The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 weeks ago

The Power of Mentorship


We all need mentors.

Whether you think you’re okay going it alone or not, the truth is that every person would benefit from a mentor. And not just a mentor, but a mentor from within their industry. The question is, how do you go about finding one?

Finding a new mentor can be a lot like blind dating. It’s not really something that you want to just grab out of a hat. It takes time, effort, patience, and in some cases, a lot of trial and error before you find the right one. But one thing remains true: A solid mentorship can do wonders for your career.


On this episode of The Sales Engagement podcast, we talk with Helena Wood. Helena is the VP of Marketing at ZenCargo and joined the show to talk all about:

- The importance of finding a mentor within your industry

- How to go about establishing a mentor/mentee relationship

- Building the courage to reach out to a mentor

- The guiding principles to keep in mind when looking for a mentor

- Three qualities that make up a strong mentorship

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

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Welcome to the sales engage on apodcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach. The leading sales engage on aplatform and they just launched out reach on our reach. The place to learnhow out reach 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 rewins account based plays, manages rips and so much more usingtheir own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do had to outreach on io on out reach to see whatthey are going on now, let's get into the day's episode. Welcome all thesales engagement podcast we have Kalina today, senior manager of salesdevelopment out reach in the MIA region also co fonder of str anonymous. I amthe host over here based out of London, and today's episode will be focused onthe power of mentorship in realien career development. We have Helena WoodVP of marketing over as Zen cargo joining us today. Hello Helena HiKaitlin Thrill to be here really happy to be talking about mentorship,something I care an awful lot about. I am excited to dive into this and notonly talk about mentorship and how to kind of progress within your career,especially as a female here, but also talk about feed that culture and howthis is helped in really build a circular approach to how you run yourbusiness over as an cargo to ensure that not only are your people change,excelling, but also product feedback is looked into this as well yeah.Absolutely, I think the whole system is so connected by culture. There's, noway that you can get mentorship, there's no way. We can supportdevelopment unless everything comes back to a really strong feet thatculture yeah. Definitely so we had shouted a couple o weeks ago and whatI'd love to do to kind of kick off. The conversation today is understand kindof your experience and you been in halls for just under ten years now andyou've got to work in a lot of hyper growth companies. Can you tell us alittle bit about basically about your previous experience and your path to BP? Of course, I can I've had a quite a mixed experience where I've been in andaround sales throughout my career, which I think now that I've ended upsing solidly in the marketing camp has really helped me sort of understandexactly what we are really trying to drive as marketers. So my careerstarted with a small start up at the time called receipt. Thank on. Irecognize them now as debt. They have an accounting platform that helpspeople manage expenses and payments, and when I started I was an intern. Ifirst just moved to London. I finished my degree and after spending a fewweeks and you king cups of teas and writing an email news letter. I wasasked by one of the founders to step into us an entry level sales positionand I was demoin the product and there was me and one other amazing girl asilse dunno called M Ella, and we work together on really building out whatthe sales process would look like with our cro. A really fantastic mentor thatpoint and through my kyries receipt in Civis Withem or just over six years, Iworked through the ranks of that initial sales position, leading a sortof new business sales team. Taking that team global, a really thinking abouthow to establish process and make sure we have a lot of ability to train anddevelop great people and as we were approaching our cresane kind ofrealized, we probably needed to feel like growth with a bit more marketing.I started doing that in partnership with the sales role I was looking atand I then was went toward by an amazing marketing major, so he latercame to CNO business and I used to spend I spent one year and a halfbasically getting on a flight going over to foot to Washington for two dayschatting about marketing and then coming back to London to do it andafter that I stepped into a global head, a marketing seson on de that C e Cmon,which helped me really understand you... to look at and think about growingand leading marketing teams. After my amazing experience at receipt, YingChich, you know I have to me- I got a little bit bored at the end of six anda half years, I'd gone through a couple of cycles of the whole marketingjourney and went on to an amazing business called Lanton who have amarket place for clinical supplies and they help people find doctors, and Iwas in a commercial director position there. So at that point I was lookingnot only at marketing that also sales and customer success, which was areally great opportunity to think holistically about the whole growth andthe whole revenue journey in a business that was really growing very quickly,so, whereas Receu could come from seed funding, all the way up to see re seeat the point that I was bocking with them: Lanton reboses in their prevjourneys, they were trying to get to that kind of more proval concept rateto scale says, and now I'm at San Cargo. I've been in San cargo since Januarythis year. So, almost ten months and in that time I've been obviously focusedon marketing my position as pep marketing, but working incrediblyclosely with what we describe as our growth team as SDR sales, marketingcustomer success and thinking not only about how to expand my own team andwafting strategy, there's just one some very frazzled person the beginning theyear. So we've had a lot of work to do there, but really thinking about howall the different organizations and growth can work together to build arelease from culture or not only our leaders working together, but also moreall Moslem for our teams to do great things, because, when you're in asaccone business, that's super ambitious. The only way you're going toget the growth you need is by facilitating your development for everysingle person that you have and you setting them up for success and that'swhat I really care about. What I'm leading teams is what kind of gets meout of bed in the morning. I love that. I think that is like one of the biggestthings that you just mentioned. There is, you know, making sure of theculture within your leaders, but it it starts there. You guys are kind ofsetting a tonite example and it's going to just funnel down into yourindividual keys from then on moving forward so completely like there iseverything starts at home and you know, even though I've absolutely loved everyopportunity to have how, on my career, Journy I've seen the example, sometimeswhere there's leadership in searching functions. That's not necessarilyliving the culture that they're trying to facilitate or drive in their teams.And frankly, you know, I think, is kind of a lesson: We've, maybe all learnedin the star top space. If we're not prepared to role model for our teams,if we're not prepared to cave rulers, leaves up and get right in downtrenches. Why would we expect or someone else right? No definitely thatis you. You O change a little bit there about your mentor ships and how thisreally picked off for you back as an intern and kind of how thoserelationships developed into potential leaders that you then followed on todifferent opportunities as well, and we're able to learn from how would youif someone was looking to kind of find a mentor in the industry that they arein? Where would you kind of direct them to kind of carve this out? How wouldyou kind of advise them to go about this in looking for a mentor, so Ithink the first thing I advise people to do is actually to look for a mental,and it sounds really obvious. But actually, if I look back on my careerdevelopment, I have to admit that I was probably lucky and reactive rather thanvery proactive. So I in a few cases, ended up in situations for I wasreceiving mentorship from amazing people, but I probably haven'tpractically got out and sort of looked and salt, but really working with thosepeople help me grow so much faster than I would have done on my own. So youknow for anyone, that's thinking about going there a career for anyone. That'ssuper, ambitious, being on afraid to look for a mentor, a step on. I justkind of want to make that point, because I think a lot of people aren'teven aware of something they can do. Particularly people who are in now andtheir career are particularly where they're trying to find their feet. Ithink we often are nervous to ask for help. We can feel very exposed when weask for help, or we worry that other people might not have time or might notbe interested, and the reality is often just so different. So, firstly, lookfor a mentor. Secondly, start close to home. So often when we're in growingbusinesses, there may be people in our teams around our teams or completelydifferent functions. You've done...

