Cloudflare TV

Cloudflare Careers Day: Meet the Sales Team

Presented by Akef Choudary, Isabella Huber, Thomas Dubrawski, Alina Ha
Originally aired on 

In this session you will get to know our Sales Team and how they help Cloudflare build a better Internet. Learn more about what the team have achieved this year, the current projects they are working on and their goals for 2021!

Here are a few roles the Sales Team are currently recruiting for:

Find all of our currently open roles on our careers page.


Transcript (Beta)

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the sales meetup. Thank you to the previous session run by Isabella Rodriguez.

Today on our panel we've got someone from our business development team, we've got someone from our customer development team and we've got someone from our customer success team.

So we're excited to kind of get to know each and every one of you a little bit more about your backgrounds and just some dynamic things about how you all kind of work together and support each other and what that kind of environment looks like here at Cloudflare.

So we have Isabella Huber who is from our business development team.

Isabella could you introduce yourself to this.

Yeah hello everyone I'm Isabella, I'm working in the business development represent and the business development team as a business development representative.

I'm based in Munich and I'm working closely together with Thomas and yeah I joined Cloudflare roughly six months ago and it's crazy how time flies and I'm happy to talk about the journey I had so far and yeah thanks for having the session.

Awesome well we're definitely going to be interested in diving into a little bit more about your role and kind of what you're doing and what you've been up to in the last six months and what that experience has been like as well.

Thank you. Thomas over to you. Yeah my name is Thomas, I'm on the customer development team working with customers in the German speaking region, the dark market.

I'm based in London, started at Cloudflare a little bit more than two years ago as Isabella and the BDR team and basically moved to the customer development team in summer this year.

Awesome thank you Thomas and just for the audience and for their understanding, customer development for us is our direct sales teams and this is our excellent team who work on finding new business opportunities and kind of developing new relationships with new customers out there.

Alina over to you. Hi everyone my name is Alina, I work as a Russian speaking customer success in London.

I joined Cloudflare a little bit over eight months now.

Awesome well welcome. I think we've all kind of joined in a very unique time that we're currently in and having to do an event like this in a virtual format is first of all quite unique in a sense that we would usually do something like this in like in present or in an office somewhere but we're glad to have all of you kind of join this particular session just to kind of dive in.

We want to dive into a little bit more about what your individual teams are doing right now, how kind of it's changed since the pandemic because we're all in this remote environment right now.

So Thomas I'll come over to you and kind of ask that question directly to you.

So you've been here pre -pandemic and you've kind of experienced that shift.

What's been the kind of challenges that you've experienced in being able to connect with the outside world and connect with customers?

Have there been any kind of differences and what are they?

Yeah I think to kind of see how we do things internally obviously I miss the office, I miss our office culture, going over to the other desk asking kind of people for help directly.

I think what really helps at Cloudflare is our proactiveness.

I think we're all very proactive in helping each other and that kind of eased this transition into like working from home which I think is challenging for everyone.

It's a long time since we've been back in the office and I think this kind of culture aspect that kind of I know I can go to other people and ask them like hey can I have 15 minutes and have a coffee virtually, that kind of this culture helped us in this transition and in this challenges and I think that we are in generally we're always set up to be remotely.

So we all have our laptops, we all use our own products to secure us while we're remote and I think that also eased the transition that there was no friction in this regard.

In regards to customers, it depends a little bit on the industry and the customer we talk to.

Many of our customers already have been used to to talk to us via web meeting and remotely but yeah for some customers it's a challenge as well and we're here to support them.

Awesome, it's great to see that transition and of course with you being here pre-pandemic you've definitely kind of gone through some of those changes.

Isabella and Alina, just for context everyone, that they've both joined at the beginning or kind of in the midst of this pandemic and have been completely remote since day one.

So keen to kind of understand your experiences and kind of your day-to-day activities as well.

So Isabella, you're doing a crucial part to the sales cycle, so you're a crucial kind of part to developing business opportunities.

So what sort of challenges are you seeing and how are you kind of being able to and how are you being supported in your role right now to continue bringing in those excellent quality opportunities that you are?

Sure, I actually onboarded completely virtually. So it was two weeks onboarding with all the colleagues from US and London and everyone all virtually and to be honest I was a little bit afraid how it might be as I thought it's obviously if you sit together and talk together, have discussions and so on that this all might get lost if you have a virtual onboarding.

But as a matter of fact it was not like this at all, like we had these conversations and we had like this very nice talks all like getting to know each other very very nicely.

