The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Ep: 55 Athletes in Sales w/ Nina Djordjevic

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep: 55 Athletes in Sales w/ Nina Djordjevic

Part of the "Is this a Good Time?" Series.

Hello, everyone, and welcome back tothe revenue collected podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin, and you'relistening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked Revenue Collectivemembers some really basic questions, and they have incredible answers. In ashort, 15 minute conversation, we're live every Tuesday and Thursday withAmazing episode, So please hit the subscribe button so you don't miss anopportunity to learn from members of the revenue collective community, anyof whom could be your future boss. Our guest today is Nina Djurdjevic. She'sahead of sales of Send Cloud, and we talk about how being in sports whenyou're younger can make you a better sales leader Before we get going withthe questions, I want to tell you a little bit about this month's sponsor.Six cents six cents. The number one account engagement platform helps youidentify a counselor in market for your solution. Prioritize your efforts,engage buyers the right way with highly relevant messaging and measure whatactually matters. With a six inch platform, you're able to get into moredeals. Improvement rates, increase overall pipeline and optimized budgetspent. To learn more, visit six inch dot com slash revenue Collective.Alright, let's do this. Episode 13 Is this a good time? Hey, everyone. I'm soglad to be here with Nina. Georgia bitch. She is the head of sales at CaenCloud based out of Munich, Germany. So getting some of the internationalrevenue collective folks into the mix. Nina, So great to have you here. Hi,Brandon. Hi, everyone. Who's listening? And thanks for having me. Awesome.Awesome. Well, look as we do here, it's all meat. No filler jumping right intoto our questions. You have had an incredible career, but also anincredible personal life. Interwoven. I know that you are very proud and vocalabout how your athletic career has helped you in your professional career.At least work professional career because you've also had a professionalathletic career. Bring us through a little bit of your resume. How did youget from being an athlete where you...

...grew up? I think you said you grew upin Bulgaria. Is that right or Serbia? Yeah. So, jeez, tell us about from thatpoint all the way now to Munich and being a head of sales of the company.Yeah, sure. So let me run you quickly through this. Basically, I startedplaying tennis when I was very little. About six or seven years old in sportshas been a huge part of my life. As long as I remember, the same goes formy family. So this was kind of, like track through there. Um, and 13, it wasalready clear to me that I'm gonna want to leave Serbia. I was born in one war.Back when he was it was Yugoslavia. Lived through another war when I wassix and seven years old. So a lot of kind of Yeah, different lifeexperiences and and and good reasons why I was thinking Okay, let me let metry to make it make it internationally as well. So sports is a really goodmedium for me to make that happen. And at 13, already like I mentioned, it wasclear, like, Okay, I'm going to do something. I'm going to go somewhere.And I realized with tennis us was a really good place to go. At 16, Ireceived a scholarship. I managed to push my my high school from four yearsinto three years because because I had really good grades. Got my parents tosign off all of the all of the documentation since I was under 18. AndI needed there there consent, basically. And at 17, I officially moved over tothe U. S. Um, that was yeah, that was that was quite an interesting time.Definitely. My family was all still back, back in Serbia, and I started mycareer within college sports at that time. Got a full scholarship, Of course.Um, at a division one school went there for for two years in Miami. Got an SCLsurgery. A lot of injuries followed after that. Like all of these coloredathletes have moved over to Ohio. And I'll mention that later on. I've gotreally lucky to have a fantastic professor and mentor to kind of push meand challenged me in the direction that I want to further develop. Graduated 21um, and then figured Okay, what now?...

Fight to get the papers in the U. S.Which is a pretty complicated thing with Serbian citizenship. Um, And thenI decided to try to continue competing in sports as well as start myprofessional career, which I already kind of started off in the U. S. Andsales, and Europe was the right place. So that's why I decided to move toGermany. Here you get a pretty good middle of the two. You have a chance todevelop professionally at work as well as for me. In this case, I had a chanceto continue traveling internationally for sports. And that's how startupsalso came into my life. Try working at Rocket Internet venture. So this is oneof the biggest German accelerators for for startups um, strong pace, a lot ofstuff going on a lot of international work. And, uh, yeah, continued playingsports all throughout. Um and yeah, this is This is kind of what's beendriving me. I figured in a year when I didn't play as many tournaments, I feltsomething miss kind of missing throughout my day throughout my weeksand months. And that's when I realized I want to find a place and I want tocontinue to do both. Basically, that's awesome. And, you know, just we'lltouch on this throughout, but just give me, Give me the 10 seconds on how youknow being a young athlete and just being an athlete throughout your lifehas influenced the way that you attack your job. Brazilians Definitely one ofthe biggest things. Um, it's it's, you know, it's a tennis court for anexample. If you don't do it, nobody is doing it for you. If you're losing with15 in a set, you don't try to pick it up. You're just gonna feel bad about it.So it's really about trying to flip things around and make sure the win isalways there. I love it. I had a friend the other day tell me was talking aboutsomething that was going on at work at Bite on the CEO of Bite on my real dayjob. And, uh, he said, Brandon, it was just a setback. And you know what'sfunny? Is I The first thing I thought about, whereas was like over the courseof I played basketball, as I was telling you before, over the course ofthe season, you lose games, everybody...

