Meet Host, Mary Grothe
Mary Grothe is a former #1 MidMarket B2B Sales Rep who after selling millions and breaking multiple records, formed House of Revenue®, a Denver-based firm of fractional Revenue Leaders who currently lead the marketing, sales, customer success, and RevOps departments for 10 companies nationwide. In the past year, they've helped multiple 2nd stage growth companies between $5M - $20M, on average, double their MRR within 10 months, resulting in an average ROI of 1,454% and an average annual revenue growth eclipsing $3.2 million.
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Welcome to the House of Revenue®. I'm Mary Grothe, Founder and CEO. I love scaling companies to their first 5 million, then 10, 15, and 20. If you've reached a revenue plateau and aren't sure how to get past it, you're in the right place. Listen in as we interview CEOs and solve their most pressing revenue challenges. If you want to be on our show or want to learn more, connect with us at houseofrevenue.com.
We get to dive into Sales Enablement today. This is one of those terms that could potentially have 100 different definitions. What is sales enablement? Why do you need to have your sales enablement infrastructure in place before you scale? And is your sales enablement strategy set for scale? When you do embark on that journey all things we'll talk about today. sales enablement is a critical function. As sales organizations have matured over the years, we've transformed from requiring that quote, unquote, sales unicorn to do all the work. When I was a salesperson for Fortune 1000 payroll and HR company, I embarked on the sales role in 2008. And at that time, we had Salesforce as a CRM, but everything was manual, the sales reps had to do everything manually, from building their own prospect lead database, to sending every email manually to there was no automation for calls. I mean, the CRM was decent, we were able to track our notes and put follow up tasks to help keep us organized. That was nice. But other than that, there wasn't any automation.
We built all of our proposals manually. We built our sales decks manually. So, when we were presenting to clients, we didn't have anything that was standard that came through the marketing department, we built that ourselves. We had a lot on our plates. And I think that that is how a lot of sales organizations were. Well thankfully, this term this idea called sales enablement, how do we enable salespeople to do more of what they do best actually sell? Well, that's what came about, and developing a mature sales enablement component in your revenue department for marketing and sales, because they work in tandem on this is critical. If you're going to set yourself up for scale. When you look at the concept of scaling. This is where you want to rapidly or at a fast pace, multiply what you have today to reach new levels of your revenue production, and you can't scale chaos. You can't scale manual work. If you do that. It's very expensive. It impacts your profitability.
When we talk about sales enablement, let's go ahead and define what sales enablement is today, that could refer to tools, technology, coaching, training, content, materials, sales decks, automation for all of that sales process. Alright, digging in who owns sales enablement in your organization? Well, that's a question you have to answer first because you typically see this get segmented out and multiple people are assisting in sales enablement, like, while Okay, your sales manager typically owns the infrastructure, the automation component, and the coaching training and development portion of sales enablement. The marketing team usually owns the components for content and one-pagers, decks, flyers, follow-up materials, presentation materials, potentially your proposal template or format. So, one, those are usually segmented out.
But then there's a challenge because unfortunately, there's usually a great between marketing and sales department. And so, because those are usually silo strategies within an organization, there can be a little bit of frustration between the two. Somebody should own sales enablement. We've seen in more mature organizations where you have revenue operations or sales operations. We've seen their own sales enablement, I love when sales enablement can fall underneath sales operations or potentially revenue operations. Because you have a team member who owns this component. It does mean that marketing still does some work and sales management and leadership do work. But somebody actually owns the concept of sales enablement. They're tasked with building the infrastructure for it. The tools the technology, the automation, the project manager, the needs of the salespeople like one page, a deck, a flyer, a case study or whatever. They might need marketing. And so, they just own this component and set the sales team up for success.
When you're looking to scale, you may be asking yourself, do I need a full-time sales enablement or sales ops person? And my argument for this is yes, it's shocking at first to think Whoa, you mean I'm growing headcount, but this person doesn't have a quota tied to them. So, there's something I want you to understand in justifying the cost or expense for that. salespeople. If you look at the construct of their week, you get a greater return on your sales team. If they can automate or carve out manual processes or anything that slows them down because then they can focus more time on selling the sales enablement component.
Let's walk through each of the pieces and how it makes your sales team more powerful. One, putting the right tools and technology in place, we have a motto that you shouldn't require people to do work manually that could be automated. There's an immediate return that you have by automating basic functions, like email, logging information in the CRM, sinking your email, like Outlook or Google to your CRM, there's email automation, and sending out campaigns or outbound prospecting and sequences. There are ways to take work that's done, typically manually within sales teams, and automate that so that you can have their time and energy be focused somewhere else. So, that's really important, the tools and technology piece.
