Any sales professional knows that when you’re starting a new job at a new company, the right onboarding and enablement are paramount to your long-term success and career growth. One of the things that got me excited while I was interviewing for the Account Executive role at MuleSoft was the company’s philosophy around sales enablement. We have a dedicated team that is constantly building and iterating on programs to make everyone better salespeople, and equipped to handle whatever comes their way in the market. One of the biggest programs we’ve built is Kickstart, a week-long onboarding program for the field at MuleSoft’s San Francisco HQ.
As a sales professional, this was a high impact week that has helped increase my ramp time at the company. Additionally, it was a great opportunity to meet new people from around the globe––people I normally wouldn’t interact with on a regular basis. This program is designed to help set everyone up for success in a repeatable way as the organization continues to expand, and I definitely felt set up for success by the end of the week.
I wanted to share my take on the day-to-day of the onboarding program, since every new hire in the field and marketing will go through it. Let us get started!
Day 1: Meeting a new class of Muleys with our Founder and CEO
First morning in San Francisco. I’m based in the South, so it’s always nice to be able to visit HQ. In fact, everyone who goes through the Kickstart onboarding program gets sent to HQ. I woke up downtown, grabbed my bags and a coffee, and walked to the office for what I anticipated to be a long week. First thing I noticed about the MuleSoft office is that it’s in a pretty nice location, in the heart of the downtown. We got the day kicked off with a catered breakfast alongside a fully stocked kitchen with everything from local coffees and teas, to organic snacks.
This Kickstart group had approximately 25 new Muleys from across the globe––with roles ranging from Account Executives (like me) and Account Development Representatives to Product Marketing and Customer Architects. There were people from Amsterdam, Sydney, New York, London, really all over. The day got started with a quick networking-like activity, then we had a host of sessions throughout the day.
Right away, I noticed some common defining characteristics of the people around me. Not only were they good humans (a core Mulesoft value), but everyone had a strong sense of intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness. It was nice to feel like I was a part of an onboarding program that people weren’t dreading, but rather were excited about and ready to own.
Two sessions at Kickstart that impressed me the most were by MuleSoft CEO Greg Schott, and Founder Ross Mason. Understanding the backstory of Mulesoft, the unique opportunity we have, and having the opportunity to ask them questions directly about all of this was something we all valued––especially because most founders and CEOs wouldn’t usually take that kind of time with a group of new hires when a company is growing so rapidly. The day was capped off with dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Deep dive overview (with a view!)
The night before, our group was bussed just south of the city to Pacifica, CA. This is where the onboarding program would begin and we would spend the next three days getting the Mulesoft fundamentals under our belt. While the idea of sitting in a conference room all week can be a little daunting, our room had floor to ceiling bay windows, giving us a great view of the ocean.
Today, we were introduced to Anypoint Platform and took an in-depth look at differentiators against our competition. We also discussed how Mule is uniquely positioned to help organizations transform their integration strategy to drive speed and rapid change, as well as accelerate innovation for their business.
During and between presentations, there was active participation throughout the day that kept us engaged. As we watched the sunset through the windows, Steve Hallowell, VP of Sales Enablement & Operations, introduced us to our first “assignment” for the next day. We were broken out into groups and spent the evening preparing.
Day 3: Learning MuleSoft’s POV on how we drive customer outcomes
This morning’s presentations were thorough. Not only were most up until 11:30 PM preparing the night before, but we were individually evaluated by others amongst small groups. The coach in the group scored us and offered feedback as well. The interesting part (which, as a salesperson, I can appreciate), is the group leader wouldn’t agree to the next meeting (albeit fictitious) if our presentation wouldn’t resonate in a real-world meeting.
This was a different approach to training that I have experienced in other organizations and, frankly, it was refreshing. Today’s presentation encouraged us to tie business context into a strategic conversation. Mulesoft brings a unique point of view to prospects and customers on the market, exposes current challenges, and provides a new insight of how we can act as a trusted advisor as an organization. Our afternoon session focused on driving outcomes for customers, and explained how sales and customer success is being leveraged as a differentiator for our organization.
In three days, it was interesting to see how much knowledge we packed into a short period of time. Although the days were long, we retained the information and knew we can immediately put it into practice in our day jobs. Before wrapping the day, we had another presentation to deliver the next morning. While today’s assignment was focused on the business, tomorrow’s would place more emphasis on the architectural approach at Mulesoft.
To cap it off, we got a bit of a break to enjoy the fresh air on a beautiful hike on the cliffs, overlooking the ocean. Not bad for an onboarding retreat!
Day 4: Officially Kickstarted
Similar to Day 3, today we started with presentations right away. While some were more comfortable having the business discussion (I fell into this category), others were more excited about driving a slightly more technical conversation and whiteboarding session. Of the 5-6 breakout groups, each had a coach from a different leadership position in the company (e.g. VP of Inside Sales, VP of Product Marketing, VP of Enablement, etc). After a full morning of presentations in our respective groups, we had the chance to relax.
The last afternoon at Kickstart consisted of a session learning about customer stories, then our VP of Talent and her team shared their recruiting process; very few companies take such a strong approach to attracting and retaining top talent. After a debrief of the week and a handshake for passing the program, we packed up and headed down the road to relax for dinner and drinks, before heading back to our respective cities.
In short, it was a fantastic week. Personally, if a company sequesters new hires for a week-long enablement session, they better make it worthwhile! Mulesoft has clearly put the time, thought, and refinement into Kickstart to continually deliver a high-value onboarding program month after month.
Coming out of the week, our entire group had a well-rounded understanding of Mulesoft, our unique position in the market, our messaging, and the market opportunity ahead of us. I feel confident to take on the next challenge that lies ahead, and I can now proudly say: “I’ve been Kickstarted”.
Learn more about our sales team and our open roles—we’re hiring Account Development Representatives and Account Executives across the globe!