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Episode 26  |  33:54 min

The Intersection Of Sales Operations And Sales Enablement With Spekit CEO Melanie Fellay

Episode 26  |  33:54 min  |  03.06.2020

The Intersection Of Sales Operations And Sales Enablement With Spekit CEO Melanie Fellay

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This is a podcast episode titled, The Intersection Of Sales Operations And Sales Enablement With Spekit CEO Melanie Fellay. The summary for this episode is: The intersection of Sales Operations and Sales Enablement is a fascinating place. It’s where process, performance, systems, and analysis all converge. And in recent years, the tools at this particular intersection have absolutely exploded. Luckily, today’s guest, Spekit Co-Founder and CEO Melanie Fellay, is an expert in navigating the Sales Enablement landscape. On today’s episode, Melanie and Sean go deep on measuring the ROI of different enablement tools, the reality of tool exhaustion, and the important distinction between change management and change enablement. We’ll also learn how her former boss telling her they were getting rid of Salesforce eventually led to her co-founding the company she runs today. - IDC Study on Salesforce economic impact: https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/documents/reports/idc-salesforce-economy-report.pdf - Study on technology adoption: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812006271 Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect with Sean and Melanie on Twitter @Seany_Biz @melfellay @HYPERGROWTH_pod
The intersection of Sales Operations and Sales Enablement is a fascinating place. It’s where process, performance, systems, and analysis all converge. And in recent years, the tools at this particular intersection have absolutely exploded. Luckily, today’s guest, Spekit Co-Founder and CEO Melanie Fellay, is an expert in navigating the Sales Enablement landscape. On today’s episode, Melanie and Sean go deep on measuring the ROI of different enablement tools, the reality of tool exhaustion, and the important distinction between change management and change enablement. We’ll also learn how her former boss telling her they were getting rid of Salesforce eventually led to her co-founding the company she runs today. - IDC Study on Salesforce economic impact: https://www.salesforce.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/documents/reports/idc-salesforce-economy-report.pdf - Study on technology adoption: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042812006271 Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect with Sean and Melanie on Twitter @Seany_Biz @melfellay @HYPERGROWTH_pod

Sean Lane: Hey everyone, Sean here. Before we kick off the show, a quick special announcement for listeners to The Operations Podcast. Hypergrowth London for 2020 is already around the corner, believe it or not. We are super excited to be returning to London for the second year in a row. There will be an amazing lineup. May 6th in London will be the kickoff to Hypergrowth of 2020. And of course, I wanted to put something special together for the people who listen to The Operations Podcast. So, if you listen to this show and you want to go to Hypergrowth London on May 6th, you can use the promo code OPS, O- P- S, to get a discounted ticket. The discounted ticket is only 59 pounds. I don't know what the translation of that is for dollars, just bear with me. 59 pounds. The general admission normally is 499 pounds. So, use the promo code OPS, O- P- S, to get your tickets. Enjoy Hypergrowth. Now, on with the show. Hey everyone. Welcome to Operations, the show where we look under the hood of companies in hypergrowth. My name is Sean Lane. I've always been fascinated with the intersection of sales operations and sales enablement. It's where process, performance, systems and analysis all converge. In recent years, the tools at this particular intersection have absolutely exploded. I'm going to be honest, the options can be a little overwhelming. What should I be adding to my tech stack? What should I be removing? How many tools are too many? It's daunting. Luckily, I met today's guest, Melanie Fellay. She is an expert in navigating the sales enablement landscape. Melanie is the co- founder and CEO of Spekit, a digital adoption platform for creating, maintaining, and surfacing training. On today's episode, Melanie and I go deep on measuring the ROI of different enablement tools. We're going to talk about the reality of tool exhaustion and the important distinction between change management and change enablement. We're also going to learn about how her former boss telling her they were getting rid of Salesforce eventually led to her co- founding the company she runs today. But first, as I mentioned, Melanie is the expert here, and our guide in this exploration of the intersection of sales, operations, and sales enablement. So, as the CEO of an enablement company, how does she think about the enablement landscape and the categories of tools on the market today?

