About #code series
Developers, developers, developers… they are not alone in all around the IT world. This world is not just for programmers!
And the success of a company, project or product, in addition to good, clean code, is also influenced by the work of other experts. At Merixstudio, we have 4 main departments, which include individual specialized teams:
- Engineering – our Frontend, Backend and Mobile developers, DevOps Engineers and QA Specialists
- Delivery – Product Design including UI and UX Designers and Project Management
- Business Development – Inbound and Outbound Analysts plus Business Researchers
- Marketing&HR –included EB, Content, Growth team and our HR Managers
So let's leave Engineering teams with their code, architecture, and tests, and focus on the other side of creative technologists instead! In the next few weeks, we'll be posting a couple of articles to help you understand better how a real software development looks and who stands behind the scene! Today, we’re introducing the people behind all the closed deals: Business Developers, also known as Sales.
Business Development at Merixstudio
If you’ve ever had a chance to visit Małachowskiego 10 during a job interview or an informal meeting, chances are you remember what the upper floor looks like. The open space starts with the HR area, then comes the Marketing headquarters, and – at the very end of this part of the office – there is the Business Development field. The latter space belongs to eleven individuals comprising the Outbound and Inbound Team, both of which are led by Kamil, Head of Business.
Believe it or not, the Business Development area is the loudest part of the entire office. Our Sales specialists are the ones to chatter about the start-up news in the morning, talk the business matters enthusiastically, and whoop it up when the new deal is made. It really makes sense! – says Michał, who’s our Business Developer in the Outbound Team.
Our everyday work is dealing with chaos: juggling deadlines and priorities, such as answering emails, which need our instant attention no matter when we receive them. So it really helps when we can discuss all challenges straight away with the team. Are we really that loud? Well, maybe... Sorry, not sorry! – he laughs.
Outbound Team: the talkative social butterflies
Having just read Michał’s words, you should have already guessed that the Outbound salespeople are the loudest – and there is a good reason for it. On a daily basis, they create prospecting lists, prepare and curate business-oriented content, as well as reach out to decision-makers with an omnichannel approach. Their goal is to find new clients and convey the true value of collaborating with Merixstudio, thus convincing stakeholders to entrust their projects to our company.
Apart from contacting prospective customers via different channels, our Outbound Sales Specialists participate in tech and business events, where they strike up relationships with a diverse range of verticals, share their expertise and offer advice to startuppers, and promote Merixstudio’s services.
Within the Outbound Team, there are two types of positions: Business Developers, whose job is to directly reach potential clients and Business Researchers, who support their colleagues by creating lists of potential clients that ought to be contacted. As I’m writing this article, there are three Business Developers and two Business Researchers on board – and most are sociable, outgoing buddies who love talking to people, a true embodiment of extraversion.
Inbound Team: the analytical thinkers
If you assume that there’s a place for extraverts only in our Business Development department, you can’t be further from the truth! Let me introduce you to the Inbound Team, also known as Business Analysts. As the name suggests, they analyze sales inquiries from the clients who came across Merixstudio in one way or another and, encouraged by the quality of our work, contacted our company on their own. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise, really – it is not so hard to find Merixstudio when you’re on a lookout for a reliable tech partner. After all, Clutch regularly names us as a top custom software development company for a reason.
Going back to our Inbound Team: eight individuals who comprise it are rather calm (especially when compared to their Outbound colleagues) although anything but sluggish!
If you asked me about the character of my job, I would say that it’s all about dealing with the unpredictable – explains Michał, our Senior Business Analyst & Sales Representative – You can’t really plan your work week ahead because you need to be flexible and able to react quickly when the prospective client is ready to have a call with you. Go with the flow and strike while the iron’s hot.
When dealing with customer inquiries, you need to be ready to take the call at any time – big mugs surely come in handy then 😉
Much like the Outbound Team, our Business Analysts use a number of tools to do high-quality work. While most of them are the secret weapons of Merixstudio’s experts (magicians never reveal their secrets, do they?), there are also some that every salesperson ought to know, such as Gsuite, Slack, or Hubspot. If you’re applying for the Business Development position at Merixstudio and you’ve got some experience working with these tools, don’t forget to mention it during a job interview – it’s a major plus!
What’s the job of a Business Developer at Merixstudio all about?
Now that you’ve met both Sales teams, it’s time we looked at a bigger picture and discussed the main responsibilities of the Business Development department in general.
From the second the initial idea of the software product appears till the moment when the first users run the app on their devices, I’m involved in all stages happening in-between. Throughout the process, I work in close cooperation with the founders to carefully translate users’ needs into the product scope and a detailed tech development plan – explains Julita from the Inbound Team.
Want to put a name to a face? Here’s Julita.
We are driven by the desire to move the company forward. Finding any project is not rocket science. Identifying interesting prospects whose projects are challenging for our developers and having them trust us with their product is what really matters – adds Rory, our Business Development Executive who belongs to the Outbound Team.
As you can see, the goal of the Business Development department is to drive Merixstudio’s growth by attracting clients whose projects contribute to expanding our portfolio and enhancing the company’s credibility as a software provider specializing in given technologies or industries. But closing the deal is just the beginning. When the project is running, our Sales specialists remain engaged by filling in the role of a customer success manager.
The Clients: who our Sales Team gets to work with
Speaking of Merixstudio specializing in certain types of projects, it’s worth devoting some more time to the two types of businesses that we help build scalable, user-friendly web and mobile applications.
