Saija - VP of Business
5 key points you probably didn’t know about LeadDesk’s growth journeyschedule6 minute read
Once just a small Finnish company, LeadDesk is fast becoming a leading sales and customer service software provider in Europe. With six years of experience at LeadDesk, our VP of Business Saija Pouru has had a front seat on the company’s growth journey.
As our business has grown, Saija’s career has also rocketed at LeadDesk.
Saija joined LeadDesk back in 2015 as a Customer Success Manager. Fast forward to today, and she manages 3 business units as VP of Business.
Her main responsibility is to make sure that employees flourish and can perform their best in their work; whether it’s offering a helping hand in a tricky situation, helping to set challenging but realistic targets, or chatting over a cup of coffee. Sometimes she attends to customer projects herself.
How has Saija experienced our growth journey, and what does she think are key points we, as a company, have learned on our way up?
In six years, Saija has experienced an impressive growth journey of her own
When Saija joined LeadDesk in 2015, the company had started expanding into Europe and had a revenue of around 5 million euros.
Entering a fast-growing, evolving company and helping it take shape was an exciting opportunity for Saija. As a growth-oriented person, it didn’t take her long to make her skills evident; in one and a half years she had already moved from Customer Success Manager to taking the lead of the entire Customer Success operation.
“I was thrilled to get the opportunity to create operational models that enable the company to grow, for the first time in my career”, Saija recalls.
To Saija, this kind of responsibility was a sign of the trust that LeadDesk had in her. And it felt great!
A few years went by, and Saija had reached a point where she felt her job at LeadDesk had run its course. After one and a half years of leading the customer success operations, it was time for a new challenge. By this time LeadDesk had transformed into a significant player in the European market, so Saija decided to see what a smaller company and a wider responsibility area could offer her.
However, Saija had an indelible influence at LeadDesk, and LeadDesk had also left its mark on her. So, just 1.5 years later, she returned to take the lead of CPaaS, Professional Services and Customer Care Units as VP of Business.
“What made my decision [to return] easy was the culture at LeadDesk. I am goal-oriented by nature and like to work in a fast-changing environment. I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about getting bored here, and I was right about that”, Saija smiles.
According to Saija, a total of six years at LeadDesk has offered her all that she hoped for: challenges, lessons learned, and ever-increasing responsibility. And the growth journey continues.
Saija’s 5 key points from LeadDesk’s growth journey
When a company experiences rapid growth, new things are constantly learned by succeeding and failing. Saija feels that is one of the many positive sides of working in a growth company – there is always a new challenge around the corner.
What are 5 key points she thinks our future employees should know about LeadDesk’s growth journey?
1. We really are a target-driven growth company
In LeadDesk’s culture, the bar has been set high from the very beginning.
“I would say growth is a very essential part of LeadDesk identity. We dare to challenge and aim for ambitious goals, and that has been our custom since day one”, Saija explains.
“Of course, we can’t succeed in everything we do. But we need to evolve and try out new things until we reach our goals”, Saija adds.
2. Today, our market covers the whole of Europe
Today, Saija would describe LeadDesk as a European company instead of a Finnish company.
Although the idea of LeadDesk was born in Finland, it has grown to its current size by expanding to the European market.
Saija feels privileged to have been able to see this major growth journey with her own eyes. Evolving from Finnish-based start-up to one of the leading customer service software companies in Europe hasn’t been without its problems. But with determination, investing in new markets, understanding the clients in each market, and really getting to know the people from different cultures, we have succeeded.
“We call Europe our domestic market. I think that’s something we can be really proud of. It’s not easy to come from as small a market as Finland and succeed in the European market”, Saija says.
“Today I can see our “Europeanness” in many aspects; English being our company-wide language, working daily with bunch of colleagues in different countries and helping our clients all over Europe” Saija lists.
3. Everyone can make an impact
At LeadDesk, you’ll get responsibility if you dare to take it. Saija knows this from her own experience. Although teamwork is very much part of LeadDesk’s DNA, taking responsibility has always been encouraged.
“I like to see things developing and play my part in it too. Gaining responsibility has enabled me to impact things at LeadDesk. And I’m grateful that I’ve always felt heard and received more and more responsibility here”, Saija summarises.
4. We learn by boldly testing new things and listening to each other
In LeadDesk’s early years a lot of things were tested out, developed further, and tested again.
Decisions on how to move forward were mostly decided by the owners and leaders, since they had the best knowledge of the business concept at the time.
But over the years we have learned one important skill: to listen to each other.
According to Saija, the best outcome is always achieved by combining the skills and knowhow of the best topic experts companywide.
“I think it’s really important that we utilise all the knowledge and experience we have here. That way we can set our future plans more easily. We are on this growth journey together, after all”, Saija says.
“Also, clear internal communication helps us to look in the same direction on our growth journey”, she adds.
5. We move forward all the time
At LeadDesk, growing is an ongoing process. According to Saija, it can be seen in every step and turn we take.
“We always go beyond what we already can and know. I think that stepping out of our comfort zone as a business has enabled, and continues to enable, our impressive business growth,” Saija summarises.