Crystal Nikosey explains the concept of Sales Enablement and how to implement it in your agency.
Crystal is a Sales & Sales Enablement Leader with 10 years of inside and field sales experience. Currently, Crystal, most recently, served as the Director, Customer Success/Enablement @ Tribyl; the industry's first Digital Value Selling™ platform that helps virtual Reps become experts at selling into different Industries, Buyers, and Use Cases, driving pipeline and productivity.
Previously, Crystal served in the Sales Enablement function with Endurance International and Cisco Systems, focusing on aligning go to market teams, creating content-rich sales assets, and managing large scale product launches across the sales org.
Prior to sales enablement, Crystal started as a BDR moving into inside sales, and finally an Enterprise Account Executive, selling SaaS solutions.
Crystal lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and 3 children.
Crystal's Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/crystalnikosey/
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Ed Orozco (00:07):
And we're live. Hello everyone. Welcome to episode five of growing design today. We're going to be talking about sales enablement with Crystal Nikosey. Crystal, can you introduce yourself for the audience please?
Crystal Nikosey (00:20):
Sure, absolutely. Yeah, thanks for having me, ed. I appreciate it. So crystal, the cozy I'm a sales enablement leader and I have been doing sales enablement for around five years or so. I have a very heavy sales background as well, so I always like to say that I'm a salesperson at heart. I, you know, prior to getting into sales enablement, I was a seller. So I started out as a BDR or through the sales path eventually becoming an enterprise AAE and you know, I had sort of all of this knowledge and like, what do I do with it? And didn't want to be a manager. So sales enablement was this kind of cool thing coming out into you know, with large organizations at that time. And it was something so new and wasn't even defined. But what we did know about it, I thought it would be really exciting and I could pass along everything I had learned. So got into sales enablement and it is sort of now my new passion and because I still get to work with salespeople but I also get to align you know, other departments and, and, you know, create this sort of ecosystem where, you know, the entire organization is, is, you know, aligned so good.
Crystal Nikosey (01:53):
So, you know, I think you're going to go, you're going to hear a lot of different, you know, definitions of sales enablement, and it really depends on the organization. You know, the different nuances to sales enablement, but I would say just a very basic simplistic explanation is it's, it's just an error of process where sales reps are being provided with, you know, what they need to have a better sales conversation. So that could include tools that could include you know, data analysis that could include content training. And then obviously, you know, sales enablement kind of serves as that bridge between marketing and sales products and sales you know, not so much with HR, but like learning and development and sales. So it's, you know, there's, there's quite a bit to it, but really at the end of the day, it comes down to helping those sales reps have better sales conversations.
Ed Orozco (02:54):
Gotcha. So sales enablement for big corporations or big sales team with a lot of people, or do you think there's a, there's a part of sales enablement that would make sense for smaller teams, like say startups or agencies and in the case of a lot of people in our audience are, are coming from the UX agency background. So do you think that there's a, there's a value in applying sales enablement in a small team?
Crystal Nikosey (03:25):
I think so. Absolutely. anytime you have a salesperson there's always going to be you know, a small amount of sales enablement that's involved, you know you know, you may want to try to get, you know an existing employee to maybe wear another hat you know, just to save on cost. But you know, you could think about sales enablement in terms of just that just providing better messaging, right. Helping them have better sales conversations, and the way that you can do that again is with content. I think a lot of organizations even large organizations, small, you know, startups the, the biggest issue that has always been there is that when content is put out you know, whether it's like on a new feature or a new product update, or, you know, a rollout of something you know, new it's always delivered to sales in with a marketing slant and, you know, salespeople are a different animal.
Crystal Nikosey (04:31):
You have to be able to, you know, they're essentially like your customer, right? You have to be able to speak to them in a way that they get it in a way that you know, it makes sense for them. It, it kind of solves that. So what for them, and I think marketing has always struggled with that. So I think with any startup that, you know, you, you really should start there, any content any conversation, you know, guides or scripts you know, learning your buyer. I think all of that, just, you know, you can do it, you just need to keep in mind that you have to deliver it in a sales slant and not so much in a marketing slam, if that makes sense. Yeah.
