Sam Robinson: “Establishing Enablement as a Business Function Not a Training Function”
We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Sam Robinson, Engage B2B Awards Judge and Enablement Leader for Medius. Sam is a performance-driven sales enablement expert and measures business performance using two main components: creativity and execution.
It was great to sit down with Sam and chat through his new role and thoughts on the industry – catch up on our conversation below!
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND YOUR ROLE
I’m Sam Robinson the Medius Enablement Leader for EMEA and ANZ and my role is to build the enablement function to support our growth plans.
AS THE SALES ENABLEMENT LEADER EMEA AT MEDIUS, HOW DO YOU THINK ENABLEMENT CAN HELP A BUSINESS GROW?
Let’s take a step back, my start point is to establish enablement as a business function not a training function. Sure, we have training and coaching but we will do that aligned to the key business metrics of our stakeholders. So, at Medius we are looking at a rapid growth trajectory over the next two years. In addition to that there are initiatives like One Medius that performance driven enablement can play right in to. It’s essential we align ourselves to a business outcome driven model.
HOW DO YOU PROVE THE IMPACT OF ENABLEMENT?
At Sage we had the opportunity to do a hypothesis by comparing the business outcomes of two groups of teams. One group ran the full enablement programme including follow on coaching the other just did the training. The results surprised even me. In each product category we were between 14% and 17% better performing than the non enablement supported group. In reality if you are a business outcome driven function my metrics are the sales leaders metrics.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU THINK ARE ESSENTIAL FOR SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY?
For me you need to develop skills that encourage a myopic focus on the customer, we need to remember it’s the customers choice to buy not our choice to sell. The hypothesis that I mentioned earlier was based on a programme called adopt a customer mindset that we licenced from Gazing Performance. The clue to the focus is in the title but the advantage of that programme was that it forced the seller to take a closer look at the their engagement from the customer perspective. Of course this means that the way the manager coaches in that environment has to develop as well. They create the environment under which high performance exists.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE KEY TRENDS SHAPING THE INDUSTRY?
Recently we’ve seen huge advances in AI and I think that’s something that’s going to develop. However, the one constant that will always be there and always needs be there is pressure. Pressure drives performance and as the pressure on performance increases so does the intensity of the search for the magical solution. This results in much less energy going into the development and effective application of simple basic processes and skills. So for me the mantra of world class execution of the basics will always drive my thinking.