Sahra Jabbehdari’s role on the Account Development team has evolved into a global one, leading the team’s global operations and strategy. At our last MeetUp, Sahra received our annual peer-nominated Owners Award—and she’s just getting started!
What is your favorite thing about working on the AD team at MuleSoft?
Picking one thing seems unfair to me since there are so many great things about the team. It’s a cliche, but, truly, the caliber of individuals is mind-blowing. I find that every new hire pushes me to raise the bar for myself. They drive and challenge me to always be the best version of myself and help them succeed.
My other favorite part of the Account Development (AD) team is that we are a fast growing organization that is constantly innovating. It is so thought-provoking and interesting to be on a team where things change so often and new challenges that need to be solved arise!
Tell us about your role at MuleSoft.
I lead the Account Development team’s global operations and strategy. I spend my time implementing processes, performing data analysis, and evaluating tools to improve the effectiveness of a large team. I am responsible for providing business critical insights using analytics, ensuring cross-functional alignment of goals and execution, and helping the AD team drive strategic initiatives forward.
How did you become an Account Development Operations & Strategy Manager?
I actually started at MuleSoft as an Account Development Representative at an early stage of the organization. I was fortunate enough to become successful in my role quickly, which allowed me to work on other activities that I enjoyed. There were a lot of opportunities for me to identify gaps in the way we were operating and find ways to help improve how the team functioned as a whole. I would think to myself “this isn’t working, l bet I can find a way to do this better.”
I gravitated towards operational activities like instituting processes, providing and visualizing data, and managing vendor relationships. I eventually proved a business case for my evolving role and created my own position on the team! I am fortunate enough to work for a company that enabled me to create a role for myself, and define my own career based on my interests and strengths. It is a testament to how much MuleSoft values its people and their personal and professional fulfillment.
What is the most interesting problem you’re working on solving right now?
It’s mid-December, which means we are in the thick of 2018 planning! For our team, we have to plan our projected headcount and hiring goals, team KPIs (key performance indicators), and how our team will be structured. It is my responsibility that we know what our operating model will look like and how we will implement it.
In other words, how do we design the team in a way that helps us deliver our business strategy and goals? It starts with identifying our main objectives and goals as a team with a variety of cross-functional stakeholders; then involves determining what we need to change about how we run our team in order to achieve the goals identified. This is the first year I am a part of the planning process, so it has been a challenging and fascinating journey!
Why did you choose to come work for MuleSoft?
I started working at MuleSoft in May 2015. What set MuleSoft apart from other companies for me is that I wanted to work somewhere small enough that I could still drive impact, but that had a great vision and mission. I didn’t want to be known as employee number 10,152 at a large company; I wanted to be in a place where people recognize me by name and a place where I can help build an amazing company. This is exactly how I feel now (even 2.5 years after starting here!). I don’t think I could have asked for a better company to start my career.
Take us through a typical day in the life.
I’m based in Atlanta, so my day usually starts off at 5:30a.m., where I check to make sure the offices in EMEA and APAC are running smoothly and don’t have any questions or urgent issues. Helping lead a global organization can be stressful at times, since I want to be available to anyone when they need and each region has unique challenges that need to be addressed. However, being exposed to different markets, requirements, and people, as well as the experiences that I have had over the years, make everything worth it!
After that, I squeeze in a workout before I head into the office around 7a.m. I personally prefer to wake up and get into the office early to get a few hours of uninterrupted work and be able to have some overlap with non-North America offices, especially since my role is global. Generally, my meetings begin around lunch time (since the San Francisco HQ is 3 hours behind) and last the rest of my day. Throughout the day, I work on a variety of things, including:
- Reporting and data needs, including regional monthly metrics, team performance, and ad-hoc analyses
- Operational changes
- Vendor/systems management
- Cross-functional alignment of projects
My main stakeholders are the three theater managers in NA, EMEA, and APAC and their respective regional managers––so my projects typically center around their needs. I also work with a global organization of ADs, so I always have to be available to answer their questions. I think of myself as a helpdesk or project manager for the AD organization, so I have to be able to handle anything that comes my way!
What 3 things are always on your desk and why?
My yellow legal pad, pen, and water. Although I work at a high tech company and I am a young professional, I’m still old school when it comes to taking notes during meetings and jotting down to-do items. It’s quite liberating to cross things off my list and see progress towards goals. I also drink lots of water throughout the day, which is why I always need to have that on my desk. We have a quite impressive inventory of La Croix in the office, but I drink the natural stuff!
What teams do you work with most, and how do you collaborate?
I am fortunate that most of my role is centered around working cross-functionally with other teams to identify problems and find solutions. Given that my role has a broad scope, I work most often with Marketing Operations, Analytics, Sales Operations, and Sales Compensation teams. Since I work in the Atlanta field office, I typically video conference with those stakeholders for our meetings. I can also send them messages throughout the day if anything pops up!
What is your favorite activity outside of the office?
When I’m not working, you can find me cooking/baking, cleaning, or watching murder mystery shows.
What is your proudest accomplishment in your role here so far?
My proudest accomplishment this year was receiving an Owners Award for demonstrating MuleSoft’s values at our annual MeetUp. MeetUp is an amazing opportunity where all global Muleys meet for one week in San Diego and vote for strong contributors/team members. It was an extremely humbling experience to receive that award in a room with some of the most amazing colleagues.
What is the latest technology you’ve learned to use?
I can’t say that I’ve “learned” a technology recently, but I’m always honing in on my Excel, Tableau, and Salesforce skills!
Our Account Development is growing all over the world! Learn more about the team and where you can make an impact on our Careers site.