Marion Carvalho is the Sales Enablement Training Specialist at Uber.   Marion joined The Collaborator to discuss building a continuous learning sales enablement ecosystem.

While there were great tips throughout, the areas that most resonated with me included:

1️⃣ Enable, Collaborate, and Partner with your sales managers/leaders. This approach is critical for driving the adoption of programs, learning what the teams need, and maximizing your teams’ success, the groups you help, and the business overall.

2️⃣ As you build an environment focused on continuous learning, stay a constant learner in your own life. Find ways to grow and stretch — model what you preach.

3️⃣ Find ways, if possible, to get involved in the hiring process to shape who is coming into your business. Are they continuous learners, or are they satisfied with the skills and knowledge they already have?

Keep learning and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

The Collaborator
pronounced Marion’s name. And she said we could do the English which is Carvallo more or less because I even that’s something which names or the Brazilian pronunciation was so much better. Can you do that for me just once?

Marion Carvalho
Oh, that’s my cue. Yeah. Carvalho.

Unknown Speaker
That’s your cue. Yeah.

The Collaborator
No, I said, Tell me tell me the Brazilian pronunciation.

Marion Carvalho
Yeah Carvajal. So it’s almost like,

Unknown Speaker
God.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

The Collaborator
See, that sounds wonderful. Marissa, I’m your favorite. Now that now that I’ve made this entire conversation awkward for both of us. Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you work, and what and all those good things that you’re up to?

Marion Carvalho
Absolutely. So Brasilia name, I am from Brazil. I was born in San Paulo, we moved to the US when I was about three and a half. I’ve been very lucky to have majority of my career in sales. Starting in New York City right after college, then with that company gained some traction on training, sales training, morphed into sales enablement training. And here we are, you know, Uber freight, been there for about a year and a half now. So that is my backstory as far as my function. And for those of you who might be curious what Uber freight is, you know, think Uber. So Uber technology really has revolutionized the way people move. So now we’re doing the same thing, but for the freight industry. So we’re rapidly becoming one of the largest, fastest developing digital freight solutions provider out there. And it’s been a wild but rewarding journey so far,

The Collaborator
must be a ton of fun, and stress, and all those good things every single day, Marissa?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, every single day. You’re right. But I like that. I mean, I like a challenge. And I think once you step into the world of technology, it’s totally different. And it just opens up so many doors and areas of creativity that you didn’t even realize you’ve had within your skill set or function. So it’s been great. So true.

The Collaborator
Tell us a little bit before we dive into to the to the main course the main topic here, what does your enablement team look like in terms of, and you don’t have to be exact, but you know, you know, roughly how many people what do they do? How many people leave support all that good stuff?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, so I’ll give you a little backstory. We consider ourselves Uber for, you know, startup within the startup, like many startups, experience rapid growth. So our team, you know, I was a second hire to the team. And my focus was purely onboarding so we could ramp up our sales org and build out our teams, we had a lot of interest at the time and still do on one of our products that we had released to you know, the industry a lot of inbound interest. So that was the focus. We are still a small but very mighty team, as I like to call us. And now our team has expanded our scope of support throughout the US. So outside of Chicago, where we’re based out of, and now Canada. So it is like I was saying earlier, a feeling that you’re strapped to this rocket ship, and you’re just going with it, you’re going with the waves that changes. But again, I really think I can reflect back and say that I’m really grateful. And it’s been so rewarding. All the lessons learned all the people that we’ve been able to connect with through enablement. So

The Collaborator
that’s awesome. Is it? You know, I’m gonna try to pinpoint you a little bit. Is it a team of one? Are you a team of one or more than one?

Marion Carvalho
So team of two. So myself and my manager who was head of sales enablement at freight? I think he’s on right now. So hi, hi, Zack. appreciate the support. But yeah. So it’s really cool john to look back and see working under somebody like him with so much experience in sales enablement, kind of making sure that I have the support, I need to be the right trainer as well. But we’ve done so much the two of us in the time I’ve been at Uber freight. And now to see the support that we have of the stakeholders, as well, for our role has been really, really cool. See that?

The Collaborator
kudos, that’s awesome. That’s really awesome. Let me add one more thing. When I when you and I first chatted, you will be a 47,000 page essay response that basically came down to to two concepts, you’re passionate about enablement, and you’re passionate about being a collaborative connector of the organization, you know, sort of at the center of it all, what gets you so excited about that?

