The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Why a Remote Office Makes More Sense Than You Think w/ Julianne Sweat

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The world is changing, and with it, the way that we work.

The notion of one central office for everybody seems to be on its way out. Everybody commuting to headquarters from the far flung corners of the area is an old and increasingly outdated idea. The remote office is becoming more and more mainstream.

Most all of the large companies are putting down remote offices in places far from their headquarters. Amazon. AirBNB. Google. Nike. You name the company, they probably have a remote office.

The benefits of the remote office are more than we can name here. They can be more affordable, offer better tax incentives, and allow you to reach a different type of potential employee.

Welcome to the sales engagement podcast. This podcast is brought to you by outreach dot ioh, the leading sales engagement platform helping companies, sellers and customer success engaged with buyers and customers in the modern sales era. Check out sales engagementcom for new episodes resources in the book on sales engagement coming soon. Now let's get into today's episode. Heyone, thank you so much for joining us again for these sales engagement podcast. I am your host, Jovi allow, senior content managing editor over at outreach, and I'm joined by a fellow outreacher today, Julianne Sweat, Sales Development Manager out of Tampa Florida. So today we were talking a little bit about remote offices and the pitfalls to benefits, all of that kind of good stuff. Before we get into that, I'm going to toss it on over to Julia, who can introduce herself and tell us a little bit about our background and what she does currently. Julian thanks for being on the show. Absolutely. Thank you for having me. So yeah, just as joyed mentioned, I'm in a sales development manager or ret outrage. I manage our Tampa location. I'm one of five best R managers. So we have three that sit in our headquarters and Seattle. We have one that sits over only remote reps. he's out of State College Pennsylvania, and I managed in the team of ten down here in Tampa. Awesome. And how long have you been down in Tampa doing sales to film and what were you doing before outreach? Yeah, good question. So this is kind of an interesting story. By used to work for a company called Kite desk and that company used to compete with that reach. So we're semi competitive and the company unfortunately shut down and the CEO of that company called Made Medina and said Hey, I knew he's to compete, but we've close shot today. And just to let you know, I have a sales belt manager with five reps at the time on her team. They understand the space, they're really good at what they do. They work really hard. You should consider opening a...

...tamp office and at the time outreach wasn't planning on opening a Southeast Office for another year or so, but of course, being opportunistic, they decided to take advantage of that. So within the matter of a week they decided to open up at Tampa office and we didn't even have office space. We you know, I was the only manager down here. There was very little support at the beginning and then we went through a lot to try to figure out how to get it up and running. Just to put some of this into context, we work out my house for two weeks because we were trying to yell it Nail Down Office space. So the first TAMPA SDR to book a meeting happened sitting in my laundry room and he had a spare monitor on my dryer and his laptop on the washers. So yeah, it was definitely a good like start to it. But I just love the fact that outreach said Hey, let's take advantage of this opportunity, and obviously it worked out. For the old Kai guest team, I ended up high wearing all five of them to come work at outreach for them as esdrs, and one of them isn't in here. That's fantastic story and you are incredibly generous to to invite a bunch of hungry SDRs in your house for for a couple weeks, just pounding the phone, sending emails that it was very hectic. It was great. When you say hungry there's no joke to my fiance was literally flipping burgers around dinner time for everybody. So we had Steve Ross, he's our director sales development, along with a couple other members of outreach that actually also came to my house to help get it everything up and running so very quickly. We were welcomed in not as former competitors but now as a part of outreach, and it seems like that's happening. More and more companies are opening up remote offices all over the country for a variety of different reasons. One for a more affordable yet educated work for us in different parts. There's tax breaks to open up boxes and different states, but there are also some pitfalls. What do you see as to the biggest challenges of not being located at the headquarters of a company? Yeah, that's the great question. It even goes...

