EP 10 – Balancing Motherhood and Working in Sales (remotely!)- Stephany Clemons
Presentation of the episode
She gives us all her tips to organize her days.
About Stephany Clemons
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Hi, everybody. I’m very happy to be with Stephany Clemons today, SDR leader. I Stephany, how are you doing?
Fine. I’m very happy to talk with you tonight because we will talk about a subject that is very interesting as being working remotely and working as a mom with kids sometime at some, not every time I believe, you will explain that to us.
Yes. So my kids thankfully are in school. So they are most of the time not home but on occasion, you know, when they have like a winter break, a spring break or e-learning days, they are home. So every now and then, you know, they pop in on some zoom meetings and, you know, make some people giggle. But for the most part. Yeah, they’re out.
And you were already working like that during the pandemic, or you already worked like that before?
So before the pandemic, I actually, I had our youngest daughter, like right before the pandemic shut everything down. And then, you know, everyone got sent home, including the kids. So I had like a three month old and my two older kids all at home while I was trying to manage working from home. And it was definitely quite the transition. So I was in the office before the pandemic. But honestly, now that this has happened and I’ve been working from home the last, you know, two years, I definitely wouldn’t change it.
Yeah. And explain us a bit about your organization or do you manage to have results and optimize your mum’s life? And it is split all around the day?
Yeah. So, you know, mornings are obviously, well, early morning is like dedicated to getting all the kids to school. Right. So then I jump on around 8 30, 9 every day and, you know, work, you know, a normal until about four 30 and then I have to go pick up kids. So, you know, pretty typical like working from home, I will say, think I feel like I get more done at home, honestly, cause I’m not distracted by coworkers or snacks in the office to go get, I just go to the fridge and then come right back. But there’s no one to stop me on my tracks on the way to the fridge at my house than at an office.
When they are home though, I mean, usually what I have to do is just be a little strategic, right? So if their e-learning day, you know, thankfully those days are pretty easy because they’re on zoom with their class. So they’re pretty well occupied until about noon. And we all just do a lunch break, get out if we can, if it’s nice out. And then they still take naps. So put him down for a nap and they’re pretty much good until about 3, 3:30. And then I’m like, all right, you know, free time, play, watch TV, whatever you want to do until I end my work day. So thankfully they’re like pretty self-sufficient in that aspect but it can be challenging. When they’re homesick or something, I’ll usually try to take the day off. But if I have something important, like an important meeting, I’ll definitely still like work throughout my day. And usually the kids will just, everyone’s pretty like open to it now I think since it’s been two years, everyone’s used to like kids or dogs or spouses, you know, jumping in the middle of zoom meetings.
So if they have to be on a zoom meeting, you know, it’s been pretty flexible, honestly, and I’m very grateful.
Yeah. And your kids manage when you work also. They managed to take care of them. And I believe that the olders are taking care of the youngest?
Yep. They sure can. So our youngest one is two, but for the most part, I mean her, since she’s so young, her daycare really doesn’t shut down a lot. So we’ve been very fortunate to like, not have to have her out of daycare a lot. It’s the older two who have more of like the normal school breaks, like fall break or winter break or spring break. Whereas her daycare doesn’t really have as much of that. So yeah. Usually if there are kids home, it’s definitely the older two who are, you know, very self-sufficient.
And how does it come for you to achieve your quota? You have some problem with that, or you still, you work the same way at home and it’s no problem for you and for your management?
Yeah. I mean, I still, you know, work the same I do at home, you know, than as I did in the office. I think I honestly work better. I have some more flexibility. So like, you know, I’m an early bird, so like after my morning workouts, you know, I’ll get on checks, emails, right. And then, all right, get up, get the kids up and ready for school and things like that. Or my husband will do it if I’m finishing some stuff up. So that’s like wee hours of the morning, like probably like six, 7:00 AM for most people, that I’ll usually get on zoom and, or not on zoom on my emails and just catch up with things like at my day, see what in my brain like what’s happening and then, you know, go on about my day. So it’s been a great adjustment. Honestly, I did have one company that I worked for, you know, during this last two years that did want me to come back into an office and be there, you know, eight, nine hours a day. And I was like, I can’t do it anymore you know, especially with kids and their schedules and drop off and pick up.
