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Sales enablement as CMO with Cece Lee at Enable Us

Cece Lee is the CMO at Enable Us, a seller and buyer enablement platform. She talks about her first six months as CMO, sales enablement, digital sales room software, and more.

Show Description

Where B2B marketers come to talk sales. 15-minute interviews published every Monday and Wednesday morning. For heads of marketing and founders who support a sales team.

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Show Notes

Cece Lee is the CMO at Enable Us, a seller and buyer enablement platform. She joins the Pipeline Meeting podcast to talk about her first six months as CMO, sales enablement, digital sales room software, and more.

Cece walks through her journey from customer to CMO for Enable us, including her 30-, 60-, and 90-day plan, transitioning to the VP- or C-level in marketing, and where you should be six months in.

We talk extensively about sales enablement and how she sees marketing's role in this process. Beyond marketing or sales, she shares how she's increasingly thinking about this as the revenue function vs. how traditional corporate structures approach it.

She shares in detail about how B2B buyers journeys and sales cycles are changing. And how this informs Enable Us as a product, thinking about every stakeholder in the process of what is commonly described as a digital sales room.

Follow Cece Lee on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cecelee/
Learn more about Enable Us: https://enableus.com/

Transcript


[00:00:00] Pipeline Meeting Intro
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[00:00:00] Harris Kenny: Welcome to Pipeline Meeting where marketers come to talk about sales. I'm your host Harris, Kenny, and I'll be joined by guest every Monday and Wednesday for brief 15 minute interviews where we'll share tips that you can apply to support your sales team and help them close more deals. 

[00:00:15] Harris Kenny: If you don't have time to listen to this whole episode, you can skip ahead in the show notes in your podcast player, or find the transcript at introcrm.com/podcast. All the episodes are published there.


[00:00:28] First 6 months as CMO
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[00:00:28] Cece Lee: I'm 20 plus years in marketing various roles. 

[00:00:32] Cece Lee: When I joined Enable Us, I was a former customer, what they were looking for was messaging positioning. That's where my strength is, and I think when you look at head of marketing, VP of marketing, CMO, whatever that title is, in that stage of that company, the first part is understanding what you need in that company.

[00:00:52] Cece Lee: Enable Us was very clear on the synergy we had and my background. I knew I had to tackle the messaging positioning, really refine it. 

[00:01:01] Cece Lee: It is a fairly new space within sales enablement, we're doing something called seller and buyer enablement, and we'll get to that in a moment.

[00:01:08] Cece Lee: When you're thinking of trying to take a twist on existing category and how to differentiate yourself, with over 500 different technology tools in this category, that messaging positioning was very important.

[00:01:21] Cece Lee: While I was doing that as the first priority, what I've learned coming into a company is you have to think of 30, 60, 90.

[00:01:28] Cece Lee: I had to audit the first 30 months. I mean 30 days, or not 30 months. 30 days. is auditing what's happening. But I've learned that if you see something, you've just gotta make the decision, right? 

[00:01:41] Cece Lee: The next 30 days is okay, you've done your audit, you have to prioritize, and that prioritization has to come with where are the company goals, and how can marketing plug into that?

[00:01:52] Cece Lee: Is that money being spent well and is it delivering what you're expecting to? And if it's not, you've gotta start reallocating that budget. So that was within the first, next, you know, part in the, when you think of the first three months, Or so, once I got that baseline, it became very clear that there were three things we were, we needed to do brand awareness because again, we were, we're a startup in a space and in in a category that's fairly new.

[00:02:17] Cece Lee: We had to look at demand gen. A lot of our inbound was through referrals or our outbound SDR efforts, so I'm like, okay, we really have to think through how we're looking at demand gen and, and what is driving the inbound. 

[00:02:33] Cece Lee: And then finally, sales enablement, because when you're doing messaging positioning, that's not just for your sales team, but now you're looking at org enablement and how do you look at that?

[00:02:43] Cece Lee: And so that's really what it's been working. And I think underlying all of this and what ended up happening, like I was very focused on marketing ops, but we're a small company and realize, 30, 45 days ago, I was starting to bleed into sales ops and the, my approach and my thinking is, is a go to marketing approach.

[00:03:03] Cece Lee: It's not outbound, it's not inbound, it's not marketing, it's not sales. We all have the same goal. So officially I started handling sales ops too, and working with SDR and our AE more closely. 

[00:03:15] Cece Lee: I think six months in, we've crystallized where we're going. We've gone from auditing. What are the programs? Where's my ops? To, okay. I know I need to target and be very strategic in what we're doing and how we're gonna leverage those resources. 

[00:03:34] Cece Lee: And now I'm getting to the point where I know I need to have operations buttoned up. I think we had a good foundation, but there were things that we really had to lay those processes down a little bit more formally so that when next year happens, we anticipate, you know, looking at a funding round and having some growth.

[00:03:56] Cece Lee: And so I'm a person that's like, if you've got the processes and the foundation, Set, then we're gonna be able to scale. That's sort of where we are in the six months. 

