Canadian host, Adriana Romero, sits with Ashton Williams, Sales Enablement Manager at ADA to explore delivering on metrics-focused Enablement.

1️⃣Embrace metrics as they demonstrate the value you are bringing to the company and they give you a north star to guide your efforts.

2️⃣Take the time to actually establish the metrics you are going to use.  These metrics will let you know when you are on, or off-track, and equally importantly, if the business is or is not on track.

3️⃣Be brave and get comfortable delivering bad news.  

Ashton and Adriana also provided great insights on taking ownership for your own Enablement career, manager enablement, and much more.

Give a listen and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

Adriana Romero
Okay, here we are live. Welcome, everybody. And thank you for joining us this Friday, first Friday of December. here in Toronto. It’s knowing ash, and how’s the snow in downtown Toronto right now?

Unknown Speaker
It’s like it’s melting.

Adriana Romero
So it’s melting.

Ashton Williams
Wait, we’re happy?

Adriana Romero
Well, it’s funny because I live in rural Ontario and the snowflakes are like this big, but it’s beautiful, because it looks like a Christmas movie. So it’s kind of in the most The best part is I don’t have to drive anywhere. So I really like it.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Adriana Romero
Thank you so much for joining me today. I’m super excited. Thank you to john to ask me, you know, to be the Canadian voice of no coffee collaboration and enablement. I’m super excited to be your host. And you know, I am going to invite all the faces of enablement in Canada. And you know, to show that the great white North also is doing some amazing efforts in enablement. And we have some great people here. And I, you know, I’m very happy that Ashton decided to join me today. And you know, Ashton, I want you to make your introduction about yourself a little bit about you. Most importantly is, you know, how did you fall into enablement?

Ashton Williams
I love this question. Um, okay. I’m Ashley Williams. Thanks for having me. I’m honored. You were like one of the first people I met when I came into enablement. And so I’m like, low key a fangirl here of Adrian. But I work at ADA. And ADA is an AI powered platform that helps companies deliver automation and incredible customer experience at scale. It’s a fast growing startup, we’ve been doubling in size, and it’s really, really exciting to be their first enablement hire. And joining enablement, I think unlike a lot of people, I made the really conscious decision to get into it. I took I had a career in sales, I started actually in customer experience at a call center and quickly was selling the most credit cards and realized I was in the wrong place. And then made my move to actually the cpsa, which is the Canadian professional sales Association, they deliver, you know, professional sales, training, and sell memberships to the sales community to legitimize the sales profession. So I got a formal sales education, as well as a bit of a startup education because they were undergoing a complete restructure. When I joined. I took on partnership acquisition there. And as part of acquiring partners, I had to teach all the sales team, how to sell that partnership within our membership stack for effective clients. And I realized that was a part of the job I really loved and then onboarding clients into what we do. And so training was born, I moved to a company called EF to be a sales trainer, their three year sales cycle travel very similar to SAS, you by the end of the possible and hope you set the right expectations. And, you know, I was I was training a team, but they were also going through structure. So I reported right into the CEO. And I realized that what I was doing was a lot more strategic than just facilitating training. And that the career track at that company was to sales manager. So I was like, I’m not done here. I love what I’m doing. And they were like, what you’re ready for an example like I am, but like, is it not still training, and I moved to being a sales manager. I did that for a little while I learned a lot about how I must have been annoying as a trainer to my sales leaders.

Adriana Romero
I mean, everybody’s gonna say the trainer is annoying, and it’s okay. Yeah, the things that you have to like, build like a tough skin, right? For

Ashton Williams
sure. But I think I learned how to communicate in language that leaders need. And I will, you know, respect that so much. And it helped me make the decision to go into enablement, and specifically tech. And so in my year off, I met you, I reached out to a whole bunch of other people, I have a wonderful community of mentors, and made the conscious choice to join tech startup and enablement.

Adriana Romero
Wow, that is like you mean tech startup. And enablement is just a mouthful, because I mean, a enablement is already on its own something and we’re going to dig in a little bit more about that then the startup world because you know, as you as we know, it, like Canada, and especially Toronto is now has seen a boom of startups and in downtown Toronto, I think, you know, you can throw a coin and it will land in a startup and a high growth startup, right. And everybody is hustling and moving around and trying to build these companies. So, you know, that first moment when you realize what have you done, you know, moving into all this at the same time? What was the thought process because you’re very, you’re very organized person, you’re very, you know, deliberate with what you do. You You really you really think about all the things that you’re doing. Yeah. You know, what, what was Ashton’s process when you sat down, you were getting enabled and on boarded, and you said, Okay, this is the challenge in front of me. What did you do at that point?

