After almost a year of preparation, Leyton was months away from releasing its newest product. The next step? Coming up with a name for it.
The Leyton team behind the new product gathered in a room and debated options. But nothing was standing out. Leyton, an international company that was founded in France, helps client companies with the implementation and optimization of multiple government tax credits and incentives. This new product was designed for startups and small businesses to capture lucrative and underused tax breaks simply, quickly and accurately.
The people in the room stared at a list of names on the whiteboard.
“Nothing was resonating,” Jeff Binczyk, head of U.S. marketing, said. “It wasn’t easy.”
After a while, the team reviewed the discarded names once again to make sure they hadn’t missed anything. And there it was. A three-letter word that had somehow wound up on the cutting-room floor, a word that captured the essence of this new product: REV.
Binczyk said it felt like a lightbulb went off in the room. The word was a perfect match. The goal of this new product was to create a fast process for small businesses, and this new release was the revving engine that would speed things up. But that “aha” moment paled in comparison to when Binczyk found out what rev meant in French.
“Someone from headquarters in France said, ‘Hey, Mr. American, do you know what this word translates to?’ And I was like, ‘No, I hope it's not a swear word or something bad.’ ‘No, no, Jeff,' they said. 'It means to dream.’”
REV was launched in the U.S. in May 2022. The product has a dedicated team featuring employees from multiple departments including sales, consultants, marketing, financial analysts, product development and management.
What does this new team look like and why is the structure important? Built In sat down with three team members to find out.
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What is your role on the REV team?
Senior Account Manager Andrea Quimson: I onboard new clients and assist with any questions. I nudge them toward submitting their claims. Once their claims are submitted and finished within the REV platform, I hand them over to the consultants. Basically, if the client has any issues, questions, concerns, comments, I’m the one who handles it.
Head of U.S. Marketing Jeff Binczyk: I head up marketing for REV. I lead a team of subject matter experts across product marketing, marketing operations, data analytics and content marketing. We focus on trying to find clients for REV that are a good fit, whether it be through paid search or search engine optimization. We try to do it in a creative, technologically-driven way that is reflective of what REV is.
Head of REV Sebastien Benoit: I joined the team with a background in software and consulting. My main role is making all the teams click. We have many teams working together, including sales, consulting, customer support and development. I’m the one who makes sure we’re all on the same page so we can work toward the same goal.
What does collaboration look like on the REV team?
Quimson: The REV team comprises multiple departments, so we’re always collaborating. For example, our sales team recently wanted to celebrate our very first client who went through the REV process. This client had worked with us to provide a quote for our press release announcing REV. So we created a flagship client award, and mailed it to the client. It was a collaboration between sales, account management, marketing and consulting.
Binczyk: It was a glass-etched trophy that said, “Thanks for being our flagship client.” It was a galvanizing moment for the REV team. We all felt like we played a role in its success, which is such an important part of a business. Another example of collaboration is we always ask the sales team, “What are your challenges?” “What are you struggling with?” “How can we help?” I think the first time we did it, we didn’t get much of a response. We asked a couple more times to show that we truly wanted to learn their pain points. Now, it’s second nature for us all to communicate and collaborate on solving challenges and making things easier for one another.
Benoit: We’re always working as a team. We have regular meetings, and we’ve been working a lot on internal communication and creating a universal space where questions and problems can be answered and solved. If it’s a service question, the service team’s going to reply. If it’s a consulting question, we’re going to have a consultant helping. If it’s a technical question, the product team is going to handle that. We’re a team of 28, and we couldn’t make REV work without us all working together.
What are some of the challenges of creating and bringing a new product like this to production?
Quimson: The biggest challenge has been analyzing how our new product works, and what does/doesn’t work, followed by making adjustments. We’re still in constant software development. We have a development team that is continuously working on the product. If I receive a lot of client feedback that says, “We don’t like this feature,” or “We need this feature,” we can adjust accordingly. That can be a challenge because we have to re-learn the product every time a change is made. It’s never simple to launch a new product, because it’s not going to be perfect right away. You have to be flexible and open-minded with the changes and the adjustments that need to be made while we grow and continue to improve the platform and our processes.
Binczyk: Another challenge is the speed with which we’re learning. There’s not a lot of moss growing on this team. When we see a challenge, or we learn something, we make quick and dynamic changes. We’re driven to make the user interface and the user experience as streamlined as possible. If you have a name like REV, it also has certain connotations. It needs to be simple, fast and accurate. That’s one of our taglines, and we try to deliver on that as a team. Data is a really big part of our world. Our team works to take that data to make quick, fact-based decisions.
Benoit: It’s also these challenges that make our work exciting. The REV team is bringing something new to Leyton. Sure, there are challenges with anything new. But we are making a direct impact on the company itself, as well as our customers. I love that our business is helping other businesses. It’s super rewarding.
What’s the culture like on the REV team?
Quimson: We talk about food — a lot. Every conversation starts with food, and probably ends with food. We’re a hungry team (pun intended). I’m based in San Francisco with a bunch of other team members, and we all made a trip to HQ in Boston to hang out with the rest of our team, including Jeff. He actually gave us a pastry tour, and we had to decide which cannoli was the best.
Binczyk: There is definitely a cannoli controversy on the team. It had the potential of breaking us up, but the right cannoli spot won five to four. It’s great to get together and see each other. The Boston team will be making a trip soon to visit our San Francisco folks. Getting together is always a special event. Simply put, we have fun, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.