Israeli Regional Host and Trusted Advisor, Avner Baruch, sat down with Hilton Burke to gain his insights, as a Sales Recruiters role, on the state of the Enablement job market in Israel.

This was a fun and informative conversation with several key takeaways.

1️⃣Sales Enablement is very new in Israel.  However…

2️⃣Many companies are looking to hire Sales Enablement Managers as they know that they are needed.  However, they generally are unclear about what Sales Enablement is or how they really expect it to help them.

Israel is at the same place as much of the rest of the world.  The building of a common language, definition, and expectations is a major need — one that all of my fellow Collaborators are tackling regionally, and through the Collaborator movement, working to solve for globally.

Give a listen as there is a ton of great insight in here.

Audio Transcript

Avner Baruch
Everyone today I’m very happy to have with us a very good friend of mine and a sales leader who recently started a new business which which we’ll be more than happy to share with you some more details. Hilton, we know each other for a few years already worked together at walking. And, you know, and I got to work with you. And I’m very happy for that chance. And, you know, I know your skills and your capabilities. I know that you’re very fun to work with. And, you know, basically, the reason I, you know, has asked you to join us today is to share more about you know, your skills and experience and you know, the business that you started recently, but maybe before we do that, can you talk, you can can share some more details about you know, your background, you making Aliyah to Israel, and what triggered you to start a new business?

Hilton Burke
Yeah, thank you very much for having me. It’s great to see you. And obviously great to catch up. We had some good times together in the past. So

Hilton Burke
we work together, I had the pleasure of working with you. Yeah, I think we’ve both gone in all different directions. Since then, sort of evolutionized along the way. I took my path off the sales management to go into a bit of recruiting. I’ve been in Israel for 20 years, I’ve been 17 years in sales, high tech sales started off at liveperson was there for five and a half years. After that. I built and managed a sales team of 25 salespeople at a company called clicktale. From there at, you know, the entrepreneurs dream to join a startup and become part of the startups I still am part of the startup company called baseballs. And shortly after that, we worked together for a year where I was a regional VP of sales and walk me. And I did a short stint at a company called incredible. And then decided that I actually wanted to do something that I really enjoy and something for myself, which is recruiting. So I now recruit for a lot of the high tech companies in Israel, and mainly in the sales and marketing and business area. So that’s that’s where we are today.

Avner Baruch
Yeah, sounds exciting. You know what to do to start a business and then you’ve got this passion burning inside you. And there’s something that you know, guides you to take the first steps, you’re not sure yet, you know, what are these steps, but you feel like there’s something you need to accomplish. And then once once you do that, you feel like, you know, there’s so much you want to do and so much you want to accomplish, and not enough time to do that. That that feels so great. And

Hilton Burke
I totally agree with you. I totally agree with you know, the beginning, it’s like starting in the beginning something new, you get so nervous and wonder what’s gonna happen. And then a year, a year and a half down the line, you look back and you say, Wow, I’ve come a long way. I’ve done a lot since the very beginning. And it’s very exciting. Yeah,

Avner Baruch
yeah. Because, um, you know, following you on LinkedIn, I can see, you know, the excitement, and I can actually feel your question. So, so actually, let’s talk about that, you know, what it’s like to act as a headhunter or recruitment? You know, what are the sweet spots? Or, you know, why would we set what would you say, differentiates your area of expertise, in terms of recruiting specific people for specific roles? You know, personally, I’m very much interested interested to learn more about, you know, sales enablement, from your point of view, what does it feel like to recruit or to look up specific people that might fit might not fit that specific space? And we know what, what it’s like, you know, focusing on the Israeli space market, where many startups have started and starting as we speak, and there is a huge demand for sales enablement, but not everyone actually understands the whole new role in responsibility of sales enablement. So I’m very keen to understanding from your perspective, you know, what are your sweet spot from New hiring point of view?

