and procurement took that as going over their head and got real productive over the role, right which they put the deal at risk. But in essence, you know, I was just trying to help build a better foundation for this to get approved. Maybe it was the way I approached it, maybe you know better communication with the head of procurement. But because then on the other hand, on the flip side, it's like, hey, how are you okay if I reach out to the CFO, then they say, no, you just deal with me, and then it's one to one. So it's like how?
Regan Barker: 30:34
Do you deal?
Dave Fastuca: 30:35
Regan Barker: 30:36
Yeah, look, and I think that with procurement's a different beast in itself, right, there's a lot of policies and processes there as well. I would say that you know, if it was me, if it was my CMO, very much bringing that conversation full circle. So, yeah, name dropping and stuff like that. Hey, I've just reached out to Fray's, you know, just to have that heads up. I think that's always appreciated. You know where I say from where procurement's involved, I would always go CFO first, procurement second.
Dave Fastuca: 31:10
There we go. We heard it here first, yeah.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 31:14
Mate, we'll challenge that when we have procurement leaders on our podcast.
Regan Barker: 31:18
Yeah, well, absolutely, I would love that.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 31:22
Yeah, well, this is great. Hey, I just want to ask, just before we come to a point of you know, letting our listeners know and our audience know where they can engage with you, if you were to look back, right, actually, this is. I haven't prepared you for this region, so I'm just asking this, but I know that because you've not just you were not just in the enablement role, you're also in the sales role and you've done it for a number of years. What was the one deal that you were able to get across the line that when you look back, you're like you know what. That was a milestone learning, like I really took a learning from it and it's really shaped the seller I am today.
Regan Barker: 32:04
You know it was one of the earlier ones, when we were piloting the inbound sales piece here at TTC, and it was really that first call that I made where the owner of a business was essentially not picking up the phone to the partner, and I was fortunate enough to get him on the phone and straightaway objection, objection, objection and Slow it down, really going through, really listening to his concerns and then, you know, taking things from his side. And there was just a moment where I was like I can either, if I react too quick, I'd watch this, but if I slow it down, if I listen to, to his concerns, if I, if I'm able to get him to agree, to go Through that scope and really understand his priorities again, we'll be able to get this across the line. And you know it's the first. It was one of those first wins, but it was also one of those first times where we just really took charge of the process and we've just seen value and Delivery ever since. For me I think it's, you know, to be confident in what I know as a sales coach, and apply it as a sales person. But more importantly like, listen to the buyer, simple as that, just listen.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 33:28
Yeah that's good, that's good. Right, and you would. I can only imagine the difficult or maybe not difficult, but the challenge in holding back right as those objections are coming up. You probably will like yeah, I can handle this.
Regan Barker: 33:44
I'm a bullet out of a gate most days. You know this mate. So that was probably the biggest, yeah, the biggest takeaway for me and, you know, even even discussing it now, I'm getting excited again Like I really Love that. I love hearing about their stories. I love bringing those up again. It's yeah, it's a great feeling, but lots to learn from it. Hey, I think you can learn as much from those wins as you can from losses, probably more from losses to be honest. But you know, a good win like that is, um yeah, good feeling.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 34:14
Well, this has been awesome. I just want to say thank you and I've you know I didn't put it out there, but full disclosure for our audience. I've been working with Regan for some time and the team at Grand Thornton Absolutely loves it, and I've learned a tremendous amount from working with Regan and the team. So I just want to say thank you for the contribution you make. From an enablement sales perspective. You're going to be putting more content out there over the next 12 months, so look out world. Regan is coming. That's the sea. That's on your accountability buddy here. But where is the best place for our audience to engage with you and find you?
Regan Barker: 34:50
Yeah, absolutely so look me up on LinkedIn, Regan Barker. Hopefully I'm the only one Not sure, if I am, but uh, yeah, no, I'm happy to connect, happy to continue conversations with people as well, and Luigi has been an absolute pleasure to work with you over the last few years and you know, I think we've achieved great things together.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 35:09
Yeah, and we are just scratching the surface, right.
Regan Barker: 35:11
Luigi Prestinenzi: 35:13
And if you are a salesperson who's listening to this, you've, you've, you've read the little playbook on how to, how to in a how to sell to enablement. Do yourself a favour and make sure you research Regan before you reach out to her. She won't accept a meeting. You'll be jammed at all. Actually, you know what. She'll let your sequence go to email five, where it's saying are you the right person to speak with, or should I be speaking to someone else? Yes, that is gone, you're dead. So I just want to say Regan, thanks so much. Um, as listeners to the how to sell podcast, this is not over. Make sure you stay on, because we've now got the next segment, which is we were going to talk through how to sell to someone in an enablement role. So We'll see you in a moment, dave. What a cracking episode and also freaking.