Ed Orozco (05:10):
So I was just kind of thinking that when your, when you're talking about the way marketing PR communicates, it's a more sort of like salesy type of use of the language. So they're trying to simplify the concept for a more, I guess if I, if I'm looking at a, at a sales funnel, Margaret, and he's always had the top, so the message that they, they have a very simplified version of the message, but when you're already having a sales conversation, the buyer is at a later stage in their decision process, which is that the amount of details that they need and has to be deeper, they need to understand better what you're selling do, would you, would you agree a hundred
Crystal Nikosey (05:58):
Percent? So you know, a couple of statistics are floating out there, but you know, 70% of all target buyers you know, they're, they have already made a decision on what to buy or even who to buy it for by the time they ever talk to a sales rep. And so, you know, it's like, how do you, how do you solve for that, right? How do you solve? So that way, when the sales person finally does talk to them you know, how can we sort of leverage getting that time back or helping them to maybe shift that last 30% into, you know, making a buying decision for us. And it's, you know, it is sort of like a it is a balance of you know, great, you know, marketing material and sort of the sales conversations.
Crystal Nikosey (06:54):
But I think what it really boils down to is understanding your target buyer, right. Really understanding your target buyer I'm talking, you know, create a playbook, right? Create a sales playbook for your target buyer or your persona. You know, if you're, you know, selling to, you know, just the global head of, you know, sales development, you want to know what is their pain, what are their KPIs? What are their use cases? You know, what are you know, any objections who is the competition you know, you want to have all of that completely outlined before you can even begin creating content and having, you know, great sales conversations because you're, you're building content around that. So I would say, you know, definitely start with that target buyer and understanding them, you know, completely.
Ed Orozco (07:50):
Yeah. So I'm glad you brought up understanding the buyer because usually the more you understand your buyer, the more specific your offerings are going to be, the more you understand the buyer, the more it makes sense for you to develop your product in a way that meets their needs as a, as a buyer. So something a recurring theme in the podcast is recommending for agencies and, and freelancers and consultants and whatnot, to specialize, to figure out how to surf cater to a smaller portion of the market, but better. So be more specific for less people and totally dominate that, that small niche. And then, you know, as you grow, you can expand and, and maybe go after all their parts of the market, but at the beginning, it very important for you to be very specific because the most specific, the most specific you are, the easiest it is for you to develop a more convincing. I don't know if convincing is the word, but a more powerful message.
Crystal Nikosey (09:01):
Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it's, you know, something else to also consider is let's say you have a team of, you know, three or four sales reps, right. You know, pretty, pretty small, they're doing their own prospecting and they're closing deals. Something else you could do is each individual seller could actually specialize in a particular persona or a particular industry. So that way you know, you're sort of attacking a couple of different verticals you know, at the same time of course that does involve you know, a little more content, a little more training by the sales enablement person, but you, you could also consider that as well. But yes, you're a hundred percent spot on if, you know, if you do not understand your buyer, there is absolutely nothing that you could say to them that is going to you know, get them on your side.
Crystal Nikosey (09:53):
That is, they're going to give you the time to partner with them. You know, your product could be amazing, but if, you know, you don't know how to communicate the value to them, then there's, there's nothing, you know, your competition is going to win every single time. So it's absolutely critical to make sure that that messaging is on point that the market you know, the marketing research on buyers is always readily available. And then where sales enablement comes in is being able to take that sort of buyer intelligence and all of that data that marketing has already you know, put together and to be able to sort of you know, convert it into what is going to be the, you know, the, so what did it for my sales team, how was my sales team going to be able to take all of this data and run with it in their sales conversations?
Crystal Nikosey (10:52):
So it's, yeah, so it's really the, you know, you're, you're sort of, you're that bridge, you're kind of the, you know, sales enablement is really holding kind of all these departments together. Because really when you think about it, when you think about the marketing you know, discipline and, and sales disciplines, they're so different, right. They weren't built to work together. You know, when, when you have like a, you know, you think about marketing people and they are, you know, they, they love playing by the rules. They, they are more long-term thinking and you have a salesperson who is the complete opposite, right? They're, you know, they're more opportunistic, they think short term you know, they don't necessarily like playing by the rules. So you're dealing with two completely different mindsets. So it's really important. And that's going to be reflected in, in content that's created. Right. So it's really important to have sort of that, that, that middle who can take all of that marketing and then sort of, it comes out the other end where it sales people can consume it. So, no, if that makes sense, but
Ed Orozco (11:59):
Yeah, totally. Does the term, a buyer intelligence eight implies that you're actually understanding and who you're doing business with? Can we clarify a little bit, the concept of playbook? I you mentioned that when you were saying that, you know, different sales rep can go into different niches, I would think that each one of them would have their own separate playbook, would that
Crystal Nikosey (12:25):
You know, it depends on the organization, right? You know, some organizations focus more on you know, a broad sort of grand sales playbook and some organizations, you know, definitely get, you know, more granular in terms of, you know, each vertical has its own playbook. So if you're selling to HR, HR will have its own playbook. If you're selling to marketing, marketing will have its own playbook. If you're selling to it, it will have its own playbook. So it really depends on, you know, what industries you're selling to. If you only have one industry, then you have one playbook. But if you're selling to you know, multiple industries I personally recommend having a playbook for each. Now you also need to think about so a sales playbook can consist of you know, how does the sales rep do their job?
