Next up in our #CustomerSpotlight series is Vincent Drapeau, Director of Sales Training from Intralinks, who shares his career journey and thoughts on the enablement practice.
What was your first job in Sales Enablement and how did that bring you to where you are today?
I joined Intralinks in 2015, as a Client Services Manager. I was very curious in my job and had some natural capabilities for presenting. One day, I was spotted by my current manager in the team, and she had a vacancy fora sales trainer in London. I didn’t know how to do training. I had done sales before moving to customer success but I think it’s the fact that I had developed curiosity, that people knew I was very knowledgeable about our customer ecosystem and can present well. That’s how I moved into training and learned everything from scratch.
What are you most proud of accomplishing in your career?
I remember very much the winter of 2015–16. I was in the interview process to become a trainer. It was a huge career change after five years in CS. I was like, “Am I even worth it?” I questioned myself a lot, and I was scared about the credibility aspect. Would people find me credible in that position? I had established quite a personal brand, so they knew that I was a good CSM, but I had never done sales training. I just worked very hard, stayed humble, and I built a new brand for myself.
What advice do you have for your peers who are trying to make sales enablement a priority within their organization?
Make sure that you are very visible, build a very strong brand, and expertise so that your voice matters. When people say, “Yeah, we want to sell more, we want to enable our reps better. And this, this, this,” make them realize that enablement requires investments to achieve those goals. I also think a great way to build your credibility and brand is to show how investment can be scaled. Tools like Highspot provide an efficient and scalable way to amplify enablement efforts.
As you think about sales enablement, how do you see it evolving in 2022 and beyond?
Virtual learning will continue to be more and more important, but we need to make it more engaging. As anOn example, instead of telling your learners long portions of knowledge and making them do quick exercises afterwards, think of an exercise that they could do first and that will lead them to understand, by themselves, what you want to teach. That is a good way to lead virtual classrooms in the future. Even as in-person training is coming back, it won’t always be the answer to everything because now we’ve proven to the entire world that we can do it virtually efficiently.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am a hard-core runner. I run many distances and even though my favorites are the “shorter” distances such as the 5km or 10km, I ran many longer races, including the 2021NYC Marathon.