...something that you think is cool ormaybe you're something in common. It might be that you drink the same craftbeer. Maybe you went to the same university. I think mentorship can openstart really close to home and getting like close to someone to being able tobuild a relationship where you feel safe, for you don't mind, askingquestions that might expose the fact that you're a little bit stuck or you e,like you're, making mistakes. It's really important and I think, whenyou're first testing the waters of building those relationships, startingclose to home is really important and I think, as you grow in your career andhopefully your confidence and maybe your role as well. That's a time tostart thinking more broadly about the best place, people to help you with theproblems that you are trying to solve today and that's why there are amazingnetworks that you can start to tap into and you maybe you do need to be a bitcourageous and go to someone that you super. You know you really admire andjust see what happened. So I'm part of the what was the London revenuecollective S, a pavillion amazing to just reach out to people there and askfor help. I think something I've sort of done as I've crepent lurked andstopped certain people on Linkedin watch their careers growing and when Ifeel like I'm a point where I might have a question, they've sort ofprobably answered in the past much wrong with sending out a message andasking someone for help. You'd be amazed how often people are willing tojump on to poles so for anyone looking be aware of people are in the samespace as you try and find a community where you can ask for help is nine topodcast like this is a great place to find people, and I just be reallyunafraid what some worse is going to happen. They might say no, but youprobably looked really brave for asking yeah and definitely I think, that'swhat like people always love to help people. So it's just having the courageto ask for it. Yeah you mentioned there. That is so true is some especiallypeople early in their career. They don't know about the ventholeopportunities, maybe that lie within a effort, and so it's just you know,being curious and just reached out to people that are either on the curatordoctory that you want to imitate, or you know or in the field that feeltheir industry- that you're looking to learn more about that you can leveragetheir resources or insights on totally and be greedy. I mean there's somethingwe talk about mentors if everyone's going to have one persons like yoursort of career soul, nate who's going to coach you through you, where I thinkwe all you know the more curious we can be and the more people we can askquestions off, particularly our careers change and our needs changing. I kindof sometimes think of myself as I like collupted. I could looking for peopleto help because we deal with different challenges every day and businessesthat grow really quickly. So you know I'm just in care people to constantlylook, and if you chap someone- and maybe you don't think there are moreconversations to be house- that's cool, you probably learn something go andfind some else yeah. I know definitely- and I think that's another point rightthere is. It doesn't have to be this, like soul mentor that you're with likeforever, like one of the things that I always look at and like alwaysencourage a lot of my rests as well. As you know, it's okay to change it upevery six months or when you need to depending on where your growth is andwhat you're looking the lean into to develop. Essentially yeah agreed. Ithink the only the only thing that I would say to anyone look for Mantras,particularly people who are kind of going about it. The first time is this is a time to take a Centaville toreally own your own development. So you know, I think I've hadconversations. Plient were a few people were sometimes someone turns off on ahall with a bit of a kind of so where you going to help me approach, and Ithink, when you're on that side of the Compeno as a mental is nothing you cando so as long as you're self aware, and you really have a sense of how you'rewanting to grow, where you want help. Maybe you've got questions that youneed to ask. However, you want to structure it, but this is a time totake ownership of your growth and come in with some purpose, and I thinkthat's where you know just starting by reflecting on yourself being aware, youwant to find a mentor thinking about. Why is super important? That is aperfect Sagoin to my next question, which you know you are a mentoryourselves and you have some entes that you guide and lead. What would you sayare like three key things that really...

