September 24, 2021 ON24
Meet Michael Mercer – one of ON24’s Account Executives based out of London! Having just joined ON24 last year, Michael has played an instrumental role in the success of our EMEA Commercial team. Michael shares how he came to find ON24, his adjustment to remote work, and tips for candidates looking to join ON24’s fantastic Sales team. Read what Michael had to share below!
What is your position & what team are you a part of at ON24?
I am currently an Account Executive in the EMEA Commercial Team
How did you hear about ON24, and what drew you to join?
I knew a few people (not directly) from my old company that worked at ON24. I had heard really positive things about the company, and as a result, one of my colleagues at the time introduced me to Tim Collin and George Wilson. Looking at the website and the content, ON24 looked like an exciting and modern company that, on the surface, appeared to be a fun place to work. In addition, while what I sold before was totally different (bid management software), the sales process and stakeholders I would have to target were very similar, which was very appealing.
I did a lot of research online, and it was clear that ON24 was a market leader in the space and the customers they had were all well-known global players, which was also reassuring.
I had numerous interviews with the team, and everyone I met with seemed cool and the type of people I would enjoy working with; plus, I was attracted by the very ambitious growth plans explained to me by the management.
How long have you been with ON24?
My first day was 23rd March 2020 – the day that the UK went into a total national lockdown!!
How has ON24 evolved since the time you joined?
Well, talk about timing! I joined at the start of the pandemic, and it was absolutely crazy – call after call, demo after demo. My first year felt like I had crammed in two! I have seen many positive changes in the short time I have worked at ON24 – a new team structure, new managers, new products, new messaging, and propositions. Oh, and of course, an IPO!
I am excited about the future as the product and company continue to evolve.
What have been some of your favorite projects you have worked on at ON24?
Because of the nature of my role in sales, I haven’t worked on projects, so to say. However, the team and I have worked on several campaigns that focus on specific verticals; for instance, this year, we have focused on universities looking to shift from physical open days to virtual open days. In addition, with the help of our manager, we have placed a lot of emphasis on ensuring we have dedicated and regular activity that focuses us on targeting larger businesses with the entire suite of products within the ON24 platform.
How has ON24 helped you with your career development?
I like the way ON24 provides you with an onboarding mentor, so you learn from people doing the same role who have had similar experiences and know what it’s like to be in your shoes. In addition, remote-working has made it far easier to join other team members’ calls and therefore witness and learn different styles and approaches to selling, which I can incorporate into my sales process.
By revisiting my process, I’ve been able to fine-tune my sales process and focus on providing value and ROI for prospective clients, which is incredibly important considering that ON24 is a premium platform.
It’s still early days for me; however, I have already seen a number of internal promotions, and I hope in the future when the time is right, I will be able to progress and develop my career within ON24.
What has been your favorite ON24 memory?
Because of the restrictions, we haven’t been able to make as many memories as we would have liked over the last year or so. That said, I have met some great people and created lots of new friends, and I am sure as we come out into the new normal, there will be lots of favorite memories made.
What excites you most about ON24’s future?
It has to be the product. It’s already a fantastic product, but with the continuous innovation and the new features we keep adding, we will continue to get stronger and stronger.
In addition, it’s been great to see the caliber and background of the new people joining the company in senior positions. It illustrates that the company is serious about growth and is building the foundations for success.
What advice do you have for prospective ON24 candidates?
If you’re looking to join ON24 in a sales role, I recommend getting your head around what industries we sell to and why. All this information is easy to find on the website. Knowing this during the interview stage will speed up your onboarding significantly as well.
I would also join some of the ON24 webinars that we run. We have many live webinars frequently running as part of our Webinar Best Practice Series, as well as a whole host of on-demand experiences hosted on our website. These will help you become familiar with the platform and will demonstrate what makes us unique.
It really is a great time to join ON24. If you are serious about joining ON24, you need to demonstrate that you have done your homework about the company and space and know your strengths and what you can bring to the company. Working at ON24 is an amazing opportunity, and there will be lots of competition for roles.
What is your proudest moment as an ON24 employee?
It’s hard to pinpoint a particular moment as my entire time here at ON24 has been fantastic, especially after the year we had in 2020! But as a salesperson, your first deal at a company is always a proud moment; therefore, I will go with that.
What is unique about ON24?
Outside of the world-class products. Other AEs and I are spoilt when it comes to resources. Our amazing team – Marketing, SDRs, Solution Engineers, Virtual Conference & Marketing Solutions Overlay all play a massive part in the success myself and the team has had. I have worked at other companies, and you are out there on your own.
I also love the fact that ON24 practices what we preach and are our very own case study when it comes to using the platform. For me, this makes the ON24 value proposition easier to sell.
What has your experience been like adjusting to a fully remote environment?
I won’t lie, the first few weeks were tough! Not only was I having to adapt to a new way of working, but I had my two kids at home having to homeschool, which was also a new experience! As a new employee and not knowing people across the various departments within the business, I felt a little isolated at times. Thankfully, I’m not shy and don’t mind annoying people, so it didn’t take long before I knew who was who and felt more at ease. It also helped that everyone in the company seemed so nice and willing to help.
Fast forward to now, and I am adapted to this new way of working and feel I am incredibly productive. I would have had a 1.5 hour trip to the office, so I can utilize that time to do some extra work, exercise (sometimes ha), and take my son to school – all before I would have typically been in the office!!
Because of the nature of the solution and the value we sell, I think engaging with potential clients virtually makes sense, particularly when it comes to demonstrating our capabilities.
What makes the sales team different from other company’s sales teams?
I am lucky to work with an incredible group, and the banter and dynamic are great. I love my team because we are all super competitive; we also help each other out and go the extra mile to support one another. There is a huge amount of knowledge sharing, and team members are willing to help with any questions.
When I joined, I was blown away by the industry knowledge inside the sales team’s heads. They knew exactly what to say, to the right people, specific to the industries they worked in to get the opportunities moving.
I haven’t seen this elsewhere and feel this is largely down to how close and supportive the team are for each other.
What is unique about the EMEA team within the broader Sales team?
It’s hard to compare the EMEA team to other teams, i.e., US and APAC, as I haven’t worked with them. I have worked collaboratively on some global opportunities, and the experience has been excellent. We all work very similarly regarding messaging, but perhaps the terminology and anecdotes we use are slightly different.
One thing I suspect is different here in EMEA is the fact that when dealing with individual companies and contacts within the region, there can be significant differences. For instance, engaging with someone based in France or the Netherlands may differ from dealing with a company based in Israel. The language they speak, their business customs, the way they negotiate, and even their workdays can vary – these can all provide challenges and mean that you have to recognize these subtle differences and be flexible in your approach.