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      25 Simple Ways To Boost Holiday Sales on Your Website


      The holiday season is a critical time for retailers, with some making a good chunk of their yearly revenue in just a couple of months.

      And while 2020 has been a proverbial “lump of coal” for small business owners, with many having to pivot to curbside pickup or go digital with their services, there’s good reason to believe that we’re on the cusp of a [insert your holiday of choice] miracle.

      As we covered in our 2020 Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping guide, consumers are very eager to spend money on some holiday cheer this December. And you should use that to your advantage!

      Below, we’ve outlined 25 tried-and-tested tips for boosting your online sales this winter. Our advice falls into three main categories:

      So are you ready to tie a bow around 2020? If so, read on to find out how your online store can get more traffic, increase sales, and improve customer experience this month.

      Your Website’s Home for the Holidays

      We make sure your website is fast, secure, and always up during the holiday shopping season and beyond. Plans start at $2.59/mo.

      On-Site Tweaks

      1. Optimize your copy

      This applies to every page of your site — from your homepage to your About Us page, and of course, your all-important product pages:

      • Detailed product information
      • Persuasive copy
      • Trust factors
      • Calls-to-Action

      These are all things that can boost conversion rates, sales, and revenue. Plus, they’ll help you all year round — not just during the holidays.

      Not convinced? Think of it this way.

      When you’re in a shop, you can look, touch, and feel a product. Depending on the product type, you can often try it on or play around with it.

      What’s more, a store’s physical presence creates trust, while sales staff are on-hand to assist customers and encourage them to buy.

      All this is lost when shopping online.

      Use your online copy to recreate the in-store environment online.

      2. Streamline your checkout process

      Long, fiddly online checkouts can be a massive barrier to sales. Especially since more than half of internet shopping now takes place on mobile.

      If your checkout process asks for too much information or offers a poor user experience, you’re going to lose sales — period.

      A good place to start with streamlining your checkout is to test, test, and test again.

      Ask friends or family who are unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of e-commerce and internet marketing to do a test purchase (you can either ask them to complete a purchase and then cancel it or simply not go past the entering-your-payment-details stage).

      Then, ask for their feedback:

      • How simple was the process?
      • What, if any, problems did they run into?
      • How does your checkout process compare with other sites they shop from? Ask for specifics — not just “compares well” or “doesn’t compare well.”

      Also, consider the following:

      • Do not ask people to register before buying. Give them the option to register, but don’t make it mandatory.
      • Only ask for essential details.
      • Offer multiple ways to pay. Check out our guide to payment gateways for ideas.
      • Make delivery costs clear (and don’t leave it until the last moment to state them).

      3. Optimize your site for speed

      Site speed, or on a more granular basis, page load speed, is important for two reasons:

      1. SEO: Google has stated that all things being equal, page load speed is a ranking factor.
      2. UX: Longer page load speed = higher bounce rates and fewer sales.

      cGoogle’s own PageSpeed Insights will score any page of your site on how quickly (or slowly) it loads and tell you what you can do to improve it. We’ve also written a guide on what you can do to optimize a WordPress site for speed.

      4. Get into CRO

      CRO (or conversion rate optimization) is the practice of testing and optimizing your site — not to drive more traffic, but to convert more of that traffic into sales.

      It is, sadly, a frequently overlooked element of digital marketing. Ideally, it should go hand-in-hand with other digital marketing channels. But this is often not the case.

      Priority is typically placed on boosting traffic. And that’s understandable. Why invest in CRO when you have no traffic to convert?

      But once you do have a decent stream of traffic coming to your site? Start testing. Start tweaking. And start turning more of your visitors into customers.

      5. Upgrade your product visuals and videos

      Remember our first point?

      Online shopping eliminates the ability for people to see, touch, and try products. The more you can do to replicate the in-store experience, the more money you’re likely to make.

      One way to do this is to improve your product photos. Better yet, use videos, too.

      Take ASOS. All their product pages feature high-resolution photos from different angles that you can zoom in on. Alongside these are short “catwalk” style videos, enabling shoppers to see how the clothing fits and moves in real life.

      Example of ASOS product page listing.

      There’s no doubt that the effort ASOS puts into their imagery and video is part of the reason they’re one of the world’s leading online fashion retailers.

      6. Simplify your site structure

      Simple navigation = more sales. Complicated navigation = fewer sales.

      Why? If customers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re not going to buy it (for obvious reasons).