Melanie Fellay: I think that's a really good question. There are just so many tools on the market right now. It's hard to make those decisions. But if you really break it down, I think there's a few different main categories that, depending on the complexity of your sales process and depending on the stage of the company that you're at, you'll need. The first obvious ones are some form of coaching/ onboarding tools. So, think solutions like LevelJump or more of a traditional LMS. How do you get your new hires up to speed quickly and effectively on your organization, on your products, on your processes, et cetera? But then when you move into the day- to- day of a rep, you obviously need some sort of a high volume management solution. Whether that's a SalesLoft or inaudible or you might need a Pipedrive, you're going to need a repository that helps your team manage all of those different deals and contacts and lists that they're working on. When we set up Spekit, we immediately invested in tools that would make it easier for our sales team to prospect and really increase their day- to- day productivity. So, when I think about that category of tools, I think of tools like ZoomInfo, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, that helps you actually put together lists of potentially qualified prospects within your ICP that really save a lot of time around actually finding phone numbers and emails and all that information. You pair that with an email automation tool of some sorts. If you're a little bit earlier stage, maybe a simpler tool like a Yesware might work, but once you get bigger in scale, you might want tools like Outreach or SalesLoft that help you create personalization at scale. The ability to create cadences and just remove a lot of that manual burden every day when it comes to remembering to reach out to your prospects. Pipeline, prospecting and sales productivity, and then knowledge tools, right? How do you ensure that your team members have the right information at the right time, whether that's more externally facing knowledge on your products or internal information on your processes or even on how to better sell. Think battle cards, discovery questions, et cetera, and that's more so the category of tools that Spekit falls into. Once you start scaling and, again, this depends on the kind of business that you have, but then you start needing more like a CMS solution. A HighSpot, a Seismic, a collateral management solution that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your collateral within your sales process. What are the kinds of collateral and content that actually influence your sales team. And then tools like sales intelligence platforms. We invested in Chorus, and it's made a huge difference for us, both in onboarding new reps, because you can create whole playlists on objection handling and on different competitors, on different use cases that reps can listen to, but also when you're doing call reviews with your reps. Being able to listen in to those calls and identify coaching opportunities. Again, these are different categories of tools that you might invest at different stages. I'd assume most organizations might invest a little bit later stage in a CMS or Chorus. But again, it really depends on the complexity of your sales process. If you have a one- call close, even if you're a late stage company, a tool like HighSpot or Seismic, and that might not make sense for you.

Sean Lane: Yeah. It's so interesting, because I'm sitting here taking notes as you're listing all of those out, and you rattled off six or seven different categories and it feels like a lot. But there is this element of growing into some of these, depending on your stage. Do you have a gauge that you use both for your company at Spekit or for having these conversations with prospective customers about when you know that some of those needs might exist in your company and it's time to add another one into the tech stack?

Melanie Fellay: You know, I think it, again, it's one of those answers again. It depends on the composition of your sales team. You have SDRs to AEs, there's so many different factors. What is your cost attributed to setting a meeting? There's so many different things that come into play in terms of what levers you want to pull to bring more efficiency to your team. But more tools, as you and I both know, is not always the answer. Tool exhaustion is a real problem. It increases the amount of ramp up time for new reps. It creates a lot of noise in the day- to- day process when your team members have to jump from one tool to the next to do all these different things in them. So, I'm a big believer that, as much as you can, investing more in platforms or having as integrated as a tool stack as you can, making sure that all your tools are highly integrated into Salesforce, if that's your platform of choice, is super important. But I was actually looking at our tech stack recently, as we were preparing for budgeting, and right now, if you just look at our sales tools, so not including tools like Slack and Zoom that are more company- wide tools, but we're spending right now$ 500 a head. But what's interesting there is that's not even near the actual cost of the tools, because what you're not including there is the cost of setting up those tools, the cost of maintenance of those tools, the head count that you might need at a certain scale to just manage all these sequences in a solution like Outreach, right? Those might be full- time sales enablement hires, or product marketing hires for a tool like HighSpot. So when you start really taking a step back and looking at the comprehensive cost of a tool, it's pretty shocking.

