Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Being part of a growing PreSales function is exciting - and also a little nerve wracking. That’s true whether you’re a leader in the organization or an individual contributor.
How do you figure out how to stand out in a growing organization? How can you hire the right way for the early stages of growth? What’s the difference between building and scaling? And what are the best models for organizational leadership?
Standing Out in a Growing Org
What do the top-performing individuals contributors all have in common in the PreSales world? It can be hard to figure out how to stand out when you’re in a space that’s growing fast - you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle. Here are a few of the stand-out qualities that will help set you apart from the rest of the growing crowd.
Being customer-centric - you need to truly understand the perspective and goals of the customer you’re serving.
Having a can-do attitude - that’s something that can’t be taught, so be willing to roll up your sleeves and jump right in.
Getting the right people in the right position is always vital, but it’s even more critical as you’re in the growth stage. And it’s more challenging too - hypergrowth means everything is moving fast and roles need to be filled, but moving with clarity and intention will help you hire the right people for the long-term, not just to fill a seat today.
Having a thorough interview process, whether that’s interview panels or multiple interviews across the company, helps give you an idea of how internal stakeholders will work with this person.
Hiring only the people you would bet your career on means you’ll be ultra-careful - and you should, because getting the right people on the team is that critical.
Sorting Out the Builders From the Scalers
Some people in PreSales are naturally Builders - they’re great at starting things from scratch and coming in on the ground floor. And some are naturally Scalers, who can refine, adapt, and scale processes to enable scalable growth and efficiency.
Builders are fearless about solving the unsolved and forging new paths, blazing trails where none existed before and aren’t afraid to fail.
Scalers are great at ignoring existing processes just because “we’ve always done it this way,” are intuitive, and experienced at growing these processes, roles and goals in the past - they know what works and what fails.
But what both roles have in common is a need for empathy and understanding the point of view of employees as well as leadership. Emotional intelligence is also one of the most critical skills for any leader in PreSales, because you need to have a deep understanding of your own motivations as well as what motivates other people.
Organizational Leadership Models
When you’re in hypergrowth mode, finding the right organizational model that works for your company and your PreSales team is critical. You can hire professional managers from the outside who don’t know your team, but have experience scaling. But then you miss out on the connections and experience your home-grown managers bring to the table.
Finding the right balance between promoting internally, which promotes career growth on your team, and hiring externally, which can bring in fresh perspectives and new skills, is always important. But at the end of the day, it comes down to who is the best candidate to lead your team through the next chapter and your upcoming challenges.
Another challenge that comes up a lot in growth organizations is bringing in just builders, or just scalers, at certain points. While that can work, instilling a growth mindset in your leadership team from the beginning helps everyone think past just the next goal so they’re prepared for those shifts - and they might even be able to grow into those new roles for you.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re in hypergrowth, whether you’re a senior leader in front of the charge ahead or an individual contributor trying to find your place in a fast-shifting organization. Knowing what you need to tackle, and what will help your PreSales team grow the smart way while your career takes off as well will help you emerge from hypergrowth into a strong, stable place.
Want to learn more? Check out our in-depth webinar: