Amy Pence and I were able to catch up last week to talk about Sales Enablement and the value of having properly prepared sales people. In addition to a program and process by which sales people are brought onboard at a company, initially trained and then receiving ongoing training (for both sales and product).
The oldest of six siblings and a self-proclaimed mother hen, keeper of the peace and problem solver, Amy is a natural (and I say gifted) fit as a Sales Enablement leader.
Read on for excerpts into our conversation and subscribe to our upcoming blabcast on 11/4 to hear more.
DM: How would you define Sales Enablement?
AP:When I think about sales enablement, I think about the enablement of breakthroughs through those moments of breakdowns. Figuring out how people learn, what’s going to make people “get it” to click for them, and put that into practice. It’s putting it into a coaching perspective, be vulnerable – you must practice what you preach.
DM: Why Alteryx?
AP: When I was interviewing, Alteryx stood out as the real deal. Talking to leaders, people in the building – everyone was here to make a difference and make it happen. Being here now, it’s the people, the product – it does what it says, no smoke and mirrors here. I could just feel it here, in the back of my neck, that this was it.
DM: Tell me more about your Enablement role within Alteryx?
AP: Even though enablement pops up as not a word in spell check, the enablement community is really excited about being more widely recognized as a key and strategic function in sales – a bonafide profession. I run and provide a host of enablement services from sales boot camps and sales onboarding to ongoing sales training. I work with our Sales leaders to build 30/60/90 days plans – we call it the cohort approach – by team and then across teams. And we’re very careful to do retrospectives, aka postmortems so that our enablement efforts further a collaborative culture. One thing our culture demonstrates is this – accountability and engagement go hand in hand with collaboration.
As an extension of that, I am constantly asking what we can do better to make the reps successful. And further, build the tools and be sure to stay focused on testing, experimenting, executing – in other words, making it happen!
DM: Would you share with me your key insights re: Sales Enablement?
AP: It’s a mix of training, but not just from an event standpoint, it’s ongoing support and making sure people have what they need when they need it. Being the oldest child of 6, that was my role – making sure that everyone was happy, kids were in bed, so I could hang out later. Being helpful and keeping the peace, but making things happen.
These are the fundamentals I see as aspects of Sales Enablement:
- Onboarding, Ongoing, Over-the-Shoulder Coaching
- Training, tools, talent management
- Vulnerability, vigor, volume
I and my soon to be team, tie all of that together and use SalesHood internally as a means to foster that collaboration, accountability and engagement within the team.
I consider it validation, a true compliment when reps ask: “What do you think? What would you do?” This tells me trust is there and I’ve done my job.
DM: What makes people embrace change?
AP: Sales Enablement is not for the faint of heart. It takes a ton of moxie, courage, and grit to train sales people. So I start with “there’s got to be a better way” mindset. And I show the outcome and definitely have refined my art of persuasion ability.
Literally what I tell reps is trust in the process, have faith, you’ll slip back into old tendencies, and that’s okay – and when you do, I’m committed to helping you reel it in so you can keep it between the ditches.
The Alteryx sales approach flips the traditional model on its head – and that’s where the onboarding, ongoing, over-the-shoulder coaching comes into play. Being one sales enablement leader to 75 reps means working closely with the sales leaders is not just a commitment, it’s a necessity.
DM: What does the future hold for you?
AP: Acceleration. Accelerating everywhere – and while setting the pace, not just keeping pace. Personally, I’m primed and ready to kick it into overdrive. I have the privilege of working with amazingly talented, driven individuals each day – people who wake up thinking about transforming lives by means of an insanely great analytics platform. We’re helping people learn to love their jobs again. And that’s exciting. I love my job – making that a reality for others is what I wake up thinking about.
I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with Amy, she’s an amazing individual and definitely in the right role at the right company. You can catch up with Amy at our upcoming Modernizing Inside Sales blabcast series. We’re talking Sales Playbooks on Wednesday, November 4th at 8:30am pst. Subscribe here.
Dionne is a 17 year sales veteran having built and scaled Inside Sales team from the ground up. She recently started her own firm, Inside Sales by Design, to work with small and mid-size companies to share the ultimate best practices of high performing Inside Sales teams. To that end, she recently co-created PM Inside Sales, an online course teaching the fundamentals that have made her teams so successful. When not working, Dionne enjoys spending time with her husband, kids, and friends at the beach and embarking on new experiences.