Jenny Salem, Head of Knowledge Management at AnyVision, joined Israeli host and trusted advisor Avner Baruch. In this conversation, they reviewed her journey to Enablement and dug into interesting thoughts on effective channel enablement.

My key takeaways revolve around channel Enablement, where Jenny shared her approach to best enabling the channel.

1️⃣ Creating a partner portal. The portal was structured with business information about selling solutions and technical insights designed for presales teams.

2️⃣ Built a communication plan that resulted in the use of a monthly newsletter and a standard approach to announcing the availability of new capabilities to the partners.

3️⃣ Delivery of a regular monthly webinar.

4️⃣ Creation and delivery of a partner certification program.

Give a listen and remain curious.

 

Audio Transcript

Avner Baruch
Hey everyone, today I’m honored to have with us a friend and colleague who I’ve known for about six years from our days together at imperva. Six

Jenny Salem
years ago, I thought it was younger than that

Avner Baruch
actually feels like 10 years. So I want to tell everyone why I invited you. So going back to the, you know, to the reason why we’re here today, I want to talk about, you know, the transitioning you’ve gone through from training training customers to enabling channels. And what I’m keen to learn from you from this session is to understand you know, how to how everything started on your site. The days you were training customers, and, you know, developing your own approach and methodology and best practices, and what triggered you to move to transitioning to channel enablement. And perhaps, you know, our listeners, including myself will take away from this session, some of the best practices that you put together in order to establish a successful channel enablement. I’m very keen to get started. And I know you, and I know that you’re very keen, very eager to share a lot of stuff, a lot of interesting fun facts, etc. But we have a rule. And then tradition, we always start with some spicy details about our guests.

Avner Baruch
Yep. So how about starting, you know, telling us a little bit about yourself? Maybe something that most of the people that follow? You don’t know yet? Wow.

Jenny Salem
Yeah, I’m a very open person. So people really know me well, but I can say that. I was born in France, and I moved to Israel when I was a 14 years old, which is interesting. And my kids don’t speak French, because I’m just, I don’t have the patience to talk with me. In French. And

Avner Baruch
I have to stop here. This is the most romantic, most beautiful, I mean, it’s like music. I had the chance to study French in general. I mean, if I were you, I would probably speak just French and maybe sometimes Hebrew or English.

Jenny Salem
You’re absolutely right. I’m reading only in French. And I really love French movies. So this is how I keep my you know, I keep the currents with my friends.

Avner Baruch
I got a chance to to study in France, one of the most amazing, you know, I don’t know, episodes in my life. I wish, you know, if I could go back in time, I would probably you know, extend that duration and spend more time in France improve my French. But unfortunately, we’re not able to, you know,

Jenny Salem
run the past podcast in French

Avner Baruch
to deliver that session in French. Yeah, maybe we can try. Maybe later, down the road. Okay, that’s, that’s great. So maybe you could start by telling us a little bit, you know, how your career started as a training manager.

Jenny Salem
So I want to maybe to say that, I mean, the education field, from like, all my life, I’ve been in the education field, I began in youth movement when I was 12 years old. And then my military service was also in the education Corp. And I’ve been writing, training and education and enablement, really, my whole life. So it’s really my career and my passion. In high tech, I began in high tech came 15 years ago, in a small company called Converse, which was like, I think, the biggest title company in Israel. And I really learn how to do professional training, technical training there. And as you said, like what I was doing, it was more a customer training, customer education, product enablement. By the way, I love the word education much more than enablement. Because enablement is like, Okay, I’m helping you being able to, but when I say education, I also have values there and especially when we talk about sales enablement or partners enablement or channel enablement. You do want to add this you know, this spices that to a to add those value you want your sales guy to be the trusted adviser of their customers, you want them to be able to solve problems and you don’t want only them to you don’t want only to help them or to enable them to say all you really want to add all those values and intent is what I’m trying to do a as the sales enablement manager, partner enablement manager. It’s