Hilton Burke
Great, perfect. So I think one of the things we chatted about in the past is, you know, what differentiates you from others. And usually, I don’t like to differentiate myself, because I like to give respect to the other recruiters out there. I think that they, you know, they’ve been around for 1215 years, and they’re doing a great job. I think there’s a lot of work for all of us recruiters in the space. But what I do bring to the table is, you know, the years of sales experience that I have, and the interviews that I’ve actually gone through to interview, you know, whether it’s SMB sales, enterprise sales, mid market, strategic customer success, and understand the exact persona that companies are looking for. So to understand that I can take a lot of time, you know, it’s not about just sending a CV over to a company. It’s rather about understanding who that person is and sort of what their experience is, what were they quoted. You know, when you’re dealing with million dollar coders, or they’re dealing with, you know, a quarter of a million dollar coders. So understanding that and understanding the type of salesperson that you’re going to place into a company is very important.

Avner Baruch
Yeah, I totally get it. You know, although sales enablement gains popularity here in Israel, oftentimes I see that recorders, HR and recruiters and even hiring managers, they have very little idea of what sales enablement is all about, might even dare to say, oftentimes, hiring managers and executives don’t fully understand how the role has evolved from a facilitator. Someone’s just you know, orchestrates content on whatever portal they have to a strategic a key player. Any thoughts around that your experience? have you dealt with no hiring managers that are looking for like, you know, basic or low level? content managers? No thinking that that’s what sales enablement is all about?

Hilton Burke
Exactly, exactly exactly what you’re saying. I’m laughing because I saw something, you know, I think sales enablement in Israel is very new. And the concept is new. So you know, everybody wants to have that sales enablement manager, but they don’t exactly know what that sales enablement manager does. So, you know, you talk about the mid size companies, the mid sized startups in Israel, they definitely there is definitely a need for sales enablement. And you see a lot of positions coming up, you know, for sales enablement. They have a large team, but they need that enablement behind them, the managers are busy managing the team and getting to quotas and doing everything else. But the processes behind that the actual enablement behind that is lacking. And companies start to realize that when they’re at a certain stage, the smaller startup, you know, the smaller startups, they like the idea of having some sales enablement person because it’s the new buzzword, right. But they’re not exactly sure how that fits in with the whole organization. And you’ll find that within sales organization with sales enablement, you might be doing a bit more customer success as well, and going a little bit out of the realm. So I think it needs to be defined more. And as far as the job description is concerned, you know, if you’re going to look for a sales, sales enablement position, you should really understand and look through that job description and see what they actually want. Because sometimes it’s not exactly what I love it.

Avner Baruch
That’s that’s exactly how can, you know, spot on. That’s exactly the point. As he said, sometimes, you know, someone just wants a salesman by side just because it’s a magic wand, it can solve all the problems from content point of view, whatever, you know, my word, so I might as well have one. But, you know, going back to what you said, I think that it’s extremely important, like any other job, any other opening that you feel like, it’s extremely important to define the rules of engagement, role and responsibility, what are you focused, you’re going to be focused on just sales, maybe channels, maybe retention CSM account managers, and maybe we’ll start a little bit sooner with whatever happens before actually lead, you know, ends up on the sales side. Maybe, you know, you can actually leverage your capabilities and understanding to help you know, all the other teams that helps you generate leads, whatever. In other words, sales enablement mind actually help you to improve handoffs, between one unit one team and another. Totally connect with everything that you just said, Actually, you know what, that reminds me a story. in one of my previous roles, actually, I was gonna share the same space with Product Marketing and marketing. And you know, being a few days in the company, I was brought in to explain what sales enablement was all about. So, for the first 15 minutes, I just said, you know, quietly in the corner of the room, you’re listening for the product managers and product and marketing, marketing explaining how they manage content and whatever, no grading, go to market, pay books, whatever it takes in order to help sell people and definition. I was on stage and they asked me, so what is it that you do? I said, I don’t do I mean, I don’t do any of this. It’s not my cup of tea. That’s not what I do. Okay, everything. This is great. This is what we need as a baseline that these are the foundations we do need to go to market the crisp because we cannot start without go to market playbooks messaging, pitch, whatever. That’s a good starting point. But you know, if that’s all we do, from a company point of view, we might as well look for some other solution because altogether what happens is, you rely on salespeople and other internal customers to pull information from SharePoint Confluence. Whatever portal using, so if you rely on reps to pull information, especially today in a very competitive market and elastic workplace where everyone has less tolerance for whatever it is, operational errors, whatever it is no tolerance whatsoever. Everyone wants to move faster and more productively and more effectively. So I simply said, pool doesn’t work. I don’t, I just simply take whatever you do, and I just push it down the throat. surgically.

