By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing

Late in 2015 we started producing a bi-weekly radio program called Sales Pipeline Radio, which runs live every other Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Pacific.  It’s just 30 minutes long, fast-paced and full of actionable advice, best practices and more for B2B sales & marketing professionals.

We’ve already featured some great guests and have a line up of awesome content and special guests into 2016. Our very first guest was Funnelholic author and Topo co-founder Craig Rosenberg.  Next we had Mike Weinberg, incredible writer, speaker, author, followed by Conrad Bayer, CEO & Founder of Tellwise.  Recent Guests: Jim KeenanJoanne BlackAaron Ross; Josiane Feigon, Meagen Eisenberg, and Trish Bertuzzi.

We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities heading into and throughout the year. We’ll publish similar highlights here for upcoming episodes.  You can listen to full recordings of past shows at SalesPipelineRadio.com and subscribe on iTunes.

We were thrilled this last time to be able to talk to Eric Spatzer, WW Sr. Manager Enablement Tools & Services at Citrix and we’ll talk about:

Sales Enablement at Enterprise Scale: How Citrix Does It

We covered:

  • What is the right funnel for your business
  • Making Content Count Across the Funnel
  • Selling the Right Product for the right customer use cases

FYI, Eric is searching for sales people to collect sneakers to support environmental and global sustainability… go to www.gotsneakers.com to learn more.

More about Eric here.

Matt Heinz:  Thank you everyone for joining us, for sticking through that terrible intro for this latest episode of Sales Pipeline Radio. My name is Matt Heinz; we are here every week live at 11:30 AM pacific 2:30 PM eastern. Talking about sale and marketing best practices, we’re featuring some of the best and brightest minds in the sales and marketing industry. Today is no different. We’ll get to our guest here in a second.

If you’re joining us live on the radio today, thank you so much for joining us on the funnel media radio network. Very excited to be a part of that. We also are joined by a lot of people who are getting to us from the podcast. Thank you for subscribing, you can find us if you are catching us for the first time, you can subscribe on the iTunes store and Google Play. Every episode of Sales Pipeline Radio past, present and future is available at SalesPipelineRadio.com.

Today, very excited to feature, from Citrix, we’ve got the worldwide senior manager of sales enablement tools and services. It is Eric Spatzer. We’re going to talk today about sales enablement enterprise, at enterprise scale. Eric has been a real leader and trail-blazer in the sales enablement work. Excited to have him on the show today. Thanks so much for joining us.

Eric Spatzer:  Thanks for having me, quite the introduction.

Matt Heinz:  Well deserved. I mean, your reputation, certainly precedes you. The work you guys have done, at Citrix, from a sales enablement stand point, combining good strategy, good organizational alignment. We can talk about some of the technology tools you guys use as well. Maybe Start with how, sales enablement isn’t exactly something that’s been around for forever. How did you kind of land in this kind of roll and talk a little bit about how this is become a core focus at Citrix as well.

Eric Spatzer:  Yeah. You know, I kind of fell into this roll accidentally, like probably many of my peers. Where my background was being raised by a teacher, who liked to teach and would thus enable, and a business person who really liked to make money. I found a natural home in the middle of an enablement organization here at Citrix. Citrix has been an unbelievable organization, been here eight years of growth, of change, of leading the market place in technology in a variety of different directions. When an opportunity to join the enablement team, which was not necessarily direct selling, but spreading some of those best practices and teaching to our 1300, 1400 person sales organization across the globe, when that opportunity popped up I had to jump on it and really been enjoying it since. I think naturally as a numbers guy, I have a very data driven background; Mom was a math teacher specifically. Being able to interrupt a lot of that at scale, through setting a lot of the trends through numbers, has been, hopefully, the secret weapon for me and hopefully will be in the years to come.

Matt Heinz:  Sounds great. We’ll talk a little bit about Citrix’s approach to sales enablement. I think you guys are a fairly large organization, but companies small, medium or large are increasingly adopting sales enablement as a function. How did that evolve at Citrix and how and where and why has that become such an important focus?

Eric Spatzer:  Yeah, you know it kind of hit us by surprise, if I were to say so, about three, four years ago; when an activist investor took us over, or didn’t necessarily take us over, but really took action to change our company and improve performance across the board. It really turned us on our head and forced us to change, once again. It has been and unbelievable and great and fun ride ever since. That was about four years ago. Ever since, they have been looking to … for high growth, with low risk, as everybody is looking for in this world.

