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The State of Sales Enablement, with Carson Conant [Episode 827]

Carson Conant is the founder and CEO of Mediafly and today we dive into the current state of sales enablement. We talk about whether we’re enabling sellers or just enabling processes. Plus, we get into what pieces are missing from the current sales enablement mix.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul: Carson. Welcome to the show.

Carson Conant: Thanks. It’s great to be here.

Andy Paul: Pleasure to have you here. So for people who aren’t familiar with MediaFly, heaven forbid, tell us what you do.

Carson Conant: So we’re a sales content management platform. Um, so essentially we’re the place where marketers will upload and manage all of their sales collateral. They’ll distribute it to their sales organizations then the sales teams will present and share out of MediaFly. And then ultimately all that stuff gets tracked back and, and, um, gets back over to the marketers so they can measure the effectiveness of what, what sales content is working, what sales content is not working. Um, and then they can iterate on that and kind of continue on that loop. Um, so essentially our job is to help, you know, help sellers, um, you know, present better through, through better content and help marketers understand where their content is.

Andy Paul: Got it. Got it. So I found, I spent some time first talking about sort of the family business, Nightingale Conant. So maybe for people who aren’t familiar, tell them who Earl Nightingale was.

Carson Conant: Yeah. So Earl Nightingale was my grandfather. He was he and his partner, Earl Nightingale were essentially kind of the godfathers of self-improvement, um, at least in the audio space. So they, um, they published authors like Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and Brian Tracy, and Tony Robbins. You know, all the names you think of when you think of kind of classic sales and kind of self-improvement professional development. Um, so primarily audio started back on the record and then it became cassette tape and then CD and everything digital.

Andy Paul: And I tell people this story, so my first job in sales, which was ages ago and, uh, I was driving, uh, hand-me-down car from my great aunt. The car was like 15 years old. Didn’t have a dime to buy a car with, but I had cassette player and on calls, I was listening to Earl Nightingale tapes. I think it was the, uh, The Boss I think was,

Carson Conant: You know what The Boss is my favorite message that he has. So he, uh, I actually, when I worked for Nightingale Conant, I republished a bunch of, kind of the best segments from Earl Nightingale, um, and The Boss one of my favorites. When I started MediaFly, that whole concept of your customer will, will buy everything you ever own. And if you treat them well, you know, they’ll pay they’ll, they’ll do right by you. Um, it’s been a core essence of, of my company. That’s so interesting that you, you know, that name as well.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, I mean, yeah, again, in my generation of people that were coming up is yeah, Earl, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy. I mean, these were, these were the names, you know, self-improvement, if you were sort of into it, those were the people that you were listening to. And we were, as I said, listening to him on calls in our car between calls.

So that was a yeah. Early, early education. So you know, it’s funny, I looked at the library online of what Nightingale-Conant offers and yeah, to that point, I mean, you know, I’m fascinated by the names that are still there. I mean it’s classic content. Yeah. Earl Nightingale himself, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, um, you know, classic content, enduring content, I guess is I’m sort of curious, how like sales or breakdown by age group for that type of content. I mean, are you, are the younger generation still inspired by Zig and Earl?