So I was surprised and I mean I was like you were first class Alina, I was probably fifth class we call it onboarding classes and I was surprised how well it worked from the very first second on so and was what Thomas said it's like Cloudflare is super unique when it comes to being proactive in putting coffee meetings or setting coffee meetings to anyone's calendar and I remembered at the beginning when people told me yeah just book him like 50 minutes to talk about his job and how he can help you and how he does things and I was afraid like I didn't notice that you just booked them a meeting in the calendar but literally everyone was so happy to support you and everyone understood this new situation due to corona and it was really easy for me to onboard and I think in a job that we have where we have to learn like a lot of things not only like technical wise but also how to do this like how to use the sales tools and so on it's super easy to have those conversations and Thomas for example I mean at the beginning how many meetings I like how often did I ask you questions how to use this and how to do this and that and never there was never like yeah sorry no I'm busy I had never heard this and this was really really cool and I was super happy about this otherwise I don't know how I would have managed.

It is really great to hear that and to know that you've had such a positive experience because there's always a feeling of anxiety when you step into a new organization especially in a role as crucial as yours and what you're doing and kind of having to speak to customers to give all of this technical information there's a level of anxiety to think how am I going to learn all of this and how am I going to be supported in doing what I do so it's really good to kind of hear that that experience from you Isabella thank you.

Alina so you're in the customer success team making sure that our customers are happy that they are adopting our technology so again another crucial role to the success of our entire sales org so you were one of the first teams to join kind of completely remote with your role and having to meet with customers and QBRs and so forth how has that been what's that experience been like and what sort of challenges are you coming up against as well?

I think first of all I want to say that I agree with Thomas Isabella about this always being open and friendly from the team and it comes from your recruiting experience when you start your interviews like you feel so respected as a candidate and when you join the team it's actually like you embrace in the team and to me to be honest like I also was a bit anxious like how do I make sure I onboard and escalate really quickly to make sure like you know I do support clients especially during the COVID and us being virtual but I think it actually gave us more connection points with our customers because we were at the same you know like we're in the same situation we understood where they're coming from and they understood what you know like we what our issues and challenges might be and we had more maybe this personal conversation during QBR saying hey how is your family you know like are you safe like and they would share how they are also struggling to keep you know like work and you know personal separate and it's actually made us more like empathetic to each other as well like you know we would have some connection issues from you know like clients they wouldn't be able to connect and you basically try to be there for them and like it actually made my work maybe even a bit easier because I knew what they're doing in like and we knew because we are you know also an online team we knew what we struggled with like you know how to connect securely you know like being secure being reliable and we basically just transformed what we did for ourselves to customers as well so and again like support from the team like putting virtual coffees making sure you talk to you know like senior management without no problem like it's so linear and agile in terms of you don't have this hierarchy like you feel very safe to speak up as well and ask questions and what I like about Cloudflare is that we from the day one we're told there is no silly questions you just need to be very open and say if you don't understand it's rather you ask us and we tell you how it is then you just you know be lost and feel lonely and you know like not progress.

That's a really interesting point actually and when you said that there's no silly questions I think we almost as a company we accept mistakes right because there's no person out there there's no successful individual out there that has not made like mistakes in their past and we embrace that here at Cloudflare and we kind of accept it and we learn from it so that we can become better moving on.

Isabella with with you and the role that you're doing and kind of the integration that you have with other teams in the business how do you kind of connect and partner with different teams in the business?

I mean you mean inside Cloudflare how I connect with other teams?