Ashton Williams
Yeah, so I’ll say this. I fortunately interviewed a quite a few wonderful companies. And in my Interview having been hired at companies usually when they’re undergoing a massive transition, I’ve learned that starting a job is actually in the interview asked people what’s happening. In my interviews, I spent a lot of time being like, what’s your challenge? Who am I going to be working with? What are your goals for this job? What’s your timeline for this goals? Do you understand enablement? Can you define it to me? What am I truly gonna be responsible for? And how are you going to support me? And those interviews turned into working sessions sometimes where I was like, what, this is an enablement problem, this is something else, or Oh, you’re looking for sales ops, that’s not me, not my skill set, sorry.

Adriana Romero
Sorry, by enablement, and you hold them in the interview, right.

Ashton Williams
And I would say that ADA has probably one of the best definitions where the job description had outcomes. And that was really attractive to me. I really wanted to move into a company that would would teach me or allow me to learn about what are the metrics and things that I should be moving? Can I have a tech stack to do that properly? And are we really data driven? Because I remember spinning my wheels training and being like, okay, like, how do we also successful they’re like, everyone loved it. I’m like, that’s not a business outcome. Well, yes. And so I was I was intentional in choosing a company that would align to the type of enablement I’m hoping to do and grow at.

Adriana Romero
I love that. I love that because that’s super important, because there’s so many people right now, you know, enablement, that suddenly becomes something, you know, the the the cool kids want to do. It’s like, enablement before was like what is enablement? And suddenly, it’s like, oh, my God, you are enablement. And I remember like, a year ago, you know, do you look, you look at the job postings and LinkedIn, it’s like, one enablement, role two enablement roles. And so it’s like this explosion of enablement roles. Everybody wants an enabler. Every CIO, VP of sales, like I need my sidekick, I need somebody here to do this. And this is, you know, this is a very important framework to get people to ask the right questions, especially you coming from a sales background, and, you know, comes to you and I share that common, you know, background, we come from sales, we did some training, but you know, we want the hard numbers. And I love it when you said I wanted to know the metrics I was impacting, because that Pat, on the back of, oh, great job between look beautiful, beautiful slides. Yeah, that was great. How are people selling more? Right? So, you know, and that structure that you built for Aidan, that you’re currently working in? How did you how did you a get the structure to understand the metrics? And how did you get your sales managers to collaborate with you?

Ashton Williams
Yeah, so I’m gonna say this, I feel really fortunate to work at ADA. And I’m going to share that like, I don’t feel like I experienced a lot of the challenges that my fellow enablers do. By in executive sponsorship, and leadership alignment perspective, we’re a startup, everyone has their own goals. And there’s lots of things as you grow and scale where communication and alignment are challenging. But the belief and understanding that like reps need to be empowered to do their best work that ramping them to quota faster, and productivity is good for the business. And that we have to embrace process in order to grow and not break our culture is is pretty understood. And so I was lucky. I’ll say that I want to say that I own doing that. I have leaders and great support and a wonderful team that I work with. But establishing metrics was probably one of the bigger, bigger challenges. And I’ll be honest, we’re still working through it, you know, the business is young. And when I got there, we were just getting Salesforce usage to be real. around like I joined in January and February, it was like a Salesforce optimization process to get people like out of Google Docs and actually entering deals in Salesforce. And so that happened, and that was wonderful. And that was one kind of step in the right direction. And then when we look at ramp right now I can manage measure time for steel, right, that that was the metric we had. And so that’s what we started with. I’ve since you know, added level jump to our tech stack to help me better measure the lagging and leading indicators before the deals, I think you have to tell people that they’re on the right path. And it’s better to get in there and help them and not just let them fail when it’s going to cost the company that much money. But I’ve been really focused on aligning my tech stock, the data that I’m going to need. And the team’s helping them to understand what I’m trying to build in terms of I want you as a leader to look at a dashboard that shows you pipeline health activity, how is this person trending? How’s their conversion rates stage to stage? What are the gaps on my team, you should have that. And that’s what I want. Because when I was a sales manager, I was so grateful to my analytics team for that. And so what I’m hoping is that I’m building this tech stack and building these processes where we can have that for every leader and that allows us to actually promote our ease to managers, because we’re telling them what a good day looks like. And as a sales rep, I’m managing my own business. I want to know what a good day looks like, not just my manager. So we need to be able to communicate on the org there.

Adriana Romero
I like that I like that because you’re providing real value. You’re bringing real value to your to your sales team. You are You know, your understanding? What are the initiatives that you do that actually move the needle and what you do that might not move the needle and you can identify? Is it a skill or a will issue because that’s also super important, right? Those are the people that hide underneath the surface, and kind of like cruise the ship, you know, we all know, we all know how that goes. But it’s that you bring up something very important is the fact of wanting to have metrics and kind of like, I think about, you know, some of us enablers like that three year old that’s yearning for structure, and that has tantrums because they don’t have a structure, you know, or like a puppy who’s exactly doing the same thing. Now, there’s some enablement, people out there that fear, the measurement that fear the metric, because it’s might you know, surface things that they might not want to surface, how you know, you you have a good luck, because you you come with that. But if you would have to say to somebody, don’t fear the metric, because this is how it’s going to help you. How would you address that conversation?