Marion Carvalho
Um, I like feeling as if I’m a bridge that really extends beyond the traditional sales bubble of marketing sales ops, that you know, many folks on the line probably work with their enablement space. We are constantly working, cross collaboratively, cross functionally, with now HR leaders Pricing SMP our vendors, third party vendors that we work with for the tools that we onboard for our staff to use. So I love feeling right in the smack dab middle of it. And I can start to pinpoint people in the right direction when they need enablement content or support at the right time. So I just love that feeling like a connector of all things, enablement. And people

The Collaborator
I know, it really excites me too. I mean, I’m with you, you feel like you’re into the action, which is both draining and exhausting each day, but amazingly empowering as well. So it’s just a wonderful place to be. Now let’s dive into the main topic here. continuous learning. One of the things that you mean, you said, Hey, I want to talk about a continuous learning ecosystem. And I think that’s a wonderful topic. It’s critical, in fact, for great enablement, in my opinion, but who cares about my opinion? Why is it important, in your opinion?

Marion Carvalho
Well, when you’re operating in this tech space that we’re in an Uber, freight and Uber, you’re moving at lightning speed you really are. So this includes, for example, product updates, or new product launches. So you really need to stay proactive, and agile, to build and encourage this true sense of enablement, through learning through the learning channels that we have. And I think another aspect of this is, it’s also important to consider that within this continuous learning environment, we have a responsibility to normalize certain styles of learning. So people get excited to continue to participate and engage with whatever we’ve developed or, you know, have shared from other stakeholders, one of the the key learnings that we found from 2020, I’m sure others have as well is normalizing self serve and self paced learning. Not only for their skills, development, you know, your staff, your workforce, but the competitive edge aspect, again, going back to understanding the products, we sell the pain points that we’re solving for, for our customers, they’re always changing in this world, I mean, week to week, if I’m honest. So we need to show them lead by example, hey, if you continue to invest in your learning with us, and the content created, you will be able to be more successful and also more fulfilled within this workspace that we’re developing for you.

The Collaborator
You know what, I love that answer, because I say, yeah, it’s important. And you actually gave some good reasons why I love that. See, I feel a little smarter because of what you just said. And I love that Marian, tell me this, though. You know, what does it actually look like? You know, if I’m, if I’m a seller at Uber freight, and you’re helping me in this continuous learning ecosystem, what’s my experience, like as a as a user? First off, what does that feel like and look like?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, again? That’s a great, great question, because we’ve shifted what that looks like. And going back to our lessons learned last year, we had to, you know, it really pushed us into investing in this new normal of cultural enablement within a virtual zoom led workspace. So now, whatever we’ve put together, whether it’s new hire onboarding that I’ve told you I was doing consistently this month, we have revamped that entire process. We have regular check ins post onboarding with those teams. We’ve also set up shadow sessions not only within our sales org, but also outside. I’m firm believer that you need to understand you know where your role fits into the larger sales training ecosystem of the org. So we’ve done this we’ve also invested more on the job aids, just in time, micro enablement, videos, recordings, infographic, one pagers, things that not only the reps can leverage, but also something we’re trying to shift is empowering the manager, especially since now people are logged on longer. As we know, we’re really getting a front row seat to people’s intimate lives sometimes on these zoom calls. So how can we continue to refine our approach in the delivery but also the medium of which we utilize our training? how we present that to

The Collaborator
the state the onboarding, I started as I started to be afraid tomorrow, you would never hire me I would be bad. But let’s say pretend it I got the job. I got the job. I started with afraid. What does my onboarding experience look like? Is it is it you know, two weeks of sitting in front of the computer? Is that you What is it actually?

Marion Carvalho
You Yeah, so it is roughly about a week and a half. However, it’s not all day anymore. We’ve realized that, you know, with the rule of learning, they’re going to learn the best on the job meeting with their peers doing the job. So it’s half day blocks for a week and a half throughout those half day blocks. We have SMEs from all over the world. We’ve been very fortunate and getting almost 20 different stakeholders and SMEs that we were afraid to present at some point during this week and a half which I think is fair. Fantastic to get that buy in for our program.

The Collaborator
Great buy in from the entire biz. Yeah.