Carson Conant: So it’s interesting. So, you know, they sell most of their product now through Audible. And it continues to just stay at a pretty consistent place. Um, and it’s interesting, the classic stuff actually sells the best. So, and they’ll kind of repackage different things together in different ways. Different topics across different offers and they’ll do kind of these best of things. Um, but I would say it’s at least for what Nightengale publishes, the, the stuff that’s kind of the classic stuff continues to still be some of the best, um, best performing. And I think it’s still the best, right? So, um, it’s kind of timeless. Um, you know, every once in a while you’ll get a, you’ll get a reference. I remember I listened to a Roger Dawson program once and he talked about the newfangled answering machine, but a lot of the authors did a really good job in not mentioning things like that, that date themselves, if you’ll notice that, um, like Earl Nightingale won’t mention very often, very rarely will you ever mentioned how much a salary is, right. So you don’t end up dating, you know, dating yourself. You know, whereas if he said he made a fortune, he made $50,000, right. It would, it would ruin the, the, the connection. Um, so yeah, so, you know, they still do a lot they’ve, they’ve started kind of rerecording. You know, with, um, with new talent or, you know, a lot of those folks were, were, were men. And so they’re, they’ve been re recording some of them and, you know, from, from women. So that’s been helping. Different languages and things. So, um, but I still listen to Earl Nightingale. He’s my favorite. I started with Earl Nightingale, you know, every year, um, The Strangest Secret and a couple of others like The Boss, um, just on a regular basis.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah. I brought it up just because there’s such a, I want to call it, I choose my words carefully here, but, but you know, I find this, this, uh, notion that there’s a modern seller, right? This is a distinction people want to draw, in a modern sales organization, modern sellers. And, and it’s really sort of a euphemism I think, in used as one sort of saying like, yeah, you know, technology is handling this and yeah, we don’t need to be quiet as human as we need to be before. It’s not as much about that connection. And which I think is completely and utterly false and wrong. And, and self-defeating, and, you know, gentlemen like Earl Nightingale and Zig Ziglar, you know, this classic stuff, I mean, what they talk about in terms of, of developing yourself and developing relationships with your customers is mirrored by what smart people are saying today. Uh, and it’s just, it’s timeless. I mean,  you’re talking about The Boss, why your customers in charge. I just interviewed a, uh, an author on my show, Robbie Kellman Baxter wrote book, uh, The Forever Transaction, and she’s talking about, you know, you want to reach that sort of signal moment where a buyer transitions from being a customer to a member, right. From a mindset perspective. And that’s really what Nightingale was talking about.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s interesting, I haven’t, I haven’t heard that, that program. Um, but I, but I love that that’s saying is really interesting becoming a member. Um, you know, and I do, and I do think that that’s The Boss, right? I mean, the bosses. You know, if you, if you can treat these people with just such respect and connection. Yeah. They, you know, um, and, and I, I always loved the saying that most other companies won’t right. So that I think, yeah, there was a piece of the boss where he says, if you do it this way, you’re, you will surpass a lot of your competition because not everybody will. That’s been part of our tenant since the beginning of meaningful eye. Um, and we found it to be true. Right. And you think it’s obvious you think that everybody’s going to treat their, you know, their, their best customers, you know, even some of the know, not best customers with white gloves, but I, for some reason I see that they don’t sometimes, which is fascinating to me.

Andy Paul: Well, but isn’t that sort of true, sort of in two levels. One is, in the whole personal development business, right, when you think about it as is, and this is a question that gets raised all the time is, are sellers today more invested or less invested in their own development than in the past? And, and again, you get a spectrum of answers, but in general, I think people sort of come down on the side of, well, they’re sort of less invested. Even though we have got millions of podcasts and blogs and da da da. So again, I’m not really sure, you know, what the real answer is or hard to tell, but-


Carson Conant: a good question. I haven’t really thought of it before. I definitely would say. You know, if you think about, you know, a couple of generations ago, um, or, you know, a couple of decades ago it seemed like the star salespeople did a lot of their own self-improvement, you know? Um, and you wonder if I, you know, I don’t know how much of that is being done today or is it just that it’s being done in really small bite sized pieces, you know, through blogs and podcasts and that kind of stuff. And it’s not, you know, there’s not as much of like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna immerse myself for the next eight hours of a program. Right. Um, is it just more bite-size? I don’t know.

Andy Paul: Well, I think that’s, that’s interesting question though, is part of the, the question I guess is, is, yeah, I think the information consumed in bite size pieces more often, but can you really benefit as much unless you immerse yourself in it. And so whether it’s a program where the, in my case, I use the example or reading a book. You know, I don’t think there’s anything that beats, and actually has been research on this, reading books makes a difference. Right. It’s different than reading a blog. You have this experience, I guess, extended experience and connection with this content like you would with an audio program or an online training program that is not not gonna be replaced by just listening to this podcast, which of course everybody should, but, um, or, you know, reading a blog article.