Ashton Williams
Yeah, so I take this back to being a salesperson, right? My customer gives me an objection. I’m grateful for that objection. Right. You’re telling me how to fix your problem. Yeah, that guidance in the sales cycle is going to get me to go from vendor to partner, the same goes for a metric, why would I not want to know what’s broken, because then I don’t know how to close. And that’s when you people who can’t get a seat at the table can’t get by and kink in alignment. If you’re afraid to show Hey, guys, you don’t want to listen to me, Well, your process is broken. And I don’t know how you’re gonna make goal because I don’t see pipeline movement happening here. Of course, you’re not delivering business value programs, and certifications are nice, but they’re not business value. And so being afraid of the metric, I think often comes from you know, fear. In general, we have a lot of enablers come from different backgrounds, maybe you don’t understand the sales metrics. And that happens, maybe you’re a learning designer, and your skill isn’t accessible training, which is a craft, and you’re now enabling a company. And I think it’s important that, you know, a company has psychological say, for people to say, I don’t know what I’m doing, I need help. That’s, that’s usually a company, you got to be able to say, I failed at my stuff, please help and not be afraid for your job. But you also owe it to yourself, to be able to tell your next company how I did a job. And I think I took a year off before I joined ADA. And the thing that for me was so impactful is I never want to be in a position where I can only speak in company terms. I was being like, well, this is how my company did that. And it was crazy. I need to be able to build my own resume my own confidence to be able to say like, these are the outcomes that I made. And like our salespeople, when they’re interviewing, they tell us that you’re great salespeople are like, I made the business this much money. Yeah, I know that. And and it’s not about you love a company, it’s I’m going to place it’s gonna make me the best version of myself. And when that ceases to be true. I’m going to move on and I’m going to know the impact I left behind me. Of course, you single person, especially women, in our career, have to be able to have that voice and do that for yourself. because how else? Are you going to drive success and repeat it?

Adriana Romero
Oh, totally. JOHN, I see you unmuted yourself. You just want

The Collaborator
I just wanted to go Hell yeah. Because I wanted to like high five, you both when you started talking about the metrics, don’t be afraid of them. Because they’re off. Look, we all screw up. We all fail 100 times a day right here I fail. But at least I know it if I can see the metric.

Adriana Romero
Of course and you know how to course correct, right. This is not working, you know, definition of madness doing the same thing over and over again, just change it.

The Collaborator
And I wanted to call Ashton out because you said especially for women. Any enabler. enabler, man, woman, dog cat, I don’t care who or what you are. Take the pride I have the pride in what you do.

Unknown Speaker
Yes,

The Collaborator
I’m to understand it. We have the best community available. I look at YouTube. And I say to geniuses for people to reach out to I’m sorry, I’m gonna shut up now because this was a good conversation.

Adriana Romero
I know this. God, I love it that you unmuted yourself because you say something true. And I, I get what you’re saying about being a woman because being a woman in sales, it’s already challenging, like, you know, it, let’s face it, it’s difficult. I have been so many times and you were just telling us how you guys are, you know, hiring people for the company. And sometimes you’re like, I just want more women to apply. I want to see more women on the floor. There is such a challenge. And I remember going through this, you know, in my previous job, where we just wanted more women like in management roles and director roles and even you know, in the floor, but it’s this fear so you know, that’s what prompted me and my business partner and my side business to actually enable women to not fear sales and then come here because you know, to John’s point, all of us at enablement should not fear the metric either and we should you brought something up that I really like is if you want to In the table, you need to have the metrics to show it. Because especially in startups, you know, the startup like the CEO, and the founders are going to want to know, what is that person who’s running like a chicken without her head all over the office doing all day? And what value is this person bringing? And you need to be able to show it and john, you say it, you know, I love when you say, the random acts of enablement, you know, because we’re doing everything for the sales floor. But is it really bringing something so, you know, how, how would you say, you know, not only knowing the metrics, but sometimes you have to deliver the hard news about the metrics, right? It’s like, it’s not only guys that I did a program, right didn’t do a program, I certified the team, right on board of the team, it’s like, we might not be hiring to the right profile, right? We might just have an issue with management not being, you know, coaching the team or not being you know, a good leader and demonstrating how to do you know, the sales role? It could be that hey, product, the product is not really speaking to the customer that we’re trying to sell to? So can we have that? So also having the ability to have those conversations and, and it’s your, in your experience, and this year, so far, when you have had to deliver some sort of this news? You know, how have you used your metrics and your solid data to actually bring this information to people internally?

