Erica Benedetto, Senior Global Enablement Program Manager at Hopin
How do you define enablement?
Enablement to me is really simple - enabling each member of the organization to be successful in their role by removing barriers to driving revenue. I am personally motivated to help those around me succeed and I do my best to drive engagement through a creative approach to any initiative I plan. By keeping enablement programs creative, it allows your teams to have fun and remember the content presented to them in an authentic way that will show when they go back to customers.
Describe your current role.
As the Senior Global Sales Enablement Program Manager at Hopin (say that 5 times fast!), I have managed a variety of high-impact projects such as spearheading the rollout of our CMS to the GTM team, scoping and implementing a customer-focused methodology, crafting a communication strategy to increase engagement and streamline information, and planning our SKO event coming up in March.
Walk through your journey to get where you are today.
I started my career in digital marketing, managing pay-per-click advertising campaigns on Google, Bing and Yahoo for Fortune 100 companies and quickly ascended into people leadership roles at two creative marketing agencies in Chicago. Given my experience in managing brand-focused digital marketing campaigns, I was hired at Linkedin to be a Talent Brand Solutions Consultant where I advised our talent acquisition clients on why having a strong brand on Linkedin (and beyond) was important to find the best hires for their organizations. While I carried a quota and loved the thrill of the pitch, I realized my favorite part of being an SC was doing enablement activities at scale to educate the reps I worked with on how they could better sell Linkedin media campaigns when I was not in the room.
After hosting countless workshops, trainings, SPIFFs, contests and 1:1 coaching, I decided to take the next step in my career and focus solely on sales enablement at Glint (an employee engagement company acquired by Linkedin in 2018). My then-manager (and now mentor), Chad Trabucco, took a chance on me and I learned so much about how to create structure and process to ensure product launches and scaled cross-functional trainings went off without a hitch as well as how to thoughtfully manage a CMS.
After a few internal changes at Linkedin, I decided to join Nikki Schanzer to help her build out the enablement function at Hopin. In my short 8 months at Hopin, we’ve accomplished more than most larger teams do in 2 years. I’ve learned so much and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
I am most proud of our bi-weekly enablement meeting, The Hopline. When I started at Hopin, the cross-functional communication to the GTM organization was primarily in the form of Slack updates which to our rapidly growing team, was quite overwhelming. Upon connecting in 1:1s with several GTM team members and conducting a communications survey via Google Forms, I discovered that many felt like they were missing important information and there was also just too much to decipher what was really important to their role.
With this data in my hand, I drafted a proposal to our Chief Business Officer and Head of Sales to streamline our communication efforts and below is what we agreed to put into action.
1. The Hopline - A live bi-weeky enablement meeting where cross-functional partners would share their updates with the single goal of surfacing what anyone in GTM needed to know to be successful in role. And of course, we made it fun by infusing a TV show theme to all segments that our team really got into! The framework I asked our cross-functional team to follow to maximize engagement is below:
Why is this important to Hopin?
Why is this important to our customers?
Why is this important to me? (i.e. AE or CSM)
2. Guru Card Newsletter - As a direct follow up to our Hopline event, we share the recording (and track views) and share other updates across slack to aggregate the information as a one-stop-shop for anyone in GTM to access what’s going on in our business. This was also really helpful to our global team who could not attend live or anyone who was out of the office to easily catch up.
3. Monday Manager Update - A weekly manager specific newsletter keeping them abreast of the most important updates to keep top of mind for last week, this week and next week. We’ve gotten feedback that many managers use this newsletter to inform their weekly team meeting content!
The result of our updated communication strategy was the ability to track engagement with our GTM team to ensure they were seeing + absorbing the information. We have a 95% attendance rate of our Hopline event with over 25% of our GTM team viewing (or re-watching) our recording on-demand. We’ve also collected qualitative feedback where our teams shared this is their favorite meeting at Hopin! Our cross-functional partner to sales/CS slacks have decreased since information is streamlined and we have no longer received feedback that anyone feels like they are missing important updates. Wins across the board!
What’s your advice to someone getting started in enablement?
There will always be 10,000 things to get done and it can feel really overwhelming. Start by prioritizing by impact and really giving a critical eye to the tasks you take on. One tip Chad Trabucco taught me was the squeaky wheel concept - if you only hear about something once, for instance, a one-off ask from one member of the organization, then de-prioritize (not squeaky enough). If you hear about an ask that has been reinforced by leadership or brought up many times (hopefully with a business impact attached), then proceed (multiple reinforcements of the asks = more squeaky)!
What are you doing to develop yourself?
I view myself as a constant work in progress. My primary focus for 2022 is leadership, inclusivity and coaching. I have regular sessions with a professional leadership coach who helps me take a step back and see a new perspective while presenting me with thought-leadership content to really get my wheels spinning on new ways to tackle any challenge. Her latest resource was a video on the power of curiosity. I also love to take courses on Linkedin Learning. I find I do best when I can find quick-to-complete courses, like how to create a great first impression, that I can easily deploy in my career and personal life.
Connect with Erica on LinkedIn!