[00:04:06] Cece Lee: By six months, you should have your, you should have a fairly good sense of where you are. You should have a fairly good sense of your numbers. You may not have it a hundred percent. But you need to be confident that the numbers are giving you the right signals and then you just continue improving on that and then really understanding how you fit into the strategy so that you can optimize and start moving those levers.

[00:04:28] 


[00:04:28] Making things happen
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[00:04:28] Harris Kenny: I feel like marketing is often consensus based, where you're checking about the brand voice with different people on the team. 

[00:04:33] Harris Kenny: For you as CMO, you're being brought in on some level to make stuff happen, right? 

[00:04:38] Harris Kenny: It sounds like you're saying you gotta maybe wear a different hat in the beginning just to make moves and make things happen.

[00:04:43] Harris Kenny: Does it, is that generally true or do you feel like you were really specifically empowered to do that in this role at Enable Us?

[00:04:50] Cece Lee: I think there's always a transition for a lot of marketers when they go from like a director level to that VP C level. 

[00:04:57] Cece Lee: Let's just say you go from reporting to someone who makes a decision to you actually making the decisions. And I do believe there is a step there and this happened to me, my first role where I you know that VP of marketing, you hesitate. 

[00:05:15] Cece Lee: And that's the funny part because you know, when I was a senior director, I was like, Hey, we should go this direction. You have such conviction, but yet for some reason your title changes to VP and you're like, oh, I don't know if I should be making that decision.

[00:05:28] Cece Lee: Trust yourself. I think that's the first thing. 

[00:05:31] Cece Lee: I think the second thing that I wished I had done more is, look at your peer network. If you've been doing marketing for this many years, you endowed, undoubtedly have had mentors or peers who have reached that category. And I think it was a book I had read, might have been Brene Brown, but I, I'm trying to remember.

[00:05:51] Cece Lee: But you have to have that peer network to bounce off ideas. It's to help you in your career growth. I have a good mentor and I have a couple other good people that I've turned to. I probably didn't turn to them as much as I needed to in my first role, and I think that was a learning lesson that I took into this role.

[00:06:11] Cece Lee: So that was the first thing. 

[00:06:13] Cece Lee: The second thing, an empowerment I think is really important and you can have tons of conversations about this. You have to find the right org that empowers you and I think that in this organization and working with this leadership team, I am able to make those decisions and to move quickly.

[00:06:33] Cece Lee: We empower all of our employees to make the decisions and it's not a organization that you have to hide. We have a very transparent organization. Everyone knows what we're doing and I hope that we're able to continue this as we grow as a company in the coming years.


[00:06:53] Sales enablement
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[00:06:53] Harris Kenny: Working more with sales, this interaction with that team, I'm curious, what does that look like in practice? How, how did that evolve? 

[00:07:00] Cece Lee: Let's talk about the corporate structure, what typically happens in a company. After being in multiple organizations with that traditional structure where I'm really changing my philosophy. Traditionally, you do have sales in their own org and marketing in their own own org, everyone has the same goal, we're here to drive revenue. 

[00:07:22] Cece Lee: In terms of a sales structure, usually the entry level is what's known as a SDR, sales development rep or BDR business development rep.

[00:07:31] Cece Lee: They're the person who are going out and calling down list or calling down warm leads or anything that may be marketing is bringing in. And then as you move up in the sales structure, you're an account executive and then management, et cetera.

[00:07:47] Cece Lee: When you look at that structure, I've seen because some organizations, the SDR team is working the inbound marketing, they actually could report into marketing or they have a dotted line into marketing.

[00:07:59] Cece Lee: I've seen both.

[00:08:00] Cece Lee: Having alignment with marketing is really important because if I am forwarding you a contact that came through a webinar, you need to know what that webinar was. If it's a white download, you need to, right. You can't have the same approach for every person who's coming in.

[00:08:15] Cece Lee: And so you have to have that close collaboration. You have to also be aligned on the incentives and if the incentives. Aren't aligned, then that's gonna impact results. And I've seen that where marketing may be bringing great leads, but sales is just not working them cuz they're not getting any money for it.

[00:08:33] Cece Lee: And so now you know you're spending, you're expending that much more effort to get things done. So how has this evolved my thinking to where we are now at Enable Us? I'm playing more and more with a go-to market idea. Sales is go-to market, marketing's go-to. You're a single team, does that mean they all report the same person or you would have different leaders?

[00:08:57] Cece Lee: You know, it depends because I would be to first to admit that I've not done sales. So to talk about sales methodology and, and those type of things is not something I've done. But by the same token, I have done sales enablement, so there's sort of some point where I can provide to the team. At Enable Us and our current maturity, our sales team works collaborative together with our CEO and with me.

[00:09:25] Cece Lee: Sales enablement to me is optimizing the processes, optimizing the sequences they're using, are they converting? Look, doing analysis of meetings booked in that buyer journey.

[00:09:37] Cece Lee: Buyer journey typically quote unquote product marketing. But if you take it from a go-to market perspective, it benefits everyone cuz now sales understands what the path is. My sales, my when the AE or CEO, they're having those calls. Prospects, they understand where they're coming from. And so I think it's a real, it's we're gonna start seeing these organizations being coming together and maybe they report to a CRO.

