When you’ve gone from scrappy startup to a NASDAQ listed company with offices around the world, it would be easy to assume that a rigid corporate bureaucracy would set in. But at MongoDB, that's far from the case.
They have built a meritocratic culture from top to bottom, which empowers all employees to help them discover innovative ways to disrupt the $64 billion (and growing) database software market.
We spoke with three members of their sales team about how the commitment to put values first — and trust between team members — has moved their careers forward while also allowing the company to grow with integrity.
WHAT THEY DO: MongoDB is a general purpose database platform, designed to unleash the power of software and data for developers and the applications they build.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Austin
ME TIME AND MEAL TIME: MongoDB offers 20 weeks of paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers, as well as unlimited PTO. And don’t forget the food ― there are daily food trucks at the office, fully-stocked fridges and a variety of snacks.
Danielle Lemieux, Corporate Account Executive
Danielle is in sales, but her focus extends beyond bringing in new business — she also manages existing client relationships, which includes renewals and upsells.
THE WORLD IS HER OYSTER: Danielle takes full advantage of MongoDB’s generous vacation policy ― in just the past year, she visited Prague, Amsterdam, Venice, Florence, Berlin, Frankfurt, and London. Next up? Japan.
What inspired you to join MongoDB?
I love a good challenge. Within six months of starting all my other sales jobs, I’ve had the product, process and sale down pat. Here, I’m still learning.
I am also inspired by the way MongoDB treats their employees, especially when it comes to taking time off for yourself. At most companies, if you leave for a couple of hours, your return is welcomed with a “How was the job interview?” But here, there is trust.
Does MongoDB make career growth a priority?
I’ve only been at the company for nine months, and I’ve seen a few of my colleagues promoted to senior seller positions, a few promoted to a field sales role and two promoted to management. The path is laid out, clear, and attainable. Now, I just have to get there.
I love a good challenge. Within six months of starting all my every other sales jobs, I’ve had the product, process and sale down pat. Here, I’m still learning. ”
What are some recent ways your team has celebrated together?
We love to celebrate wins with team outings ― recently we went on a barbecue and beer tour with Austin Detour. It was tons of fun seeing live music at Saxon Pub, eating brisket at Terry Black’s and drinking beer at Uncle Billy’s.
Building a culture is meaningful because it means we’re building connections and friendships that will last longer than our tenure here at MongoDB. Those bonds are crucial to a successful and happy workforce.
Javier Molina, Head of Corporate Sales, North America
Javier runs North America sales for the corporate segment of Mongo DB’s business, which encompasses accounts that have 1,500 employees and below. His duties include account penetration, retention, territory assignments, hiring, development and executing on forecast.
BEYOND WORK: As a college baseball player, Javier hated to run ― five years ago, that all changed. He now loves the mental challenge of running, where he reminds himself of the 40% rule: “Your mind quits when your body is at 40% of its capacity.”
Why is it important that your team be their unique selves in the workplace?
My management team is extremely diverse, and it’s set up that way purposely. This allows us to bring different ideas and experiences to the table. It’s also interesting to get feedback after a round of interviews from many different perspectives. This helps me round out our decisions and ensure we’re not being biased due to previous experiences or personal indifference. We’re not robots, and I like it that way.
What are some positives of trying to retain the startup feel within a company that's publicly-traded?
It’s pretty unique to be part of such a small sales team when the company is over 1,300 employees. Here in Austin, we’re able to think globally but act locally. We’re growing and constantly iterating our sales process, but at the same time we benefit from having a fully built-out deal desk, a professional services team, an enablement team, a world-class support team, field marketing, local CSMs, a top tier SDR program, a finance team and support from company executives.
When other departments visit our office, they often compliment us on both our humbleness and the hunger our team shows. We’re building our own culture and it’s pretty exciting to be a part of.
My management team is extremely diverse, and it’s set up that way purposely. This allows us to bring different ideas and experiences to the table.”
Talk to us about your ideal candidate. What skills do they bring to the table?
Because of our high growth business and desire to promote from within, our hiring policy is built around attributes and potential, while many other companies hire strictly off experience.
There’s something different about the people we hire. Along with high intelligence, there's an extra fire that is sometimes hard to find.
The reps on my team range from one who in college used to commute from San Marcos on the weekends to be a bouncer on 6th Street, to several ex-athletes and one who did manual labor with her dad every weekend. Most have something in their background that changed who they are and made them want to be the best of the best.
Andrew Amato, SDR Team Lead
Andrew is an individual contributor and manager of the inbound SDR team. His team sources opportunities for enterprise and corporate account executives in the North American and Australia-New Zealand markets.
THINKING AHEAD: In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, Andrew believes that it’s more important than ever to understand yourself and the world around you. He spends the lion’s share of his free time learning and journaling about philosophy and psychology.
What are your goals for your team?
I like to describe our approach as being more “long-term greedy” than most. The conversation about each of our goals is constant and expands far beyond what the typical sales organization cares about. When we look back at the body of work of an SDR who’s been in the program for 14 months, we want to be proud of the investment we made as a company in developing this person to be a leader either at MongoDB or another company.
MongoDB prides itself on rewarding hard work and being meritocratic. What about the company culture makes this possible?
We have a culture that rewards initiative and risk-taking. Hard work is not just about putting in long hours but bringing new ideas to the table that drive the business forward. The most successful leaders at MongoDB are passionate changemakers and outstanding storytellers who are equally as committed to their external clients as they are to their internal teammates.
We have a culture that rewards initiative and risk-taking. Hard work is not just about putting in long hours but bringing new ideas to the table that drive the business forward.”
How does your team celebrate big wins?
Team outings have ranged from day trips to Schlitterbahn — a Texas waterpark — to ax throwing, fancy dinners and happy hours on Rainey Street. In addition to team celebrations, we’ve had a number of individual competitions that reward top performance. Recently, the SDR who sourced the most closed-won revenue for 2019 won a trip to our Dublin office, and the SDR who achieved the highest quota for the year is going to Excellence Club in Costa Rica.
International travel opportunities are becoming more common as our team expands around the globe. Another teammate who’s been performing at a very high level was recently provided the opportunity to move to Australia, where he’ll be the first SDR.