Hey, big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a special guest today who will talk about collaboration.
John Moore is “The Collaborator”. The Collaborator recognizes that, far too often, Enablement efforts are failing to impact their business measurably. John is the VP of Revenue Enablement at Bigtincan, a sales enablement automation company, focused on delivering value to enablement practitioners and leaders.
In this episode:
- What is a collaborator?
- What all excellent sales and marketing collaborations have in common?
- How to define the goal we want to accomplish? What is the difference between a goal and objective?
- What are some of the challenges of collaboration between sales and marketing? How do we overcome them?
- How not to turn collaboration into “too many cooks in a kitchen”?
- What is the role of messaging framework in collaboration?
- How can sales and marketing collaboration improve personalization efforts?
Quotes from the episode:
“The revenue enablement is about preparing the entire revenue-facing team to be successful, which requires collaboration between marketing sales and customer success. But more broadly, you also have to collaborate well with product marketing, with engineering, in some cases, finance. ”
“The reality is if you look at an organization with the chief revenue officer, they’re the one who talks to the board. They want to gather all the input. Enablement plays a key role in facilitating discovery and collaboration.”
Hey, big hello from Portland, Oregon. Welcome to another episode of B2B Marketing and More. I have a special guest today who will talk about collaboration. John Moore is “The Collaborator” and the VP of Revenue Enablement at Big Tin Can, a sales enablement automation company. Yay! Welcome, John. Thank you so much for coming to my show. It’s fantastic to have you.
John Moore: Hey, it is awesome to be here, Pam. I’m so excited. One of my bucket list items. I’m nearing the end of my bucket list. Yay!
Pam Didner: Oh my God. John, you just made my day. (John laughs) So I want you to introduce yourself. I mentioned you in terms of Magellan, the collaborator, which is that you put that prominently–loud and clear–on your LinkedIn profile, right? And that’s truly unique, but before we get to that, why you make that decision, a quick intro about yourself and what you do.
John Moore: So I’m currently the VP of Revenue Enablement at a company called Big Tin Can. We’re a sales enablement automation company.
Pam Didner: Is that company based in Australia?
John Moore: Yes, in Sydney, Australia and Waltham, Massachusetts and Glasgow, Scotland. But yeah, we have our headquarters in Sydney.
Pam Didner: So you are always on the sales enablement space for the company, or, um, what else do you do?
John Moore: So, so for me, so I’m run our internal revenue enablement practice. And what that means is making sure that all of our sellers, all of our customer success, anybody who’s talking to a customer is prepared to have a great conversation that delivers value to the customer’s prospect.
Because at the end of the day, there’s nothing worse than we’ve all had the experience where you pick up the phone, let’s say, you’re, you’re working with a cable company (that we shall not name, we shall not name) and you pick up the phone, and they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. And you keep repeating. Nobody likes those horrible experiences. Yeah, so my team is responsible for making sure that you get a great experience–that we are helping to help you understand your problems, solve your problem.
And if you don’t buy with us, that’s okay. At the very least, hopefully, you’re better informed, better prepared for solving a problem with whoever you’re gonna from. So our goal is to make sure that you have a successful set of conversations, learn something, and hopefully buy from us. I mean. We want you to buy from us, but the goal is to be helpful first and add value.
Pam Didner: And, uh, so collaborate and the collaborator, and you say you are John and the collaborator. So can you elaborate a little more, and do you, are you talking about elaborating with your sales team? With your customers? And are there any specific people you go after in terms of sharing or communicating that message or that title?
John Moore: So I started by thinking John the Baptist, but that was taken! (Pam laughs) So you know, just kidding, just kidding. So for enablement to be successful, in my opinion, Pam, you have to collaborate wide and far, far and wide.
So revenue enablement’s about preparing the entire revenue facing team to be successful, which requires a lot of collaboration between marketing sales and customer success. But more broadly, you also have to collaborate well with product marketing, with engineering, in some cases, finance. And what you start to find out, make this intense collaborative effort, um, is you start to uncover both gems in the business-like, “Oh crap, I didn’t know this team was doing that. Why aren’t we doing this over there?”
You also start to uncover pain points in your process and the organization, whether it’s duplicated effort or simply, you know, you’re doing something so inefficient that this team can help you with. So enablement to be successful is kind of at the hub at the center point of the business for it to be successful.
So for me, the key has always been about collaboration. I started my career, um, and then builds on this point. So I’ll take you back 30 years. I started my career as an engineer. Lotus development working on Lotus 123 for DOS.
Pam Didner: The saddest part is I know what that is (laughs).