Now, let me also say, if you're building out a lot of functionality within your CRM, you may have somewhat felt like paralysis on your sales team side. So, if you actually have to build an SLP, you have to train the sales team on how to use the technology, you've got to ensure that they adopt it, they have the right attitude about using the CRM and other technology, they know how to do it pretty much, you just have to remove the concern or hesitation that usually comes through training so that they could see how it makes their lives better. But the user adoption component is critical with any tools and technology that you introduce sales enablement, typically owns that function, sales ops, revops, any of these they own that piece, where they're responsible for the success of the technology stack being used by anyone in marketing, sales, customer success. And so, you have to make sure from a sales enablement standpoint, but the tools and technology are automated, they're set up, they're making the salespeople's lives better, the salespeople are trained on that. So, that's that component.
When you get into coaching and training. How does this make salespeople better? Well, obviously. When you can, one we'll start with training, trained the elements pieces and components of their day to day behaviors that they need, as well as the execution when they're in the sales calls or meetings, that is critical to speeding up and getting them through their ramp because we want proficient knowledgeable salespeople who one have the IQ, being your product knowledge, the industry knowledge, the competitive landscape knowledge, but also the EQ, their emotional intelligence, how they're interacting with their prospects and clients, how they are navigating and pivoting while they're on a sales call, or in a sales meeting, how they're progressing deals and thinking through their strategy. And there's a lot about in the emotional intelligence of how to progress a deal because humans buy from humans, so we can't automate everything in sales. So, the EQ piece is huge.
Then you have the BQ component, which is the behavioral quotient. And that's how they're executing. It's the work that they're committing to do on a day-by-day basis. So, in your world of training, you can set forth the structure, you can have a playbook and a training process to train them up on these three components. But then the coaching is the accountability portion. It's the execution that's where you take your classroom training or what you put it in a playbook and you make it come to life in your day-to-day management is coaching salespeople in all facets of their role one, their behaviors while shoot let's back up their mental mindset to their behaviors. Three, how they're structuring, setting up their day and actually doing the work and you look at execution, both on the activity side, and then you look at the execution in the calls and meetings, then you look at behind the scenes, and how they're working to keep their CRM updated use their technology stack. So, this element of coaching from a sales enablement perspective is critical.
We need to make sure that not only do we set the specifications for this is what the salespeople need to do in order to be successful, but someone's got to be there to hold them accountable to be their coach to make sure they're actually executing and making those things happen. Well, if you're doing that, your salespeople are going to be far better in their role. They're going to have higher close rates. They're going to have more at that in their pipeline. They're going to hopefully have shorter sales. cycles, higher average revenue per sale, you're really grooming up incredible sales talent when you have a constant focus on training and coaching. And that usually falls under a sales manager.
As an organization gets a little bit larger, you could look at bringing on an internal sales coach or trainer or sales empowerment manager, somebody that's responsible for a new hire, onboarding, and training, somebody that cares so deeply about the salespeople and how they execute in their role. Sometimes managers don't know how to do that they've never been trained on how to do that, or they're so focused, and they're so in the weeds, being strategic in the actual deals, and co-selling with the salespeople and helping progress. They're internally communicating with operations and trying to make sure that implementation and new client onboarding is, is ready and getting new clients progressed through that so that it doesn't affect their sales or commissions for their team. There's a lot that your sales manager could be focused on. And so, you have to have the conversation around this component to say, do we have it in place? Is it structured correctly? And do we have this up for scale? Is it something that we can augment to do more of what we have today, or are we going to run out of bandwidth with what we currently have? So that's the coaching and training component.
Then we go into content, as well as sales tax one-pagers, slide decks, presentation materials, pre-recorded demos, case studies, white papers, things that salespeople need, as part of their sales process, in order to be incredible with their prospects and their clients and make sure they have the right clout the right materials, the right statistics, the right information. Typically, this is a product of marketing, marketing should really own your ideal client profile, also known as ICP, and the buyer personas, they should own the customer conversation, understanding of the customer journey, everything that's built-in marketing should be set for the entire lifecycle of the customer, and from marketing through sales through customer success. Marketing should own these components. And there should be free communication between sales and marketing on what sales mean. But somebody has to be the filter for that because salespeople are very needy, and they often can hide behind what they request for marketing, versus just using their own sales skills.
