Changing career paths is undeniably daunting, but there’s a certain type of person — driven, curious, enterprising — for whom that challenge is equally rewarding. Signifyd places a high value on ambition in our hiring process, so it’s not uncommon to find employees who have an appetite for such a change and seize the opportunity to explore it here after demonstrating success.
One prime example is Mike Demmert, who sought a significant career shift after several years in sales leadership at Signifyd. For more than a year now, he has served as head of revenue enablement while enjoying tremendous success.
It was not exactly how Demmert envisioned his career before joining Signifyd in 2019. At that time he had over 15 years of experience in sales and sales leadership and he fancied himself as a career sales leader. He had worked in various sales roles, including field sales, where he engaged in regular face-to-face and virtual interactions with clients. His career was shaped significantly by his tenure at influential companies such as Xerox, NetSuite and Oracle. He deeply enjoyed coaching teams on building relationships and driving a strong sales process.
How Signifyd promotes internal mobility
Demmert says he was drawn to Signifyd four years ago by the company’s growth stage. Recognizing how his strengths aligned with Signifyd’s company values, he believed he could contribute to Signifyd’s scaling efforts in building and growing effective sales teams. For a little over three years, he led a commercial sales team as a founding member of our Denver office. It was there that he found himself enjoying his interactions with other parts of the business. When an opening for an enablement leadership position arose, he was encouraged to apply by the sales leadership team that admired his demonstrated strengths in a process-driven, scalable approach to educating and up-leveling teams.
Self-education can propel internal mobility
Of course, any time a new function is born at a company, prior experience tends to be the first hiring criteria. But Signifyd’s culture embraces a willingness to take risks on its people and invest in their career aspirations, and Demmert’s situation was no different. The hiring manager for the sales enablement role felt confident that with the right support, Demmert could translate his deep sales knowledge into the development of a best-in-breed enablement program. And once he landed the role, he says he felt well-supported and encouraged by his leaders, who provided him with learning materials and insights. Additionally, he gleaned insights into his new role from his personal network, all of which helped him scale the steep learning curve and embrace the opportunity for growth.
“It’s been so incredible to see Mike transition into this new role and build a thoughtful enablement program for our revenue teams.” says Alex Goodman, a Signifyd HR business partner. “A great example of his impact has been in developing the sales new-hire onboarding, which features curated content about Signifyd’s product and our sales cycle, specific goals for new hires or team members transitioning into sales, and a list of team members to meet with internally regarding relevant topics. Since he’s rolled out this programming, Mike and I have been able to share feedback about new hire experiences to ensure an incoming hire has a great onboarding experience and is able to confidently jump into their role.”
Previous experience can provide a springboard to achieving new opportunities
In the new role, Demmert’s day-to-day activities have a definite crossover with his previous position. The sense of urgency he developed in sales to reach revenue targets has translated well to ensuring he completes project deliverables within specific timeframes. However, he has had to develop many new skills, including that of developing scalable programs and assets that aid the growth and success of others.
“Each day I’m engaged in things like brainstorming training and enablement needs with the leadership team, crowdsourcing asset development to understand and develop best practices, and connecting with the revenue-generating teams personally to understand learning gaps and demands,” Demmert says.
Demmert’s role is like that of a maestro conducting an orchestra. He brings together information from various parts of the company and creates a cohesive end result.
Building on old and creating new relationships is a key to success
“As the head of revenue enablement, Demmert supports our go-to-market teams with the ability to effectively market and sell our products, tools and systems,” Goodman explains “That partnership extends across the company as he gathers information on new initiatives and enablement opportunities and develops meaningful content for the Signifyd team. Through this process, he’s built strong relationships and helped bring timely content for the team to be successful as they navigate through new processes and experiences.”
Demmert takes immense pride in synthesizing knowledge, producing high-quality assets, and delivering them to a receptive audience.
“What I loved about sales was getting to a level of awareness where I felt like I could anticipate moves and interactions with customers before they happened,” he says. “It was like seeing the full chessboard all at once instead of being handed one card at a time. This broader perspective has helped me develop learning and development programs that hopefully impact my audience in a comprehensive way. I enjoy thinking through the nuances and implications of how a learning experience would go and building around that.”
Demmert translated past experience into a future vision
Another difference in his roles has been the shift from directly serving external customers to now supporting and adding value to internal Signifyd employees as his customer base.
“Now I work to add value to those Signifyers who are interacting with our prospects and customers every day,” Demmert says. “They have a hard job and if I can help them ramp quicker, be more effective in the field, and drive long-term customer value, we all win.”
Promoting upward mobility is good for individuals and for organizations
Mike’s road from regional sales director to the head of revenue enablement at Signifyd showcases the potential value that internal mobility can bring, both to people and the organization as a whole. An employee is able to realize a unique opportunity for desired career growth, which drives engagement, loyalty and retention.
Meanwhile, the company benefits from a point of view steeped in specific organizational context and relationships, which drives more holistic and efficient solutions. Demmert’s journey at Signifyd serves as a reminder for companies and professionals alike to embrace these unique opportunities for growth to both of their benefit.
Internal mobility FAQs
Signifyd is among the companies with internal mobility as a conscious priority. In fact, the company encourages upward and lateral moves for its employees seeking new challenges and roles. Mike Demmerts’ journey from sales leadership to head of revenue enablement contains lessons for others interested in expanding their responsibilities or experience or both. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about career mobility that we can find in Mike Demmert’s story.
Q: How does education promote internal mobility?
A: As with landing a job in the first place, the importance an employer places on formal education varies widely by company and position. By its very nature, moving to a new job in a company where you already work will have a lot to do with your demonstrated ability to learn and remain agile. Mike Demmert took it upon himself to learn on the job and he benefited from his colleagues’ commitment to sharing their knowledge with him.
Q: How to promote internal mobility?
A: Companies looking to encourage internal mobility need to demonstrate by example that it is an outcome that the organization values. Supervisors need to be aware and empowered to spot candidates for new roles. They need to be open to direct reports who say they are interested in seeking new opportunities. Those supervisors also need to be armed with resources and internal contacts who can help them guide employees along the path to achieving their goals elsewhere in the organization. Mike Demmert’s sales colleagues and the hiring manager for the new role saw his potential and encouraged him to pursue the position.
Q: How do I become upwardly mobile?
A: Employees looking to move up in an organization should approach their goal as they would any move from job to job. Research the position, expectations and qualifications. If the move is to a new team with functions, consider how your experience is relevant to the new role. Educate yourself by turning to co-workers and internal resources. Consider enrolling in outside classes or programs, if necessary, to build a foundation for the new position.
Q: Why is internal mobility important?
A: The possibility of moving laterally or upward in an organization is important for retaining a company’s best employees. When employees can see that an incredible future awaits at the company they already work for, they are more likely to stay with the organization. When other employees see those employees moving to new jobs, it demonstrates potential professional enrichment or advancement in store for them. Signifyd takes risks on employees and encourages their career aspirations because internal mobility increases engagement and loyalty and has led to more efficient solutions and innovative programs.
Feature photo by Getty Images
Mike Demmert photo by Signifyd
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