Hilton Burke
That’s exactly what it is. That’s exactly how I see it. And I think I hear you pay when you say Listen, I don’t do what you said, I don’t do what you do. This is what I do. I help you guys. I’m able you guys and I actually bring your reps up to standards and make themselves people know.

Avner Baruch
Sorry, go ahead.

Hilton Burke
Yeah, I just wanted to say one thing that we you know, I’m going to go back to the point that I said earlier, a lot of the small startups today, they always know they have requirements for sales people on their job description, they want, you know, three to five years experience. But a lot of people have maybe one year two years experience, some don’t have experience, but they have that potential, right. And if you have a team, I think you should be able to give those people a chance to to succeed. And the only way you’re going to be able to do that is if you have that in enablement team on boarded. Because that enablement team is going to start from the onboarding process, you know, as early as the hiring stage with the sales people getting involved in interviews and saying, okay, you know, I think this guy’s got potential, I’m able, you know, you can collaborate with the VP of sales and citizen, you know, although this guy doesn’t have experience, I believe that I’ve got the tools to wrap this guy up for you, and he’ll be your next star. And that’s what I think is critical today, because everybody wants that experience, but there’s not much of that around. So if we start taking it back a step, and, you know, adding the enablement process in, I think we’ll do

Avner Baruch
definitely, definitely just you know, to, to add to your, your words, I think what it takes is, is a modular approach, of course, given a specific use case, and you know, whatever the company does, from a product point of view, go to Mark’s point of view, the enablement team has to come up with a modular ROI resolution program that doesn’t just dump it all on the on the new hire, like, here’s a checklist of all the resources you need to see to catch up with or to brush up in case in case you just come from a similar industry, whatever, it doesn’t work, it’s the new hires are going to find themselves overwhelmed with too much information. And that actually extends the onboarding. Journey, explain baby steps, you can break it down into more steps, but more modular steps. And if you think like, very, for example, if you break it down into marketing, product sales, even culture enablement, if you go in baby steps, everyone is happier. And you can accomplish more with less.

Hilton Burke
Absolutely, absolutely. Yeah.

Avner Baruch
So I mean, I mean, been around been around a year and a half, maybe two years. In the recruitment space. Are there any maybe tips or some words of wisdom you might be able to share with anyone? No, thanks to this conversation, decided to apply for sales enablement, positioning any tapes from, from your perspective, your point of view?

Hilton Burke
Yeah, absolutely. I think that if somebody wants to apply for sales, they will, again, go back to the drawing board, take a look at that job description. Just understand exactly what they want for you, and whether that matches your skills and your experience. So, you know, like you said, if it’s only just about holding content, I don’t think that that’s, you know, that’s, that’s what what you want, right? unless that’s kind of what your perspective is on sales enablement, you know, there today, I see there’s a lot of junior sales trainers in the in the market. But I’m not sure what they what they actually do. And if that’s the whole enablement process, so if you’re going to go and look for a sales enablement position, make sure number one you understand what the job entails. And number two, read what the company’s expectations are from you. And if they meet the two then it’s happy match and

Avner Baruch
go for it. I couldn’t say otherwise. I mean, that’s, that’s exactly the point. Just to be fit. So I mean, if you put yourself in a sales reps, shoes, that’s exactly what you do. So the expectations You want to understand whether there is a field or not. So I think that sales enablement needs to act as salespeople, even when it comes to their own future. certifications on understand what are the expectations of you. And if there is a fit, then we can move on, you can make a profit, you can proceed to the next thing.

