I am the Director of Enterprise Sales - Americas for InVision. I have been here for 5.5 years and have had the pleasure of starting out as one of the first members of the Customer Success team. In my time here I have worked directly as an individual contributor, and lead multiple customer facing teams along the way until I started this role two months ago.
How big is it?
I currently have two teams within my organization divided into Enterprise East and West. Enterprise West is led by a manager and I am still leading East until we hire the second manager, which is planned for the next few months. I am also leading the charge for a new team focused on growing the public sector. We will be making some hires here in the near future.
Where are your teammates located?
InVision is and always has been a fully distributed company. In my organization, our reps are all over the United States and Canada.
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
We are responsible for all new revenue opportunities within our segment. Both within existing customers and acquiring net new customers.
I would say that the critical components of a strong remote culture are Trust, Mutual Accountability, and Collaboration.
You need the right balance of them all. Your team needs to know that you have total faith, trust, and confidence in them to do their jobs. They need to be empowered. You can not micromanage people into success. Mutual accountability means they own the results as much as you do. They need to believe in what they are doing and be investing in driving the goals of the team and company because of that belief.
Collaboration is key because having a team of high performing individuals who don’t share what they are doing means that you are slowing the development and growth of everyone. Finding ways to encourage collaboration is critical.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
It starts with thinking of everything… from expectations, to your communication cadence. Then establishing core values and making them non-negotiable. These are mutual values that the entire team believes in and agrees to.
I am a huge fan of social contracts. From there you establish a communication cadence that is a drum beat, bringing all of things forward every week.
Once all of this is established you need to do two things. Hold the team accountable to the values and goals that everyone agreed to and make sure that you are celebrating the behaviors - not the results you want to see. Recognition and celebration is a powerful tool, especially when it’s around leading indicators of success and not railing indicators like closing deals.
Make sure that you are celebrating the behaviors - not the results you want to see.
I think the biggest challenge is always around communication and the transfer of positive “energy” to the teams.
On the communication front, people always feel like they have FOMO! Even if they are totally in the loop. We solve this by communicating in multiple channels all the time.
As far as the “energy” goes… This takes more work. You have to inject it into the team sometimes. Especially when things are hard. However if you do all of this yourself it can be exhausting. So again, you need to think about how you leverage this with recognition, getting the team to celebrate each other, having fun etc.
I love having the team start the meeting with a topic they care about. Icebreakers they control are super fun to start meetings as well.
I have a designations part of team meetings where I talk but the rest is driven by them. We have done off-sites in the past but covid has changed that for now. Weekly meetings with no agenda also work great for team bonding. Can’t talk about work all the time!
We have tried some games but not many as of late… However one game that I saw another team play and was a huge hit was a simple trivia game. “Who Knows (X person) the best!”
We set up a digital whiteboard with different questions about the individual and allow the teams to fill in their best answers to them on sticky notes. Then we have the individual tell us who got the closest. People really do love learning about their teammates. I loved this and it will push me to come up with new ideas to engage the team here going forward.
Cribs style tour of people's homes, guess that vehicle, two truths and a lie, just general “about me” have all been great! Things where the teams get to know each other.
We use Lattice for 1:1s but honestly we have been using our own product Freehand more than ever for collaboration and meetings! I would also say a really fun tool is Bonus.ly. It gives us a unique opportunity to recognize people and our teams love it.
We also utilize Slack quite a bit to maintain energy and communication. This is how we establish our drumbeat of expectations, celebrate wins regularly, and share best practices.
LinkedIn Learning has some gold on there for sure. I am also a big reader and read probably 1-2 books a month, either via audible or reading the real thing.
Three of my favorite books that have really shaped how I operate as a leader are:
I have so many more but in terms of leading teams, helping them build solid habits, and developing a strong culture, these three are ones I find myself quoting and sharing the messages from all the time. Simon Sinek and Josh Braun are also some thought leaders I find myself sharing things from all the time as well.
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