The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 2 months ago

Office, Home, Hybrid: Building Team Culture


Culture is the most important part of a team, especially considering that 80% of your resources leave through the door every work day.

Building and maintaining culture in a startup is hard enough, but doing so in the office, at home, and with a hybrid work model is harder still. Ready for some tips on building culture in a hybrid sales team?

In this episode, I interview Sven Mößbauer , Head of Sales Development at Personio, about maintaining a strong team culture during the last 18+ months.

Join us as we discuss:

- Going beyond Zoom to have fun together as a team

- How hypergrowth affects the sales team

- Why sales development leaders need alignment with AEs

- The strategy for returning to the workplace

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

Radical Candor by Kim Scott 

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts , on Spotify , or on our website .

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement

in your favorite podcast player.

Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast, this podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach the place to learnhow outreach well does not reach learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how out reachin's account based plays, manages reps and so much moreusing their own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by datapulled from out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'llbe able to do it as good as they do had to outreach on io on out reach to seewhat they have going on. Now, let's get into the day's episode all right. Good morning, everyone wehave pen, Mois Bower in Ketling Kelly here today for the sales engagementpodcast super excited to have pen joining us from Persono, and today weare going to be talking about creating culture within our sales developmentteams during a hyper growth environment, as well as a train that we have thecrush processes in place as we break this down as well. So, a little bitfrom me, I'm Ketland Kelly. I am the manager of sales development for orefor the Mei region and spend you want to tell us a little bit about yourselfand what you're doing over at Persono and a little background and how you gotthere. Yes, of course, so, thanks for having me Kidland, I'm very excited forthis opportunity. So yeah. My name is then I'm ahead of self development atperson O, so I'm basically yeah in charge of the safe development for theDak region at Persona. My counterpart, Rebecka curricle for the other Europeancountries that are unfortunately can't join today. So I'll try to do my bestto also and do her part yeah, how I got here to Preson your antint, my agrenposition, but actually I back then, when I was young I never intended tohave a sales career. I actually wanted to to start doing pastry so a bit adifferent thing, but then you're a sileto study, business, administrationand Formati, and this is also how I been joined, Salonis and another yearvery successful as Offar as a service start up. I guess you've heard of themand they just received a very good valuation, and some weeks ago, atSalonis I joined and first as a data scientist, and I was responsible forlike implementation, for companies in the smaller medium sized enterprise andthen to go over the same sail so NBC department, and I was focusing on SMEaccounts in Europe, but also and other regions on on the planet decides NorthAmerica. What I found very interesting was the Tillen was mainly focusing onon large enterprises, so it was a completely new field that we enteredthere, and I really had to do a lot of research. How can we deal with smallermedian size enterprises as it's a completely different topic to deal withthem, as if you deal with like a larger enterprises and with more than onebillion dollars of revenue? So I did a lot of learnings and also especiallyhow to state like partner sales topics and so on and so forth. We then, likeestablished a small team during the UN smallen medium, as has enterprise sales,and later on. We also had the idea of developing our own software, whichhelped us toe to brow even faster in that market. So this was the way howSelon stap was born. By having put that platform in place, I mean- and therewas a for free platform that we could scale up very very fast in their emarket, and what happened was quite obvious that we a we learn like turnedour customers. What was on purpose? So that was our idea, and that brought meto the decision and where I want to continue. Where do I want to continuerather a D, an software and development and product management? Or do you wantto continue in sales, and actually I had so much fun and it made it was sointeresting to build up the SE sector...

