Hey, everybody! It's Liz here, your friendly, neighborhood content strategist and co-host of the HubHeroes podcast. Now, you may be wondering why I'm...
2 min read
Look, there's been some speculation that this particular charismatic HubHero (with volume control issues) was unable to attend HubSpot's...
In our world, where HubSpot, inbound, and content reign supreme, it's easy to overlook probably THE MOST ESSENTIAL HubSpot tool that exists. No,...
Meet your HubHeroes
Agency vet, content therapist, messaging strategist, HubHero wrangler.
HubSpotter, partner enabler, strategy wizard, BLACK@INBOUND.
HubSpotter, senior solutions engineer, CRM evangelist, a millennial on TikTok.
George B. Thomas
HubHeroes leader, growth catalyst, guardian of humans, HubSpot expert.
[00:00:00] Liz Murphy:
Welcome back to the Hub Heroes Podcast. I am Liz Murphy, content strategist Hub Hero Wrangler. I have Max Cohen with me from HubSpot, as you know, along with his 10 mile long safe harbor language statement at the beginning. How you doing?
[00:00:13] Max Cohen:
I'm doing good. How are you?
[00:00:15] Liz Murphy:
Fabulous. And I also have George. George, how are you doing today?
[00:00:18] George B. Thomas:
I am doing absolutely fabulous.
[00:00:21] Liz Murphy:
Way to blow that. I wanted the thing,
[00:00:23] George B. Thomas:
I thought we already did the thing like just a minute ago.
[00:00:26] Max Cohen:
No, you gotta hit him with the autotune charge.
[00:00:29] George B. Thomas:
so you want this thing
[00:00:37] Liz Murphy:
See, this is what happens when Devin gets sick and can't join us. It's complete anarchy. Devin, help.
[00:00:42] George B. Thomas:
Yeah, we need his
[00:00:43] Liz Murphy:
my only hope. You're
[00:00:44] Max Cohen:
We miss you.
[00:00:45] Liz Murphy:
We miss you so much, but not enough to derail today's conversation because guys, I know it is late on a Friday when we are recording this, which means we're so excited to stay engaged with.
and talk about things that are important. But I have a very important topic I wanna talk about today. It is so important. In fact, it is going to take us, not one but dose episodes for us to get through this topic. And George, I know you're hyped about this, so why don't you tease us up a little bit?
What got you so hyped about this idea? Cause you and I were talking about this earlier, this.
[00:01:18] George B. Thomas:
I think as you're gonna see, as we journey down this episode today and into the next one, it's something that everybody kind of talks about, but it just keeps getting talked about
[00:01:32] Liz Murphy:
Or people know how to spell it, but do they know what it is?
[00:01:35] George B. Thomas:
Yeah. It's sure, cool words, dude, or dude that, but now what? Are you just gonna continue to let life be this way or are you actually gonna find the tips, tricks, tactics, tools, not talking about any of those today to, for this thing.
So yeah I'm.
[00:01:53] Liz Murphy:
I'm excited too because you, you hit the nail on the head, George, and it's also something that's a little bit personal for me. What we're talking about is sales enablement. In fact, it's such a big deal. Max, can you hit us up with a little robotic sales enablement time, please? That's right. It's a topic so big, so large that it's gonna take.
Two episodes to get through it and here is why
[00:02:19] George B. Thomas:
There's rules. Liz gave us rules. That's why.
[00:02:23] Max Cohen:
Oh, I didn't read the rules. Okay. I'm listening. I know there was rules
[00:02:28] Liz Murphy:
Noah, leave this part in
[00:02:30] Max Cohen:
[00:02:31] Liz Murphy:
Max. You got a video and an outline.
[00:02:34] Max Cohen:
I wasn't able to watch the video Listen, I'm selling a house this week. It's my first real big week back of work. Deals are coming in left and right. I'm, I am. Yeah. That's
[00:02:46] George B. Thomas:
It sounds like somebody should give Maxim sales enable.
[00:02:50] Max Cohen:
[00:02:51] Liz Murphy:
snap. No. So here's why I wanted to split it up into two, because we do need to have a substantive conversation about tips, about tricks, about strategies, about technology, about the way you actually. But I wanna give you guys two statistics that aren't like that Cisco video statistic, where it's like 80% will be video and they've been changing that statistic in like in 2017.
In 2018. It's not this is from a report that came out last year. 58% of sales and marketing professionals don't feel well aligned, and that is. From 46% the previous year, meaning mommy and daddy are fighting and it's getting worse.
[00:03:34] George B. Thomas:
[00:03:35] Liz Murphy:
To top it all off, only 27% of B2B marketing leads that marketers sent to sales actually considered qualified.
So we have a huge, huge, huge problem. Now, why are we talking about sales enablement explicitly and not about sales and marketing alignment? We're gonna have thousands of episodes about that, and sales enablement is a piece of the puzzle. And I wanna tell you why. With the story, back when I was the editor-in-Chief Impact for a long time, I ran something called in conjunction with our head of sales and our head of marketing called the Revenue Team.
And every two weeks we would meet with the sales. and one of the first sessions we ever had, number one, they told us that only one to 2% of the content was useful. So that was a really fun thing to say. But then one of our sales reps, Jenna Lepore, who actually is now the head of marketing at Aslan, said, Liz, I love you guys so much, but how many times do I have to tell you I need sales enablement content and just still not.
