Defining SaaS Enablement Needs

with Nick Lawrence,

Curriculum Design Manager, Snowflake

In this episode, Pete chats with Nick Lawrence, the curriculum design manager at Snowflake. Together they discuss preventing burnout, simplifying internal complexity, and building an ecosystem your highest-performing reps will not want to leave.
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Key topics in today’s conversation include:

  • Nick’s role at Snowflake (1:14)
  • How Nick got into enablement (3:20)
  • Challenges of hypergrowth (11:17)
  • Troubleshooting hypergrowth challenges (16:17)
  • Connect with Nick (41:12)
  • What SaaS(ramp) means to Nick (42:20)


The SaaS(ramp) Podcast explores how tech leaders scale from product adoption to enterprise success. Learn more at


Pete Thornton 0:00
All right. Welcome back, rampants, to The SaaS(ramp) Podcast. I’m your host, Podcast Pete. Awesome guest on with me today, fellow enabler. Welcome Nick Lawrence to the show, sales enablement at Snowflake. Welcome, Nick.

Nick Lawrence 0:18
Hello. Thank you for having me. I love the name there, podcast Pete. I’m gonna have to figure out what to call myself as well.

Pete Thornton 0:27
Yeah, I only did the podcast for that. I came up with like everything else on the back end was like, How can I be this guy named Podcast Pete?

Nick Lawrence 0:36
I like it. Maybe enabler Nick or something?

Pete Thornton 0:40
Enablement Nick. Now, there are two paths in life you can take with that title right there. So good. Well, I didn’t give the full intro. So I should say your curriculum design manager at Snowflake, but like so people know, sales enablement. And then when you’re such a hypergrowth giant like Snowflake, you start to subdivide these roles a little bit. Would you tell us a little bit about that role? And then maybe we can back into how you got there, since we know in enablement everybody’s had divergent paths leading there.

Nick Lawrence 1:13
Yeah, absolutely. So it was one of the reasons I joined Snowflake, I mean, among many reasons, but one of them was the role in itself, and just how well like large and well established. The team here at Snowflake is, right? Everybody has, there are clear teams, and swim lanes in order for us to all to kind of like move in the same direction, all towards the same kind of a common goal. And of course, like most enablement, teams, there are amazing content resources, e-learning courses and instructor-led trainings out there available for the reps. What they were looking to do is bring on a curriculum design manager, somebody that could take a look at all the stuff that’s out there available today. And think about how do we structure all of this and organize this in a way that is most conducive to how people actually learn new things, develop new skills, and ultimately turn those skills into habits. So starting off with individual programs right now, for example, we’re kind of revamping the onboarding program right now. But that’ll eventually bleed into designing some what I’ve been referring to as an enablement ecosystem, right? So something I’m sure we’ll probably talk about today is transitioning away from event-based enablement to, to more of that focus on the environment, the actual enablement ecosystem that you’re building. So that is a very quick high-level overview of where I fall. So there are multiple different teams on the enablement team here. I am focused, specifically right now on the learning experience design team, focusing on that curriculum development.

Pete Thornton 2:56
That’s cool. Okay, that’s, that is really, really awesome. It’s nice to hear like that. It’s a well-orchestrated design, but probably has to at an organization like Snowflake, like if you’re gonna move that fast and get that large over the course of time. Good to have that team on board.

How’d you find yourself in enablement? What was the journey, the personal professional journey that led you there?