...that I decided that I actually want tostay in as an desales. What was not possible at that moment at Salonius?Any more so I looked at at companies where I could go to, and yet this isalso how person you it came to my map, because I then have seen that thepersona was only focusing on esme companies, because we give what wasgood for me, but also they had a very solid product within a very interestinguse case. I mean H R IN HR software. In the S me, business is as still not themost common thing that the most companies have. So I decided to joinpersonuit as a team lead foreign outon sales team. Then a corona kicked inchanged everything we had and I had to take over. Also the INDANDA part of ourteam and then developed into the role is a set of sittlement yer persona,which I'm currently having amazing. I love that background. I'm not veryoften do we hear someone. Co goes from having the data scientist backgroundinto the sales of or specifically within sales development. So that'ssuper unique and I can't wait to dive into some of these questions to kind ofsee your point of view on a lot of them. So definitely awesome so kind O we'vebeen talking a lot about culture, and I know like in the last year and a halfculture has been a huge, a huge thing for a lot of companies as well forpersona and for you over there within your neteen. During all these changes,and you kind of look back on the last year in the impact that Corona has hadon your team and all the ships that had happened within the selling environment,what were some of the initiatives that either yourself and Rebecca implementedto ensure that the culture didn't change throughout the sales developmentteam? Well, as you just said it, a culture is the most important thingthat you have in a team. I always say like eighty percent of your resources,you have, they leave the door at the end of the day, because those are yourMPs and then especially like from a person. You perspective, I meanemployes are the the heart of everything we do so. Culture has a veryhigh impact for us and especially like in safe development, seleve op and is avery tough job. I mean everyone who has done it before knows, and this is oneof the most challenging roads you can have in your sales karee. So, of course,being an account. Executive is also challenging from another from adifferent perspective, but especially like doing a lot of stuff parallel inthe inbound sales, but also like in out bound and doing a lot of cold calls andcalled emails every day. He is very challenging and that's it's veryimportant to to keep the spirit up in the team. So before I answer yourquestion, maybe we should have a look at our current set up because, like thelast year, I guess was different for all of us. You can't compare it to whatwe had before so the last year was absolutely challenging. I guess it wasthe same for you Klan adult which right yeah, that it was the first time ever that weall had to work in our Home Office, and this is the first step we had to review,because our curse culture was basically based on, were and we're all sitting inthe office. Together we were doing our cords together. So we had a very goodteam spirit, because even if the job was very hard and tough, we could alsolot a lot, and this was very important for us to lot a lot and then in theevening we could go to Toba Garden as we do it in Germany or we could havesome party and also like we could celebrate mild stones. If you, if youhit your quarter targets, we could go out and celebrate, and this supposed toten suddenly not possible any more and so first we thought it's a period oflike some weeks on month that we are in that face, so we didn't actually do alot. So what we did as we we transferred our entire set up. We hadour entire meeting set up simply to online. We put in sue meetings insteadof them like a meeting room blockers. That's was everything we did, but thenwe realized very fast. This is actually not the same, because just Alex sittingin a zoom room is not...

