Welcome back to the From Vendorship → Partnership podcast, Season 2: Seller’s Journey.
This week, we’re sharing a masterclass we held with sales & revenue leaders at Atrium, GTM Buddy, and Finix on how to manage up!
The panel dove into best practices for setting expectations and aligning with execs, tips for communicating and getting buy-in, and how to stand out to your leadership team as a sales manager or leader.
Listen to the episode, or watch the full session below!
Meet the experts:
- Pete Kazanjy, CRO & Founder at Atrium – early stage SaaS GTM expert and author; founder of Modern Sales Pros (25k+ member community)
- Adam Boushie, CRO at Finix – experienced revenue leader with a background in global tech & small business ownership
- Belal Batrawy, Head of GTM at GTM Buddy – recognized top sales leader by Salesforce, Salesloft, Crunchbase, and AngelList
Pete Kazanjy: "If there are any shortfalls or 'negative surprises' happening in the company, those are the things that people want to be aware of much more quickly. Everyone’s got a boss. Even the founder’s got a boss, it’s called the board. Everyone’s got someone they’re reporting to. So you just have to think about keeping your boss in the loop on expectations, alignment, and around those negative surprises that come up – early and often."
Belal Batrawy: "There’s a fine line between a manager saying, 'My door’s open, bring me any problems you’re having,' and what they actually want you to do. You have to sort of finesse and be careful about how you approach bringing issues to them – they want you to say what’s going wrong, but they don’t want you to complain. It’s better for you to already have thought out the problem and give your boss a simple choice of A or B, rather than going in with the assumption that you’re going to work it out together. And realize that you might have put a lot of effort into a thought, but your manager isn't going to put much time toward it because they have other things to worry about."
Adam Boushie: "When I was a frontline manager, I looked at managing up as, I’m reporting to my manager so they know what I’m doing. Now that I’m in an exec role, I realize that’s not the intent at all. We’re making decisions for the overall strategy of the business, we’re making decisions about how to build our product to meet our customers’ needs. Managing up is important because that’s where we get information in order to make strategic decisions. And ultimately if we have that information, we’re going to help these sellers be more successful because we’re building better products that are going to be easier to sell to the market. They’re gonna have an easier time hitting their quotas. So I think it’s important to be able to give that visibility into what’s working and what’s not working."
Belal Batrawy: "You have to broadcast yourself and what you’re doing. It comes unnaturally to me and a lot of people who don’t like to talk about themselves, but there’s this assumption that if you're doing your job, people will know, the results will speak for themselves – and that’s not the case. If you have a manager who’s managing several people, they can be completely oblivious. Knowing when to strategically broadcast the things you’re doing is really powerful and important for keeping your manager in the loop."