John Moore: I know! You’ve heard stories. Then I worked on Lotus notes, which was as good and as bad as it was, was an entire platform built on enterprise-level collaboration; At the end of the day, that’s what it was. So collaboration has always interested me.
The collaborator represents my vision for how enablement has to be done, done well, is unique. I also tend to think thought leadership is an overrated concept and not knock anybody who considers themselves a thought leader. Many people know their stuff, and they know it well. But there are so many self-proclaimed “thought leaders” that don’t know crap. Honestly, so I tend to, sorry. I tend to beat up on the full thought leadership thing. So I said, “I want to brand myself as something that resonates with what I think is important–“collaborator”–, and that doesn’t talk about thought leadership, because to me, I’m trying to bring people together inside and outside the company.
So the other half of the reason for the collaborator, Pam, as it revenue generation team–sales, marketing, customer success–we can learn a hell of a lot from each other. So the other part of my mission is to bring people together, share their insights that they can share with the community, catalog that and make it something that people can learn from one another. Not simply one thought leader in a corner, but from the community sort of collaborate to raise people, the knowledge, the insights, and put a spotlight on the people doing really good stuff.
That’s the reason for “The Collaborator.”
Pam Didner: So can I be a devil’s advocate for a second?
John Moore: Of course you can!
Pam Didner: I agree with you 100%. And uh, most of the time, when I get any kind of campaigns done, or any projects are done, it’s a team collaboration. But from time to time, it will end up having too many cooks in the kitchen.
John Moore: Oh, yeah.
Pam Didner: And then, uh, the decisions are not made. Or the decision is delayed, or the decision becomes very much consensus or committee-driven, and it may not turn out to be a great decision. And how do you overcome that? And what is your point of view?
John Moore: Well, my point of view is that collaboration means you get to share insight and input into the process. You may or may not get a vote in actually what’s being done.
So for me, collaboration is about, let’s take, a simple example. We’re trying to make sure that a seller can have a great conversation, move the prospect through the funnel. So they’d buy something, right? That’s a simple example. Well, if we simply went off and created content and training for the sellers and didn’t talk to the sellers about what problems they were having and what they needed, we’d fail.
If we didn’t talk to the marketing team to understand the higher-level objectives they’re trying to accomplish? What messaging are they kind of drive and make sure that we align it together? Then again, we’re going to miss the mark there.
As a business, you want a cohesive message going out to the field. So we have to be talking to marketing. We have to talk to sales–or the sales leaders–to understand their priorities. Because maybe we’re getting asked for this one-pager by five sellers, and we think that’s the priority. But the reality is the sales leader says, “no, I don’t care about those deals. This is the opportunity that I need help with. Can you do something entirely different?”
So it’s about having all of those conversations and open dialogues across the team to get input. But then you have to make decisions usually in coordination with the leader– whether it’s a sales leader or the CRO, in an ideal case–about the true priorities.
So collaboration, again, you get input, but it doesn’t mean you get a vote, and it doesn’t mean you can say, “this is what we’re going to do.”
Pam Didner: I think what you are saying is very clear in terms of during the collaboration environment, everybody can have input. But I mean, all of the team members also need to understand who is the decision-maker. We call that “the D”, you know. That person is going to make the call, and not everybody’s input is going to be, uh, incorporated. Sometimes we have to make a hard decision, and that’s just the way it is.
John Moore: Yeah, the reality is if you look at an organization with the chief revenue officer, they’re the one who talks to the board. They’re on the line. They’re the one that has to make that decision. They want to gather all the input. Enablement plays a key role in facilitating that discovery and collaboration, and then they need to decide on what the priorities are and help the business move forward.
Pam Didner: Got it. And have you encountered a situation that is a big initiative, and you want to tackle a key strategic account and do that as a part of net new. And, um, there’s marketing involved, there is a sales operation involved. There’s everybody involved. Everybody is like, “okay, we need to do this.”
And how do you? What are some of the challenges you run into when driving the biggest initiative or trying to tackle the biggest account? Everybody’s on deck, and everybody’s working toward that, but there are so many people involved. (John laughs) How do you take charge of that? And to make sure that, you know, we all going in the right direction. I know it’s pretty hard. I have my thought, but I want to hear your point of view.
John Moore: Yeah, my point of view is that we all need to align and understand the objective. What’s the goal.
Pam Didner: Yes! I love that!