...capable of coming up with what anoffice can offer for you and for our culture, and so what we did is weinvested a lot in our team, so we did like remote team events like crimedinners or so, where we all had some fun together and we really had to learn-and this is a process that takes takes longer than a week. Wereally had to learn how to establish a remote set up that is actually workingand without losing the culture. The most important advice for me was tostay in touch with the people, and this was also the most important learningthat I took from it because, especially like as a manager, but also as a teamlead or also as an individual, it's harder to be in touch in a remote setup. So you definitely have to make sure that you have a lot of exchange, butyou also have to make sure that you do not only sit in meetings, because youalso had your job to do and to find this balance. That's very hard for us.So we tried a lot of things that we did a check in every morning with theentire team and then, after our set up developed even further. We and we haveseen okay. We don't need a check in any morning any more with the entire team,but the team will do separate checkings themselves and we did it twice a week,and this is where we still are the next important thing about colet culture.What we have persono is a culture of three hundred and sixty degree Hebat.Sometimes this is annoying a lot of our people say if they receive likefeebates over and over again. This is quite annoying to always write peopleback, but it's also always and very important, because it's an it'simportant that you can share feedback also with your managers so not top down,but also like bottom up, and that everybody knows what is actuallydriving the people in an office. You can maybe feel what's going on, becauseyou know: okay, there's a good mood in there. There's not so no her's a goodmood in there, but and being in a remote set er you can you definitelycan't feel it any more. So you have to evaluate it and we use tooth likeculture em or you can also use leap somewhere so to really get the feedback. And then it's important that you takethat big seriously, that you don't only read it and say: okay, it doesn'taffect me at all, but you really have to take it seriously right. So I wouldsay those are the most important things about culture. So I love that. I think like the havinglike that consistent communication is so big and just like having theexpectation for your team so that everyone's kind of aligned, but thethree hundred and sixty degree feet back, is amazing and it also empowersyour team to if they're able to provide feedback from the bottom of which isawesome. was there any other you'd mentioned, there's tons of learningsthere? was there any big learnings outside of having to do more than justtransition to the zoom that you can think of that you guys had during thisprocess yeah. Definitely so the entire set upof a team works in a different way so before, and we were also like growingvery rapidly to throughout that period, but before we had kind of Yeahunstructured teams that are, as I call it. So we have not a certain careerpart in place. We have to clear a career part. You develop from selfdevelopment to becoming an account executive later on, but there wereactually no mile stones and so on and so forth. So what also became importantfor us, especially in a remote set of where you don't have like personally,exchange that often that you really communicate the expectations to theteam, but you also make sure that you're doing the best that they canachieve it. It's not only about them working for you, it's actually aboutyou working for them that you communicate. What are we doing that youcan achieve your goals? It's a tough situation. It's a lot about motivation.You have to do and then, if the people see that and actually the goals, theyhave the targets, we said they are achievable. They can do it, it's maybepushing their limits, but then they can really do it. Then this also leads to amotivation in the team, and this is a learning als took from that periodbecause they worked way easier when we were back in the office yeah.Definitely the mindset of having like...

...servant leadership like how can I helpyou get to where you want to be rather than having them work for you? Is that,like it's such a good, like shift in coaching styles, to have there and thenalso helps enable them that they're able to just continue to move forwardso kind of you guys went through like an amazing shift throughout this entirechange? And now, as we lean into kind of post pandemic, I mean, I think, feellike we're all about to go through another change here again, especiallyas a transition to a hybrid work place for you all over at Persona. Are youguys going to be staying completely remote or are we? Are you transitioningto hybrid yeah? We are transitioning to hybrid as well, so we rolled it outthis month. It's not online yet so we have to do some somefixes around it, but and the ideas definitely to have like around thepeople around fifty percent of their time in the office and the other, fiftypercent of the time working from wherever they want. Actually, there aresome limitations around that, especially like enclosing positions dueto o things, but t a the ideas that really you can choose whether you wantto be in the officer where you actually want to work with still making surethat we have a constant exchange and the have the office as actually ourfavorite place to be yeah. What would you say are a couplethings that are going to be top of mind for you as you go through this changeagain, either from like a leadership standpoint or some ways that you'regoing to create like that energy around coming into the office? Maybe you couldcould you could be speci specify that question a bit more? In terms of you, Imean what what you mean by leadership perspective that yeah it's like takingyour team through that change. What is some things that in the top of mine asyou transition them back into a real life environment? It's aboutinvolvement of the team and I guess involvement is also the key driver youshould use, because it's not that we say we are doing this because we want toforce you, but we say we are doing this hybrid set up, because we believe it'sour belief that this is the best option to boost our business, to have asuccessful team work here, because it's not about individuals, some. Sometimesit's like someone were expressed if he is only in home, offer someone wereexpressed, if he's only in the office, but it's about and finding a suitablecompromise that works for everyone and that endures that we as a team webenefit from it, and so what we actually did is not like. We didn't sittogether as leaders and said. Okay, this will do the work mode of thefuture. We will, of course, choose a hybrid set up, but first we collectedfeet take over a month. We only collect the tree back from people. What do youlike and what is your favorite working set up and the funny thing about this?This feat they changed and be devolved over the time yeah, because we had onetippies ion. I am pretty sure it was in April two thousand and twenty like onemonth, Afteri we came to the Home Office as the standard working mode andand like eighty percent of the people said Yeah, we definitely want to comeback to the office all the time yeah and we asked the same question like oneyear later again, and the answers were completely different, so peopleadjusted to be to the setlement. So did we with finding the right balance for it, and Ihave to call out our artem. They did an incredible job in setting this up andthey also constantly involved all leadership teams from all areas, butalso like the individuals and to find a set up that that suits us all. Yeah,that's awesome. The feedback is huge, like making sure everyone feels hurtand can have a sane kind of the change that is going to be involving them.You'd mentioned it briefly that you had scaled quite rapidly in your team,while going through this kind of the hyper growth of all of this. What wouldbe one piece of advice? You would offer the sales managers who are currentlytrying to scale their team in today's...