      Your site structure can make or break your user experience. But what does a simple site structure look like?

      Something like this.

      Breakdown of well-optimized site structure.
      (Image credit)

      You have your homepage. Which leads to your top-level categories. Which leads to sub-categories. Which then include your products.

      Of course, this will vary depending on the type of site, your product range, and whether you have products in multiple categories — but this is a pretty typical example, and a solid structure to aim for.

      A couple of additional tips on this point:

      • Use breadcrumbs. They help users retrace their steps and easily return to a parent page or category.
      • Make sure your search function works properly.
      • Include filters. They enable users to refine categories and make the online shopping experience easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

      7. Give landing pages a festive makeover

      This one’s simple, really — you’re preparing your site for the festive season, so why not give it a temporary makeover in celebration?

      We’ve got plenty of inspiration for you here.

      8. Make sure your hosting can handle a holiday traffic surge

      E-commerce sites naturally see a boost in traffic during the holiday season. This is likely to be far more apparent in 2020 — especially in places where non-essential stores are closed due to COVID-19.

      Can your site handle that extra traffic? Does it have a limited bandwidth?

      An unexpected (or unplanned for) surge in traffic can slow sites down (in turn losing you sales) or break a site altogether.

      Consider upgrading your website’s hosting to ensure it can handle the extra demand. This guide can help you determine when to upgrade your site’s hosting.

      For online stores, we recommend looking at our WooCommerce hosting services. Starting at $16.95 per month, these plans come with an uptime guarantee, powerful caching, on-demand backups, and 24/7 support from WordPress experts.

      9. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

      This is essential whatever time of year. We already know that more than half of online purchases take place on mobile. And now we have mobile-first indexing to consider too.

      Basically, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, the result is most likely going to be lower rankings, less traffic, and fewer conversions.

      You can find out if your site makes the grade with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

      Another handy tool is Responsive Viewer — a free Chrome plugin that shows how sites look on various mobile devices.

      10. Borrow ideas from national brands

      Big brands mean big budgets, which in turn, mean (generally) big ideas. And many brands go all out for the holidays.

      While financial restrictions may prevent you from creating campaigns on that scale, there’s often a lot you can learn from looking at the marketing strategies of big brands (both inside and outside of your industry).

      Marketing Tactics

      11. Create bundled promotions

      Bundles — a form of upselling — are a big win for both the brand and the customer. The brand sells more stock, and the customer gets more for their money.

      What’s not to like?

      The only thing to consider is this: What should you include in your bundles?

      You shouldn’t try to palm your customers off with a bundle of completely unrelated products. Some companies do this to try to get rid of old stock, but interest will be minimal (if you get any at all).

      Instead, create bundles that are going to help customers, and save them time. For example, a “gifts for the whole family” bundle or a “most popular Xbox games of the year” bundle — ideal for lazy customers who just want to get their holiday shopping over and done with!

      Too much work?

      Here are a few alternatives to try.

      • Offer a discount when a customer buys X number of products or spends X amount.
      • Do a “buy X products, get the cheapest free” offer.
      • Allow customers to create their own bundles.
      Example of “Build Your Own Bundle” of Nintendo products.
      (Image credit)

      12. Offer samples with purchases

      This isn’t ideal for all industries, but it’s perfect for companies that distribute consumable products (think beauty products and toiletries, sweets, foods, drinks — anything that can be produced and given away in miniature form).

      Simply offer a free sample pack with a customer’s first purchase. Not only is this an incentive to buy, but it can boost your customer return rates, too.

      13. Boost traffic with a giveaway

      Online competitions are a simple, effective, and (depending on the prize) cheap way to drive traffic and (hopefully) customers to your site. They’re also a great way to expand your email marketing list.

      That said, it’s easy to run a competition and see little to no ROI.

      Many brands just create a competition page containing a simple question (or no question at all) and an entry form.

      Some brands will even host a competition on an external site. This should increase visibility and entrants — which is fine if your only intention is to get more names and addresses on your email list.

      But you’re trying to get people to your site, and more importantly, interacting with it. So how do you go about doing that?

      You include a question or task that requires entrants to explore your site.

      Let’s give you an example.

      Since we’re talking about a holiday promotion, you might ask entrants to complete a “wishlist” task. So say your prize was a $100 voucher for the site, you’d ask entrants how they would spend it/what items on your site they would put on their Christmas wish list.

