Jacqueline de Gernier, VP Sales – Culture, Hiring, Onboarding – Docusign – Sales Confidence

I’m Jackie I head up the UK commercial sales team at DocuSign. Most of you probably familiar with DocuSign I’m sure there’s lots of you who are perhaps closing out your month or maybe even your financial year, which is what we’re doing at DocuSign at the moment that are hopefully using DocuSign this very evening to close some deals. Aittle bit of background on myself first I’ve been with DocuSign for just under 3 years, when I joined the UK team was about seven strong we’re now about to hire our 30th member of the UK team, so it’s fair to say it’s been a pretty exciting three years. So been there three years I’ve got three things to share with you this evening; none of it’s probably going to be kind of new to you I’m not going to say that any of it is rocket science, there’s certainly some themes that I’m going to explore which are in common with the previous two speakers but hopefully there’s something there that you can take from it. So the three things we’re going to talk about a culture, hiring and then onboarding.

So in terms of culture it’s probably one of those subjects certainly I can think of a couple of people within our organization who tend to kind of lean back and maybe you know there might even be the odd I roll when you mention culture sometimes referred to as a bit of a fluffy subject. For us it’s incredibly important we were always very very clear on the type of team that we wanted to build at DocuSign, and I think for those of you that are working for startups and as scaling out organisations or sales teams in particular you have a really really fantastic opportunity to actually be very thoughtful about the type of culture that you want for that team. So I’d really encourage you to think about the strategy either at the org level or at the regional or even at the team level that you have in place and then think about the individual attributes that are going to be really really important for you to go and execute against that strategy and be successful. I’d love to say that’s what we did I think that’s probably there’s a little bit of the power of hindsight there, but we have a very very clear idea now of what makes somebody a successful salesperson at DocuSign. I’m specifically focused on the UK so I think there’s some things that are very specifically important to the UK market, and as importantly I also have a very very clear idea of what doesn’t make somebody a successful salesperson at DocuSign, so I kind of guess I deliver I kind of developed that profile in my mind over the course of the first year or so at DocuSign, and you know we’ve really tried to keep that in mind both ourselves as hiring managers and also make sure that it’s top of mind with our recruitment team which we’ll talk about a little bit more in a moment. So for us it’s very important that people have an entrepreneurial flare they have to be very agile they have to be very comfortable with ambiguity they need to have very very high levels of curiosity, I think to the point that you were just making be very comfortable and speaking to key stakeholders display you know good business acumen and then the list goes on and on; but yeah I’d really encourage you to think about what is that blueprint for your team and for your organisation, and then go and hire against that.

The second point I’m hiring your recruiter is essentially your best friend whether that be an external recruiter I’m lucky enough to have an awesome internal recruiter, and anyone that’s looking for positions Carlene Boyle, she’s on LinkedIn look her up she’s absolutely brilliant I myself and Carlene we and speak on a regular basis and very very early on at my time at DocuSign we spent various dinners and drinks talking about the vision for the team what the next couple of years were going to hold and that then enabled her to go out into the market and to have calls with potential candidates with that vision in mind. That then allowed me to streamline the hire process which is really really important if you’re looking to grow quickly which is what we’ve done, so I quickly realized that thanks to how brilliant Carlene is and that very clear blueprint that she had in mind, I don’t need to do any phone screening if somebody fits the bill was far as Carlene’s concerned that means they’re going to fit my bill so I don’t do any initial phone screening, I go straight to a face-to-face meeting based on her taking the box; so that allows us to streamline the hiring process and get through it quickly. It also means that I can spend time on other more added value activities so having identified that we wanted people that were naturally curious high on business acumen etc how do we then scream for that in the hiring process and what we stumbled across you know it’s very simple it’s very practical but we’ve really really seen a big impact on this is we if we’re interested in a candidate and we’re gonna go to we’re going to move to offer, we will then do a role based telephone discovery call and we’ve sent them a little bit of background about the you know the type of deal and so on and myself and one of my managers we performed the role of a COO and a CIO and we see where the phonecall goes and it has been astounding we have our candidates that we have literally fallen in love with and thought we’re going to move to an offer on this candidate and they have bombed and much better that we discover that they’re not quite as good at selling a vision as they are themselves at that point in the process. And the people that we’ve hired that have gone through that screen and have just been incredible incredible hires that have ramped up very very quickly so I think just think about the cultural aspects the aptitudes the skills that you’re trying to hire for, and think about how you could build that into the hiring process with some practical tests

And then the final thing is onboarding you know once you’ve once you’ve found these great candidates and you’ve hired them how can you get them ramped up and in their territory and delivering revenue as quickly as possible so for the past sales year we really looked to build out the formal onboarding kind of education process that happens back at head office, in San Francisco and in Seattle and we to replicate that with a much more detailed program back in region. So we have three certification processes one for discovery you’re probably realising there’s a theme here that’s a real passion of mine one for demo and one proposal generation, we have school cards as well that we measure all of the new hires against and if necessary we go through an iterative process given them lots of on-the-job coaching and feedback; we’ve also used that with some of our poorer performers to try and get their performance up to the right level. So we found that hugely beneficial and as we move into next year we’re going to extend that kind of prescriptive approach we have territory management best practices we’re looking to extend those and turn them into a very prescriptive playbook all of the AE’s will be completing that territory management playbook at the beginning of this coming financial year and that’s something that we’ll be measuring them against as we move through the year so that’s kind of the next piece of that Those are my three things I hope that was useful and yeah thank you very much you.

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