Start Strong. Finish Stronger. – Johanna Eichhorst
At the beginning of Johanna Eichhorst’s sales career at NextRoll, her mentor told her he hoped she’d be here for 10 years. Back then, that seemed like a lifetime away. But here we are, and it’s been almost seven years! Time has flown by since her ambitious goals and growth keep her quite busy.
Today, she leads our AdRoll North American Direct Sales team that acquires new customers in the mid-market and SMB segment. She’s responsible for the performance of four sales teams and spends her days developing and implementing sales strategies that drive revenue, coaching and hiring team members, and partnering with other teams to implement processes and tools that increase efficiency.
Even though her days are packed with work that she loves to do, she recently chatted with us about how and why she makes time – with the support of NextRoll leaders – for professional development and career growth.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The autonomy that comes with it and the impact I can have on people and the business!
I love doing new things and my role requires me to constantly draw on my creative, people-oriented, and analytical side to drive the business forward. I can’t be successful without enabling my team (and keeping them happy and engaged) and they can’t reach new heights without me finding ways for them to sell more effectively and efficiently. At the same time, I represent the sales team in business-wide initiatives, thus helping AdRoll business unit leaders think through how we will continue to transform our business and increase the value that we’re delivering to our customers.
I really am in a unique position, because I continuously need to think about the here and now, as well as what will happen in 3-12 months. That can be stressful at times, but it allows me to have a lot of fun, too!
What do you think are the most important things to have in order to be successful at your job and why?
I’ve found I need these three things to be successful:
Strong sales acumen. I need to understand how a sales team operates and produces revenue, so I can identify gaps and opportunities – and double down on what I need to accelerate my team’s success.
Resilience. Having a sales target means there’s constant pressure. I go through a lot of ups and downs without letting things get to me. Most importantly, I need to know when and how to put pressure on my team and when to absorb and filter out some of the pressure, so my team can stay motivated and focused.
A network of people I trust and can vent to if needed. We all have bad days, so it’s important to have people you trust – a manager, colleague, or peer – to blow off some steam… You don’t want to use your team for that!
In what ways has NextRoll set you up for success?
There are so many ways! The culture and flat hierarchy played a huge role in setting me up for success. I’m someone who shares feedback and ideas as I spot areas for improvement. I’ve had access to senior leadership early on, as they hold Office Hours or are willing to grab a coffee 1:1. I took advantage of these opportunities within a few weeks of joining the company and over time I’ve built confidence in how to speak to senior leaders and how to think about topics that are top of mind for them.
I’m also very fortunate that I found a number of mentors and advocates early on, and I’m still grateful today for their support. Some reached out directly and took me under their wing, while others became close confidants as we spent more time together at work.
Finally, I’ll never forget the Women in Leadership program that I attended in Dublin. The program really accelerated my career, as I was partnered with an external coach who helped me work through some personal challenges and beliefs that were holding me back without me even realizing it. I’m still in awe of all of the strong women who were part of my cohort.
What keeps you going strong at work and why?
My team! I want to see everyone on my team be the best they can be and as successful as possible. It’s my responsibility to help them get there. I feel incredibly fulfilled and happy when I see someone reach new heights and do something that would have been unthinkable months ago. I’d also call out the sense of humor that my manager and team have. Laughing always helps!
In addition, it’s important to realize there will be times when you can’t give as much in work as you’d like because of whatever might be going on in your personal life. Realizing that’s ok and happens to everyone has helped me through these tougher times and ultimately unlock mental bandwidth and headspace to push through. Bonding with people around me as I’ve faced some personal challenges has helped me massively. The vulnerability my colleagues or I can display brings us together as people, not just as professionals, it’s what ultimately powers a business.
Where and how have you grown the most since you started at NextRoll?
I’d say confidence and leaning into my authentic self. I trust myself much more than I did when I started, and I enjoy leaning into my quirks because they make me who I am. I definitely see that I’ve developed an instinct for business and people, which I leverage to drive results.
How do you measure success in your career?
Money and title aren’t everything, especially when you are in the first half of your career. I’m successful in my career and will feel good about my professional trajectory if I can answer “yes” to the following questions:
Am I happy? Am I having a positive influence on the people around me? Am I impacting the business positively? Am I my authentic self at work?
Am I learning? Am I doing things today that I wasn’t able to do a year ago? Do I know things today that I didn’t know before? Am I working on interesting problems? Am I getting exposed to new people who I can learn from?
I don’t know where my career will take me, but I’m leaning into my curiosity to find out. Each change I make and every new experience that I have help me uncover something new in me and where I’d like to go. Success to me means I can look back and feel good about the choices that I made and the person that I’ve become. I’ve got a strong moral compass and if I can stick to that while taking on new responsibilities – and making more money down the road – I’m good!
Are you ready for a career that supports your aspirations and growth in and outside the office? Learn more about how we support ambitious women on our Start Strong. Finish Stronger. site.