B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

77. Motivation, Morale, and Remote Teams During COVID-19


Even if remote work was an option for your teams, chances are you weren’t 100% work from home before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Morale can be low and motivation even lower unless we purposefully stay connected with each other day by day.

In this episode, I interview Marianella Mace, CEO of Email Meter, about how she nurtures her team during the pandemic.

We talked about: the importance of individually checking in with team members for 10 minutes or so, when productivity is down, offer help, not criticism, and be agile by shifting industries or — as Marianella did — creating a new product.

Marianella also shared she has drawn on her Sandler training during the crisis


To hear this interview, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

You're listening to be to B RevenueAcceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on thecutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show, welcome to the VTB revenue,acceleration podcast, and my name is Dan Seebrook, and I'm here today withMarian Ellen Mace, sko email meeter by Maranoa. How are you today, I'm doingpretty great and what about yourself? Dan Yeah, I'm good! Thank you. It's t'sdiing for coming a little bit more normal to be working from home, fulltime, av feeling bit restricted, but other than that I'm heathy ANDHAPPI. Sothus, that's all good! So Mary Neta today will we talking about motivatingsaled teams in times of remote working now before we get into thatconversation. Could you please just introduce yourself to our audience andalso give us a bit of insight into your company email me yeah sure thing so,essentially to kind of dive into a little bit about myself and email meter.I always like to say that I'm in a kind of a unique position where I'm the CEOFemail meter, but I'm also running the sales team and the customer successdepartment. So I always kind of think that it's multitasking at at itsfinance and so I've been working with email meter, and you know the amazinggroup there for a little over a year and a half now and it's truly, I feelthat it's been really special. Just because I work with such a great teamthat really care everybody cares for one another, which I also think ispretty unique. So I feel very blessed in that sense and really have enjoyedevery minute and then now to kind of switch gears and focus on email meter.To give you to give you guys a little bit of background about or insight intowhat email meter is it's essentially in email, analytics tool and also a kindof preductivity performance tool. And so what we're really aiming to do ortrying to do is help business leaders make you know better decisions, moreinformed decisions, using data and what's really great about the productor the platform, is that we can essentially analyze thousands of emailsin real time and can compile kind of like detailed insights and really focuson different aspects that different kind of team team leaders or you knowother positions, maybe are looking for and and we can actually tailor it. Sothat way we can really focus on employee performance and productivity,and so you know if we, if I had to like mention our mission, our mission isessentially to make teams smarter and more productive through email analyticsand what's actually been really great about. The team is because of kind ofthe state that we're in now with the...

...pandemic and everything we wereactually able to create a a new platform to help small and mediumbusinesses, that's kind of like a standard dashboard that has moreanalytics to offer for teams at a you know much more kind of affordable price,and so you know whyt. We can't make things for free that we would. We wouldlove to be able to do that. This is kind of like our helping hand in a way,okay, and it sounds really relevrant for now. Right, I mean talking aboutyour mission is really to help companies enable their their employeesto be more productive. I mean that that's obviously the the key kind ofmessage right now for FO companies and individualses. How can a seemlesslywork from home and or what remotely wherever that may be, and and how canthey be productive, wile doing that so t a, I guess, brings us son to our sortof first real top discussion, which is since covid nineteen since the outbreak.Obviously, most companies have had to rapidly enable their teams to worremotely, which is naturally impactes the working routine and also theeconomy and people's health along with it. But we think about work for asecond N. How can you as a sales leader and a C, oppose how can you ensure thatyour sale teams can remain productive but, more importantly, how do youensure that they remain motivated in times like it when they have to shiftfrom er an office working environment to an individual home based workingmoment yeah? So I think there are a lot ofgreat strategies out there and I think it really depends on the group ofpeople that you have but specifically kind of for my team an itself. What Ireally kind of like to focus on are going to be attitudes and behaviors,and I really became kind of a big fan of this after I did my standlertraining, so I'm really big into Sandler and- and this is really helpedus a lot and so essentially what what we've been doing,at least with my teams, is we've been trying to break everything down intothe kind of more manageable bites, so it doesn't seem so overwhelming,especially because I have a little bit of a team. That's not used to remote workand so kind of coaching them through it and having it in a way where everythingkind of seems manageable and all the news and everything that they'rehearing isn't. You know kind of like dooms day, because you know if we're. If we look on the news almost every day,it's kind of a scary thing, because you always kind of see like globaleconomies, doomed or you know worse than the Great Depression in th s, andyou know, what's the new normal and sometimes I kind of feel like well there's somuch negativity, you know h w. How can how can we spind this into somethingpositive and so I've actually actually at the beginning? To be honest, I kindof struggled a little bit with okay.

