The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 4 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 podcast.This podcast is brought to you by outreach, the leading sales engagement platform, andthey just launched outreach on outreach, the place to learn how outreach welldoes outreach? Learn how the team follows up with every lead in record timeafter virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can also see how outreach runsaccount based plays, manages reps and so much more using their own salesengagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulled from outreach processes and customer base. When you're done, you'll be able to do it as good as theydo. Head to outreach Doo on outreach to see what they have going on. Now let's get into today's episode. All right, good morning everyone.We have Spin Mos Boer and Keatlin Kelly here today for the sales engagement podcasts. Super excited to have spend joining us from personio and today we're going tobe talking about creating culture within our sales development teams during a hyper growth environment, as well as in training, that we have the correct processes in placeas we break this down as well. So a little bit from me.I'm Caitlin Kelly. I am the manager of sales development for outreach for theAMA region and spend. Do you want to tell us a little bit aboutyourself and what you're doing over at personio and a little background on how yougot there? Yes, of course. So thanks for having me, Catlin. I'm very excited for this oportunity. So, yeah, my name iswhen. I'm head of self development at Personia, and so I'm basically incharge of the sex development for the dark region at Personia. My counterpart,Rebecca cocully, for the other European country, countries. Other unfortunately can't join today, so I'll try to do my best to also and do her part. Yeah, how they got here to Personia and into my current position?Well, actually, I back then, when I was younger, I neverintended to have a sales career. I am actually wanted to to start doingpastry, so a bit a different thing. But then your started to study businessadministration and Informatics, and this is also how I then joined Salonis andanother yeah, very successful as so fare, as a service startup. I guessyou've heard of them and they just received the very good valuation some weeksago. At Salonis, I joined them first as a data scientist and wasresponsible for like implementations for companies in the small and medium sized enterprise and thentook over the sne sales so and the self department, and there was focusingon, as me, accounts in Europe, but also, I'm other regions onon the planet besides North America. What I found very interesting with theSALONE's was mainly focusing on large enterprises. So it was a completely new fieldthat we entered there, and I really had to do a lot of research. How can we deal with small and medium sized enterprises, as it's acompletely different topic to deal with them as if you deal with like a largerenterprises and with more than one billion dollars of revenue. So I did alot of learnings and also especially how to start it, like partner sales topicsand so on and so forth. We then like established a small team duringthe small and medium as as enterprise sales, and later on we also had theidea of developing in own software, which helped us too to grow evenfaster in that market. So this was the way house Salona stap was born. By having put that platform in place, I mean, and there was afor free platform that we could scale up very, very fast in there'san market. And what happened was quite obvious that we and we learn liketurned our customers what was on purpose. So there was our idea and thatbrought me to the decision and where I want to continue. Do I wantto continue rather and and software and development and product management, or do Iwant to continue in sales? And actually I am had so much fun andit made it was so interesting to build...

...up the SME sector that I decidedthat I actually want to stay in as any sales. What was not possibleat that moment at Salonis anymore. So I looked at at companies where itcould go to and yeah, this is also how personio and it came tomy map, because I then have seen that the Personia was only focusing onas me companies. was will give what was good for me, but alsothey had a very solid product within a very interesting use case. I meanHR in h our software in this need business is still not the most commonthing that the most companies have. So I decided to join personium pick thenas a team need for and out on sales team. Then a corona kickedin changed everything. We had and I had to take over also the dauntand part of our team and then developed into the role assist set of setsdevelopment here Pisonia, which I'm currently having amazing. I love that background.I'm not very often do we hear someone cod goes from having the data scientistbackground into the sales or specifically within sales development. So that's super unique andI can't wait to dive into some of these questions to kind of see yourpoint of view on a lot of them. So definitely awesome. So credent.We've been talking a lot about culture and I know like in the lastyear, and I have culture has been a huge, a huge thing fora lot of companies as well for Personia and for you over there within yournew team during all these changes. When you kind of look back on thelast year and the impact that Corona has had on your team and all theshifts that had happened within the selling environment, what were some of the initiatives thateither yourself and Rebecca implemented to ensure that the culture didn't change throughout thesales development team? Well, as you just said, it a culture isthe most important thing that you have in a team. I always say,like eighty percent of your resources you have if they leave the door at theend of the day, because those are your employees. And then, especially, like from a Personia perspective, I mean employees are the the heart ofeverything we do. So culture has a very high impact for us, andespecially like in safe development. Safe Development is a very tough job. Imean, everyone who has done it before knows, and this is one ofthe most challenging roads you can have in your sales career. So of coursebeing an account executive is also challenging from another from a different perspective, butespecially like doing a lot of stuff parallel in the inbound and sales, butalso like an outbound I'm doing a lot of cold calls and cold emails everyday. Is Very challenging and thus it's very important to to keep the spiritup in the team. So before I answer you a question, maybe weshould and have a look at our current set up because, like the lastyear, I guess was different for all of us. You can't compare itto what we had before. So the last year was absolutely challenging. Iguess it was the same for you, Kaln at outreach, right, yeah, thanks that it was the first time ever that we all had to workin our Home Office, and this is the first step we had to review, because our current culture was basically based on we are, we're all sittingin the office together, we were doing our calls together. So we hada very good team spirit because, even if the job was very hard andtough, we could also lost a lot, and this was very important for usto last a lot. And then in the evening we could go toit to be a garden, as we do it in Germany, or wecould have some party and also, like we could sell a brate milestones.If you if you hit your quarter targets, we could go out and celebrate,and this was them suddenly not possible anymore. And so first we thoughtit's a period of like some weeks or month that we are in that phase. So we didn't actually do a lot. So what we did is we wetransferred our entire setup, we had our entire meeting setup, simply toto online. We put in Zue meetings instead of them like a meeting roomblockers. That's was everything we did. But then we realized very fast thisis actually not the same because just selik sitting in a zoom room is notcapable of coming up with what an office...