I don’t know how we did it before the pandemic, somehow we all did. I think daycare hours for most daycares, at least my kids, their hours got cut short during the pandemic. So I think that probably doesn’t help, but there was just no feasible way for me to be at that job. Eight hours a day with the daycare hours that were limited.
So very thankful to be able to have flexibility now, to work from home and not have to be so constraint to being in one place. Right. Cause I can work at a coffee shop now. You know, I can work at my house. You know, if we go on a family vacation, we can work at hotels, whatever we need to do. So I think that’s really been a turning point for employees and companies to adapt.
And many of your coworkers in your company are doing the same or are you an exception? So it’s becoming a normality where you work. Or is it really what you look for?
Yeah. It’s definitely what I look for all my, so I was managing a team of six SDRs. One of them was in Hawaii, which is actually like six hours behind where I was.
So, you know, they’re all spread out across the United States, sometimes even overseas, like I once had a manager all the way in the UK. It’s a five-hour time difference for me. So I think it’s allowed a lot of flexibility to allow employees to work from wherever they feel most comfortable, but also allow companies to open up where they can hire from. So they have a wider talent pool to choose from now.
Yeah, it really is a way also I intend to build salesdeck, to be a fully remote company, to have people located everywhere in the world. And it’s really nice what you can do today in terms of being really global and being a global while everybody is still at home, which is really great and interesting in terms of work.
In terms of management, is it difficult for you to manage people from different, being at home and being scattered in different time zones? What is your management routine?
Yeah. So I will say, I think the most difficult thing when you have a team that is so spread out and on different time zones is finding the best time and day to get everyone to get together, to connect.
That was honestly like the most difficult part. I like to do, you know, like a daily standup, right. Where we all come together and, you know, talk about like what we’re going to do for the day, what our goals are, what we need help with and things like that. And so that was definitely an adjustment, trying to be like, okay, so we’re going to have it at noon to accommodate, you know, the west coast people, but on the east coast it’s noon.
So 8:00 AM at west coast or 9:00 AM but then it’s like midday for you all. So trying to get used to that kind of an adjustment, but otherwise, I mean, I don’t mind jumping on, you know, one of my SDRs on the west coast would have a question and it’s like 7, 8, 8 my time. And I have no problem getting on a call.
I’m like, Hey, that’s fine. Just we’re warning. Kids are home. Like, so if you hear them in the background, eating food or whatever. You know, just preface it, but usually everyone’s like, oh, it’s fine. We’re all used to it at this point. So.
Yeah, it’s the same for me at the moment. I’m in Paris and it’s the evening already.
So kids are at home, they can pop up also. Other tips in terms of management? Is it difficult to work with people, maybe some of them you haven’t seen at all? Physically.
Definitely. So I was trying to rack my brain because it’s so different working on a remote team and you miss that in-person aspect and I’m definitely an extrovert.
So I like, I would love to like meet everyone and not meeting everyone in person was really difficult. So I had to figure out how to, you know, kind of mesh our team together and get them all to feel more like friends and not just coworkers. Right. So I think you have to do a lot of team building activities, right.
Or just have those open sessions where you’re just like, let’s talk about like, whatever it doesn’t have to be work-related, it can be about your dog, your cat, your spouse, your siblings, whatever you want to talk about. And I think that allows for your team to kind of get to know each other on a different level of more than just oh, this person does really good every month. Let me talk to them about work all the time.
Okay. And what other kinds of routines do you have to do to have the team being a close together?
Yeah, so like I said, those sessions where we just talk about anything but work basically. Right. And you know, I’ve been really working on trying to get some more team building activities. Like I’ve done some really fun, like escape rooms. So you get paired up with different people and you have to like figure out you’re on teams. Right. And you have to figure out these riddles to get to the next level and things like that. So I think it’s just virtual still, but even then, like, it’s definitely something to break the norm.
