Continuing our evolution as a company, Splashtop has hired our first-ever Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Michelle Burrows, and our first-ever Vice President of Sales for the Americas, Grant Murphy.
Our decision to add these two new positions to our executive team recognizes both what Splashtop has achieved already and what we need to do to get even better. In the past year or so we’ve received $65 million in new funding that pushed our valuation beyond the $1 billion unicorn level; we’ve sustained high growth while remaining profitable since 2015; we’ve expanded our global reach; and we’ve achieved a stunning 93 Net Promoter Score (NPS), a standard for assessing customer satisfactions.
These two positions are crucial for achieving our goals of continued growth and improvement as a company, so it was important that we select the best people to fill these roles. I’m confident we made the right choices.
To officially introduce these two important additions to the Splashtop family, I talked with them both about why they want to work at Splashtop and how they are approaching their new roles.
Mark Lee: First of all, welcome to Splashtop! Can you talk a little bit about how you see Splashtop and why you were interested in joining us?
Michelle Burrows: Thanks, Mark. As soon as I began looking seriously into Splashtop’s current business, it became clear that the company is at an inflection point. With strong founders, excellent products, a tight-knit and warm culture, and big-name and happy customers, Splashtop is poised and ready to really take off, and I’m excited to be a part of the growth trajectory for the company!
Grant Murphy: Splashtop grew tremendously during the pandemic, offering the right technology at the right time for the sudden jump in remote work that happened worldwide. Now it’s time for the company to expand upstream in the market, reaching to larger mid-sized enterprises, and implementing more proactive sales approaches. Like Michelle said, this is a really exciting time to be joining Splashtop.
Mark: What are your fundamental philosophies about your respective roles as head of marketing and head of sales?
Michelle: Marketers are thought leaders and storytellers about why and how people use our solutions. I see marketing as strategic across the business – from the very first interaction a potential customer has with us all the way through the customer journey. Our brand and who we are as a company, along with how our solutions help organizations operate more effectively, need to come through every touch point.
Grant: My personal sales philosophy is that it’s important to have a fun sales organization. Sales is highly stressful, but if you’re having fun, you can generate the excitement needed to sustain the sales momentum. And of course, I mean fun that’s accompanied by accountability.
Mark: I know that both of you put a lot of emphasis on nurturing your teams. Can you talk a little bit about that aspect of your roles?
Michelle: You can’t do remarkable things without remarkable people, so I’m very intentional about getting the right people on board, making sure they’re all in the right positions on the team and working on the right things, then remove any roadblocks that could prevent them from doing their best work.
Grant: For the type of selling approach that a company like Splashtop needs, it’s important that the salespeople on my team have an innate curiosity, so they can understand the products’ capabilities, the customers’ needs, and how to match them to achieve our sales goals.
Mark: You’re both starting at the same time for functions that need to work together. How do each of you approach the relationship between marketing and sales?
Michelle: In the old days, people used to think of marketing as the people who brought in leads and threw them over the fence to sales, or who acted as sales party planners. But that’s not how things work now, assuming they ever really did. Today, marketing and sales need to form a circle, not a line. I worked in sales years ago, and I know what it’s like to start every month or every quarter at zero, with the next set of quotas ahead of me. I think that marketing needs to be as responsible for sales numbers as the sales team.
Grant: I agree with Michelle that it’s essential that sales and marketing work in lockstep—defining and staying on the same message so that together we can move the company forward. I also want to correct a common misperception that people have about sales, that we work hard and party hard at the bar. I’d like to change that image to working hard and partying hard with the kids, because work/life balance is so important.
Michelle: That is so true, Grant. I learned about work/life balance first-hand a few years ago, when I took a VP of Marketing position at a Fortune 50 company. I thought I’d arrived professionally, but I just felt out of balance. So it’s important that we recognize that we all have responsibilities beyond work, as well.
Mark: OK, here’s a fun question for each of you. What do you think is your professional superpower?
Grant: I think I do a couple of things in sales really well. First is that I’m good at figuring out how to fit a customer’s square peg into a company’s round hole—matching customer needs with what the company offers. The second thing is motivating people. My ideal situation is when instead of me dragging the team along, they just put me in the boat and push.
Michelle: I think my main superpower would be my ability to pull together the right team to take companies to their next step. As I said earlier, you can’t do remarkable things without remarkable people. The other thing I’m good at, and which I’ve done a number of times in my career, is what I call transformational marketing, which is taking an existing company and raising it a bunch of levels. It’s about getting brand, demand, and product marketing all working together toward the same goal.
Mark: You know, one other thing you two have in common is that you’re both Splashtop’s first remote workers—Michelle from Denver and Grant from Dallas. How do you feel about working remotely?
Michelle: I’ve been working remotely for much of my career, including across continents. So I’m very comfortable with working across a couple of time zones. At the same time, I do think it’s important to establish relationships with the people on my team, so I’ll be spending some time in person at Splashtop—having those informal conversations that are harder to do during scheduled Zoom calls, but which are so important for really getting to know one another.
Grant: Once again, Michelle and I are in sync! I’ve been working remotely since 2001, although I will say that remote onboarding is an unusual way to get started. I also plan to spend time at Splashtop’s new and bigger headquarters in Cupertino. But it’s nice to model remote working at the executive level, considering the business Splashtop is in.
Mark: Thank you both for your time, and on behalf of everyone at Splashtop, a hearty welcome—and I look forward to working with both of you to propel our company to even greater heights.