Crystal Nikosey (13:19):
What is sort of their process look like? What tools are they using? You know, what is the process of entering in a new lead into Salesforce or, you know, so you have kind of that, that element of a sales playbook, and that can definitely be more broad because that's gonna apply to everybody, right? It's, it's a one size fits all there. Here's how you do the steps one through 20. And, and here, you know, you're, you're kind of off to the races, but then the other element to playbooks is, again, like what I said. So HR something that we did at tribal, which I'm sure you'll remember is we developed and created, you know, playbooks based on industry or based on your target persona. So if an organization was selling to HR you know, we got very detailed and, you know, what are the pains that are you know, prevalent for a C HRO?
Crystal Nikosey (14:13):
You know, what are they measured by what is going to drive them to make a buying decision? You know, what value proposition is going to resonate with them? What common objections are, you know, our sales reps going to see from this buyer specifically because a common objection for, you know, a CHR from a C HRO is going to be extremely different from an objection, from a CMO. And you have to understand as a sales rep you know, how to navigate both of those. So that's why I would recommend, you know, for each target persona to create your own individual little playbook. And that means by again, by using some chore, some type of codification or taxonomy but it's gotta be, you gotta touch on, you know, all of those things like, you know, pain, KPI's use cases, value prop objections you know, partners you know, and even any content that can be used specifically for that persona. So build out, you know, those, those playbooks,
Ed Orozco (15:20):
A lot of people are not even familiar with just the concept of a playbook. I can guarantee that it's not something that is being done on most agencies. So let me see if I got the concept correctly. So a sales playbook is nothing more than just a list of everything that you're going to need in order to move the lead or move the prospect through your sales funnel. So if you have a sales funnel that consists of five steps, step number one probably is going to be the, the, the first introductory call. And you're going to mention this and this and this, and you're going to probably send them these presentation, and you're going to probably send them this article step number two, you're going to ask them diesel their presentation, and maybe mentioned this other thing in a, in a, in the call stepmom and so on some so forth. So it's basically like a set of instructions to vendor with the content that you're going to be use any needs in those instructions for whoever is conducting the sales process, to be able to keep moving that lead through the pipeline.
Crystal Nikosey (16:31):
Yes. Yeah. I mean you know, in a nutshell, yes, that's, that's what it is, but a playbook is also giving you know, the ammunition, if you will, right. To be able to have better conversations. So it's not, you know, it's not only you don't want to you know, treat every you know, buyer the same, meaning the same exact you know, process. It's going to be a little bit different. What's going to you know, what is going to be different, obviously as the conversations, the type of conversations that you're having. But a playbook is where if a new hire came in and they didn't really know anything about the business, you could take that playbook and say, Hey, one of our target personas is the CHRs. So here is our sales playbook, read it, study it. And at the end of, you know, w reading it and studying it, they will have a much better idea of, you know, all the processes that they need to do within existing tools that you have. They will have a much better idea on who is the CHR, what makes them a target persona for us? How, how can I influence their buying decision? How can I resonate with, you know, what is top of mind for them, they will be able to have all of that knowledge by the time they're completed with the sales playbook.
Ed Orozco (18:05):
Gotcha. so who would be responsible for putting together all that information?
Crystal Nikosey (18:12):
Yeah, I mean, usually it's self enablement. If the sales enablement function is not already implemented I've seen some organizations you know, somebody in marketing is typically handling it. You know, I don't see a lot of salespeople which is really interesting. I don't see a lot of organizations where sales will start this process. It's usually marketing that we'll start this process for sales. And a lot of it is because marketing has so much more data on the buyer, right. They already have access to all of, sort of that buyer and market intelligence. So it's a little bit easier for them to put it together. But if, you know, I mean, obviously bringing somebody in who is sales enablement focused is going to be, you know, your best bet.