Nick Lawrence 3:20
Yep, I got my first start in sales. So I was an inside sales rep. It was a pretty brutal start, I was selling commercial HVAC, like service and maintenance, to schools primarily was like that the focus that I was on, and it was just really tough because like schools, they have no budget. And they’re also like, what we have a maintenance guy for that, like, that’s why we have somebody that’s doing that, so trying to— Cold calling is hard enough, and cold calling to people who really don’t need what you’re trying to sell is even harder. So I was like, Okay, I think I need something I if I’m gonna sell something, I want it to be something that people need. So I got my start in this software sales at a well-established, one of the leaders in the content management space selling, it’s more of an inside sales role. I was primarily supporting some account executives there and some of our channel partners to kind of grow into an account executive role myself. And right before I was getting ready to get promoted to that next level, I started trying to like take a step back and really start evaluating, what do I really want my career to look like? What do I really want to be doing? And I noticed that in one small portion of the job with helping the channel partners was we also wanted to get them kind of ramped up any new partners that came in, we wanted to do some training. There was obviously some ongoing training as like new product stuff came out for our existing customers. And anytime I was involved in that process or leading some Have those sessions for the partners, I loved it. I loved every aspect of it. I liked putting the stuff together. I liked facilitating it. I liked helping everybody else, the other people do their jobs, so I was like, Oh, well maybe I should start thinking about something more along to that. Luckily, right about that same time when I was thinking that, a spot on our enablement team opened up. I got my start into enablement, so transitioned from sales into the sales enablement team and kind of just like hit the ground running with all of it. It was really helpful being in that inside sales role ’cause I was immediately able to put myself in the role of the seller. That’s something I think is so important for enablement people to do, is really be able to wear their shoes, understand what their day-to-day looks like, what their workflow looks like, and luckily I just had a really deep understanding of what tools to use, the processes to incorporate to maximize my own productivity, so I was able to kind of share those own lessons learned of how to leverage all of the tools and resources to most efficiently do your job at the company. So immediately was able to get off to the races in the enablement space kind of right away, which of course, is helpful because there are so many folks in enablement, who kind of, most people that are in enablement, kind of just kind of end up there, right? There are no college classes or degrees in enablement. Most of us don’t even know what enablement is, until we join us as company. So most people kind of end up in enablement. And that’s, I think one of the things that’s been a big struggle for a lot of teams is most teams, I think there were there was a report done by the sales enablement collective, it was their annual survey, I think it was it was somewhere around like 60 70% of t of enablement functions are under three years old. The majority of enablement pros are under like, are in that like one or two-year timeframe. So there’s just a lot of there’s this constant birth of new enablement, professionals, new enablement teams coming in into companies. And I have seen that being kind of a challenge for the function itself. It’s there’s no single kind of cohesive strategy on really how to be the most effective, the leanest, most strategic enablement, team or function that you can be partly and do because, again, you just kind of have to figure it out as you go. So unless you join a team that’s had like a well-established leader, that’s been in enablement for the last decade or so, it’s really hard to really hit the ground running and making sure that you’re hitting on all cylinders right away.

Pete Thornton 7:56
Yeah, the way that you found your way in is the same way I did. And I feel like it’s the best way, especially if you can make the transition within the same organization, you’re cheating. You’ve created resources probably for yourself because you’re minded that way. You probably have a bit of a heart for being a coach, and you probably have some very innate curriculum-building skills that you enhanced since then. But then you take and you kind of flip the script. And then I think that’s a really great way to understand what it is to be a seller, and then you have what it is to be an enabler are like two sides of the same coin. So that’s, that’s a good start. We go down a rabbit hole a little bit on number of years. And like what that could mean and, and some helpful pieces. Anything else to say as far as that one goes? Because I know that that’s something you put out on LinkedIn before, and I’m really appreciated the stats, I’m like that many people in enablement.

Nick Lawrence 8:53
I know. Not much. That’s what I’m trying to do on LinkedIn is just trying to share as many as best practices I can I try to connect with the communities out there that exist and a lot of folks to just to try to crowdsource as many effective strategies as I can because I love the enablement function, the entire value proposition of the entire idea around enablement, right. It is important in and people are seeing that, but, again, as we get more and more, as companies get more and more data savvy, they’re going to be able to start really correlating, then associating enablement adoption with sales outcomes, right, we’re getting better and better at that, especially even here at Snowflake using our own internal application in Snowflake to try to correlate that as much as we can. It’s going to be I think it’ll be a challenge. Once people start looking at the data and seeing again, if that enablement adoption and usage is not being associated, or at least correlated with better outcomes. Or we might be seeing a lot of struggle or a lot of challenges within the enablement team, so there’s kind of a fire should be a fire in everybody’s belly to really figure this out and understand, like, how do we make sure what we’re doing really is helping people perform the behaviors that are going to eventually that are going to drive the results that are going to help them perform as effectively as possible.

