We kicked off the new year by showcasing some of the best sales enablement professionals around in our 2022 Ones to watch report. In it, we asked these community stars what advice they had for two groups of people: those already in enablement, and those aspiring to become enablement practitioners.
Below, you’ll find their golden nuggets of wisdom for both sets of individuals. Take five minutes to soak up their advice because believe us, these enablement pros know what they’re talking about.
What piece of advice would you give to your sales enablement peers?
Aaron Evans, Co-founder and Head of Training and Enablement at Flow State
“Always start with the ‘why’. The majority of our role is making change, we are change agents. If you don’t articulate why the change is taking place, it is almost impossible to get real buy-in from the key stakeholders.”
Georgina Walsh, EMEA Enablement at ServiceNow
“My guiding principle is always to keep the learner at the forefront. In particular, I ask myself, what is the number one tangible and transferable skill or behavior my learner can take and apply to their day to day to help them be successful?
I like to think of myself in the learners shoes and ask myself, how will this help me be more successful in my role? As enablement professionals, the success of our teams is our overarching goal.”
Kunal Pandya, Director for Global Enablement at UserZoom
“Utilize the data. Use data to drive the definition and execution of your sales enablement strategies, and ensure those strategies are aligned and focused on enabling the goals of your business. Do this to elevate sales enablement into a strategic driver for the business.”
Pooja Kumar, Director of Sales Enablement and Organizational Culture in APAC at Oracle
“Gosh, it’s hard to pick just one! Be clear on the business results you’ll drive, invest in relationships, and be open to learning and feedback.”
Steffaney Zohrabyan, Digital Transformation Leader
“Redefine what it means to be a high-performing enablement professional. Instead of measuring your success by how many projects or programs you launched, take it a step further and measure your success by the success of your teams’ performance and the measurable business growth your programs have contributed to.”
What would be your advice to an aspiring sales enablement professional?
Thomas K. Cheriyan, Senior Director of Learning and Development (Sales Enablement) at OwnBackup
“My advice for any person who wants to jump into sales enablement is first to master the game of sales. My success in sales enablement is 100% based on the experiences (including all the ups and downs) of being an individual contributor as well as a sales manager across multiple companies.
“As a result, I’m very attuned with the needs and wants of the organization and more often than not, I’m proactively delivering solutions vs. being reactive. You are inherently a leader within sales enablement so you constantly need to deliver and innovate if you want to be successful.”
Sarah Fricke, Senior Director for Global Sales Enablement at RingCentral
“Diversity in experience is key to success. I did rotations in sales, operations, management, and even legal to become an enabler. Having knowledge of how someone’s job really works hands on makes you extremely effective with working with these cross functional groups.
“As you go through the ‘rotations’ , be clear with your manager at the time what your end goal is – enablement – so they know what to teach you and what connections to help you make.
Enabling is connecting and through these rotations you will learn how to adjust your communication and work product to the different cross functional groups.”
Petek Hawkins, Head of Enablement at Melio
“Be maniacally curious about your customers and deliver tangible value with every initiative”
Mary Charles, Sales Enablement Director at Allego
“If you’re just starting out in your sales enablement career, you need to be the best partner you can be to everyone across the organization. Partner with sales leadership, Product Marketing, and any other groups you support to provide a service to help the sales team to be successful. Think “what can I do to help?” rather than “I need to assign training to my sales team to check the box.”
Gail Behun, Senior Manager for Sales Enablement at PandaDoc
“Find a mentor, slow down and learn the role before you jump in. Sales enablement is deceptively simple; just train the people to sell the thing, right? Wrong.
“Adult learning is complicated. Modalities are complicated. Metrics are complicated. Learn the basics step-by-step. Create a learning path for yourself on the people, product and processes you are enabling. Keep it simple, specific and precise.”
We'd say that's some pretty sage advice, coming straight from some of the very best enablement professionals in the industry.
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