...back to when we were selecting our office. I had to go way out of my comfort zone, which ends up being a huge benefit of it too. But now I was selecting carpet and paint styles and so far out of my area of expertise. So it forced me to just find a way to get things done. Put at the same time, you know, opening up a remote office, not knowing what type of candidates were going to be able to hire in this market. Tampa is a growing text scene, but it's not like in Seattle or where I'm from in DC, where you can just go out on the street and have a handful of SDRs to pick from. So we had be a lot more creative with our hiring and finding people who have been through similar motions but not necessarily have a background and as being an SDR. So I think just being in what's considered not one of the major cities, think Tampa, that certainly has its challenge. So being outside of my comfort zone with just managing an office rather than just being a good str manager, and I've gotten used to a lot of those things, but you know, at the beginning it was just working a ton of hours. I would come in on Saturday and, you know, unboxed monitors and to make sure we might team had everything they needed to be successful. But you know, the technology aspect, we don't have an it administrator here on site. So very quickly I float between being an SDR manager and I t support, which is by no means one of my strengths. So you know, being able to just find ways to make things work even when things aren't going well. So, for example, and we lost wi fi for about an hour the other day and the team and headquarters was working feverishly to get it back online. Of course they were able to do it, but we gathered the team together and said, okay, let's do some role plays. So just being able to find the best use of the time if you know we're having a technical outage or something like that. So that's definitely something that is challenging, is being having so many roles that are outside of just being a good SCR manager. and not to mention two with the other teams. In Seattle...

...there's three SDR managers, so if one of them is in an interview or in a different meeting, they can just an SDR can go up to a different stir manager and ask them that. But with being in Tampa, they're having to rely on themselves and each other a lot, which also leads to a really good leadership opportunity for some of my top performers as well. I'm want to go back to something you said earlier about there being a difficulty of finding potentially good candidates when you're in a smaller market, especially when you're looking for someone who has experience in in tech sales. For the sales managers out there, for the the CEOS out there who are listening to the podcast, they thinking about opening up a remote office and maybe a smaller city, what are some of the things they can do to ensure they have a good pool of applicants? Yeah, that's a great question. So I am from the DC market, where there's just a plethora of people that you can pick from. So it's very different and I do a lot of my own recruiting gear as well. We live in a much lower cost of living city, so that's a huge benefit being able to say hey, you can come to Tampa and being SDR here and make comparable money. So it definitely increases the financial gains for the individuals. So we've actually relocated a decent chunk of our SDRs. We had one guy come from Indiana, one is from DC, we had one come down from Boston. So just being able to kind of get past that barrier is a hiring manager. There's always a little bit of hesitancy with hiring outside of the city that you live in, but we've us we use it as a value prop and we also have people that, let's say they live in Texas and they say hey, we want to come work an outreach and we have that option. Do you want to live in Seattle or do you want to live in Tampa? And we've had people make decisions to go to both, just depending on their lifestyle and kind of city that they want to live in. But what I found really beneficial is doing community events. So I'm very involved in the AISP. I'm on the Orlando Tampa chapter down here, so I've met a lot of candidates through that. But a lot of times they're doing something that isn't necessarily being an SDR for a software company. One of my most recent hires is doing fantastic and he came from...

...the logistics industry. So being able to uncover those skills that will be applicable in this role is a really big deal for the interview process and we do a lot of behavioral interviewing here and outreach where we have somebody kind of walk us through a situation where they encountered a similar challenge to what they'll experience as an SDR. And you know, having John is his name, having John How to walk me through a challenge that he had been through. Even though it wasn't apples to apples with what outreach looks like, it definitely helped me understand how his brain processes and, you know, his work ethic and his motivation. So it became clear that he would be a good fit here. You know, also thinking about recruiters. Those typically can make an easy transition into the SDR world. One of my new hires that is performing really well. He was a college student but he had built two of his own businesses from the bottom up. So I just loved his entrepreneur real spirit and the stories that he walked me through in the challenges that he had gone through and how he overcame them made me believe he would be able to sustain the role as an str and how what it took to get told no more times they can get told yes. And then also from that group, the my top farm from that group, he was a preacher before he was an SDR. Yeah, so crazy career cat. But you know, even just talking to the guy on the phone and understanding and how he structures his days and his motivations. So I hired them each for different reasons, but there was always that consistency of, you know, being able to overcome adversity and work really hard when nobody's watching. And then the coachability aspect is huge too. So let's shift the focus from kind of talking to someone who may be wanting to open up a remote office to someone who may end up working in a remote office. So if you're hiring SDRs, how do you prevent them from feeling like they're on an island when headquarters could be two thousand miles away? How do you prevent that feeling of isolation? And on the flip side, what are some of like the great parts about being in a smaller office, potentially...

