Balancing Remote Work & Team Motivation, Interview Ben Budde, VP Sales, Groove

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Ben Budde, VP Sales at Groove-amazing-workplaces

Amazing Workplaces had the chance of having an online interaction with Ben Budde, VP of Sales at Groove : The #1 Sales Engagement Platform for Salesforce®. Here is an excerpt of the conversation

Can you tell us a little about yourself Ben? We’d love to know about your journey in technology sales- what have been your biggest highlights (and challenges) so far?

The only reason I left the Marine Corps after four years of service was to marry my high school sweetheart. She hasn’t kicked me out of the house yet, and we have three amazing kids. Plus, she pushed me to get into sales, so I’d say it is going well so far…!

After 11 years working for Google, working my way up from an inside AE to leading enterprise sales teams, I left to join a team of ex-Googlers that love sales and tech as much as I do. As for my journey in sales, I still remember my first day as an inside AE at Google where they pushed a desk phone my way and said, “Here you go.” That was it for my training. I was uncomfortably excited to make that first call. Then, I was instantly hooked. I quickly realized that in a way, even without a quota, I had been in sales my whole life.

Since then I’ve led teams of inside sales, sales engineers, SDRs, mid-market and enterprise sales – all great teams, and none of them ever liked updating Salesforce. Menial tasks like updating Salesforce is where productivity, creativity, and morale go to die.

My biggest challenges in sales have always been the non-revenue generating administration and operations that bog down sales teams. I joined Groove because our platform solves these common challenges.


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My biggest highlights over the years are undoubtedly the rockstar customers I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and the colleagues turned friends that I’ve had the honor to lead.

We’d love to know what being in the Marines taught you about leadership! (Maybe the top 3 things!)

I joined the Marines to serve my country. I was fortunate enough to do that with some amazing colleagues, and we helped a lot of people, learned about leadership, and had quite an adventure along the way.

In life, we all are far more capable than we think (especially if we work together), and sometimes, we just need a nudge from a leader to help us get there.

I was fortunate enough to have great leaders teach me about:

  • Honor – Always do the right thing.
  • Courage – Have the moral and physical courage to stand up for what you believe in.
  • Commitment – Loyalty to each other, dependability, enthusiasm and endurance make an awesome combo.
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In your time in sales, how have you seen the role of the tech sales person evolve? How do you feel that the impact of sales tech has inspired this change in the way sales teams now approach their role?

When I started in sales, the best reps were all tracking all their touchpoints and sales campaign plans in spreadsheets. They also had a different deal spreadsheet for their account plan, and maintained a different deck for their QBRs. Then of course they had their beast of a CRM to manage. While some of the fundamentals in sales haven’t changed at all, technology has helped reduce administrative burden and focus sellers on what they are good at, selling.

Technology has also helped teams share best practices and work together in a more collaborative way and to easily understand from an analytical lens what is working and what is not across the entire organization.

More broadly, buyers today have far more publicly available information, larger buying committees, and way more options to choose from with such rapidly advancing technology – which is why they are looking for trusted advisors to help them cut through the noise. It’s a good thing time-to-value has also dramatically improved. Instead of three-year sales cycles followed by three-year ROI return, I can turn Groove on and show you immediate value, today.

It is not all roses though. Unfortunately because email and LinkedIn are so easy to use, companies too often pull out the spam cannon and disregard social norms while eroding their brand and trust along the way. Sales has and always will be built on trusted relationships, and technology should be enabling those connections.

As a tech leader, in a challenging environment due to the Covid19 pandemic, what are some of the ways in which you are enabling a balanced remote work culture while maintaining motivation levels?

While this is a challenging time for all of us, we try to find ways to connect with each other and also keep things upbeat.  One of my personal favorites is having a colleague kick off a team meeting with an impromptu MTV Cribs-style house tour! Let’s make the most of our situation and have some fun with it.

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Employee well-being, a key focus of GoDaddy’s business strategy

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At GoDaddy, there’s nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of our customers and employees. Our people are our priority, and that has been our guiding principle as we’ve worked through how to manage the rapidly changing environment that comes with COVID-19.

Beyond the doggo and kiddo happy hours and the zoom yoga, I think it is important to remind your team that doing meaningful work with people you love will always be more important and lead to a more fulfilled and happy life.

We don’t need a physical place to make that happen, but believe me, when we can all gather together again, it is going to be awesome!

Share a few tips if possible for sales and marketing teams (businesses) trying to navigate through the current pandemic crisis.

Our jobs are hard enough without a global pandemic going on. Buying processes have gotten more complex, with more people involved, and now you can’t even meet any of them in person. With any challenge, I often ask myself, “what could possibly be the positives that come from this?”

Maybe through this we find ways to build more authentic relationships, invent and embrace awesome tech, and tighten up our own internal operations.

So find the silver lining. Listen, be empathetic, and be nimble. Focus on what you can control. Stay motivated. It is times like these that your customers and your team need your leadership the most. You got this.

About Ben Budde :

A battle-tested sales leader and decorated Marine Corps officer, Ben has a proven track record leading successful teams in Inside, Mid-market, and Enterprise sales at Google — and in combat with the Marines. An atypical Silicon Valley sales executive, Ben exceeds sales targets by implementing strategies and solutions that are focused on helping people.

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In his eleven years at Google, Ben helped ensure strong adoption of many strategic initiatives and was named “Rockstar Manager” as an Enterprise sales leader. From the Infantry to Operations to Sales, Ben hasn’t always been the strongest, fastest, or smartest, but he has a unique way of teaming up with and leading the people who are. Ben holds a BS in Finance and Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

About Groove

Groove is the leading sales engagement platform for enterprises using Salesforce, specializing in ease-of-use, ease-of-administration, and cross-team collaboration. Built for the needs of full-cycle sellers, Groove automates non-sales activities so that pre- and post-sales reps can spend more time building relationships and generating revenue. On average, Groove gives revenue teams 20% of their time back to focus on higher-value activities. Groove’s Salesforce-native architecture can be customized to align with industry-specific workflows while ensuring more accurate reporting and forecasting, lower compliance risk, and streamlined administration.

Over 50,000 sales representatives use Groove at some of the world’s largest and fastest-growing companies, including Google, Uber, and Capital One. Groove has earned the highest customer satisfaction rating on G2 in the sales engagement category for over two years in a row.

Groove was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces 2020 and is one of the 2020 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. Groove also ranks #16 on the San Francisco Business Times’ “fastest-growing private companies in the Bay Area in 2020” and #191 on the Deloitte 2020 Technology Fast 500 list. Founded in 2014, Groove is headquartered in SF.

 


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