Pete Thornton 10:36
Yeah, yeah, tying it into those results for sure. It’s the gold standard, difficult to do at times, but like, but certainly something worth figuring out, especially if we’re gonna like, continue to push the envelope, continue to like, raise enablement status higher and higher. Yeah. So this is The SaaS(ramp) Podcast. So this is like, all these enablement, challenges associated with growth. Your Snowflake Snowflake is famous for hypergrowth. What might be some, I don’t know maybe like current challenges associated with growth, or some of the problems that you might be seeing over the course of the last year in particular?

Nick Lawrence 11:16
Yeah, not only is Snowflake associated with growth, I think our customers are two, I think I just saw a stat it was like the top. So the four companies, the four fastest companies to go from 1 million to 100 million Arr, are all running applications on Snowflake, all their data is in Snowflake, right? So not only are we fast-growing ourselves, but we’re also helping our customers get there as well. So pretty cool stats, cool company to be a part of for sure. On that, on that side of things. The challenge with, I think with like scaling that ramp, especially as organizations get bigger, is not having a clear understanding of what each role needs to do. Even for smaller companies that might just have like one segment of a seller. Snowflake, for example, we have multiple different segments have an account executive. But even if you just have one, I think a challenge with understanding how do we how do we scale? How do we really ramp up is there’s this disconnect between or maybe not disconnect, but maybe just a lack of clarity around what behaviors are going to get us there. Ultimately, the definition of enablement is to enable people to do something, right, we’re trying to help them do something. And if we don’t have that clarity around what we need to enable them to do, it’s going to be very difficult to scale those efforts effectively. So that’s, I think, a key challenge or obstacle that hold a lot of companies back is just that never taking that time to get really specific, it takes a lot of time to outline what the seller journey looks like to build a really detailed competency map for an example of every of all the behaviors that need to be applied, and which seller workflows are associated to what leading indicators and sales outcomes, that’ll take a lot of time. But for me, personally, if I were in charge of building an enablement team from scratch, that’s the first thing I would do, I wouldn’t build any programs, initially, or anything like that, I would just, I would start with what are we trying to achieve and start backcasting from there? Alright, if that’s what we’re trying to achieve, if that’s our Gold Star, or if that’s the growth we want to hit? What are the indicators that suggest we’re going to get to that? And then based on whatever those indicators are, it’s like, okay, what seller workflows are going to get are associated with what? So whether that be territory planning, or account planning, or pipeline generation, or Opportunity Management, figuring out how the like, where are we? What workflows are going to drive those indicators? And then getting very specific around what specific behaviors? So for example, when you’re in territory planning, what specific behaviors do people need to people need to execute on to execute that workflow that’s going to support the execution of that indicator, and that outcome? And again, without that clarity around what to do, it’s not only is it helped, not only is it difficult for sellers, because they’re not a lot of times they’re just there’s a lot of, again, ambiguity around Hey, what do I actually do? How do I actually once I get my list of accounts, I’m supposed to hit quota at the end of the year. What do I do in between that time? Of course, most sellers are experienced. They’re going to figure it out. But I think success could be hit at such a faster pace. It have that clarity and those and that and then the support resources to perform each of those behaviors was actually provided to start off with.

Pete Thornton 15:08
Yeah, yeah. 100% like, like whenever you miss, like you miss your turn or something like that, and then you don’t see the turn for why like, oh, no, there’s no place to turn around and it feels like it just four miles. And then you finally do get to turn around and you’re like backtracking you’re like going through a path you’ve already been before. And then just like, Oh, I was only like 200 yards up the street, just like not a big deal. But you feel lost as you’re moving farther away from where you’re supposed to have obtained something like. And so I think when people are in ramp when, regardless of ramp, like not even just onboarding, but ongoing, like if things change in the marketplace, like they always will, if you change roles, like even a little bit if you change territories is it’s always a new proposition. And so, yeah, it would be nice to have like that path, at least somewhat paved, some milestone set in front of you for sure. What’s what happens with reps like, like, what do you see over the course of, of your day-to-day, like rep behaviors or feelings whenever they don’t quite have those things? Because sometimes you’re having to deal with the emotions first, before you can even start creating some practical resources.