Dave Fastuca: 36:07
Yeah, it was very, very good. Great insights. Uh, this was my personal first interview Of someone in that sort of role, so to hear their mindset, um, what was good like she confronted a few of the things I mentioned. Yeah, um, disagree, which is great. Yeah, that's not all about. You know, if everyone knows everything, then what's the point of listening to the show?
Luigi Prestinenzi: 36:27
It's funny, I think you know my biggest takeaway from that was I loved it. When we spoke about what's important to her in her role, she immediately went to the. The challenge that she's having with her partners is that they're time poor and it's all about finding ways to help them save time. Right, and for me, I think Often when we're selling a product or service, we might be selling to say, a role enablement, but we're not thinking potentially about what are they trying to, who are they trying to sell to? Yeah, what's? What's the key deliverable they're trying to achieve? So this is what I loved about that chat with Regan and that's what she brought that out early like. Her role is to make this easier for x. So for me, that whole sales process, a whole message, has to be about how I can help her achieve that outcome.
Dave Fastuca: 37:31
But do you find where you're selling time saving right potentially as one of the or a core benefit of the product or service? You're selling that that's harder to attribute, a cost To get over the line, like I've always found where you know previously. You're selling that this is going to take half the amount of time to do it. Yeah, so whatever your team salaries are, we're going to save you x dollars.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 37:56
Those people but I think I think yes, but I think there's a few out, there's a few things in what she said. Right, so if we think about time, yeah. So she said, look, it's about helping them save, like the key thing it's they've got time pressure. So I think, yeah, if you, if you're reaching out to someone, say how I can help you save time, or your team yourself time, it's quite a you know it's quite a blanket type of message. But I think if you're leading with hey, you can appreciate in your role the challenge that you have from an enablement perspective is getting time with your team, right, or your team are time poor because of abc. And this again she said lead with insight. You know I've got some insight on what others in the professional services space are doing to achieve x outcome and also, you know, minimise the amount of time people are investing in x. See how now we've, completely We've, we're thinking with empathy and then we are. We're not just saying it's about saving time, it's about saying this is a problem, like assuming this is a problem. Is what? What are we hearing? And what was also interesting, that she is at the moment buying from two competing vendors, right? I love that because she's saying one's just trying to close the deal, the other is saying, hey, there's a wider audience here that we need to nurture and educate. They're nurturing and educating and they're now ahead. And you know what's really interesting and I forgot to bring this up right, which I'm kicking myself, but because I've got a bit of insight on what's happening with those deals One is doubled across to the other.
Dave Fastuca: 39:33
The one that's. Can you say? We're not naming names.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 39:37
No, the one that is trying to close is the cheaper product. The one that's nurturing and educating is a more expensive product.
Dave Fastuca: 39:44
She was happy with that one until this other vendor came out of nowhere. Did she sort out this other vendor or did they just come in cold or not.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 39:52
So what happened? Was it part of their process? They had to talk to someone else, right, they had to just do a quick evaluation. But what the other party did through that process is they started to go wider. They actually multithreaded through education, right, and they encouraged her and got her thinking about things that she wasn't thinking about. So she was saying you know she mentioned this right that digital could achieve X if you do B, right, so she allowed her to think outside the square and think about things that she wasn't thinking about because they were looking to go well, we need other people, we want to educate other people. The other provider was just going well, how do we get the deal done?