...environment. The advice would be tobefore you actually start scaling that you really evaluate your processes. Arethey working fine? Will they still work in the future? This actually- and thisis a hard thing, because it doesn't mean that you have to set up the rightprocesses and then scale out. It does only mean that you have to know atwhich point of scaling do you need which processes and you won't find theright balance. This would be an Autopia, but you definitely can make sure thatyou're asking the right questions at the right time and it would be veryignorant if you say: okay, we have a set up now in place, and now we scalethe department up to twice the size. This won't simply work. So what youhave to do is to establish career path. You have to establish a like focusareas, for example like that you have different sales development teamscovering different regions, but also different business sizes, or, if youvartical your business, do you want to go into industries or into into regionsinto to business sizes? So you have to ask that question and one advice Iwould like to give to all sides. Development leaders always work closelytogether with the a account executively ters. This is very important becauseyou can simply do your own thing. You have to align with them, and you haveto be. You have to communicate is one team,because, if, like the IE leaders, for example, I'm not convinced of thatyou're doing there, how should the team be? Because there will always be somekind of friction. So it's important that you first aligned with the entireleadership team that you really pull at the same string and that you know thatwhat you're doing this is your belief. That is the right thing, and then youinvolve the team and it's also something that's very important doingscaling, especially in hiring, and this is also something you have to to be very careful with, because inhiring, sometimes you communicate things. You don't know. If you now hiresomeone and you change your set up within six months, then the person willsay it, but I was actually told something completely different. Noweverything changes, so it's very important to actually they always ask a question when I dointerview this is, and what do you think are challenging aspects ofjoining a startup and that you really take the answers to those questionsserious because everyone answers like yeah processes will change. Everyoneelse is this, and this is good, but what does this actually mean thatprocesses a change? It means that you are also affected by itself, so youhave to make sure that the people know that they are entering a journey ofwhich the milestones are not defined yet, and this is a process that takessome time and we actually also did not do it right from the beginning. I'm notsure whether we still doing everything right, I would say no, but I'm prettysure that we learned a lot from it and now we are going in a better directionthan we did maybe like one year ago yeah. I think that, like having thoseclear processes in like the career paths carved out, for he definitelywithin the sales development or since it is so fast pace is huge. I know likefrom my end in the last year. That is something that we've been trying toreally like get drilled down, so that we can provide that visibility and kindof coaching along the way. So they do understand where those milestones arein kind of. If you do have that carved out, thenyou are able to scale a lot more quicker because you know exactly what,where you're going with it all and you have it kind of ironed out there. Sowhen you were scaling and going it through all of this, I think one of thethings that could happen and some people do experience in a remoteenvironment could be a different productivity or possibly burn out,especially at the fast paced environment. What were some ways thatyou were able to motivate and keep your teams engaged as you continued to scaleyeah. That's that's a tough one! That's not easy to answer, as I also don'thave the perfect answer for it. I can share some of them. The learning I hadand some of the things we re doing, but...

