People of Publift: Meet Maria

Naomi Khor
May 1, 2024
May 9, 2024
People of Publift: Meet Maria

People of Publift: Celebrating our Amazing Publifters! 

We are excited to welcome Maria, the new sales development representative (SDR) manager, to our expanding Dublin team! With three years of diverse sales experience at Salesforce, progressing through roles from business development associate to an account executive across various industries, Maria is poised to drive significant growth. Join us as we discuss her career journey, ambitious goals for the team, and insightful perspectives on industry challenges.

1. As the first SDR Manager in Publift Dublin, what are the three things that you are most excited to achieve in Publift?

Fuel the team’s growth. The Business Development team comprised just four last month, with three more starting this month. We expect to see similar growth across May-June. It is amazing to see the team triple in size in the space of a few months and I am eager to see the chain reaction from the influx of SQLs we see with this growth on the broader revenue goals!

Creating learning & development opportunities. Working with a young, ambitious team who are keen to pave their tech sales career is really stimulating. Helping them develop cold-calling techniques, rapport building, presentation skills, and soon introducing them to the art of negotiation to help them prepare for the next stage of their career, Account Executive, are all part of the agenda.

Propel our goal of being the best ad tech company globally for online publishers both in terms of product and customer service. Whilst we can ensure the SDRs are well-trained in product knowledge, customer service is where they can play a pivotal role. Walt Disney once said, 

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do”

By ensuring the SDRs are well versed on product, and that they demonstrate empathy, character and sincerity in helping the customer get the most value, we should see a domino-effect on our organic growth. This should encourage our publishers to bring any subsidiary sites on-board or vouch for us when their counterparts are seeking a programmatic partner.

2. Describe a day in the life of a SDR Manager in Dublin.

JFK made the valid point that not only is physical activity the key to a healthy body, but it is also the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. So I try to activate myself by starting the day with exercise. If not, I make time in the evening to put behind any stresses from the day and re-set for the next. My team also live by this - we have a dancer, a long-distance runner, gym bunnies, sauna enthusiasts. Work-life balance is crucial in sales to avoid burnout!

The office day consists of planning and running enablements, searching for the strongest candidates from the many applicants applying to our open positions, running interviews, listening back to my SDRs cold-calls to provide constructive feedback, hosting 1/1s with the team, building out a tech stack that supports the SDRs’ prospecting.

Externally but still Publift-related, I keep my finger on the pulse of industry trends and leadership skills.

At the moment, I’m reading ‘The Sales Acceleration Formula’ by Mark Roberge, Sales SVP turned CRO in Hubspot’s early days. Understanding how he built out the sales team and trying to adapt a similar approach.

3. How did you get into tech and what has that journey been like for you? 

During college, I always balanced a handful of retail and brand activation roles where I discovered my love for sales. In deciding the industry to pursue my sales career, tech was flourishing the most. It is constantly evolving, particularly at the moment with the new wave of AI. Being apart of an industry that I could grow alongside appealed to me…

So I started in Salesforce within 2 weeks of completing my final exams.

I learned the art of personalised, strategic messaging in the prospecting roles there before progressing to Account Executive, developing skills related to the latter end of the sales cycle (demo presentations, KDM rapport-building, negotiation).

4. What has it been like working in the Dublin office?

Fast-paced (in the best kind of way) and fun!

The team moved into the office just before Christmas.

It’s late Spring and we have already outgrown our floor and are moving to a bigger space. 

We run monthly events for the full Dublin team which have been a great means of getting to know each-other personally. My favourite event was a go-karting experience… a competitive event like that is always thrilling when there’s salespeople involved. Am I allowed to toot my own horn and remind the team here that I came first? They will probably rebut with the fact that this was the division 2 race…

5. You've made quite a huge leap from Salesforce! Why did a tech company like Publift appeal to you as your next career choice?

Salesforce was a fantastically large enterprise to work for, with brilliant L&D opportunities. No book was unwritten - if you needed to create a new presentation, or form of outreach, for example, the chances were - it had been done before for you to find, tailor and put your stamp on.

I was keen to step inside the world of a business in its infant stages where I could bring some of the well-oiled processes I had learned, and help write the processes for the first time here. 

In a smaller, growing company, we are all well-informed on the broader business goals, what we need to do to get there, and can really see the impact first-hand. A scale-up environment also offers unparalleled opportunities for rapid professional advancement!

6. Being in the publisher space and speaking with them on a daily basis, is there a gap in the industry? How is Publift solving that for them?

A concern from publishers who have tried programmatic elsewhere in the past, is that they didn’t see the revenue uplift they had hoped to from their ad inventory due to factors such as ad blocking. Publift’s Adblock monetisation feature recovers 6-12% RPM. This is user-friendly so ads are only served to opted-in users.

Additionally, a common misconception is that programmatic advertising has a detrimental effect on a website’s page performance and the end-user experience. This is true depending on the partner you work with… and is not true if you engage Publift! Not only do we want to boost revenue for a publisher, but protecting the page speed and UX is equally important to us. We want to ensure the publisher’s traffic stays strong and so we have developed an “adaptive tag” to enhance page performance.

Finally, the deprecation of 3rd party cookies is another gap. Brock and the product team have been sharing insights on LinkedIn and on our blog regarding alternatives… revert to those if you are reading this and interested in learning more!

7. I’m sure you’ve got a lot on your plate, what would be the best escapes for your day-to-day after work?

I alluded to exercise being my re-set button in detailing the day in the life but to be more specific - boxing!

Punching it out on a bag or padwork alongside the friends I’ve made at Headon Boxing Academy is the greatest source of escapism for me. Especially sparring sessions, you don’t have time to think about everything you need to do in work tomorrow when there is a right hand coming at you!

This concludes our first look at our expansive SDR team in Dublin! Read more about where else we're expanding in this blog about Publift life, which highlights Suzan, our Senior Yield Analyst based in Sydney!

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