...loses games. Those are setbacks. Youcan't go undefeated. You can't beat yourself up because you didn't go, youknow, 16 or or go sick. So in a set, you're going to lose games just asetback. It's how you bounce back from it. I love that. That that idea ofresiliency Very cool. Well, you already started to touch on it. You've gotwhere you are because of hard work and luck, the hard work on the athletesside. I mean, that's that goes without saying you don't become a professionalathlete without that. But tell us about this incident of luck kind of moving toOhio and then maybe maybe kind of an example of where hard work in yourprofessional career. You know, your sales career really kind of accelerated.You're you know, you're learning. Yeah. So I had a kind of a strict idea in myhead on what I thought I wanted to do. And why I say I was lucky is that I ranacross Scott Grant. You can find him on on on length indefinitely. He's aperson who is appears like your regular professor at the university. But it'sactually somebody who just challenges you in every way possible. And he justreally made me think outside of the box he made me question. Do I really knowwhat I'm doing when I'm 1920 21 like, how can I get better still and even trythings that I don't think that I would like like sales at the time? And hejust kind of pushed me there and he said, You you're gonna do it, you'regonna try and then you can tell me about it and and this is definitelywhere I can say it's a piece of land because a lot of people ask me like a YOhio who moves from Miami to Ohio, right? It's a really crucial question,and I have to say, from this standpoint right now, it was the best decision Icould have made, even though I didn't even know. Wow, interesting. Where inOhio did you move? Just curious. To Finley, it's a very tiny town nearToledo. Wow, I do so much in a 15 minute podcast is like so much morewe're going to than this. This is when we're going to do our clubhouse andactually like I've been to the career.

But gosh, I try to keep it strict withmy with my short questions here. Any specific thing about hard work that hasgotten, you know, kind of where you are Yeah. I mean, I've moved to Germany.You can imagine I've needed to understand the language and speak itback as well. This was not the case when I originally moved. I didn't speaka single word. So this was something that I really needed to challengemyself and and make sure it works out. On the other hand, also the new cultureand everything. So it was really a lot of background work and a lot ofunderstanding of where I stand, how people see me so like a little bit moreon the on the mental side. And I really like being able to reflect on myselfthat I have to work a lot on to make my place and as well as working at RocketInternet as well as the other startups that I've been around with. And there'sbeen a lot of hours put in. There's been a lot of side things that I've hadto force myself to, to read, to listen, to speak to other people. And I have tosay Also, revenue collective has been a great tool for that as well to make mespeak to people that feel the same things that are kind of motivate me incertain situations to to do even more even when I'm already kind of pushingthe limits. I love that Shout out revenue collective are Arpad, Fatherand, uh, Sam Jacobs being the best? Um, So, uh, so you know, this is a littlebit more of the speed around. We'll get into some quick questions, give us asales or marketing tactic that you've used that people can use tomorrow, uh,and throw into their own. You know, toolbox. Yeah. So in terms of a tactic,like I would say, a general thing like work on building your brand, Imentioned that before as well, figure out your values. That's not necessarilyserious marketing related. But figure out your values. Build your brandaround it. That's gonna make you stand your ground. That's gonna make youstand regarding interviews in being invited to speak somewhere as well asin actually selling the product you're trying to sell. Um, you know, everybodysays, believe in what you're doing when you realize what you believe in as aperson, it gets a lot easier to also...

...believe in things that you are doing.It's a great point. I I have been finding myself for fun doing some demosin my company, and I think I shocked some of our sales reps when I when Iactually like, just talk to the person for real and not pitch them and not godown the yeah, look, knowing the script is important. But hey, here's myperspective on the industry, right? Like, let's talk about that, how we fitin it and how. And I would not be able to do that without having my own valuesas to what I feel like is important food, tech and what I feel like isbullshit, you know? So that are you hiring for anything and tell us wherecome to, you know, come to come to a better situation than what we havecurrently in February in COVID, uh, covid States of America. Definitely.The center is a shipping platform, which means covid has been a blessingin disguise. You can imagine, um, so that means we're growing tremendouslywith just three Series B a couple of months back, and we're growing ourteams mostly at the moment, actually what? That's what the role I would liketo mention head of customer success. This is a huge one. Of course, we'reworking on our turn numbers like everybody is. And this would be a rolethat I can say is really, uh, what we need. But as well as I can imagine thatthere are some some really good qualified people out there who aresearching for something like that. And that's probably the Eindhoven based. Weare also looking for somebody who would be running the customer. Success in ourthat region means Munich office for German speaking regions. So customersuccess is really kind of the the high high focus they were having at themoment. Interesting. So this is the second wave. You had a huge wave ofbusiness because of the global pandemic. And now it's Let's make sure all thesepeople are happy and say, Listen to me, it makes total sense. And, uh, and someshout outs, You already we're talking about Scott Grants. We're gonna We'regonna definitely look up Scott Grant Grant who? Who else do you, you know,do you follow and has good content when it comes to motivation and sales andmarketing and so forth? Yeah, so...

