I work at MikMak. MikMak provides eCommerce marketing analytics and eCommerce enablement software to accelerate online sales for brands.
My job title is Sales Development Manager. This role serves as the head of our go-to-market sales strategy. Some responsibilities include:
How big is it?
SDR - 5, Senior SDR - 1, SDR Manager - 1 (me).
Where are your teammates located?
MikMak is a remote-first company in the USA. SDRs live in the following areas… Dallas, TX / Philadelphia, PA / New York, NY.
Previous SDRs (before being moving into new roles...) were in Portland, OR & Cincinnati, OH
What does your team do? What are you responsible for?
Our SDR team supports MikMak’s demand generation by finding and qualifying new business opportunities. Individuals work closely with Marketing and Sales teams to reach pipeline goals.
As a Sales Development Representative Manager, I’m responsible for providing the team of SDRs with the proper resources to do the job. This includes training/coaching, working cross-functionally, partnering with new vendors, providing compensation structures, setting quotas, creating career paths for all SDRs and forecasting for senior leaders.
Unless you want to become an ULTRA micro-manager… you need to trust the team will work hard and complete the task at hand. Individuals also need to have trust that their company wants best for them and their career. Passion makes coming to work fun. You have to believe in your product/work you do. If you know how your company impacts people/brands you will be much more likely to be excited about what you are doing. This energy is contagious and is impossible to fake.
Strong remote cultures are built on strong connections.
Strong connections are built with Hailey.
By understanding what motivates them. No two individuals are alike. They each have their own experiences and expectations. To find out, you simply have to ask.
I will admit, some team members might not give you a straightforward answer, yet it is your job to understand what might inspire them. A good way to put it is... Why are you at THIS company? It could be money, learning/growth, or a fun work environment with plenty of events/games. Whatever the answers are, that is what I try to provide.
If you know how your company impacts people/brands you will be much more likely to be excited about what you are doing. This energy is contagious and is impossible to fake.
A challenge I consistently face would be providing confidence and reassurance to all team members.
Working remotely can cause lonesome days. This environment only compounds the effect a negative call/email/or other task an SDR might complete. For an ambitious person, dealing with negative responses can be scary to bring up to a manager.
How I combat this is by trying to romanticize failure as a great step forward in the right direction. The best way to do this is to be humble and show my own battle scars from mistakes as well as how I overcame those mistakes.
For example, I received a very intimidating email from a potential client who was upset at the amount of emails he received. I believe a ‘disgusting’ amount of emails was how they put it.
While this person had a harsh reply I now leverage my mistake to improve our content/timing. Additionally, I can show all of the SDRs that I also make mistakes. The most important take-away I want the team to understand is I will always support them and have their back when it comes to any mistake or confrontation. This is what I call ‘psychological safety’ and this is what I believe more leaders need to be doing right now.
A second challenge is creating soft skills that work from home took away. Hard skills are training and what we need to complete our day-to-day job. Soft skills are the cross-functional interactions that you would get from sitting next to other departments in an office space. This is a major part of someone's networking and working remotely creates bigger barriers of entry for these soft skills to develop.
That is why we do two things. First is hosting mixers with other departments that are centered around a determined theme. The next is making each individual the ‘CEO of ___.’ An example might be CEO of 1:1’s. Where it is their job to examine our current strategy/process/organizational structure and see if it can be improved upon. The individual might have to ask other teams how they run effective meetings and develop a playbook of their own. This really gives individuals a chance to connect with people they normally would not be able to as well as highlight their initiative.
We have done game nights like drag-bingo, happy hours where we can expense the ingredients to make your favorite cocktails, Halloween contests (along w/ other holiday related activities), Cooking classes and we also hope to have an in-person retreat soon!
We do! -- My favorite to-date is a recent one. We asked each team member to take a picture of the inside of their fridge. I then put the collected pictures into a Kahoot where we guessed who belonged to which fridge. We all were laughing and couldn’t get enough of it.
I pull from many places to help me grow as a leader. Some include:
MANY books. The leadership killer, what the CEO wants you to know, The Power of Habit, Managing Oneself, Predictive Revenue, etc...
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