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#WomenLEAD–Female Leaders in Learning, Enablement, and Development Celebrate Women’s History Month

#WomenLEAD–Female Leaders in Learning, Enablement, and Development Celebrate Women’s History Month

For the Women’s History Month installment of our ongoing #WomenLEAD series, we’re celebrating all of the incredible female leaders who have shared their wisdom and passion with our community so far this year in our first and second #WomenLEAD cohorts. We’re also highlighting a whole new group of inspiring change-makers in Revenue Enablement and Partner Education. 

To honor the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, #ChooseToChallenge, leaders from Airbnb, Miro, Reddit, and other top companies are sharing how they chose to challenge the status quo in the last year—and how they grew from their experiences.

Build a Culture of Learning and Collaboration

Quyen Chang, Airbnb

Quyen (aka “Q”) is a leader with 15+ years of experience focused on scaling, mentoring, and enabling successful revenue teams.

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about?

Continued enablement is at the forefront of our Enablement strategy. The more content, training, and programs we can provide for revenue teams to be more productive and provide career development, the more successful they and the company becomes.

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience?

As an Enablement leader, it is difficult to take our go-to-market teams out of the field during Q4.  When I was leading Enablement at FinancialForce in the first month of Q4, we hosted a 2-week “Back to Basics: Selling Through Curiosity” Enablement program with the full support of our executive leadership team. As we ended our fiscal year, we started to build a culture of learning and a culture of doing great things as one team which resulted in record-breaking success. From that experience, I learned the importance of going back to the basics, that teamwork makes the dream work, and the impact of continued enablement and coaching.

Airbnb is hiring for 150+ roles across global offices.

 

Find New Ways to Foster Community

Raquel Ferrari, Snowflake

Raquel is a Sales Enablement Manager at Snowflake responsible for outlining the Corporate Sales (SMB/Inside Sales) enablement strategy. 

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about? 

This year Snowflake’s enablement team realigned to support our sales team by each sales segment and prompted my move into a new role, so 2021 definitely looks different for me. We continue to grow rapidly and are developing segment specific programs to keep up, which has meant developing a pull vs push strategy to general enablement. A top priority for the corporate segment is to develop high potential employees who want to grow their career in sales. So, this year, our development program will also incorporate coaching, mentoring and traditional learning to prepare reps for the next step in their careers while also increasing their engagement with enablement. Our people are our best assets and I believe that creating a meaningful approach to career development will help us develop a learning culture that is instrumental to our sellers’ success.

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience? 

I’ve learned that the human aspect of work is more important than ever. We all miss eating lunch in the cafeteria or walking to the local coffee shop with coworkers, and especially celebrating big events together (i.e. Snowflake’s record-breaking IPO)! I’ve tried to recreate the intangible value of those kinds of relationships and interactions by incorporating community and connection into SDR Bootcamp. We kickoff every call with music (sometimes mini dance parties ensued) and a “Get to Know Ya” activity. Ice breakers sometimes are looked at as silly, but it had us all sharing things that don’t typically come up in conversation via Zoom and helped build a culture of team collaboration and openness. I believe showing up for each other and creating small moments for personal connection are more important than ever, whether that be by pausing to talk about family or laugh about the latest TikTok trend.

Snowflake is currently hiring for a number of opportunities, including several enablement roles.

 

Create Team Alignment to Achieve Your Goals

Ashton Williams, ADA 

Ashton Williams is the Revenue Enablement Manager at Ada, where she’s taking her experience in B2B sales, Training and Partnerships to build their first-ever formal Enablement team and get everyone from sales to customer success moving as an effective revenue engine.

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about?

As a fast-growing startup, Ada’s product is constantly evolving, which is awesome, but it can be really difficult to keep all teams “in the know” and be sure they have the right information and training they need to do their best work. This quarter we’re working to build out a product school where each team will know what level of product mastery is needed for their job and be equipped with courses, training and bite-sized videos to get there. This initiative is highly collaborative, cross-functional and will really service our customers in the end. I’m thrilled about this because it will allow us to really cater GTM launches to both our pre-sales teams and our post-sales teams who usually need to be equipped with more technical knowledge past the pitch and value. 