The first group includes startups gathering funds from investors in the first round of the fundraising cycle, such as Sheepblue and Genuine Impact - as well as well-funded, established ventures like Moneyfarm or Sendinblue. Only savvy start-ups! – laughs the outbound Michał – We join forces with ventures that can really appreciate the high quality of the code we deliver. The other type of clients we work with are mature companies and big enterprises whose aim is to scale their development team. In this case, our portfolio includes supporting GS1, Volkswagen, The Independent, Toshiba, and HSBC. Whatever the type of client, however, we usually cooperate with ventures located in Western Europe (e.g. in the UK or Germany) and the United States of America.
Here’s what our clients think about us and our services
What makes a perfect Business Developer?
Believe it or not, most of our clients have technical skills (as CTOs of tech companies they simply have to) so our Sales specialists need to demonstrate technical knowledge to make good partners for business conversation. You don’t need to be a programmer but a good understanding of modern web and mobile technologies is crucial – says Sławomir, Business Analyst and Team Leader.
What else makes you a good fit for a Business Developer, Analyst, or Researcher at Merixstudio? Saying that excellent English is a must is almost an understatement – laughs Kamil, our Head of Business Development. To succeed, you’ll need at least some experience in working with an English-speaking client in B2B software sales. We are looking for curious people who can listen carefully and ask the right questions. Pull not push attitude is the key – adds Kamil.
At Merixstudio, we deliver custom solutions tailored to each client’s needs and budget. Nobody likes drummers selling the same goods or services from door to door, do they? That’s why ideal Business Development candidates should be able (and willing) to quickly learn new things as well as boast excellent communication skills to let clarity, empathy, and understanding shine through their speech. Transparency is key in this position: as a salesperson, you sometimes need to tell the client outright that making their wishes come true is impossible. We do not make promises we can’t keep, so other features we are seeking in candidates – especially the ones wanting to join the Inbound Team – are strong analytical skills and ease of handling numbers.
How do these expectations hold in real life?
Among our Business Developers, you can find people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in economy, journalism, business administration, music business, or international economic relations. The truth is, every experience or interest may prove to be of benefit in the current job so, at Merixstudio, we encourage people to use their potential to the fullest.
Deeds, not words, you may say – here you go! We know that Julita is especially passionate about medical technologies so she focuses on cooperation with the MedTech and fitness industries. Norbert, our Business Analyst, used to work in a global investment company so now he takes care of inquiries from the FinTech area. Rory has experience working with the game industry so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he covers this very market on a daily basis. As you can see, we ask What will you bring to the team? during every job interview for a reason.
How is our Sales Department special?
What do our Business Developers appreciate the most at Merixstudio? “People” is one of the answers they give most often.
What I value most about working in Merixstudio is the opportunity to work with experts in their fields. I mean not only the Business Development team but also technologists and marketing people – these are the people we cooperate with most often. Merixstudio attracts individuals with a similar mindset who simply make a good team and know how to get things done – says the inbound Michał.
It’s also worth mentioning that within our Sales Team, there’s also a bunch of real veterans who have been working at Merixstudio for over ten years now – one example is Kamil with 12-years of seniority in-house. Working hand in hand with these experienced craftsmen, helping to develop really interesting projects, and building products that matter, you can really learn a lot.
Our Business Developers also appreciate the trust that is put into their actions and the freedom to achieve goals their own way.
I’ve been assessed on the results, not the time spent at a desk. The real satisfaction comes when clients successfully launch the products we helped create. Or when start-ups get the next rounds of funding because investors believe the product we build is bound to drive profit in the future – says Michał.
How to grow in this position
Being a part of the Business Development department, you can evolve from a regular to a senior. And once you reach that point, you may choose to develop your managerial skills by becoming a team leader or hone your skills in a different way. I thought that the more experience I have, the easier the work gets but as time passed, I noticed that I challenge myself looking for more and more demanding projects – confesses Michał. Appetite comes with eating, indeed!
Merixstudio’s Business Development team expands their skills constantly, partially thanks to the training budget that gets renewed on a yearly basis. Our Sales specialists take part in external workshops (e.g. sales and marketing training, soft skills & negotiation techniques workshops) but also learn a lot internally when they join the post mortem project presentations hosted by Project Managers. During such meetings, the entire team does its best to draw conclusions and improve our future processes. Let’s not forget about “Serious Sales Talk”, a series of internal Business Development talks which focus on Merixstudio’s sales process.
Both Outbound and Inbound Teams participate in tech events held abroad where they gain even more experience. In 2019, for instance, they took part in TechDay London. It gave us the chance to pitch potential investors, run product demos, and tell our story to the tech world – says Rory.
Our Business Development Team also joined Tech Open Air in Berlin in the summer. It was an invaluable experience, learning about the needs and difficulties faced by representatives of German tech hubs – explains Michał. Julita, on the other hand, was impressed by Disrupt Berlin:
I was literally soaking up the news about the European startup scene. I felt which industries take the lead (spoiler alert: FinTech), smelled which ones evolve the fastest (sustainability, ecology) and actually touched the point to which technology has got so far (I high-fived a mind-controlled robot showcased during the event).
And although participation in such events does not guarantee coming home with a bunch of closed deals, networking and broadening horizons are what our team always benefits from.
That’s it for the first part of our Code series. If you feel like you’d belong with our Business Development Team, do not hesitate to check out the current openings. We’ll be more than happy to meet you during the job interview! Expect a friendly and cozy atmosphere – and don’t forget to leave stress and suit at home. I’m sure once you join us, you’ll enjoy working hand in hand with all Merixstudio’s Sales as much as I do!
Inspired? It’s high time you applied for our Business Development Team!