Marion Carvalho
Yeah. And you know, it’s funny because I also asked them for their advice. Listen, you know, we used to do in person we used to do all day trainings. I know you have a lot of exciting things you want to talk about in the world of product, for instance, how do you want to deliver it? so encouraging everyone, at some point, that’s part of the training program, to bring their own approach bring their best selves, I think has just improved this entire landscape of new hire, onboarding. You know, besides, again, the training that we talked about the half day blocks, we have self serve, continued learning outside, so we’ve created checklists. So per week, they have to complete XY and Z that’s linked in our checklist. They have check ins with us once a week in an office, our settings,

The Collaborator
so I’m gonna slow you down very, because I’m not as fast as you are. And I need more coffee. This is awesome. But I don’t want to lose track of it all. Because really good. Yeah. So I leave onboarding. Ta I’m the smartest person in the world. But I slowly start forgetting everything. Right away. So how do they actually get this off? You know, don’t don’t get the shirt names or tools or any of that kind of stuff. But from an approach perspective, how do you approach getting them, you know, what they need at the time of need, or so they can self serve? Or and all of that, how does that look? What does that look like? And what can people learn from that?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, it’s a combination of leveraging resources. So I really, really rely on my relationship built with the sales manager. So providing them their own checklist, with those links and structures and saying, on this day, they need to complete XY and Z. This is something that you need to discuss in your team huddle after they’ve left New Hire, onboarding, whether it’s again, creating the end of the week, check ins posts, their onboarding experience for the first 30 to 60 days, sending, you know, in our Slack channel, a week, every single president on Slack channel that’s been onboard with me. So communicating with them, they’re sharing tips and tricks from the org that had been sent out and emails that they may have missed, inviting them to office hours to sit with some additional SMEs if they want to learn a little bit more about that topic that was introduced during onboarding. And then of course, just leveraging recordings, we really invested in mock scenario recordings with our customers, you know, having our manager really lead that to so they get more comfortable the idea of pitching and home can take what somebody used here and use it over here and make it my own. So for me, it’s again, getting creative with all these different mediums, but also empowering the manager who is the manager to do that, and feel comfortable doing that when you no longer are in a trainer mode. Because I think that’s something too, that I’ve learned personally, as an enabler. We love to help we love to jump in to help people out and say yes, but I think there is something to be said about empowering managers to be a really good manager and a good coach, by giving them tools that make it very easy to follow. Amen.

The Collaborator
You know, but too many too few of us talk about this on a regular basis, empowering and enabling the managers to take that and make it real and living and breathing for the sellers, as they go forward in their life is so powerful. Did you have any? I know you have a great, you have a great boss, you’re working with both of you, did you have any struggles? In terms of getting managers on board with this? or What did you learn about the process to get managers to help this continuous ever boarding process be successful?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, um, with anything that’s new, sometimes people just don’t understand what’s in it for them. And being a former seller, I always think to, you know, with them, what’s in it for me, and I’m constantly trying to tie that to whatever crazy idea I have them, asking a manager to do, and saying, hey, if we nail discovery, or objection handling techniques, utilizing xy and z, this is going to be so much easier for you when it comes to coaching. Also, this is going to help the ramp up time to their first deal closed, right? So then tying it back to the business, org schools, their metrics as well and their function. So just simplifying it for that person, what’s in it for them, and what’s in it for their team has helped me get buy in. And like I explained earlier now, there’s so many managers who want to get involved. It’s almost one of those things where I have like a queue of people who want to get involved in our onboarding. And I have to find where it makes sense. So that’s been really cool to see that transition. But yeah, that’s amazing

The Collaborator
is a really, really great points in there. In terms of it is the manager piece, that relationship that you’ve established with the managers that Key are the core of this continuous learning environment, getting them to be the connection between enablement and the seller, or how else do you, you know, facilitate this continuous learning?

