Community Spotlight: Kayde Givens
Senior Sales Enablement Manager, Carta
How do you define enablement?
In the simplest terms I define enablement as the structure and support system that ensures our revenue facing teams are providing value in EVERY customer conversation. How do we do that? I'm a visual thinker so it's easier for me to visualize our role in enablement as pillars. Specifically for the roles I've been in these are usually the pillars I support:
Content strategy and creation
Ongoing learning and development
Culture & Communication
Describe your current role.
Currently I lead the enablement team at Carta. My team supports 5 business units which are essentially 5 different GTM teams. We work with SDR's, AE's, CS, and our partnerships team to make sure they have everything they need to be successful. Those pillars that you see in my response above... we do all that and more!
Briefly walk through your journey to get where you are today.
In elementary school I never stood in front of the class and said, "I want to be a Sales Enablement leader." I started my career in higher education teaching classes in communication studies. Classes like public speaking, organizational communication, and leadership. I reached a juncture in my career where I had to decide if I wanted to move into the corporate world or stay in academia.
I made that decision the only way I knew how. I applied to PhD programs while also applying to a few jobs in tech. I quickly realized a teaching salary is much less appealing than an entry level tech salary and I started my career in Customer Success renewing and managing a book of business at HireVue. I grew my career there for many years but was always stuck with my passion of teaching, research, and problem solving so I was heavily involved in onboarding, product training, etc...
That passion led me to a position where I was helped onboard our new CRO at the time. A few weeks after our CRO started he came to me and asked me to help him build out sales enablement. I said no, he said I didn't have a choice, and the rest is history. The best mentors can spot your talents well before you can. That CRO offered me every resource imaginable for figuring out enablement and figuring it out quickly. Since then, my career in enablement has always been building out the function from the ground up and I love it. That's how I ended up at Carta building out their enablement function from the ground up and I wouldn't have it any other way.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishment was building out a competency based hiring plan for our sales leaders. We were struggling to get the right people in the door so we started to look at what great meant on our team, what managers were doing a good job of hiring, and how they were doing it.
It was a project overflowing with data and I LOVED it! This included analyzing rep performance, sitting in on manager interviews with reps and listening to old recordings, working with CEB Gartner on competency modeling, and working with our data scientist to build out a hiring assessment for sales.
Our attrition decreased and so did our ramp while also providing us with a competency based framework that we could then coach and teach from.
What’s your advice to someone getting started in enablement?
Remember who your customer is and make sure you stay close to them and understand their world. The further away you get from knowing their day to day the harder it is for us to make an impact. Stay closely aligned to the overall business strategy as well every program you create should drive that strategy. ALWAYS BE LEARNING!
What are you doing to develop yourself?
Reading everything Whitney shares on Enablement Enthusiast (she didn't pay me to say that it's just cold hard facts).
Network with the enablement community. We have an amazing group of people and the more you network the more you can learn.
I'm also a sucker for books so I'm currently reading The School of Life by Alain De Botton and I highly recommend it.