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience?

Building out a new team and function means that I have to challenge the way we do things (and why) pretty often. In SaaS, it is so exciting when new products and features get released, and in a startup environment, we usually want to move at the speed of light to get new releases to our customers. The downside to this is that sometimes we would sacrifice strategy for speed. As someone responsible for our GTM team’s readiness and effectiveness, this made for reactive and ineffective enablement, but slowing down fully wasn’t a great choice either. 

In partnership with our Product Marketing team, we worked to create a timeline for starting sales activities and define the key requirements for shifting the sales motion, which also required us to align timelines to our post-sales teams training on implementation. My biggest learnings were that an enablement project can move really quickly when we are aligned on the key information, that processes are never perfect, and that I have a pretty great team of colleagues at Ada. 

Ada is currently hiring for open roles on its sales and customer success teams!

 

Prioritize Your Personal Growth and Development

Bailea Schulze, Miro

Bailea Schulze is a GTM Enablement Manager at Miro, focused on developing and launching sales enablement programs and building a strong enablement strategy for a hyper-growth environment.

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about? 

Currently, I’m really passionate about our sales process at Miro. As a growing company, it’s critical that we have a strong foundation for our sales teams, with the right resources and enablement for each stage of the sales process. Ensuring our sales process is rolled out correctly will help create clarity and structure for our sellers and ultimately allow them to focus on their deals by getting the right resources at the right time.

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience? 

In the past year, I challenged a personal status quo by getting my PMP Certificate. It was something I had wanted to do for years, but never took the time to study and prepare for it. When we were under lockdown, I found myself wasting a lot of time scrolling through social media on my phone, watching TV that I wasn’t really interested in, etc. In addition, my typical hobbies just didn’t seem that appealing, so I felt like I needed to push myself to accomplish something and get out of that routine. I also wanted to be experienced and educated in running projects. 

So, I set a goal to get my PMP in 3 months and sat down every night with study cards, my textbook, and online coursework. After 3 months, I achieved my goal and passed the PMP exam. I realized from that experience how much I enjoy learning and striving towards personal goals. Now, I have a goal that I learn about a new topic each month and take the time to invest in my skills and knowledge. Thanks to that goal, I’ve learned about interior design, negotiation tactics, cooking, and more. It keeps me from feeling like I’m stuck in a rut and gives me back my zest!

Miro is hiring for over 200 open roles across 18 locations.

 

Find Your Voice and Build Your Confidence

Molly Rodriguez, Reddit

Molly Rodriguez currently holds the role of Global Agency Enablement Lead at Reddit, where she’s in charge of creating scaled integrated enablement programs to educate agency partners on the value of Reddit advertising and its powerful communities.

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about?

Like the rest of the industry, we’ve had to really lean on our eLearning capabilities and identify how to differentiate ourselves from the rest. With that said, I’m super passionate about the upcoming launch of Reddit Ads Formula (#RedditAF). This will be the first phase of our eLearning program which will be dedicated to providing all the elements needed to formulate the right strategy for our advertisers. Now more than ever, there’s a huge appetite to learn more in depth about the power of Reddit and its passionate communities. This program will transform the way our partners currently learn and will empower them to become experts and drive action with Reddit advertising. 

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience?

Having a marketing background, there were some doubts (in my head) that I’d be able to pull off a new role in enablement on the sales org at a rapidly growing company. And it wasn’t just doubts about a new role, I have constant doubt regarding my gender and race all the time. Sometimes it can feel like, well I check all the minority boxes, how far will I actually go? 

It turns out you can indeed have a voice in this industry, even as a Latina female, if you choose to break through the noise and shift your mindset to be the confident leader you’re meant to be. Last year also reinforced what I already knew, which was that in order to teach a product, you should know how to market it as well. The two functions, marketing and enablement, go hand-in-hand and I’m so grateful that my previous roles in marketing incorporated education and training to allow me to now provide agencies with the “formula” to succeed at Reddit. See what I did there? 

