Key Takeaways from Sales Leaders at Empower 2019
Empower, Guru’s first ever conference, was two days of nonstop learning and fun in Philadelphia. Revenue team leaders – spanning sales, customer experience, and support – converged at World Cafe Live to share insights, best practices, personal stories, and more. In addition to keynote sessions that covered topics like how to leverage learning momentum, the power of organizational health, and how to put the customer at the center of everything, we also broke out into two designated tracks geared towards sales and CX leaders.
Several consistent themes emerged over the course of the conference, and we wanted to share some of our favorite takeaways. Get caught up on the CX-focused tracks here, and keep reading for sales-related insights:
Everyone in every organization should be 100% focused on revenue
Revenue is already a priority for customer-facing teams like sales and CX, but it should really be the main priority of every team, from marketing and product to HR and finance. Doug Landis, partner at Emergence Capital, walked us through how to create a revenue obsessed culture in his session.
“The first step in building a revenue-centric culture is by taking a long-term, wildly, maniacally, customer-centric approach to your business.” – Doug Landis
Doug worked with attendees to brainstorm ways to make traditionally non-revenue focused teams more invested in driving revenue and satisfying customers. He discussed ways to incentivize those teams that fall outside of sales and typical comp plans; why every team should be customer-obsessed; and why your customers’ customers’ happiness should be the ultimate endgame. “Ask yourself: What have you done today to change the life of one of your customers' customers? That’s the story you should be telling.”
Watch a recording of Doug’s full session below:
Better employee experiences drive better customer experiences
We spend a lot of time thinking about the customer experience, but what about the employee experience? Astha Malik, VP of Platform and Product Marketing at Zendesk, posed the thought: “Just like your customers, employees are also expecting more from you as a company. Employees want the best tools, the best devices, and the best software to help them succeed at their jobs.”
Investing in the employee experience ultimately ends up paying dividends towards the customer experience. By driving engaging employee experiences, providing options, scaling with the right tool stack, and measuring and optimizing productivity, companies can better serve their customers by better serving their employees.
Confidence is the key to org-wide enablement
Chad Trabucco joined Glint as a proposal writer in 2016. Since then, he’s transitioned to managing sales enablement and become the “Guru guru” internally, and Glint has been acquired by LinkedIn. Chad attributes a lot of his personal success to making Guru the single source of truth and confidence for Glint’s team.
Confidence is a key metric at Glint. Chad measures employee engagement, and when his team is more engaged, they’re more confident, they take more risks, and they perform their jobs better. Chad counts Guru as a key tool in building that confidence: “I ask the sales team about the tools they use, and when I asked them about Guru, I said, “Does Guru make you better at your job every day?” And across the board, it scored 4’s and 5’s out of 5. Every single person on the sales team said that Guru makes them more confident in their daily jobs.”
The larger your creative network is, the more creative you are
Have you ever heard of Max Kleiber? I hadn’t until Matt Wesson, Manager of Sales Content & Communication at Zoom, started his sales track by citing Kleiber’s work. Max Kleiber was a Swiss Agricultural Biologist whose life work was mapping the metabolic rate of animals. He discovered a reliable basis for predicting the metabolic rate of any animal based on body mass, which became known as Kleiber’s law.
What’s so fascinating about Kleiber’s law is that it can also be applied to larger “organisms,” like cities. The rate of electrical consumption in a city follows Kleiber’s law; the number of gas stations in a city can be predicted using Kleiber’s law; even road surface area follows the pattern.
The only thing that doesn’t scale logarithmically per Kleiber’s law? Creativity. Any data point having to do with creativity grows exponentially instead. What does that mean? Matt broke it down: “It is a scientifically observed fact that the larger your creative network is, the more creative you are and the more creative your network is.”
According to Matt, “Inside most creative organizations, creativity is taken and it's walled away. Creativity is the domain of marketing teams and design teams, or worst case scenario, it's outsourced to agencies and taken completely out of the company altogether.” Instead of putting a wall between the company and the extremely valuable business asset that is creativity, Matt recommends embracing and encouraging the creativity of every team and every team member. Watch Matt’s full session below for more insights (and a fuller explanation of Kleiber’s law):
Sales managers need enablement too, not just frontline reps
All too often, sales enablement efforts are focused solely on the frontline reps who are out in the field pitching to prospects every day. But what about the sales managers who empower those reps and allow them to close deals? In many respects, sales managers are sales enablement’s most important consumers because they’re the ones that are going to continue to drive rep empowerment on sales enablement’s behalf.
But, according to John Ley from Square, many organizations don’t ask themselves often enough whether they’re doing a good job of training managers. Watch a recording of John’s session for tips on how to better enable sales managers:
Silos are out; networks are in
Out of all the sessions at Empower, sales-focused or not, a key theme that emerged was that building networks is crucial to finding success. The whole goal of uniting sales and CX leaders at Empower was to gather the components that make up revenue teams across the world and help them work more effectively together as one cohesive network. Doug Landis taught us that revenue should be an org-wide priority; Matt Wesson taught us that creativity is more powerful when a creative network is larger; Jake Saper taught us that AI coaching networks are more effective when they have more input; Shane Battier taught us that sometimes the most important individual contributions are those that serve the greater good of the team.
We should all be cultivating and expanding our networks to work together towards common goals. Thanks to everyone who networked with us at Empower this year, and for everyone else, keep your eyes peeled for details about Empower 2020!