High reward, low risk and the way they found it was, to your point, trying to create a little bit more of a forecastable revenue. You know what the easiest to forecast revenues are e-collected revenue or are under contract, customers under contract, so we turned to a subscription model there. That reduced some of the risk with volatility in our pipeline. We’re continuing to make that transition into this year as we start to secure costumers, but with that in securing customers on an annual basis or annual recurring revenue basis, the need to preform just rises that much more, because they could easily rip your software out and go to another competitor; competition is high. That’s been the high growth, low risk rate, and luckily a lot of our customers have trusted us in this transition, journey, and is already experiencing benefits on that journey, by journeying with us earlier in the phase here.

Matt Heinz:  Speaking of journeys I know this has been important for you, from a sales enablement standpoint and I think one of the reasons you guys have been so successful with your sales enablement efforts is that this isn’t just, “Hey, let’s just pop some new technology in,” this isn’t just, “Well, let’s make it easier for us to find content.” You guys have really invested in understanding the buyer journey. Making sure the right content exists at different parts of the funnel for each customer use-case. Talk about, if you could, the importance of customer insights and buying journeys to create more constancy and efficiency across the entire sales funnel, for the entire sales organization.

Eric Spatzer:  Yeah. You got it Matt. I had a fun time on that webinar a couple days ago with you, or a couple weeks ago with you, and it’s been fun. I think understanding your buyer is priority number one. Creating that relationship and considering they took the journey with us to the Cloud, we also took the journey with them to understand their business from day zero all the way to success, to make sure we stay with them to success and beyond. Understanding that buyers journey and trying to simplify it as much as possible. What we did is we simplified it into a six-step process.

We traveled the globe. Step one, we travel the globe and really just met with customers, met with sales people, understood their communications that exist today, and document it step one.

Step two we look for operational efficiency and inefficiency to continue or increase the level of satisfaction for our buyers, by changing some sales processes and mapping a whole new sales process on top of that buyers journey. Once we did that, the last thing was really deploying resources and some of the resources that people have is content. I think content is king in this world, it’s leverageable, it can be used many times towards customers of similar segments and our people. I think most importantly, at Citrix we have people dedicated to success here and people who are dedicated to success with some of those top resources of content, arming them with the right message at the right time and the right place and ensure customer success, has been an unbeatable formula. We hope to take that to many, many years to come.

Matt Heinz:  You talk a lot I know, in the webinar we did a couple weeks ago, and I’ve heard you talk about it elsewhere, I know, is the idea of having the right funnel for your business. Can you talk about what that means? I think a lot of people look, you can either buy Sales first.com and there’s a bunch of funnel stages built right into there, and you can read a lot of books and it’ll tell you what your funnel should look like. What does it mean to have the right funnel for your business and how have you been able to implement that at Citrix?

Eric Spatzer:  Conversation, nonetheless, is probably more than a 30 minute conversation.

Matt Heinz:  Yeah.

Eric Spatzer:  On the buyers journey aspect of things. There’s been understanding the buyers journey as it always starts with, and building a sales process on top of it. The really simplified way is that they refer to step one, in understanding the type of funnel that you think your people can manage. For example, an oil funnel is very, very wide at the top and very, very tiny at the bottom, so there is clearly a bottleneck at the bottom and usually the steps at the bottom of the funnel are financial discussions, legal discussions, solutions, maybe even a few backward steps, either our technology or there is a solution challenge there, with regards to technology or your product that you’re selling. Ultimately attention needs to go there to open up that bottleneck, because you’re not closing as much pipeline as you can through. Can’t get it to come out the bottom, and if it’s too wide on top you have way too many resources focused on way too many customers that you can’t actually focus on getting them to the next stage. I think paying attention to that is one step, if you have that type of funnel.

The other type of funnel is just a tube. There really is no leverage across the funnel and it is just one big tube. Whatever comes in the top, usually goes out the bottom. That is a 100% customer retention rate, and is not a bad business to be in for the most part. Very predicable, but definitely not growth generated the most part.