The TL;DR is: Most people experience moments of doubt; imposter syndrome is real but you need to learn to not let it hinder you or control your actions and once you let go of that notion, the skies the limit [insert rocket emojis].

Reddit is hiring for dozens of open roles across global offices.

 

Speak Your Truth—Even When It’s Intimidating

Miranda Beckford, Fivestars

Miranda Beckford is a Revenue and Sales Enablement Manager at Fivestars, where she oversees the global onboarding program for sales representatives.

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about?

Like many, this past year we have had a lot of changes within our organization due to Covid. One of those big changes has been completely revamping our sales organization. Prior to Covid, we were primarily focused on our Outside Sales Org since we work with small, local businesses. Now we have implemented a new, fully revamped Inside Sales team. This involved hiring new people to add to this team, creating a full onboarding experience with a cadence in place, creating a 90-day bootcamp to get promoted, as well as an ongoing development program for our Inside Sales Account Executives. 

It’s been so cool to now take a step back and look at the way the sales organization is operating through a different lens. It’s also humbling and overwhelming when I really think how much work was put into creating this Inside Sales Org, but I wouldn’t have traded it for anything because I learned so much myself! 

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience?

With completely recreating our Inside Sales Org, there were times when others in the company wanted to move FAST because we needed to get the team up and running, but I put my foot down many times. At times this was hard to push back on deadlines or decisions that were being made, especially when it was coming from a lead within our organization. From this, I learned that there is a reason that I am involved in these conversations early on as a Sales Enablement Manager and oftentimes, I must be the voice for the sales org as a whole. 

Fast out of the gates does not always create longevity or effectiveness, and I truly believe we must set our reps up for success right from the start. Now almost a year later, we have a world-class Inside Sales team that has become one of our biggest revenue engines and has almost tripled in size, and we are only continuing to grow!

Fivestars is expanding their Outside Sales team—visit their careers page to see all open roles.

 

Try Things Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Lindsay Wolff, Salesloft

Lindsay Wolff is the Senior Manager of Revenue Enablement at Salesloft, with a primary focus on CS Enablement.  

What learning initiative are you currently most passionate about? 

With a background in both sales and sales coaching, I joined Salesloft to support the CS team. I think a strong onboarding program and continued sales skills training for the CS team is crucial, especially given Salesloft’s customer base (our ICP is a sales leader!). I believe that it’s imperative for the CS folks to ‘talk the talk’ and understand our customers’ priorities. By learning how to flex the sales muscle, ask the right open-ended questions, and truly be super curious in conversation, our CS team will be able to provide the best experience for our customers. One of Salesloft’s 5 Core Values is to always put customers first. I’m passionate about helping my team foster this core value and stay true to who we are as a company. 

Tell us about a time when you challenged the status quo in the past year—what are your biggest takeaways from that experience? 

In a world where some of us didn’t know which end was up or down (hello, that was me for a while!), it was challenging to know where to draw the line as a salesperson, and even more challenging when I had to coach and guide my clients around doing this as a consultant. I found myself wondering: How much is too much? Is it really “ok” to reach out to clients and try to sell something?

As a consultant, I can speak to what it was like as a business owner in March and April of 2020. During that time, my coaching strategy changed quickly and drastically. I forced myself outside of my comfort zone to join networking groups I had never been a part of before. In order to lead my clients, I had to learn to be completely vulnerable in order to figure out what was right—for me, and for them. You know what I learned? That we are all still learning, always, and there is no right path to take! However, my biggest takeaway is that if you stay empathetic, vulnerable, and curious along the way, you’re bound to uncover some amazing things.

Salesloft is hiring for several open roles, including a Partner Enablement Manager position.

 

#WomenLEAD is a collection of stories, interviews, and advice from women who are spearheading the future of Learning, Enablement, and Development. If you know an inspiring leader in L&D, Revenue Enablement, or Customer Education who should be featured in a future installment, please get in touch!

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