Ashton Williams
Yeah, so I want to take like one step back. So when I say specifically for women, and I think it’s important, we acknowledge it, women usually struggle with confidence when it comes to coaching and advocating for themselves. It’s it’s, especially in tech, and especially in sales. Yeah. enablement, especially if you have a sales background, or from this very black and white thing that empowered you to advocate for yourself to this gray area. And an enablement especially when you get wishy washiness, and you have a lack of confidence or a struggle on like, what should I be confident about? I say like as women, establishing your resume and your metrics, and your success is important, because you don’t need to negotiate your salary based on you you negotiate it based on the business impact I’m going to have and yeah, this is what works for you is all of your people ramping at six months instead of a year worth accelerate? Good. It should be I’m not negotiating selfishly, I’m negotiating based on business impact tonight, I want to acknowledge that because I think that’s so important for people to advocate for themselves. We talk about delivering hard news. So at eight I’ll say this, we’re still establishing a lot of things I haven’t had to deliver super hard news this year, we had a phenomenal year, you know, I would express incredible gratitude to the team that we have that we have navigated this pandemic, our customers are grateful to us, we have just grown throughout a tough time. And in that sense, I haven’t actually had to deliver really bad news. But really fortunate. I have however, been at other companies where I’ve had to do this, and I’m going to give an example I interviewed at a company and this interview is probably the best example I can give. Or they were like, We just want to chat. We wanted to meet like a couple of the managers. It’s casual, like, Okay, I get into a boardroom that our five sales managers all have their laptops on, nobody’s looking at me. And each one of them takes turn sharing what’s broken. It was I was not I was like, Okay, cool. We’re doing this nice. Um, and the things that were broken, were really specifically these managers are not coaches very clearly, this is not enablement, you are not coaching one to one enablement is one to many.

Unknown Speaker
Your one to one, yeah,

Ashton Williams
your leadership is struggling. These managers needed enablement, they needed support, they needed alignment, their ops was not clear. So that dashboard, they needed to guide their way unclear. They couldn’t measure what good looks like. And I remember asking them, they were all had a lot of complaints. I was like, What is something that your team did? Great. You You doubled inside this size this year? What are your team doing? Well, and not a single one of them could answer

Adriana Romero
Oh my god, yeah. The hard

Ashton Williams
news I delivered at that interview is one, this is not an enablement problem. Do not hire someone in this role. You’re gonna not set someone else up for success, and it’s going to be unfair. So I’m not taking it hundred percent. But to you need manager enablement manager training and you need a revenue operations team ASAP. Because that’s the problem. Anyone can do the enablement, if you know, the pain, you’re looking forward.

Adriana Romero
Oh my god, yes, it was not possible.

Ashton Williams
And so I’ll say delivering hard news is similar to when you talk to a customer, you told me that these were the outcomes and goals you had. And I’m just trying to hold you accountable to what we talked about earlier in the deal. And I thought this is where we were going, if that’s changed, let me know. But if it hasn’t, this isn’t looking good for you.

Adriana Romero
I love that. And you bring up a very good point, which is manager enablement. And I think, you know, there’s this confusion and and you know, I’ve seen it so many times where people think, oh, we haven’t enablement person. It’s like the fix all. You know, it’s like the magic wand like I’m a fairy godmother of you know, the Disney story. I’m going to come in and fix everything. I know people. I’m going to help you. But as you said, Can’t be one to 100 and fix everybody. It has to be a work between me and you to fix everybody. And I will tell you where and I will tell you how. And I’m going to help you but the day today has to go to you. So we bring me to manager enablement, which is a very interesting point. And I think something that you know, we heard and LCS this year about more and more people and more enablers focusing their time on manager enablement, specially our friends that have bigger orgs. And that have, you know, the Salesforce I remember being an open text in the Salesforce was like 3000 people, there was no way in hell we were going to get to each person. So we needed to create programs that were going to the manager because we enabled the team we on boarded the team and then it was okay manager, you have to do the follow up, and you have to help us help you. So you know, in terms of how you’re thinking about 2021, and you’re thinking about all the growth that eight is having, because the challenge is Next, you’re going to be different, you’re going to grow your team, you know, you’re going to grow, we’re going to bring on more sales people, your managers are going to have much more to do you have an incredible infrastructure to do that. You have a great playbook to do that. But how are you thinking about how you’re going to help your managers next year?

Ashton Williams
Yeah. I’m a humongous advocate for a partnership with your people team. And I think that is one of the biggest misses that sales enablement makes is not partnering with people, and also holding them accountable to metrics because your people team has metrics if they are partners, which they should be, if you have a great people teams, they are concerned about performance across the organization, they’re concerned about it and the right talent and the right keeping them there. Your employee lifetime value also falls with them. And the business has to grow so they can keep growing. So yeah. When we think about manager enablement, there’s there’s two prongs to this one is, is management at your company, something you’re teaching, do you have a playbook for your managers as a company? Or no? Yeah. Oh, yes. To teach them how to give feedback. How did you performance reviews? Is that

Adriana Romero
something how to do a one on one? It’s not do it know how to do a one on one,

Ashton Williams
career planning, career progression planning, right? All of those things have to be done. In the sales work. We kind of do a lot of that specifically for the salespeople, but it’s not our lift, right? My lift is, hey, managers, you need people to diagnose what’s happening on your team, I can help you and build a training to fix that problem. But you got to be able to tell me this, this is our goal. And this is where we’re struggling and I want to move this metric. Let’s let’s work on how I can teach you how to do that. That is the ability

Adriana Romero
of that’s why you’re the manager.

