Kim Winter loves food. Like loves food.
She’s gone on multiple food-inspired adventures, traveling to Mexico, Spain and France to try authentic local cuisine. Amongst her friends, she is the go-to person to ask where to find the best Mexican, Israeli or Japanese restaurants. She’s even been known to provide people with detailed food itineraries wherever they’re traveling, including top delicacies to try and local watering holes.
There are few things in life that get Winter more excited and into her comfort zone than when she’s talking about her passion for food. That’s why her interview with Yotpo in 2016 stands out.
“The interviewer asked me what’s one thing I constantly geek out about outside of the work environment,” Winter, a director of product marketing, said. “And I loved that. I loved how they wanted to get to know me more as a person, and not just how I fit the company.”
Fast forward five-and-a-half years, and now, Winter is the one doing the interviewing. Her favorite question to ask? You’ve probably already guessed it.
One interviewee that went on to become one of Yotpo’s star product marketing managers told Winter about her passion for baking, which she turned into a blog where she compares different recipes for the same baked good. Another marketing hire gushed about a book club she created within her community.
“Getting a glimpse into what people are passionate about and what they do outside of work is so important,” Winter said. “One, it makes the candidate comfortable. Two, it’s a human thing. We’re not robots. We’re not expected to just be one version of ourselves at work.”
That sentiment is representative of the larger company culture at Yotpo, an e-commerce marketing platform that prides itself on attracting a wide variety of talent. Maintaining that unique culture is extra important in 2022. After a milestone 2021 that featured a Series F funding that pushed its valuation to $1 billion-territory, Yotpo is looking to grow its headcount by 50 percent this year — from 800 to 1,200 employees.
Two teams that are doing some of that hiring are customer success and marketing. Want an inside glimpse into what life is like on either of those teams, as well as a peek into their interview process? Built In sat down with managers at Yotpo to find out.
WHAT THEY DO
What drew you to Yotpo?
Nick Everett, VP of customer success: Two things. One, people drive everything, including company outcomes. Yotpo’s focus on people is compelling. We’re actually in the process of revamping and building a whole new employee ladder framework so that our people have a clear understanding of how to grow within the organization. Second, the e-commerce market is growing. Between 2021 and 2025, there is an expected 50 percent growth from $4.9 trillion to $7.4 trillion in the United States. That’s massive. Yotpo’s platform will take advantage of that growth and drive value for customers with large and small brands.
Kim Winter, director of product marketing: Purpose! It’s so much fun to work at a product company where you can relate to the mission and goals. We’re all consumers, we’re all shoppers, we’re all on our phones looking at the coolest new products. Anyone can be a brand these days, anyone can be a blogger. It’s exciting to work at a company where we get a chance to help entrepreneurs and brands launch and grow their businesses. It’s also a flat culture at Yotpo. When I was a junior customer success manager, I sat in a meeting with our CEO, Tomer Tagrin, and suggested an onboarding idea. He loved the suggestion, and was like, “Why aren’t we doing it? Let’s do it!” I was stunned. The mentality here is, come with ideas that will make an impact, and we can collaborate to make them a reality.
Lauren Trinh, learning and enablement manager: The values of the organization aligned to my own. I love that Yotpo provides tools and resources to equip brands that are competing against e-commerce giants like Amazon. What has kept me here is the people. In my first week of onboarding, our SVP of sales at the time had a sit-down session with my new hire group. He cracked open a beer, kicked up his feet and said, “Let’s talk and see how things are going.”
At the time, I wasn’t connected to the sales org at all. I was a customer success manager. To have an SVP humble himself and get on our level was an amazing experience. It’s such a relaxed, approachable culture here.
How have you seen Yotpo evolve since you joined?
Trinh: I joined in February 2019. One thing that’s evolved ever since is our commitment to provide more resources for our teams. When I first joined, there wasn’t a centralized enablement function. It was Kim taking the initiative to provide training and resources for teams on her own accord. When I moved to the centralized enablement team that was built out over my tenure, we started with two people. Now we are a team of six, with four managers and two individuals helping to support the go-to-market team. The fact that Yotpo is willing to invest time, money and resources in our talent, whether it’s through enablement, resources or programs, is amazing.
