Tell me about your role at MuleSoft.
I am a Strategic Account Executive at our San Francisco HQ, ultimately responsible for MuleSoft's relationship with some of our strategic customers on the West Coast. Although I have a commercial focus, what motivates me every day is ensuring that my customers are wildly successful and, as a result, expand their relationship with us.
I work closely with a cross-functional team that ensures our customers are happy, are able to elicit the maximum possible value from their investment with us, and that they wake up every day thinking about new ways of leveraging our platform to improve their business agility.
What's the most interesting problem you're working on solving right now?
The most challenging (and interesting) problem I am working on today is partnering with large, multi-billion dollar organizations to ensure diverse teams are aligned with the strategic vision of their company. Few organizations get this right and, through no fault of their own, teams focus on short-term tactical wins rather than looking at the broader objectives of the business.
Where we have been successful in solving these issues is when our customers recognize these challenges at the executive level and partner with us to address them from the top down.
What was your path to becoming a Strategic Account Executive?
I studied Biology in the UK, and after I had graduated, I joined a cancer Immunotherapy company in Oxford, UK, as a lab technician. While it was rewarding, I was unable to support myself on the salary and decided to go to a graduate fair to evaluate my options. I think the technical term is ‘selling out' =) I knew I wanted to move into technology as the opportunities were incredible—every single industry is being disrupted by new technology, which makes for some really interesting problems to solve.
At the fair, I met a great group of individuals at a company that interested me, and I took a junior software sales role on the same day. I had a good level of success in this role and, after a few years, decided I wanted to work for a company whose technology made a real difference like I had in my previous role as a lab tech.
I began working for MuleSoft in London and, more recently, have moved to San Francisco as part of an internal transfer. I am really lucky to work for a company that supports their employees' personal and professional goals.
Why did you choose to come work for MuleSoft?
In 2010 I was approached by MuleSoft which, at the time, had a fraction of the people it has today! While it was small, the product looked interesting, so I asked a member of the technical team at my company to take a look. He was blown away by the quality of the solution and recommended that I go in for an interview.
From the first person I spoke with at MuleSoft, I was certain that the company was right for me. Not only did the technology solve an exciting problem, but every single person I met with during the process was fantastic—the cultural fit just felt right. Although the hiring process was long, and the interviewers were intimidating at first (CMO, CEO, CTO), I was made to feel welcome at every step.
Despite doing my diligence and researching the company as best I could, I also got lucky in that I chose MuleSoft. Nothing could have prepared me for the journey I have been on with the company–I have loved every moment. In retrospect, it was the best decision I have made in my career.
Take us through a typical day in the life in your role here.
It's a cliché, but every day is different. I try to allocate certain days to certain activities but, due to the dynamic nature of the role, I fail at that almost every week! However, if I could keep to a plan, it would be:
– Meet with the wider account teams to understand what activities are taking place within our customer/prospect accounts that week
– Try to establish activities that require support from Pre-Sales, Services, Customer Success, etc. and allocate resources accordingly
– Plan how best to approach new prospects with the Account Development Reps I work with, specifically researching what is happening within our prospect's world and how MuleSoft can best support them to achieve their objectives
– Travel to customers/prospects offices across the U.S. to understand how their projects/programs are progressing and what needs to be done to make them successful
– See what happy hours or fun activities are happening at the office and try to find a way to be there
– Meet with the MuleSoft Soccer team and demolish our opposition in the corporate co-ed league
What teams do you work with most, and how do you collaborate?
I work in close collaboration with the Account Development Representatives to ensure that MuleSoft has a healthy pipeline of new customers coming in the door. As we grow, it is important that we don't neglect this stage in the sales cycle, so I spend approximately 50% of my time working toward this goal.
I also collaborate with the Pre-Sales and Customer Success teams daily, leveraging their expertise to make sure I am up to date with the day to day activities our customers are involved in.
We typically schedule face-to-face meetings to allow us to whiteboard our ideas, and we promote constructive conflict which allows everyone to get involved and have their say.
What's your favorite activity outside of the office?
It's very difficult to work at MuleSoft and not get involved in the social aspects of Muley life. There are events taking place almost every evening, and it would be a shame to miss out on the networking opportunities.
That said, I love traveling. In fact, MuleSoft was kind enough to allow me to take a period of extended leave, meaning my wife and I could travel around the world for our honeymoon. It was also a reason why we wanted to move from London to San Francisco. It gave us the opportunity to explore the West Coast over the weekends, from Monterey and Carmel to Sonoma and Napa, there are incredibly beautiful places within a few hours drive from the Bay.
What's your proudest accomplishment in your role here so far?
The proudest moment of my career has been signing my first 8-figure contract at MuleSoft. Not only was the fantastic agreement value for both companies, but I was able to see the value manifest from the customer's perspective (I use the organization's services). I saw the change first-hand and witnessed our champions and stakeholders receive the praise they deserved for making a transformational program a success. I have kept in touch with each and every contact, and we remain close friends to this day.
What's the latest technology or tool you've learned to use and why did you need to learn it?
As the engagements we are leading are becoming increasingly broad, I have started using Altify to ensure I understand a company's political and organizational structures. More importantly, I have been recording this information in Salesforce so it can be leveraged by the wider account team, meaning we don't waste time getting everyone up to speed during account centric meetings.
The tool also helps to highlight gaps in my strategy to allow me to proactively address them before they impact engagement.
What is your favorite thing about working at MuleSoft?
I have never worked with a more driven, challenging, intellectually curious and successful team. The individual contributors and management team treat the business like their own. The interview process drives a supportive culture, where each individual wants the other to succeed, supporting and strategizing with them wherever needed.
I don't just work with great Sales people; I work with great people.