Ashton Williams
Exactly. And so I think what happens is you hear enablement, teams like own orientation and onboarding full, I shouldn’t be sending care packages to my new hires, they need to be welcomed by my companies and people team. And their orientation matters, because happy on borders are people who stay and then push through your sales onboarding. So I would say in this instance, manager enablement is helping them with the resources and tools to make coaching easier, give them a scorecard, give them a script, give them what they need. So they can quickly get in there and listen to call and give feedback. Don’t make them reinvent the wheel. That is totally right. Do a listening tour of the pains of the whole company and give them a playbook for that. But people your people team and if you aren’t aligned with your people, team manager enablement is this uphill battle of getting by and you’re nobody’s boss, right? It’s not it shouldn’t come from them. Exactly.

Adriana Romero
When you say you’re nobody’s boss, because I always tell people, that enablement is the person who knows everybody in the company, but it’s those lonely like role that exists, right? Because we’re like a little island. I remember last year, when I met john, I went to San Antonio to the sales enablement society meeting. You know, it was my first time going to one of these meetings, I had been in enablement three years. And I’m like, finally, I’m going to meet others of my time. And I remember getting there and like, going to like the first like, you know, presentation, and seeing people around me and talking to people, I’m like, Oh, my God, I have found my people. Like, I finally found those little groups of islands that we can make this huge and beautiful, kind of like, you know, country together. So, you know, it’s super important that people know that, that you You are a partner. For many of these, I believe that anyone was partner for people, partner for product partner for finance, a partner for legal in many cases, a partner for marketing a partner for sales, like we I call it the bridge, like we bridge all these things into sales, and we bring all this and if you’re a good enabler, people in sales are going to follow and gonna listen to you. And you’re going to listen when you say, you know what legal is just not trying to be difficult about this issue. This is compliance and I’m going to explain to you why, you know, and all those things are going to happen, but it’s very important the sense of community and you know, it We have been seeing an uptick of communities in enablement showing up, you know, we all have sales enablement society, which I feel for me, it’s like, I see it as the Ivy League of the, you know, of the communities, and then all these new communities that are formed. And we both share, you know, women in sales enablement, here in Toronto, and now in Canada with some of our friends moving to other places in the geography, you know, we share the sales enablement squad, there’s a sales enablement collective, there’s so many things and being an island, and being Canada where, you know, people think it’s a joke, but no, many times you’re in Toronto, and you will meet somebody who’s a cousin of somebody else. And note to you guys who are listening, I’m an immigrant. And I now can find myself knowing people that knows people. So yeah, it’s a smaller country. How do we get closer like, how do you think you know, it will be good for us in Canada to get closer as a community? What are the things in the movements that you’re seeing, specially for anybody who is opting into an enablement role in Canada, that might even be right now sitting down in Spain, or might be sitting down in Michigan, or maybe sitting down in, you know, South Africa, because the world thanks to COVID, you know, for some of the positive things that came out of this is that we can now do these things all over the place. So what what would you say, you know, being being started enablement in Canada, how would you nurture that network? And how would you look for help, because you did it very well.

Ashton Williams
So I’ll say this, I had a wonderful mentor. When I reported him to the CEO. He really taught me a lot. It was a huge challenge on me to report your CEO is a junior person. And I grew up real fast. One of the things that he instilled in me I had, I had my first six months in the job, I was the only trainer to like, 35 people in two different offices. And I was new to the industry. And I was stressed. There’s a lot to do. I was lonely. And I was just coming to me like, What do I do? What do I do? What do I do every day? I ever wonder. He just like had enough. And he was like, Listen, you got to figure out how to do your job. And you got to look outside this place. Because we you because we don’t know. I just remember like, it was a frank conversation. And I sat there being like,

Adriana Romero
oh, oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, you’re right. Yeah, I can look for friends outside of here.