...make for a strong mentorship what worksbest? If somebody was looking to be that Mente, what would you advise themto do to prepare for this relationship? I mean it will obviously depend on thepeople you're talking about for me step. One is, I absolutely have to feel like.I know that person you know, I'm very, very motivated by empathy. I reallycare about the people that I act as a mentor for, and we will probably spendour first couple of calls chatting about you, your life, your hobbies,where you live, what you meet for dinner, whatever it is because for meit's really important. Just try and Bor builds of emotional bond and you knowthe more invested. I am the more I want to help the individual and I hope forthe ments I work with the more they might trust me and feel safe in theconversations were having and then able to bring stuff that relievedly.Bothering them that's number one. I think the other thing I then tries makesure we have really structure conversations and without being preachyor a lectury. I don't want to send people away with homework, but actuallywe are there for a purpose and making sure that if we have had a conversationabout particular scenario or a particular challenge that the men Tisexperiencing, let's pick up again, let's keep talking of, and you know Iwhat that a lot of people that I'm in Tor because there's a constant dialoguearound you know. How is that situation evolving? Are you taking the steps thatwe spoke about and I kind of want to make sure that the people I'm workingwith are taking accendit for that as well, like hobby bother taking the sameconversation ten times over? It's not always it's not a good use of anyone'stime, yeah, so holding relationship having a little bit of structure, and Ithink being I don't know what the third is just probably not tying too manybounds around the POVERTA. If I think about some of the areas where I'veasked my own mentors for help, some of them have been very, very tactical,work, specific scenarios and running this marching campaign. How can Ioptimize it? I'm hiring in my team. What do I look for in this particularRemota, but also I've lent on mentors for cultural situations, the companies e'reworking for guidance on how to work with state holders guidanum how tocommunicate with customers in a different market? You know the thespectrum of questions that you can ask and where you can look for help, Ithink it's really really bad, oh yeah, so trying not to be limited as beingimportant as well yeah. I think that is that is so true, because you never knowwhere the conversation could go and earlier on. You also mentioned on. Youknow, take ownership of your own development and have kind of a purposebehind it, so make sure that you are towing up ready to invest in it as muchas you are asking the other person to invest their time into it as fitexactly exactly all right. So you know being a female in sales and you as well.If there was a female, that's just getting started on her career and- andI very passiamo development and making sure that people are mentoring and havethe right support in place. Where would you suggest that they seek out inmentor or any guiding principles that they should keep in mind when lookingfor one? I think the guiding principles be spoken about be unafraid shop around.Do your research and I frankly don't think this is the vice of the impliesto woman in sales, but I think sometimes, as Woman Inn, the salesenvironment, it can feel harder particularly depends on the businessthat you're working in, but in terms of the range of successful people whomaybe have kind of inteperter collars made it. We know that there are few orCros in the industry, for example, it's a more limited pool, but also I wouldencourage women just to go out and chat to other women chat the boys that theythink are doing. Well, don't limit your conversations and if you are able tojoin one of the communities that are right there, for example, little lowsof amazing str communities. There are lots of you really specifically want tobe a comune community, that's kind of gals only you can do that. The greatthing is to our clubs out there now and look on social socially are beyondlincons. Also, I'm sure you've had lots of conversations about how Ligetibecome or are sort of number one two, particularly over the last two yearsand having an embarrassing conversation with friends yesterday. But the fact isthe toll we all use more than instagram or Tiktok or facebook, or anything likethat. But yeah. You know there are also communities wherever you want to hangout. You know, so I r embarrassingly...