Dave Fastuca: 40:37
Very different, they thought they had it in the bag it sounds like. Absolutely. They thought they had it in the bag.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 40:42
Her buying. I was on the phone with her. Her buying indicators were high. She's like this is awesome. Like you can see, she's a very extrovert. You know, really the motive of the individual and she actually said that this is awesome. Regan was saying this is great, I love this, fantastic. But just because there's emotional enthusiasm, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're ready to buy. Yeah, and again, if we look back, if we look back on the whole premise, how would I sell that role? In understanding the current, you know past, current and future questions, which I'm big on right. This is not the first piece of tech they've bought. They've gone through a whole process of transformation when it comes to technology over the last few years, and they've done a lot of additions into their sales force environment. So, a simple question of you know, we'd love to know describe the last integration that you completed with the sales force. What did the process look like? Who was involved? Right, just those three would tell you that, and she said it. If we get tech coming in, we have to get the CTO on board. We've got to take risks. We've got to get finance Right. There's, there's multiple people that have to as part of the process, just because they're also in a professional services space as well. Yes, there's data privacy and all that sort of stuff, cyber security. There's a heightened focus on it, and this is where I often challenge salespeople. They're saying, oh, because of tough times, deals are getting delayed, blah, blah, blah. Well, actually, maybe the deal is not getting delayed, maybe your questioning of the process is not there, so you're not understanding the full process they're going through and what are some of the key people that need to get involved? So, again, if I was selling into that exact solution and I can't talk about the exact solution, right, if I was selling that exact solution, yes, once that excitement, I would have said, hey, I would have asked those questions. You know, based on some previous stuff that you've brought in, what did it look like? Who was involved? What were some of the challenges that you found when you were trying to implement, when trying to get that across the line? Right, do you foresee that those challenges will be? You'll encounter those same challenges when trying to get this across the line. Because she might have said, you know, regan might have said well, actually we didn't consult with risk, because that's happened before. We didn't consult with risk and when we were at that point of decision. Actually, we had to go and do ABC, we needed to provide a risk assessment, whatever, okay, great. Would it make sense for us, as part of our action plan, to put that on the list, just to check if that's something that's required Absolutely? Yeah so this is again when the mutual action plan, the way that I would have managed a deal, which it wasn't done. I would have put together that mutual action plan with her right. I would have sat with her and said, hey, let's actually look at all the dependencies that are connecting into what we need to get done right and pull up an action plan. What are the key milestones that we need to complete? Who do we need to get on board? Who do we need to understand their needs, scope, challenges, barriers, all that sort of stuff and have it in an action plan and let's work through that action plan. And the very last thing is the contract. But we can't even talk about that until we get ABCDE ticked off right.
Dave Fastuca: 44:26
It just shows you how important the discovery process and the questions you ask. Yeah, and too often we see it that people just go gloss over that or race through that to get to the contract out, where that's probably your biggest risk by speeding through that process.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 44:47
And that's why we think about it, that the contract it'll come. But if we're rushing to contract and we're avoiding all those other steps, we're not actually enabling the buyer to buy. And in Regan's case, as enthusiastic as she is and was about it, there were other people, there were other stakeholders that have to be involved and one selling organisation did not understand, they didn't actually identify who, they didn't put the action plan in place, they didn't partner with her to tick those boxes together, yeah, and they were fundamentally trying to sell to her. The other organisation was educating, nurturing, and bringing more people. So how would I sell? Just like a you know, sort of summarised, really getting a clear definition of what the internal process looks like and then developing an action plan with her so that we can work through those steps together and also say, hey, if I know, if I've worked with a company like you know, grant Thorton and Regan and I know, you know what this is, how historically companies like this buy. So I've not, I know their process, but also know that actually I've encountered another stakeholder in the step and when I spoke to Regan she might not have added that old state of her hey, regan, what I've seen with other companies at this stage is they usually need to get legal in early Just to make sure we can tick off ABC. We haven't put that on the action plan. Doesn't make sense for us to put them on the action plan. You know what? Never thought. I'm glad you brought that up. Let's put them on. Great, yeah.
Dave Fastuca: 46:28
So we are all yeah, yeah.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 46:30
And also maybe asking the question and you know the business case, right, what does a business case need to look like when we go for that final presentation? You know what you need to have in it, right? Have you thought about it? Maybe she hasn't thought about it? Great, let's add that to the action plan. Yeah, by thinking about all these things, we can actually create the right strategy to partner with her, because the last thing that Regan wants is to go to that final point of decision and do all that work and then they say well, actually you haven't thought about ABC, we're not going to give you the funds, right, but if we can help her see what are those gaps and we can enable her to be successful in that process, she's going to feel better about it. We're seen as a trusted advisor partner and you know what? We've got a long term relationship coming up. So, again, the advice that I would give that's exactly how I would sell is not focus on the contract, really focus on the steps, the stakeholders, the action plan, and then partner with Regan and the head of you know the enablement team to walk through, guide them through, educate NERCHA to that point of decision.
Dave Fastuca: 47:44
Well, that was perfect, mate, and look to wrap this up in a nice little bow. Get more of these episodes and to be notified when this mini playbook will be ready, make sure to sign up to our newsletter at growforumio forward slash newsletter to keep in contact with Louis and I and all the great stuff that we've got coming out from growforum.
Luigi Prestinenzi: 48:06
Yeah and stay. That's exactly right. Make sure you engage with us because we have some incredible enablement leaders that are coming on to share very similar to what Regan story was to share with us exactly how they buy, why they take meetings, why they don't key performance indicators, challenges, so that you can, when you get this playbook, you know what a big bulk of the work's done. You'll have the persona. You have your messaging framework. You'll have some great questions. It'll help you be, it'll help you be the best sales profession it can be and make it easier for you to engage with this particular role. So, if you want, and if you want any, any assistance around all this stuff, like I said, Dave said, hit us up. Also, come and check us out on LinkedIn and, yeah, we look forward to sharing some of these concepts with you.
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