[00:04:30] George B. Thomas:
[00:04:31] Liz Murphy:
I am screaming into the void. You do not understand what I actually need. And what was fascinating is I asked her, I said, has anybody ever asked you what you actually want? And she said well, no. And that's like, it's heartbreaking. That's the thing we talk about sales enablement. But that's why I want a dedicate a conversation to this today because before you get into HubSpot, before you get into anything, HubSpot only enables the strategy you have.
So if your strategy sucks, HubSpot will only enable you to suck better and at greater scale, you will be more efficient at sucking. So that's why we're here today.
[00:05:08] George B. Thomas:
Yeah. This is, this first part is not a platform conversation. This first part is a people conversation without a doubt. And it frustrates me when I hear your story, Liz, because I go into man to me and again I'm not throwing any shade to any listener out there, but to me where my brain goes is that is a marketer who has not been empathetic to the people who they are there to. We are marketers are here to serve. Okay, now. I don't wanna get too deep into that because I actually have about five things that we're gonna talk about, but I have to allude into one thing, Liz, that you mentioned, that siloed departments, because I think that's actually the first conversation that we have to have, even though we're not talking about disjointed departments.
Is that at some level, one of the number one things that is going wrong here with sales enablement is that marketing teams and sales teams, and I'll use this, are out of sync now as being somebody who was in the military, right? One of the things that we had to get really good at when we went from point A to point B and we were marching, we had to be in.
There was literally somebody who would call Cadence. Somebody would be like, you lip, you're right. You're right, you lip. Yep. And we had it like, man, you could just hear it on the street. There's nobody calling. Cadence teams are not in sync. They're not marching in the same direction. If you're listening to this and you're like, yeah.
That's the first place to start be before we even get into these other micro pieces that we're gonna hit later today.
[00:06:41] Liz Murphy:
I love that Max,
because George, you of already answered that question cuz that really led nicely into my first question of today. Why does sales enablement hurt so much? And you talk max to a lot of different organizations. Your inside HubSpot sales enablement is a lot of what you guys do and quite frankly enable, you enable the sales enablement.
What's your perspective on that?
[00:07:02] Max Cohen:
I think sales enablement is like another one of those things where like people feel like it has to be this like giant complicated like motion within your business, right? . The truth of the matter is like you can do sales enablement at any size, you don't have to have a formalized sales enablement department like we have at HubSpot, whose entire job it is to think about this stuff, sales enablement can sometimes be just as simple as marketing, communicating to the sales. Hey guys, we're running this really cool promotion on this thing, and you might get some emails about it. That could be sales enablement, right? Because you're avoiding sales, getting emails from customers being like, oh, this I want to what?
Tell me more about this deal. And then sales being like, wait, what is this? Or what are we talking about? So I think a lot of sales enablement at the beginning is just making sure, like the line of communication is. and it's distributed properly, right? It doesn't have to be this like really just wild thing.
You can do it at so many different levels, I think in very easy ways, as well as like much more complex ways
[00:08:09] Liz Murphy:
You said a couple of things there that I really wanna drill into. Max because number one, right off the bat, the communication channel that you just pointed out is absolutely critical. It's absolutely essential. These were people who I went to happy hours with. We hung out. We shared memes. This isn't like a situation where inside this agency we weren't talking to each other.
We were talking to each other constantly, but we were talking about the wrong things when we stopped being friends and started being real. You know what I mean? We, there was no trust that our content team would deliver what they needed. So often it's very simple. It's just what do you actually need?
And to your point, sales enablement. I think people have this like very, they either think sales enablement is like some mystical, magical, giant proposal deck where it's these different things, and it's what you said, it takes so many different forms. Like some of the first sales enablement activities we did, were not creating pieces of content at all.
It was, by the way, we have solutions, page problems. People are coming through those pages and not knowing basic stuff. So the first sales enablement. Was updating the solutions pages. George, I see you ready to punch in. Let's hear
[00:09:23] George B. Thomas:
Yeah. Yeah. So I just want us to be very,
because this could quickly become like the episode of like, marketers, here's all the issue you're doing wrong. And I don't want it to be that way because when we bring up communication, I want everybody to realize communication is a two-way street. And so another place where I think sales enablement can go dramatically wrong. Is if you have a sales team that aren't effectively selling to new pain points that buyers are having, they're still selling like it was 20 15, 20 22. They're still talking about what used to work and not what works now
[00:09:58] Liz Murphy:
Give me an example of that.
[00:10:00] George B. Thomas:
Okay, so for instance, inbound 2012, why did that become so magical?
Because everybody in their grandma had realized that cold calls quit working. Everybody in their grandma realized there was a new way to communicate with humans, but they're still sales reps to this day in 2023 who are doing cold calls and not doing it. Not that in cold, not that cold calls are wrong.
I'm not saying that don't send me hate mail. Maybe they're wrong. Buying list is maybe, I don't know. Anyway, not going down that thread of hate mail. I don't want to get it. But my point is, you might be talking about your product or service in a way that's six months or 12 months old. I can only imagine the amount of HubSpot reps that by accident say things that HubSpot can't.
That it can do because they can't keep up with how fast it's actually turning into what it is. And so here's my point though, reps aren't effectively selling to new points that show up or new products or new updates into a product or service or whatever it is for your business. Therefore, marketing is enabling them with the wrong. which is the same thing of just not enabling them at all. So because of a lack of communication on the sales side or understanding of what they truly need. Or marketing, being able to actually look above and beyond sales a little bit and see no. I know you think this is what you need, but this is what you need.
Kind of Steve Jobs gives us an iPhone when we knew we didn't need an iPhone or how Henry Ford gave us a card when we thought we needed more horses. Can marketing do that too? Their actual internal teams maybe. But it has to be bidirectional communication and we have to be keeping this stuff updated.