Avner Baruch
a very interesting point you mentioned here, you know, coming up with a different not a different ball. You know, we all started in at some point with education educational We all started in the learning and development process or no journey, at some point, then for some reason. Now today everyone mentions or talks about, you know, enabling or enablement. It’s like, it seems like there are two main categories, l&d learning and development, which for some, I think that the majority of cases, the first to training customers, or internal employees, and then neighbor mental first to, maybe I don’t know, it has the flavor of more like tools and processes. So, you know, my, my perspective about, you know, the differences between enablement and education is that perhaps it also sells being in the sell space. Maybe it requires more like a surgical approach where, you know, education is a good thing, but maybe, you know, working with cells, you need to come up with a more laser focused surgical approach, which mainly relies on on on processes, maybe, you know, enablement resonates better in the same space. But you know, that’s a very interesting conversation to talk about, you know, differences between education and enablement.

Jenny Salem
It’s, I think it’s very philosophical. And we can leave it maybe for another session. And but for me, when I talk about education, so I’m talking about values as a in addition to, you know, the processes and the tools and the How to, and that’s why I would prefer that word. But you know, at the end, on my CV, it’s within sales enablement managers.

Avner Baruch
I think there’s, you know, anyone can can come up with titles, I mean, Education Manager, or whatever. But I think what matters most is the deliverables, what do you deliver? Definitely. What do you deliver? Now it is being consumed? And how do you measure success? And we can talk about that maybe later. Yeah. So he started as a training manager, education, educational manager, or

Jenny Salem
exactly, as I started to train customers and internal employee must lead the support, a guy’s in the, in the company, a very technical training, a on how to use how to configure how to maintain the product. And then I met you have in there,

Unknown Speaker
a specialist.

Avner Baruch
You’re on stage, it’s all yours.

Jenny Salem
Yes, but that’s how I discovered that basically, sales enablement. And I began to do sales enablement at imperva. But I was very feature focused. So I taught sales the same way was teaching a support or customers. And then you came, you came in, and you came to imperva. And we began to work together. And then I understood the difference between, you know, teaching customers and teaching sales and how to teach them how to sell basically. And that should be a much more value based training, and a more talking about the problems of our customers and how we solve them. And what I really liked with sales enablement, was the to see the immediate impact on the business, you know, when I’m teaching support, so maybe there will be less support case, maybe they will, they will spend less hours doing support. But at the end, you don’t really see the impact on the business. When you’re teaching and you’re enabling sales, you’re be seeing the immediate impact on the business. And I think this is amazing, I fall in love with that.

Avner Baruch
I think that if, if, if any sales enablement practitioner, anyone who practices, sales enablement, at some point, delivering training, creating content, if you’re in the point in this in this stage, where you can actually see the impact of your work, improving, you know, whatever KPIs and goals. And of course, by being able to help our salespeople, basically, we help the company to grow to scale, and to become more productive and, and basically to be able to generate more revenue.

Jenny Salem
That’s exactly it. And being able to see it’s a really quick because when when you’re doing your job as you should be doing it, you’ll see the result quickly, you’ll see that your salespeople are on boarded much faster, you’ll see that they are hitting their quotas, a better and you see them also enjoying what they’re doing, which is, you know, at the end the best part of it. Exactly.

Avner Baruch
I mean, there’s nothing more frustrating than being on board and not being able to reach your quota. And I’m not what not knowing why. And I think one of you know, one of our goals is to find out the the whys. why someone has been more successful successful than others and what keeps others you know, from reaching their goals and if we sales enablement can help the organization Not only to train new hires and help them to assume the role, but actually help others to find out the secret sauce and ingredients that can drive their business, their ability to generate revenue, then everyone is happy or happier.