Marion Carvalho
Yeah, they’re a large part of it, I would say. I’ve been in other roles where I’ve invested a lot of time in these amazing long emails with all these wonderful links and such. But ultimately, if the managers not bought into what I’m doing, they’re not going to push that with their teams and their teams are not going to be bought in. However, the other thing that we do at Uber freight is really leverage those SMEs across the org to be part of this continuous learning and development. So inviting them, we have an all hands of bi weekly, all hands that my you know, my team helps run and so inviting them to those all hands, where it makes sense. So they can share wins, related to maybe a project that they worked on or solution that they came up with, in partnership with another aspect of our organ sales. So everyone gets bought in and sees Wow, these are other things going on outside of my day to day in our org that are really making my life easier, and ultimately bring us more customers. So having them get that FaceTime in those larger meetings, I think also very influential.

The Collaborator
Let me ask you this. And I like that a lot. Marian, how involved if at all? Are you in the hiring process? And the reason I asked that is, I think some people are natural born learners, they have a hunger for it, they want to learn. And I think that’s critical for sales success. And I think there’s other people that think they already know it all. Like me, you know, I think I already know.

Unknown Speaker
Um,

The Collaborator
do you guys play a role in that? Is that a part of the hiring that goes on? Does that impact at all how you build this entire ecosystem to?

Marion Carvalho
That is a really great question. That’s actually something that I have put as one of my goals in 2021, to get more involvement with, because to your point, john, I, I realized this last year, when we were hiring, that there’s probably something there that I could help out with, or just by sharing my feedback with the manager saying, Hey, I think this person might have the best stats, and you know, commission back that they can explain what they’ve done here. But I don’t get the sense that they are eager to learn a whole new world, and new tools and new processes. And that could be something that we have a little friction, at least in the beginning as their onboarding. So that’s a great point you bring up because I actually used to be a recruiter before I did. And so there are certain there are certain things that as a recruiter, I still think of, you know, when when some of the new people are being on board, I’m like, Okay, I see this trend, I see this trend. But yeah, I think if Listen, if you’re going to be onboarding most of the people to your org, I don’t see why you wouldn’t have a seat at the table, when you are going through those interview processes, or at least even the job spec, understanding the expectations that are being laid out.

The Collaborator
I think if enablement can play a role early on, so that you can help not be the decision maker. But just one more voice in the room that can help figure out is this person a continuous learner? You’ve said it a couple of times on here, the world around us is changing so fast. If you’re in the tech space, first off, what isn’t changing, changing every day. But even just in this world, we find ourselves living in everything’s changing constantly. And you have to be hungry to learn new things to succeed. Let me ask you this, Maryann, if you would have started a brand new company. And you wanted to set up a framework of enablement that made sense to incentivize and promote continuous learning are the two or three things you would do all over again, to make it either as good as it is now or even better.

Marion Carvalho
Um, I think there’s always room for improvement. I’m a firm believer in that. And there, there’s definitely something to be said about understanding your strengths, whether you’re new to this enablement space or not focus on what you you know, first, right and and really assess the situation starting with the basics. So doing a deep dive of what content already exists, what teams already exist, what training already exists, what’s the base, nice baseline knowledge that the team members and workforce have? And also, who are your you know, supporting cast members who are those key stakeholders that can be influential can be internal sponsors can connect you to the right people. So you start to really formulate this idea of Okay, this is what the org looks like. These are the pain points. These are the things that we can immediately you know, right off A p zero in action and have some quick wins to get people buzzed and excited about it. The other thing, too, john, that I have learned firsthand, and my manager has been great at supporting me doing this regularly is shadowing, I am also a learner and this. So shifting my mindset to from sales, which has always be closing, now to always be learning, making it a point where I’m shadowing regularly with our reps. And you know, we have varying levels of sellers, as well as managers where I can, because they will tell you and show you the areas that you need to prioritize.

The Collaborator
I love that. And you really brought me to another point where I think we often fall down all of us as enablers. We spend so much time trying to help others that we fail to focus on ourselves at our own continuous learning journey. And you touched upon that just now around the shattering and all that stuff. And it’s important, but do you do you know? Are there things that you do? Or you feel like other enablement pros could pick from to get themselves into a continuous learning mindset as well? It’s okay to know because we all have

