By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
Weekly we are pleased to feature top B2B business leaders who reveal in their own words how they “do it”, how they work. You might be surprised by their answers. Catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature Allison Munro, head of sales & marketing for Viafoura. Allison has a distinguished and decorated career spanning both sales and marketing leadership roles at companies such as Oracle, Eloqua, NextJ Systems and more. She also actively invests time in mentoring the next generation of marketing leaders around her. Here in her own words is how she gets stuff done.
Location: Toronto, Canada is where I call home but more often than not, my location is whatever city our customers are in.
Number of unread emails right now? 1939 unread emails.
First app checked in the morning? Slack, whatever my location it allows me keep in touch with not only our team but our customers (see inbox qty above), finding real-time and efficient ways to communicate with those that matter is increasingly important.
First thing you do when you come into work? Humanize my slack early morning messages by checking in with the people I work with everyday when I have the chance for face to face, I certainly make the extra effort to do so.
What is your email management strategy? A quick scan in real-time/all the time. Email’s that need a response and require an action are first to be resolved. A clear CTA is as important for internal emails as well external emails. I appreciate those that are short and to the point that enable a quick action to keep them moving.
Most essential app when traveling? Believe it or not, it’s Instagram. When you’re always travelling, it’s a great way to feel like you’re close to those at home or around the world that you are disconnected from.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? By focusing my energy on the things that drive results. Increasing efficiencies in the way we work internally, as well with our customers and vendors, while empowering my team to work as independently as possible, leveraging systems like Slack, SalesForce and others that allow me to passively be kept up to date, receive alerts that I need to focus on, while access dashboards and reports to ensure I can focus on what needs my attention. The most calming element of the way I work is building teams and working with those you can rely on. Our culture is built on transparency, accountability and trust (ie results) and knowing we are all focused on these values everyday provides peace of mind while working on our joint outcomes.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? Different times in my career have allowed for different approaches. It is something I think a lot of us are working on everyday.. I have learned to stop and smell the roses. I have always travelled extensively throughout my career and I used to be focused on getting in and out as fast as possible. I am learning to build in time or moments to appreciate the different sights, sounds and cultures of the people and places I am fortunate enough to visit through my travels and take a moment, sometimes an extra walk, a unique restaurant or a historical site and expand my life experiences at the same time. Travelling with colleagues who quickly become friends and for the most part lifelong friends, helps to bring balance. But it’s a work in progress that requires awareness of the time you spend and what you spend it on. Scheduling time with friends and family as well as moments for myself and sticking to it has helped in ensuring too much time isn’t spent on any one area of my life.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? I am a (digital) list builder, so building and striking ensure almost nothing falls through the cracks. I also keep my top priorities in a calendar item at the start of my day that I can carry over if other priorities pop up. Reviewing the week ahead, Sunday evening and preparing the items above, while slotting in time to achieve them also helps. Time and priority management allow me to be proactive, rather than always reacting to what pops up in a day.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Technology is my friend. I am huge fan of social channels (What’s App included) because I do keep in contact with so many people around the world. LinkedIn provides the more human connection to connecting with your professional network, while Nudge.AI alerts me of all the great coverage my network achieves.
What’s your workspace like? My desktop or mobile screen is where I live and I keep it as clean and organized as possible. I have desks in various places, which I also try to keep free of clutter so I am not distracted, but you’ll always find a pair of wild runners (jelly beans or moehair kicks) for days when you have to leave your heels behind and keep up with the pace of life. And well, there are 7 rain ponchos under my desk for the same reason (conference, concert or connection), always ready for anything!
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? I tackle things in groups, organize tasks by outcome and action it as soon as possible. I take this approach as a business and people manager, as well in managing my family and home. If it takes less to do it then list it, just get it done.
What are you currently reading? I am always reading a few things at once. Right now, Free Will by Sam Harris, Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Radical Honesty by Brad Blanton. We are all humans at the end of the day and understanding myself and all of the different people I share the world with is very important to me.
Last thing you do before leaving work? In a digital and on the road kind of life, I don’t think I ever actually leave work. Is this a trick question?
Who are some mentors or influences you wish to thank or acknowledge? I love the opportunity to acknowledge all the wonderful people who have made my life and career what it is. Barbara McAdam, now Vice President of Sales at Levolor Canada taught me everything that is now the foundation of how I work. From executive coaching and skills training at a very young age, with a focus on accountability and integrity, while balancing family, career and her own personal goals, she is by far one of the strongest and authentic leaders I have ever had the pleasure of working for and knowing. Tim Stanley, now SVP Sales & Country Manager, Canada brought me from the B2C/Agency world, where I was running my own business to Broadstreet Data, my first official foray into the enterprise tech world, growing into Canada’s leading SAP reseller (from nothing), taking all kinds of risks and chances in order to grow our business through to acquisition. Deborah Henderson, head of DMBOK Canada, Mark Cowan, now CEO of Put it Forward, Bill Thathem, CEO NexJ and all of the leadership personalities and entrepreneurs that have taught me so much of what I know today, which I can summarize as status quo is not okay ! One of the most wonderful moments of my career though was joining the Eloqua family at Oracle Marketing Cloud that introduced me to so many people that I am grateful to call colleagues and friends today. This list is just too long to mention but I often say, never forget where you’ve been because it’s always the route to where you are going and I am more than grateful to have spent 3 years with this global group of movers and shakers.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? The Viafoura team from end-to-end, spanning our revenue team, product, engineering and operations, it takes time to build culture and now on the other side of two years, we’ve assembled a team that has become a family, with all the ups and downs of business and in start up life, the people who you surround yourself with, make your world. Michael Seto, Lauren Lilly, Tori Panthaky, Anthony D’Amico, Chris Mapili and Josh Cheng at Viafoura make it possible to do what we do. I have the honour and pleasure to work with them everyday at Viafoura and I am constantly inspired by their determination and will, commitment to customer success and team collaboration, enabling success across our revenue team that I would not be able to do what I do today without them.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Starting my career in marketing, it was to “stay as close to the customer as you can” because regardless of company changes or shifting priorities, the customer will always be the core focus.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show Netflix is my guilty pleasure – period.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Penny Riordan Director of Digital Audience Engagement at GateHouse Media
Who would YOU nominate for this series? Let us know!