...maybe use take to I a lot and you wouldbe amazed how many leadership conversations are taking place on aform like tecti and that's a great place to them beach. I right in anotherform that I just came to mind. There is twitter, there's so much ormano betteras well era. Sometimes we get this total vision and we're all a lot ofthings in, but there's other. There is other avenues that we can love race to.So exactly, and I think in particular like something I talk. A lot about is aleader. Is We bring our whole cells to our work and also you know our work andpass our whole cells? So when we need help or immunities, why would we lookonly in that one place where we live rely specifically in our work lifewhich is linked in so, if twitters, your platform get on there of hisinstagram get on there? Some people are really into you know. All sorts ofdifferent tools and podcasts are also amazing, light fantastic. So we kind ofcovered a lot there within mentor ships, which I love when I kind of switch itover to feed back colter and really what this means for you and your teamover at Zen cargo. Can you kind of explain this from the people seapoint,as well as the product standpoint yeah? So I think I mean if you that cultureis so important and it can cover so many different elements of the workthat we do so for me, I was lucky enough to work with an amazing coachwhen I was early in my career and one of the things that she specialized inwas helping people develop. Few back cultures, so I first got close to thiswhen I was actually working as a sales leader with SR style teams. We didn'tcall that of the time. It was the same thing and we used a whole lot of reallyfantastic feedback. Training Base a little bit on the whole Parkin Scott,radical candor framework and there's another fantastic book which is coldthanks for the feedback which helps people recognize personally, that theyhave a human response and a reaction to feedback and it's okay to feel stuff.When someone- and someone gives you fee back and to think about how best tomanage yourself in a feedback conversation so then get into the rightof had space to actually influence the FE bank and it also coaches people onhow to deliver feet back to people in a way that is going to resonate with thatindividual. So if it's about having a conversation about how someone bestreceives feedback or making sure you're, creating the right setting or givinggetting the rag frameworks of for us, the feed back culture started there andwe then we're using feedback to do collares. So all our halls werereported. We would have conversations for, after listening to someone's callto S R and give on another feed back, and then we expand to that beyond thebusiness. So product managers would listen to str calls and everyone waskind of working across functionally to do that and what we then did is we so stalls sosome of those principles of the feed back culture and brought them intoother parts of the business that had other things that we couldfeed back on so, for example, the marketing and end. This is something wedo as an Pargo. Today we have a regular retrospectives who we look at specificthings that we've done as a marketing team. So maybe we've run ER campaign.For example, we want you, we watch and run events, but a lot, so we might sitdown. Look at that event. We will bring in cross functional players, so some ofour state holders from sales from customer success even from Whiter. Youknow further across the business of product and all get together and morelook at the particular activity and we'll think about what's gone. Well,what me didn't go so well. How can we do better and the hope is you know:We've created a formal setting there, but by creating that forward settingyou do a few different things. You said the example you build relationship withbridges for people that might not normally have worked together starthaving conversations, and you also normalize giving an implementing feetback and the thing that you know, I hope happens, and I kind of knowhappens because I see it. It is those people are that slacking each other ona regular basis. Looking for the opportunity to give feedback, you knowif we think about within the marketing World Product Marketing, which is sucha sort of spoke at the central kind of wheel of marketing, as it was, has achance to. I give feedback and receive...