Everett: I joined just a few months ago. I am one of those 400 hires that Yotpo is making this year. You can’t just hire 400 people and expect growth to be apparent right away. That’s what has impressed me in the last few months. You have to invest in the infrastructure and the framework for people to be successful. My purview is more on the customer success side, and we’ve already had conversations about how our onboarding process for new hires has to evolve as we continue to scale. We’re obviously seeing a ton of growth this year, but preparing for more beyond.
Winter: Another big evolution is the popular trend of SaaS companies moving from a one-product solution to a platform. This is happening all across our industry. In our evolution here at Yotpo, we now support multiple solutions for our customers. This means that we need to shift how our departments are organized and our processes so we can better align. Because now we don’t just solve one pain point for our customers — we solve multiple pain points. Back when I first joined the product marketing team, we only did product marketing geared toward sales. Now we’re corroborating across a whole go-to-market team. Back then, we had only three product marketers. By the end of the year, we’ll be at more than 10.
What opportunities exist to move cross-functionally within Yotpo?
Winter: I started in customer success when I joined in November 2016. I built a role within CS to answer a lot of the pain points and needs for our team. I took care of strategy, enablement, customer journeys and processes, such as onboarding new CSMs. I just kept doing more and more of that. Eventually, I realized I was doing product marketing in a nutshell, just under customer success. So I moved over to the marketing side to lead product marketing. What does this say about Yotpo? First and foremost, there’s truly a want from managers to understand what you’re passionate about and great at, and have you pursue it. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want next for their career. That’s why we make sure our employees have the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of different roles.
Trinh: I sort of followed Kim’s footsteps, and then carved my own way out of that. Kim started as a CSM and then took on a team enablement role where she built internal processes to equip our teams to be even more successful at their jobs. When I first joined Yotpo, Kim was running a training session for me. I loved what she was doing. She was so closely aligned to the CS org and was clearly making a big impact on the people experience side of Yotpo. After nine months as a CSM, I realized I was crushing it in my role and was ready to take on additional responsibilities outside of it. I partnered with senior stakeholders at the company, senior leaders in CS and our support delivery team to overhaul the way we onboard our clients onto our product. The CS leaders let me run with it and gave me a budget to roll out this huge program as a CSM. I collaborated with sales to build out training programs for their teams to create a robust sales and CS handoff.
Afterward, I had a conversation with my manager who recommended I chat with our VP of Customer Success Shiri Ronen to find out the next path for me. We had an opening on the enablement team, and everyone backed me and gave me their full support to carve my own path. It says a lot about Yotpo.
Everett: I’m currently working on building a career ladders program. We really want to think about developing a few different tracks. How do we engage our people and allow our people to grow? How do we engage our customers and service them the right way? How do we work together? Career ladders are meant to support all of these tracks. It allows us to create tangible steps — in terms of titles, compensation and type of work. As you progress through the ladders within the organization, how are you broadening your skill set so that you’re more marketable within Yotpo, and maybe even more marketable outside of the company at some point in the future? The goal here is professional growth.
As a hiring manager, what’s your favorite interview question?
Everett: I like to ask, “What makes you feel the most alive?” I’ve gotten some interesting responses. One interviewee said having meaningful conversations with family and friends. What’s interesting is that it translated to their work as a CSM. Because they became the most alive at work when they were speaking with their customers, understanding their problems and building meaningful relationships.
Trinh: I like to ask about a problem or challenge that they’re currently working through in their roles. There’s no right or wrong answer. It’s open-ended. I want to hear them talk through potential problem-solving solutions. I find that it helps candidates build more confidence at the start of the interview, because they’re talking about something that’s super familiar to them, and less familiar to me as the interviewer. But I’m still getting insight about the way that they think.