Earlier this year, I made a move from a multi-billion-dollar company to the start-up life.
For 5 years–actually 4 years and 11 months–I was an employee at Oracle, serving different countries in various roles. It was a great journey and I learned a lot during my time at Oracle. My sales team was selling SaaS solutions like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Enterprise Performance Management and Human Resources (HR). The HR knowledge is especially valuable as SalesScreen supports teams to perform better while increasing the engagement and motivation of employees.
If I had the opportunity to rethink my decision, I would make the same move again. And as I just surpassed my first 100 days as Sales Director Benelux of SalesScreen, I would like to share 4 key learnings so far.
Onboarding is Crucial
Do you know that feeling of “belongingness”? As I wrote after my onboarding in Oslo, being part of the SalesScreen family is an amazing experience. The company is great, the product is amazing, but the people are what’s special. Getting incredibly strong support, combined with a great social platform is what I call a work-environment where you want to be.
One of the sessions we spent time on was about the way we work, as I needed to get a good overview of the processes within the company. For example, joining a demo session and understanding the priorities of all departments. The feeling of being heard is great, especially when you recognize that the changes you suggested are being implemented.
To fully understand 'who is SalesScreen' I got to know the SalesScreen history, combined with the vision of how to achieve our mission–to become the #1 software for salespeople.
Understand Your Team and Your Customers
When back in Amsterdam, I got the responsibility over the Amsterdam offices where we are serving mainland Europe. After understanding how the people at the Amsterdam offices would like to be coached, I started to look at the pipeline and collecting my learnings into a plan. Dedicated, talent-driven, brave, and playful are the core values of the company and I saw from my experiences that people do have that all in mind.
It was great to experience that the team has implemented personal and team OKRs (Objectives & Key-Results). I strongly believe in having goals as otherwise, you don’t know if you are on track and running in the right direction. Purpose-oriented employees experience 64% higher levels of fulfillment in their work, so it is valuable for all people to work towards goals.
As a Sales Leader, I joined some customer meetings to understand how they value the relationship with SalesScreen. It was great to hear some amazing words regarding the achievements they made while using the solution and the relationship they have with the team.
I believe when you take care of your people, they will take care of the customers.
One of the important reasons I heard for choosing SalesScreen is to increase the engagement and give the people the recognition they deserve. Not receiving recognition is the top reason why people leave their jobs.
If people leave your team or company this has a big impact on several topics and eventually, it can kill your business. The costs that are involved to find a replacement are approximately 33% of an employee’s annual salary. On top of that, you have many other costs like onboarding, training and you might miss revenue depending on the person’s role within the company.
At SalesScreen we know how to keep people on board. Having a fun work environment not only creates a happier and more engaged team, but it will also influence people to support each other, stick around and increase the overall performance of the team.
Teams that celebrate together, stay together.
Practice What You Preach
I was familiar with SalesScreen as a customer several years before starting as an employee–and I have seen amazing positive effects with it. One of the examples I would like to share was the effect of running a competition between remote teams. As they could live track the scores of the others, they motivated each other to run the extra mile. The winning team just scheduled one more meeting than the runner-up.
Within SalesScreen we use our application to the fullest, which I think is super important. In our company, every department is included, and new features are tested internally first. We all experience the positive effects of our software and are ambassadors of the company.
When we get visitors to the office, or we meet people somewhere else, all of us can happily share her/his own experiences and if they like, even show it.
Your employees are your first ambassadors.
When I left the big Oracle, one of the last questions I asked my mentor was “can I still call you?” I was fortunate stepping into a new adventure with a trusted mentor on hand.
Learn from someone that wants you to grow.
A mentor is your additional pair of eyes which are extremely valuable in the beginning, as well during the rest of your career. You are probably doing your best, but you don’t know what you don’t know. Having that extra support, sometimes even criticism, and a partner that you can bounce your ideas off of helps you grow as a person, both personally and professionally. With that, I am full of positive energy and excitement to lead the Amsterdam offices.