Creating partnerships from the inside out
Every department has their cliché, for us in the Sales Department we use the shaka 🤙 widely. It's a symbol well known in Hawaii for "Aloha spirit" but it holds a much deeper meaning here. This gesture is a friendly intent of saying "🤙 hang loose" and do not worry. We don't work off commission here which takes a big part of the stress factor associated in sales.
What stays true is that most sales teams thrive on competition. Coffee’s for closers, right?
Money is a big driver for sales professionals (and rightfully so), but it isn’t everything. To grow and succeed in sales, you have to dig deep, lean on peer-to-peer and set ambitious goals that go beyond a commission check. To keep teams firing on all cylinders, sales leaders are focused on building strong, collaborative cultures and creating incentives that not only encourage big numbers but also professional and personal growth, empowerment and a sense of ownership over one’s work.
But at UnidenHosting, the sales team doesn’t succeed on competition alone. Instead, our department-wide support and camaraderie truly give our team its edge as our company continues to grow.
And that support starts with UnidenHosting’s culture. Every new salesperson goes through a robust training program to help them make their first sale, while a sales executive training program prepares employees for leadership roles. This programs has accelerated the career growth of team members and encouraged collaboration.
UnidenHosting is truly something of a rare breed amid the fast and furious world of hosting — people don’t start and leave within a year’s time. And that’s because UnidenHosting knows how to invest in its people, whether through learning and development opportunities or the leadership team’s commitment to promoting from within.
I caught up with just a few employees from our Sales Department to learn more about the opportunities UnidenHosting offers for upward and lateral movement, all of whom have been at the company for at least four or more years. Their stories provide more than just a peek inside UnidenHosting’s exciting web hosting products — they’re living proof of UnidenHosting’s culture and approach to retaining talent.
Peter started with UnidenHosting in 2016, originally being just a team member of the Sales Department. He has been famous for marketing on online webhosting forums providing discounts to our services and products. Since then Peter has moved up to the position of VP of Sales.
As the VP of sales, Peter is responsible for the growth and health of the UnidenHosting sales organization, including the development and execution of go-to-market sales strategies, working cross-departmentally with vendors and partners, and growing the next batch of Uniden sales leaders.
BEYOND WORK: Peter is a serious climber and does both rock climbing and mountaineering. Professionally, Peter thinks the sport is a perfect analogy for leadership: Be humble, expect challenges and use strong judgment to accomplish goals.
What is unique about selling at UnidenHosting?
Selling for UnidenHosting doesn’t feel like selling. We want to have a positive impact on the world by helping websites of all kinds and small businesses grow. Our teams do this by partnering with accounting professionals to educate them on how our business platform can help to build efficiencies not only for their websites or business but also help increase the success rate of their clients by putting them in the position to better their own clients. In short, I don’t view what we do as selling but rather educating or consulting our partners on our hosting platform as an option.
If our employees aren’t happy, how can we hope to provide a positive experience to our clients? - Peter Senkurt
How does UnidenHosting promote employees’ growth? How did it promote your own growth?
When I started at UnidenHosting, I was a jack-of-all-trades. I was selling, helping with order fulfillment and even doing some customer service.
We are extremely transparent about what the path to promotion looks like here. We have a leadership and mentorship program designed for aspiring leaders and a fast track to management if you choose to pursue it. Because of this attitude towards leading, I was able to take ownership of problems and implement changes relatively early in my career at UnidenHosting.
What is unique about the sales team’s approach here? How is this different from other sales environments you’ve worked in the past?
Ultimately, people come first here. If our employees aren’t happy, how can we hope to provide a positive experience to our clients? We are here to build long-lasting relationships that are built upon trust and knowledge.
At other companies, I have been told that the customer is king and to always put them first. The focus is not only on our customers but also very much on our people here at UnidenHosting which is very important.
How has the UnidenHosting’s sales team changed in the time you’ve been with us?
As we’ve entered into hypergrowth, our sales department has truly evolved. We created new roles due to the needs of our clients and our vendors, which has allowed us to align ourselves with everyone’s goals, not just our own. That said, there are many positions and responsibilities that have remained the same as we have evolved — and our promotion paths have been the exact same for a long time now.
🤙 Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me Peter!
Nikki started with UnidenHosting in 2012 as a sales consultant where she helped the business gain a online footprint. Nikki has been an integral part of the business growth from where it is today. She's learned more about the business and how to manage and lead throughout her career.
Now as UnidenHosting’s chief revenue officer, Nikki oversees all revenue-generating activities here at UnidenHosting. That includes providing oversight and input for both the sales and marketing teams which is a pivotal role directly influencing the future of UnidenHosting, for covering new business sales, installed client base sales, marketing strategy.
BEYOND WORK: Outside of work, Nikki loves to spend her Saturdays trying to perfect every sort of pasta dish you can imagine; her Instagram account has over 3K followers and she’s tried around 200-plus vegetarian and meat-eater recipes. Outside the kitchen she takes advantage of her time with her two sons – they put together one new puzzle each week.