[00:10:01] Cece Lee: If we're all leading toward go to market, we have a strategy and we all support it. I really do think this concept will help break down barriers, intradepartment and cross-departmental.


[00:10:15] Digital sales room software
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[00:10:15] Harris Kenny: And your product, does that? Enable Us as a product, does that on some level, right? Because it's something that's being used across these revenue teams to help your buyers. It's enabling your sellers, but it's also enabling the buyers on the other side. And the buyer doesn't really care. Who uploaded a PDF right into , into the CMS to get it on a microsite.

[00:10:33] Harris Kenny: They don't care if marketing uploaded it or a sales rep, they just want the information. Right. So I feel like the, the product represents and is almost sort of skating where the puck is going, right? If buying is changing and selling is changing, to me, Enable US fits in with that.

[00:10:47] Cece Lee: The way we look at it is like this buying experience is already changing. So how do we redefine that B2B buying experience? And one is for the buyer, but you got the sellers who are part of that. And then in the background you've got the marketers or the sales enablement teams who help support that underlying it.

[00:11:04] Cece Lee: From a buying experience, it's being able to go get the information you need. Maybe you ask a question of the sales team, but being able to just have that seamless engagement and connection is really important.

[00:11:19] Cece Lee: For the sellers, how can I more easily send it to you? I mean, you've had the meeting, I've had 10 meetings that they were, however, meetings.

[00:11:27] Cece Lee: A lot of organizations ask a lot of sales. So when we think of the seller experiences, How do we bring enough of the tools together in a platform that helps 'em do what they do? So can I find sales content? Is it on a spreadsheet? Is it in Google Drive? Is it in SharePoint? Right? I don't know if you have that same experience in your organization.

[00:11:47] Cece Lee: can I create something that looks better than an email that I send to my, my prospective customer? Uh, and can I now, instead of having this black hole, once the email hit sent, can I at least know, Hey, this prospect actually went into the room and they actually looked at this. So now my engagement is based on what you've been doing so I can actually be more insightful on how I'm engaging with you versus sending you a mass. Hey, did you, what did you think of this email, right? 

[00:12:21] Cece Lee: So when you think of the experience for the buyer, you have to also empower the sales team because by empowering the sales team, they can be much more consultative.

[00:12:31] Cece Lee: To the buyer, and then for the buyer to be able to have a single place with everything. How many times have you jumped on that call? It's like, Hey, where's that email? Oh yeah, I sent it on this day, . And now you're both looking for the same exact email, right? Now you can say, Hey, here's the link. Let's go back into the room.

[00:12:50] Cece Lee: Let's take a look. Have the conversation. The buyer can Now, instead of sending, trying to find the email to send to their buying committee, can send everyone to the same room that has logged all the history. You can put your recordings in there, your demos in there, your notes, and it just becomes a much better experience for the buyer and really think that if you take it from that perspective, a buyer enablement perspective.

[00:13:15] Cece Lee: And let's not forget the marketer or the sales enablement, I'm gonna say product marketer cuz that's where we're mostly in tuned with is the product marketer. You've done all this research on buyers, you've created all this sales content and what happens, you send it off.

[00:13:29] Cece Lee: You never know if the sellers are using it. You don't know how it's influencing the buying cycle. You don't know if, if what you've created is actually what is needed by the buyer. 

[00:13:39] Cece Lee: And now I finally get that visibility into that. And so I think when you, again, when you think of the larger picture of buyer enablement sellers, buyers, now that marketing product, marketing team can really be more effective in what they're doing and how they're strategizing.

[00:13:56] Cece Lee: Cuz there's so much market intel and understanding of the buyer and buyer journey, let's infuse it into that process as well. So instead of being focused again, did the seller actually learn? Right. The classic sales enablement is like, Hey, sales, through our research, we've created this room for this type of prospect, and we, and we've tested it and we know it's gonna resonate.

[00:14:21] Cece Lee: Use this now, and now you can show the data That helps. I mean, how do you get, you know, A salesperson or sales team to do a methodology, same thing, right? Test it. Get one person to use the room. You show the stats, the moment they see that prospects are coming in and engaging that like that itself, is seeing, believing.


[00:14:42] Learn more
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[00:14:42] Harris Kenny: If someone's listening and they're into it and they wanna learn more, where can they find more about you, find more about Enable Us, where can they find you online?

[00:14:51] Cece Lee: Yeah, they can go to our website at enableus.com. If you're product marketing, you can find me on the PMA Slack. If you're in sales enablement, the alliance also has a sales enablement collective Slack, so I'm on those channels as well.

[00:15:03] Cece Lee: I'll share my contact information with Harris, my LinkedIn, I'm on everything, so you can contact me personally or go to our website and connect with us that way.


[00:15:12] Pipeline Meeting Outro
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[00:15:12] Harris Kenny: That's all for now. You can find show notes at intro crm.com/podcast. The theme music for Pipeline Meeting is by Neighbourhood Vandal. If you learned something, consider sharing this show with a friend. Thanks for listening.