Amanda Anderson provides an open look into Enablement during covid

Amanda Anderson, Enabler, and Learning Consultant at TELUS, sits down with Canadian Regional Host and Trusted Advisor, Adriana Romero, to explore enablement during covid.

During this conversation, Amanda provided great insights on:

1️⃣ Starting a new job during covid – what worked and what has been challenging in this new remote work world we are living in.

2️⃣ The realities of burnout, how to manage, and what to watch out for.

So many great tips in this open, honest, and inspiring conversation.

Audio Transcript

Adriana Romero
To our coffee collaboration and enablement Canada, you know, Friday at noon meeting this is the first for February this year. And here I am with a lovely Amanda Anderson from TELUS who is going to talk about her experience in enablement. how it went from discovering she was not, you know, really there to be an engineer just mixing stuff in a lab. And you know how her journey has been welcome, Amanda,

Amanda Anderson
thank you so much for having me. Adriana. I’m so excited to be here today.

Adriana Romero
I am to Amanda, I didn’t want to do any injustice of introduce introducing you. So, you know, give our listeners a little bit of a summary of, you know, overview of your background.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, for sure. So like you said, like you I have an engineering background.

Adriana Romero
Right. Engineers, oh, Lady engineers. Yeah, so

Unknown Speaker
I started my career in, in chemical engineering. And you know, after working in a lab for about close to two years, you know, is very quickly that I realized that my personality just wasn’t built for working in a lab environment. You know, it’s very quiet, it was very staunch, I love process and all that kind of stuff. But personality wise, it just wasn’t for me. And so someone told me at one point in my life, you’d be so great at sales, you should go into sales, you have such a great personality. And I was like, Okay,

Unknown Speaker
well, let’s, let’s

Unknown Speaker
give it a go. And so I started my sales career selling laboratory supplies, because you know, how fitting I use them. You knew, right, it

Adriana Romero
was you were selling. So that’s exactly,

Unknown Speaker
exactly and I, it was a business development role. And I quickly realized I wasn’t that great at doing that either. But, you know, it was way back in a way before we had sales methodologies and training and enablement. So I was basically like, told to go online search for some companies and give them a call. And we all know that that’s not necessarily the way to go. And it doesn’t always work. It does sometimes. But for me, it didn’t work. And so then I kind of opened my mind and search criteria when it came to a sales job. And I happened to find a sales job in the tech world. So I was fairly new to tech. I didn’t even own a computer, if you can believe that. I use them at work and stuff. But yeah, I didn’t have one at home. And I got a job as an account manager for a distribution company that sold security software. And that’s where my love for technology started. And, you know, I had some of the really big accounts there. And I just thrived. I loved it so much. I learned so much. I got a computer.

Adriana Romero
Oh, man, you know, did you did you get to that moment?

Unknown Speaker
It was Adele, actually, my dad bought it for me for my birthday. It was Adele, like it was super thick. Right back in the day.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, and oh, my God, there was so heavy. It’s like a brick somewhere in my house.

Unknown Speaker
But that was my first computer and my first sort of foray into the technology world. And I fell in love with technology and having conversations with customers about IoT security and digital transformation. Although I’m not sure it was called that at the time. But

Adriana Romero
yeah, that’s that’s sort of where I started my career in sales. That’s amazing. So it’s funny when you say, you know, they gave you like, go online and search for companies. And there’s like, no rhyme or reason how to do it. I used a CRM back in the day, and I’m pretty sure maybe the only person who’s gonna remember this, like somebody, I’m gonna date myself here. It was called Maximizer. And that was the CRM that I was using. And I think it came in like 10 floppy disks. And it was the Colombia’s CRM and I think we didn’t even have some like, go online. It was like, here’s the list from a show. Here is the phone book. Like Exactly, yeah. And as you Amanda, I did terrible in that sales job. It was like so bad. And I’m like, and I’m pretty sure it happened to you. No real coaching, no real training, just go out and do it. It was it was very interesting. But you started in sales, you kind of manage that you found your way. And then you went into training. And there’s that’s always like a very interesting pivot. When you go, you move from a sales role into that. And actually this morning, Stephanie mitta, who’s now an enablement at zoom, she posted about, you know, her moment when she knew she wanted to go into enablement. And it made me just go back through memory lane. So tell us more about that move from sales to training to enablement.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker
it was definitely an epiphany. So I left my sales job at That distributor and I went worked for a larger reseller. But I got a job there as a like a, like a subject matter expert, technical architect for IT security. So I would Cosell with the sales teams, and part of that job included having to train the sales team on IT security and the brand that I represented and made sure that they were up to date on campaigns and how to have better conversations around security. And that was sort of the first time that I ever had to train people. And I hated it, I was so nervous, I would sweat, I would lose weight,