What is really interesting is that a very highly effective strategy is an upside down oil funnel. It’s very thin at the top, you let one or two or very select few customers into the funnel, but at the bottom it is an outpouring of revenue.

There’s good and there’s bad in all these. I think it’s about understanding your business and understanding what that funnel looks like, what the velocity through that funnel looks like, and what is the ideal velocity of what your company wants. What is the company culture looking for.

Matt Heinz:  Love it. Well, we’ve got a lot more coming up here after the break with Eric Spatzer. He runs worldwide sales enablement for Citrix. We’re going to talk a little more about some of the components that go into making sales enablement great, people, process content, tools, and technology. We’re also going to talk about why sales reps should be collecting their old sneakers and what that has to do with some of Eric’s passions outside of work as well. We’ll be right back after we pay some bills. This is Matt Heinz, you’re listening to Sales Pipeline Radio.

*Break*

Matt Heinz:  Back with Eric Spatzer, he’s the worldwide manager sales enablement services at Citrix, you can definitely catch this online at SalesPipelineRadio.com. Coming up in the next couple weeks, a lot of great guests. We’ve got a line-up of CMOs from some significant fast growth companies, we’re going to be talking to. Next week, we’ve actually got the CEO of Outreach.io, we’re going to have Manny Medina join us. We’re going to take the show on the road, we’ll be broadcasting live from the SaaStr conference in San Francisco and definitely looking forward to having Manny join us a line. Today we got a lot more with Eric and before we get back to talking a little bit about components sales enablement success. Talk about Got Sneakers and why you want sales people to start collecting their old sneakers.

Eric Spatzer:  Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation. Thanks Matt. Ultimately, you guys were talking about some potential trashy sneakers you have in your closet, might be 20 years old. Now, if they are deemed trash to you, we just want to make sure you don’t throw them in the trash. We want to make sure you recycle them and turn them into somebody else’s treasure. There is an opportunity for all of us to help the global sustainability out there by exporting our sneakers out to countries in need and really helping that micro enterprise funnel sneakers across the globe, not just the US.

The US, which happens to be a very wealthy, rich country has a lot of stuff in abundance, sneakers inclusive, considering the culture were in today. Feel free to use them as your new gardening shoes, probably a very good use, but when you’re done with those gardening shoes, throw them in one of our bins at Got Sneakers, and we’ll be happy to ship them out there.

With regards to sales people, if you guys are looking to either give back to the community or even make some money, we have fundraising programs for you guys, Forever Sneaker, that is for wearables that we can ship overseas. We do compensate you one dollar per sneaker. You can find us at GotSneakers.com.

Matt Heinz:  I love it. Definitely check out GotSneakers.com, we’ll put a link to that in our show notes. Just to kind of give you a sense for sort of a scale for both the problem and the opportunity here in the US alone, it is estimated that 200 million pairs of shoes and sneakers end up in landfills. All right, so they are done, and they end up in landfills, and there are estimated to be more than 600 million people worldwide that don’t even own a pair of shoes. I think we joke about having too many sneakers in the house, and that many people just don’t even have to opportunity to have any of it. With one year’s worth of shoes we could literally fit one third of those people with something. Huge, huge opportunity. Definitely check out GotSneakers.com to learn more about it.

Little bit more on sales enablement before we have to let you go here Eric. I want to talk about justifying the sales enablement focus. I think, three years ago we did our first state of sales enablement study, with a company in this space and we realized we actually couldn’t use the phrase sales enablement in the survey because people at that time, there weren’t enough people who knew what that was. Now, that we’re literally just finishing up our third year of doing this survey, the industry has matured significantly. Still, a lot of companies, especially early stage companies that aren’t yet doing sales enablement in a formal way. If you had an opportunity to sit in front of VPs of sales or CMOs or CROs or even CEOs, how do you justify, or how do you pitch why they should be investing in sales enablement today?

Eric Spatzer:  Yep, well said. I think everybody is still defining it by the way and I think it will always be a hot term and continue to be a hot term that people stand behind, but I think it can be defined as best practices that are current out there. The way I would define it, I would probably start with some business challenges they’re having, and how they want to change their pipeline; back to that pipeline conversation, the funnel. Really look to that businesses needs first, before I start to recommend or talk about whether it be training opportunity or field, readiness opportunity to live out there or even a content strategy to align with that.