Nick Lawrence 16:15
Yeah, well, we’re all familiar with the term of “quiet quitting.” That’s been really trending on social media for a while. And sales organizations are not immune to that. In fact, they’re probably they probably have some of the highest feelings of burnout. There are some Gartner stats out there that I recently stumbled upon, it was somewhere it was close to 90%. It was like nine out of 10 sellers, report feeling burned out. Like from work, right? And then he was like, over half of them are actively looking for a job because of it. And a lot of that comes from or at least this was like Gartner’s take on it, a lot of that is coming from like the majority of sales reps feeling like or they say they feel like a cog in the machine. Because oftentimes, it’s leadership, sales leadership, dictating how they perform their jobs. Now, I was just talking about how provide, we need to provide that path, we need to provide that clarity around what to do. But there’s a balancing act, you want to provide that clarity around, here’s what to do, here’s how to succeed here. But you also don’t want to, you also don’t want to make them feel like that, like a cog in machine. We’ve all seen that, whether it be an extremely I’ve seen some extremely strict, like sales processes for before with, like, detailed checklists that they have to do. You see, email scripts that they have to send, these are the email scripts, we said, these are the cold calling scripts that we use. It takes, ultimately, we are like humans are extremely creative creatures, we want to express that creation, and sales is no different. Right? There is, of course, a science to sales, but just as much, there’s a huge art to it. And if we remove the art of sales for the sake of productivity, we’re going to be losing reps. So that’s a huge part of it is, by prioritizing KPIs and productivity, we’re burning our reps out. So that’s, that’s a big one. And another main source of that. That burnout is, again, another thing from Gartner. I love reading those Gartner reports, but reps are just extremely overburdened. Right. And according to Gartner, there was like three types of like complexities that burden sales the most. So there’s like the customer complexity, right? They have this ever-growing number of stakeholders, and all from different business units to involve and manage, there’s the product complexity, so number two, which is they just have this ever-growing set of products and solutions, new use cases, to try to understand themselves and then to try to position appropriately to customers. But then the last one is that internal complexity, so just an ever-growing and evolving quantity of policies, procedures, processes, methodologies, systems, all that execute your job function. And what was interesting is internal complexity was by far was the majority of the burden was attributed most to that internal complexity and it was causing the highest amount of like seller frustrations, it was even causing I think they attributed it to like 20% of all stalled or closed lost deals result from internal complexity, right. So we’re losing reps and losing deals, caught from all this complexity. We’re throwing on sales we’re trying as much as we can to like, here are more tools to use, here’s more enablement, here’s more this and that. And it’s just adding so much to their, it’s adding so much to their plate, it’s adding so much complexity to their, to their job, that when we were just talking about that path, you mentioned, providing them like a path to go down. Now that path is like there, it’s riddled with a whole bunch of things, who hoops to jump through different tools to use, but they’re not quite sure how to use those tools. And, oh, I forgot to do this palette policy. So I’ve got to take a few steps back to fill out that form appropriately, I’ve got to wait for these approval processes to take the next step. We want to provide that path for them. But then we also just want to, like, here are the resources you need, and just try to make that path as easy as we can for reps of it to be able to walk down. Otherwise, your reps are just going to be overburdened, and feel burnt out. And if they’re feeling that way, according to all of the data out there, they are actively looking for a new job, if those are, if that’s how they’re feeling.

Pete Thornton 21:16
Those are some wild stats. I mean, like I’d seen once, like, not pre-pandemic, but maybe, I don’t know, pre like pandemic went on and on and on. And it was like an 18-month tenure, like standard tenure for Yeah, exactly. Well, SaaS account executives, and this sounds like it’s even kind of a little bit more intense. So yeah, obviously, a big problem. I know, there are various ways to kind of like, combat that. But what do you think given your abilities to because you kind of gave a hypothetical, like, I wouldn’t create any programs? First, I would go ask these specific questions and, and stuff like that, but like, but what if you do come in, and it’s already well underway, as in most people do? What would your thoughts be, then?