Hilton Burke
I’m going to actually bounce this back to you and say, if you What what? What What would you do like to tell some people that want to get into sales enablement? They want to do that as a profession, what would they need to do? And what sort of experience would they need?

Avner Baruch
Okay, so I think this is a great question. And I’ll take this opportunity and share my perspective, my words of wisdom. So in my opinion, sales enablement, first of all, is what it used to be a tactical role, when you fill in some expectations, or you’re supposed to manage orchestrate whatever new product marketing and product put together, and we need to help you to step in and help to make sure that everyone is aligned to the messaging or whatever new playbooks we created whatsoever. So there was a lot of behind the scenes work, you find yourself most of the time behind the screen managing content, or sometimes, you know, orchestrating or managing meetings between subject matter experts. This is great, it’s needed, it’s part of the job. But today, again, because of the situation with carvanha, and maybe some water crisis is around the corner, whatever it is, and mainly, when it goes into your business into hyper growth business. It takes more than that. So first of all, you need to change your mindset, you consider yourself to see yourself as a strategic key player in the decision making process. And when you do that things basically will improve on everyone’s side. Because you’ve got the data, you’re supposed to have access to data, conservative data that you can extract from the entire tech stack, could be gone course, or any other platform that the transcript calls etc. You can compliment whatever data decision makers extract from CRM, and other no poor confidence. He says, expect. So from their point of view, you’ve got a lot of power, and you can help any other decision maker in your organization. Next, what it takes is to act to think and act as a salesperson, you’re not just a trainer, you’re a salesperson, and you’ve got customers and customers are actually the entire sales organization, you need to sell whatever you do, okay, and if you lose your first chance, you might not get a second chance. Sales trainers or trainers in the sales space, they’ve got a tougher audience have been through the you know, every every possible aspect in the learning and development, business, training, learning, training content, managing field trainers, whatever it is, I’ve been there. And I can tell you no 100%, okay, that training salespeople is harder, tougher, more challenging than training customers. So in order to succeed, you need to think as a salesperson as well, because it can’t just go and, you know, train everyone out to become a better salesperson, it doesn’t work. And in order to think as a salesperson, we need to go through the same journey. And there are many ways to do that. And one of the most, I think successful ways to accomplish that mindset is to not get through some certification processes. Pick one could be Sandler challenger value selling, whatever it takes, in my opinion, you need to be trained and certified in every one of those salesman’s homology methodologies in order to basically, you know, be there in class, or frozen. So, you know, I can walk the walk, and I can talk the talk, because I’m a salesperson, I’m not just a sales trainer. I know what it takes to close the deal. This is, this is my opinion. That’s my perspective. Amazing,

Hilton Burke
thank you. Yeah, that I think is definitely it’s important for people that are looking for positions, you know, not just to say, hey, I want to be a sales enabler. And that’s it, you know, I can I can do it, I can do it. But no, you actually have to have the experience

Avner Baruch
and the skill sets need to own and manage those skill sets. And it’s not something you’re done with that some people think so. You need to invest the time and energy, whatever it takes to be there, because it’s a profession and you need to do Professional. Okay to work with professional.

Hilton Burke
Thank you. Yeah, that definitely answered the question.

Avner Baruch
Thank you. I enjoyed this conversation so much. And I can’t wait for a second. Even no other future meetings and conversations you can have. Just before we wrap up this, this interview this conversation, any other things, words of wisdom tips or whatever you want to share with everyone? How to reach you?

Hilton Burke
Yeah, thanks. I appreciate that. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Yes, it’s been a great, great catch up today. And now I definitely know kind of a lot more about sales enablement, which I can, you know, pass on to Canada’s future candidates that are looking for sales enablement positions. So one of the two, you can reach me at Hilton angle recruits calm. That’s Anglo recruits calm. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn as well. Hilton Burke. I’m happy to answer your questions or help you in any way I can. Thanks so much, Ivan. I really appreciate it.

Avner Baruch
Thank you. It’s been a real pleasure, as always. Looking forward to our next meeting. Friends,

Hilton Burke
thank you very much to get