Ashton Williams
Right. And, and it was I mean, you know, at the time, my career, I was young, I needed that permission to ask. But that has been a cornerstone for what I call skill hunting. So when you take a job, right, you should take it based on the skills you want to build for your future career. So maybe this job is the most exciting for you, but I need to learn project management. So I’m going to do this. And I remember going, I didn’t want to be a sales manager, but I’m at work my sales manager, so I’m going to take this job and I’m gonna die and that’s okay. I cold reached out to a whole bunch of people in enablement in tech and was like, I want to move, what do I do? How did you do what you do? And enablers are wonderful. And they reached out and they connected. But I know a lot of enablers who just don’t. And I’ll say this, that our community is an interesting one, where when people are not data focused, it’s fluffy, right? It can be really make an extra when someone and they’re talking about a bunch of stuff they did and you’re like, Okay, how did you do that? And they won’t show you, or what was the outcome of that? And they don’t know. And then you’re just like, Okay, well, this is now waste. My time networking is really tiring, right? Yeah. He’s like, super like eating, it’s tiring. Yeah, I’ll be super fluid conversations, or the amount of people reach out to you and want help. And it’s like this Take Take Take Take Take on hold and you leave it being like, I call them my, we call them vampires. Like blood suckers. Even you’re like I have nothing left. When so what I say for people is you cannot do this without the community, the professional is too young. The people who’ve been doing it many years at these global companies, they can help you at your startup, they don’t remember when it’s like, you know, to have to do and be and strategize. And so you trying to do it on your own, which is usually the junior people who join enablement, they try to tough it out. Like they’re gonna change the world and do it themselves, right. We’re all going to be creative and think of our own ways to do things, but learn from someone else’s pain. Go get a gut check, get a sanity check. The amount of sanity checks I have taken this year at eight, I have a new tack room like is this a tech thing? And someone’s like, no. And I’m like, Oh, I can fix that’s not a that’s a real thing to fix. Got it. Cool. Thank you. And I needed those. And the other piece of that is your job becomes less stressful. Yeah, maybe outside of it, if that makes sense. It’s like when you’re tired, or when you have work to do don’t work more. Stop working, you’re actually

Adriana Romero
gonna scan and just have conversations. I feel like I have pretty sure you’re the same. You know, this world where slack has also brought us together outside of the company. I opened my slack. My husband works in a big org and he has PTSD when he sees me my slot because I have like seven channels like different organs. And I just moved from one to the other. And every time I see some of them where I know, I’m going to give or get value. I go directly there and see what are they talking about? Like I want to join this conversation, right? It just it creates that sense of we’re not alone. I love when I can talk with somebody and say, Hey, let me run this idea like yet last night, I was running on idea through, you know, one of my, one of my mentors, SVP of sales was amazing. And I’m like, I just need your eyes like, validate if I’m crazy or not, or give me something else, or, you know, I totally agree with you. It’s very lonely, we need to stick together, and we need to help each other

Ashton Williams
and get your get your perspective, right, because I also would say this, the amount of times that I’ve been wrong this year, I’m like, this doesn’t make sense. I’ve never did that. I remember me to save an LMS. And I remember looking at me being like, so how you gonna scale your training? And as a cabling salesperson, I don’t want go into an LMS and be trapped there and then come back to Salesforce. Like, this is dumb. And they were like, cool. you’re defining LMS. completely wrong. It’s like anything where people go to learn. I’m like, yeah. Oh, like, I needed that. Right. And that’s it. Yeah. But it also meant that I was like, Oh, I need to build a budget for LMS, I would have possibly built my budget without an LMS. And I would have been insane.

Adriana Romero
To be honest, and sometimes even talking, I love talking with even sales people like I sit down and I say, like, how would you like to do this? Or how would you, you know, tackle this problem? I love collaborating with subject matter experts were either my salespeople like I have, I have right now. And you know, in level jump, we have a queen of LinkedIn, I call her. And I’m like, Girl, I love LinkedIn. I’m very good at it. But you are amazing. Yes, Devin, that’s you. I’m calling you out. And I told her let’s work on a training together because I want to replicate you many times. And, and you know what? I tell people, Ashton, I don’t know everything. There’s subject matter experts out there. I just know there’s somebody else with the knowledge and I want to bring them in. And then you know, when the upside, I will learn something as well. And I think as a community, we should do that more and more. And even connecting people, right, like part of the knock, right? I

Ashton Williams
will introduce anybody to anybody. But what I’ll say is this, just ask, go reach out and ask, we have this really big fear to ask, we don’t want to show our shop, right? We’re like, oh, how’s your onboarding, if you’re not willing to show someone your onboarding, they’re not going to show you your so like, give

Unknown Speaker
me Tell me how you build, I’m

Ashton Williams
ready. I’m like, show me a program. I’ll

Adriana Romero
show you mine. If you show me yours,

Ashton Williams
what but but you have to be open to that type of collaboration. Because if that’s how you’re engaging in a network, where the stakes are super low, I can’t imagine how you’re doing that internally. And then you’re not building onboarding by yourself, your manager should be taking an interest in the trainings that are being run, they should be running, some of them are afraid to show your work. Well, you’re not collaborating. And that’s actually like, really not what enablement is about.