You know how can I how Coan, I makesure that everybody's happy motivated and you know good to go, and so when,when I kind of started diving into more of like okay, let's focus on what wecan control focusing on how we react to things, the attitudes and the behaviorsfinding ways to celebrate. You know the little wins and also kind of havingmore of a nurturing kind of aspect about me, so I focus more on you know. How are theydoing and not saying that? I never did it before,but just spending a little bit more time with them understanding you knowlike what's going on at home? How are you know other things in their lifegoing? Maybe spending ten fifteen minutes a day with each person justchecking in with them, I think is really important. It's what's reallyhelped us a lot, and so taking the extra time to do. That has hasdefinitely a think, helped and we're always trying to find ways to laugh anand kind of enjoy each other's company from a distance. Some in regards tokind of motivation, one way that we've kept motivation kind of up is by takingsmall breaks and something that we do with with the team is every week weelect a game captain, and so we have one person that you know we take abreak for about ten, ten or fifteen minutes and the game. CAFTAIN kind ofchooses a game that all of us play together and you know, gives us kind ofa break to kind of laugh and keep up moral, and one thing that we actuallydid last week, which was a lot of fun, is a collaborative drawing, and so each oneof us had to kind of take turns with the Group and point out one thing thatwe loved most in our house and of course I chose my my Doverman Kataniain the group had to draw her and it came out pretty funny. So I said whenwe go back to the office, we have to like print it out in framint, and thatcan be like our Pacaso from from our lockdown period. Yeah,absolutely it's interesting mean. There's lots of loves of sounds likethere's a lot of different things that you're trying to trying to put in placethere just to keep the team engaged and motivated an morol as high as possible.I think with sales people, it's always tough, because from my epectith andboth being and coaching sole people and being a showed person, I think it's, Ithink, sales people I by their very nature, trive unsuccess and thrive onthe big winds, but actually success changes in this in this time and- andactually perhaps success, isn't closing he- The multimillion dollar deals inantually. It's just getting the small winds that whatever they may be, butbut recognizing those small winds can obviously help with motivation and teammorale as well, but yeah. It's an interesting. I some interesting ideasher, because I'm not sure that anyone's actually got the true answer as to howthey can owge they can motivate their...

...teams. When they're working in anenvironment, thats thet's unknown, I mean working from, I naturally has acompletely different dynamic to working in an oftic inpimment from yourperspectum. From what you've seen be based in Spain o course. You've had afew more weeks on the than other countries work of Remoteda, how youseeing productivity levels? Are you saying that tthey're higher or lowerthan them, working from from the office? And second to that, how you actuallymeasuring productivity? Are you measuring that, based on activitymeasuring you based on output, or is it completely changed from from prior tothe cobidn nineteen situation? Yeah? So again, I think that's a tough question in a number of waysbecause, as you know, being in sales can be kind of mentally challenging,and so you have some days where my team is like they're, crushing it they'redoing. You know their goals or their behaviors, and then there are otherdays where being kind of locked at home not being able to go out. has you know a damper kind of on their mental kindof Datus and then that that reflects on on their productivity? And I can, youknow, see that it's down, and maybe they aren't as excited to be able tocomplete all their goals, and so you know what what we have been doing,as I kind of mentioned before, is trying to break things down. So thatway, you know, maybe maybe our goals aren't as aggressive as before, and I'mnot saying that we're making them. You know not aggressive at all, but being alittle bit more understanding, and so you know when, when I feel that maybeproductivity is a little bit down, then that's when you know I'll come in andsee how I can help or if there's kind of a block and the way that we'remeasuring productivity is kind of in a couple different ways. So we of courseuse email meter and to kind of look to see. Okay, you know, is it maybe ashift in the amount of workload that's coming inyou know an my noticing. Productivity is kind of maybe shifting throughoutthe day where it's becoming a little bit later in the day versus earlier inthe day and trying to look at it more at a weekly level in instead of a dailylevel. Just because of the fact of those kind of those days that you havemaybe a little bit too much head trash or that you know, Oh, I'm never goingto be able to close this sale, or I'm never going to be able to do this. Youknow because I think we all have those days and but I think, what's reallyimportant is that we're measuring you know using email meter we use also wealso kind of look at the output. Of course you know, okay from the dealsthat you have been reaching out to you know how many have you converted soreally kind of focusing on okay? What what we do have? How are you kind ofconverting those and from who you have talked to you know how much is covidnineteen affecting them and trying to...