Nick Lawrence 22:05
Yeah, it’s an extremely important step to first ask, right, and especially because of that stat, you just threw out there where it was, like 18, the average tenure for sales reps is like 18 months, the scary or the parallel stat that makes that even more scary, is the average time to ramp. Of course, that’s gonna vary dependent on company. But I’ve seen so time to productivities, with time to, hey, this person is as productive as everybody else. Like that core performance, I’ve seen it, like in that 12 months, right 12-month range, I’ve even seen to get to top performer status, right, to a new rep to get to top performer. It’s around that, like 16-month timeframe. So that’s even scarier, because so by the moment, the moment your reps receive, like, are the moments your reps become like core performers or top performers, they’re ready to leave. So it’s like you’re never you never have this like sustained group of high performing reps, because by the time they get to high-performing, they all leave. So those are two really scary stats to kind of pair together. And that kind of brings me that’s also a kind of a good segue of what to do. How do you prevent that? How do you prevent it taking a year for your reps to get ramped up, and in even more and even more time to get them to like top performer performing status, and then to avoid them actually leaving in the first place. And I think it really does come down to this transition from event-based enablement. So building events to solve problems or develop skills or transfer knowledge to building an enablement ecosystem, right to, to really focusing on the environment itself. There’s, again, I love my stats. There’s a good book called telling training story, where the author showed it again, but based on their research, when the majority of the resources, I think it was like 85 90% or something, but when they’re majority of the resources go to the design, development and delivery of a formal learning event. So whether that be an e-learning course, whether that be a live instructor-led session, a workshop at SCO, whatever it is, only 15% of those participants sustain those new behaviors. On the flip side, right when they did that, so on the flip side, when the majority of the resources went to the application environment, right so that when they were supporting me Do some pre-work, some reinforcement stuff, but then really focusing on like, once they get back to their job, once they leave this event do they have is the environment set up in a way for them to sustain these new behaviors, when the majority of the resources go to that, that flips to 85% of people sustained those new behaviors. So that’s like the that there’s like one piece of research that’s been like guiding all of my inhuman efforts, it’s that it’s we have to, there’s no event that by itself, there’s no training event, no matter how good whether you get the greatest, you can get Josh Braun, or any of the other like, the greats out there, I hope I’m not throwing Josh Braun under the bus. Obviously, he knows a lot more about like sales trading than me, but the general consensus is that there’s no II, there’s no training event, that by itself, no matter how good it is, it’s going to sustain those new behaviors for very long, you need a cohesive effort, you need to focus on the actual environment itself.

Pete Thornton 26:05
Can we do a few more examples from their do event example. And then, like, ecosystem example, because I heard something about the application afterward, that helped me understand a little bit more about what ecosystem might be. And then I heard like, sales kickoffs go SKF, go for any audience knows, but just in case at for, for, like, an event piece, and it was 15% versus 85%. So worth some additional examples for sure.

Nick Lawrence 26:32
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You could do this for anything, you could do it. A SCO is a oftentimes, like, SCO is a perfect example. Because it’s typically is an event-based type of thing. And again, just like those events don’t necessarily, like sustain themselves. So if I were to, if I were to design something for Cisco, it would have to be just included in the enablement ecosystem itself. So let’s say, let’s say we want people to, to adopt better active listening or something like that for the, within discovery week, the typical example an event based example would be at school, everybody shows up, just go out meet the meet, maybe they do a little pre-work or something, but everybody shows up, they do this workshop, it’s the majority of it is lecture-based. So probably like the majority of it is lecture talking about it. And then there’s like one or two breakout sessions, where people go out and they like, breakout and they practice some things. And then an hour or 90 minutes go by, and that’s pretty much it. And maybe they have some follow-up content, like built for it. But in an event-based world, like you do the event, you do the workshop, maybe you gather survey data, Hey, did you guys like it in everybody gives you a big thumbs up? And it’s like, All right, we did a great job. But right, we had a great event. Again, according to the data, only 15% of those participants will sustain those new behaviors. So really, what’s the true ROI on that if only a handful of folks are actually adopting that longer-term. An example of the enablement ecosystem, instead would be to try to be figuring out like, again, going back to that competency map example, figuring out what behaviors do they need to apply, to what behaviors are necessary to effectively apply these new competencies of applying active listening during, during discovery, and, and whatnot? And then from there, you’re really, really focusing on making sure do they have the knowledge is do they have the accessible knowledge, right? Is the information that is required to perform these behaviors? Is it shared? Is it easily accessible, preferably, like in the flow of work, right, so making sure that that it’s actually in the flow of work is obviously is obviously best? The next layer up is like that performance support. So, guidance on actually how to perform the behavior is also like, embedded into the flow of work and really easily accessible and those are often in the forms of like, what good looks like so that not only maybe before a discovery call, they can watch a couple of examples of what good looks like they can they have maybe even before or during a discovery call, they have a guide, or like a format or a flow to follow to ensure they’re taking the proper steps to ensure that they are in fact active listening to make sure that they are diving deeper. Maybe we’re providing them with some questions to ask and whatnot. So again, it’s all about making sure that the investment In itself, making sure that they have proper communication and reinforcement to ensure that they’re doing it making sure that they hit that their social learning opportunities that are involved as well. And coaching opportunities to provide it. And then once you have built that more comprehensive ecosystem itself, now you can start figuring now you can start thinking about, okay, how do we kind of like, like, how do we pour some gasoline on this fire at scope? So how can we, after you embed all of that into the environment itself? Now it’s time to start maybe thinking about, alright, what, what specific skills? Do we have people practice on and get immediate feedback and coaching on APSCO to really refine these things? And then, of course, what does the follow-up, coaching and application look like, as well. So again, those are a little bit that those that would be like an example difference between an event-based workshop at Cisco and trying to think of something at in terms of the environment, and using an image and using SCO as a component within your environment, as opposed to something that’s totally separate.