Carson Conant: Right, right. Um, yeah. You also think about just the amount of windshield time that sales people had before, because they didn’t have Zoom. They didn’t have all this other technology. They didn’t have cell phones. So you had a lot of windshield time and you didn’t have a lot of things you could do. Right. You could listen to the radio, you listen to a couple of cassettes. That was kind of all you had. I feel like when, when, when the cell phone happened, I mean, being in that business, I was there for about almost 10 years, when the cell phone happened, all of a sudden it gave people that are on the road, a whole other thing they could be doing. Right. So that was, that was a big shift. And then when digital happened, it was like you had an infinite amount of things you could be doing. Um, so, so now all of a sudden, the amount of, I feel like that windshield time for a professional salesperson was, was a good amount of time for learning to kind of improve their selves. And it was also a, just a, it felt to me like, it was much more of a battle back then, you know? I mean, it was, it was a hand to hand combat.

Andy Paul: Well, I, I wrote about that just last week actually in a post is like, yeah, I knew my competitor’s names. You know, I recognized them by sight. You know, we had, if we crossed each other in the lobby, uh, you know, it was like, I knew who they were and I talked about it and I took great sense of satisfaction knowing that I was the last appointment of the day. Cause if I was the last appointment of the day, I had the inside track.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Andy Paul: And it was personal, right? In the context of the story of my boss talking about, you know, if you lose a deal, it’s basically the competitor reaching into your pocket and pulling money out of it. That’s that’s how we felt about it.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah. I still feel like that when I lose a deal every once in a while, but-

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, it gets back. The point you’re talking before ours is, is what are you prepared to do? Right. To get better because it’s, it’s, you know, you were talking about more competitive product basis and a ccompany basis, but it’s really true as an individual. I look at the difference between winning and losing and sales as being a matter, I call it the 1% difference. You know, you have to be 1% better in some dimension to win. And you know, if you ask, ask a seller a question, you know, how much did you win that last deal by. Well, they say, well, we’re cheaper. No, no, no. It is percentage wise. You are a hundred percent. You won. How much did you win by? No idea. Right? How can you, we can’t quantify it.

Carson Conant: Right, right. That’s a good point. Yeah. You went home with the gold medal, but you don’t know how far ahead you were.

Andy Paul: Yeah. So you just said, assume you have to be 1% better. So what’s that in high school and my track coach and cross country coach was a, he thought we weren’t working hard enough. He goes, well, how hard do you think your competitors are working today? You know, you could, after five miles, they probably running six. What do you think?

Carson Conant: Right, right. Yeah.

Andy Paul: Well, I guess I gotta go run six or six and a half. Right. Cause I want to be better than they are.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Very true.

Andy Paul: So it’s like, this is, this is the part I was just wondering, serve long longwinded discussion to get to this point it’s like, yeah. Are people motivated enough to think about in this context? I just have to be 1% better. What I have to do to get 1% better today compared to where I was yesterday?

Carson Conant: Yeah. You know, it was so interesting too, having been in that business for so long. The people that really adopted this thinking were the ones that were not necessarily the ones that needed it. So it was kind of counterintuitive. Um, it was always the folks that were the poor performing sales reps we’re not using the motivational materials or self-improvement materials, it was the ones that were performing well. So it seems, it seems kind of counterintuitive. I remember my grandfather told a story about, I can’t remember if it was Studebaker or something. There was a, there was an auto company, it was going out of business. So they packed all the executives of Nightengale-Conant, and they drove you know, around, that they were in Chicago, so they drove over to Michigan. Um, and they said, we’ll give you free products. We’ll do all these different things. And the company said we don’t need all your crap. So they, um, they, they got, they were all dejected got back in the car and drove over to, you know, Chrysler, Chevy, Chevy, one of the other brands that was doing great and they bought about a million dollars for the product. Um, I mean, unbelievable amount of product. They were already the ones winning, right. So the company that was struggling with sales had said, you know, we’re the ones that said I don’t need it. And then here you have this company that, um, you know, that their, their competitor that was already winning, bought a, bought a million dollars worth. Um, so I always love that story and, you know, and I, and I find myself now selling to sales organizations, and I, I see the same thing. I see, you know, go talk to multiple companies in the same industry. And the one that is their stock is declining and the compnay is struggling are the ones that don’t buy. And then you’ll find a company that’s, you know, in full transformation and rock and roll, and those ones will buy and it’s and it’s I find myself in that same position my grandfather was in, which is it’s really hard to convince the ones that don’t get it to get it.