Marion Carvalho
no, no, that’s a great question. And I yes, the answer is yes. Besides obviously, staying really embedded within the sales enablement community, whether it’s, you know, women in sales enablement, which I’m part of the Chicago chapter, you know, I know you’ve worked with them before. Your simple things like, for instance, at Uber freight, we have several continued learning, you know, professional development programs, one of them is called product champs. And I thought, late last year, I said to myself, okay, the product is constantly changing, I need to train people on what this does. So I need to get ahead of the curve and understand what goes on in the background of these product, team meetings, who’s deciding what who’s involved in customer feedback, sales rep feedback, or they’re, you know, some skills gaps there that I could potentially help, can I bridge some people together and be that connector, so everybody’s on the same page, when products go to market. And Funny enough, when I participate in this, I’m still in it. That’s what I learned, you know, you meet people who are product managers, analysts, you know, some of the engineers as well, developers, and it was, to be honest, very over my head, but now I feel a lot better. Because I know additional people, additional SMEs and stakeholders who can teach me what I don’t know, as well as connecting the dots for people I think should be involved in these conversations earlier. So now, a byproduct of this is we’ve set up a go to market guide, raci matrix between enablement, sales ops, product Ops, in our marketing, business partner, and this is just the, you know, wave of the future for us in 2021. And I’m so excited that I went beyond my comfort zone, as a, you know, sales enablement, professional, but also learner, and I’m learning a whole new world. So I think it’s really just gonna come back.

The Collaborator
I applaud you for that. And I definitely think that’s something other people should should look at to me, I started my career as an engineer. So I’m a dork by trade, I can say that. I’ve got a degree, somewhere, yeah. But it’s important to build a bridge the front of the house and the back of the house and find those connections. Because too often the engineers think the sellers and the marketers are dumb, they don’t know what the hell’s going on. And the sellers in the marketers think, well, the engineers don’t have a clue how our customers want to use the products. There’s always this disconnect. And just making those connections, having the conversations are powerful, both for the morale of the business, but also for all those connections and other opportunities that are really powerful. Let me ask you this, Marian, we’ve covered a bunch already. What did we talk about, though, whether it’s around continuous learning, whether it’s around enablement in general, whether it’s about how john can actually pronounce your name in Brazilian the right way, whatever, what would you like to show?

Marion Carvalho
Um, something that you know, Zack and I were talking about recently, actually, is having a balance of empowerment, so empowering your workforce, your sales, org, etc, versus over enabling. You know, I am somebody who naturally is a giver. And I want to say yes to everything, because I genuinely want people to be successful. That’s just part of who I am. But there are things that I can be doing more efficiently. If I say to somebody as requests or ask, you know, have you done three before me, have you gone to this website Have you looked at this link? Have you asked us to see that we trained you to do before you came to me versus me digging up a deck or recording a link, whatever it is, and taking time out of something that I’m doing that could actually help work towards the, you know, business’s goals for 2021? by answering these one off questions, so that’s something I’m trying to really stick to, you know, how do I empower our or continuously and whether that’s me tweaking and adjusting the tools that we talked about the micro enablement tools, making more concise laser focus, so they know what to use, when to use it, how to use it, things like that’s really what I’m trying to lean in for to actually this quarter.

The Collaborator
such an important point, we need to be able to teach people to fish, not do the fishing for them, not make them dinner. But as enablers, you’re right, we always want to say yes, yeah, I’ll help you out. Sure. But we need to teach them how to use what we’ve already helped them with. But here’s the great PDF one pager you need over there. Here’s this year’s app. So really spot on and a really important point. Wonderful, you have anything else you want to share? So I’m gonna give you one more chance. But this was wonderful. And I learned a ton.

Marion Carvalho
Oh, me too. I mean, listen, I wouldn’t be good at my job. If I didn’t do a plug for anyone who’s listening has some freight that they need to move on E shippers out there. If you’re interested in moving some freight, with Uber freight, go to uber.com slash freight. We got you. We want your business I want to work with you. So that’s my little plug in schpeel on, you know, Uber, freight and what we can do. I love that.

Unknown Speaker
What a great way to close.

The Collaborator
Clearly, this was wonderful. If anybody wants to reach out to you and just get more details about the work. You’re doing it over frayed, LinkedIn, is that the best place for them to reach out?

Marion Carvalho
Yes, absolutely. I would love to connect with anyone, anytime, again. I’m a learner by nature. So I would love to just network with anybody.

The Collaborator
All right, thank you so much. You zap your boss and the entire company. keep kicking butt. Everybody out there. hope you got some value out of this. Keep learning reach out to Marin, and have a great day. Bye.

Marion Carvalho
Thank you so much for having me.