Unknown Speaker
I would

Unknown Speaker
just like, you know, freak out, I was so stressed out, I would have to print all of my notes, and I would read them as I was presenting. It just wasn’t like I just something that I’d never done before. Excuse me. And so I knew that that was going to be a big part of my job. And so what I did to sort of hone in on that skill and refine that skill and get better at it, is I tapped the the folks that were doing the new hire onboarding, because I thought you know, if I’m, if I’m talking to newbies that know nothing about technology, I could tell them the sky is purple. And they’d be like, Oh, that’s very interesting,

Adriana Romero
right? And so they, you know, I wouldn’t feel like I was counting, or I

Unknown Speaker
didn’t feel like I was being tripped up or anything like that. And so, yeah, that’s sort of where I started. And I loved it so much. And as I got more comfortable, I became more creative. And I was able to pivot on the fly and do whiteboarding. Like, I can remember one time doing a whiteboard presentation with some folks at the bar, like we’re having beers. And someone asked me a question. I was like, I got my whiteboard. Let’s just play board it up. Let’s

Adriana Romero
do more fun than a whiteboard.

Unknown Speaker
I always.

Adriana Romero
And this week actually had a presentation. Somebody showed me like this digital whiteboard for my iPad Pro. And I’m like, I’m totally downloading this. I missed the whiteboard. Absolutely. Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker
even got myself. My husband bought me for Christmas, one of the remarkables, the digital notebook, so I’m able to do whiteboarding on there as well. I have a whiteboard in my office, so I can turn my camera and whiteboard with my boss. Yeah, it was so cool. So yeah, so that’s where I got my knack for training. And then I you know, I did a lot of coaching and developing sales people through the role of a technical architect, because most times, the customers were more apt to tell me things and they were to tell the sales people, and especially with sick IT security, like there was just so many things, you needed to ask the customer and peel back the onion on their technology landscape in order to have a more informed security conversation. Right? So I would be able to ask all these these questions. And then after the call, I’d be like, so did you hear they have this? Did you hear they have that? Does they have that? Do we sell them this? Do we sell them that? And I just I don’t know, I just really loved it. And so

Unknown Speaker
I

Unknown Speaker
had conversations with people in l&d at the time. And I was like, Hey, I’m really interested in in honing in on this skill and learning more and becoming a trainer and a coach and all that stuff. And there wasn’t a role available at the time. But I bugged them for a year.

Unknown Speaker
And they ended up making it to salesperson

Unknown Speaker
I did. I bugged him and bugged

Unknown Speaker
him and bugged him and bugged them.

Unknown Speaker
And it so happened that the year just before they announced that that roll was going to open up and they wanted me to do it, I want p club for the first time. And I was so excited. And I was like see I want p club, I’m good. Like let’s, let’s go

Unknown Speaker
take it now.

Unknown Speaker
And so it ended up that the job opened up and they created a role for me where I would be onboarding and developing the technical resources. So people that were in my role at the time. So I did all the technical architects, the solution architects, and then I took on the services organization as well. And I built their onboarding program from scratch, and was able to put them through, you know, a decent onboarding to that company. And plus they would always come to me to you know, for coaching and you know, how do you run this report and use this system and how do I have better conversations with the sellers because as a technical architect, you really have to sell yourself to not only to the customer but in to the to your internal salespeople, right so that they trust you and all that kind of stuff. So did that for a while and then the the company decided to revamp their sales onboarding. And during the two years that I was doing technical I fell out of out of the sales Oregon, so I didn’t know people anymore, and I really missed that energy that I got working with frontline sellers. And so I had then had the opportunity to move into To a sales training role at that point, and it was it was pretty intense. It was a four week in class training program.

Adriana Romero
Wow, that’s Yeah. Yeah. Four weeks on, how did you how did you do with that level of stress and burnout? Because doing four weeks of boot camp is such a toll for the trainers? You know, it

Unknown Speaker
is me. Yeah. I mean, it was good in the sense of B as myself being such an extroverted person and being able to grab energy from people, it was really great in that regard. And I, I learned so much from them, because I was older, they were younger. And so I learned so much from them, too. But you’re right, burnout is real, because, and we were running them back to back to back to back to back to back. So that’s my very first class was 30 sales reps for four weeks. And then you know, I would maybe have a couple of days off, and then I get the next round and the next round, the next round.