Pete Thornton 31:16
So this is helpful for me and for like, a way different reason, but it’s applicable. So I’ve got a TED talk, I am super excited to have this thing. Like I was like, Okay, I’m gonna put in Oh, we’ll just see, it was like the day of and I got my little subject line, this is what it would be about. And it’s like, I didn’t write that. I just like thought that was provocative and sounded cool. So I wrote it. And so I got it. But it’s next week. And so I’m sitting here going together, memorize it, I don’t memorize well, so I really, it really has to like be things that strike me that are interesting to me that I think an audience will like it. Well, so put together an event. Basically, this is an event I’m on stage, I’m talking at people. And I’m just like, and I’m I’m curious about whether how much as an enablement person, like I’m always wanting to get them involved. Yeah. So there are two things that I can do. I won’t go into it here, but like, now I know I can, like I definitely should. 85% versus 15% means I have to actually now, like put these two things in as like an Imagine if you will, and take them through like these three steps and see if they can do something, at least in their own mind while I’m on stage. And then a little epilogue piece that tells them like next steps, what would you do next? It’s not like a normal TED Talk thing to do. It’s usually can just get up and deliver your message and like, hope that you didn’t stumble on the red carpet because you got No notes. No, nothing, no slides. Yes. But at this point, I’m like, okay, Nick said I have to because that’s right here. So like, dude, I’m all in like, that was really helpful to me.

What about other enablement leaders? Say, like, if everybody’s like me, and they just gathered that and they go, Oh, that’s Stark, like, I’m already there. Their minds are working like mine, like, how can I utilize this piece of information right away? What would we do instead, if we’re trying to if we’re more typically creating these events? Like, what else?

Nick Lawrence 33:10
Yeah, I mean, for me, it comes down to those like three primary steps. It’s like, first, you have to build that competency map. You have to understand what are the specific behaviors we’re trying to enable? What are the specific behaviors, we need these, these reps to perform consistent consistently and accurately on the job. So first, build that competency map. Second would be it’s a framework that I coined, so you prime each behavior, we can kind of dive into that, but the prime framework there, it attempts to fill the five primary gaps that typically prevent performance. So if somebody’s not performing a behavior, it’s typically because they don’t have the knowledge, they don’t have the skills, they’re not motivated to do it. They haven’t received proper communication, in order to know to do it consistently and accurately, or their environment isn’t set up for success. So BI. So Prime is of course, an acronym, and it is meant to address all five of those ensuring that you fill all of those potential performance gaps. So p being prepared, are they prepared to do it? Do they have the foundational knowledge required and accessible to perform? Are is ready? Are they ready to do it? So this is where skills comes into play? Right? Do they have the skills required to perform the behavior? This is where practice training and coaching would, of course, come into play? I is “inspired.: So that obviously addresses the motivation gap. Like do they have the motivation to consistently perform the behavior? Do they believe it’s worthwhile to actually do they think there’s a better way to do it? If so, why? And is means so are the means available for them to do it? Right this? Do they have the support and the resources to accurately perform that behavior. And then E is “ensure.” are we ensuring they actually do it? So, do they have the appropriate accountability and communication components in there required to consistently perform the behavior. So after you build the competency map, you then be prime each behavior right to see all right, of the performance gaps, which ones are most important for us to be to fill. That way, we could cover all of our bases, right? So use that framework, essentially, to ensure you’re covering your bases, ensuring that all of those performance gaps are in fact covered. And then lastly, you build a that enablement ecosystem. And I don’t know how much more time we have left, I could spend an hour talking about the enablement ecosystem, it’s probably the, it’s probably deserving of its own podcast. But at the very least, if we have time, I could at least provide at least like, the general idea of what you need to build for it.