Andy Paul: What I wonder. And this sort of brings us back a little bit to the topic of the day. We’re gonna talk about some sales enablement topics. I was reading any book from another sales enablement vendor recently, and sort of paraphrasing, they had this line in there that just stopped me. Saying sort of the purpose of their tool was to be able to reduce the reliance on the judgment of the seller. I thought, well, isn’t that interesting because, because to your point about, you know, Hey, if we can’t get our bottom people to get better, uh, we’re just gonna work around them. And I thought, wow, coming  from a sales enablement vendor, I thought, really shouldn’t the goal of enablement be just the opposite to enable sellers to better exercise their judgment? You know about the questions to ask and the tactics and strategies and understanding. You know the real true needs of the buyer and so on. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s funny. It’s like, we’ve come 180 degrees.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting because I am not a natural sales person. So I think I am, I love, I’m a product person. I’m a relationship person, but I’m not a great sales person. And I’m, so-

Andy Paul: What in your mind is a great sales person, though?

Carson Conant: So I should, um, I define a great sales person is somebody who delivers the sale when they say they’re going to and within the timeframe that they’re obligated to deliver it. Right. So somebody who a great sales person has a quota and they figured out how to get the deal across the line, you know, collaborating with their customers or within that timeframe. Right. Um, a lot of people who are great at relationships and the deal will come in, but it might come in in a year late or three quarters late, you know? Um, and it’s, and in some cases, I think the natural tendency is that you don’t want to push on the, on the customer or in my case, I do way too much show up and throw up. I love demoing the product. I love giving it away. I, you know, I, I always struggled to charge for things. Um, just because I love the product so much. I’m like just start using it for free. I’ll figure out how to charge you later. So, um, but I think, you know, for me it all comes down to, in some degrees it’s been lack of confidence and ability to quantify the value and then convey the value. Um, and what I’ve, what I think is neat is when, when, when an enablement solution can help a rep like me sell better, um, because it’s, you know, I, um, cause I have a lot of the other capabilities, but if I can help, um, if you can help guide a conversation to be more succinct, you can help it, keep it a little bit more about the customer and not about the product. Um, and I think content can do that. So we kind of come from a content background, um, and our, our role in enablement. So I’m kind of a recovering show up and throw up salesperson that I, and I, you know, I love using a solution when it can help me sell well. Um, so I, you know, I think, um, so I don’t have to be, like, you’re saying sold around like that like the example you gave that, right. Um, I can be upleveled to sell well, um, with, you know, with the right tools.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Well, so speaking of the tool, then this is and this is sort of a bigger topic, but one that a lot of people were talking about is, you know, how do we enable sellers to perform up their potential? And it’s interesting in the whole sales enablement space are started on this idea of content management, but it’s expanding quite a bit beyond that, but in general, I just wonder, you know, what, what are we missing in terms of enablement, and this is across, you know, we’re talking a bit more globaly, but what are we missing? Because, you know, we get the CSO Insight reports everyboyd talks about, you know, 50% of reps throw up their hands. Cause only 50% reps are making quota or less and it’s like, yeah, everybody gets hysterical about that, but I’m not sure it’s any different than it’s ever been. Um, but given, given that, that is the case, at least seemingly from the data. You know, are we wasting a lot of time and effort trying to change that? Or are we just trying to do the wrong things?

Carson Conant: Yeah, it’s a good question. I don’t know if I have the answer. Um, what I, what I can say is I’ve seen companies do some really innovative things that take that bottom half and make them help them perform more like the top half. So I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it been being done. Um, you know, PepsiCo I think was a good example of a company that we’ve worked with the did that, um, MillerCoors was as well.

Andy Paul: So what were the keys for them to be able to do that?

Carson Conant: In the case of a case of PepsiCo I think, um, part of it was, you know, they, they wanted everybody to adopt Challenger as kind of the core methodology of selling, which is hard to do when you have, you know, 10,000 salespeople and, you know, there’s only so much training in that kind of stuff you can do. So some smart people within Pepsi realized, you know, we can guide the sales conversation through content. So through the way that we organize content, so they actually revamped their content to follow Challenger and start with, you know, um, you know, um, challenge, you know, to drive insights was kind of a bucket of content.