Jenny Salem
Exactly. And this is like, you know, this is the purpose of life, right to be happy and to make other

Avner Baruch
in the morning with a smile. Exactly. So what I mean, so you started as a training manager, and then you decided to transition to sales enablement, right. That’s a major transitioning, it’s a big, big, there’s a big difference between training customers and training salespeople. When I mean, what do you see as the most challenging part of your work, I mean, what was the biggest challenge, transitioning from training customers to train people,

Jenny Salem
I think I touched it a little bit before. But basically, when you’re teaching customers, or when you’re teaching game a support, what you’re teaching is like how to use the product. And it’s very easy, you know, how you use it, how you configure a, configure it and how you can make the best of it. But when you’re teaching sales, it’s a completely different story, you just need to, what you need to do is really to showcase the value of the product. And and in order to showcase the value of the product, you don’t need to understand the product, you need to understand the other side. And it’s completely different, like it’s each each customer is different. And each use case is different. And you really need to teach people how to understand the other side. So it’s not about you, and about your company and about your product, it’s about the other side.

Avner Baruch
Definitely. And I think that you know, from a visual point of view, if we can use a visual to explain the difference between training customers, or training on how to processes, how to configure how to establish x, y, and Zed, etc, I think the difference, the main difference, the main difference between draining customers on technical topics or aspects of the business and training salespeople how to sell. I see the difference, as you know, working in one day one dimension, binary mode, meaning it’s working, it’s not working on and off. And moving into 3d, sort of like space, because as an enabler as a trainer sales trainer, not only that, you need to understand you know, the product from a value point of view. So, in order to help your sales people to realize the value of your portfolio and offering, but you also have to consider to take into consideration other aspects of the business like behavior or banter patterns, and, of course, sales skills, to equip the sales people with the right skills to make better use of their time. And that then requires more work, more work and more thought into the process. To understand, you know, if we have any gaps, where are the gaps, what are the gaps? And why do we have the gap. So it’s like, at any given moment, thinking in 3d, rather than just you know, it doesn’t work, let’s just create another module. And I’m not, of course, under estimating the work of the draining manager, it’s a completely different job. Working in the sales enablement space, requires a think more thought into the process, because you always have to look at, you know, through different angles of the business,

Jenny Salem
right? And you always have many sides that you need to look at. So always the partner sighs like, and then all the ecosystem. And so yes, definitely multi dimension that I’m not sure it’s really even, maybe more

Unknown Speaker
we got.

Avner Baruch
I totally agree. That’s why I like to use the, you know, Rubik’s Cube cubic in order to explain you know, I work because you’re, you hold that cube in your hand. And you always look at different angles, those, you know, you change the name of the way you hold the the cubic, in order to find out what works, what doesn’t work, you always have to look at, you know, in different angles on the problem. Yeah, definitely agree. So you transition from training from a training manager into sales enablement, and then you transitioned or, today you’re focusing on Channel enablement, if I understand correctly, could you elaborate on that?

Jenny Salem
Yeah. So I began with any vision or the company I’m working for today, a, as a sales enablement. And it was a startup and they were growing super fast. And they were hiring salespeople, every mouth like dozens of them. And we needed to create an enablement program for them. In addition, and this company was was leveraging a lot of partnerships and and channels. And the reason for that is that when you’re a startup, but not everyone in the industry, you’re working for know your name, you need to leverage big names in your industry. So there were a partnership a with a big names in the industry. It’s a it’s a computer vision, a company. So they were working with a biggest security companies and cameras companies to leverage their customer base. And at some point, we understood that we need to enable this partner better. And that enabling partner is much more challenging than enabling sales internally.