Pete Thornton 36:06
Hit us with it. Yeah, we’re coming up on it. But like, yeah, do tell us and we’re gonna be sure to get your like, kind of like, where to connect with you. Because there’s a lot here. So we’re gonna need some new things for this.

Nick Lawrence 36:19
I know. For sure. There’s like all of these concepts, whether it be a comedy team app, the prime framework of this enablement ecosystem, I could literally talk about two for two hours each, but uh, for once you so once you have the behaviors that you want to, once you’ve outlined the behaviors in the competency map, and once you’ve kind of brainstormed, how are we going to prime the execution of these behaviors, you don’t just immediately start throwing everything up at the wall, right there, there are certain behaviors and skills that need that they all have different needs. And that’s basically based off how difficult is it to perform. And how critical is it to perform based on those things? Again, you’re only you. So the general idea with the enablement ecosystem. And again, I could maybe share a graphic after the…

Pete Thornton 37:07
We do apologize for the podcast sometimes. Like, isn’t like, this would be a perfect.

Nick Lawrence 37:14
For sure. But the general idea is that, so to avoid that event-based stuff, because what most people do, right, when they say we need a reps to do this, or we need reps to do this better, they might go, yeah, they immediately go, oh, like, they need training, we need a session on this, let’s lock everybody in a room and have them watch his PowerPoint, it’s not the right way to do so you want to start at the bottom. So the bottom would be so in the prime framework, that’s where P and M come into play. So are they prepared? Are you preparing them to do it? And do they have the means to do it? So is do they have that accessible knowledge and that performance support first, once you have that on you so again, you start at the bottom, and you only build up to as high as you need to go? So are they prepared? And do they have the means after that you want to the E and the eye? So are you ensuring they do it? And are they inspired to do it? So this is where a proper cadence of communication around what to do how to do it, why you should be doing it. And also reinforcement right? Sharing example. So when somebody performs the behavior, it does a great job at it. Are you reinforcing that behavior by acknowledging it by sharing it with the field and saying, “Hey, everybody, look at what Pete just did.” That obviously, is going to reinforce Pete’s desire to do it. It’s also going to reinforce everybody, it’s going to remind everybody Oh, yeah, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s what good looks like I want to be highlighted to and whatnot. So are you ensuring that they do it? Are you inspiring they that they do it? At the top level, the final level? That’s where the art comes in? Ready? Are they ready to do it? And remember, not the readiness piece is associated to skills? And if you’re not sure, is this like a true skill or not? Ask yourself, does this require a lot of practice and hands-on coaching? If the answer is no, it’s not a skill, you don’t need to build it up that high. And so and again, so how difficult is it? How critical is it that those are obviously really important to think about too, but once you get up to those really critical difficult skills that need practice that need coaching, that’s where you can start figuring out like, some actual formal coaching or formal training that, again, is not lecture paced. It’s all application practice and coaching. It’s all interactive courseware. So it’s not passive e-learning courses. So that’s the only so again, the general idea there is the way in which you transition from an event-based type of function to more of an ecosystem is to start at the bottom and only build up to how high you need of course, including elements like coaching and social learning. All along the way. But that’s the general idea of the ecosystem idea there.