Adriana Romero
Why because people some one thing that I you know, that I’ve come to appreciate after moving to the enablement role is, we don’t appreciate what happens behind the scenes to prepare for these. Oh, yeah, that sounds right. Yeah. So you, you finish it, and you have to hand off these people to their managers, but there’s still some sort of link of, you know, what are we going to do, even though you’re only doing the training, but and then you’re prepping for the next group, and you’re evolving the training? What did this group do? What did this You got it? And it’s not easy? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
that’s a good point. And I will tell you, like for the first, I would say, a year that I ran that program, every single month was different, based on the feedback that I would get. So you’re right, like, I would take the feedback from the first crew. And then I would go to the next crew with with a little bit different stuff based on the feedback from the first crew, and then I get the feedback from the second crew, and so on and so forth. So you’re absolutely right. I was fortunate enough, that sort of three, four months, and I was starting to tap the shoulders of sneeze to come in. So it wasn’t just me always doing all the training. So I would take that opportunity when they were training to go into my office and work on stuff and update

Adriana Romero
stuff and plan. You got it. Oh, got it. Yeah, only weekly boot camps where I was facilitating the entire week. And I have like a month between them. And I remember being so exhausted at the end of that week, I had no voice I have no honor. And also, there’s the component of the social part. You want to meet these people. You want to get to know them. You get a couple of beers, a couple of drinks. Yeah. It’s like, it’s like you’re you’re high on adrenaline, like a few years.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it was it

Unknown Speaker
I burnout was definitely real. And like, I would come home and like my husband would try to talk to me, and I just be like a

Unknown Speaker
mouthful of marbles. I

Unknown Speaker
would just be like, Nah,

Unknown Speaker
I got I got nothing, man. I

Unknown Speaker
got nothing. I’m sorry, you know. But

Adriana Romero
yeah, that’s so that’s so interesting. So you you did training, then you move like last year and made this move into enablement. And people, you know, people out there might say, you know, training enablement, what’s the difference? Tell us a little bit about, you know, adapting yourself to a changing world to a changing role and changing org. org. So tell me a little bit about that, you know, that part of the journey?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. So, you know, after onboarding, close to 700, sales reps over time, and I actually think that’s a little

Unknown Speaker
bit low.

Unknown Speaker
I think it might have been a little bit more, but I wanted something more, I wanted to get more involved in strategy and understanding really the impact to the business that the training had, so that I can, you know, make more informed decisions on how to tweak training programs and maximize full results, right. And so, I had never had the opportunity to really hone in on strategy, and work closer with the business to really understand, you know, what were the business outcomes that they were looking for. And so, you know, I spent some time networking, I had the ability to have Gail from, you know, the Yale naval men’s society. Everybody knows Gail, you know, and we really sat down and we talked about, you know, my skills and where I wanted to go and you know, what was available out there. And she put me in touch with Paul Blair, who is the director of sales enablement at TELUS who was also a sales enablement member and we just, we just hit it off immediately. And I was offered the job last February. What a year I mean, what are beginning a year? I hate it’s like okay, starting 2020 New year, new decade, new job. And then and then yeah, exactly. So I literally ended my previous role at home on March 13. That was the day they sent everybody home, and started my new role at TELUS on March 23. So right smack in the middle of all of this, where we all thought it was going to be a few weeks, right?

Adriana Romero
Like you were doing like you were first hand experiencing virtual onboarding. Yeah. And like trying to see if you would like, try to get, you know, it’s so it’s such a process from enablement to get that report building with with a team. And you were like, coming in new, such an impressive company, like, tell us it’s one of the, you know, the biggest telcos in Canada, and then having to do all this, right. So, you know, being being there. And and, you know, having all that experience, how did you adapt to all that? Yeah, great

Unknown Speaker
question. So I wouldn’t say that I did a great job. At the beginning. If I’m being honest, you’re still you’re

Unknown Speaker
still here. So? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
I mean, it was really difficult at the beginning. But one of the things that I will say is like, when I signed my offer, you know, Paul had sent me an email and was like, what’s your work style? And

Unknown Speaker
I was like, what’s that?

Unknown Speaker
I work hard.