...can offer for you and for ourculture. And so what we did is we invested a lot in our team. So we did like remote team events, like crying dinners or so, wherewe all had some fun together, and we really had to learn,and this is a process that takes takes longer than a week. We reallyhad to learn how to establish a remote set up that is actually working andwithout losing the culture. The most important advice for me was to stay intouch with the people, and this was also the most important learning that Itook from it because, especially, like as a manager, but also asa team lead, or also it's an individual, it's harder to be intouch and a remote set up. So you definitely have to make sure thatyou have a lot of exchange, but you also have to make sure thatyou do not only sit in meetings, because you also have had your jobto do, and to find this balance of very hard for us. Sowe tried a lot of things that we did check in every morning with theentire team and then, after our setup developed even further, we and we'veseen, okay, we don't need a check in any morning anymore with theentire team, but the team will do separate checkens themselves, and we didit twice a week, and this is where we still are. The nextimportant thing about quality culture. What we have Personia is a culture of threehundred and sixty degree feedback. Sometimes this is annoying, a lot of ourpeople say, if they receive like feedback request over and over again. Thisis quite annoying to always write feedback, but it's also always very important becauseit's a it's important that you can share feedback also with your managers, sonot top down, but also like bottom up, and that everybody knows whatis actually driving the people in an office. You can maybe feel what's going onbecause you know, okay, there's a good mood in there, there'snot, so another so a good mood in there, but being in aremote set of you can, you definitely can't feel it anymore. So youhave to evaluate it and we use tools like culture, I'm or you canalso use leap somewhere, so to really get their feedback. HMM. Andthen it's important that you take that big seriously, that you don't only readit and it's say, okay, it doesn't affect me at all, butyou really have to take it seriously, and so I would say those arethe most important things about culture away. I love that. I think likethe can having lengths, I. Consistent. Communication is so big and just likehigh mean the expectation for your team so that everyone's kind of aligned.But the three hundred and sixty three feedback is amazing and I also empowers yourteam to if they're able to provide feedback from the bottom up, which isawesome. was there any other you'd mentioned? There's tons of learnings there. wasthere any big learnings outside of having to do more than just transition tothe zoom that you can think of that you guys had during this process?Yeah, definitely. So the entire setup of a team works in a differentway. So before, and we will also like growing very rapidly through athroughout that period, but before we had kind of, yeah, unstructured teams, that are, as I call it. So we had not a certain careerpart in place. We have to clear carrier part. You develop fromsafe development to becoming an account executive later on. But they were actually nomilestones and so on and so forth. So what also became important for us, especially in a remote set of where you don't have like a personal exchangethat often, that you really communicate the expectations to the team, but youalso make sure that you're doing the best that they can achieve it. It'snot only about them working for you, it's actually about you working for them. That you communicate what are we doing that you can 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 they have,the targets we set, they are achievable, they can do it. It's maybepushing their limits, but and they can really do it, then thisalso leads to a motivation in the team. And this is a learning else tookfrom that period, because that work way easier. But we were backin the office. Yeah, definitely the...