Sean Lane: This is such an interesting and helpful way to look at your sales enablement tech stack. For Melanie and her relatively small team at Spekit, they are already spending$ 500 a head on enablement tools. And, to her point, that's just the cost of the tool itself. It doesn't even mention the ops team, the IT team and the management costs that are going to also go into assessing, implementing, and ultimately maintaining these tools. I counted seven different categories of tools in Melanie's description. For sales enablement folks out there, no wonder it can feel overwhelming. Seven different categories. But I think Melanie's approach can bring a little more simplicity to your decisions of when to add which tools to your stack. You don't even need to have this super sophisticated tech stack right off the bat, particularly when you have a smaller sales team. But what I need help with in my business, and I'm sure plenty of other people are in the same boat, is, how can I better get at what the ROI of any particular enablement tool will be?

Melanie Fellay: I think what's really interesting, and one of the only real stats out there around the full cost of a tool, is actually looking at the IDC report on Salesforce. If you look at Salesforce, for every dollar that's spent in the Salesforce ecosystem, today$ 3. 50,$3.40 to be exact, are spent in the ecosystem. The ecosystem might be professional services, so Salesforce implementation partners, it might be add on tools like Conga and tools like Spekit that help you drive adoption. It would be your Salesforce admins and developers that you have full- time in- house. And that number is actually projected to increase to 5. 2x by 2022, I believe. So for every dollar you're spending on Salesforce, your CFO should be budgeting to spend about 5. 2x on the ecosystem as a whole. Now, again, that's going to vary by organization, but if you take that into consideration, then the concept that it's a single tool dramatically increases.

Sean Lane: Jumping tn here quickly, this just goes to show you how powerful being in the Salesforce ecosystem can be. Which, by the way, Spekit is. For every dollar a company spends on Salesforce. com, Melanie says that that same company will spend an additional$ 5. 20 cents on other Salesforce related things in the coming years. Okay. Back to Melanie.

Melanie Fellay: And so I think when it comes to actually selecting the tools, really doing a proper... I think ROI analysis are hard because you need to have a lot of really strong input measures going in, and most companies I talked to when I asked them questions like," Hey, do you have any idea how long it takes your new reps to get up to speed on all the different tools in your technology stack?" The answer 90% of the time, if not more, is," We don't really know." Some of them have a good idea of what the real ramp up time is for a rep. But if you're selling a productivity tool and you're looking at, well, we're going to increase your time spent selling, most organizations don't even have a really good way of measuring that. And so it comes down to more than just like that quantitative way of looking at ROI. It's also, well, is this going to make our employees happier? Is it going to make their jobs easier? Are they going to be less frustrated because, instead of having to go searching for information, it's surface to them when and where they need it. So there's a lot of different inputs to put in that. I think you need to look at this problem holistically and not just looking at the exact ROI calculation, which realistically is, if you find a way to do it, please let me know. I talk with inaudible large teams and and it's just a hard problem to solve.

Sean Lane: Yeah, but I think you just gave people some really nice categories that they can bucket some of those inputs or outputs for ROI and those types of decisions. Obviously dollars is going to be the first one that anybody looks at, and that could be in the form of someone's productivity and their ramp, or just a lift of existing employees. But also things like time, how much you're giving them back in a day to ultimately hopefully drive the dollars as well. I think that the happiest thing is real because you brought up the point earlier about tool exhaustion. That is totally a thing, and if you aren't smart about the way you both add to and then refine and cull down your tech stack from a sales inaudible perspective, then there's no way that any rep is going to be able to just withstand the constant onslaught of only adding new tools after new tool after new tool.

Melanie Fellay: Yeah, and it's not just adding new tools. When I talk to customers that are first implementing a solution like Salesforce or, really, any other tool, you're not going to see the ROI on that tool at implementation. ROI comes at optimization. Once you're actually going in and refining what you initially built out. Just think about Drift, how many times have you guys added and changed Salesforce since you guys first implemented this solution? It's probably a very different tool than it was a couple years ago and part of that is because every time you add a new business line, you're going to make a change to Salesforce. Every time you refine your sales process and get smarter about your ICP and what works and what increases your close rates, you're going to start tracking new kinds of information on your customers. These tools are constantly going to be evolving as you get smarter about your business and as you get smarter at using these tools. And so, it's not just thinking about, okay, what is the cost going to be at implementation of getting buy- in and training and all that? It's more so as we think about our broader strategy, what is our change enablement strategy? How is that constant change that's happening across the nine average applications that a rep uses, plus all the other things that are changing in your organization, going to affect their ability to focus on their numbers on a day- to- day basis?