Unknown Speaker
I don’t know.

Unknown Speaker
What do you what do you mean? And I really had no idea what he was talking about. But he very organized,

Unknown Speaker
right, I organized Yeah, on time, you know, take one for the team, I don’t know.

Unknown Speaker
But he explained to me that in 2012 2014, that TELUS had implemented something called workstyles. And it was a program where they looked at all of the different roles within the organization and figure out which one had the option of potentially working from home or working in the office or being a mobile worker back and forth. And so they were sort of ahead of the curve on on that. And so, you know, I was shipped my laptop, I was already logging into the VPN, I had everything that I needed to just like, get going right away, which was, which was awesome. And yeah, one of the things too, I would say is that, you know, Paul had been at TELUS for a very long time. So he was really great at introducing me to everybody sending out emails connecting you the right people, you know, I was having coffee chats like this, you know, with various sales leaders and our partners that we work with. They had also, again, ahead of the curve, this is what I love about TELUS is they’re so innovative, is that they had level jump already, you know, a really great enablement tool. They had just moved their sales, onboarding to a digital experience. And this was

Adriana Romero
all just just prior to COVID. That’s so good, because it made it, it made it even though it was not easy to make the change for you and adapt. Thankfully, you had the platform. I did also the right leadership to do it. I really did. Because to be honest, I think that there’s a lot of failure when there’s not the leadership in place, especially for enablement. If the right leadership is not in place, it’s so easy to blame. Oh, it’s the enabler. You know, we’re like the scapegoat. Yeah, no, there has to be also some sort of leadership for us as well. Right. So I think, in that sense, you

Unknown Speaker
have been, you have been very fortunate, I have been so fortunate. And you know, our, our team two is also very dispersed. Like we have team members in Vancouver and Montreal, Ottawa, Guatemala, even. And so one of the great things like you say about having such a great leader is that they, he’s used to working with people all over the place and not being face to face all the time. So, you know, he was really great to check in and make sure I was doing okay, we had one on ones every day for the first couple of weeks. And so it really did help my transition to becoming a remote worker.

Unknown Speaker
Definitely a lot easier. But you know, it was it was definitely tough because I was, I did a lot of reading I developed level jobs. And, you know, you can’t tap someone on the shoulder go out for coffee with them or like, you know,

Adriana Romero
it’s funny, because we, we, it was like a, it was like flipping a switch and whatnot last year. So well, you know, we were so used to being in the office and saying, hey, if I find so and so in the kitchen, I’ll just talk with them or exactly I would use I would use my excuse of I’m going to go find somebody to like my walk of like that hour and just go and take like the long route to somebody does. And also when you’re learning the the tribal experience of learning, especially when you’re onboarding is so important that I remember I’ll say okay, now when we onboard people in this way, how Are we gonna replicate that kind of money? You know, learning so that is that is super interesting and the fact that you were able to overcome all those challenges, but then I’m pretty sure I’m ended at the team being you know, so big tell us being such an important telco. You know, I’ve my husband worked in one of the other telcos years ago as a salesperson. And I know that that’s Field Sales. So with the pandemic came, you know, also challenges and how sales sells, Tell, tell us more how, you know, what challenges that brought to your team? And how have you, you know, helped them or continue to help them?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, that’s a really great question. So our face to face sellers, yes, are definitely finding it challenging to get the same level of engagement that they had with the customers that they used to have plus, you and I all know, we’re feeling that zoom and WebEx and Google Hangout fatigue, you know, it’s a lot, but there are a lot of things that our team did to to help our support our sellers and help them to adapt, virtually this year. One of the things is, we created a virtual selling playbook. Right. So this includes, you know, best practices on how to manage their time, their calendars, tips and tricks on how to display empathy. You know, with people, and you know, I know a lot of sellers that are doing, you know, similar to this, like, just like coffee chats with their customers, just checking in, not necessarily talking about business, but just making sure everybody’s Okay, you know, stuff like that, you know, virtual meeting best practices are in there as well. Any in person training was converted to virtual sessions, and using level jump programs and things like pre work or post session homework. And the good thing about this, like, I would say, the one of the great opportunity about flipping in person to virtual, I know, it’s not the same, but again, it does open the doors for more people to be involved in these training sessions, right? Like, you don’t have that, oh, I have to travel and I have to, like,

Adriana Romero
you know what I mean, I have to bring so and so from the UK, or actually, you know, so and so is in Seattle, how we’re going to bring them in, it does open the opportunity to more resources and more people have that is that is one of the advantages. Oh, I

Unknown Speaker
totally agree. I totally agree. And, you know, you know, one of my team members, they created, you know, open office hours, which we hold, like, every Friday, and we have like, sometimes 200 300 people that are joining those calls, really?

