Known in the tech industry for driving SAP mobile and HR cloud sales from $0 to $750M, Raja Nucho is a proven guru in building exponential revenue.
Raja rounds out his days and weeks skiing with his 9-year-old son, camping, and entering some of the most challenging racing events in our region. He pretty much never stops moving! As MediaValet’s VP of Sales, Raja sat down with us to discuss some of the magic that has gone into building out a team that is passionate about helping customers achieve success and driven by MediaValet’s incredible culture. Here’s what he had to say:
Who makes up the sales team at MediaValet?
Everyone on the team specializes in understanding the specific needs of businesses based on their territories across the US and Canada. Conventionally speaking, these are our Territory Sales Managers, but in practice, they aren’t really functioning under a typical sales formula. At MediaValet, helping others is a core part of our culture, and as such, it is ingrained in every activity and every team. For our sales team, that means that we work every day with people who struggle to solve business problems unique to their organizations.
Many people we speak to find it challenging to streamline efficiency, improve their existing systems and processes, as well as contain costs. Our goal is to help find the solution that is best for their business. It is more effective to think of our sales team as digital asset management advisors, or “DAM Helpers” as we like to call ourselves, because our goal is helping people determine the tools that will best serve each individual business.
My goal was to build a team of DAM Helpers around these 3 critical criteria:
- The ability to be a team player,
- Expression of vulnerability, and
- The display of an insatiable curiosity.
In my mind, all 3 of these qualities are critical for success and enabling a customer centric culture. I didn’t coin this phrase, but you must be familiar with it: “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” I am a big believer in this phrase. It doesn’t matter how well-planned our strategy is, if we don’t have a team that works well together in a healthy way, we’ve got nothing. Great things, however, can be made when you combine a top-notch strategy with a solid culture. For me, building MediaValet’s sales team was a process of finding a set of knowledgeable individuals keen on being vulnerable enough to be empathetic in their jobs every day and curious enough to take future learning and their own careers into their own hands.
How does the sales team balance their time?
First and foremost, a big part of their time is spent identifying the fit between the customers’ challenges and the various benefits that cloud-based digital asset management systems (DAMS) bring into organizations. We conduct extensive research that provides us with informed opinions and a point of view of what is going on in various industries and work with hundreds of DAMS business cases and implementation scenarios. In every interaction with each-and-every potential customer, we look to have an intelligent conversation about what is going on for that business and how we can help.
How have they trained to do what they do every day?
It’s simple really: experience and curiosity. I believe in a culture of diversity, and I seek out team members with diverse backgrounds in terms of industries, education, career paths and unique skill sets. I look at building out the sales team as putting together pieces of a puzzle, with each team member complementing each other’s skills. The result is a team that has a deep collective expertise across industries and they all value collaboration and team success. Each one is hungry to learn from each other, proactive in their continued education, but even more so they are focused on learning from every customer interaction. Both the Marketing and DAM industries are developing at an incredible pace, and with innovation being driven by our incredible customers and partners, being on our team means you have to be hungry to learn and be constantly developing.
What are their goals?
All of our DAM Helpers are excited about being a part of a team that is growing rapidly, and in the software world it’s really exciting to imagine the future potential for growth and to work every day towards that. Fuelling that growth is a real shift in the DAM industry – every day we see more and more companies that rely on incredible digital content to grow their business. Yet, they are slowed down when those digital assets are disorganized, which stresses out their teams and jeopardizes their results. Resolving those challenges, finding a successful solution and providing a DAM platform for future growth defines our success. As an SaaS organization, we grow when we have customers whose expectations were able to be exceeded every step of the way – from helping to identify the solution, to supporting their buying journey to successful implementation.
So as a bottom line, our goal is really to ensure that MediaValet continues the growth that it currently has and pushes harder for an even brighter future. There is a lot of personal satisfaction in being a part of this kind of company.
How do they manage the emotional twists and turns of their jobs?
That’s a good question. You’re right, sales is a very emotional job. By nature, people who are in these roles are competitive, and they want to be successful to the core. This is where a great cultural fit is important. When we define our success as the success of our customers, there is a deep satisfaction in being able to uncover an issue that can be solved with our technology and work with customers to address their unique challenges. Sometimes it’s a single conversation that created an “aha” moment for a potential customer – but that’ll be the moment that made our day and will give energy that will fuel next steps.
What’s something that might be surprising about this team when viewed from the outside?
Like any community, we need trust and communication. I always tell everybody that sales is a team sport, not an individual sport. Selling of the old was very lone wolf. Selling of the new, is about celebrating success, challenges and failures of your teammates, and that comes with going for lunch or drinks together, or sharing success stories at water cooler.
As a manager, I have regular 1-on-1 weekly catch-up chats with each of the DAM Helpers so they can communicate their concerns, but also it helps me understand the pulse of their mental and emotional health. We have team meetings and ask each other: what was the best and worst thing that happened this week? What happens is absolutely amazing. As ideas are shared, I see so much cross pollination where they learn ideas and new things to try from one another. I’m a big believer in selling as a team sport and the more communication the better.
Also as a manager, I need them to feel like they can be honest with me on what’s working for them and what’s not working for them. And that’s always easier said than done. But if I can do that, I feel like I’m achieving my objectives. So I guess the surprising thing is that we really do function as a kind of family – we are truly all in this together.
What’s one non-technical tool the team can’t live without?
One non-technical thing? Good question!
Well let’s see…in order to function, the team needs me to avoid micromanaging them, but be available if they need something. They need to know they can come to me with their thoughts, and I see my job as clearing obstacles for them and then getting out of their way so they can do their jobs. My goal is to listen and then provide feedback, but not to create more hurdles for them. Therefore, I think that one non-technical thing they need then is the space to do their jobs.