Ed Orozco (19:02):
So what'd you say that before you even think of implementing sales enablement is to really understand your target audience. So go out there and research the hell out of your target persona
Crystal Nikosey (19:16):
A hundred percent. So really the way that I like to think about it is if you do not have a sales enablement function there's, you know, three sort of, you know, big pillars that I would say and then there's a lot of little branches that sort of come off of each, but I would say the first thing you need to do is sit down as an organization and create some goals, right. You know have, you know, every department had their, and, you know, marketing sales product and, and learning and development and come together and create some common, some common goals that you want to achieve. And really have it be revenue centric instead of marketing centric or instead of sales centric, it's gotta be, it's, there's gotta be a broader vision there. And you know, that's why you're seeing a lot of job titles coming out now where you have like a, you know a C R O a, you know, a chief revenue officer you're having you know, sales enablement managers you know, who who have revenue somewhere in their job title, because a lot of teams are now coming together and saying, we can't have any, you know, we can't have sales enablement be you know, a slant in any way.
Crystal Nikosey (20:36):
So the one common thing that we can agree on is revenue. So create some you know, create some of those goals. Talk about, you know, metrics talk about you know, what, what, you know, some indicators that are going to help you achieve your goal, but that's sort of first pillar. The second I would say is definitely understanding your buyer, right? A full analysis into your target personas because you need to learn how to have a conversation with them. And marketing is a great resource for that because they already have all of that intelligence. They just may not know how to put it in a way that is going to help the sales rep have a better conversation. So once you have a full understanding there, then you need to look at the other pillar, which is your content, right.
Crystal Nikosey (21:30):
You need to look at what type of content do I need to put out. You know, is it you know you know, blog, is it you know, landing pages from, you know, is it a chat bot on the website you know, tools you know, what, you know, what content tools and resources do you need to put together that make the most sense for your team and, you know, for the organization and then, you know, once you sort of, and then, like I said, there's a lot of different branches that come off of each pillar. But then, you know, once you've created that, then what that allows for you to do is to really create almost like an SLA between sales and marketing, right, to where you're really defining you know, creating a lot of definitions, you know, what is an MQL, what is an SQL, what is you know, a sales accepted mean?
Crystal Nikosey (22:27):
And you know, it allows for you to build something out like that. And then I think once you sort of have all of that in place, then, you know, you have a pretty good foundation for getting a sales enablement function going. And at least having that understanding of what sales enablement really means and what it can do for your organization. And then of course, as time goes on, you know, a lot of teams will develop things based on you know, what they're seeing and you know how they need to pivot and shift.
Ed Orozco (23:00):
I love that revenue is the one common denominator that everyone should be aim for in the organization and stop thinking about, Oh yeah, you know visits to our website or downloads, or, you know, those metrics that ultimately, if you don't have transactions, if you don't have revenue, you're not really, you're not really achieving anything. And that's the one thing that all departments have in common. So I think it's super important for all departments, especially a sales marketing, a product, or in the case of agency sales, marketing, and deliver your production, or whoever creates the, whatever you sell to get together and understand what you're selling to whom, and what's the best way to cater to their needs. Another thing, well, you mentioned a few acronyms that I'm sure a lot of people are not aware of SLA and M MQL. I know MQL is a marketing qualified lead.
Crystal Nikosey (24:02):
Yes. Yeah. So an SLA is just a service level agreement. So it basically, you know, you'll you find that, you know, common even between you know, a sales person and their customer, it's basically just you know, you're listing out everything that you agree on and everything that's going to happen. And that's why I say, you know, it, it allows for sales and marketing to create that, you know, service level agreement between the two departments. So that way everyone sticks to kind of what they're doing and, and they understand and, you know, it's, I would encourage that. I would definitely encourage that the rules of the game. Yeah, exactly, exactly
Ed Orozco (24:48):
How sales and marketing will work together. Sort of like standard operating procedure as well.
Crystal Nikosey (24:54):
Yeah, yeah, exactly, exactly.
Ed Orozco (24:58):
Then MQL correct me if I'm wrong, that's a marketing qualified lead means that to marketing standards and based on what marketing considers a quality lead, that's someone who should go into the sales the sales far up the funnel. So it goes from a top of the funnel to the sales part of the funnel.
Crystal Nikosey (25:20):
Exactly. So if you know, if, if there's an email campaign going out and you have someone that's interested you know, they fill out whatever form or they come to you you know, that sort of inbound marketing you know, or that inbound lead, I should say then that would, could be considered an MQL, right. A marketing qualified lead, and then they would then, you know, push it through the funnel to most likely you know a BDR or an SDR of an organization. So business development, representative, or sales development rep because that, that function and that role is your first sales person that will talk to the client. Typically after that, it then gets passed along to you know, and an account executive, right? It could be a field sales rep. It could be an inside sales rep, there's, you know, again, depending on the size of your organization and how things are structured.