Adriana Romero
Yeah, I love enablement, office hours. And I actually do it with my team on Thursdays. And I tell them, this is not my time, this is your time to come in. And I tell them, imagine we are in a meeting room in the office. And all you have to do is knock and come in. And if you don’t mind, everybody, somebody else coming in and listening to your question. If not, I’ll just put the sorry, we’re busy right now sign on, and not let anybody in. But two to 300 people? How do you? Do they come and ask questions? Or is this an opportunity for you to give them some swag. So our team, you know, works with a with a partner.

Unknown Speaker
And they sort of theme them? Okay, right. So like we’ve often done, you know, virtual selling or messaging or, you know, getting to executives, those types of things, but they’re always themed. And then they typically have people that you know, are being successful doing this, that the next thing depending on the theme, they talk about their best practices, their tips and tricks, you know, how they’ve adapted, you know, a traditional PowerPoint presentation or a whiteboard conversation or just different tips and tricks that they’ve they’re using in the field to help engage people in a different way. And it’s been very, very successful. And they started that last year, like with COVID and everything and they’ve decided because it was so successful that they’re going to continue to to offer them again, and in fact, I think it’s happening right now. I’m missing it today,

Adriana Romero
but that’s okay. I find that super good and I think people don’t underestimate how important you know those type of getting togethers and learning are like for me, it was easier I’ve been in teams that have been doing remote selling for many years like I would say my last my last two orgs and and current org, we have been remote sellers. So I transition from helping sellers from being face to face as my open text days I transition into the SAS world where has always been remote, but I do struggle I live with a salesperson who was you know, like I miss flying and seeing my customer prospects and going to you know, downtown and dressing up but he’s like, Yeah, but I appreciate that I can sit down and be productive starting at seven o’clock in the Morning, you know, and I think that what you said there’s a lot of mental shifts that I think we can help as enablers, our teams, for example, I tell people, I realized myself that I was being being very rigid on my routine, which was a routine based on me catching a train, right? Are commuting. I’m like, I don’t have to be that rigid, I can actually be more flexible and say, I want to work out today. I don’t have to do it at six o’clock in the morning. I can say, Hey, I have a gap at 11 or 12. That’s when I’m going to do it. Because the shower is here. Exactly. No. And if I don’t shower, it doesn’t matter doesn’t matter.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So

Unknown Speaker
we’ve made a bunch of different changes, you know, and I’m the the prime for our internal certification program. And part of that program is, reps have to defend why they should be certified, and out of board. And we were doing those in person. And so we were only able to do them, you know, once a quarter.

Adriana Romero
And so now, they’re virtual

Unknown Speaker
like this, and I can do them every month, and I can get more people certified and into the program, which is really great. we’ve adapted, you know, our traditional, you know, whiteboard conversations, to more of a visual storytelling,

Adriana Romero
who was gonna ask you about that one is one of the most difficult because you’re used to drawing. So it’s great that you guys have adopted this.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. So you know, we’ve animated PowerPoints, we’ve shown them how to draw it, you know, and annotate at the same time to get maximum engagement or just have a conversation using, you know, a visual conversation prompter, right to get them to remember what the conversation sounds like. We’ve changed a lot of the language in our playbooks and our training materials to be more agnostic. So it doesn’t always have a face to face lens. It can be used, whether face to face or virtual, or whatever, on the phone. online communities have also been a really great way for us to connect. You know, in my team, we have we use Google we have a Google Chat Room that we constantly are talking and collaborating and are crying in or complaining about her life.

Adriana Romero
Because a COVID It’s so good that you have that with your team, I use a use all the external, you know, groups that were affiliated with, like, you know, why is or the squad or, you know, my collaborators? Like let’s, you know, I need an outlet, I need people to bounce an idea or to cry. Yeah. It gets it gets get very intense, right?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. And that’s definitely another thing when I’m so fortunate, through this whole thing to have that sort of technology and, you know, just feel like you’re not alone in all of this. So those tools have been such a godsend for me for sure.