So, a 30-page slide deck in a presentation is not going to close the deal. If the salesperson is going to close the deal with their ability to sell a beautiful slide deck presentation could be an excellent aid and helping them tell the story, articulate your brand, create an emotional connection with your prospective client, and also ensure that you're showing up stronger and different and more professional than the competition. But the sales tax, not going to sell it for the salesperson. So, you have to have a filter here. Otherwise, sales is just going to ask for a one-pager on frickin’ everything. And they're going to want to require marketing to try to automate you do as much of their job as possible. And it's not realistic. So, you've got to have a filter here, that's typically going to be your sales manager and your marketing manager or heads of those departments communicating together on what's realistic, what can be delivered on what the purpose of that piece or flyer or brochure or sales deck or presentation materials, case study, whatever it is, what's the purpose of it? And then how do we assign some success metrics to it?
If we produce this case study, how is it to be used? And how do we determine if the time effort and energy and going into this is successful? And we're getting our return? How is it going to help you close deals, and we want to be able to tie that back. So that would be a form of what we call revenue attribution, where we're taking everyone who has an influence on winning new business or retaining business, and whose effort influenced the growth of revenue. So, it's attributing people's efforts and marketing sales or customer success to the revenue. That's one for the company. That's revenue attribution. And so, in this scenario, when we're talking about content, so any visual or written pieces that are helping to enable the sales team to sell more who owns that, typically, it comes from marketing.
But again, this is where your RevOps role is so critical because they can be the project manager for these requests, and to really understand who needs what why do we have justification for this one? Can it be completed by setting clear expectations for the marketing department and then assigning success metrics on it? So, we can all deem, hey, this was a successful piece. And this is how we can directly say it tied into us closing more revenue. So that piece is very important. So, your background on a deeper dive on what your sales enablement, why is it so important? How does it make your sales team sell more, I mean, ultimately, we want them spending less time on repeatable tasks and we want them selling What can we automate? How can we supercharge them to be successful in their role? And it comes down to all those components? So how? Here's how you can ask yourself is your sales enablement strategy set for scale? So, this is how I'd want you to do a self-evaluation inside of your company right now, are we set for scale? The easiest way for me to ask you this question is, how many people do you have today? What are they producing today? And where do you want to be in a year, three years, five years? What's that scale goal?
If you currently have a sales org of four, and you're producing 2 million a year, you want to scale that to 10 million over the next three years, let's say that's your goal. What of today is working extremely well, in those components, we mentioned that overnight, you can say all flip the switch, we have so much capacity, with our current tech stack, it's already built out, we have all of our sequences and workflows, the whole revenue engine is automated. All that we have to do is bring on our new hires, and then we'll just get their database of contacts will enroll them in the sequence, we're ready to go. Okay, great.
If your tech stack is there, and you don't feel like you have any room for improvement, then you can check that box and say all of our tools, technology, and automation is set and ready for scale. If you're sitting there thinking, well, you know, we still do proposals manually. I've been looking at some software that can integrate with our CRM to maybe automate the proposal or contract process. You may not be ready for scale. If your tech stack is ready, it's set up, everything is automated, from start to finish for your sales team. Then I'd say flip the switch, you're ready for scale on this component. If you're sitting there thinking, oh, there are some components that we still don't have dialed in, you've got to get those setup. You have to get your sales team performing your current team and hitting the metrics on the tools, technology, and automation, you need to build the SRP, you need to have a training manual and a training process for your people. If you have all of those things in this bucket, you're set for scale. If you don't, you need all of those things. before you're set for scale on the tools technology and automation component. transitioning into coaching and training. This is usually an area where most companies forget that they need to up what they have before they go to scale.
If you were to onboard for new salespeople today, what would their first 90 days look like? Do you have a new hire onboarding and training program built? Do you have an LMS, who's responsible for product knowledge training, who's responsible for training on who the company is how you compete in the market, who's responsible for the actual step by step sales, process and methodology to follow who's responsible for training on your tech stack and making sure that everyone's behaviors are aligned on your tech stack? Look at all the components of a great 90-day new hire onboarding and training program. And ask yourself, do we have this in place that we could theoretically have a new class of sales hires coming in here every quarter, we enter them into this class, a great new hire onboarding and training program has four to six weeks on the short and up to 90 days on the long end, and it's mapped out.
You have potentially tears of training, or you have levels of training based on the role. So, if they're SDR BDR, entry-level, on top of the funnel, you may have a longer track for onboarding and training, if you're bringing in experienced reps from the industry have been selling for 10 plus years, the meaning may not need a huge ramp there could potentially be on the lower end of four weeks of onboarding and training, they'll probably be chomping at the bit to get out in the field and to begin their work. But you do need to have the steps in place. One of the big components, if you have a technology, is you should have a demo certification process. Even if you have sales engineers or solutions engineers or solutions, consultants, whatever you call them in your company.