Avner Baruch
I couldn’t agree more. I think that working with generals, I mean, first of all, working with salespeople is probably the hardest jump from training point of view, for many reasons, and that might actually require different podcasts. Excuse me. But working with channels, it’s probably the hardest job in the checking the cell space, for many reasons. And I think it’s important to touch those, those points, very briefly, for the sake of those who listen and really wanting to learn more about, you know, what is it? What is channel enablement? So altogether, just, you know, in a nutshell, you know, you’re dealing with people want to, you know, sell your product, but they’re not part of your organization, they’re part of another organization, they work remotely. There are completely, you know, in a different, you know, Echo system, and the

Jenny Salem
troll, no control is coming, you don’t know, if someone is living the best, your best guy, the one that is selling you the most is living, maybe, you know, maybe you don’t know, zero control over it. And also the other side, like they, they don’t have access to your resources, they don’t have access to your knowledge base, they don’t have access to your product managers, they don’t have access to your solution architects. So it’s like being blind. And there is also something a super challenging even more a your channel are not selling on the you, you’re selling a lot of other vendors, and sometimes they’re selling your competitor, and you need to make the sale very, very easy for them, if the sale is not easy for them, and selling your competitor will be easier, or we bring them more money, they will not think about it twice, you know, they will go and sell your competitors. So,

Avner Baruch
so always bridge those gaps. I mean, we talked about, you know, those those gaps in a nutshell, you know, they’re not being part of your ecosystem. Now, it’s very hard to share information with them from a technical point of view, which we can easily bridge. But then comes the other part, which is, you know, there are many gaps, which we just, you know, described in nutshell, you know, they’re not part of your organization, it’s hard to share information with them, they’re selling other solutions, maybe even your competitors products as well. And they require more attention from your side. And we need to make the whole, you know, selling process easier for them. Because if there is any friction, they will partner with another solution that is much easier to sell for many reasons could be pricing could be communication, and sharing information could be detention to get from others. There are many, many reasons. I’ll do bridge those gaps. What do you do? What are the first steps? What can you recommend to know our listeners, you know, when they think about you know, I need to establish a channel enablement process or infrastructure. Where do I start?

Jenny Salem
Yeah, good question. And, and we, we, we thought about it a lot like what do where do we want to begin you know, at the beginning we said we’ll do a certification program for partners. But then I understood that the third thing I need to do with four partners is to create a knowledge base for them like really some portal where it is very, very easy to find the information they need. And I created this my I created me and my team we created this web portal for our partners that was very easily searchable, a structured in the same way that their organization structure and I will talk about in a minute, and basically giving them all the tools and everything they need in order to sell our solution. And this portal was created in Instructure they had a few different areas the first area was how to sell any vision So really, the bush or the bush two years and the most updated one the white papers, the presentations, the deck that they need with the notes and how to how to make the presentation we recording of our best salespeople and how they pitch our product. Really a bigger knowledge base a where they can find everything they need to sell the second part of both for for pre sales. So a really a more technical documentation and we created a we call it apartment toolkit. And we put there a technical question here that the pre sale engineer need to share with the customers and KPIs calculator, and a lot of other information and tools and Excel files and calculators. But basically can have the incising, the hardware, etc, etc. And so the first thing was really to create this portal and his knowledge base, so they can go there and find the information they need without me pushing it to them like more on the pool

Avner Baruch
approach, let me actually pose you here, because what you mentioned is extremely important, especially for those who lack the experience, you know, what it takes to establish a channel enablement system. And when I say system, I refer to infrastructure content and processes, right. So what is important to know what, what is most important to understand is that, you know, training channels or when you establish a channel enablement system, and correctly, you know, if you’ve, if you see things differently, but all together, we need to consider the fact that we’re working with two different teams on their side, one, we need to enable the sales people on their side, wherever, you know, takes control of the selling on the sales process. And the second group, the second business unit, or the second team that we need to enable train and provide the, you know, information, etc. is the technical team. Right? Who’s You know, they’re going to be in charge of the integration services. Deployment? Yes, exactly. And, of course, you know, some exceptional use cases, depending on the product and space, etc. But all together when we start, when we’re when we’re thinking about establishing a channel enablement system, we need to think in two baller directions. Or we need to think about two systems, one for the technical teams, and the other one for the sales teams. And that’s, that’s one of the reasons why channel enablement is so hard. We have to basically work with the different things that are not part of our organizations, and two completely different teams technical and sales.