I think it definitely starts with the business. Before I ever start talking about the solution, which is called sales enablement. At least my solution I call it sales enablement. I hope a lot of others do. It definitely starts with the businesses and people define sales enablement differently. My definition will change very much to others, but my definition starts with the business by far.

Matt Heinz:  As people start to realize the importance of sales enablement and the organization, where do you invest first? I mean, I think a lot of people don’t necessarily start with a full-time sales enablement person. Oftentimes it’s a fraction of someone’s job within either sales operations or within a demand gen unit for marketing. Often times sales enablement is an outgrowth of what traditionally had been product marketing’s responsibility, but where do you get started? Too many companies think, “Well, I’m just going to go buy a tool and that’s going to solve my problems,” and we all know that’s not true. Where are the initial investments that you recommend people do to see results, or to get early momentum internally?

Eric Spatzer:  Yeah, good question. Thanks for that, man. I’m very proud of this, which is … you talked about people, process and technology the three big rocks associated with business change and businesses opportunity. I think it’s said in that order. People first, start with understanding the people. Start with what the people want. Whether that be your customers, whether that be your sales people, send people on the road, get feedback. Understand your audience in all ways and the more you understand your audience the more impact you make. Once you start understanding the audience you can start understanding some processes that they follow today and invest in some new processes that you can at least train and change/manage across the organization, or reinforce some of the good ones across the organization. Once you get pretty much perfect and highly efficient and effective at those processes with those people, start arming them with technology, because that’s when things get dangerous. When growth can explode and sales can go through the roof and success is gained and you know what after that? I would say rinse and repeat.

Matt Heinz:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely, just got a couple more minutes here with Eric Spatzer from Citrix and one of the questions we ask a lot of our guests is, who are some of the sales leaders, sales influencers, sales authors that have influenced you in your career? Who do you recommend other people pay attention to? These could be people that are dead or alive, in any different function, it doesn’t have to be just in sales and marketing, but who has inspired you and who would you recommend other people check out as well?

Eric Spatzer:  I think it’s the common ones out there and a lot of the data driven ones out there, so the Jeff Bezos of the world that are very hot today. On that note whether it be the Apples of the world, of course everybody has leaders, but I tend to pay attention to the leaders that are closer to me and I can relate with a little bit more and see some of that secrete stuff behind them.

Al Monserrat, now a Nuance communication, has been a big mentor for me and has really built the culture over here at Citrix. That is fairly unstoppable. Mark Templeton, the original mentor of mine, whether he knows it or not, built the culture over here and ultimately, synesthetically, start with why. Concept is something that I always ask myself and those around me to really understand those around me, but I think I try to pay attention to many sales leaders up and around me and the future sales leaders, which is the younger generation.

I think the younger generation is powerful in its own right and that in addition to looking backwards and some of those sales leaders that influence me I’m looking forwards, and understanding from the young how they want to lead and empowering them for the future.

Matt Heinz:  Love it. Last quick question. Who’s going to win the Superbowl this Sunday?

Eric Spatzer:  Who? Well I can’t argue with the host of the show so, I gotta go with Tom brady, but I will admit I’d like to say it’s for the last time and see some new reigns come in the show, although Bill Belichick may be the guy that continues to win ongoing.

Matt Heinz:  I don’t know, but it’s going to be fun to watch. Well thank you so much, I know you’re super busy. You got a lot of stuff going on, but I appreciate you joining this show Eric Spatzer. He is the head of worldwide sales enablement and services for Citrix. Lots of good insights. His answer alone on different types of funnels makes me feel like I need to go listen to that like, three or four more times, unpack all the great value in that. Definitely take advantage of this, if you want to share this episode with some of your colleagues and peers. Definitely check it out at SalesPipelineRadio.com. We will have it up there in a couple days. We will have a highlights blog post of this interview as well on Heinzmarketing.com, including links to GotSneakers.com. Definitely check that out as well.

We are out of time. We’re going to see you next week. Remember we’ve got Manny Medina. He’s the CEO of Outreach.io, we’ll have a great conversation about sales engagement tools, improving productivity of your sales organization from the floor of the SaaStr conference in San Francisco. For my Great producer Paul, this is Matt Heinz, we will see you next week on Sales Pipeline Radio.