I will say, you know, we have started going back to conferences as well, and that has really helped. I did get to meet like one of my SDRs in person finally. And it was. We were like, we need to get everyone out to meet each other somehow some way, because it really does help, like you bond over zoom. Right.
But once you meet in person, it kind of solidifies that. So definitely I think remote is very good, but I do still think at some point you need to make sure. That you get your team together in person, however you need to do it.
So, so you take opportunity of stuff, events of conference to meet in person and to have the opportunity to do more than zoom.
Yeah. As much as I love zoom, like, you know, it’s different when you’re in person, for sure. You can’t deny it.
And with your customer, do they see a difference? Did they care that you at home or at the office, is it something that they take into account or at the moment everybody’s so used to it that it’s not a problem?
I really haven’t run into too many people. Like if I’ve been on the phone with a, you know, a prospect, you know, cold calling and, you know, a kid comes in the background or something. Everyone would just kind of laugh it off or like the prospect when I’m talking to their dog starts going crazy.
Everyone’s basically at home still. And even if they’re not, they’ve been at home, so they still get it right. They still know that a lot of companies are still doing fully remote. So I think it’s allowed us all to be a little more human in all of our interactions, especially business interactions.
So for me, I haven’t really run into those people who were unhappy that a kid or a dog or something, you know, happened in the background.
And I believe sometimes it’s really a subject of conversation. And you can talk about that.
Yeah, for sure. I definitely think it helps you build rapport and you know, just everyone wants to be treated like a human, especially in a sales cycle. Right. So the more human you can make it and not feel like you’re being sold definitely helps. And so the distractions, honestly, I think are more of a help than a hindrance for salespeople.
Yes. I agree with you. It’s nice to have just occasion to create relationships and to bond and not to be only doing your pitch slap.
Thankfully we are not pitch slapping. But if we are, hopefully…
Yeah, I’m trying to use words that are awkward for me from friends and I learned this one on LinkedIn. Do you have some other tips you can share with our audience?
So tips from working from home, I would say still treat your day and set it up as if you were still in the office. Right? So if you were time blocking this hour for calls this hour for email ect, you still have to do that.
But also one of the biggest things that I had to really do was because I was at home and I found myself just like being at my desk literally all day, not getting up, I had to actually put on my calendar, go eat lunch, or like get up and take a walk or something because I found myself it’s really easy to just like get in the zone and then you’re like, oh my day’s over.
So I really had to be intentional about sending breaks for myself as well. So 10 out of 10,
I do the same, you know, I’m French so lunch and eating is important for French people. And I try to have a lunch outside of home every day and that’s my way to get out, to have some air and to get out and to see real people.
It’s finally getting nice over here. I mean, Indiana, which is the Midwest of the United States and it’s finally getting nice. So like, I definitely will try to get outside and take a walk around the block or something, just fresh air, some vitamin D, right. Because it’s hard to be stuck in an office space all day. And especially when you don’t have someone to talk to all the time. Yeah, definitely. Nice to make sure you get out of this space.
And you also have a salesman close to you and your neighbors with whom you have lunch, or you have a walk.
So my neighbor right behind me, actually, like we share backyards and everything, our kids play together. He’s also a sales person at another company. So we often just, you know, we’ll see each other out and we’re like, Hey, and we’ll just talk about our days. So that’s been nice too. I’ve been very lucky to find another salesperson to live by me, but…
So you have a coworker neighbor.
Yes, he works in his basement. So he has like no sunlight. I at least have a window and stuff. So when he comes out, I’m like, okay. I definitely think it’s time to take a break if I see him outside.
Great. Maybe a last tip and it will be the end of the episode, or you have told us everything?
I mean, I think I’ve got most of my head, definitely the taking the breaks is like my biggest take away because that was the hardest thing. But the most important thing I think I’ve learned since working from home.
Yeah. I agree with you. Thanks a lot. Stephanie’s this episode of the virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. Join us twice a week for a new episode, with new stories and challenge of giants in the field.
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Thanks a lot Stephany. It was very interesting. Thank you.
Likewise. Thank you.
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