Jenny Salem
Definitely. And I will say even more like those organizations are you need to think like them, you know, how they are looking for information, tools they are working with, in those organization, how it is structured. And usually, and I’m talking especially like when you’re working in a startup instead of everything is small things that drive and everyone knows everyone, but you need to think cooperate, you need to think big a organization and how they’re looking for information, and how to make it easy for them.

Avner Baruch
So Jenny, let me ask you this. I mean, first of all, you know, dedicating a portal for partners is extremely important, because it allows you to to streamline or to share the information they need, you know, much more effectively, you need to establish that channel with your channels in order to, you know, share, you know, the most up to date information and to make sure that, you know, they stay aligned with whatever you create for your salespeople as well. Because all together channels are your multipliers. You need to multiply your sails, dork, you know, your ability to sell to new markets, and sometimes channels. Not sometimes I mean, in most cases, they have a bigger, you know, footprint and exposure and and you know, the other kids are those verticals that you know that you’re not able to access naturally. So share sharing information and making sure that they are aligned to your messaging and go to market playbooks. It’s extremely important. And one of the most effective ways to do that is to create establish a dedicated portal for partner and partners or channels. So you establish the portal dedicated portal for your partners, which is extremely important. And that’s probably you know, the first and most important milestones. What next?

Jenny Salem
Yeah, so you’re right, it’s very good, but it’s not enough because you have this portal, but then you need to create a communication plan for your partner’s right. Every time you’re uploading something new or every time your messaging is changing, and in time of COVID the messaging is changing a lot. So the second thing I did was really a to establish the communication plan. And we a we created a monthly newsletter for the partners and announcement every time something new is getting uploaded to the portal. This is the second thing we did. And then we began with MFI webinars and certification programs for our most trusted partners. So really, a try to tackle a partner enablement from many many angles, loss of the pathology, communication, the training and the webinars giving them a lot of different choices you know, to learn like they can they can really pick and choose what they prefer.

Avner Baruch
So going back to the to the training portal, you know, what what i what i see what I feel that there is a big trend today in the you know from technology point Have you where some portals some tools allow you to measure, you know, how users are engaging with whatever you put together? So if we’re talking about channels, some technologies today allow us to, to measure the engagement from, you know, what are our end users, in our case, channels, how they can be consumed, the information we put together, and whether it’s helping them to, you know, to reach their goals, etc? Have you? Have you used any one of those technologies?

Jenny Salem
Yes, of course. So, our portal is, well, WordPress best we use Google Analytics to measure, you know, the consumption and what is getting downloaded. Because our portal is also you need to log in. So we were able to see like, who is logging into the portal a, how many times a month, and also what their, what tools they’re using. So we definitely use that. But what I built is engagement metrics. And what I did is that I took all the partners, all the emails, individuals, not not the companies. And I said, Okay, and I give them a score, how many times did you log into the login to the knowledge portal in one off, every time you logged in, you got five points, if you attended the webinar, you got 20 pounds, if you open the newsletter, you got two points, if you click on the link on the newsletters, you got 10 points, if you consume m m, a training on the LMS 25 pounds, and at the end, I can move this matrix and I was able to a wrench, you know, our partners individually not like a pair company and to say okay, this one is very strong, this one is very engaged. This one is coming every time and trying to see what we have a what a new things we haven’t to learn more. And I was sharing this information is very variable information with our partners manager, like okay, sometimes they come into this guy, I never heard about him and and they were able to, you know, to take the phone and and say, Hey, john, like a, I see that you’re very interested with our product, do you have any opportunity, or anything I can help you with. And it helped me generate new revenue. So all this information was very, very variable for for our partners.

Avner Baruch
So you were basically measuring the engagement data in order to check the balls and basically find out whether there are some gaps or needs, and then bridge those needs individually with those partners. That’s, that’s extremely important.