...on the other side of the country? I'll start with technology. So technology is a great thing and it can be a not great thing. What I mean by that is it makes it very easy for Joe, you and I speak on a weekly, Bi weekly basis and we have our videos on and we're talking and you get that false spacetime, if you will. So but that definitely helps and you know, I'll tell my SDRs to in time they have a question. We work really closely with our account executives. If you're not sure about why something was done or you know why a particular opportunity stalled and you want to learn, pick up a phone. So that's the the bad side of technology is we all know that if you're texting or if you're slacking, which you do a lot here, it's hard to read connotations of certain things. So I make it really evident thing need to pick up the phone, and not just with their prospects, which is huge. We book about seventy percent of our meetings on the phone's but also as they're speaking with other internal members of the team, because it's still easy to shoot over slack. But again, everything can be misread. So being able to pick up the phone has been huge to with building the relationships. I don't think anything can replace actual facetime with somebody. So we do regional meet ups a lot. So what I mean by that is if we have an ae that is going to an event in Orlando, will have them come over to the office for a couple days and work out of the Tampa Office. We actually are doing we just started this and we haven't had anybody do it quite yet. The first one's going to be next month where we're going to do an office exchange program for US drs. so what that will look like is once they reach a few different milestones within their career. It's not quite too where the point where we would give them the senior SDR title, but it's somewhere in the middle. So it's a nice kind of thing to chase for. will pay for them to go to the other office for a week. So if you're in Seattle in the middle of January, not a bad idea to try and make your way down to Tampa. And if it's sweltering and it's middle of July on Tampa, you'll have to action go work out of Seattle for a week. So leveraging technology but also not leaning on it too much and...

...then taking advantage of every opportunity to have back live facetime. That's awesome, and I have to to contradict you for a moment. In the middle of July, it can be sweltering in Seattle as well. You're probably right. So I want to shift the focus back to the sellers, but also the benefits of having remote office for the customers and the prospects. Why is it so good to have one? What are some of the things that are beneficial to having a remote office. Yeah, I could question Joe. So we'll start with the data. So, without words, we're able to see when the most responsive pick up rates for our prospects are, and the data clearly shows that in the morning is really good. So to have an SDR on the east coast able to call prospects in New York and Boughton and Lena, which are some of our bigger markets, being able to call them at a time that's most convenient to them, without having SDRs in Seattle having to wake up at three am to do that, is a huge benefit to the prospects. And then we have to str teams in one in Seattle and went down here in Tampa, but being able to have them support the a's that are local to them as well, so that if it's early in the morning and an AE needs to get in touch with the SDR, they have a team here in Tampa to support that. It also has beneficial with the the regional meetings that we do. So I have a couple of my teammates right now that are meeting with a few a's and RVP and thats you're manager in New York. Well, just thinking about the revenue efficiency behind that. To have an SDR from Seattle having the flight to New York to meet the a's doesn't always make sense. So quick trip up from Tampa to New York makes a lot more financial sense to yeah, one hundred percent. What about for a rep who wants or who has the opportunity to join a remote office? What type of advice would you give that person when you know they may get excited about joining this company but it obviously is in a smaller office than HQ? What type of advice would you give that rep to make sure that transition is...

...good? Something that we look for Inn SDRs, but I think it's so much it's so important with remote workers is the ability to we call figure it out factor. So that's being able to just find a way to figure it out and get it done. You do have less resources. I wouldn't say that you have no resources by any means, but you can't always just turn around to the product team and say hey, why don't you guys fix this? Why don't you guys do that? Or turn around to the customer success team and say, Hey, why is it so difficult to work with customers like this, or why is it so advantageous for us to have customers like that. So being, for lack of a better term, in isolation, you have to go out of your way to be more proactive, to have those conversations, but also just being able to figure things out on your own, and that's advice, but it's also a huge benefit of being on your own. So, speaking from my own perspective, there's a lot of things that I have to figure out because my managers on a call or he can't make a decision for me. So I'm like, look, I'm just going to make a call and I'm going to go for it, and sometimes I make the wrong calls and sometimes I make the right calls, and it's the same as true for the SDRs on my team. Knowing when to ask for help and not getting to the point where you're beating yourself into the ground or something that you can't figure out, but also taking the time to say like Hey, I think I can solve this, I think I can get to this answer on my own, and then maybe you find out a different way to do that than somebody else has. That's good advice, or really anyone right being able to identify those times when you should just get it done, figure it out before asking for help, but then also being able to realize all right, this one, I could probably use a little help, and being able to raise your hand ask for that help. So I think that's that's good advice for just about anyone. Julian, if there was one thing you wanted the listeners to take away from today's podcast, what would that be? Yeah, so I have a few things that we do at outreach that I think would be good for people that are either remote, meaning that they're working out of their own home off offices or working in a remote office away from headquarters that I've really helped. So I'll start with one thing, which...