So rather than everything being super product oriented, they started to orient content around. Insights. And then, you know, and then it kind of threw out through the challenger method. Um, so that was just, that was one thing how they surface content. The other thing was just, um, the ability to get access to high quality sales content in the moment. Versus having to have prepared ahead of time to get access to things was a big one. So all of a sudden you found people that were more confident to talk about things that were outside of kind of the sphere that they were really knowledgeable about. Um, so that was, that was, I mean, PepsiCo did a bunch of things, but that was, those were a couple that really stood out to me. Um, the thing that MillerCoors did, which I thought was really neat was they, they figured out that some of their top sellers were using a very quantitative way of selling. So rather than saying, Hey bar restaurant, you should swap out this tap handle, which I know is a craft beer, and that’s really cool for my beer for a MillerCoors beer. Um, you know, that’s, that’s a hard putt when the craft beer is really cool. But what some really smart people started doing is quantifying the profit you would make if you were to swap that out. So yes, maybe it’s not as cool to go from X to Blue Moon, but look, look at how much more profit you make over the course of a year, because you make more money per pull because it costs less and you’re going to sell more of it. Right. Um, and so all of a sudden you took, they took, you know, tens of thousands of people and all their distributors and turned them into value-based sellers, right. Or quantitative based sellers, which would have been really hard I think if you had to train everybody and do all these different things. So they, they used content in a tool um, in concert with a, with a, with a objective, a transformation objective, and we see a lot of companies that do that. They really want to take people from being kind of transactional and make them more consultative and more quantitative. Um, and so that to me is a good example of how you can take, uh, somebody who’s just not confident talking that way. They either are not capable of it cause they, you know, they, they don’t understand the quantitative or maybe they just don’t have the confidence in it, but so now if you give them a tool where they, you can ask a couple of questions and based on that and get some positive feedback from the customer and kind of go in a little deeper, it becomes a little bit more, more fluid.

Um, so anyway, so, so that, you know, that variations of that are my favorite thing in the world. When we get, when we see a company that wants to do that kind of stuff, um, and I’ve seen it work.

Andy Paul: Well, and the thing that’s interesting about those examples, both of them are, you know, we’re talking about something that’s not a complex sale. You know, this is not, it’s not selling a complex technology system or a piece of Saas software. It’s a little more transactional, but it’s personal. It can be reduced to a quantification, which is really… You know, some, I would want to use a better word, it required, even though they shared these insights with the sellers, it required them to attain a certain level of business acumen. Right. When you’re talking about the profitability of, of the customers and so on, which I think is, yeah, I think they’re fascinating examples because it’s one things that, that has complained about oftentimes with B2B sellers complained about by that the buyers. Is look, I’m talking to these sellers. They just don’t know enough about business to be able to help me. Right. I’m CEO, I’m talking to this 24 year old punk and, and I was in that position, and I understand because I was 24 and I looked 16 and you know trying to sell a half a million dollar piece of equipment, a system to run their business accounting system, run their business on it. It’s like, yeah, we got, we got, we got a little bit of a problem here because you know, what do I know about business to help them. So having that tool, as you talked about. Yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s not just they’re reading a script. It’s they themselves are learning, the reps and you go do that 10 times you’re gonna begin to understand and put it into context and you develop some business acumen. That’s relevant to what you’re doing.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah. And we had, we actually ended up, it was so successful we ended up acquiring a company that does just this build sales calculators, really slick ones for, um, for companies. It was company called Alinea and we acquired a couple years ago because, you know, I just recognized that this, in my opinion was a part of the future of selling. You know, we  weren’t doingit  as a company MediaFly wasn’t, um, you know, people would ask, well, how much money are we going to make? If we buy media fly. And usually my answer was, well, how about we just give it to you for free for six months and then you’ll know. Um, but-

Andy Paul: Back to your earlier comment, your sales reps don’t wanna bring you on sales calls because you’re getting rid of six months of their commission.