...generally, I've been speaking a coupleof times to Gabriel Blackwell. She's really active on LinkedIn in differentgroups and clubhouse and so on. And I have to say, speaking to her personally,go there and follow her. Definitely. Yeah, there are a couple of otherpeople out there that that I think a lot of us follow anyways. Cal Colemanand similar not my personal contacts, but somebody that that has inspired methroughout the post that they're making definitely very cool and up and comers.Um, you know, especially folks. And perhaps in Europe, who we, you know, wedon't always see on this in the state side. And who who's great? That's arock star in the making. Yeah. So, um, I would definitely mention NicholasHook. He's actually my partner in a performance agency that I'm a corner ofsince two years. He's a fantastic marketing guy, huge and clubhouse atthe moment. So you spell his name. So basically Nicholas, with a K and thenare all with this, um, loud. So like, this German German letters or Oe andthen c k. So this guy is really, really great. Speaks mostly German in hiscontent, but still has also some English content. And the other personthat I want to highlight is Gabriel Akin. I worked with him at RocketInternet. He's from the UK sales guy sales key account management. Reallyfantastic person collector and friend. So I would say, definitely if you'relooking for some high quality people in commercial roles. Definitely. Look atthis guy. Love that. And where did you meet Nicholas? Because you didn't speakGerman when you came. I mean, when you got there and now you started a companywith somebody who I mean that that's true. Yeah. I was actually in the rolewhere I was leading his girlfriend at the time. And we met basically on apersonal level first and realized we have some skills that could match. Andthen that's how we started the company. This is your luck story to you have, uh,luck favors the prepared person. I understand this, but you've been givena knife. That's very cool. Uh, last and...

...most important to me, all this stuff isgreat, but my stomach really cares about where can we eat? What? Some coolplaces. We can go read. Um, you know, uh, anywhere in the world doesn'tmatter. Yeah, I mentioned a restaurant in Aruba where I had the best tunasteak so far. Uh, do you have it in front of you with the name of it wasagain, uh, tardy authority. Yes. Exactly. Um, this is like on the beach,like you're eating on the sand and like, your feet are almost in the water. It'sreally, really nice place. And the other place that I would say, myfavorite place in the world There are these, like, tiny Asian, like KualaLumpur, restaurants that don't have a name or the address. But if you'rethere, I'll send it over to you on Google. Last right to go. This is the This is where I becomejealous of the European vacation policies. Like I mean, if I'm notmistaken, you must have 46 weeks off, you know, a year or something. I know.So so many times when I've traveled to go surfing and other things, there'salways a group of Germans who have been traveling for weeks at a time and haveamazing career. So, uh, yeah, that's true. We have about 28 working days andwe can take off and then add public holidays to that. So, yeah, it's rathernice. Okay, More of a reason. The head of customer success role would learnhow to speak German, Get over there or our English night home. So this is alsoan option. That's great. That's great. And leave us with I know you're sopassionate about, You know, uh, for folks that aren't an athlete but wantto understand what this mentality is, leave us with one kind of, you know,tidbit about How do you have this mentality without having been anathlete? I would say, working on yourself always so. So try to improveyourself at all times. What athletes do is one thing is they identify theirabsolute strength, and they keep...

...working to make it always better. Andthe second thing is they identify, or they try to increase their lowestperformance to be higher. Basically, you want to you want your lowest levelto be as high as possible so they don't have constant basis. You can performhigh. And yes, maybe this is really sales specific. But this is also anyroles related. I would say Improve your base. Be well informed. Beknowledgeable about the topics you should be knowledgeable about andidentify the power thing about yourself and keep working to keep it a powerthing and make it better. I love that. That is a perfect way to end this.Noona, this is awesome. Thank you for speaking with me. And I can't wait totravel again and get out to Munich and come visit and get a drink together.Yeah, definitely. Thanks for having me. And you make sure you let me know whenyou're around. I Well, for sure. All right. That's our show. Thank you somuch for listening. If you love the show, please rate and review in theApple podcast or Spotify. Send it to some friends and make sure to smashthat subscribe button reminder of this episode was brought to you by six cents.Powered by AI and Predictive Analytics. Six cents helps you unite your entirerevenue team with a shared set of data to achieve predictable revenue group. Ihad fun. I hope you I hope you did too. Now go Question numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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