Pete Thornton 40:07
I am glad to like so because those three things like they weave together. And that’s always like if something can like can come full circle, like if you can get it 360 out or something like that. It’s, that’s really helpful. I really liked the prime Foundation. The TED talk I’m delivering is all about AI. It’s all about AI. It’s like that one-piece, essentially, which makes for a good TED Talk. Because it’s like one of those it’s like, oh, inspiration, fantastic. But it’s in broadly applicable, not just but I could take what you just delivered and kind of like overlay it across many, many areas. That’s what’s really, really interesting about frameworks like that, because it’s like, it’s like what they say Einstein was looking for the entire time, he was looking for like a universal law. Like, what is one mathematical equation that works in a lot of different environments. And so that’s what’s also intriguing about this. So it doesn’t just have to be for SaaS enablement. Like, you can take this and you can go broadly with it, which is pretty cool.

Let’s do two things. Let’s do, where can we find you? Where do you like to be contacted and located because I’ve noticed you offer things out like this before, like free of charge, just kind of like just doing your work to what’s the saying? It elements and Engelmann. That’s an elevated enablement one, one or one post at a time on LinkedIn. But is that the spot LinkedIn for you?

Nick Lawrence 41:29
That’s it right now. Yeah, I have I have plans. Now if only my two rambunctious daughters, they’re foreign to what would provide me with any free time outside of work, and just like parenting life and stuff like that? Maybe I would get to it. But yeah, eventually, plans that potentially website and newsletter and some other resources for folks. But as of right now, LinkedIn is the place to go.

Pete Thornton 41:59
Okay, fantastic. LinkedIn. Nick Lawrence. You’ll see a Matt mentioned anyway, when we release this soon. And then final question. This is The SaaS(ramp) Podcast, and you’re in SaaS Software as a Service, just in case again, nobody knows what SaaS(ramp) mean to you?

Nick Lawrence 42:16
SaaS(ramp). It’s a good question. There’s a good book called Design for how people learn yet, and it’s written by Julie Dirksen, or Durkin. I’m blanking on her last name. But it’s a great book for anybody that’s like in the actual, like learning experience or trying to figure out like, hey, if we’re going to create some enablement, like stuff, is this actually conducive to help people actually learn new things? Grateful, but one of the concepts that I thought was interesting in there, and again, it corresponds a little bit with what you’re asking, is this idea of like, scaffolding. So to take somebody from here to there, right, you obviously, you obviously need a ramp. Now, depending on where somebody is, or where an organization is that gap might look a little bit differently. And so in the book, she was basically talking about, like, really understanding where the individual, or in this case, a SaaS company is today, where do they want to be to provide them with the appropriate level of scaffolding, right, just to get that, yeah, if you make it too high, right, like, if you make it too high, they’re not going to be able to get there, if you make it to, it branches way too long. That’s obviously not good either. So you want to, we want to try to figure out the best way to do the proper scaffolding based on the individual’s experience and needs or the company’s experience and needs and where they want to be. So I think that’s, as far as we know, again, when I think ramp, I think of a ramp. So that’s, that’s what I was thinking about like it. But again, depending on different needs, everybody’s going to need a different ramp. So how do you scaffold appropriately, based on the individual or the organization?

Pete Thornton 44:15
That term scaffolding, I love it. I don’t know, it hit me like three years ago or so. And it’s just so applicable it because, because that’s what people climb up on, like one at a time, that’s what they put siding on with, etc. So that term elicits like building something for somebody, in my mind, very appropriate term and that book be appropriate for your role and kind of what you’re doing for Snowflake. Really cool stuff. I know, I got a lot out of that. And did I can like, apply immediately. Actually, I kinda have a lot to do in between now and then number 16. And I am horrified this point about that because you’re juggling all these different things all the time and you’re like, Oh, you’re about to get to do this very important thing. So like that was completely timely for me. Now So I hope the audience got as much as I did. I really, really appreciate it. And if anybody has any questions for Nick, it’s, it’s Nick Lawrence. There’ll be at mentioned within the LinkedIn post releases at Snowflake, can’t miss them. And there’s some really good content he’s offering out. So thank you guys. Thank you, Nick. Appreciate it.

Nick Lawrence 45:18
Awesome. Thanks for having me, Podcast Pete.

Pete Thornton 45:21
Enablement Nick!