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ATD Session Recap: Five Ways to Become an Enablement Rockstar

Speaker: Michael Martin, aPriori

Date Presented: 5.15.22

I chose to attend this session because it was strictly enablement focused - in a sea of L&D pros, I knew I'd be surrounded by my GTM people!

Michael had a great story to tell of his personal successes - from feeling imposter syndrome and fearing being fired to receiving awards and promotions!

His focus was for lean teams that may not have sufficient resourcing and how they can still make outsized impact in the singular goal of improving sales productivity. Here are the 5 tips he provided:

  1. Become the anti-training department - While there will always be a long list of training requests, the reality is that not everything is solved by training and the solution might be a systems, tools, or process problem. Michael recommended establishing an intake process and vet the ideas by incorporating strategic leaders and challenging them to put metrics to the request to determine if it's worth tying up training resources. Doing everything you’re asked will destroy credibility because you will be doing a lot of things ok versus a few things really well and hyper relevant that can drive true impact.

  2. Develop and promote an Enablement roadmap. Share and collaborate with stakeholders on the roadmap. Validate that it is aligned with strategic objectives and socialize it at multiple levels, hosting internal negotiations between leadership to gain consensus. Track in a visible way - Michael asked the audience how they did this and a variety of recommendations were shared - from excel trackers, slides in all hands, dashboards in a shared project management tool (like asana/monday) and calendar views.

  3. Measure results, incorporate feedback and adjust your plan. Michael recommended that enablement leaders partner with RevOps and internally sell them on what’s in it for them, ask for their challenges and ID scaled opportunities. He also mentioned an Annual Enablement Department Survey to be sent to each team you support and let them rate the service, what is valuable, whats working, what's not, etc. When you combine that with new hire/onboarding surveys - you should have good anecdotal evidence to understand your org's sentiment.

  4. Collaborate on Everything. Enablement is a team sport. It's important to ensure that your stakeholders and cross-functional partners see their ideas reflected. Michael recommended creating collaborative committees on major topics like field communication - including voices from sales and marketing to ensure both goals are achieved and that enablement doesn't always have to be the "bad cop" explaining why one side is being prioritized if the decisions are made collaboratively.

  5. Promote every accomplishment. It’s a noisy world - make sure that you socialize to motivate team members and build a brand perception. Create a page for the enablement team and how the team helps. Drip out hot tips based on successes from the field.

Michael shared a quote that was a good summary of his tips:

"Enablement HAS to make an impact and HAS to look like you’re doing something. You need to do both! Perception is reality."

To me, this means you can't be quiet on promoting the success of enablement or others won't understand or see the value, even if the impact is being made. While it can feel uncomfortable for many who have flown under the radar as unsung heroes, this is an important personal branding effort that helps organizations recognize the value of the function.

Connect with Michael Martin on LinkedIn!

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