Yeah I mean what I am what was said to us from the very first second on we started that the individual career is very important for Cloudflare that we have that we find our way that what we want to do and I to be very honest I wasn't aware that there are so many different roles that you can do after you started and I obviously am in a BDR role and it's kind of like a starter role where you get to know the business and get to know also the technique behind and after six months we do have to kind of already decide which direction we want to go and so what we are highly encouraged to do is to talk to people from different roles to get to know what they are doing that we have this Cloudflare TV things where we actually get ideas and get inspiration and then proactively go to the people and ask what is your role what do you do the how does your day look like and this is something that is very very important to Cloudflare it feels like that I think I think my manager said it once like you never it is not you're not there's not you're good in your role but perhaps there's another role you're never bad but perhaps there's another role that is better for you so and this is something that says highly how Cloudflare thinks that there's always a role that fits to you and it's very very important for Cloudflare to find the role that is perfect for you and this is something really nice I mean in my team we're six people and we probably all go in different directions and we talk about it and we have conversations about it and it's really really as I said important that we find our way and I think as a career starter this is the perfect condition to start to start a career so yeah this is how we connect with other teams to again proactively talk to them and find out what they do the whole day now that's great thank you for that insight and I think it's really important for our audience to know that there is a path for every individual that starts here at whatever level that you start at we do kind of think about the bigger picture and where we want you to go and Thomas look you're a result of that you're you're the out of this group you're the longest standing Cloudflare employee here and you're a result of exactly what Isabella has just described so can you kind of just give us an overview of what the transitions were when you know that when you started and how long you were in that role before you moved into what you're doing now yeah I think kind of to go back why I kind of started working at Cloudflare was that I wanted a career change so I worked in sales before but in a very different industry and I wanted to learn and learn new things and kind of have a place where I can grow and kind of get responsibility quickly to prove myself and I think Cloudflare really gives you that platform so when I started I didn't know how the Internet works so it comes out of the box which is in the right corner of my room so that's kind of all I knew and I remember like through the recruiting process having those first conversations with Lee and like telling me like you know this is how it works and this is what would Cloudflare do in this space and kind of like progressing through the interviews and starting as a BDR and I think like the BDR program is pretty unique in my opinion because it really allows you to first of all figure out what you want to do in a SaaS company like Cloudflare at the same time it really gives you all the skills you need to be successful in whatever you want to do afterwards so for me personally I started in the inbound team then progressed to the outbound team I was one of the first outbound BDRs working for the German market and kind of had really the opportunity to build up own concepts figuring out own ideas how to be successful because there was no one before doing it in this space so like I think at Cloudflare you always kind of you need to be proactive you need to figure things out but if you're that kind of person that gives you like a great playground to really grow and also kind of push your own ideas and how to kind of get the job done and work on it as a team so I think yeah this was this was really great experience kind of prepared me for I am right now and also being part of like building up the Munich BDR team kind of being part of the interview process and I think all of this really helped me to be successful in the role I am right now so yes I think there's they are like because we grow so fast and we're such a like company with like flat hierarchies when you're proactive where you like when you kind of say we put the Cloudflare head on and you know just try to figure things out and work as a team then yeah I think it's very it's a great place to progress in my own like in the career yeah in IT sales.

That's awesome I think that that's a great story thank you Thomas and it's great to kind of see that journey of kind of where you where you started and what you're doing now and again for the audience's purpose like Thomas is obviously an example of this particular success story but as a recruiter I can I can tell you all that there's a lot more individuals in the organization who have experienced similar journeys and who have progressed into different teams and it's something that we we're currently doing like we always want to prioritize who's been with us or who's transitioning from other teams because they already kind of believe in our culture which is something unique to us.

Alina for you as a as a custom success manager having kind of come from an experienced background yourself what would you say is unique in your role that is unique to kind of Cloudflare and what you haven't maybe done in previous roles?

I think that you like it's a unique feature and might be a challenge at first is that you need to be quite technical and but I find it as that it's actually broadens your horizon so much like you're not only a customer facing person and you're making sure that your customer adopting the services you know like and you have so many supporting individuals on your team like you know account executive solution engineer but as a customer success as well to be very helpful to your clients you need to understand what they're talking about and like because we work with you know like CTOs, DevOps teams, sysadmins it's like always changing something like you're always learning things and like as a CSM it's never one day the same like you get into the situation where you have to think outside the box all the time and like as Thomas said like you have to be proactive like and I think what's amazing about Cloudflare is that we are very flexible especially when we hear what our customer is saying so and as a customer success I always hear feedbacks from customers and that's why I'm feeding to you know like another team and you actually become a part of something new something like or some new feature or like part of the product and you're helping not only your client but actually all the clients that will be using this feature or the products in general so I think as a role as a customer success in Cloudflare is not one way you know it's not a mundane job you always have to learn new features we always have so many updates and also you grow as a person like you grow your skills and I think that's where this thing comes in that hey actually maybe I will go and try myself in a different team because you are so exposed to all these new ideas and new you know and a knowledge that's it's like as I said like it broadens you and makes you a better professional because you're working with so many individuals from different backgrounds and you know like they give you different views on the same similar like one thing and also your clients also always teaching you because there are so many things happening you look at trends you see how trends change especially with cyber attacks as well and like you constantly evolve.

So that's quite interesting that you mentioned the technical element and Alina you've been helping a lot in some of our recruiting activity recently and it's something that we always that we always are conscious of is someone's if it's not kind of specific domain experience like the curiosity needs to be there because we're in a technical place that is kind of dynamic and evolving constantly so we need to adapt to to what that is and kind of best serve our customers so like you said thinking outside the box and being able to serve that.

Thank you Alina that's really interesting. Isabella to you so a question for you in kind of your kind of recent activities what would you say that makes the team that you're in right now stand out and kind of dynamic dynamic in the sense that it's specific to cloud player and something that you're kind of enjoying and that is helping you with your successes.