Adriana Romero
Yeah. And then in this world, like you, you work in a massive company, which already poses its challenges when you’re trying to work with management and sales management. And now, you know, being in an online world, how, how have you positioned yourself and in your enablement, you know, practice as being a collaborative and important stakeholders, with your managers, because that’s always like, the most important piece we enablers have to do is, we need to let the managers know we’re on their side, and we’re there to help them. So how has Amanda worked on this?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, that’s also a great question. So lucky for me. I am a prime on a very top of mine program at TELUS. So I’m the prime for our sales certification program. And this program assesses infield demonstration of sales behaviors. So one of the really great things about TELUS is years ago, they worked very closely with sales leadership, our CEO, our top sales people, they evaluated a lot of really great best practices in the industry. And they, they formed a very cohesive and intelligence sales process. And we call this vision to become a premier sales organization. And so the the certification program that i prime assesses people’s ability to utilize those sales tools and methodologies to develop into a premier sales

Unknown Speaker
professional.

Unknown Speaker
And so it only took a few quick emails from my boss to say, this is our new girl who runs this program. Yeah, and I was in it. dated,

Adriana Romero
Amanda, so you better friends with Amanda, pretty much.

Unknown Speaker
So I very quickly had to get up to speed on the program work with, you know, we have a partnership with the cpsa. So people can get desert seals designations once they’ve gone through this program. And so it was just it was very quickly I had to juggle everything and figure everything out and go with the flow. And, you know, luckily, I had a background in sales and sales coaching. So that definitely helped me gain Yeah, gain credibility with the sales leaders because I have to coach them on, you know how to get their people ready, they would send their people to me to get coaching on how to get ready and what to expect from the board panel in the certification program.

Unknown Speaker
I ran, you know, a plethora of you know, training on the program and information sessions. And that’s what I would say has been easier because like you said, like, I’m able to, to carve out time and people’s calendars, because they’re not traveling there, you know. And so it actually made it easier for me to connect with people to do this kind of stuff. And I work very, very closely with the sales leadership and sales, other sales enablement, practitioners within the the organization. You know, I also review all the candidate readiness forms that the leader sent in to get their people to start the process. I review things like their funnel health, I assess their opportunities, their account plans, their target account selling plans or opportunity plans.

Adriana Romero
To the sales team is very

Unknown Speaker
close, very close. And I had to learn that very quickly. And so I did, because what else I got to do,

Adriana Romero
right? Like we say back home, you’re on that horse, you got to write it, man. Yeah, yeah.

Unknown Speaker
So it’s been such a great journey, and everyone has been so receptive. To my coaching and my experience, you know, I have to also communicate with the leaders every step of the way of the candidate process and how the candidate is doing and give information and feedback after the candidate goes through. So I’ve been very fortunate to to be able to build a brand around this program, and be able to collaborate very closely with them.

Adriana Romero
Yeah, that is that is for sure. I mean, I think that you have I love your experience, your journey has been very interesting, because you have done so many things you have, you know, set your path you have learned, you have burned out you have you know, it’s like a little bit of everything. I think that’s what makes the journey beautiful. You know, knowing what you know, today and where you have gotten, you know, there’s a lot of people now wanting to join the enablement ranks. It’s COVID, I think made us very, you know, important people started to realize and acknowledge Wow, enablement really is important for us. A lot more companies are making their first enablement hires, a lot of companies are growing their enablement teams. There’s a lot of people that I know that would love to make a switch. And you know, specifically here in Canada, where we’re still such a small enablement community, I think we know each other by name. What would be your recommendation for anybody here in Canada who wants to like say, Where do I start? And how do I make this move?

Unknown Speaker
That’s such a great question. And I would say, to your point about the enablement community being pretty small here in Canada, I would say the first thing you need to do is network. Yeah. 100%. And that was something that I learned a few years ago, because I was still fairly new, like, I was doing sales training, but I was doing elements of enablement. But I didn’t know that I was, yeah, right. And so once I, I sort of formed relationships with people like the like, of you and Gail and Melissa made and, you know, and various other people in the industry. I was, I learned so much, right. And I learned that some of the things that I were doing were enablement, inspired. And I heard you know, what you were doing, what Gail was doing, what Melissa was doing, what other people were doing. And I learned, the more that I learned, the more that I wanted to broaden my skill set. And I was able to, you know, tap the shoulders of many people to say, like, how did you learn that? What did you do? What can I read? What can you know, can I be a part of this? Can I, you know, just listen to what you’re doing. Right? And so I don’t know if there’s any schooling for this type of stuff, just yet, but I felt like I learned so much just from the community.