I'll talk about that in a little bit. I'm gonna shut up. I've been talking.
[00:11:44] Max Cohen:
I think marketing has a hand in sales enablement, right? But like when we even talk about we need sales enablement content. What does that even mean? Because it's I can understand. Sales enablement content being, oh this is some like nice documentation or spec sheets or something, or catalogs or like whatever that we send to our customers. Or, oh, this is enablement content that trains us internally on stuff. That's not marketing's job. You know what I mean? So I think but there, I think there are pieces of sales enablement that market. Has a hand in, right? Like the communication thing is big because you gotta remember, marketing is has the loudest megaphone talking to the outside world and putting prospects and even current customers and like brand new people your company hasn't seen before in a certain mindset when they start communicating with sales reps and if what the sales reps are thinking is going on and thinking what the messaging is and.
And, thinking what our prices and our packages and our, blah, blah, blah, how we're talking about our product when they think it's one way. But then marketing is spitting out a totally different message to the world. And prospects come and talk to the salespeople and they're working off marketing's message, but salespeople aren't actually matching that, that's a problem.
But so there's pieces I think that marketing can have a hand in, but it's not entirely their responsibility. It goes,
[00:13:03] Liz Murphy:
I can't believe I'm about to be a flywheel shill, but here we are. What I'm finding fascinating
[00:13:09] Max Cohen:
a proud flywheel show. Let's chill it like
[00:13:11] Liz Murphy:
Clearly I'm now under the thumb of big sprocket. I'm fine with that. You know what I mean? Because here's what I will say there. There are a couple of things I wanna unpack here, but we're gonna start with the s.
I think what we're seeing is overall a movement toward the, it used to be like the linear progression, right?
Like it's marketing that's handing off to sales and the, it's only like a one-directional thing instead of a three-dimensional or 360 degree kind of idea. Like everybody has to be enabling everybody.
And the other piece, Puzzle here. That George, that you brought up, that I think is absolutely powerful is that, again, it this is a relationship, right? And it's relationship. It's not just the relationship between marketing and sales. It's not just because it's also the relationship potentially with, with service, with a knowledge management team that you may have internally, technical documentation.
It could be a bunch of different ways, but that's why, I'm sitting here, surprisingly, a shill. I think everybody thinks with this really old school idea of there's only one way to enable sales, and there's only one group of people responsible for it. And let's face it. The other thing I did like to tell salespeople, which is, I understand we've broken your heart in the past, but I can't help you if you never tell me you need help.
[00:14:27] George B. Thomas:
Yeah I agree with that, but I would even take it a level up. And then I do want to kick back to something that, max, you talked about content. I wanna talk about content for a second. The content that marketing actually is, Part of the conversation around not the content that sales actually keeps hidden from marketing and never lets them know that they actually had so that they could use it on the marketing side.
I'm not talking about that content, but I'm talking about the content that, that actually like marketers are helping to create. But I want to go level up on what we just talked about. I think it comes down to the word awareness. Humans we're really good at being aware. Ourselves, we're good at being aware of our bubble.
We're really bad at being aware of the impact of left, right front behind of things that we don't do. And so when you think about this like conversation we're having about streamlined communication and it's all yeah, let's do that. You fundamentally have to change who you are from just simply being aware of who you are and what's in it for me.
And flip a switch to, you're always focused on how I can help. How can I serve? How do I see the 2, 3, 4 layers to the left of me, 2, 3, 4 layers to the right of me? It's hard. It takes time, but when you can focus on being aware of your surroundings and aware of how you are actually interacting in that and what impact it makes.
Now all of a sudden we start to have a really different conversation about enabling sales or sales enabling marketing, or it being, again, a bidirectional thing. Now, if there's anything that you guys wanna unpack on that, we can. Yes, Liz,
[00:16:06] Liz Murphy:
I was scratching my head. I agree. I You are so smart, George. Keep
[00:16:11] George B. Thomas:
No. I'm not trying to sound smart. It's just as the old guy in the. One thing that I had to learn that I wish I could go back and tell young George is, bro, quit being so much of a bull in a China closet. Slow down, pivot your head to the left and right when you say something, when you do something, when you don't do something, look how it actually affects the people around you, because when you understand that you can move the needle a lot quicker than you just trying to bang your head against a wall.
Now here's where I really want to go with this conversation though, is that I wanna talk about. And I wanna talk about the marketing content, the content that marketing is part of. And the problem I see with most of this sales enablement content is it's not optimized. And I don't mean SEO optimized, so don't roll your eyes, Liz, because they can't see it.
It's an audio podcast. actually
[00:16:58] Liz Murphy:
It can be felt gravitationally. All right.
[00:17:00] George B. Thomas:
Yeah, maybe I'm actually talking about two layers of optimize that I think you need to put your sales enablement or any content that sales is going to use to a couple different layers when I'm talking about optimized. And by the way, some of this is gonna come down to organization, but we'll talk.
Sales enablement content and organization later down in the podcast a little bit more, but it comes down to this, if your sales enablement content, you can't as a sales rep, quickly go to the right piece of content. For the right conversation for the human that you're interacting with at the immediate right time you need it, then it's not optimized because you might have, what many people have a lot of awareness type content, but no decision content or a lot of I can't wait.
I'm not allowed to say the word snippets or templates because they live in HubSpot
[00:17:52] Liz Murphy:
Yes you can. You can.
[00:17:54] George B. Thomas:
you're just, you don't have the content a across the entire funnel for all the conversations, for all the right time. So there's, there's this conversation time and people level of optimization.