Crystal Nikosey (26:18):
But then that lead then moves to an SQL, which is a sales qualified lead. So it, you know, there's different sort of, you know stages, if you will, of, of the leads that get passed through once the BDR or SDR sort of qualifies that particular lead then they'll pass along to their AAE and then their ag will say, okay, this is great. I set up a discovery call with them. So I'm going to accept this lead. I'm going to accept this. And then that's how you're BDR and SDR get that get comped. And, you know, you can travel this lead throughout the entire sales process. I thought that I said, if that's helpful
Ed Orozco (27:10):
Now that you've walked us through the process, each one of these steps is a filter. So in each one of these steps, there's an opportunity for you to discover that the lead that came through your marketing might not be the right fit for your organization, because believe it or not, a lot of UX agencies have the tendency to just work with whoever comes, whoever rings rings on their door, whoever writes a message on their website, it doesn't matter. And it shouldn't be the case because you might you might end up working with a client that you don't know how to service properly, or it might be a client that for whatever reason is not a right fit for your organization, either, you know, it's someone who doesn't have the budget to work with you or someone that requires a type of technology that you're not familiar with.
Ed Orozco (27:58):
For whatever reason, there are, there can be, you know, thousands of reasons why a lead might not be right for your organization. So it's very important for, for listeners to understand that in your process, you need to put in place this filters so that you can make sure that the person as the lead moves through your sales funnel, you are filtering those who are not the right fit. Because if you agree to work with them knowingly that it's not going to be a right fit, you're going to have a lot of problems and that's not going to be a profitable project, and that's going to be a pain in the to, to manage. And that's what turns into a nightmare project that never ends that keeps Jane Jane that runs out of budget that you never get paid for. And nobody wants that.
Crystal Nikosey (28:44):
Absolutely, absolutely. So SDRs and BDRs they typically will ask a series of maybe, you know, five to six questions. They try to have really good conversations to fully understand you know, what are some initiatives that, you know, that person is you know, or that buyer is trying to accomplish or trying to make successful. And if it makes business sense, if you know, the, the buyer is, you know, they have the budget, they have the need they could have a compelling event happening or an initiative. Then at that point, that's when it moves along to, like I said, the AEA and then the ag will usually conduct a much, well, always conduct a much deeper discovery show the product if necessary. But you know, by the time it's to the eight E it's a pretty, you know, it's, it's a solid, it's a solid lead, a solid quality lead.
Ed Orozco (29:44):
And would those parameters be included?
Crystal Nikosey (29:50):
Yeah, absolutely. So you definitely need to develop, define, you know, what all of those mean, you know, what is it, what is it, you know, what is, what does an MQL look like? What does an SQL look like? A sales qualified lead? You know, what are the parameters around an eight IE actually accepting a lead from the BDR? You know, what does that look like? Exactly. So all of that needs to be, you know, clearly defined in a playbook or you know, even in you know let's say some type of, you know, master document. If, if you know, you don't have a playbook, but it, all of that needs to be clearly defined.
Ed Orozco (30:33):
So these highlights the importance of marketing and sales and product to have communication, at least when they're creating a playbook, because you don't, you might end up selling something that your delivery team cannot produce or cannot produce. Following the terms that you negotiated with a client, or do you negotiate it with the lead? So it's very important so that you don't end up cause you know, like you said, salespeople tend to be more opportunistic. They try to close the deal. They try to bring in that revenue for the company and that's their job. You can't blame them. That's the whole reason they're there, but then they're try to close a lead if they check all the boxes. So you gotta make sure those boxes have been approved by the delivery team or the product team or whoever is responsible for delivering otherwise you're good. Your client is going to be very off and your delivery team is going to be very off
Crystal Nikosey (31:31):
A hundred percent. That's why sales enablement, the sales enablement discipline is you know, extremely important because that is what is going to serve as the bridge between you know, like I said, you know, marketing product you know, customer success is a big one as well because that's, post-sale, that's who has to deal with the customer after their, you know, after they've bought. And you need to be aligned there as well, because you want to make sure that what you're, what messaging you're putting out to the sales team, that customer success is onboard and they can deliver. And it, you know, I think it sort of the, the core of all of that is creating a seamless you know, customer experience because that's, that's, what's going to get them to renew. That's, what's going to allow for customer success or an account manager to upsell you know, throughout the duration of the contract, you've got to create that amazing customer experience and that amazing customer journey. And it starts with marketing and all the way over to customer success. And that's kind of where enablement really is able to have their hand in all of that and to be able to orchestrate it in a way that you know, all of these different disciplines who communicate so differently, sales enablement creates that streamline and makes the, you know the experience that much better.