John Moore: Yes! Right
Pam Didner: That’ll get you to first base. Now, what’s next? (laughs)
John Moore: I’m getting up to bat, Pam. I’m ready. Okay. So I’ll give you, I’ll give you a real example of something I’m working on right now, collectively collaboratively with the team. So we have, and I’ll just simplify it. We have one customer, one prospect that we would love to close this quarter. They’ve done a lot of analysis on this customer, and they help along with the sales team. They agreed that this was an ideal customer that they want to close. Yeah. We’re involved in that conversation or that collaboration. They’re analyzing the data on the marketing side. They’re taking a look at how it fits with other customers we service before. They’ve looked at what’s on their quarterly reports in terms of areas they’re looking for. All that good stuff.
Pam Didner: Yeah. You’re doing a lot of firmographics, technographics type analysis. Yes.
John Moore: Yeah. So I think in great, we’re going to know, get that customer. That’s going to be a logo for us this quarter. So all of that collaboration is taking place, and over here, you know, you have to coordinate them with the SDR team on, “okay, when we want to start doing the outreach.
First off, we need to agree we want to get this customer; how will we go about it? And usually, what we do and what will you do 99% of the time–and we should do it a hundred percent–is we then work back from the goal through the steps, just so the team understands it. And it’s a really ugly manual process, but I’ll tell you if it works. So, you know, ultimately, we’ve worked back to what’s the messaging that the SDR team has gonna do?
Pam Didner: Oh, messaging, uh, music to my ears.
John Moore: Yeah. I have to go back to the SDR. You have to go back to, “okay, are we building an event this quarter or a webinar or something timely. That will help us add more value, so they show up and give us more right to talk to them? So, you know, it’s marketing and the event team working on creating that. It’s the messaging for the SDRs. It’s, it’s even on the website for this particular customer, it’s like, well, are we talking about ourselves correctly? So that when they come to us as part of our messaging and outreach, or when we see them searching for “X,” we’re going to show up and be there.
So it’s about bringing this whole picture together and saying, “if we do all of these activities in a collaborative, united way, do we have the best chance possible of getting this, this customer on board? Yeah. That’s a 30 second– no, it was probably 30 minutes– I talked, but you know, I mean, that’s the short answer.
Pam Didner: It’s a 30-second answer, but it’s six months of planning and execution.
John Moore: Yeah. Yeah. It is. It is. But it’s so I loved your reaction to the goal. Yeah. So often, we forget that. And that’s the thing that drives me crazy.
Pam Didner: I 100% agree with you. What is the goal we want to accomplish? What is the objective? And the goal and objective on not necessarily the same thing.
John Moore: Exactly.
Pam Didner: They reach the same destination, but you know, the objective is what we want to accomplish? A lot of times, like building the relationship with our clients, that’s objective. But achieve the $50 million revenue is a goal, right? But there are things that we need to do to get to that goal. But at the same time, we need to do things to achieve that objective that we may not want a hundred percent to align to the goal we wanted to go.
John Moore: Absolutely. It’s such a fun kind of project.
Pam Didner: I know you mentioned the, um, messaging and, and talking point. So I, uh, I’m, I’m a proponent of the messaging framework, and I feel, I firmly believe that, uh, if we sell a product, you need to have a baseline. That baseline is what you want to say about your product.
John Moore: Yes.
Pam Didner: And I also believe the consistency in terms of why you need to say about that product. They also are three things we want to talk about. Let’s make sure we dial up the three things. And with that you said, I ran into challenges with sales from time to time because they are different talking points they want to dial-up and dial down.
And how do you, um, really work with the sales team to maintain that consistency of the talking points yet, at the same time, tailor it for different accounts? I found that, uh, difficult to do.
John Moore: It’s hard. And it’s imperfect, and we’re far from having it nailed. Let’s be honest, Pam. But what we have done and continued to do– so we have a messaging framework. We built a messaging framework. We built a clear discovery process for the sales team to use based upon that framework. It guides how we write our blogs, how we do our marketing site, the whole, the whole thing, the whole enchilada.
But the reality is you then, and I’ll just take the simple example of the seller. Yeah. You know, if you take that messaging framework, and I’ll use us, so we sell the multiple verticals. We sell into retail and life sciences, manufacturing, and so on. So those key messages within the framework will have different weights of importance within each vertical.
Pam Didner: I, that I, 100% agree. You, you, the the the change that actually for vertical, I get it. But it’s very hard to scale to change that to different accounts. That to me, that’s another level.
John Moore: Yeah. And I would say we’re not 100% there yet. What we do so is leveraging our products. We have a document automation tool that allows us to use a lot of data to create a customized account-specific messaging deck. But the reality is it’s really good, and it saves a lot of time, but you still need the seller to go in and tweak it. And that’s what things can go off the rails. Honestly!
Pam Didner: I want no, no, no. I mean, I would 100% agree with you (laughs).