Adriana Romero
I sell. I tell people, when you’re when people fear, knowing or doing or showing, what is it that they’re hiding, like, I always say that to my salespeople, like if you have somebody in the company, who doesn’t want to show you, or doesn’t want to bring somebody to the meeting, there has something something to fear. And, to your point, leave the fear of asking questions. I always say this to people, I remember being in university for a semester, and I had a calculus exam. JOHN, you would remember this from you know, when we were, you know, doing calculus as engineers, because that’s what we were supposed to do. And I remember being in an exam and seeing a question that was like the makeup break for that test. And I was unclear if the thing was an equal or an unequal. I actually demonstrated the whole thing on an unequal and it was equal. But I never stood up to ask a question. And that broke my test. And the only way I was able to pass that subject was because the professor said, I know you’re doing a hard work. And your only issue was, you did not want to stand up and ask a question. I hope this teaches you, you have to stand up and ask the question. Never again, did I fear asking a question? No matter where I am, no matter anything, I will ask like, what does that mean? And being an immigrant in Canada, sometimes I’m like, what does that mean? You know, even though I know English, I might not know what you’re talking about. So I will ask it. So no fear, have no fear, right?

Ashton Williams
I also think of it this way, like, clarify, can you do this all the time, where they’re like, I got asked to do this project? I don’t want to do this. Why are we running this? And I’m like, did you did you? Did you ask why? Like, like, I remember a VP who like walked by one rep. And I don’t know what happened to him. He was like, we are doing negotiate training for the whole company. And I was like, I mean, they don’t want that much. But like, Okay, why? And he was like, this person. Listen, this call this is terrible. And I’m like, great. Is that a coaching opportunity for that person? And they were going to and training forever. And I was like, let’s everybody breaks. Let’s just let’s just just squish them take take five minutes of their time. Yeah. And it turned out that we had a we had a product that wasn’t selling and we assumed it was negotiation, the product actually had a really similar product in the portfolio that was half the price. So what people would do is they would bait and switch over the product. The customer be like I love that but like what would that price would be like don’t worry about it by this one. And so they made more sales that way. They were not selling Based on the dollar value of this exactly, typically they were just choosing another product. It wasn’t they didn’t know about or they didn’t know how to devote. I think in enablement, we’re so quick to be order takers sometimes, when we’re especially we don’t have our metrics. And we’re unclear that we’re like, Okay, I guess it’s my responsibility. And it’s this big daunting thing. And I’m like, just check if it’s just ask. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
I remember, it’s

Adriana Romero
so funny that you say that, because I went through the same thing this summer, where the whole issue was, people do not understand financial terms. I’m like, hold on, they do. They might be fearful of using the knowledge which goes to your confidence. And sometimes you might have studied everything, your confidence is so low that you fear doing it. And one thing that’s in startups, you know, people will battle a lot is you have a young BDR, or a young age, who’s 2528. And they’re calling into a CFO that might be you know, 50. And they feel when they pick up the phone, oh, this guy’s gonna hang up on me because I am so young. No, if you know your stuff, they’re not going to do that. They’re gonna admire the fact and if you don’t know it, the fact that you say, sir, I don’t know that let me check. They’re also going to respect you. So that’s, you know, that’s super important. You know, john, we the 25 year olds, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s, you know, that’s us, right?

The Collaborator
Yeah, I’m 2530 years plus, yeah, I’m

Adriana Romero
25 plus 20. So you know, but I’m still 25. As you know, it’s been so good to hear about asking the enabler and ask them like, you know, the forward thinker and strategic, let’s get to know Austin, as a person, I’m gonna throw some rapid fire questions at you. Because I love I love this. Tell me about a book you’re reading right now. Oh,

Ashton Williams
I just actually wrapped up a book called anxious people. It is. It’s an audio book, but it’s about basically Stockholm Syndrome. It covers some themes, but it’s a it’s like a collection of short stories where different people’s lives intersect. And the book ends with kind of a lesson. It was a really interesting read. And I want to take a break from the many business books that I crush on Audible. So it was a nice shift away.

Adriana Romero
I love it. That’s super interesting. I

Adriana Romero
really like it.

Adriana Romero
What podcasts are you listening to recently?

Unknown Speaker
Oh,

Ashton Williams
The Secret Life of Canada, I think I’m seeing all the things happening in the States. And being Canadian, I realized as a as a Caribbean Canadian, my grandmother immigrated here with such a very specific intention to, to set up our lives and our family in this country. And you know, being a first generation Fabian, I am super, I take it for granted. I didn’t research Canada that much. There was a lot I didn’t know. And I also found myself contrasting us to the states in a way that I was like, there’s a lot more of the size of California. And America is like not, yeah, we’re totally different. And our history is different. But because our media share, there was just so much I didn’t know. So it’s a CBC podcast that talks about the secret life in Canada, and it’s kind of Canada through history, and some of the things we don’t like to talk about that that we did as a country, and how we make repairs for that and to build awareness around different cultures and different histories within the country. It’s been pretty educational. I love that I

Adriana Romero
really liked that. Because you know, and I love when I hear you saying a first generation Canadian, I hope my daughter one day who’s the first generation pay and talks about you know, when my mom my dad decided to leave, you know, the homeland and come here, I always feel very related. Because, you know, you want to you want to learn about the country that you come to you want to learn about the country that you left, but I think it’s important to understand the differences. And I spent a lot of time you know, when I came to Canada, learning about Canada, like the history, how was even the country born because it’s so different, like people don’t understand we don’t have an independence because we’re not independent. You know? And when people say is Canada, your independence day, no, no, let’s let’s talk about what Canada Day is. Right? So I love that you’re doing that for history. It’s gonna it’s gonna be amazing. I really like it. So on that topic, who’s the most inspiring Canadian for you?