      This forces entrants to actually browse through your products, meaning the competition is more likely to drive sales.

      14. Partner with micro-influencers

      You’ve probably heard about influencer marketing. You’ve probably thought it’s a tactic that’s beyond your reach. But have you heard of micro-influencer marketing?

      The name kind of gives it away. Micro-influencers have much smaller social networks than typical, big-name influencers. And that’s a good thing.

      Some of the benefits to partnering with a micro-influencer include:

      • More affordable fees.
      • A more niche following — meaning it’s easier to find an influencer with an audience that aligns with your product/s.
      • Less competition with products from other brands (and in turn, higher conversion rates).

      15. Create social media ads to promote your deals across all channels

      This is an obvious one, but it’s all-the-more important leading up to the holidays. Retailers must maximize the one time of year when consumers everywhere loosen the purse strings. One very effective way to do that is to advertise on social media — especially to promote offers or deals.

      Oh, and those competitions we just mentioned.

      Just beware that while social media advertising might appear simple, you could lose a lot of money if you get it wrong.

      For maximum ROI, you want to ensure you’re targeting exactly the right people. If you don’t know how to do this, either learn or pay an expert to create and manage the ads for you.

      Just bear in mind: If you want to teach yourself, you need to check the date on the resources you’re learning from. Social media advertising is in constant flux. Out-of-date resources are largely worthless.

      16. Plan your marketing emails

      This is another obvious one, and it’s likely something you’re already doing. However, any retailer that fails to make the most of the holiday season is making a big mistake. So plan to send a number of emails, and plan ahead.

      Like so:

      1. Learn how to send marketing emails and newsletters (if you don’t know already).
      2. Build or grow your email list (there are lots of tips here on how to do that).
      3. Plan what you’re going to send and when. Focus on your offers.
      4. Make a point of how you’re going to capture people’s attention. Remember that most retailers go above and beyond for the holiday season, so to stand out, you need to be sending awesome emails with equally awesome subject lines.
      5. Create your emails.
      6. Schedule them in.
      Alt-text: Example email campaign from BuyAGift.
      (Image credit)

      17. Create “abandoned cart” email campaigns

      Cart abandonment sits at approximately 69%.

      There are many reasons why this happens — from hidden delivery charges to a customer simply changing their mind. However, often the customer just gets distracted and forgets or decides they’re going to sit on it before clicking “buy” (another situation that inevitably results in the customer forgetting about their basket altogether).

      This is where abandoned cart emails come in.

      Odds are you’ve received them yourself in the past. They’re simply a friendly reminder that you’ve got items sitting in your basket.

      Most e-commerce content management systems offer plugins to automate this process. If you’re working with a bespoke system, talk to your developer.

      18. Write holiday gift guides and “Best of” blog posts

      When it comes to buying gifts, consumers are always in need of inspiration. Even when it’s someone you’ve known and loved for years, deciding what to buy them can be tough.

      As a result, searches for “gift guides” peak a lot every December.

      Example search result usage for ‘gift guides’ in December.
      (Image credit)

      Want to get in on some of that?

      Promote your own products by writing themed, targeted gift guides. By this, we don’t mean writing generic “Christmas gift guide” posts. Write posts that are specific to a particular audience — i.e., for grandparents, siblings, partners, and so on.

      19. Add your offers to coupon sites

      Who doesn’t love a good deal? Especially when we’re on a holiday shopping spending spree!

      Drive extra traffic and business by promoting your offers on coupon sites.

      There’s a big list of coupon sites to sift through here — though there’s always going to be more, so you should do your own research too.

      Just bear in mind that many coupon sites operate as affiliate sites. This means they take a cut of the revenue when they refer a customer that converts and that you’ll need to start an affiliate scheme to get featured.

      20. Create a holiday-themed lead magnet

      Lead magnets are incentives from marketers or site owners to their customers or potential customers, meant to capture their email address and (usually) a few other details.

      Think free eBooks, cheat sheets, tools, printables — the options are pretty much endless.

      The only real rules are that you need to be offering real, high-quality content, and payment should only be in the form of a user’s details.

      They’re worth having on your website all year round, but why not dress them up for the party season and create an extra incentive for your visitors by designing a festive lead magnet or two?

      Customer Support Ideas

      21. Provide really excellent customer service

      So you should be doing this all year round, but the (massive) uptick in shoppers leading up to the holidays means you need to be even more on the ball when it comes to customer service.