Carson Conant: Um, exactly they hate when I do that. So the ability to upfront quantify the value of the, of the product or something we struggled with. Right? So now we’re good at it. Um, so it can be something that a company can learn. The other thing I think, you know, with all this sales enablement, you mentioned that sales enablement started with content, which I think is true. Um, and we all, if you look at all the major players we started with content, and then we, we all spread out into other things. And I feel like almost to a disservice of content. For most of the companies, content has not gotten any better. It’s still linear, boring, still very flat. You know, there’ve been a couple of us like MediaFly and a couple others that are invested in, in content, but a lot of them invested in, you know, how do I create like wizards in order to spit out a little bit more of a personalized boring flat piece of presentation, right? So at least we’ll be personalized. Um, then you started to see sales enablement broadened into do a lot more of like next best action around the seller and that kind of stuff, which then collides with companies like Clary and Outreach. So you’re, you know, I think that the lines have been blurred there and actually Forrester, you know, is breaking up the space and, you know, so what it used to be just broadly sales enablement, is now sales engagement, sales content solutions, and sales readiness. Cause training was another thing. If I, I would tell people I’m in sales enablement and they’d say, Oh, you create training. Um, and so it just meant such different things for different people.

So, what I think you’re starting to see now is, um, you know, you’re seeing a couple of companies that are doubling down on content, going back to the roots and saying, um, you know, the content can be better. It can be more interactive and dynamic. It should not be linear. Um, if somebody comes into my office and presents in a linear way, it I’m like, this is terrible, you know? I mean, we’ll call them out on it and say, um, we actually, we actually gained a couple of customers that way. Um, and, um,

Andy Paul: Because they were selling to you and you-

Carson Conant: They were selling us, and we’d be like we’ll buy from you but tht was terrible. I mean, that was, you know, you know, you’re diggint around on your computer trying to find a video. Um, you know, you tried to play something that didn’t work. I remember a good example. I had a company, an office supply company come in and they were coming in to present this cool solution they had for doing walls. And I brought my CFO to the meeting and they had no idea the CFO is going to show up. And so he started hammering them with, well, how does this compare to if I were to use, if a contractor was to build this and they were totally unarmed to have that conversation. Right. And you could just see them get flustered and that was a perfect example where the ability to pivot and be able to bring up content that’s specific to the CFO and be able to quantify some things. Um, I feel like that’s what, that’s what content does. Um, and so we’ve actually shifted back and it’s worked tremendously. Well, the more we double down on content, the more we, which is really interesting.

Andy Paul: So when you say double down on content, meaning what specifically?

Carson Conant: So how does, so how do, what kind of two areas really one is, so how do marketers create content that’s more interactive and dynamic, right? So, um, you think about, you know, animations, things like that. That can be real cheesy in PowerPoint, but if done, right, it can allow a story to build in, in a way right. Um, so rather than going through a very boring PowerPoint presentation, how do things, how things build, how do things have some, have some, just some animations to keep people engaged. And the other thing is, how has it, how do you make it interactive? So that at any point in time I could go deeper. I could jump over to something else. Um, it’s fluid, right? So if you asked me a question, um, we can move in a different direcction. So we’ve created a bunch of authoring capabilities and we’ve got partners helped do that, so that, um, That a company should not walk in and present in a flat linear way. So that’s one thing.

The other thing is just leveraging things like video. A lot of salespeople are terrified of using video cause it fails them in the field. Um, but video is useful. You know, not, I’m not talking about bringing up a three minute video and saying, we’re going to watch this whole thing like, you know, you would in school but a short little video on a certain thing, even if there’s no audio and running in the background is something that is super powerful, that if you look at most of the sales management solutions out there, you know, you can have video, you can have flat presentations. They don’t usually live well together. Um, but if you put these things together, uh, a marketer can author a much better story that the sales reps will use. Um, and so, and then, so that’s one thing. The other thing is just is tracking. You know, marketing has almost no visibility into what sales content was actually used in the field. I mean, it’s really remarkable. If you look at more marketers have tracking on you. I mean, you know, we, we talked about 6Sense actually understanding which keywords people are looking for, what landing pages, how long do they spend on those landing page? We have so much data about the lead that was formed, and then we toss it over to sales and, you know, almost nothing, right. They don’t know what was presented. You know, the sales reps will give them anecdotal information, so we built this cool stuff that can track. We actually proactively figure out when a meeting happened, who was presented to, um, and then we track it all back into CRM. Um, and this is less about media fly more just in general.