Ed Orozco (32:58):
So you mentioned that customer, well, the customer experience and customer success, what, in your experience, what are some really good success indicators that will tell the company, Oh, we're on the right track, we're doing the right thing.
Crystal Nikosey (33:14):
Yeah. So I can speak from a sales enablement perspective, meaning you know, maybe some metrics that they can sort of look at you know, I'm, I've always been part of data-driven organizations. And so you know, metrics like you know, maybe like a conversion rate, like a close rate, your win loss rate your competitive win-loss rate are, you know, some good indicators you know, also new hire onboarding you know, time to first, you know, meeting booked or time to first set a sale for a new, a new eight E who may be coming on board. Those are all going to be indicators that sales enablement is you know, being effective also on the customer success side you know, the net promoter score or any you know sort of the surveys that are going out to, you know, employees you know, soliciting sort of how a sales enablement doing you know, direct feedback from the people that sales enablement is working with.
Crystal Nikosey (34:30):
And then, you know, obviously you know, the, the culture that you're trying to build you know, you're getting positive feedback from everyone. So, you know, it's, it's a combination I think, of, of being data-driven and having specific metrics, but there's also that human element to sales enablement as well, because we work with so many different people at different you know, in different spaces across the org. So, you know, we sort of have to understand how to navigate each of those and feedback is really critical with that as well. You know, it's a little more gray, but it's definitely necessary.
Ed Orozco (35:08):
Yeah. So there's a lot of [inaudible] start tracking I think is not a good idea to track all of them or all of the metrics. I would definitely encourage people to like rewind. And I'll probably add this into, in the notes in the, in the show notes. But there's a bunch of metrics that you can track to make sure that sales enablement, marketing and sales are doing a good job. I would not apply all of them blindly because sometimes you can have a metrics that don't play well with each other. They'd say we lost rate for, for instance having a win-loss rate or low quote unquote low. It's not always a bad thing. It might mean that you're very selective in your process, but you just got to find out for yourself if that's the case where your business, because different businesses will have different on the parameters to what they consider a good close rate. It definitely, if you're going after very, like a very select type of clientele, you're not going to have a high close rate. I definitely don't think like luxury goods and luxury items and high ticket services have a high close rate. And that's the whole point. They charge very high prices, but they're not for everyone. Right.
Crystal Nikosey (36:36):
So I would say that the win-loss rate is more is more indicative of, yes, it, are you talking to the right person, right. That that's always the biggest thing, right. Or are you even talking to the right person? But it also allows for you to see where there are gaps in maybe your sales conversations. It also allows for you to see if there are gaps in you know, who marketing is trying to attract. Are they attracting the right people? Are they, is there messaging you know, relevant is their messaging you know, attracting the right types of people. And so that's sort of what a win-loss will allow for you to see you know, is a couple of different areas. Yes. You know, you are not going to win every single you know, deal, obviously that walks through the door, but like, to what you said if it's a high end you know, sort of boutique type of agency, it's not for everyone, then I think what that tells you is that marketing needs to go after those who it is for, and not waste time on those who it isn't for.
Crystal Nikosey (37:57):
So then again, that's where, you know market intelligence and buyer intelligence come in is are we even going after the right people? Are we attracting the right people? Why or why not, you know, all of that needs to be taken into consideration. And that's where you'll see your win-loss rate you know, that have a huge a huge,
Ed Orozco (38:22):
Gotcha. Okay. Do you have any software recommendations for people? Can you just do this on a, on Google docs or what would be your recommendation?
Speaker 3 (38:38):
Crystal Nikosey (38:38):
Yeah. I mean, yes, there are sales enablement platforms out there. I honestly, I've never used one. I have used more of the sales tools. So sales tools like a CRM Salesforce, which I highly highly recommend a CRM. Salesforce is definitely the go-to because if you're going to be data-driven in your approach, which every organization should be, or every you know, business should be you need to be data-driven and that's, you know, definitely something where I see a lot of mistakes happening is an organization doesn't collect enough data. And, you know, I'll kind of touch on that in a little bit, but so the tools that I've used are gong gong allows for you to record conversations, but it's not just a whole recording tool. It's very robust. It allows for you to interact with your sales teams it provides you know, call analysis.