...people see back on product teams fromother g TM teams like sales. They might work the strategic teams in thebusiness, but there's one finance reposite. You know by role modeling,you know what start off is actually quite formal, feed back processes. Youthen start to sow the seeds of just more casualty lie happening around thebusiness and that's, I think, what what helpedus and what I saw definitely worked very well and my past experience yeahnow. That is, that is amazing, and he, a lot of people are trying to find thatthat dynamic between the sales, the marketing teams. How can you into that?They are communicating and really working in Tan ups that you guys canscale as rapidly as you happen. I love the idea that you just mentioned thereeven for like your star call reviews you guys are bringing in like theproduct team just to provide feed back there. That is like that. Is I reallylike that because it gives a different Lens than what the SRT or sale seem asscene, and you can just pick up something very inungi that you couldthen put in the practice there well and it's amazing because then also maybeit's a prod of manager has been on the call they've learned something about acustomer. You know, I think, often across the wider business. Weunderestimate the value of sales. Calls you are SDRs and our bd are on the kindof a cool face of conversations for customers on a daily basis and it's sovaluable to be able to work with them and actually find out what's comingback, cose and forwards, whereas you might have other subjects, object:Mattrice Possitis, who can sit down with that at less a SDR and sorting? Ohwell, it's really interesting. Did you ask him this question, or I'm surprisedyou didn't talk about this amazing feature that our product has had youthought about? Have it tied those circumstances like it really helpseveryone sort of brought in there their thought really, as the conversationsare having. I love that, so when you guys really starting to implement thisat Zen cargo, how long would you say it took for you know the conversations tostart happy happening kind of naturally on their own and for this kind of besecond nature, if other sales luters were looking to implement kind of thesame thing, what does that timeline? Look like? I don't think they've done afool cycles and cargo? Yes, so I think you maybe we started really trying todo this in earnest, probably beginning of to and its end a t three now, so ittakes a while and that's not that the conversations aren't happening, but thethings that take the longest are helping. People get really comfortableand then make y students become a second nature. So if I think I, whenwe've done this in the past, maybe it received bank, there were a few thingsthat made this quicker. So I'd say it probably took about three months toreally become that line, maybe four to six months to really becomes Tongataice in the culture, and there was massive leadership, alinement andinvestment from the EGO. So we invested in the training. We brought some oneexternal to train every single person, business new people, because of coursebusiness is like ours grow really quickly. So every month people hold itin new people went through the exact same training in their first month. Sothere was a repeated cadence of that training and then what we also did isbe ensured that every team had structures and processes in place tofacilitate feet back conversations beyond sales. So, as I said, we startedSDRs r. Then we as another people to sales calls. Then we were getting otherpeople to think about well within my function or my area of expertise. Whereis there the opportunity to have a feed that conversation and the reality isit's literally everywhere? And you know by the end, I think the thing wasreally fantastic and this kind of evolved world of a pe back culture. Hispeople were having conversations where they were giving feedback on their feeback, for I love that, and I think that was justlike a really awesome way of showing how much we cared about it as abusiness and right, that's how it became in great e maculatur, an rightfantastic. That is awesome. Well, think you so much talent for sharing yourinsides on not only my dirt ship, but also had to create a set back culturesthat all teams are working together. Lastly, I o one more question for youand I'm not going to let you use the, but that you mentioned earlier, Ibelieve, was thanks for the feedback was the butt. If you had to recommendone more book that or could be a podcast that had a big impact on yourprofessional development. What would that be an impact? My ProfessionsVelope? I am completely obsessed with...

Chris Wall Cristela Gen podcast at themoment, and I think I bore everyone in the company- was sending the snippetson a weekly basis. They probably didn't think I learned anywhere else, butthat's a fantastic podcast Dave Gerhart also has a fantastic podcast in apatron group that people might want to subscribe to of their marketers who aretrying to learn. But if I think about really early on in my career when I wastrying to kind of work out this weird space, this foss grin businesses andstart ups and scale ups and thinking about what I meant to be a leader. Thehard things about hard things was a really fantastic book that I find himcredibly powerful at right, fantastic. So the hard thing about hard things isthe butt and digitus right lovely. Well, thank you. So much for your time today,if any of our listeners on to connect with you and chat working the bestplace for them to reach you best place to reach me is on Linton. I am easy tofind it's hell in a wood and from San Cargo, and please get in touch. I'malways been really happy to chat to on on the then was awesome. The LondonRevenue Collector Canealy and get in touch there all right. Thank you! Somuch a an has in afternoon, everyone I tanks Kali, take care. This was anotherepisode of the Sales Engagement podcast to help this get in front of more eyesand ears. Please leave us a shining five star work. You Join US at salesengagement com for new episodes, resources in the book on salesengagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure tocheck out out reached tio the leading sales engagement platform. So you onthe next episode a.

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