      Consider things like:

      • A likely increase in customer inquiries: Do you have the resources to deal with them? And if not, how can you increase your customer support capacity?
      • Extending your returns policy — ideally well into January. Better yet, include a slip with purchases that their loved ones can use to discreetly and easily return them. This gives shoppers extra peace of mind that an unwanted gift (or the money spent on it) won’t go to waste.
      • Your customers’ most common questions: What are they? Drafting replies to these questions can be a huge timesaver and speed up how long it takes to respond to them.

      22. Update your processes to help stressed shoppers

      Continuing with the topic of customer service, remember that at this time of year, shoppers are going to be extra stressed. Especially if they’ve made the classic mistake of leaving gift buying to the very last minute.

      Be prepared for a surge in orders as the big day draws closer. Make your final order date for guaranteed Christmas delivery (or any other holiday) crystal clear. And upgrade yours and your staff’s knowledge of products and processes so you can assist stressed shoppers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

      Loosening up your processes a little is a very good idea too.

      Whether a customer urgently wants something that’s out of stock or needs an item to arrive earlier than it typically would, do your best to go out of your way and accommodate their needs.

      You’ll be thanked later in the form of customer loyalty.

      23. Reward loyal customers with a gift or special offer

      Want to build on the customer loyalty you’re creating by going above and beyond for them? Then why not reward them with a special gift or an offer they just can’t refuse?

      For bonus points, personalize the gift or offer. This may not always be possible, especially during extra-busy periods, but use it if you have the capacity.

      Valued customers are far more likely to return than customers who feel like a number in a machine.

      24. Review and adapt your shipping policies

      Thanks to a certain big e-commerce site, online shoppers have become increasingly accustomed to the idea of fast, free shipping.

      If your average delivery time exceeds two days, and you’re charging delivery fees, you could be losing sales. Especially if you’re shipping small, lightweight items.

      Multiple tests have been carried out on the impact of free shipping, with the average uptick in conversions being between 25–40%.

      Yep — charging for shipping could be slashing your sales by up to 40%.

      This is even more apt during the holiday season when shoppers are (often) strapped for cash. Slap them with an unexpected shipping charge, and a big order could quickly become no order.

      “But what about revenue?” We hear you say.

      “Our margins are tight anyway.”

      There isn’t a perfect solution, but if your products are hard to find elsewhere, simply increase your prices slightly and absorb the shipping cost into them.

      25. Increase the ways your customers can contact you

      How can customers reach you? Not everyone wants to pick up the phone or wait for a response to an email. If you don’t already, consider offering support via live chat and social media.

      Just make sure to manage your support channels so that when a customer contacts you via live chat or social, someone’s there to answer them.

      Ready to Run a Holiday Sale?

      Whether you need help creating a holiday marketing campaign, optimizing an e-commerce website, or creating a landing page, we can help! Subscribe to our monthly digest so you never miss an article.

      Holiday Shoppers Are Waiting

      There you have it: 25 ways to boost your sales throughout the holiday period (and in many ways, beyond). Choose and implement as many relevant suggestions as you can, and we’ll cross our fingers and toes that you’ll have your most successful winter ever!



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      INAP Executive Spotlight: Roberto Montesi, Vice President of Sales & Operations, International


      In the INAP Executive Spotlight series, we interview senior leaders across the organization, hearing candid reflections about their careers, what they love about their work and big lessons learned along the way.

      Next in the series is Roberto Montesi, Vice President of Sales & Operations, International for INAP. He also oversees international facilities, as well as web and VPS hosting provider, Funio, an INAP company.

      In our conversation, Montesi discussed what he loves about his role at INAP, his passion for life-long learning and why Montreal is a strong market for INAP’s business. Read on to learn about these topics and more.

      The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

      Tell us about your education and career path. Did you take any detours to get where you are today?

      Technology and IT have been a part of my life since a very young age. I would jump at the opportunity to go help someone having desktop computer problems, so it makes sense that my first part time job was in technical support at a call center. As my career progressed, I took on leadership roles quickly, as my enthusiasm for the job would get noticed. These leadership roles have allowed me to spread my passion for this work and have my employees perform amazing customer service.