Adriana Romero
Yeah, the community has so much to Further, to your point, there’s so many brilliant people, you know, we met thanks that you joined women in sales enablement here in Toronto. And I think that that community has helped us a lot to meet other amazing enablers. And just like you people that are just like having their first like, enablement or formal enablement role have joined, you know, any of these communities are amazing. I agree. Book time with people, you know, network, I love when I see people that connect with me on LinkedIn and say, I am eager to learn about how to make a move to enablement. I’m like, Yes, let’s get somebody else in here. And same in any community. Right. And, Amanda, that’s so good and so inspiring. I can see that you have so much passion, but I would love people to know, what is your favorite thing about being an enabler? Oh, so

Unknown Speaker
many. You know, when I was in sales, I

Unknown Speaker
you know, you get the high highs, which you loved. Because when you got recognition, and you got paid

Adriana Romero
when you got back the very feisty and big thick commissions, right.

Unknown Speaker
I remember the moment I paid off my student loan, and I was just like,

Adriana Romero
when you get those texts, I remember being on mat leave, and still getting commission checks from my last quarter. Yeah. This is amazing. I’m not working. I am here with a baby. I just energy and getting money. I’m like, right.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, but the lows were low. The lows were low.

Unknown Speaker
No. And like that sort of cyclical feeling, just didn’t do it for me. But when I got into training and enablement, like, there’s just so many highs, right? Like, being able to see the aha moments of people that didn’t understand technology to listening to me or working with me or whiteboarding with me to them being like I get it was like, Yay, you know, what I mean? Or, you know, they’ve, they asked a question differently, or they presented differently, or just did something differently, because they were part of, you know, my training or, or coaching, like, those, to me were, where it made me feel so good about myself, I was so proud of these people, you know, when I would go to sales, kickoffs, and they would get p club or they would win this award or win that award. Like those those to me were were so much more rewarding than even the highs of the highs and sales.

Adriana Romero
I am. So with you. I remember, you know, there’s there’s also some low moments in enablement, when people are like, want to bring you down, but there’s so much more leveled and highs. I remember when I left my last job, and you know, in the fall, I remember two of the reps called me, you know, they’re like, Oh, it’s so bad. We can’t say goodbye in person. And I started having all these zoom meetings with all the I call them the kids just yeah. And you know, feeding myself again, the my kids, yes, some of them can be right. Yeah. When you make the map. Yeah, it could be your mother. Biologically, I couldn’t be. I wanted to, like get all this feedback of moments that I had never, you know, they have never told me. They said, this moment when we work with you made me better in this. And I would never forget that. As you say, Amanda, I was like, This is what I live for every day. This is man.

Unknown Speaker
I could cry just listening. Oh, say that? Because that’s a yes. That’s exactly what happened to me too. When I left, you know, various organizations, people will comment even to this day and be like, you know, I am where I am because of your training program. You were so inspirational. You’re such a, you know, amazing woman. And I was just like, I’m okay.

Adriana Romero
Yeah, a lot of legs and you will continue to do it. I am so sure. And I am so excited to have you here and for you to share your experience gives me the opportunity to learn more about you. Because we have not had the chance to meet in person. I know why all this pandemic was going on. And we only had one in person meeting from wise Toronto because of the pandemic. So I’m very excited. But to get to know you a little bit better. I love doing this rapid fire kind of little session with all my guess. So tell us what book are you reading right now?

Unknown Speaker
So right now and I actually have it right beside me. I am reading more of myself by Alicia Keys. This woman is incredible. She is just divine. You know, I’m biracial. She’s biracial. So I get that sense of community with this book. Just love it.

Adriana Romero
Yeah, he’s just amazing. I mean, it’s crazy. Thumbs up for herself. She’s just impressive in so many ways.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

Adriana Romero
Tell us about podcast. Where are you listening to?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, my goodness, I am a podcast fanatic. So I listen to them on a regular I walk my dog, you know, two or three times a day or if I just, you know, go get some fresh air. I listen to podcasts all the time. I would say some of the good ones I’m listening to now, armchair expert, is a great one. front burner, which is a CBC podcast. I’ve heard a lot of great live CBC. Really good. Yeah, it

Adriana Romero
is very good. Really good.

Unknown Speaker
smartlace. Okay, so adorable. I’ve listened to a couple of yours. Those were great. And of course, coffee collaboration and enablement. Yeah. So many, I could go on forever.

