Interview with Smarp's Anup Khera

10 min read

Anup Khera is Chief Revenue Officer at Smarp - the employee communication and advocacy programme that helps businesses better connect with their employees.

As the CRO of a mobile first employee communications platform, Anup uses his 20 years+ of sales experience to manage various revenue streams and oversee global people leadership. He has a strong background in SaaS sales, and worked in the SaaS and Martech space before joining Smarp.

As part of our whitepaper study on how SaaS companies have adapted to remote work, we interviewed a number of experts. Below are Anup Khera's insights: 

How Smarp Salespeople have adapted to Remote Work 

Remote work has been great, as many sales leaders used to fly around a lot and be out of the country. This has been great for employee wellbeing in that leaders are now able to be with their families but also it makes them more contactable.

Although it's been nice having time away from travel, there is no doubt that it’s crucial for sales leaders to be with their teams. Smarp has offices in Europe, Finland, the UK and the US - so there is a huge adjustment period going on whereby sales leaders are finding new ways to connect with those teams that they used to see regularly. 

As a global SaaS company who specialises in employee communications, moving processes remotely was pretty seamless. 

How The Impact Of Remote Working has been felt at SMARP

There have been more ups and downs as people are having to work through challenges alone. When people have had bad days or weeks remotely they've struggled to pick themselves up without a team around them, so it's been really important that the sales leaders have worked on boosting morale. 

Communication can be more challenging. For example, in an office you may be able to knock on your managers door and ask a question to which you’ll receive an answer in a matter of minutes. Remotely, these kinds of answers can take longer to get to people and this impacts productivity.

 

How Smarp Sales Leaders Are Improving Remote Culture 

In an office environment, it’s easy to tap someone on the shoulder and ask them a question. There is a sense of community and collaboration which naturally occurs when you all work in the same space. This kind of collaboration can be harder to cultivate remotely, so sales leaders have to encourage a culture of question asking.

Smarp has created a virtual office culture whereby each person has a virtual room and can schedule meetings. For the Smarp sales team this has been great, as they can shoot their manager a Slack message and be in their virtual meeting room 5 minutes later. 

When working remotely, it’s more important than ever to break down any divide between leaders and teams. We are improving remote culture by encouraging collaboration between teams and leaders. Sharing knowledge with other sales professionals and getting external coaching support has been really valuable.

How Smarp Have Honed Remote Onboarding Processes

In the past year, we’ve hired around 5-6 sales employees and 2 sales leaders. In this sense, Smarp have really honed the hiring process and have maintained a positive outlook despite the challenges that COVID-19 has brought.

Whether it has been delivering content to someone who is new and onboarding, or delivering training to more senior team members, having the Smarp platform has been invaluable.

When it comes to measuring new employees' success, we have to take into account that they don’t have access to clients in the same way that they used to. During COVID, clients are working remotely too and have been harder to get hold of, so this naturally makes the whole sales process longer.

 

How are Smarp Enabling Team Growth Remotely? 

Smarp has been encouraging people to refine their skills week on week as opposed to one training session a year or every half year. Everyone needs to be encouraged to continually progress, and sales leaders at Smarp are focusing on enabling their people to grow. 

For sales leaders, it’s impossible to manage a big team and know how they’re all feeling every day. In an office environment you can almost sense if someone is in a bad mood or has had a tough day, but remotely this isn’t possible. Sales leaders have had to tune in to their emotional intelligence and check in more regularly to get a better grasp.

This interview was conducted as part of our whitepaper study on remote work in the SaaS world. Get your free copy here.