Crystal Nikosey (39:36):
There's some, you know, AI happening in there. It's, it's a great tool. I used gong and I've also used chorus who is a competitor of gong. You know, so either one just, you know, demo kind of both, I don't want to lean toward one or the other. And then I would say you know, outreach which you know, a lot of people are familiar with it's basically to help you set up your, your email, your email sequences it tracks you know, productivity as well reply rate, open rate. So sales reps have access to all of that information and they can again send their emails that way. It's, you know, you can do it there where it's fully automated and that's what, you know, most will use it for. But you can also customize your messaging as well.
Crystal Nikosey (40:27):
So I would say gong, Salesforce outreach I'm familiar with HighSpot as well. Highspot is a content repository but it's very robust. You can search it will provide you know, content or documents that that are relevant to you know, protect your, your particular you know, accounts. So if you need to send out a, some type of case study to you know CRO at Wells Fargo the HighSpot will, you know, provide some recommendations to you you know, right there, and they'll say, Hey, send out this case study. Here's a case study for bank of America. They meet, they might be interested in that. But you know, I've heard some kind of mixed things about HighSpot that, you know, some people love it. Some people don't really use it but essentially it is a content repository not recommended for early stage.
Crystal Nikosey (41:31):
It's not necessary if it's really necessary. When you start to get a ton of content created, you get a ton of case studies and you know, literally there's thousands of pages of content and documents. And you need a way to organize it. And then obviously Google drive, right? Huge, you know, Google drive person myself. So you know, if that's where you need to start, then that's where you start, you know, Google slides and create some nice looking decks and, you know, outline your SLS and, and, you know, Google docs. So, yeah, I mean, it all depends where you're at, what stage you're at, but those are a few tools and resources that I've accessed. I know a lot of people are
Ed Orozco (42:20):
And notion has a CRN template. So yeah, if you wanna, if you wanna start with, you still don't know if you'll want to invest in a CRM, but you probably should. And, but let's say your title cash, and you want to get started with tracking your sales process. Definitely do that. It doesn't matter the tool event, like at the end of the day, they all sort of do the same thing as your business grows and you get more complex sales processes. You're going to want to start tracking all of these things that we've mentioned all of these different metrics, but definitely don't let that software be an excuse not to start to track what's happening with your sales process.
Crystal Nikosey (43:05):
Yeah, definitely. I mean, you know, one of the most common mistakes that I see you know, in sales enablement is, or, you know, with an organization is not collecting enough data. You have got to be a data-driven company and, you know, let's say that you start and you're not collecting data that is going to be helpful. You know, six months, 12 months down the line, you are going to be kicking yourself when you have started growing and you need to get more targeted in your approach. It, it's, it's really, it's critical to start collecting as much data as possible of, you know, that buyer and their, their entire journey.
Ed Orozco (43:50):
I would assume the CEO would be the person that would take the initiative to set up these entire sales infrastructure with a CRM, a playbook training the sales team. Do you have any advice for people who are in that position?
Crystal Nikosey (44:09):
So I mean, it really depends. You know, I, I tribal we were very small and you are aware and so, you know, the CEO didn't, wasn't the one who sort of did all of that. I was the one who did all of that, where I went out and researched tools you know, onboarded doing all of that. However I, that sort of it reminds me that, you know, one other thing that is really important if you're, even if you're a team of 10, right? If you're a team of 10 they're absolutely for sales enablement or a, you know, of a function of it is going to be implemented, then there absolutely has to be executive buy-in leadership buy-in that this is what the sales enablement function is going to do here is what they're going to do and how they're going to do it.
Crystal Nikosey (45:05):
And when, and and there has to be that buy-in because, you know, especially as you grow, you know, when you, when you are trying to do some coaching, maybe for a sales rep who might be, you know, kind of set in their ways, if you will and you're trying to do some coaching and you know, it can create a little bit of friction, right? It can create a little bit of friction. So it's important to have some buy-in there. It is also important to have buy-in because sales enablement, we, we need you know, some sales reps time, occasionally we need their feedback. We need to understand what it is that they're hearing. You know, we try to minimize the time that we are taking them actually away from selling, but we definitely need that time. And so again, sort of that leadership buy-in comes you know, comes in really important.
Crystal Nikosey (45:59):
And then obviously at a higher level you know, supporting, you know, larger initiatives like product launches or, you know, new features, that type of thing. So that's, that's absolutely huge, but, you know, just to kind of go back to what you said what I've seen is if it's a two person company, you've got to, you know, a CEO and like a sales route then sure the CEO would probably be the one to, you know, to be doing everything. But if you have, you know, even it's like a smaller team of, you know, 10 to 50 typically it's going to be someone who serves in sort of that say sales enablement type of function. It could be some, even somebody from the marketing team as well. Just, it truly depends on, you know, who has what background and who has the time to do this. And but they just need to look at that as an organization.
