The second Sales Enablement Society Seattle meet-up took place in probably the coolest building in downtown, at least for a history fanatic like me: the Smith Tower. Built in 1914, it was considered the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Stepping into the antique service elevators was like going back a century in time to the “good old days.”
As I walked into the meet-up, my first observation was that our newly appointed chapter president, Chuck Marcouiller, had the words “chaos imperative” scrawled across the whiteboard.
I admit, I did a double take to make sure I was in the right place!
Apparently our WestPoint grad chapter president had been given a homework assignment by the Sales Enablement Society founder, Scott Santucci, that involved reading the book Chaos Imperative before the second meet-up. The basic premise of the book is that organizations can drive growth and profits by allowing contained chaos and disruption the space to flourish, generating new ideas that trigger innovation.
When we step back and think about sales enablement, we can see how this assignment was very fitting. After all, what we’re doing with the Sales Enablement Society is putting a focus on elevating the function, which has different meanings depending on whom you ask. While we’re not the U.S. Army, we are fighting preconceived notions, expectations, and fuzzy definitions of success. We’re also in the “forming” stage of our society, which is inherently chaotic as there are no precedents — we’re making it up as we go to get to a mutually-beneficial outcome.
Chuck started the meeting by asking how we want to structure our chapter to ensure that our members get the experience and support they need. As a group, we picked our top 3 E’s from the 7 E’s from Scott’s presentation from the first meeting, which are:
We then decided on roles and responsibilities for chapter officers, meeting cadence, and came to an agreement that the format of each meet-up would be designed to meet the 3 E’s.
To cover one E at this meeting, we broke into three groups to exchange ideas and opinions around the definition of sales enablement and didn’t settle on one version (naturally — there will never be 100% agreement on this topic!). There were, however, enough consistencies that we could draw a common theme — empowering sales:
A strategic, cross-functional discipline designed to increase sales results and productivity by equipping sales teams and front-line sales managers with integrated content, training, and coaching services to ensure effective engagements with prospects and customers throughout the buyer’s journey.
The strategic practice of actively managing the customer experience by aligning to the buyer’s journey and providing integrated customer resources that simplify the seller’s experience and reinforce “sales excellence” behavior.
Increasing sales effectiveness.
We agreed to center the next meeting around a voted-upon “challenge” (submitted by other Seattle Chapter members). We’ll work as a team to brainstorm why the challenge exists, spend 80% of our time on the problem, and then work to solve the root of the issue so that it doesn’t reoccur.
The next meet-up is planned for Wednesday, May 17, 2017 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Avvo offices at 720 Olive Way #1400, Seattle, WA 98101. You can register for the event here. If you’d like to get on the Seattle Chapter mailing list, please email SeattleSESociety@gmail.com.
For those in other Sales Enablement Society chapters (or even those of you in the Seattle chapter with ideas), we’d love to know what structure works well for you. Have you experienced breakdowns or breakthroughs because of the chaos of being “new”?