Climbing the Peaks

Climbing the Peaks: Debbi Varela's Odyssey in Sales Enablement Transformation

Debbi Varela, a seasoned veteran in the realm of sales enablement, has seamlessly transitioned from her role as Head of Global Sales Enablement at Rackspace Technologies to establishing herself as a sought-after Sr. Enablement Executive. With a career spanning across a spectrum of organizations, from tech startups to industry giants, Debbi's expertise in enabling sales teams to achieve unparalleled success shines through.

BCI: Debbi, it's a pleasure to have you with us. Let's delve into the transformative nature of data-driven sales enablement. How has technology and data influenced the landscape of sales enablement programs in your experience?

Debbi Varela: Thank you for having me. Indeed, data-driven sales enablement is a catalyst for success, yet it's imperative to recognize that technology and data are merely tools. The true magic lies in their strategic integration and customization to suit each organization's distinct requirements. There's no one-size-fits-all approach; customization is key to unlocking potential.

BCI: Drawing from your extensive experience, could you share an instance where you implemented a data-driven onboarding program with remarkable success?

Debbi Varela: Absolutely. In a previous role, crafting a 90-day onboarding program for new recruits was a pivotal task. By delving into sales data, we pinpointed essential skills and knowledge pivotal for success. Through meticulous action mapping, we tailored the program to focus on crucial areas such as sales techniques, messaging, product knowledge, and CRM proficiency.

Collaboration with sales leaders and managers was paramount throughout the implementation, ensuring alignment with organizational objectives. The program's design incorporated milestones, interactive exercises, and assessments to gauge progress. It was a bespoke solution tailored to address the unique needs of our sales team.

BCI: A comprehensive approach indeed. What key takeaways did you glean from this experience?

Debbi Varela: One vital lesson is the significance of selecting pertinent data points; not all data holds equal weight. Additionally, while technology plays a pivotal role, its efficacy hinges on a strategic, user-centric approach, seamlessly integrated with existing systems.

Furthermore, it's crucial to understand that sales enablement isn't a one-size-fits-all remedy. Each organization boasts its distinctive culture and processes, necessitating tailored solutions catering to diverse segments and regions. Lastly, sustainable success in sales enablement is a long-term endeavor, demanding continual investment, commitment, and adaptability.

BCI: In your tenure at various organizations, how do you ensure that your sales enablement strategies resonate with the organizational objectives and the diverse needs of your global sales teams?

Debbi Varela: At every juncture, we prioritize a deep comprehension of our organizational ethos, goals, and sales processes. This entails fostering continuous communication and collaboration with regional teams, adeptly adapting strategies to local intricacies, and aligning our enablement initiatives with overarching company objectives.

BCI: Remarkable insights. As we conclude, what advice would you impart to organizations seeking to fortify or initiate their sales enablement endeavors?

Debbi Varela: Commence by gaining a profound understanding of your organization's unique requisites. Harness data judiciously, embracing a user-centric approach to technology, and tailor enablement initiatives to suit varied segments and geographical nuances. Always bear in mind, success in sales enablement is a journey of sustained commitment, necessitating perpetual investment and evolution.

Want to Read More?

Debbi Varela is one of 18 contributors to share their expert insights in our new book, A Field Guide to Data-Driven Sales Enablement. This field guide helps sellers and sales teams address the top three challenges in sales:

  • High sales turnover rates which currently average 34.7% across all sales organizations;
  • Low quota attainment rate which currently averages 43% of the sales organizations; and
  • The time and cost required to get individuals and teams to peak performance.

Hear from industry experts on how they were able to reduce sales turnover by 62% and increase the number of reps making quota by 88%. This book will show you how to substitute data for opinion.

Grab your copy today!