I am often asked how I’ve honed my craft in Enablement. And the truth is - as someone responsible for creating a culture of learning, I lead by example in being a lifelong learner! In this post I'll share my favorite communities, books, vendor networks, conferences, websites, blogs, podcasts, programs, certifications, thought leaders etc. Please leave comments if there's anything I missed that we can share with the community!
Learning from my peers is the most impactful way that I've fueled my career. Here are some of the communities that attribute to introducing me to my mentors, sounding boards and emotional support system!
Voray: Voray sparks and cultivates meaningful professional relationships. Their platform combines curated live events and a digital community to connect you with the right people, at the right time, in the right place. Because a real professional relationship gives you a real professional edge. These events have been geared towards director-level and above which has helped ensure the elevated conversation is appropriate for the diverse audience.
Sales Enablement Society (SES): I'm currently VP of the New York Metro Chapter of SES. I love the group because we can make it fit the needs of our local community. Whether it's a training to share best practices on a common enablement initiative or a happy hour to share challenges and successes - SES is a great place to meet with like-minded locals or those looking to join the tribe!
Women in Sales Enablement (WiSE): WiSE brings professional women with common interests together informally to achieve personal and professional growth in an environment that breeds support and trust. Their goal is to facilitate authentic connections while improving sales enablement knowledge and skills. The WiSE events I've attended are high energy, great conversation and have yielded a strong support system.
Modern Sales Pros (MSP): So MSP is not enablement-specific, but its a great place to have rapid networking with diverse sales talent. At their live roundtable events, there's typically an overarching theme, set of questions and time blocked conversations to allow everyone to share their perspective on the topic. (I've found the format so effective with collaboration & knowledge sharing - that I've copied the style for internal crowd-sourcing workshops with staff.)
Association of Talent Development (ATD): ATD empowers professionals to develop talent in the workplace in order to create a world that works better. I'm forever grateful to this organization for setting me up for success. I first got involved with the Houston chapter in 2012 and mastered Adult Learning Theory and Facilitation skills. In 2017-2018, I pursued and achieved my Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) which has provided me with a well-rounded perspective on a variety of areas of expertise: Performance Improvement , Instructional Design, Training Delivery , Learning Technologies, Evaluating Learning Programs , Managing Learning Programs , Integrated Talent Management , Coaching , Knowledge Management , Change Management.
Close(Her): According to LinkedIn only 21% of women in sales make it to VP, and only 23% of all CXOs are women. Close(Her) is committed to changing that by building a community of women in sales that will prepare them for leadership opportunities. I've attended and moderated a few panels for them and the discussions were passionate, authentic and fun!
I'm going to focus solely on my favorite enablement books in this post. I'm an avid reader so you can anticipate a separate post on my favorite leadership, sales, business reads.
Sales Enablement: A Master Framework to Engage, Equip, and Empower A World-Class Sales Force: This is great for an enablement team book club. There are question prompts at the end of each chapter that force you to take a hard look at your established function, cross-functional partnerships and identify opportunities for improvement.
Enablement Mastery: This book just gets me. A very practical guide to the most common challenges that an enablement practitioner faces. It was written by Elay Cohen, CEO and co-founder of SaleHood, but most importantly was a practitioner as VP of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. The stories and examples he shares make it obvious that he has lived through the challenges to find the solutions he describes.
Sales Enablement Playbook: It has been so long since I’ve read this - but I remembered enjoying it. I remember feeling like it was on sales strategy in general versus a strategic enablement function. So if you are a one-person show or a sales leaders starting to think about implementing enablement strategies - this may be a good place to start.
First 90 Days: Onboarding is a key responsibility for enablement practitioners. This is a great read whether you are starting your own new role and want to own your learning, or if you’re wanting to understand strategies for building a successful onboarding experience for others.
You may know the feeling of being prospected by a slew of sales enablement technology vendors. The calls I take where the reps add the most value tend to be at companies that have invested in creating their own community and thought leadership content.
Sales Hacker by Outreach (Sales-focused, with some content for enablement)
I truly enjoy speaking at conferences - but it's also one of my favorite ways to dedicate focus to learning from my peers at the top of their game.
Outside of technology vendors, I have not found many spaces dedicated to resources for the practitioner. Here are the places I go - but I'm sure there's more!
SaaSy Sales Leadership: I haven't taken a course through this group but I have heard great things! (And I'm so jealous they got to the name first, because being the face of a SaaSy Sales Training company feels very on-brand for me!)
Enablematch: The only Enablement-focused Recruitment Firm; also has a an enablement mentorship matching program. Dave Lichtman is the best - super passionate and insightful.
Below are the people I follow that produce interesting content for our industry - I'm sure there are more! Let me know in comments.