Ashton Williams
Ooh, that is a I don’t know that I can pick one. And honestly, this is gonna sound like super corny, I should say someone famous, but my cousin is currently chief people Officer of Canada learning code and my entire life we’re about five or four years apart. My entire life. I’ve just looked up to how she is like been a powerhouse through her career as a woman she like started diversity councils at places. She’s always been a high achiever and hold yourself to a standard that like, I remember as a kid being like, yeah, that’s crazy. You’re not. And now in, you know, where you have a beautiful friendship and we we share a lot. We talk a lot. She was in tech before I was in tech. But just as a person and as a woman in business, I look up to her a ton. And I would say that I would be remiss to not say that she’s influenced a ton of my decisions that I make in my career sounds

Adriana Romero
amazing. What is her name, so

Ashton Williams
everybody gets to know her gaffers. You can reach out to her on LinkedIn, but she is like, just an advocate for For people finding their voice, finding a career and being happy, and being successful at doing that, and I think it’s changed my mindset as I’ve grown up in my career for sure.

Adriana Romero
I love it. She sounds like an amazing human being. No wonder you admire her so much. Now, tell us one pet peeve from Aston.

Ashton Williams
When people don’t get to the point, I have a patient’s radar of like, zero. direct question, I will just rephrase the direct question. And after the second attempt, I’m done. And I don’t think I realized that about myself being someone who’s so chatty, you would think that I’d be more patient the other way? I am not. I’m really not. So if I ask him very specific question, and I don’t get that answer.

Unknown Speaker
I am immediately

Unknown Speaker
like, oh,

Adriana Romero
like, stop running around the bushes and give it to me. I

Unknown Speaker
love that. I love that.

Adriana Romero
Now, the most important question of all this is very important. This is key defining here that candy or chocolate is my girl man, this is my girl. I love it. You can make candy with chocolate. It’s versatile. You can coat chocolate guy too.

Unknown Speaker
Yes.

Adriana Romero
Thank you. Thank you. I love this. This is this group. I shouldn’t this is you know, so was been so wonderful. I love the conversation, you know, getting to know a little bit more about you getting me know, there’s two things I love. I think there’s a lot of people that can learn from you learn the way that you, you know, get into things the way you think about things, your positive attitude, the way that you research so much. And you’re so thorough, I think this is something that everybody can learn, young or old. I think we’re all learning in this journey. Is there anything else that you wanted to add, you know, to the LinkedIn community today to anybody who’s been listening or wellness and afterwards?

Ashton Williams
Yeah, I think I would say this. We’re in a global pandemic. I know, we talk about it a lot. It’s been the topic. But there are opportunities within this where you have access to people you would just never get access to. And this is a time I feel like it’s like the internet was born, you know, you have everything you could need at your fingertips, build your network now. And craving a network. And the stakes are lower, and set yourself up for a great next year. And people because I think we’ve all learned as we’ve been separated, that the relationships we have, whether they’re work or not are so important. And we miss being around each other. But there’s opportunities to connect and meet new people now and to end to do that. Thank you so much for having me. I’m honored to be the inaugural guest. And I will continue to fail forward and share all the times that I mess up doing this job. But I’m eternally grateful to this community. It has been one of the most welcoming, wonderful and like places where I just learned so much about so much. And I really hope that in Canada especially like we continue to grow because businesses are growing here. We need discipline that can be defined differently in different countries.

Adriana Romero
I agree. Thank you so much for being I will see you next Thursday in our wives meeting. We have a wise breakfast next week or Christmas get together you know zoom. Thank you everybody so much for tuning in today for whoever is going to join in the podcast. I’m Adriana Romero and I am the Canadian host for coffee collaboration and enablement and thank you john for making this possible and have a fantastic Friday everybody.

The Collaborator
And I’m sure people will drop off but I simply want to say to you to Adriana, phenomenal of hosting and I’m so another challenge on top of the 37,000 you already have and and Ashton simply simply wonderful philosophy for for all things. So I just want to compliment you on that. And I’ll just read you this one comment before I let you go and we can end this. Daphne Pena. Pena. Then you simply say thank you ladies inspiring and rich conversation. She had to drop off but she was adding anxious people to her list. Love it. That is good. So you definitely you definitely touched at least one person and I’m sure many, many more. So thank you both. This was wonderful.

Unknown Speaker
Take care.

Unknown Speaker
Bye bye.