But then past that, where I think a lot of organizations we drop the ball is as sales enablement ends up being in, its stuck in its own little damn bucket. Oh, here's the sales enablement content, versus it being like, no, here's a piece of. we actually it's the right conversation, the right time, the right people, and now we've made it in a way that it's for sales.
Sales can use it. We've also optimized it so it can be used on social and it happens to have some SEO value along the way. I believe you can reach that nirvana of a piece of content can be for sales, social in search. And I can't wait for Liz's comment cuz she's shaking her head. I can't.
[00:18:43] Liz Murphy:
I got so many feelings. Max, do you wanna intervene before I
[00:18:46] Max Cohen:
Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I kinda like that. Like I think you're leaning into the whole is any resource you use as a salesperson easily accessible to you, Be it a piece of sales content or a human resource, like a solutions engineer, right? Or knowledge on your product, right? Making that stuff accessible and easy to find and ensuring.
Your sales reps have a standard operating procedure in their head on when and how to access that stuff. It's huge, right? If I get a question about X and I don't know the answer, where do I go? Is there a Slack channel I hit? Is there a learning database? I search, is there a, this is that if I have a conversation with a customer and it ends this way, is there a certain piece of content I send them?
Do I give context as to why I'm sending them? , right? And depending on where they're at in the sales process, do I know which thing I need to send and can I easily grab it So it's not an awkward process getting it right. So I think that's really cool. Accessibility and a lot of that leans into some of the tools that you're using.
A lot of that leans into how you set your org up and who's available to help and how they're available to help. But I think the big thing comes down. Because I think enablement is a lot about training, right? Is a huge skill is knowing what resources you have at your fingertips and how and when to use 'em, right?
Versus just making them available. You know what I mean? And sometimes some of those resources need to be accessed quicker than others, right? So George, when you talk about content that's potentially being sent to a prospect, it shouldn't be, oh, I'll. I'll go, I'll, I have this thing I can go find and send to you after.
It should be something you can easily pull up on that Zoom meeting or on that call and say, Hey, I'm gonna send you over this. Here's like a quick synopsis and this is why I'm sending it over to you. Boom. Versus I'll remember to do something different. So sometimes times quick, whereas if it's hey, you're bringing like another human resource onto a call, like a pre-sales person or some sort of product expert or like whatever.
It's understandable that would take some time to. But, yeah I'm rambling here, but accessibility, I think and context in which you access those things is huge to think about.
[00:20:51] Liz Murphy:
I feel like I just walked it back into this conversation again where you guys are waxing poetic about butcher blocks. Butcher blocks are fine, accessibility is fine, and that's assuming you're creating content worth searching for that you are creating sales enablement content that is worth acc. And before you start, George, This is an area where I actually do have a deep level of experience, and this is why I was getting fussy.
I don't necessarily disagree with you. My problem is that we said at the beginning of this is a people problem. People are not trusting each other and people are not talking to each other. Now, I wanna tell you the end of the story with Jenna that I didn't actually know was gonna have an end until literally, and I sh she and I happened to, we caught up earlier.
This. . She said to me that those biweekly revenue team meetings were the best thing that she ever experienced on a sales team. And that her and the other sales rep said that was the first time they felt heard. They felt truly enabled, and they felt truly supported. And here's why. I wasn't sitting there going in and saying I am gonna give you x, y, and.
the way I structured our content strategy, and I think this may be helpful because on this call, we've all had different parts in the sales enablement process, but I've had to be the content strategist, the content leader who's gone in and had to make nice with the sales team who liked me and loved getting beers with me, but did not trust me in terms of actually delivering them content that would help them close deals faster.
And all I did, George was have the servant's heart. I didn't go in presupposing. What would. , it started with website pages, then it might have been blog articles. A lot of it was bottom of the funnel stuff that isn't awareness, that isn't for search. It was stuff like, it would be really great if we had an article that really laid out what the first 90 days of this engagement looks like, because this is an atypical type of thing.
So I love the accessibility conversation, but my concern is that people are gonna start hearing that piece and leapfrogging over what you said, George, which I really fundamentally agree with, but you brushed by it so quickly and I'm gonna be the one who has to say it. You have to start with the humans.
You have to show up and say things like, I understand I didn't earn your trust before and you don't trust me for crap right now. I get it, but I can't prove to you things are different until you let me. And I have set those things out loud. And the way I did it was that every 90 days I did a standard search strategy and I knew there would be some sales enablement pieces in there, George, that it's it's awareness, it's enablement, it's all of these really cool different things.
Somehow we're getting to split. But every two weeks I was sitting down with sales and asking, what's changed? Where in the business are you hurting? What is the sales enablement content we've created that's not performing as expected? And then also walking them through all the new content that existed just for sales enablement.
Now I get that it lives in a larger ecosystem, and I don't necessarily disagree with the accessibility piece, but if we're blowing by the bigger relationship piece and going out there and just being human to human, Hey, I know we effed up. Let's fix. I don't care if you're a marketing or service or whatever team, that's where it has to start.
[00:24:10] Max Cohen:
All those problems eventually are caused by humans and decisions that have been made, and not having those open line of communication with like other parts of the org that like your actions have a downstream effect on. If we look back at the, like the flywheel and how everything goes around comes around, right?
If marketing is putting out bogus information about your product and sales, has to end up like, eating that and resetting expectations. Or if sales is like selling, the dream. And the product's not delivering. That's killing the service team. They're hamstringed and they can't provide a great interaction because upstream they were lied to.