...mindset of having like servant leadership,like how can I help you get to where you want to be, ratherthan having them work for you? Is that like it's such a good likeshift in coaching styles. So have there and then also helps enable them sothat they're able to just continue to move forward. So kind of you guyswent through like an amazing shift throughout this entire change and now, as welean into kind of post pandemic, I mean I did feel like we're allabout to go through another change here again, especially as we transitionto a hybrid workplacefor you all over at Personia. Are you guys going to be stayingcompletely remote, or are we? Are you transitioning to hybrid? Yeah,we are transitioning to hybrid as well. So we rolled it out this month. It's not online yet, so we have to do some some fixes aroundit, but the idea is definitely to have like around the people around fiftypercent of their time in the office and the other fifty percent of the timeworking from wherever they want. Actually, there are some limitations around that,especially like in closing positions due to bigger things, but the ideas that reallyyou can choose whether you want to be in the office or where you actuallywant to work, with still making sure that we have a constant exchange andthe have the office as actually our favorite place to be. Yeah, whatwould you say? are a couple things that are going to be pop ofmind for you as you go through this change again, either from like aleadership standpoint or some ways that you're going to create like that energy around cominginto the office? Maybe it could you. Could you SPEC specify that question abit more in terms of you, I mean what you mean by leadershipperspective. that. Yeah, it's like taking your team through that change.What is something that really top of mine as you transition them back into areal life environment? It's about involvement of the team, and I guess involvementis also the key driver you should use, because it's not that we say weare doing this because we want to force you, but we say weare doing this hybrid set up because we believe. It's our belief that thisis the best option to boost our business, to have a successful team work here, because it's not about individuals. Some sometimes it's like someone works bestif he's only in home off of someone works best if he's only in theoffice, but it's about and finding a suitable compromise that works for everyone andthat endures that we as a team, we benefit from it. So whatwe actually did is not like we didn't sit together as leaders and said,okay, this will do with the the the work mode of the future wewill, of course, to the hybrid setup, but first we collected feedbackover month. We only collected feedback from people. What do you like andwhat is your favorite working set up? And the funny thing about this thisfeedback changed in the devolved over the time. Yeah, because we had a oneFIPEX session, I am pretty sure it was an April two thousand andtwenty, like one month after we came to the Home Office as the standardworking mode, and and like eighty percent of the people said, yeah,we definitely want to come back to the office all the time. Yeah,and we ask the same question like one year later again, and that theanswers were completely different. So people adjusted to be to the set up,and so did we with finding the right balance for it. And I haveto call out our HR team. They did an incredible job in setting thisup and they also constantly involvest all leadership teams from all areas, but also, like, the individuals, and to find a setup that the suits atall. Yeah, that's awesome. The feedback is huge, like making sureeveryone feels hurt and can have a saying kind of the change that is goingto be involving them. You'd mentioned it briefly that you had scaled quite rapidlyin your team while going through this kind of the hypergrowth of all this.What would be one piece of advice you would offer the sales managers who arecurrently trying to scale their team in today's...

...environment? The advice would be too, before you actually start scaling, that you really evaluate your processes. Arethey working fine? Will they still work in the future? This this actuallyand this is a hard thing, because it doesn't mean that you have toset up the right processes and then scale out. It does only mean thatyou have to know at which point of scaling do you need which processes,and you won't find the right balance. This would be an Autopia. Butand you definitely can make sure that you're asking the right questions at the righttime and it would be very ignorant if you say, okay, we havea setup now in place and now we scale the department up to twice thesize. This won't simply work. So what you have to do is toestablish career path. You have to establish a like focus areas, for example, like that you have different sales development teams covering different regions, but alsodifferent business sizes or if you verticalize your business, do you want to gointo industries or into in two regions and two business sizes? So you haveto ask that questions. And one advice I would like to give to allsales development leaders always work closely together with the a account executive leaders. Thisis very important because you can simply do your own thing. You have toalign with them and you have to be you have to communicate. Is Oneteam, because if, like the AE leaders, for example, I'm notconvinced of what you're doing there, how should the team be because there willalways be some kind of friction. So it's important that you first align withthe entire leadership team, that you really pull at the same string and thatyou know that what you're doing, this is your belief, that is theright thing, and then you involve the team. And it's also something that'svery important during scaling, especially in hiring, and this is also something you haveto to be very careful with, because in hiring sometimes you communicate thingsyou don't know. If you now hire someone and you change your setup withinsix months, then the person will say it, but I was actually toldsomething completely different. Now everything changes, so it's very important to actually andthey always ask a question when I do interviews. This is and what doyou think are challenging aspects of joining a startup, and that you really takethe answers to those questions serious, because everyone answers like yeah, processes willchange. Everyone answers this, and this is good, but what does thisactually mean? That processes change? It means that you're also affected by itself. So you have to make sure that the people know that they are enteringa journey of which the milestones are not defined yet, and this is aprocess that takes some time and we actually also did not do it right fromthe beginning. I'm not sure whether we still doing everything right. I wouldsay no, but I'm pretty sure that we learned a lot from it andnow we are going in a better direction than we did maybe like one yearago. Yeah, I think that I'm like having those clear processes in likethe career paths carved out for the definitely within the sales development or since itis selfast space is huge. I know, like from my end in the lastyear, that is something that we've been trying to really like getting drilleddown so that we can provide that visibility and kind of coaching along the wayso they do understand where those milestones are in kind of if you do havethat car doubt, than you are able to scale a lot more quicker becauseyou know exactly what where you're going with that all and you have it kindof ironed out there. So when you were scaling and going through all ofthis, think one of the things that could happen in some people do experiencein a remote environment could be a dipper productivity or possibly burn out, especiallyat the fast pace environment. We were some ways that you were able tomotivate and keep your teams engaged as you continue to scale. Yeah, that'sthat's a tough one. That's not easy to answer. Is I also don'thave the perfect answer for it. I can share some of them, thelearnings I had and some of the things we're doing, but I wouldn't saythat it's always the right thing. Most...

