SEC's Sales Enablement Innovation podcast is the place to be when it comes to enablement knowledge-sharing.

Every episode features an enablement expert sharing their stories so that you can learn from their experiences in the field.

Here, check out the highlights from our conversation with Adriana Romero, Senior Manager, Productivity at Salesforce! 👇


Do you think there are transferable skills when moving from sales into sales enablement?

"If you’re a salesperson that enjoys coaching people, I'd say that’s a good baseline to know whether you're going to enjoy enablement.

"Coming from a sales background really helps you, more than any other background. You understand the people that you are working with, and you understand all of the hurdles and challenges they’re coming up against."

How did the switch to remote working due to Covid change your approach to enablement?

"We’re actually using the same tools as before, although some of them are actually being more used because we're in a more remote setting. The main thing is that you have to make more of an effort to create these moments and schedule these meetings.

"Before it was more effortless and casual to onboard people, for example. You could deal with new hires' problems ad hoc, which is obviously helpful because with new hires issues and challenges are going to keep popping up all the time.

"You just have to make more of an effort to touch base with people.

There’s no other way to do it.

"It's been a big challenge. Managers have to try really hard to ensure their teams are synced up, and that they’re scheduling the time to connect through video conferencing."

Do you have any learnings or advice from when you worked at a start-up?

"The entire nature of a startup business is that you're having to pivot a lot.

"You're testing out ideas, you're changing things constantly. You're just emerging with a new product or a new idea, seeing if it works and you’re having to change a lot of things all the time.

"You have to really be good at thinking on your feet, while also having to be agile and adaptable.

"You have to be in the mode of solving problems all the time. It’s something that matched really well with my way of doing things. But sometimes I’d love to have a week where I just sit down and really think about our programs.

"When you’re working at a startup, you learn how to think deeply and analyze while you're flying the plane. I think that’s been the biggest learning curve and it’s been a very interesting ride."

What enablement achievements make you proud?

"I’m really proud of the people that have grown in their roles, and of the people working under me who have developed their own professional acumen. That's the teacher in me.  

I'm proud to see people grow and move up professionally.

"I'd say that’s my proudest achievement as an enablement person.

"Programs come and go, but what really stays with you are the people who learned and grew from what you had to offer.

"I’ve seen people go from SDR roles to really senior roles. Some of that is due to my influence, and I’m really proud of that."

Are there any particular skills or qualities that you look for when recruiting?

"I'm a very big believer in potential.

"When I interview people, I like to see not what they bring, but what they will be capable of doing.

"Sometimes it's a very vague thing that you might notice when you're interviewing them, which can be hard to put your finger on.

"I like people that are genuinely passionate about making other people’s lives better. I like people in enablement who genuinely enjoy the act of selling, who think very carefully about what it means to sell and are willing to explore sales methodology.

"I like to meet people who genuinely enjoy the process, including the struggle that comes with it.

"And finally, you have to be somebody who's genuinely likable. You have to have somebody who people on the floor are going to feel comfortable asking advice and help from."

If you had to sum up sales enablement in a few phrases, what would you say?

"I'd say that we're the connectors.

"We’re not only providing information, we’re connecting the salesforce with the rest of the company. It's no mystery to anybody that works in any company with a sales team: sales cannot be a black box."

"I think that connection comes from understanding how difficult it is to sell and how difficult it is to be out there on the frontlines.

"It's important to bring it to the entire company. It's important that the entire company has an understanding of this in order to support sales.

"Sometimes sales will complain that this department is not doing this or not doing that, and this  comes from a lack of understanding and empathy. It's important to serve that connection.

What advice would you give someone who’s just starting out in sales enablement?

"Even if you come from a sales background, you don't have all the knowledge or all the answers. That’s why it’s important to stay humble.

"It doesn't matter how much you learn, it doesn't matter how much you do, you will always have the capability of learning from somebody.

"Even if that person is a 21 year-old graduate from university, as an enablement person, you have to always be open. You have to be coachable. You also have to be open to learning. It’s always a learning process.

Whether you're new to enablement or an experienced vet, there's always something to learn! Join the SEC Slack community today and gain instant access to a network of 4,000 of your peers.