Eventually, that's gonna get back to marketing in the form of terrible customer reviews and bad customer sentiment. And so it always ends up, hitting someone downstream or upstream. Flywheel of the liner, like whatever you want to call it. But and that's, and relationships get destroyed and sometimes I think what's tough is like when you have access to that sales team like that, and it's easy for you to get FaceTime with the right people and have those conversations that can have a meaningful impact.
That's awesome. Sometimes that can get really tough when you have much larger organizations too though, because it's a whole bunch of people that have to get coordinated and have that conversation. There's that too. Like you get those types of relationships and repairing those relationships can often get a lot more difficult when so many people have to be involved with the repairing and reimagining of those relationships.
[00:25:39] Liz Murphy:
I completely agree. I think the point is that you have to go out of your way to do it. Like it can't be like, I'm just gonna sh like I agree with George. Show up with the posture, be the. But you also have to go out of your way and say, for every two weeks we're gonna show up together like a family, or whatever that cadence looks
[00:25:53] Max Cohen:
And last thing before George Hop, George hops in,
[00:25:55] Liz Murphy:
George is ready.
[00:25:56] Max Cohen:
never just gonna buy a tool that's gonna fix your sale as enablement.
[00:25:59] Liz Murphy:
[00:26:00] Max Cohen:
have to do what Liz is talking about, right? You can't just go out and buy a tool and be like, yeah, I'm just gonna fix over sales enablement pro.
No. It's never gonna do that. , It's gonna help some of it, but again, if the people behind it aren't making fundamental changes, in just the way that we all operate together, right? Tool's not gonna do anything for you.
[00:26:16] Liz Murphy:
I see George with this face right now where he's Liz, I'm getting ready to lay some truth bricks down, build the house,
[00:26:22] George B. Thomas:
no, I, no I'm actually not ramped up to do anything like that right now. It's funny because I'll tell you where my brain is actually, is I feel like I need to apologize to the listeners because every, everything that I say, The conversations that I bring up and that I jump into really quick are primarily predicated on the fact that you're fundamentally a good human and you're creating great content. And sometimes I forget that there aren't, everybody's not trying to be the best human and everybody out there isn't a content first mindset. and so like the things that I lay out there, hopefully by all that is holy. Hopefully none of our listeners are those people that aren't really like great humans, but they do exist,
[00:27:06] Liz Murphy:
Wait, are you apologizing to the douche canoes in our audience? Is that
[00:27:09] Max Cohen:
Oh my God, do shit. Do
[00:27:11] George B. Thomas:
just saying, I'm saying in general I want everybody to understand that I come to conversations in the positioning of, you're a good human and you're creating great content, and you're on a journey to add value and become significant in people's lives. If that is who you are and what you're doing, then a lot of what I say on these episodes will make sense if there's a disjointed piece in any of those.
Some of the things that I say may sound just like total shit and so, so I apologize to the conversation I was having a little bit earlier and how ramped up. I got about right conversation, right time, right people, and the fact that it could be sales, social, and search, because those things can only align on the predicated fundamentals that I've already mention.
[00:27:53] Liz Murphy:
So to the douche canoes out there, we see. and we're so sorry. If you would like to continue to ruin the lives of your marketing, sales, or service teams, we don't understand why you're here. Maybe you're just on an expo, like an experimentation expedition. I don't know, but we're sorry. But George, I do have a caveat to that because I think what can often happen is that you can have very well-intentioned, And very well-meaning good humans.
Think about what happens in romantic relationships, right? You can have, without accountability, without paying attention to each other, you can have good people stop listening to each other and the relationship falls apart. Now, is it irreparable? Maybe sometimes, but in a lot of cases, get some therapy, come together, ask what you're doing wrong.
I think a good litmus test. If you are sitting here right now and asking yourself I'm, I am the good human. George wasn't apologizing to me. I'm not a douche canoe. If you're sitting there wondering, my next question to you is, have you asked, do you know? Or are you sitting there like mentally ringing your hands because you're afraid to have the conversation? So let's switch gears a little.
[00:29:07] George B. Thomas:
Yeah. I just I need to understand where one word came from. I, I have never. the word, um, douche canoe.
[00:29:15] Max Cohen:
[00:29:17] George B. Thomas:
I, I've never heard that before. So,
[00:29:19] Max Cohen:
Autotune douche canoe on this podcast.
[00:29:23] Liz Murphy:
Well, max, now, you know, I want it in the reverb.
[00:29:25] Max Cohen:
Oh my God. Anyway,
[00:29:29] Liz Murphy:
[00:29:30] George B. Thomas:
I just never heard that before and I'm an old fart. I could, I know willy-nilly and I don't know, douche canoe. Anyway, take us in a real viable important area,
[00:29:40] Liz Murphy:
what is it supposed to look like? Like where do you look at organizations who are getting it right? And what are some of the common themes that you see? What does it look like when there's harmony?
[00:29:53] Max Cohen:
Okay, so let me do a huge disclaimer here. I'm not a sales enablement expert by any means whatsoever. So everything that I'm gonna say here is just I think my observation of what makes sense from a physics perspective. Again, as I always say, right? Again, I came right into working in HubSpot, HubSpot's all I know, the experience I have here.
I know I had a bad experience at Apple. A great experience here. I'm making sense of what I do when I talk about with my customers and, and the stuff that I see. All right, so preface, I'm not a salesman expert by any means.
[00:30:25] Liz Murphy:
So your big sprockets shell. Got
[00:30:27] Max Cohen:
I have opinions. Yeah. I'm shilling for huge sprocket here.
