This week, we sat down with Tia Gaffen, Regional Lead of Account Development in the North to provide readers with an insight into our sales leadership team. Read on to learn about her favorite thing about working on the Account Development team at MuleSoft, the most interesting problem she is working on right now, and more!
What is your favorite thing about working on the Account Development team at MuleSoft?
I am constantly learning. We have regular sessions to develop our skills as coaches, leaders, and salespeople.
On top of regular coaching sessions and Friday afternoon enablement sessions, the team goes above and beyond to make sure that we are developing as professionals. For example, after I was promoted to Regional Lead in the North, Steven Broudy, Director of Inside Sales in North America, took the entire Americas Account Development (AD) Leadership Team (Regional Managers and Regional Leads) from their respective regional offices (Atlanta, NYC, and Chicago) to San Francisco for a week-long course where we discussed leadership, coaching, and management best practices. We left with a wealth of knowledge that we could leverage with our respective teams.
The commitment that our leadership makes to professional development is second to none.
What is the most interesting problem you are working on solving right now?
The AD team regionalized from SF to Chicago and New York in May. This has allowed closer collaboration within the account team (Account Executives, Customer Success Managers, Account Development Representatives, etc.) and has given us two more “selling hours” every day.
However, this means that we went from a team of 40 strong in SF to a much smaller cohort in Chicago, and we now have cohorts in each U.S. region: San Francisco, Chicago, New York, and Atlanta. The most important factor in our success is going to be our ability to hire well and develop a strong culture built on friendship, accountability and a growth mindset, so we are constantly working on building that culture and hire true “A players” that will push us every day to be our best selves.
How did you get to becoming a Regional Lead for the Account Development team?
I started as an Account Development Representative in SF in January of 2016. Immediately, I was impressed by the caliber of those around me and their dedication to my personal and professional growth.
In January 2017, our leadership team announced the new Regional Lead role. The responsibilities included helping develop a strong culture in the new regional offices, and coaching new hires as they ramp into the AD role in the regional offices.
It was a no brainer to interview for a position that allowed me to take on a leadership role in a place that valued my professional development. Since taking on this position, I have learned that there is nothing more gratifying and fulfilling than seeing those around you achieve, and I get to do that for my job!
Why did you choose to come work for MuleSoft?
As cliche as it sounds, it was the people. There is a great quote that says: “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room”––I can confidently say that is never the case at MuleSoft. I have never been surrounded by such an intelligent, driven group of individuals.
Take us through a typical day in the life on the Account Development team.
As is the case in any sales job, no two days are the same but, generally speaking, they consist of any mix of the following: collaborating with our cross functional partners on account strategy, deliberating coaching sessions, conducting account research, outbounding into territories, attending internal meetings, and more.
One of the benefits of this role is being able to work with your Regional Lead and Regional Managers to find a workflow based on that works for you and your account team.
What 3 things are always on your desk and why?
- iMac: I would be lost without it.
- iPhone: Our job is dependent on our ability to talk with prospects
- RXBars: Anyone that knows me understands that I am a huge snacker. Being properly fueled is an essential ingredient to success
What teams do you work with most, and how do you collaborate?
- Account Executives – these are the folks who we are sourcing deals for that, hopefully, will close. We talk with them almost every day to share account knowledge, strategize on who to bring to the table, and how to help accelerate deals through the pipeline by engaging with the right stakeholders.
- Customer Success – in order to best understand how and where to go in an account, we first have to understand the existing relationships in the accounts. Customer Success Managers manage the account relationships after a deal closes, so it is important we are in lockstep with them as we prospect into accounts.
- Marketing – leads are the lifeblood of our business, so it is imperative that we understand how to best leverage our leads and how to make the best use out of all the amazing content marketing is constantly feeding us.
- Channels – there are many ways into an account and one of these ways is through external partners and our channel managers. By understanding which partners are in our accounts, we can strategize with our Account Executives how to leverage them to further build traction.
- Recruiting – hiring well is our number one priority, so having a close relationship with our recruiting team is crucial.
What is your favorite activity outside of the office?
There is nothing that clears my head quite like a good workout. I like to mix it up. You can find me doing any combination of the following: running through the city, in a spin class, playing volleyball on the beach, or on my mat reconnecting to my breath during a relaxing yoga class.
What is your proudest accomplishment in your role here so far?
Being selected for the Regional Lead position. I am humbled to be a part of team that helps onboard and develop the newest members of the AD team.
What is the latest technology you’ve learned to use?
In the recent move to Chicago, I set up my very own TV and WiFi. Many thanks to the Comcast user guide for making this feat possible!
Our Account Development team is growing! Learn more about the team and where you can make an impact.