Sean Lane: I found myself furiously scribbling down Melanie's specific word choice there, change enablement strategy. Change enablement. We hear so much about the change management inside of hypergrowth companies or change management when it comes to adopting new tools. But, I think we've got it backwards. I'm going to make a point moving forward to invert that thinking and not focus on the change management, but the change enablement. Enablement is literally the act of making something possible for someone else. The primary focus shouldn't be on the person or the team managing the change. It should be about who is being enabled. And, as it turns out, one of our earliest guests on this podcast, Brett Queener, is now a board member at Spekit, and he had a great quote about Spekit and sales enablement in general that I thought was super telling. He said, quote," As we saw over the last two decades, software is eating the world. The average organization deploys more than 30 SAAS solutions, but our employees happily eating or consuming the software. Billions in productivity and SAAS investment spend are wasted because teams simply don't understand how to best leverage the constantly changing software investments their companies have made." And that brings us back to change enablement. It's hard sometimes for even me to keep up with all the new features that Drift launches on our own products, nevermind all the tools we use from other vendors, and every tool in your tech stack is probably a similar story. Melanie says that that's something they're trying to solve at Spekit.

Melanie Fellay: It's a term we're trying to coin a little bit, because I think that's the challenge that every organization out there has, which is how do you keep your teams aligned? How do you keep the plane flying while you're building it or whatever that expression is. But the one thing every single organization and sales team and operations team has out there is that change is constant. Whether it's in your own product and services, whether it's in your processes, whether it's in your tools, there is so much change and day- to- day decision making that people need to keep track of. And so how can we make that just a little bit easier for employees and for their managers and for the enablement teams that are having to keep track of all this change as well as enable their users on it? Yeah. It's interesting what you just mentioned about, people not even knowing what kind of features are available in their tools. I was asking my team member the other day about this feature in Outreach, and she's like," Oh, I don't know." And it turned out, we just hadn't been using that feature for a couple of weeks. When it comes to the software not getting utilized, there's a lot of tools out there that measure that. But looking at some of the customers that were prospects that we've been talking to recently, one of them has over 4, 000 employees and they have a 70% login rate ever in Salesforce. And that goes to show that just introducing tools, if you don't have the right change management strategy around that, if you don't properly train your users on how to use them, then it's really hard. One of the things I was talking to the organization, and I'm like," Listen, I can't solve for the fact that people aren't logging into Salesforce." There's a really interesting Australian study that breaks down the factors that impact technology adoption. I'll send it to you afterwards. But it really comes down to a couple of different factors. The first one is perceived usefulness. What are the benefits to that user? Why, as an employee who I want to use that tool, what is it going to do for me? And to me, you can't do that in a tool. That is what your in- person training needs to be focused on. That is what your time with your employees need to be focused on is," Here's why we've invested in this tool. Here's how it's going to benefit you and make you better at your job, and here's what you can benefit from using it. You're going to get more sales," whatever it is. And then there is managerial support. How do you make it easy for them to use the tools? And that's where more of a solution like Spekit comes in, which is as a navigating tool, any question that I have is easily answered. Lastly, it's peer influence. That's why more and more organizations, especially in larger teams, we see have power user boards or champion boards where they identify some key influencers in their sales teams or operations teams either because they're top performers or because they've been at the company for a long time, or because like people just listen to them. They're that person that has a lot of friends in the organization. But if you get those people bought into the tools and they can be your force multipliers, meaning when you're trying to get adoption of a new sales process, they can speak on your behalf rather than your IT team pushing that change or sales ops pushing that change. You can really create a little bit more momentum around the adoption of those tools.

Sean Lane: Yeah. I love those three categories, perceived usefulness, manager support, and peer influence. All three of them, I think combined together, would make for a great rollout of a new tool or a great ongoing enablement of an existing tool. But to me that third one you just talked about, peer influence, time and time and time again is the one that I see that makes or breaks anything that we use. Anything that we use. If we don't have that third one, forget about it. It's not going to make it.