Okay? I have my opinions. All right? And so what I'm hoping is I'm hoping. Some sales enablement experts or people that are really passionate about this topic can listen to this podcast, listen to the things that I'm gonna say right now, and of give their own thoughts on what they think it is.
I think sales enablement comes down to four pillars. Okay. And again, this is all stuff that I put together right before we caught on this podcast, but it's the it's what's always been in my head and it's what's would've been in my head if you asked me this a year ago or whenever.
I think one of 'em is educat. Which kind of boils down to what am I actually selling and how do I really get good at selling? Because there's the skills that you have when you're selling everything. But then there's actually knowing about what it is you're actually pushing so you can have a genuine conversation about it and not just feel like you're bullshitting your way through a conversation.
There's a lot of people out there that think, oh, you could be a good enough salesperson and bullshit your way through a con conversation, and that's fine. That doesn't feel good when you're doing it maybe for some people out there, it does. It certainly doesn't feel good for me, and I know a lot of sales reps that tell me it doesn't feel good for.
A lot of your confidence can really come in from knowing what the hell you're actually talking about. And confidence is a huge tool that you need when you're selling, right? What I will say, that, back in the day when I was doing a lot of training stuff, which you can put under this, education pillar, Is something I heard a lot is that salespeople don't need to know the product. They just need to know how to position it and it's value. I heard that from some people and then I heard the same thing from sales or what not. The same thing I heard from sales managers. My best sales reps are the ones that know the product very.
Two completely clashing opinions on that subject, right? But I tend to believe in the latter. If you really know what you're selling, you know how to have an honest conversation about it, you can exude a ton of confidence from that and you can have, ask the right questions to have good conversations with people, right?
So there's the education side, the art of selling, plus what it is you're actually selling. Put 'em together. Fantastic. And there's many ways you can enable people to do both of those things. The second realm, This is in no particular order, right? The tools that you use, which I'm not gonna talk a whole bunch about right now, but you just gotta make sure that the tools that you actually are using are not a drag, it's not friction.
It's actually helping you. You want to use those tools. It's making, it's being a net positive on your day as a sales rep, right? Should just not be a neg net negative. Third is support. So how are you supporting your reps? And that goes past the education, but what are you doing when they need help in the moment?
Where do you go? How do you get it right? Is that some sort of pre-sales organization? Is that some other, form of easily accessible content that we're talking about? Whatever it is. And then that fourth pillars wanna talk about the beginning is like communication. When other parts of the business are doing things that affect.
Sales reps talk to prospects or whoever it is, right? They need to be able to know about that stuff so they're not caught off guard in conversations and slow things down and lose trust when they're talking to reps. So education tools, support, communication, no particular order, but like those are, to me, the big sort of areas that enablement can have a hand in life affecting.
[00:33:32] Liz Murphy:
[00:33:33] George B. Thomas:
I would add one pillar. I would add a fifth pillar to that. I upvote plus one, whatever. How many ways I can say that I agree with Max Jacob Cohen on the podcast today. I'm throwing it out there. I would add buy-in. as a pillar as well, right? Why are you so effective with what you do?
Because you are bought into HubSpot Lock, stock, and barrel. You, you, me too. I will. I will talk about the tools, tactics, strategies of inbound and HubSpot till the day I die because I am bought in baby. And part of a large portion of what I do when I help organizations is help them get the buy-in, help their teams understand, and I'm talking directly their sales teams understand why in God's name they want to use the tool, what's in it for.
[00:34:23] Max Cohen:
[00:34:24] George B. Thomas:
And so I, I'd love add, buy-in to what you said, and we have a perfect piece of content.
[00:34:29] Max Cohen:
Can I add one thing in there? I think what you're talking about too, how sales culture, like the culture of, or your company culture, whatever, but like the microbiome of your sales culture. Can also have a tremendous impact on how they receive enablement and how you actually do enablement too, as well, right?
Like you gotta create a culture where people wanna learn a lot of this stuff that sales is putting on 'em. You gotta create a culture where you know, when marketing is having that hand in sales enablement that they're able to trust what they're doing and you also have to create a culture of communi.
So it all plays in together, but like I love that buy-in piece and I think you're highlighting why good sales culture is like also really important too.
[00:35:08] Liz Murphy:
There are a couple of things that come to mind here. Number one, when you were talking about Educat, I think one of the reasons why you may, it may have seemed like, why am I getting two completely opposing answers? I think it's gonna depend, quite frankly, on what the business is selling, whether that's a product or a service, but I think probably both sets of the they both probably would've agreed, are you just looking to, for things that are gonna make it easier for prospects to trust you and to buy.
and reduce friction because in some cases it may not be product awareness. It may be a well known product, but this particular company is the best at this thing like it is, and so it's less about the product itself. I think sometimes you're always gonna run into that weird thing where it's gonna vary.
By the type of company and what it is that they're trying to sell to their prospects. The other piece of it too, max, that you just said that really resonated with me and it ties into the buy-in thing. George, bear with me for a moment. W earlier today I did a training session with, uh, a HubSpot inbound agency.
I'm working with their content strategists and teaching them how to content. You know, Don't just be the content writer. How do you actually get SMEs to show up and do all the different things and how do you run interviews and keyword research and all the good stuff? But one of the first lessons that we had, this is like a 15 module series, but the first, one of the first ones we did was as a content man manager, you are a relationship manager first.
And one of the things that I said in that is you have to underst. You either care about people or you don't. You have to show up. You have to genuinely care about helping people genuinely care about enabling people genuinely care about enabling the microbiome of wherever it is that you're operating in, or you don't, and you can't fake that.