I wouldn't say that it's always theright thing. Most important thing is for me, as I said before, make surethat you hire the right people, so it always looks great to work in a startup.You can wear sneakers, you don't need to wear a out or a shirt or so, butactually it's hard work and often especially like like with platforms like instagram andor the social media it, and you could get the assumption that working at at astarted is always like being in heaven, and I think we have a lot of thingsthat are very good with our companies and we have smart people. We have a lotof drive, we have like sled hierarchies. This is all great, but but still wehave to make sure that those people are willing to do to go this way with us,and this is also very challenging, and I don't think that it's by by doing alot of extra hours, if you have a good set up, you don't need to do a lot ofextra hours. There will be some, of course, and especially like inleadership it's hard to to stick to the regular schedule, but if you're doing ajob properly, you can do it in the right time, but still it will be a verychallenging a of them throughout the day. So, first make sure you hire theright people and then make sure that you always having fun doing the job.You are doing. Don't take yourself too seriously, because if everything isvery serious, then you will lose the spirit to to continue because it's notlike a challenging period of of two months, but actually like two years. Yehad to come up with an example. Yesterday at one of our reps asked me aquestion and I actually had to think about it. She said we are alwaystalking about hyper growth. We are in hyper growth, but what is actuallyhypergraph? What does it mean? And I had to take some time to answer thatquestion, because you know you have to understand the dynamics of a start upto know what higher growth means and what is actually the the outcome forthe people and if you have the right people, because you hire the rightpeople and you constantly keep them motivated by having fun by achievingtheir goals and but also like pushing them to their limits. Yeah. This is, Iguess, the right and, like triangle, magic triangle, to have a successfulcompany yeah. I know. Definitely, I think, having fun is like the mostimportant thing and like even I, even as a leader like sometimes I e, becausethere's a million things fine and a million things moving, sometimes justhave to take a step back and just be like wait. A minute I needed just havehave more fun here in my team. It needs to be having fun, because people dowork for people and sometimes we can just get caught up in in the stresses.Almost I've definitely caught myself doing that sometimes, but I just got togot to take a step back and see the bigger picture and be like it's goingto be. Okay, let's just have fun with it and finding different ways to switchit up to, I think, is also huge. I do want to be cautious on time here. Wehave like two minutes left, but you know you've had some amazing successwithin growing the team and being within sales development. You have aunique background. If you had to choose one book or podcast that you wouldrecommend for either raps eager to get into leadership or some salesdevelopment managers, what Oker podcast would you recommend- and it's also atough one because says development is so so different for for everyoneactually a book that that I liked a lot. Is I'm not sure what the English termis for it? It's for handling and France, but I so it's a negotiating in limitingareas. I will. I will find the right name for you. I I likethis a lot yeah. This is from a police man. This is a great book and RadicalCanda. This is something I can always recommend. Really Co, candareenpriorities right, and this is a book that I can. I can recommend, because ithelps you to to understand your own doings better and how to actually setyour focus right. This is something I really like all right, fantastic. Well,I'M gonna have to check out both of those super eager to hear about thepoliceman went on negotiating and...

...yeah thanks. So much for sharing yourinsight today, spen in any of our listeners, wanted to get in touch orhad any questions. Where would be the best way for them to contact? You yeah happy to do happy for everyone atto reach out to me, and you can directly reach me on Lindon and simplyuse my name and spend Masporo and Bauer, or you can also approach me with mypersonal email lettres. This is a pen got sour moes and BA ter at person. Youduppy all right, fantastic! Well, thank you, everyone again and how ever restof your day thanks so much for having me Kidman. This was another episode ofthe Sales Engagement podcast to help this get in front of more eyes and ears.Please leave us a shining five star review join us at sales, engagement,com for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement to get the Mmost out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out outreached Io. The leading sales engagement platform, see you on thenext episode a.

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