...important thing is for me, asI said before, make sure that you hire the right people. So italways looks great to work in a startup. You can, we are sneakers,you don't need to wear a suit or shirt or so, but actuallyit's hard work. Then often, especially like, if I like, withplatforms like instagram and also the social media it and you could get the assumptionthat am working at a startup is always like being in heaven, and Ithink we have a lot of things that are very good with our companies andwe have smart people, we have a lot of drive, we have likefled hierarchies. This is all great, but but still we have to makesure 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 a by bydoing a lot of extra hours. If you have a good set up,you don't need to do a lot of extra hours. There will be some, of course, and especially like in leadership, it's hard to just stickto the regular schedule. But if you're doing a job properly, you cando it in the right time. But still it will be a very challengingjob them throughout the day. So first make sure you hire the right peopleand then make sure that you always having fun doing the job you are doing. Don't take yourself too seriously, because if everything is very serious, thenyou will lose the spirit to continue, because it's not like a challenging periodof two months, but actually like two years. Yeah, to come upwith an example, yesterday at one of our reps ask me a question andI actually had to think about it. She said we're always talking about hypergrowth, we are in hyper growth, but what is actually hyper growth?What does that mean? And I had to take some time to answer thatquestion because, you know, you have to understand the dynamics of a startupto know what hyper growth means and what is actually the the outcome for thepeople and if you have the right people, because you hired the right people andyou constantly keep the motivated by having fun, by achieving their goals andbut also like pushing them to their limits. Yeah, this is, I guess, the right like triangle, magic triangle to have a successful company.Yeah, I know, definitely. I think having fun as like the mostimportant thing and like evently, even as a leader, like sometimes I becausethere's a million things fine and a million things moving, sometimes you have totake a step back and just be like, wait a minute, I need tojust have have more fun here in my team. It needs to behaving fun, because people do work for people and sometimes we can just getcaught up in in the stresses almost. I've definitely caught myself doing that sometimes, but I just got to got to take a step back and see thebigger picture and be like it's going to be okay, let's just have funwith it in finding different ways to switch it up to I think is alsohuge. I do want to be cautious of time here. We have liketwo minutes left, but you know, you've had some amazing success within growingthe team and being within sales development. You have a unique background. Ifyou had to choose one book or podcast that you would recommend for either repseager to get into leadership or some sales development managers, what book or podcastwould you recommend? And it's also tough one because, say, development isso, so different for everyone. Actually, a book that that I liked alot is I'm not sure what the English trim for it is. It'sfor hundling events, but I so it's a negotiating in limiting areas. Iwill, I will find the right name for you, okay, and Ilike this a lot. Yeah, this is from a police man. Thisis great book and Ready Clock Canda, this is something I can always recommend. Really Click Canada setting priorities right. This is a book that I canit can recommend because and it helps you too to understand your own doings betterand how to actually set your focus right. This is something I really like.All right, fantastic. Well, I'M gonna have to check out bothof those. Super eager to hear about the policeman one on negotiating and yeah, thanks so much for sharing your insight... Spen, is any ofour listeners wanted to get in tied or had any questions? Where would bethe best way for them to contact you? Yeah, happy to do happy foreveryone at to reach out to me, and you can directly reach me onLinkedin. Simply use my name and spend must, bar and SOMOE doublesand be a Uere, or you can also approach me with my persona emailaddress. This is a spen dot moist bar, Moe Doubles, m bea u are at persona you dot e. all right, fantastic. Well,thank you everyone again and have a great rest of your day. Thanksso much for having me. Kidding, this was another episode of the salesengagement podcast. To help this get in front of more eyes and ears,please leave us a shining five star review. Join US at sales engagementcom for newepisodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most outof your sales engagement strategy. Make sure to check out outreach that I oh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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