The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep: 55 Athletes in Sales w/ Nina Djordjevic

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Ep: 55 Athletes in Sales w/ Nina Djordjevic

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

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the revenue collected podcast. I'm your host, Brandon Martin, and you're listening to Is this a good time? The show where I asked Revenue Collective members some really basic questions, and they have incredible answers. In a short, 15 minute conversation, we're live every Tuesday and Thursday with Amazing episode, So please hit the subscribe button so you don't miss an opportunity to learn from members of the revenue collective community, any of whom could be your future boss. Our guest today is Nina Djurdjevic. She's ahead of sales of Send Cloud, and we talk about how being in sports when you're younger can make you a better sales leader Before we get going with the 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 you identify a counselor in market for your solution. Prioritize your efforts, engage buyers the right way with highly relevant messaging and measure what actually matters. With a six inch platform, you're able to get into more deals. Improvement rates, increase overall pipeline and optimized budget spent. 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 so glad to be here with Nina. Georgia bitch. She is the head of sales at Caen Cloud based out of Munich, Germany. So getting some of the international revenue 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 into to our questions. You have had an incredible career, but also an incredible personal life. Interwoven. I know that you are very proud and vocal about how your athletic career has helped you in your professional career. At least work professional career because you've also had a professional athletic career. Bring us through a little bit of your resume. How did you get from being an athlete where you...

...grew up? I think you said you grew up in Bulgaria. Is that right or Serbia? Yeah. So, jeez, tell us about from that point 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 started playing tennis when I was very little. About six or seven years old in sports has been a huge part of my life. As long as I remember, the same goes for my family. So this was kind of, like track through there. Um, and 13, it was already 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 was six and seven years old. So a lot of kind of Yeah, different life experiences and and and good reasons why I was thinking Okay, let me let me try to make it make it internationally as well. So sports is a really good medium for me to make that happen. And at 13, already like I mentioned, it was clear, 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, I received a scholarship. I managed to push my my high school from four years into three years because because I had really good grades. Got my parents to sign off all of the all of the documentation since I was under 18. And I needed there there consent, basically. And at 17, I officially moved over to the 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 my career 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 SCL surgery. A lot of injuries followed after that. Like all of these colored athletes have moved over to Ohio. And I'll mention that later on. I've got really lucky to have a fantastic professor and mentor to kind of push me and challenged me in the direction that I want to further develop. Graduated 21 um, 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 then I decided to try to continue competing in sports as well as start my professional career, which I already kind of started off in the U. S. And sales, and Europe was the right place. So that's why I decided to move to Germany. Here you get a pretty good middle of the two. You have a chance to develop professionally at work as well as for me. In this case, I had a chance to continue traveling internationally for sports. And that's how startups also came into my life. Try working at Rocket Internet venture. So this is one of the biggest German accelerators for for startups um, strong pace, a lot of stuff going on a lot of international work. And, uh, yeah, continued playing sports all throughout. Um and yeah, this is This is kind of what's been driving me. I figured in a year when I didn't play as many tournaments, I felt something miss kind of missing throughout my day throughout my weeks and months. And that's when I realized I want to find a place and I want to continue to do both. Basically, that's awesome. And, you know, just we'll touch on this throughout, but just give me, Give me the 10 seconds on how you know being a young athlete and just being an athlete throughout your life has influenced the way that you attack your job. Brazilians Definitely one of the biggest things. Um, it's it's, you know, it's a tennis court for an example. If you don't do it, nobody is doing it for you. If you're losing with 15 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 is always there. I love it. I had a friend the other day tell me was talking about something that was going on at work at Bite on the CEO of Bite on my real day job. And, uh, he said, Brandon, it was just a setback. And you know what's funny? Is I The first thing I thought about, whereas was like over the course of I played basketball, as I was telling you before, over the course of the season, you lose games, everybody...

...loses games. Those are setbacks. You can't go undefeated. You can't beat yourself up because you didn't go, you know, 16 or or go sick. So in a set, you're going to lose games just a setback. It's how you bounce back from it. I love that. That that idea of resiliency Very cool. Well, you already started to touch on it. You've got where you are because of hard work and luck, the hard work on the athletes side. I mean, that's that goes without saying you don't become a professional athlete without that. But tell us about this incident of luck kind of moving to Ohio and then maybe maybe kind of an example of where hard work in your professional 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 my head on what I thought I wanted to do. And why I say I was lucky is that I ran across Scott Grant. You can find him on on on length indefinitely. He's a person who is appears like your regular professor at the university. But it's actually somebody who just challenges you in every way possible. And he just really made me think outside of the box he made me question. Do I really know what I'm doing when I'm 1920 21 like, how can I get better still and even try things that I don't think that I would like like sales at the time? And he just kind of pushed me there and he said, You you're gonna do it, you're gonna try and then you can tell me about it and and this is definitely where I can say it's a piece of land because a lot of people ask me like a Y Ohio 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 I could have made, even though I didn't even know. Wow, interesting. Where in Ohio did you move? Just curious. To Finley, it's a very tiny town near Toledo. Wow, I do so much in a 15 minute podcast is like so much more we're going to than this. This is when we're going to do our clubhouse and actually like I've been to the career.