      After a few years managing technical teams, I decided to continue my career in management, but focused on touching multiple departments, including retention, sales, dispatch center, finance and collections. At the same time, I decided to also invest in revenue properties and start a restaurant with a couple of business partners. But those stories would lead us way off track. After a few years of managing and building call centers, I decided to go back into technology at iWeb Technologies, Inc. The smaller sized company allowed me to get to know everyone quickly, and I was excited to go back to managing a team of highly technical CSR.

      After a few years of building up the team and center of expertise, my passion for our products grew—specifically, colocation. I look at it as similar to owning property and leasing an apartment, except we lease space and power. At that time, during a re-organization, the sales team and collections team were reporting to me temporarily while we hired a new director. Once he was in place, he proposed that I move on to the sales organization as a senior account manager, focusing on our top customers. From there, after the INAP acquisition, I am now leading the International teams.

      Where are you seeing the most momentum and opportunities within the international business unit this year?

      We have seen some great breakthroughs in Montreal with VFX, and our new London Region for Cloud and Colocation has helped to build traction on pipeline growth. The gaming sector is also still very attractive to us, as is Ad Tech.

      What’s a typical day like for you?

      Since I oversee sales and operations for our international markets, I would say no two days are the same. In operations, we find ourselves reacting to plans that need to be either moved up faster or delayed to prioritize something else. On the sales side, my days start by looking at the forecast and pipeline to see where the team might need my support. My one-on-ones planned with my team members are crucial to help me organize my future schedule around their needs.

      What do you enjoy most about your role at INAP? What do you think is the best part about being in the data center and cloud industry?

      I have been a part of the company for 11 years, and what keeps me on board and engaged are the customers. Seeing how we support customers as they grow and meet their objectives is what makes me love my job. Also, the amount of technical learning I get on data centers, solutions, network and future technology. Why wouldn’t you want to be working for us?

      With the roles you’ve held at INAP and iWeb, what have been the most exciting changes over the years? What’s been a constant – something you’re glad has stayed the same?

      Having worked for three very different CEOs, it’s great to see Pete looking outside the box on strategy. He wants to grow the company and brings many ideas to the table while surrounding himself with a great executive team of people he trusts. I think we are well positioned to hit our targets and keep growing the company. On the operations side, we execute well. I’m happy to see leaders staying on with us over five or more years, still working hard to ensure we deliver to our customers. Without a great operations team, it would be hard to be the provider so many customers trust.

      Out of the qualities you possess, which do you think has had the greatest influence on your success?

      Again, my hunger to learn more and never back down from a challenge. To have the trust of so many in the company and being allowed to lead such an important part of the business, it’s an amazing feeling. But I do have to say I love winning a new customer. That feeling of beating your competitors never gets old.

      You’re based in Montreal, a city that loves to tout its bona fides as major Canadian tech hub. Why do you think it’s an ideal market for our industry?

      Montreal/Canada has a great relationship with the U.S. It’s an easy extension for any American to come up to Montreal and have access to so much great talent in our industry. I can say that data centers are growing fast here because of the very low cost on power and land taxes, but also the colder temperatures that permit us to run free cooling up to 10 months a year. We also have fiber rich density coming up from Ashburn and Europe. This makes us a great location for customers looking for Edge locations.

      What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned in your career?

      Surround yourself with great leaders who understand ownership. We are all interdependent to make this a successful journey while we are here. Don’t try to do it alone. It doesn’t scale. And lastly listen to your managers and other executives, they are my mentors even if they don’t know it.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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      INAP Executive Spotlight: TJ Waldorf, CMO—Head of Inside Sales and Customer Success


      In the INAP Executive Spotlight series, we interview senior leaders across the organization, hearing candid reflections about their careers, the mentors who shaped them and big lessons learned along the way.TJ Waldorf

      Next in the series is TJ Waldorf, CMO and Head of Inside Sales and Customer Success. Prior to this role, he served as Vice President of Global Marketing at INAP and Vice President of Inside Sales and Marketing at SingleHop, which was acquired by INAP in 2018.

      In our conversation, Waldorf discussed what excites him about the INAP brand, how he got to where he is today after initially pursuing an early career in graphic design and the importance of mentorship. Read on to learn about these topics and more.

      The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

      Tell us how you got into sales and marketing. What inspired you to pursue these areas of business?

      It’s funny when I think on this, because I distinctly remember telling myself that I’d never be a salesperson. Back when I was a teen, I viewed sales as the proverbial snake oil salesman tricking people into buying things they didn’t need. I originally aspired to be a graphic designer and earned a degree in design and visual communications. I always loved drawing and creating. I got that from my mom. But as I progressed into my early 20s and my first real job, I realized sales (and marketing) are about service. We are serving the needs of people and businesses. That was something I could really get behind.