There has to be, it's a culture and it's a mindset, and you have to stop. Thinking about your organization as a zero sum game, that in order for us in sales to win, marketing must lose, in order for marketing to create brand awareness until they drive heat into a paper bag. They're so excited that sales cannot be enabled or whatever.
All these different things, we have to get into this mindset of we're either winning altogether and I'm gonna be a part of that, or I don't give a damn about other people and I'm just out for.
[00:37:33] Max Cohen:
I love that and something that I've. Always said in any sales roles I've been in or customer service role or whatever. And I think , I really had to flex this when I was working at Apple Retail. And I don't know if this the best way I'm saying it, but I always used to say this thing that you have to condition yourself to genuinely care. The people you're selling to, which is hard for some people, I think. Like how do you convince yourself that you actually care about this other person, or I guess the argument was is that I don't think I'd ever be able to provide good enough service to this other person if I can't trick myself or genuinely care about that person.
So when every, any time any person walked in to the Apple, apple didn't pay me any extra money to act like that person was a family member. Or to sell with them with a soul instead of just trying to trick them into buying stuff. So I guess the question is like how do you get people to care about strangers and not just do it for the money?
And I. If you like. Cuz it's tough. It's like, all right, if you, your company sells it's easy for me because I think HubSpot's super cool, right? So it's easy for me to be like, yeah, HubSpot's so great. And it's really easy for me to get excited about it and like really care about how people use HubSpot because it's like a hobby of mine. if someone is like working at a company that deals with an industry, which the subject matter of that is. Not so interesting, How do you generally, genuinely get amped up to do a really good job and not just be motivated by your paycheck? And I think what you can do, what you can do is you can say, let's remember that I am.
The people on the other side, they're still humans. And I can do my best just because it's the right thing to do for other people, even if I'm not so super stoked on the subject matter in which we're all interacting, But I don't know. That's just me trying to make sense of this thing I've always said without really.
Being empathetic to the fact that is harder for other people when the subject matter might not be something that they're super into. I was really into Apple devices and that whole ecosystem, not everybody else was Right, but I was saying just convince yourself to do it. But I don't know. There might be other ways to go about
[00:39:45] George B. Thomas:
Yeah. No. See, sometimes in life, you gotta have hard conversations. Sometimes in life you gotta have hard conversations, and at the end of the day, If you're working in a job and you don't find some type of interest or passion in the thing that you're doing, get a new job, boo.
Get a new job because you are doing everybody that you talk to a disservice by just being there for a paycheck. Move on. Ease on down the road. There's something better for you. Don't feel. Life will work out because here's the thing, what it comes down to, max, when you said how do you get people to actually sell to strangers and actually care?
It comes down to belief. Belief in the product, belief that it can solve the problem. Belief that it's the right choice. The more you believe in the product, the service, the company, the people, the team, the capabilities, the more you as a sales rep are willing to put yourself out on the front line and be like, I know that.
We got you. We got you. And I think too, when you can believe in that, That sets up a safe space for you as a human who now are talking to strangers to lead with a level of empathy in that as well, because usually, , we've all had hard times in our jobs or our life, and so we bring this little bit of historical understanding to what they might be facing or back to your training thing, max.
If your team has done a great job on training you of the pain points that they're facing, and you can actually put your brain in their shoes, it becomes very easy to understand. I need to get this unknown human. Outta the situation that they're in. I don't want them to feel one more minute of pain.
[00:41:31] Max Cohen:
[00:41:32] Liz Murphy:
also honestly just even take it like if you can't reprogram your brain to care about humans. I don't know if you need a hug or Jesus
[00:41:40] George B. Thomas:
Hey I'm here for hugs.
[00:41:42] Liz Murphy:
but here's what I
[00:41:43] Max Cohen:
go back to putting cats in the microwave. Yeah.
[00:41:46] George B. Thomas:
[00:41:48] Liz Murphy:
And you shamed me about the dog in the Chinese food restaurant. Come on now. No. So here's the thing.
[00:41:53] Max Cohen:
No, I wasn't saying it to you. I was saying it to people who don't care about like sociopaths. That's what I'm saying. I'm not calling you a sociopath.
[00:41:59] George B. Thomas:
[00:41:59] Liz Murphy:
I really appreciate that we've got douche canoe and sociopath awareness, but let's bring it back. So douche canoe, sociopath, somewhere in that Venn diagram, let's just say. , you're more sales oriented, your numbers oriented. You don't wanna get deep in the weeds with people's fis. You don't wanna worry about that stuff.
I'm gonna tell you. Then you're just leaving money on the table. Like I don't need you to suddenly become a therapist to everybo every prospect that shows up on a call. But there are untold sums of money you are letting walk out the door because especially with the pandemic having happened, more buyers than.
Are buying based on human connection, the values of an organization, and are more willing than ever to abandon ship over bad service, bad experiences, or people who don't seem to care about what their needs actually are. Okay, fine. Don't suddenly become a huggy bear or whatever. But start strategically thinking.
Wow. What are the empathetic levers I need to understand in order to make a sale? Like there, there are just gonna be people who think that this is a lot of fluffy stuff, and that's a really good way to think about it. Fine, then leave money on the table. I can't tell you how much, but it's gonna be a lot and it's gonna be a death by paper.
Cut the lifetime that you are in sales,
[00:43:22] George B. Thomas:
Oh, man I love this conversation so much. I
[00:43:25] Liz Murphy:
I know it could go on
[00:43:27] Max Cohen:
there's a, there's a whole, I think, a whole episode we could do about like the selling with the Soul thing. Or selling without selling your soul. Yeah, that would be interesting. I
[00:43:38] Liz Murphy:
We should do it.
