When it comes to sales growth, monday.com certainly doesn’t play games. Over the past couple of years, the company has been consistently building out its sales organization to keep up with the accelerated adoption of its work operating system platform. However, if you think that dogged pursuit in terms of winning new business means the company prefers the traditional ideal of a top salesperson, think again.
“At some companies, a high-performing rep needs to be a little ruthless and unafraid to step on other people’s toes for the sake of their sales pipeline,” said Eduardo Ynaty, sales manager for small and medium-sized businesses. “We’re not looking for that here. To me, all that says is that they’re great at playing the game.”
Instead, the sales organization focuses on establishing a connective culture, even during disconnected times. Enterprise Sales Manager Mansi Suresh is one of many individuals who joined the company during the pandemic. While she may have had to wait a full year before meeting her teammates in person, she and her peers felt like anything but strangers upon meeting each other for the first time in real life.
“When I met each of my teammates, I already knew them,” Suresh said. “There was this sense of camaraderie cultivated by the fact that we’re all here together and we actually enjoy what we do.”
Mid-Market Sales Manager Paloma Kim said this sense of fellowship is a common theme across monday.com’s sales department. While she had the chance to experience the office before transitioning to remote work, the majority of her teammates were hired and onboarded virtually. And like Suresh, she could feel a palpable connection when she and her coworkers finally met each other in person.
“Everyone felt so comfortable and was very open with each other,” Kim said. “We definitely live by our values in that sense.”
THE SOUL OF A STARTUP
These values Kim alluded to, which include transparency, impact and inclusivity, are not merely pillars designed to promote the company’s operational success. According to Suresh, the organization puts equal emphasis on supporting team members, which is reflected across various aspects of the sales culture.
“At the end of the day, we want what’s best not just for the customer, but for the individual contributors themselves,” she said.
Ynaty said the company offers reps space to tackle meaningful work by removing the specter of opposition and replacing it with transparency. In doing so, team members are empowered to deliver top-notch customer experiences.
“Everything we do has substance,” Ynaty said. “Our reps actually take time to care for our clients and create a relationship with them in order to solve their problems.”
With plans to find more sales talent, monday.com has put a great deal of thought into providing new hires the chance to build strong bonds, expand their careers and pursue impactful work. Below, Suresh, Kim and Ynaty describe what it’s like to be part of the company’s collaborative, growth-oriented sales culture.
What specific characteristics does the team search for in sales talent?
Ynaty: When it comes to preferred traits, there are various areas we consider. One of them revolves around problem-solving. We want our sales team members to be curious, learn how to solve different problems and reflect. We like go-getters who are motivated to reach an endpoint, but we also want to find people with technical skills who will actively try to understand the inner-workings of our product. These types of people go out of their way to learn new things, express their eagerness and foster collaboration by getting acquainted with their peers. For remote employees specifically, it’s crucial to have empathy and understanding when it comes to their colleagues. By understanding that they’re part of a larger organization while being compassionate toward others and their unique living situations, they’ll be able to cultivate inclusivity and bond with their peers.
NO ROOM FOR NEGATIVITY
Suresh: Our most successful reps are very excited about the product. Team members meet every week to discuss new product and feature releases, so it’s really important for them to be eager to learn about our technology. We’re also very protective of the culture that we’ve built, especially considering we recently went public. During meetings, people often ask, “How are we going to preserve our culture?” We want to ensure we retain that close-knit feeling across our teams as we grow and expand our global footprint.
How does offering a higher-than-normal base salary alongside a smaller bonus benefit team members?
Suresh: For the past 20 years of my career, I worked in a commission-driven environment. When I first interviewed with monday.com and was being sold into a management position without commissions, I almost ended the discussion, yet I was intrigued. At the time, I didn’t realize I had grown accustomed to communicating with a sense of defensiveness, due to my past experiences. This mindset had an emotional toll. Now, I no longer have those types of draining conversations. Everyone checks their egos at the door.
Kim: Taking away a commission-driven environment helps us care for team members on a deeper level. Once people feel valued for more than their pipelines, they’ll be more inclined to focus and align with each other to collaborate and share best practices. On our team, if anyone poses a question to the rest of the team, they’ll immediately get a response from someone willing to share their advice or workflow boards. Every time someone wins a deal, they’ll explain how they did it, so there are never any behind-the-curtain strategies. Everyone is so willing to open their doors and offer help.
What professional growth opportunities are available to reps?
Suresh: The company offers both structured and unstructured career development opportunities. Last year, all of our senior reps went through Sandler Training, which is one of the main sales methodologies in use. We also have management training taking place right now, which is extremely useful for both tenured and first-time managers eager to learn how to run conversations, identify emotional needs and communicate in a valuable way. Regarding peer-to-peer mentorship, those who become senior individual contributors can expect to mentor junior reps. They’ll be brought into the interview process to assess candidates based on talents and skill sets and offer constructive feedback. In terms of unstructured training, this job puts you in scenarios where you grow certain skills and competencies that you didn’t even know you had or needed. People who join the team should be excited to learn.
AMPLE AVENUES FOR GROWTH
Kim: Everyone is told they can be autonomous the moment they begin working at the company. Reps are empowered to make their own decisions so they can work quickly. That means they don’t have to consult with managers about every aspect of their role. In a sense, we want people to feel comfortable failing.
Ynaty: From a growth standpoint, our roles are interconnected, and we’re constantly building each other up. I consider the job itself a career development environment. Reps have to learn about so many new products, processes and business operations. We offer an amazing place to learn and grow not only as a sales rep, but as a business consultant. At other organizations, where the breadth of products is narrower, reps are typically handed talking points put together by their enablement team. Here, you can gain exposure to new concepts. There’s unconditional support to make sure reps succeed.
How do sales team members connect with each other to collaborate and bond?
Kim: I try to schedule team gatherings each month. Given remote work, people miss in-person interaction, so they’re always appreciative when we have the chance to attend company-sponsored dinners, comedy club outings and other events. Having the chance to connect in real life cultivates camaraderie and our overall culture.
COMMUNITIES WITHIN COMMUNITIES
Ynaty: When it comes to collaboration, we often exchange strategies with each other. Yet the greatest teamwork happens when someone jumps on a call to do a sales demo on their teammate’s behalf. That might sound crazy to some people, yet it happens often. Here, collaboration goes beyond sharing advice. It comes down to actually doing the work and showing that we care about each other.
Suresh: We also have a very strong buddy program for new employees. Every new hire is paired with a more senior rep who can answer their questions and help them get situated. It’s considered a privilege to be chosen as a buddy. Beyond that, every team has its own Slack channel and leverages our platform to manage work. We don’t use email internally, as we feel it’s too impersonal. We only use email to communicate with customers.
“Here, collaboration goes beyond sharing advice. It comes down to actually doing the work and showing that we care about each other.”
How have you seen monday.com’s sales organization flourish, and what excites you most about the future?
Ynaty: In essence, our culture is designed to lift the base rather than solely focus on what’s happening at the top. We are a fast-growing company, despite having recently gone public, so we have very high targets. Ninety percent of our team hit more than 100 percent of their goals last year, which is impressive, considering we have ambitious goals. Deciding how we can get the entire sales team to reach a higher level is something I’m looking forward to as we continue to progress.