      What excites you most about the INAP brand as it stands today?

      In November, we’ll celebrate the one-year anniversary of our refreshed brand identity and direction: Performance for Your Purpose. At the most basic level, we’re in the data center and cloud services space, yet what we’re doing is providing the foundation for our customers to deliver their services to their customers and deliver on their purpose and mission.

      If we’re not operating optimally, there’s a very distinct domino effect. Have you ever tried accessing a website or an application and found it was unavailable or moving very slowly? We all have. In some cases, that’s because the underlying infrastructure is not working properly, or there are issues at the application level. At INAP, we promise high performance, reliable service and an exceptional customer experience. When we deliver on these promises, our customers get to deliver on their promises. That’s what gets me fired up and excited about the INAP brand. The impact we have on the services that power aspects of our everyday lives is incredibly exciting.

      You recently became CMO and have Inside Sales and Customer Success under your wing, along with Marketing. What are some changes or challenges you’re seeing in these areas of the business?

      I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to oversee these three teams and to view them through a singular lens of how we approach the end-to-end customer life cycle and experience. The addition of the Customer Success org makes logical sense given some of the similarities in the work they do relative to inside sales, and the significant marketing impact they have on overall customer experience. After all, the best marketing comes from word of mouth, so if we (marketing) can enable the customer success org to accelerate the chatter, we’re in a great spot.

      As far as challenges go—and this is not unique to INAP—we work in a very competitive space and must constantly prove our value to our customers. They have choices in the market, so it’s our job, collectively, to reinforce why they chose us to begin with and why it’s in their best interest to stay with us for the long term. It’s certainly not an easy job, but I think we have an opportunity keep improving on the great work these teams have done so far.

      Out of the qualities you possess, which do you think has had the greatest influence on your success? 

      Without a doubt, the first is my drive for lifelong learning. I’ve never operated in any role where I thought I knew everything there is to know, and I enjoy the process of learning and growing my knowledge about a topic. I’m never afraid to ask the potentially dumb question, because nine times out of ten, lots of others in the room have the same question.

      The other quality is finding great people to surround myself with, be it people I report to, people who report to me or mentors I’ve had over the years. There’s a saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, to together.” I think about my career in that way. I have a great team here at INAP and see the momentum we’re building together.

      Who are the people that have mentored you or been role models? 

      How much time do we have? I cannot stress the importance of having a mentor or multiple mentors. You can learn things so much faster than without them. This has been critical for me, and I don’t think I’d be where I am today without these very important people in my life.

      My parents are truly are the foundation of who I am today. I’m trying to pass the values they shared down to my son. I’ve also had many great mentors throughout my career and find myself bringing new ones into the mix when new challenges or opportunities pop up. I have mentors that run the gamut from CEOs to CMOs, VCs to what usually gets referred to as ‘reverse mentors’—folks younger than me that can keep me plugged into what’s important for the next generation. I even find myself learning from my nine-year-old. Maybe he’s a mini-mentor.

      What advice would you give to someone pursuing sales or marketing in tech, specifically? 

      Remember that your job is to be in service of your customers and their objectives. This is something I learned from my dad. You’re helping them make educated decisions on how the services, tools or platforms you provide will best help them achieve their goals. For sales and marketing, especially in tech, it’s far too easy to get bogged down in features and functionality and forget why a solution was built to begin with. Stay focused on the problem you’re helping the customer solve and you’ll be miles ahead of your peers.

      What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned in your career?

      Being exceptional at hiring and retaining great people probably tops my list. When I first started as a manager, I thought I had to have all the answers and tell people exactly what to do. But I learned that hiring great people and enabling them to do what they do best makes work, and life, 10x more productive and easier. This lesson came the hard way through lots of trial and error. This points back to the old adage of work smarter not harder.

      What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Have your ideas changed over time?

      I once heard Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, refer to this as “work-life-harmony.” That stuck with me. It’s about harmonizing the work and life to achieve your personal objectives in both areas. I do think, however, that there is a time and place to completely unplug. I ebb and flow in this area. My wife and I are both working parents and we try to make sure we’re helping one another find that harmony. Work is such a large part of our life but it’s good to keep its purpose in perspective.

      Laura Vietmeyer


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