Adriana Romero
Oh, I know, podcasts. And podcasts have been a great way I find it either for walking or cooking. I love to cook, audible or a podcast. So you might love this because I used to do that commuting. But now I’m like, my commute is very short. So yeah, to do this, or folding laundry. Yeah, nothing more boring than folding laundry. Agreed. That is the only way I can do it. You know, I love to ask about the the Who is your inspiring Canadian.

Unknown Speaker
You know, you’re gonna laugh but hands down right now. It’s Dan levy.

Unknown Speaker
He’s so amazing.

Unknown Speaker
I just love him so much. And I was so inspired by how he and his dad develop shits Creek, and the message of love and happiness. They just spread with that show. Like I just love him. He’s hosting Saturday Night Live tomorrow, which I think is so very exciting. And yeah, so right now for me, it’s it’s damn lovely.

Adriana Romero
I love it. I think some I was talking with somebody this week, who didn’t realize how many Canadians are out there making a mark in the world. And yeah, that person is Canadian too. And that person I’m like, Yes. Like, it’s impressive. You know, me being a, you know, immigrants. I have come to love Canada as my home. And I’ve you know, I’m raising a little Canadian. So I always try to foster that love. And I’m like, Yeah, like I’m very proud of all these Canadians. Come on. Yeah, right. Yeah, it is. But tell us the most important question Amanda chocolate or candy.

Unknown Speaker
Chocolate.

Adriana Romero
You’re one of my boys and forever. is always gonna be my kryptonite man. And the last thing which could be you know, something personal or business? What is your biggest pet peeve?

Unknown Speaker
Oh, well, right now my biggest pet peeve is when you have to wait an entire year or more for the next season of your favorite shows.

Adriana Romero
That’s me waiting for a money heist. I’m like, ring to me if season five like I need it now.

Unknown Speaker
What are you waiting for right now? Oh, so many. The crown is a big one. I just burned through that I burned through bridgerton if you haven’t yet, I started it. And if

Adriana Romero
I look good to it, so I have to watch it when it’s like me time. Yeah, I did the same thing.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so many. I mean, that’s sort of the downfall with with Netflix is being able to binge all at once.

Adriana Romero
That’s the problem. We’re binge eating right now. Cobra Kai, of course. Oh, so good. It is so good. So we’re kind of like letting like, we have like, one season and two episodes. And we’re like, this weekend we’re gonna get it over with, but we don’t want to because we know that we know we have to wait for season four. Right? Oh,

Adriana Romero
it’s so funny. firstworldproblems I just know. And is there anything else that you wanted to share with our community today that I did not ask you about?

Unknown Speaker
Um, I can’t think of anything. But, you know, what I can say is that when when we all started in enablement, you know, I, it didn’t really have a name. And now it’s so great to see how much is improved. It’s it’s evolved. And it’s definitely now a respected function within organization, which I think is amazing. There’s so many jobs out there for people in enablement or revenue ops or revenue enablement. And I just feel so fortunate to have this community of like minded people, who can I continue to learn from or I can help other people. You know, I’ve connected with so many people where I’ll pay it forward, you know, because I’ve gotten so much help. So if I could help someone else, get a job or talk through, you know, some of the things that I’ve tried and failed or tried and did well or that’s working. Like it’s just been such an amazing feeling that even with COVID Like I don’t feel stranded, you know, like, it’s just been such a really fortunate thing. And it still gives me the opportunity to enhance and grow my skills and I just I feel so blessed to be able to continue. That is so amazing.

Adriana Romero
You’re like a true you’re a neighbor at heart. I love it. Yeah, people. Okay, how can they connect with you? Is LinkedIn The best way to connect with Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
for sure. LinkedIn is the best way or if you’re part of the sales enablement society or wise and I, you know, have access to our top secret Slack channel. I’m there with you, and amazing to help and answer any questions.

Adriana Romero
Thank you so much, Amanda, thank you so much for being here today. It was such a great conversation. For everybody listening. Thank you so much for joining the live or for joining after. If you are a Canadian, you’re looking to network with fellow enablers or hopefully looking for a career in enablement. Just you know, message Amanda message me, there’s so many ways that we can, you know, help you. Thank you so much for listening and enjoy your weekend. I think it’s gonna be a snowy one. So hopefully you can get out and enjoy it. And thank you so much, Amanda. It’s so good to see you.

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