Jenny Salem
Yeah, definitely. This is this is what we did. And of course, who I monitor, you know, other KPIs, like how much money we are getting from them, and are we getting more money but but those KPIs like I don’t know, if this my you know, it’s a directly related to the work I did with them, or many other activities, that the company is doing these engagement metrics, I knew that this is only you know, what I’m doing. And the more points I’m getting at the end of the mouth, the more people engaged, the better Walk, walk I’m doing

Avner Baruch
this is important. I think that, you know, either working with sales or working with any type of end user, I think that measuring engagement is extremely important, because it gives you an idea, you know, how accurate or how well articulated the content that you put together? Is it working or not working or contributing to the, you know, your users success or not. So you can invest hours, maybe even weeks in one, you know, presentation, one piece of paper, but if it’s not being consumed, or if users or your users are not engaging with that information, it’s a waste of time. So knowing that ahead of time can actually help you to redesign your plans, you know, from you know, content point of view, like what am the other way

Jenny Salem
around, like, you know, what content is what content is important, yes, but also what partners is engaged because sometimes the Partner Manager doesn’t know about it, and they can invest, you know, hours and hours to work with someone that never enter your portal, or never tried to look for information. And on the other side, there is a guy that he doesn’t know about him, which is super engaged, he really wants to know more and and, and he can leverage him on both sides. It’s super important.

Avner Baruch
I think that you know, that’s that’s true, but well, not bad. But on top of that, if we can cross reference that you know, the constant engagement score, if I can call it that constant engagement scores work, if we can score if we can cross reference that with you know, the sales KPIs of our generals, especially if they are, you know, selling our product in a very complex space like you know, they, our product can address multiple verticals at the same time. We can touch know many use cases and industries and verticals. So if we can cross reference the continent, Engagement data with the actual, you know, sales performance that can help us understand, you know, whether our work, you know, the content that we’re creating for the sake of our channels actually works or not, maybe, you know, because of the content that we created. Some, some partners and channels are doing better than others, because they are engaging with our content, that gives them the competitive advantage to sell our product into a specific space and vice versa, maybe whatever we create from go to market, playbooks, whatever it may be, if it’s not laser focused or not articulated, well. It holds them back, and they’re not able to sell into that specific space that we, we design or, you know, we target that as as, as important. So it works in both ways, as you described. So, Jenny, really enjoyed our, you know, conversation today, and there are so many takeaways that you know, I can take and in our listeners probably can take as well. So you have one last question before we actually, you know, conclude our session today. I’m very curious to find out what did you do what what steps did you take in order to certify, you know, the, the sales reps on the channel side, to make sure that they articulate your messaging, articulate them well, and stay aligned with the latest go to market playbooks?

Jenny Salem
Yeah, so we created this certification program there were two different paths as we talked before one more for technical people want more for salespeople. And in the commercial part we really teach them like how to pitch the product what the messaging what’s the value proposition of our product, what verticals we were selling to and what use cases in each vertical we can tackle and that’s what the commercial part on the technical part it was more like constitute presale hardware how to keep them updated. So this is where our partner portal comes you know comes into action and a we really a take half an hour during the certification process to go through the partner portal to explain them where to find the information and to have them subscribe to the newsletter so they know when there is something new and to the notification. And and this is really like you know, the combination of the two of the training with a trainer with a sales trainer that will come in and teach them how to sell the product, what is the value proposition where our buyer personas etc The typical a, you know, a sales enablement, training handling objections, everything a bat. Together with that we have our a partner for

Avner Baruch
Jenny, this has been a great conversation really enjoyed our session today. Again, I’m sure that you know, all listeners will take away from me so many insights.

Jenny Salem
So happy you invited me.

Avner Baruch
Yes, and I will invite you again. I’m sure there’s many topics we can we can find. I mean, there are many.

Jenny Salem
Happy to come.

Avner Baruch
You know, I’ll be more than happy to have you here again. So thank you again for making the effort to join us today. And looking forward to having you here again.

 

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