What it gives marketers is that same level of like Google style analytics too. Wow, this particular page is, is heavily correlated to deals, closing particular topic or content. So if you think about creating much more interactive presentations and then validating those things you’re working and then using that to get more budget and create more interactive content, um, you know, that you create this kind of self fulfilling loop there. So when I say double down on content, it’s just, we’re doubling down on that loop. Um, you know, better, more rich content validating it’s working better, more rich content. Um, and, and then we’re partnering with folks like, you know, Zoom and Outreach and other companies, so that, you know, it’s best in class integration from a data standpoint, we’re not pretending to do those things.

Andy Paul: Right. Yeah. Well sort of last question for you. And so I’m a big believer that the individual sellers basically can only improve at sort of the rate at which their direct manager improves. And so we talked about sales enablement, but I really never heard people talk about sales management enablement.

Carson Conant: Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Andy Paul: So just wondering if you deal with that at all, you’ve heard him talk about that at all?

Carson Conant: It’s not, but I just took a note. That’s definitely an interesting topic. Um, I would say we, we do deal with it to some degree. I would actually say in some cases it’s probably marketing, trying to bypass that limitation, um, by marketers. To your point, which is, um, um, you know, there, there is a chance, I guess I think the good and bad is if you get a great manager, Maybe you’ve got better sellers, but then if a bad manager can create bad sellers and you’ve kind of created bottleneck there, right?

So either you have to get deploy tools to make sure your managers are doing really well. Um, or, you know, what I’ve seen have a corollary of this would be distributors. So when I think of companies like MillerCoors and a bunch of others, you’ve got distributors that sell your products, you have a lot less influence on.

Can’t force them to do as much as you can if they’re your own salespeople. So it creates a really interesting. A need for an enablement solution. And if w if you can get it to work in a, in a distributed organization, it means you’ve really got something right, right. Because they have to want to use, it has to have add enough value to that kind of pull on it. And a lot of cases, the distributors have to pay for some of this stuff. And so it’s not like other sales enablement solutions where it’s like, you know, we’re taking your portal away, you have to use this thing. Um, so it’s all, you know, all stick, no carrot. Um, so I think, I think the same sort of thing is in play when you look at, um, your own field people, which is that regardless of the manager, the manager does, I think you’re right. I think there actually is a whole enablement layer that should be done for managers, but the end salespeople should be able to sell more confidently and better assisted with great content interactive and quantitative. Right. Um, and then the manager can either get in the way of that or can help accelerate it.

Andy Paul: Well, but, but to a point I think you were alluding to earlier though, is that if you have, let’s say, you know, your average sales manager has seven direct reports. Um, You know and you have a distribution of good to across the range of perhaps capabilities in that seven people, is if it’s a bad manager, they’re all gonna be less than they could then if it was a good manager. So that’s why I’m always so fascinated is that, you know, we spend all this money on, on $20 billion a year on sales training, supposedly in the United States figure I saw and of which we spend again, the estimates, the best estimates I could find it to spend less than 5% of that on training managers.

Okay. Well, if the managers are really the key to enabling. The success of the individuals through coaching and so on and so forth. Shouldn’t we flip that ratio and spend $19 billion a year training sales managers, and 1 billion on salespeople.

Carson Conant: Yeah, it’s interesting in, in doing, in running MediaFly for about a decade, I can honestly say, I don’t remember a single deep conversation about managing a managing or about enabling managers. So that’s interesting. Um, but I think you’re right. I mean, I think they, they can really be a catalyst or a bottleneck, um, and there should be more focus from the enablement solutions from, uh, you know, training, you know, all three of the pillars, right. Content training, and readiness content, and, um, any kind of insights and that side of things. Um, there should be a focus across all three of those on the managers.

Andy Paul: Yeah. Yeah, there should be. Well, that’s part of the conversation we’re having and trying to encourage here. So appreciate you taking part in it today. So Carson, if people wanted to connect with you, how can they do that?

Carson Conant: So the best is LinkedIn. I, I live on LinkedIn, um, or mediafly.com.

Andy Paul: Excellent. Well, Carson, it’s been a pleasure. We’ll make you come back sometime and do it again.

Carson Conant: Alright. This has been great. Thanks.

Andy Paul: Alright. Talk to you soon.