Melanie Fellay: inaudible That's what I spent a lot of my time on when I was managing Salesforce and the majority of our tech stack at my last company. I was just spending so much time figuring out who were the people that I had to win over and literally sitting down with them, watching them work and asking them," Why aren't you using this? How can I make this easier? What's something that pains you?" And just identifying those low hanging fruit and quick wins that I could potentially roll out in Salesforce. Sometimes it's as simple as a button that allowed them to pull a report. Sometimes it's silly, but if you get buy- in from those folks on your team, then when you roll it out, I'm like," Okay, great. I just built this thing you asked me, go let everyone know." inaudible It's not forcing adoption. It's not your sales ops. It's not your sales enablement. You've now got this champion's board of people that they can do that. You can do it officially, you can do it unofficially. I think it really depends on your culture and your organization. Just like there's sales president's club that really rewards top sales performers, I think there's something to say about having power teams, power influencers out there that really promote operational excellence in the organization. Because at the end of the day, that makes a huge difference on your bottom line as well.

Sean Lane: Make sure you're taking those three strategies with you the next time you're launching a new tool or trying to boost adoption of a tool. You've already got perceived usefulness, manager support, and peer influence. Even if you can't incorporate all those strategies, take Melanie's simplest advice: just sit with the reps. So many people skip that crucial step. Spend time with reps. Observe them, learn, and then react. I always find it fascinating when I'm talking to someone like Melanie, who previously worked in sales operations before co- founding Spekit, and now, later on, she finds herself selling a product aimed at operations folks. But it was that very experience in sales operations that led her to start the company in the first place.

Melanie Fellay: Well, the whole inspiration for Spekit was kind of interesting because I was working for a company at the time. It was called RealtyShares. I joined early on and we'd gone from 15 to 150 employees, series C company in little over a year and a half. All the classic growth challenges. High growth, lots of employee onboarding, everything constantly changing, buying tools left and right, and one of those was Salesforce. And we made a lot of mistakes, and if there's one thing everyone can take away from this episode is don't go cheap on the people that are going to be implementing that tool. One of the mistakes we did is we went offshore. Granted, this was way before I was involved in it, but we went offshore and we had a team building it and we had a complex data model. We were a real estate crowdfunding platform. We weren't the out- of- the- box Salesforce where you were just adding a few fields to your accounts and contacts. And they got our entire data model wrong, we didn't do any proper training, and when you're into the solution, while we've spent a lot of money on licenses and everything, we were just getting pretty much no adoption. Everyone is still working out of spreadsheets. We were going to be increasing head count across all teams. And so our IT team, our CTO at the time, suggested at the leadership team," Hey, we're going to get rid of Salesforce." That's when our CEO came up to me, he's like," Hey, Mel, you know, we're going to get rid of Salesforce and they're going to build something internal instead." And I was working in a tall building in San Francisco, looking at the Salesforce tower under construction, and I was managing the majority of our operations teams at the time, and I'm like," This is just crazy, right?" Salesforce tower, under construction out my window. They know what they're doing. Their software works. But the fact that we did not implement it correctly is crazy. And I just strongly believe that you should take a build versus buy versus rent approach to everything, and building a CRM as a real estate tech company, those two things just don't align. Our engineering team should only be building things that are unique to our differentiation, our core, and sell. I was like," You know what, give me a couple weeks." He's like," How many weeks?"" Three weeks. Give me three weeks. I'm going to get my hands dirty and figure out this Salesforce thing." And I went to work. I spent three weeks. I didn't pull all nighters. I've never done that in my life, but I spent a lot of time in Salesforce and basically started unraveling everything. All I had to do was prove out for one use case for our BDR team that there was value there. And then over the next year and a half, I basically became our Salesforce product owner, integrated it with all of our tools. And the biggest challenge I had was, as I was making all these changes, our documentation, it was across Google drive and PowerPoint and in our LMS, was constantly out of date because those two things aren't connected. When I make a change in Salesforce, that documentation doesn't update. I have to manually remember to go update it. I was like," Well, this is not a great use of my time." And then our sales team, even when I did document things, half the time was outdated and they would never go back and look at it because wasn't easy to access. And so that's when I started looking for a solution. I was like," Okay, I know my sales team needs all of this information in Salesforce and whatever tool they're using." And as the person managing all these tools, I've got no time, let alone for documentation, and I need this to be as efficient and easy as possible. And so that was really how we designed Spekit, where you can actually create your documentation by pulling in your fields and your pick lists, and then surfacing those across your tools with a bunch of exemptions.

Sean Lane: That's amazing. It's just the classic story of you have this problem, but most people don't do anything about that problem. You literally started a company around the pain that you were feeling, which is amazing.

Melanie Fellay: Well, I felt that pretty heavily between all of our onboarding plus just constant complaining, like," This thing changed." And the thing is, it's not that I wasn't communicating these changes. I was sending emails, I was posting it on Slack, I was posting it on Chatter. I was posting in every place possible. And you know, when we talked to customers, our goal was to compliment a true learning management system. There's still a use case for that. But at the end of the day, I think as consumers we've gotten so accustomed to information being available at your fingertips. If I asked you a random question, you can Google it on this phone call within two seconds. At the workplace, it's almost like we've accepted the fact that we're just going to search, and then if we don't find an answer, we're going to send something on Slack or send an email and then wait for the inaudible. It's just, in my opinion was an outdated way of doing things.

Sean Lane: And you mentioned something briefly there about documentation and the time required to do it. I've always thought of that as a necessary evil of, look, this is something that you're going to have to spend time on, but the upfront time investment is going to save you in the long run, because it's just a higher leverage way of disseminating information in a better way. But then there's always the updating and the constant iterations as your processes change or processes change, and the documents don't get updated. So what is the right way to think about documentation in the context that we're talking about? Because, at the end of the day, I've got 70 sales reps and processes that change every day and they're not applicable to everybody. How do you recommend to operations teams as you're talking to them the right way to approach that problem?

Melanie Fellay: Frankly, this is a problem I'm trying to solve every day with Spekit. It's funny, because whenever I talk to friends, they're like," You really built a documentation training company? That's what you wanted to put all your crosstalk?" I'm like, " Yeah." It's a really un- sexy problem. But it's a problem that every organization out there faces. The upkeep and maintenance of knowledge. Our first hypothesis was, well, if you connect your knowledge, if you build your knowledge from your underlying systems and processes, meaning you write your process documentation from your underlying processes, then as your processes changed, meaning as you build out Salesforce, that's one way for it to stay up- to- date. But in terms of taking the strategic approach to how do you actually look at maintaining your knowledge? One, it's really decentralizing some of that knowledge upkeep. Being able to assign other subject matter experts in your organization to it. Think about line managers. Not just having an enablement team be responsible for it, but having different line managers that count in different parts of it. That's one and then two, when we onboard a new customer, we look at what are the key challenges that employees are having today? So if they have some sort of a help desk, we look at what are the key questions that they're getting in their help desk. Then we're looking at what parts of Salesforce are people inaudible. We'll create a little bit of a content mapping strategy. But the big message that I share with them is our goal is not to create a repository and then that goes to die. That's where documentation goes to die, is if you think about it as a project. Instead, it really needs to be a habit. Meaning when someone asks you a question, my team knows, we use our own tool religiously, largely for product research. We use it for all of our onboarding. If someone asks me a question, they know that I've gotten no problem answering it, but it's their responsibility to then go create a Spec for it and then share it with the rest of the team. Knowing that then it multiplies. And the whole idea is you're already documenting these things 90% of the time. It's just in Slack, it's in your email, et cetera. And so if you can start getting in that habit of, like, okay, instead of answering that email, I'm going to create a Spec and then send it out. Or instead, and even if you're not using a modern knowledge solution like ours or others that are on the market, if you're just using Google drive, back at RealtyShares, my servicing team knew that if they were asked something, their responsibility was to go and update the Google doc, we had an 80 page servicing manual, and then they have to tag me in a comment so that I could go in and verify it.

Sean Lane: Damn. That's awesome.

Melanie Fellay: Oh yeah. But it just has to be part of that culture where you need to value it. And frankly, you start seeing the multiplying effect of having the right process documentation. At first, our team, before I took over our servicing team, we projected a four month ramp up and it was going to take six people by the end of the year to handle our servicing volume, and we only ended up needing two because every answer they needed was documented. It was easy for them to get up to speed. And we see it day in and day out with our sales team too. A funny story, our AE, his first day was on the floor at Dreamforce at our booth this year, and I just sent him some documentation up front. I was like," Hey, I want you to read through all this." And I documented everything. Our discovery questions, our battle cards and competitive, and absolutely everything you needed to know was documented. And he was at our booth, just integrate jobs. So it is a necessary evil. It's not one that I love doing either, but I think most operational leaders will realize that it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Sean Lane: Melanie's advice to make this mindset shift around documentation is super powerful. It's not as painful or as cumbersome when it's just normal and the investment is truly worth it. And she should know, right? It's her world. Too often, we don't recognize our own enablement gaps or problems until it's too late. So, I couldn't let Melanie leave without giving us some advice about how to get ahead of these problems, how to look around corners when it comes to enablement in our own companies.

Melanie Fellay: I think part of it is future-proofing your, your tech stack. What are some of the things that you can do today that are going to make every future new tool that you want to implement, new process change you want to roll out, et cetera, easier. Some of those might be creating a tool evaluation kit. As we were talking earlier, what are the different things that you need to look at when you're evaluating a tool? Some of those might be putting the proper training in place. And even if that's a Google doc, actually spending this time documenting your key processes, the key things that really matter so that you might be onboarding a couple STRs a month. But when that number increases to 20 SDRs a month, I was actually talking to my friend, Nicoletta at Snowflake that onboarded 40 SDRs in a week, they're just absolutely exploding, but that you have the tools and processes in place to support that kind of scale. And at the end of the day, as a sales manager, as a coach, I want my time being spent helping my team be better at selling. Be better at closing, be better at selling, be better at speaking to our customers. The last thing I want to be spending all my time on is teaching them what fields in Salesforce they need to fill out or how to use Outreach and how to add a sequence. So I think those conversations that just need to be had internally, which is, okay, what we have in place works now, but what does that look like in six months once we really start scaling these teams.

Sean Lane: Before we go, at the end of each show, we're going to ask each guest the same lightning round of questions. Ready? Here we go. Best book you've read in the last six months.

Melanie Fellay: Oh, that's a good question. Challenge Your Sale.

Sean Lane: Favorite part about working in ops or, in your case, with ops?

Melanie Fellay: Being a part of a lot of really important conversations in the organization.

Sean Lane: How about your least favorite part about working in ops?

Melanie Fellay: Having to deal with all the problems at the organization.

Sean Lane: Somebody who impacted you getting the job you have today?

Melanie Fellay: My old boss when I was an intern here in Colorado when I was still in college. He was one of the first CTOs at SINGA. And he was like," Mel, you need to go to San Francisco. You can't say in Colorado, you've got to go to San Francisco. You need to do the whole startup thing. You're meant to be in that world." And so, I packed up my bags, went to San Francisco and ended up back here. crosstalk. It was definitely important to getting off the ground.

Sean Lane: That's amazing. All right. Last one, one piece of advice for somebody who wants to have your job someday.

Melanie Fellay: Don't be afraid to speak up in meetings. Take every opportunity that comes your way. When someone points out a problem, don't just point out problems, offer solutions, and when you see something that's just an ongoing challenge, take the leap, be proactive in trying to solve it. I think the more you do that, the more you start making a name for yourself in the organization and are able to start really making a name for yourself and rising to the top.

Sean Lane: A huge thank you to Melanie Fellay for joining us on this week's episode of Operations. I mentioned earlier in the show a quote from Melanie's board member, Brett Queener. If you want to go back and you haven't listened to it, go back and listen to the Brett Queener episode. It was one of our earliest episodes and it's still, to this day, one of my favorites. Also, if you're enjoying the show, please leave us a six star review on Apple podcasts, six star reviews only. And if you're just listening to this because someone shared the link with you, or you're checking it out for the first time, make sure you click subscribe so that this gets delivered into your feed every other Friday. Thanks so much for listening. That's going to do it for me. We'll see you next time.

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