How to Overcome Hyper-Growth Enablement Challenges
It seems almost every business across the globe experienced their fair share of enablement challenges throughout 2020 and well into 2021. Many faced hardship, and even loss, but others uncovered new opportunities that followed the work-from-home evolution – as well as the transition to virtual events.
Video meeting software and conferencing solutions, contactless payment technologies, and virtual event platforms are just a few of the areas that boomed over the last 18 months. In fact, the demand for virtual events has become so great, that the companies behind these trending platforms have experienced explosive growth. However, even with success, there can be challenges. This is especially true for smaller businesses experiencing hyper-growth.
While growth is a good problem to have, these companies must figure out how to successfully onboard hundreds (sometimes thousands) of employees in a short amount of time. And furthermore, how will they reach success when it comes to enablement and digital adoption among these employees?
(PRO TIP: Here’s our guide if you’re wondering how to create a successful onboarding program)
Spekit CEO, Melanie Fellay, recently caught up with Nikki Schanzer, Head of Sales & GTM Enablement with virtual/hybrid event platform, Hopin. Nikki shared some great insights on how Hopin’s hyper-growth forced her and the company to find new avenues for employee enablement.
See their full conversation here or keep reading for the recap below!
Hyper-growth presents its own set of enablement challenges – but there’s a silver lining
You may be asking yourself, why would we have to mention a silver lining when it comes to business growth? Growth is positive, right? Well, for some businesses, hyper-growth can actually create a lot of adversity. There are several issues that can be caused by growing too fast. Certain segments of the business may not be able to scale quickly, increased demand for products and services may create cash flow issues, customer service levels may decrease, or, as mentioned in a recent article in ZenBusiness, operational inefficiencies may begin to rear their ugly heads. And, most of the time, these operational inefficiencies can be traced back to poor training, and the lack of digital adoption within an organization.
In February 2020, Hopin, a remote-first company, had six employees. As any virtually-based organization knows, enablement and employee buy-in can already be a challenge compared to the traditional workplace. Add exponential growth to the equation, and it becomes an even greater challenge. Throughout the next few months, as office-based businesses were forced to go virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for virtual events kicked Hopin’s growth into overdrive.
By February 2021, the company had 500 employees, and as of November 2021, their headcount tops out at just over 1,000. They are the prime example of a small business that experienced extreme growth in a short amount of time.
So how did Nikki’s team prioritize their enablement challenges?
Nikki had previously worked in sales and relationship management at Groupon, LinkedIn, and Dropbox, so she understood very well the grind of sales enablement. However, even for companies big and small, she explains there is typically a ramp up when it comes to organizational growth. This allows the enablement teams to scale their sales enablement strategy over time. But in Hopin’s case, time wasn’t on their side.
What if I don’t have the luxury of time?
This is exactly what Nikki and Hopin – along with so many other organizations that have experienced hyper-growth – have had to navigate. And this is where the silver lining exists. While rapid growth creates challenges, it also generates boundless opportunity for the sales enablement team. Nikki explains that one of the most important steps to creating a successful enablement strategy is to lay the substructure in place:
- Team learning
These are the pivotal foundations that enable teams to learn as they launch. Structure will eliminate the level of surprise when it comes to enablement. Employees will know what to expect as it relates to training. And the more consistent your training, the more power you supply to your go-to-market strategy.
If you’re using sales enablement software or better, digital enablement solutions, frequently check-in with employees to gain a better understanding of how it’s working for them. Is it effective? Are they learning? Are you gaining adoption? Try different digital adoption platforms to ensure you implement the right training tools for YOUR company.
One of the most important factors Nikki stressed is getting quick buy-in from employees so they want to attend enablement training. Buy-in from employees will lead to more buy-in from leadership, which ultimately leads to more autonomy for the enablement and GTM teams. If you’re in sales enablement, you understand just how important it is for organizational leaders to recognize the significance of sales enablement.
Keep your sales enablement strategy fun, but efficient
Alongside structure, making training engaging and exciting is also paramount. It’s okay to inject some fun once in a while! In its simplest form, enablement is responsible for helping the organization through change.
Companies often engage in change management , the process of finding out who needs to be involved throughout an acquisition or major transition, and what the scope and design of that change looks like. But there’s also change enablement. It is the enablement team’s job to figure out how to actually drive an understanding and awareness of particular changes that take place within an organization, and how to gain and measure adoption throughout that transition. In the case of Hopin, all Nikki and her team have known for almost two years is “change” in the form of rapid growth.
It’s key to find ways to keep employees connected, especially in the virtual environment. Outside of the everyday enablement training, Nikki encourages a regular cadence of meetings where employees can come together to share ideas, talk sales strategy, or even have a friendly challenge to see who can create the best elevator or quick pitch for the company. Give these meetings and challenges a fun or goofy name to keep things lighthearted and upbeat.
Nikki also suggested segmenting enablement training by department, role, or function. For example, sales reps don’t need to know everything the technical team knows, and marketing folks don’t need to be experts in the sales process right off the bat. Take the opportunity to develop a structure to training early on, creating efficiencies wherever possible.
You may be in the same shoes as Nikki, striving to develop the best possible sales enablement strategy and training program as your company continues to onboard new employees every day. It can be tough to navigate, but structure, prioritization, and finding the right sales enablement tools for the job can go a long way in reaching success with your digital enablement strategy.