But gosh, I try to keep it strict with my with my short questions here. Any specific thing about hard work that has gotten, 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 it back as well. This was not the case when I originally moved. I didn't speak a single word. So this was something that I really needed to challenge myself and and make sure it works out. On the other hand, also the new culture and everything. So it was really a lot of background work and a lot of understanding of where I stand, how people see me so like a little bit more on the on the mental side. And I really like being able to reflect on myself that I have to work a lot on to make my place and as well as working at Rocket Internet as well as the other startups that I've been around with. And there's been a lot of hours put in. There's been a lot of side things that I've had to force myself to, to read, to listen, to speak to other people. And I have to say Also, revenue collective has been a great tool for that as well to make me speak to people that feel the same things that are kind of motivate me in certain situations to to do even more even when I'm already kind of pushing the limits. I love that Shout out revenue collective are Arpad, Father and, uh, Sam Jacobs being the best? Um, So, uh, so you know, this is a little bit more of the speed around. We'll get into some quick questions, give us a sales 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, I mentioned that before as well, figure out your values. That's not necessarily serious marketing related. But figure out your values. Build your brand around it. That's gonna make you stand your ground. That's gonna make you stand regarding interviews in being invited to speak somewhere as well as in actually selling the product you're trying to sell. Um, you know, everybody says, believe in what you're doing when you realize what you believe in as a person, 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 demos in my company, and I think I shocked some of our sales reps when I when I actually like, just talk to the person for real and not pitch them and not go down the yeah, look, knowing the script is important. But hey, here's my perspective on the industry, right? Like, let's talk about that, how we fit in it and how. And I would not be able to do that without having my own values as to what I feel like is important food, tech and what I feel like is bullshit, you know? So that are you hiring for anything and tell us where come to, you know, come to come to a better situation than what we have currently in February in COVID, uh, covid States of America. Definitely. The center is a shipping platform, which means covid has been a blessing in disguise. You can imagine, um, so that means we're growing tremendously with just three Series B a couple of months back, and we're growing our teams mostly at the moment, actually what? That's what the role I would like to mention head of customer success. This is a huge one. Of course, we're working on our turn numbers like everybody is. And this would be a role that I can say is really, uh, what we need. But as well as I can imagine that there are some some really good qualified people out there who are searching for something like that. And that's probably the Eindhoven based. We are also looking for somebody who would be running the customer. Success in our that region means Munich office for German speaking regions. So customer success is really kind of the the high high focus they were having at the moment. Interesting. So this is the second wave. You had a huge wave of business because of the global pandemic. And now it's Let's make sure all these people are happy and say, Listen to me, it makes total sense. And, uh, and some shout outs, You already we're talking about Scott Grants. We're gonna We're gonna 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 and marketing and so forth? Yeah, so...

...generally, I've been speaking a couple of times to Gabriel Blackwell. She's really active on LinkedIn in different groups 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 other people out there that that I think a lot of us follow anyways. Cal Coleman and similar not my personal contacts, but somebody that that has inspired me throughout 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, we don't always see on this in the state side. And who who's great? That's a rock star in the making. Yeah. So, um, I would definitely mention Nicholas Hook. He's actually my partner in a performance agency that I'm a corner of since two years. He's a fantastic marketing guy, huge and clubhouse at the moment. So you spell his name. So basically Nicholas, with a K and then are all with this, um, loud. So like, this German German letters or Oe and then c k. So this guy is really, really great. Speaks mostly German in his content, but still has also some English content. And the other person that I want to highlight is Gabriel Akin. I worked with him at Rocket Internet. He's from the UK sales guy sales key account management. Really fantastic person collector and friend. So I would say, definitely if you're looking for some high quality people in commercial roles. Definitely. Look at this guy. Love that. And where did you meet Nicholas? Because you didn't speak German when you came. I mean, when you got there and now you started a company with somebody who I mean that that's true. Yeah. I was actually in the role where I was leading his girlfriend at the time. And we met basically on a personal level first and realized we have some skills that could match. And then 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 given a knife. That's very cool. Uh, last and...

...most important to me, all this stuff is great, but my stomach really cares about where can we eat? What? Some cool places. We can go read. Um, you know, uh, anywhere in the world doesn't matter. Yeah, I mentioned a restaurant in Aruba where I had the best tuna steak so far. Uh, do you have it in front of you with the name of it was again, 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's really, really nice place. And the other place that I would say, my favorite place in the world There are these, like, tiny Asian, like Kuala Lumpur, restaurants that don't have a name or the address. But if you're there, I'll send it over to you on Google. Last right to go. This is the This is where I become jealous of the European vacation policies. Like I mean, if I'm not mistaken, 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's always a group of Germans who have been traveling for weeks at a time and have amazing career. So, uh, yeah, that's true. We have about 28 working days and we can take off and then add public holidays to that. So, yeah, it's rather nice. Okay, More of a reason. The head of customer success role would learn how to speak German, Get over there or our English night home. So this is also an option. That's great. That's great. And leave us with I know you're so passionate about, You know, uh, for folks that aren't an athlete but want to understand what this mentality is, leave us with one kind of, you know, tidbit about How do you have this mentality without having been an athlete? I would say, working on yourself always so. So try to improve yourself at all times. What athletes do is one thing is they identify their absolute strength, and they keep...

...working to make it always better. And the second thing is they identify, or they try to increase their lowest performance to be higher. Basically, you want to you want your lowest level to be as high as possible so they don't have constant basis. You can perform high. And yes, maybe this is really sales specific. But this is also any roles related. I would say Improve your base. Be well informed. Be knowledgeable about the topics you should be knowledgeable about and identify the power thing about yourself and keep working to keep it a power thing 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 to travel 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 when you're around. I Well, for sure. All right. That's our show. Thank you so much for listening. If you love the show, please rate and review in the Apple podcast or Spotify. Send it to some friends and make sure to smash that 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 entire revenue team with a shared set of data to achieve predictable revenue group. I had fun. I hope you I hope you did too. Now go Question numbers. Say something. Mhm.

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