[00:43:39] George B. Thomas:
[00:43:40] Max Cohen:
bring in will, we should bring in Will Aiken for that conversation, I
[00:43:43] George B. Thomas:
There we go. Let's do it. Let's make that happen here. Here's what I'm gonna say though, too. It's I'm gonna do one of two things when this episode is over, and yes, Liz, I know you're about to close this down here in a hot second, but when one of two things I'm either gonna go over to chat G P t.
And I'm gonna tell to write me a song using the word douche canoe and sociopath. Or I'm gonna try to figure out if I can find Harry Mack on TikTok. And when Harry Mack asks you my three words, those are two of the three words, and the third one's gonna be Mountain Dew. And then I want him to wrap me a song with douche canoe, sociopath, and Mountain Dew like that would go viral on the interwebs.
[00:44:20] Max Cohen:
Oh my God.
[00:44:21] Liz Murphy:
Honestly, I've done my job then. That's fantastic. Like Max said this, this conversation can go on forever and it would if you jokers were left unattended, but I'm here to restore order. Here's my question to you. What is one thing someone should do or ask themselves right now in this moment if they're struggling with sales enablement, that would immediately move the needle for them in some way that would get them on the right path to solving whatever this.
[00:44:49] George B. Thomas:
man. See, my brain goes to it depends, if I'm a marketer. Listening to this, it's one thing if I'm a sales rep listening to this, it's a, it's another, so I guess I'm just gonna fly by the seat of my pants here and say if I'm a marketer, I am gonna ask the question of have I done everything humanly possible to create an organized system of content that allows the sales team to have the right conversations they need to have for the humans that aren't coming through my actual digital pipeline, AKA a HubSpot forms, because I'm doing my best out there.
I want to help them do their best in here. Think of that if I'm a sales rep. Am I sitting back complaining about marketing or am I enabling. Myself to be helped by others, right? I go back, I dunno if it's Jerry Maguire or whatever, help me help you, right? Help me help you. As a marketer. And if I had a sales team that was like this, luckily I'm, I am sales end marketing at my organization, just saying, so I have to help myself.
I have to enable myself. But if I was with that team, I'd be like, yo, Jenny, Julie, Bobby, Brian. Help me. Help you. , right? That's where my brain goes on that last question, Liz. I hope that's helpful, but a somebody out there on the planet.
[00:46:11] Liz Murphy:
Of course it's, it depends, of course, it's, it depends.
I don't mean that rude.
[00:46:15] Max Cohen:
it depends too. My, mine was, it depends on what your sales reps are saying is holding 'em back from closing deals. But you gotta listen to 'em. I think that's the best place to start. And even if they're wrong and they're just complaining, right? At least you have a lead to go tackle and see if it's a real problem.
[00:46:31] Liz Murphy:
Mine is. And by the way, George, I wanna point out I meant what I said, I didn't mean that rudely, like of course. And you're saying it depends cuz that's the fun inbound marketer joke, right? Anytime there's a question it depends, right? But no, it depends because it's it depends on where you sit within the organization.
Max, to your point, it depend. What's happening right now? Do you have a pain in the organization? Is something not moving like there are a lot of different things. Mine is, remember the enablement part of sales enablement and what that actually means. You have to want to help people, whether that's because you are a good human or you are a gold chasing deuce canoe.
Like I don't care. You have to want to actually help. . So ask yourself, what kind of mindset do you have? Do you have a zero sum mindset right now where in order for other people to win, you have to lose or vice versa? Or are you actually in the business of trying to figure this out and healing the relationships that need to be repaired and what that cadence looked like, looks like, and figuring it out?
Cuz if you don't have that mindset, everything else falls apart. Now, before we leave gentle. I went to chat G B T
[00:47:42] George B. Thomas:
[00:47:43] Liz Murphy:
and I have a haiku cuz I said, Hey Jack, g b t write me a haiku.
[00:47:50] George B. Thomas:
is this pg?
[00:47:51] Liz Murphy:
Yes, George. No, I was about to say a bunch of swears and a bunch of icks into, okay. Thank you very much Jesus. A poem by Liz Murphy slash gp. Raging river flows. Douche canoe. Drifts downstream. Ego takes a blow. Snap. Stop. Stop.
[00:48:15] George B. Thomas:
That's it. That's the end of the episode right there. Good luck douche canoe.
[00:48:19] Max Cohen:
[00:48:22] Liz Murphy:
I think this is what our forefathers hoped.
[00:48:26] Max Cohen:
[00:48:27] Liz Murphy:
they were like, we're going to create a country with a free market system. So one day, a crazy six fault foot tall woman in Maryland will fire up a computer and say, Hey, make me a haiku with douche skinny in it. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this week on Hub Heroes.
I don't know if I want your reviews this week so, but what that probably means we need them. So leave a review, let us know what you think. And we will be back next week to talk about the second part of this conversation where Max guess what? You get to talk all about tools and technology and tricks.
[00:49:00] Max Cohen:
Yay. Snippets and playbooks for everyone. Hooray.
[00:49:03] George B. Thomas:
[00:49:05] Max Cohen:
we're gonna wa we're gonna, we're gonna really hyper focus on product and sales enablement. That's what I want to do,
[00:49:11] Liz Murphy:
Do you need
[00:49:12] George B. Thomas:
Snippets and playbooks. Let's go.
[00:49:20] Liz Murphy: