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Daniel Bailey, EMEA – Set Very Specific Goals – West And North – Sales Confidence

For those that don’t know who Zendesk are we do more than just make cubes with funny shaped people on, we actually drive some of the best customer experiences globally. We work with companies like delivery here in the UK, just eat, Airbnb, Uber. We do that through a modern and open CRM platform. We’ve been on this rapid growth kind of phase for 10 years really since we started in Denmark with three founders out of a loft, and we’ve enjoyed I guess like many people in this room the consumerization of technology in every sense of the word. And at the moment you see us as a business I’ve been here for four years we’ve tripled in that time, we’ll triple again in the next two to three years, so everything is about growth. Now growth provides great opportunity at a personal level and collectively. It also means there’s one or two challenges along the way, and so what I hope to kind of share with you is a very simple principle but it’s about having a goal based sort of matrix or approach to growth, both at an individual level and frankly, and I think we have founders in the room and leaders in the room, you know setting a set of goals is a really simple but a very effective thing. 

One of the most effective goal methodologies that was literally drilled into me by previous employer, and I see many ex colleagues in the room there’s something called VTMOM, and it’s pretty simple. But it’s about knowing what your vision is, it’s about knowing what your values are, your method of achieving that, the obstacles that you’re face, and the measures, so you know when you’ve got there or at least you’ll know that you’re on the path there. Now I thought I’d apply that over the lens of a career career growth dare I say a career plan that used to be a thing when I started out, and I’m a little older than many of the people in this room tell but I think it’s all the more important in the context of the industry that were we’re all in, and why is that well, when I started many moons ago there wasn’t much choice by way of technology companies. I started and was very fortunate at the time to start with a big German one it was called SAP an SAP was a classic example of a big hierarchy you came in right at the bottom, you looked up at the top and all the successful sales people coming in with their Ferraris and otherwise, and you thought I want to be that person. But it was about step by step by step by step your choice in the market was quite limited, and you thought you were very lucky to be there and so you can have Justin embrace this journey. 

Now I think where we find ourselves today is quite different I mean the volume of people in this room, the volume of companies represented in this room is a great reflection of that. So what does that mean at its core; it means that you have choice we all have choice, and choice in a way that we’ve probably never had it before. So what does that all mean in the context of VTMOM. So I’m going to mix up the order and mix it up with purpose. So first and foremost the values you have are critical, the values, what you represent individually what’s important to you what motivates you is what defines you, and you more than that any other time are part of the unique proposition that you bring to market on behalf of whatever company you’re representing. So it’s really important that you know what they are, it seems an obvious thing to say but for some people that’s money and that’s okay, by the way often where that your goal and sole value you don’t make as much as you possibly can where you really get to the nub of what drives and motivates you. For me you know that’s evolved over time and here’s the thing it does evolve over time you know my values are you know family first and foremost, and family then as it translates into trying to create work environments with meaningful trusting open relationships, and we have an expression in Zendesk which is never hire our souls, and we really try not to do that, so values are important and applying that over the lens of any company that you may may consider joining. And then the vision in the context of a career truth be known, when I came into sales I did have that monetary goal and that was short-lived, but it’s really important to have a sense of way trying to get to. 

Tony Robbins for those that know, Tony Robbins talks about overestimating what you can achieve in a year an underestimate in what you can even ten years, and I couldn’t agree more with that and and here’s the thing I have a lot of conversations with a lot of really talented salespeople, that within almost six months of joining the company say I want your job and often the responses like you’re very welcome to it and happily trade with you, but actually the reality is six months into any position isn’t enough time to really learn and grow if you look at that over a period of ten years, then you start to think of the experiences that you can get and the growth that you can experience, and here’s the thing and maybe it’s not you want to hear or not, but I’m going to share it nonetheless you really got to do a role for two or three years to prove that you’re doing it well and that you’ve excelled at whether whatever skill that is right, so if you think about that over the context of ten years it’s going to be three roles in the duration of that time. Now in those three roles you can make the progress that you’re hoping to but you’d rather look at it in that context right, so having the vision where you’re trying to get to, ideally over a longer period of time so you can think about those sequence steps accordingly and the method and the obstacles kind of broadly aligns with that, so I’m going to combine the two because I think it’s important. So if you have the vision away you’re trying to get to then break it down, two or three-year increments or whatever is appropriate but relative to that, map out the things that you’ll need to know ten years from now, where you are relative to your career now, and what the big gaps are, and that will really help you think about the roles that you go and do not just the next role, but the role beyond the role.

Often what I hear from individual contributors is I want to be a Sales Leader – great but why, and what’s the role beyond the role that you want to do, and relative to being a Sales Leader one minute what are the gaps that you have to doing there and that’s important so know the obstacles is knowing the things that you need to work on, and not being afraid to talk to your manager your leader of other parts of the business, leaders of other companies about that and helping them to help you grow and evolve your career. And then a wrap up by talking about the the measures. So in sales, we live this constant on lifestyle month to month, quarter-to-quarter, year to year and you don’t and certainly I don’t, I don’t think any of us do stop to pause at what you’re doing and achieving, day to day, week to week, month to month, year to year. So break it down, you know set some realistic goals, work to them and you know don’t be afraid to stop, pause, and say you’ve done a good job and you’re on the path to the ultimate goal. So look I hope in some way that’s useful I think there are a bunch of tough acts to follow here, and with these things and I think a great opportunity so thanks certainly to James, but you know take from what you’ve heard the value within, try and apply some of it, you’ll hear a lot of recurring themes at these type of events and actually I wished earlier in my career are taking no more of some of these fundamental things so thank you very much.

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