...get an understanding of with ourcustomers, because we deal with large and so many different vireties ofindustries? You know, maybe we need to kind of shift and focus on anotherindustry- that's maybe thriving during during the pandemic, so places likemanufacturing or hospitals, or you know, with schools,kind of going online and remote thet. You know those are kind of what we'reshifting towards and then going away. You know reaching out to kind of likeretailers and stuff where, unfortunately, they're not being ableto do anything another. Another aspect that we kind of do to measureproductivity is at the at the end of the week. You knowwe ask everybody: Okay, how do you feel that you did? You know kind of do alittle bit of a self evaluation and because I think, that's also important,that we want to make sure that we're prodectid, protecting everybody'sidentity and helping them to keep a high identity. So that way, they canreally focus on and be positive kind of in about the situation that we're inand that nobody kind of feels or takes on and feels like it's the worldagainst them or that you know they're not going to be successful or thatwe're not going to make it through this. So those are kind of different waysthat that we have been measuring kind of productivity and and how I've kindof noticed productivity, kind of raising and and falling down. You knowthroughout the week, and sometimes I kind of notice like at the beginning,the beginning of the week. It tends to be pretty strong and then you know willike Wednesday, Thursday theugh might be a dip and then Friday you know like.If we have our pettalk, then it kind of goes back up. So it's just kind ofknowing your team and deciding you know what's best for every every singleperson there and essentially kind of you know changing it to fit their style.Absolutely interesting, and you mentioned just in there around. You know perhaps looking attargets and perhaps actually it's about looking at what you Canyou Havein inpipe lineing, your current opportunities and what are you doingwith those rather than perhaps other activity, a question that I've beenbattling in my mind, withind talking to other other people in similar positions.Yourself really is how this current pandemic may affect targets as we movethrough the year. So in your own business yeah and in your management ofour of your team. How? How are you approaching that or target remainingthe same for the most part? Are you going to look at a adjusting them as wemove through the year based on the impact or the or the anticipated impactof Covid, or at he moment, are you still kind of holding your teems tothat original original plan and budget for the year? So what we actually didis we kind of did a shift and we created anew product to help kind of small and mediumbusinesses. So we did a shift just because so, withour platform itself, we have a premium...

...version which is kind of more of a selfsufficient, and then we had a large enterprise where we had. You know theyou know several thousand dollars a month or you know a hundred thousanddollar deals and stuff, and so with every with people kind of being afraidto invest large amounts of money. We kind of decided. Okay, you know what,let's we don't really know how the economy is going to kind of bounce back.So that's why we kind of created this in between product, and so we'vecreated this shift to try and see you know how perhaps aproduct, that's in between kind of the BTC and B, to B This thing that we'vecreated in the middle, how that can kind of far when it's something thatpeople do need, but maybe can't the whole company isn't going to be lookingto invest right now, because at least I feel and what we've talked about asmanagement team. Is that so many companies right now are just you know,what's essential, what can we forward? What can we cut out, and so I thinkit's I think you know the the route that we took was one of you know, let'ssee how we can essentially go out there and help asmany people as possible. You know obviously, but but still stay inbusiness, where I think that you know some depending on the product that youhave. You have the ability to. I don't want to say, take advantage of thesituation but thrive on the situation or just kind of decide how you're goingto recover from it. So we made an adjustment we, I definitely am not holding to theteam to what the growth of what we had in vision before, just because of thereaction that we've gotten from you know, people starting to kind of gointo the panic state of not wanting to spend money. True, okay, that's interesting and E interms of well, you mentioned there about some of the some of the processas you're putting in place andstep you Pinn in place really to to keep your team motivated and talkingand and obviously ou email, meto t to manage and track productivity andefficiency. Now, a lot of the challenges that we'rehearing about in the market today is now they've they've been in shift theiremployees from working from home, particularly in large endprizes. That'sobviously a big challenge around having the technology instructor to do so. Thesecurity to do so and all of that, but now everyon, is in that environment andworking from homeand and setter an doing so a challenge he endercome, forhow do you keep talking to Yo r to him and communicating and trying toreplicate that that in person communication, what is the impact that you're seeingin companies regarding their ways of communicating- and you know, H W? Whatmediums do you thinkusing Mos to communicate with their employees? Is itspending more time on video calls Iu di? I A lot of email traffic? Is it ponecall? How are you Seeng people, try and...

...replicate that in person communicationand keep talking with hair tea yeah? So it was actually kind of funny, becauseyou know we we automatically thought. Oh, you know with this whole situation,everybody's going to be using email like crazy and when it first started.My amazing engineering team, you know, ran the numbers because of you know allof our different users and we thought yeah we're going to see a huge increaseon email activity. What you know after they ren in the numbers. There wasn'treally much of a change and what we kind of realized was is that we didn'ttake into account that each company and each country is being affected by covida little bit differently. And you know here in Spain we started a lot sooner,not as not as early as Italy, but we were you know, right after them, andand so then you know, we decided. Okay, let's wait a couple more weeks untilthe US maybe starts to kind of go through their lockdown, and you know weran the numbers again and we saw a small shift, an email activity but kindof nothing crazy, something that I definitely have seen a lot of peopletry and do to create that human interaction is a ton more of the videoconferencing. Just everything that I've been reading in the news about you know:Zoom Zoom is definitely taking off since we're a GSWEE company. We useGoogle hangouts and we've been definitely using it a lot more to do.You know our all the meetings that we normally would have had if person soall of our huddles. You know sprints, retrospectives and on on ones, but youknow. I think that something that maybe we didn't think about is that we thought email was going to besomething that was going to be largely kind of affected by this, but with everybody kind of liking, instantkind of gratification, and that communication back and forth definitelythink that things like slagor or Google hangouts is something that's being utilized alot more yeah yeah. I agree and actually again a lot of people I talk to and I'mexperiencing it myself somewhat. The days working from home almost feel moreintense ted definitely a longer, but they almost feel a little bit moretiring as well, because what I've noticed is that when you're in an office you can go andeither talk over the desk to someone or walk across t the building. Someone andit's a thirty second conversation. Then you're back to your death. In you know,working from home environment, it's let's set up a video cool and, and youend up being on it thirty minutes, and what I've noticed is that tends to beten to dwelv ours every single day back to back on cools. And it's definitely it's a bit of bit moreintent, and then it comes back to that a piece weare talking about tthe top ofthe CAL, which is how do you ensure that your team of feeling a e mentallywell and that they are making time for...

...other things like exercise or relaxingor spend kind of family whatever? That may be, because the days can sort ofblur into into one in this current situation, Sim Peile, because of thatthat kind of in a constant need to be engaging withpeople by y video calls and intimate Meskingall it that so very interesting.Taking a lot of the points you made a what we're hearing in the market andit's been interesting to hear your Thougton, how Youre Atack me at ittacking it email meter as we moving towards the end of the podcast ed todaybeing rerlly interesting to get your thoughts and it's much appreciated.UNSO, there's goinn be a lot of people that will want to continue theconversation or hear more directly about yourself or your company emailmeter. So if anyone did want to engage with you or your company, would yougive us a fiel for hone of the best ways for them to get in contact and andcontinue the conversation for sure? So you know obviously atemail meter we always prefer email. So you know you can always check us out atemail, metercom or reach out to you know myself Marianella at email,metercom, and so I know that my my first name is kind of kind of amouthful, but at least we tried to make it simple, but you know I think thoseare the best ways to kind of check us out and definitely you know feel frudask us questions and stuff also via linkdon. That's also a great way aswell. Okay, cool great! Well, once again many thanks for your time today,it's been been great. Having you on the show and look forward to peaking, getinto yeah, I think stand you know, itis. Definitely a pleasure chatting with you,and hopefully you guys, stay well and healthy as Lov operatics has redefinedthe meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide, whilethe traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with the lackof focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world ofenterprise technology sales see how operatics can help your companyaccelerate pipeline at Operatics, dot net you've been listening to, b, to brevenue acceleration to ensure that you never miss an episode subscribe to theshow in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening untilnext time.

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