...is just celebrating your wins together, because, I mean it's one thing to work in a headquarters where you go up to the huge Gong and hit it every time they begin a meeting or get a seal or something like that, and then you're there's the other thing where you're sitting in a remote office by yourself and you're like high fiving your dog when you a sale. So I really just like taking time to celebrate your wins. So something that we do every Friday. We do this in headquarters but we also do it remotely. Is We go around a circle and we say, Hey, this is something that happen to me that wasn't so great this week, and this is something that happened to me that was really awesome. And it goes back to a story with what happened with our founders, and they would do this on a weekly basis. So they do in headquarters and it's really powerful to sit in a circle with everybody and kind of celebrating those wins together, but also talking about what kind of went wrong. But we also do that remotely, so of course we're logged into zoom and got everybody's pictures up on the TV screen here, but celebrating the winds is huge, but also in a little bit of a different direction. Is just what I would call crosscollination. So we're all doing the same job as far as the SDRs go, and it doesn't matter what coast you're on, you still get hung up on you still going to get up objections. So a few things that we do is we have a mentorship program and a lot of those mentors are not in your office. So I have one guy on my team right now and he's paired up with one of our topest years out in Seattle and they're constantly back and forth. He says, Hey, slack me every time you get a meeting. I want to look into it, I want to look at your note, I want to make sure that you're prepared for success with this meeting. And they don't see each other every day. So having relationships outside of your direct office, it will help with crosscollination and also help you think of different ways to do things. We also do a weekly training every Monday, so that's all the SDRs, regardless of what office you're in, and that's also just helping making sure we'll in the same page. You have to overcommunicate and be super...

...transparent so that you don't get in stuck into this tribal knowledge, because if you're not sending next to somebody, you may not hear a certain event that we're putting on or a Webinar that we're doing. So being able to overcommunicate on those items. And then also weekly we do cross team role plays. So we have it set up so FDR Seattle calls an SDR in Tampa and we switch up the pairs every time, so you're talking to somebody different every time. But it'll be interesting because in FDR in Tampa will start to say something and it's really working well, then all of a sudden the other FDRS in Tampa will start doing that. But if we have something really great, we need to be sharing it with the FDRS in Seattle as well. So, you know, sometimes we get the groans. We say, okay, it's role play time, but it's so impactful, especially for the the new hires, to hear with some of these best sound like and you know, not just the one or two that happened to be in our office. I think that's important. Like the sense of community and building that community with people in all of the different offices is really a good step towards making sure everyone feels a part of the team. So that's great. All those things that you're doing down there in Tampa and connecting up with Seattle, I think it's fantastic. And I know you're always hiring. So if people wanted to get a hold of you feeling and how could they do that, you can call my cell phone directly. I am always hiring and well, we'll put don't put your number out here on the podcast. This is this is the listen to by thousands are going to be inundated. They gotta check out my linked in. My phone number is on there. But yeah, you can also reach out to me. The email is my first day, which Julianne Guoia in Ande dot sweats weat at our instatio. Fantastic and a little bit of an announcement. Julianne, I really enjoy talking to you and I think that other people would really enjoy talking to you as well. So what if we made you maybe a host occasionally for the podcast? That sound good. Yeo, that sounds like a fantastic idea. You heard it here first, folks. Julianne Swat it's going to be the new host of the sales engagement podcast, so look for the episodes if she's hosting. Will make sure we get...

...that information out to all of our subscribers. Super excited. Thank you so much, Joanne, for one, being on the show to agree to host it occasionally and, three, just being an overall awesome person. Let's do it. Thanks Joe. All right, and thank you to our listeners as well for joining us for another episode of the Sales Engagement Podcast, and we will see you next time. Thank you, this was another episode of the sales engagement podcast. Join US at sales engagementcom for new episodes, resources and the book on sales engagement coming soon. To get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out our reach Dioh, the leading sales engagement platform. See you on the next episode.

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