Theoretically, you should have a demo certification process because the best salespeople and the best sales or the salespeople are proficient in the technology that you're selling, or the product or service if that better describes you. And they can demo it or present it on their own. And they should be able to understand the FAQ that comes in the Q&A. During the demos, the most frequently asked questions around how the technology performs. Use Cases how it compares in the marketplace. I'm a huge fan of them owning this. I owned it even though I had a sales engineer. I was able to demo my own technology when I was selling for the payroll and HR company. And I just felt like it allowed me to shorten my sales cycle. I was more knowledgeable, I had more credibility with my prospects because I actually knew how the technology worked. So that's my recommendation here is you build out coaching and training so that you have at step one, a new hire onboarding and training program. Ensure that every new rep that comes into the organization can tell the company story can demo the product or service, they understand the behaviors of the role that are required. They're trained up on the tech stack, they have the start to finish understanding of the process and the methodology in order to be successful in their role.
You have to have that piece in place. It can't just be like, here's your laptop, just shadow another rep for a week, and then you'll be out not on your own. And then let us know if you have any questions like that's a bad strategy. If that's your current strategy, you're not set for scale, we talk about sales enablement, just bringing this back around to a key point we made earlier, sales enablement is to empower your sales team to sell more to focus on what they do best, which is selling and if you're asking yourself is our current sales enablement strategy are we set for scale versus a tech stack and your tools in your automation second is going to be this coaching and training? Well, the new hire onboarding program has to be flawless. Because when you're studying for scale, you have to know that as you bring new hires into your organization, that you have the shortest ramp-up time possible because your new hires, especially in sales are so expensive.
And so, the quicker they can be proficient in selling the better for you your P&L, your bottom line, your shareholders, your investors, everybody. What about coaching? So, there's new hire onboarding and training, which is typically a four to six-week minimum process up to 90 days. But webinar, the coaching element, you can't just onboard a new salesperson and then say, okay, like, that's all you get for all the future, your tenure and employment here, they have to have a sales coach. Typically, this falls on the sales manager. What I highly encourage you to do is look at your proforma and answer this question: at what point and what milestone needs to be achieved before you can justify having an in-house sales coach and trainer on staff that can take this component off of your sales managers shoulders? This element, as soon as sales managers get busy, I swear, it's the first thing to go. It's so critical to your salespeople at being at optimal performance. So what a great sales coach should have a curriculum. They should have exercises. They should be listening back to recorded calls and training them in coaching, on how to improve performance. They should bring in this concept of pre-call strategy and post-call debriefing to help reps. They should bring in new competitive Intel, different sales training elements that are arising like when we had a big shift from outside sales to virtual sales in 2020.
Did you have somebody in-house that could help train your sales team on how to do that? Did you have to go find that person in an exterior fashion through a sales training firm as an example? So, what do you have internally to ensure that they're bringing forth new sales coaching training techniques that your sales team can be relevant in, in proficient in their role? Okay, so then you look at this ongoing coaching element, the big recommendation to either build that with your current sales managers and make sure they understand what coaching is, and they build it into their day to day or you hire a sales coach or trainer to work solely as that role within your organization.
The last part is, if you're ready for scale, is looking at your content component. So, that's everything that marketing could assist with, I would encourage you to do a quick catalog of everything that you have internally. So, your sales deck, your one-pagers, your case studies, your white papers, your proposal template, everything in that and ask yourself, if we were five times the size we were today, do we have everything that we need to be efficient in this category? And if there are gaps like well, we only have two case studies, but we have five ICP is what we should probably get three more case studies for other ICPs so we don't slow down the salespeople in the process if they're needing case studies or a reference as an example for how we solve the problems for that specific buyer. So catalog what you have today, bring in your current sales team, your marketing team, your sales managers that are on go through your current sales presentation deck and your other materials and say are we telling the right story? Do we have everything we need if not create a gap analysis of your current state your desired future state map that out and then you can say okay marketing team, here's what we need in order for us to be ready for scale, and so have those components listed out.
Again, this is where a rev ops, sales ops, sales enablement manager any of those titles can be helpful to project manage, enhancing your current marketing materials for sale enablement specifically that we just listed off on getting those. I would highly recommend that you do not set yourself for scale or embark on that journey until you can check the box in these three areas and say we are confirmed, ready to go. sales enablement again one of those words that can be described 100 different ways. My hope is that this was a great explanation of all things, sales enablement, and now you have the checklist to say, are we set for scale?
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Thanks for listening to today's episode. If you're interested in being on our show or want to learn more about how we can help you scale your company, connect with us at houseofrevenue.com or with me Mary Grothe spelled G-R-O-T-H-E on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.
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