Ed Orozco (46:57):
It's a small sacrifice in terms of time and resources that you are going, it's sort of like an investment you're investing in the development and the growth of your own company. So yeah, you're going to have to use the time of your team to set all of these, all of these processes and all of these procedures. But once you do your sales process is going to run a lot more smoothly. So it's definitely worth it
Crystal Nikosey (47:23):
A hundred percent. Yeah. A hundred percent you know, the investment that you put in it's you know, in the, on it, because it, you know, there is an ongoing piece to that, you know, you do need to you know, as the market changes you know as personas, you know, change throughout time as your product changes you need to be, you know, constantly iterating on these documents and your messaging. You know, what's what could, what the messaging that could be working in Q1 is no longer going to be working in Q4. So you're going to have to have someone who, you know, is updating that information and who's keeping their, you know, sort of ear to the, to the ground and, and hearing what the sales reps are saying. You know, just as, as time goes on. So I, I don't want to make it seem like it's a one-shot thing, a one-shot investment. It is a heavy lift at the beginning, if you don't have a sales enablement function. But then there, you know, there's, there's constant iteration, a sales enablement is an inner process, if anything,
Ed Orozco (48:31):
And I feel like in order for you to make sure that you're constantly recalibrating, you have to set up a periodic review of all of this with your entire team. So makes, you know,
Crystal Nikosey (48:45):
A hundred percent, yes. Sales enablement. Yeah. Sales enablement should be there should be a, if not weekly a biweekly cadence of meeting with other departments. So if there's a, you know, if there's sort of a company-wide marketing meeting, sales enablement, a hundred percent needs to be in that if there's a company wide sales meeting. Yes. Who else is in there product guess who else is in there, customer success. So you know, it needs to happen and most of those meetings are happening weekly anyway. So it's, that's critical though, that sales enablement attends all of those because that's, that's how they do it.
Ed Orozco (49:29):
We also like to maybe mentioned that it's, it's probably valuable to think in terms of function. So sales enablement is a function is not necessarily one person. You didn't need to go out and hire a sales person or a, or a sales enablement person. You can, that could be a function that you can split between maybe a person of the marketing and the C or someone from sales and someone from marketing. Although, as you said, it probably the initiative usually comes from marketing because they have all the material and they're used to research into the audience. Right?
Crystal Nikosey (50:09):
Yep. Exactly. You don't, I mean, you don't have to hire someone specifically for sales enablement. You can absolutely start with someone in marketing. You know, it, again, it is a heavy lift and you know, but I've seen it done you know, people from marketing, you know, sales, enablement practitioners at this point have a lot of different backgrounds, but I would say that the most common are going to be, you know, people who have a sales background or they have you know, a marketing background of, of some type. But again, you have there's, there's actually, I was listening to a podcast the other day actually, and there's a sales enablement practitioner. He is out of Israel. His name is Abner and he was actually an engineer prior to becoming a sales enablement practitioner. And he has a totally, you know, non traditional background, but it works because he is so detailed and he's all about data and he's all about creating graphs and charts and you know, and then even in the sales enablement world, like, practitioner's very, like, I am the, almost the complete opposite where I have a huge sales background, so I am less detailed, less, you know I am data-driven, but I guarantee you, and he's like a thousand times more data-driven than I am.
Crystal Nikosey (51:32):
So, you know, it just varies. But you know, to answer the question, a hundred percent can start from marketing
Ed Orozco (51:41):
Is your company and the type of company you are.
Crystal Nikosey (51:44):
Ed Orozco (51:47):
So thank you so much for sharing all these knowledge. It definitely goes to show that there's Celsis as much a, a science as CDs on art, and there's so much you can do and implement at any level of growth in your company. Where can people go to connect with you, ask you questions. I don't know if you want to people to ask you a question it's about yeah,
Crystal Nikosey (52:12):
Yeah, absolutely. At LinkedIn, LinkedIn is where they can go. You know, if you want to share, you know, my, my profile you know, with anyone who you know, comes to you by all means, go ahead and do that. Please message me. I can you know, help out as much as I can to get things started
Ed Orozco (52:33):
Profile in the show notes. And thanks again for your time and for sharing with us all of this all of these knowledge that's it, that's it for this, for this episode. Thank you very much.
Crystal Nikosey (52:50):
Awesome. Thanks. I really appreciate it. Bye bye.