You started here as a sales consultant. Can you give me a bird’s eye view of your career path?
When I joined UnidenHosting which at the time was AllBayORG back in 2012, it was a still pushing a old concept, so there was little structure in the sales department. I was actually hired remotely, believe it or not. Since joining and within less than seven years later, I have been offered to move to Colorado and work directly in UnidenHosting's corporate office. I was promoted to manager, director, VP of sales, SVP of sales and marketing, and in December, I was promoted to chief revenue officer. For me, working hard and staying humble was key to being promoted and given new opportunities here. It has been a wild and fun ride so far.
We have many cross-functional working groups, and we do our best to make sure no group becomes siloed. - Nikki Lewis
How has UnidenHosting changed in the years you’ve been here?
UnidenHosting has changed dramatically since I came in. We’re now almost what around 200 something employees. The biggest change when you are a small company is that everyone has to do everything, and now we have specializations. We have many cross-functional working groups, and we do our best to make sure no group becomes siloed. This is a process driven by our approach, stemming from our CTO.
How have you grown as a leader? What have you learned about leadership from your team?
Working for Johnny Willis, founder and CEO, has been a doctorate course in business. He is a United States Marine Corps Veteran and defiantly still uses his attitude in the workplace, which can get some taking used to. Throughout my time here, he has been a real mentor, and I feel lucky to have connected with him.
🤙 Thank you so much Nikki!
Olivia had joined UnidenHosting directly out of college in 2017 as a sales consultant. During her time in the Sales Department she has signed over 5,000 new customers and suggested over 3 different product perks that we use today. Additionally she has referred six college friends who now currently work with UnidenHosting.
She now currently manages a team of 12 members in the Partner Development Department in which they educate companies on the benefits of partnership with UnidenHosting data center services, answers initial questions about functionality and recruits for accounting events. She enjoys coaching her team on the ways she found success during her time as a sales consultant and pushes each member to peruse a position into management.
BEYOND WORK: Olivia loves spending time in the mountains and is training to run her first marathon in December 2019.
Describe a typical day.
I always start with an Americano from StarBucks, I will never walk into work without a cup in my hand. I answer emails and prioritize my tasks and calls. After about an hour or so, I start making calls to our partners and prospective partners to answer questions, get them set up on the Partner Edition of our service or invite them to a personal tour of our center. I spend 75 percent of my day on the phone. My teams and leaders meet weekly to praise what we’ve accomplished, talk about roadblocks and strategize for the next week.
What attracted you to UnidenHosting?
The environment, the people and the potential. As a former collegiate athlete, I am a very competitive person, so the competitive environment has kept me hungry through my time here. I always want to be better than the person next to me, but always striving to be better than myself each day has helped me grow exponentially.
The people I am surrounded by are my friends and colleagues. There is constantly music playing in the office, snacks, puzzles, ping pong, air hockey and more. Not only is the job awesome, but the commission is uncapped and there are so many leadership opportunities.
How has UnidenHosting supported your professional development?
The professional development here is amazing. I’m part of the sales executive leadership program, where I’ve been learning about what it takes to be a leader and how to become one here. I’ve taken different leadership classes and modules to learn what I need to progress my own development, as well as those around me.
After 10 months as a sales representative, I was moved to be a partner development representative, I was promoted to manager, and I am currently starting that position. If you put in the effort, the opportunities really are there.
That team environment makes everyone feel comfortable, able to ask questions and look to our leaders for advice. - Olivia Maurice
How would you describe the team’s personality?
Everyone in sales is always so competitive, but there is never any jealousy. Everyone wants to make sales and make money, but we get excited for each other. When someone is closing a sale, everyone cheers and claps for that person.
After a sale is made, you get a shout out to the whole office and are recognized for your hard work. We are more competitive against other departments than we are against our teams within the office. That team environment makes everyone feel comfortable, able to ask questions and look to our leaders for advice.
What types of professional or career development resources are available here?
We all meet with our leaders to develop 30-day, 60-day and 90-day goals that also align with our larger goals here. In addition to that, we have what’s known as “coffee chats” (my favorite because I love coffee) to where we are paired up with someone randomly in the office every two weeks to meet someone new and understand their role better. There are also events such as fun days that allow teams to collaborate and talk more casually.
🤙 Thank you, Olivia, by the way, I still hold 12-0 on ping pong!
It would be impossible to sit down and talk to everyone about their stories, here today you’ve read real stories from just a few of many other members here at UnidenHosting that have grown to positions in management within respected departments. There’s always room for improvement here. UnidenHosting has grown dramatically since launching it’s very own data center in 2017, but it’s not just the company that has experienced upward mobility.
A whopping 40 percent of employees have advanced internally, thanks in part to onsite and sponsored continuing education, as well as a culture that encourages everyone to think outside of the box. Can’t wait to see more improvements here!
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post today, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I took the time writing it. 🤙