Yeah I think it's like as I said our team is quite small in the DACH market like we are six people and we obviously we are very closely connected with the London team and what I really think it's nice and what makes us unique as like we are all super different characters we have different backgrounds like there are people who have IT background people have no IT background people have sales background other people don't and we are very individual like six individuals put together to be a bunch of people who actually are really good in giving each other inspiration and so on so I think and it we talked about it and I heard it in the sessions before our session that being curious is the most important thing and I think a cloud fair somehow or people who are hiring people have they are different but they have one thing in common which is they're very curious and eager to learn and it doesn't matter if you have like a different background than another person everyone can be very successful in his or her way because there is no pre-scripted rule how to do your job you just have to know like obviously there are goals and obviously we want to achieve something but the way you get there it depends on you and how you are and you have to find your way how to how to get your like your goals done and this is something that I really what I was afraid of and I saw it in sales it's you have to have this numbers and you have to do this calls and you have to do this way way nothing but it's not like this the way you do it is complete you're you're your own CEO kind of and how you reach the goal it you have to decide but again you can ask other people and get inspiration from other people and can ask people like Thomas who are at Cloudflare for two years and who got some experiences so I think this is what makes us very successful is that we are eager to learn we are super interested and we are happy to share experiences and your successes and things that might probably not have worked or trends that we see and do's and don'ts and those things as we share them very openly I think this makes us very very successful as a team yeah awesome yeah and I think that you mentioned something there about curiosity and just like Alina said there's no silly questions right so yeah we've got that kind of good um open uh open door policy and that flat structure where anyone can go to anyone and speak to anyone to get support which is which is really kind of unique to Cloudflare definitely whilst we're kind of talking about the the kind of the things that you're enjoying in your current role where do you see yourself in in a couple of years here at Cloudflare or in let's say the next year like me yeah to you sorry yeah it's super interesting and right now like as I said it's six months that I'm here and I have my career development um talks and I do have meetings next week with a bunch of different people just to see where I want to go and like I do have a technical background and I would like to probably focus a little bit on the technical background but um obviously I there are so many roles I wasn't aware they exist and also which super interesting at Cloudflare like it feels like all of a sudden there's a new role nobody that didn't exist before and you see there is a need of this person like this role that we didn't have and so it can also be that there are new new roles that are open obviously like talking to customers which I really like is is a way that I a direction I want to go but also like I don't know going to Alina's team I could definitely imagine and this is something that is really nice so right now I do have a plan and I have to present which direction I want to decide on and depending on my my strength I have and it's really nice and our my manager is my mentor so he says I think you can do this or that and I have to talk to people and I think in a year whatever wherever I am I definitely be happy at this position and this is something I don't know for all the people who are thinking about coming to Cloudflare that I really am really happy of because obviously the job can be very very nice you have but I think you always have to think of a next step and if you don't have this next step I don't know how long you're happy with your job so in Cloudflare you can you definitely and and it there is a way to to go forward and to have a new role and to have the you would like to have and that everyone is happy with.

Perfect thank you Isabel I really appreciate that conscious of time here and a question to you Thomas what would you say is your highlight in the two years that you've been here at Cloudflare not talking about kind of let's think about culture and kind of the team that you're in and the experiences from a kind of a team dynamic and a cultural perspective tell me about a highlight that kind of stands out to you.

I think there are many highlights I think going public was one special moment for sure kind of to experience that within the team and I think yeah it's it's like the whole journey and and the kind of challenges where you kind of face them and you find a solution in the team and and kind of I think the unique thing which is for me the highlight is that it really feels to be part of something you know it doesn't feel like you kind of do your job from 96 and then that's kind of done and and you go home and that's the end of it it feels like you're really part of this I know it sounds sometimes cheesy but I think it's really really true because we grow so fast and we like you really see how the company is kind of evolving and what impact you actually have in that right so kind of when I started there was one BDR for the dark market now we have an entire team there we have a manager there the sales team itself grew by like 40 people from two in the Munich office so I think we have more and more customers we're disrupting a kind of an industry with a very innovative technology so yeah for me it's the highlight is that it's a whole journey really and and kind of yeah really being part of it awesome no that's that's that's great thank you for that Thomas and it's great to kind of hear what those highlights are from a cultural perspective and and what it's like to work with such a great sales team here and that I think there's there's been a lot of changes in the last couple of months from from a business perspective and from a wider sales team where as a company where we're constantly kind of adapting to what that looks like and how we can continue to be successful and there's a lot of people joining us like Isabella, Alina, myself we've all been here in a remote well from the beginning remote but still very much connected to the wider team as well as being in part of a sales kind of organization that connection part is absolutely key but thank you all so much for for your time today and looking forward to the next session thank you thank you