John Moore: You know, Sally may do a great job, but Bill may always throw in something that you just go. “Bill. Why, why did you do that?” And the reality is, I don’t know how you solve that. I don’t know how you solve the Bill problem, meaning you give them the best possible, but the reality is we both know you still need to customize it a little bit more.
Pam Didner: I don’t have an answer because I’m struggling with that when supporting my sales team. They always want to customize the messaging actually for different accounts. And to be honest with you, there are times I 100% agree with it and sometimes was like, “really? You don’t need to do that.”
But again, I’m not a salesperson, right. I’m supporting the sales, so I want to make sure– they know their clients, their accounts so much better than me. So I trust the instinct, and I trust the direction they want to take. I have to. They are all my sales team. But I don’t have an answer for that either, to be honest with you. I thought maybe you have some Holy Grail (laughs) you could share with us.
John Moore: No, and you know, some of it is some of it, and this is not a perfect answer that we’ve tried. It depends on the success rate of the seller. There are some sellers that I do understand their prospects and their customers better than we ever will. And you have to give them more leeway.
Other sellers think they do, but their numbers and their average batting show, they don’t. So you don’t give them the same right, and you say, “no soup for you, just use what we give you.” Um, and that’s not a perfect answer, Pam, either. It’s not.
Pam Didner: Yeah, I know. I know. I understand. We are all humans. We deal with humans. Do you have to always accept? “We do this, except.” There’s always on that, “We do this, but….” Yeah, there are always exceptions.
John Moore: Yeah, exactly. And I think it also, you have to on some types of content– when we’re talking about personalization–you simply have to say “you can’t personalize it.” There are some types you can’t. And there are some types where you have to say, “you know what, this needs to be personalizable. We use our tools, whether it’s our document automation or other tools, as part of our product to support that, but some of the things that we’re able to do are lock in the messaging. So you can customize it to one of 10 approved messages.” And sometimes that works, but you always have the salespeople understandably that say, “but I need to get 11th message.” (laughs) Yeah, I know. So there is no perfect answer. At least not that I’ve run into.
Pam Didner: (sighs) Yeah. So very, very good. Um, any other additional insight in terms of a collaboration that you want to share with our listeners and us?
John Moore: No, I the thing I, uh, that I think is important. You touched upon Pam. It’s really easy to get to the point where you’re like the US Congress, and you don’t do anything. You don’t want to be that collaborative. Um, but you do. You do want to be open and take input from people. It validates them as human beings, as part of the company, as part of the business. You will learn a lot. And you also get the morale boost, I think is big too. You just have to position it properly, and then that’s it.
Pam Didner: Got it. Very nice. I’m going to ask one silly question. What is the most useless talent–you know, you are talented–but what is the most useless telling you have?
John Moore: I used to be a fairly double jointed in my elbows, and then I would freak people out with that. That’s pretty useless. (Pam laughs) Um, I also, I consider myself– I’ve been married for nearly 30 years, and I have two grown daughters–I also feel like I’m pretty good at bad dad jokes. That’s not a talent, though.
Pam Didner: That’s truly useless. I agree.
John Moore: That’s truly useless! Nobody’s ever wanted it.
Pam Didner: I was like, “yeah, that’s truly useless, John.”
John Moore: I send a dad joke to my kids every day. And every day, they go, “Oh… why? Why?”
Pam Didner: “Seriously again! Dad, you’re like killing me!”
John Moore: But I found a trick here. Pam, my oldest, both have long-term boyfriends. And my oldest is dating someone whose boyfriend loves dad jokes. So he will send them back. I’m training the next generation for useless behavior. (laughs)
Pam Didner: Way to go! (laughs) All right. Very, very good. Hey, so John, please tell our listeners where they can find you and what you can do to help them?
John Moore: You know, um, you can find me on LinkedIn. You can find me on Twitter. You can find me in almost any place. But the best places LinkedIn, simply look for “The Collaborator” I’m there. Uh, that’s easy to find search term. There is no other, um, which is good because my mother told me one was plenty. So there’s only one of me. So just look for The Collaborator.
And look, if you have any questions about enablement, in general, uh, you know, I’m always happy to get on the phone and just have a chat and see how I can help you out.
Pam Didner: Very good. And thank you so much, John, for coming to my show. Appreciate it and share your insight in terms of collaboration.
John Moore: Thanks, Pam. It was fun.
Pam Didner: Again, thank you so much for listening to my podcast. Podcasting is one-way communication. I don’t know who you are, but your support means a great great deal to me.
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To expand your knowledge about sales and marketing collaboration, check out some of my previous blog posts and podcast episodes.