Meet Megan Smith, Director, Deal Desk and Upmarket Strategy at HubSpot. Originally thinking she was destined for a life in academia, Megan pivoted to (and found her calling in!) sales support. After career stops at Google, LinkedIn & Dropbox, she's now making her mark at HubSpot.
And when she's not solving problems for our customers in scalable ways, she's a proud mother who enjoys reading, listening to true crime podcasts and watching films with her family.
What is #HubSpotLife like through her lens? Handing the mic over to Megan...
Can you tell us a little about your background and journey to HubSpot?
When I was in college doing my undergrad in History and English, I thought I was destined for a life in academia. Upon spending two years working on my master's, I realized research wasn’t for me. I got the opportunity to start at Google on a temporary project and started working on supporting sales teams. I felt a deep satisfaction in the work and wanted to move closer to sales support.
I moved to LinkedIn and spent four years on their Deal Desk team. I moved from individual contributor (IC) to manager for the first time and although I found my initial transition to people management tough, I really loved leading a team. After spending time at LinkedIn, I wanted to see what I was going to do next. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to move to a bigger organization or join a startup.
I took an IC role at Dropbox, becoming their first Deal Desk hire internationally. I grew the international team from one person to six, got the opportunity to take on global responsibility for Deal Desk and Channel Operations and by the time I left, I was leading a team of 15 people! But Dropbox wasn’t just transformational for me professionally it was also a time of tremendous personal change. I got engaged, married, and had my first child there.
I then made the move to HubSpot, taking the opportunity to build a Deal Desk team from scratch. I lead a team of 8 incredible people, doing amazing things for some of our largest and most complex customers. I also got the opportunity to expand my scope last year and now also oversee Upmarket Strategy and Sales Programs solving problems for our upmarket customers in a more strategic long-term way.
Describe a typical day in your role.
As a mom, work-life balance is incredibly important to me. The type of role that I and my team do can be very high pressure with lots of changing timelines and last-minute problems to solve. When I interviewed at HubSpot I was confident enough in finding the right job for me and my family that I was able to say “if you want someone who’s going to work 16 hours a day that’s not me”. As a result, my day looks a little different to a lot of people.
My morning starts around 7 am, I do a quick check of emails and Slacks and quickly try and get a sense of what the day will bring. I then drop my daughter at daycare. I come back online around 9 am and make a to-do list. I keep a weekly list and then a daily list, making sure that I keep track of both the day-to-day and longer projects. I check in on the team's performance, deals they’re working on, handle any escalations and take a look at the pipeline for the coming days so I can get an insight into what’s coming up.
The majority of my colleagues are in the US so I meet with my EMEA team in the morning and tick through my to-do list.
Around 1 pm my meetings start and that keeps me going until 5 pm. I finish work every day at 5 pm with extremely few exceptions. 5-7 is core family time and I try to avoid checking in on work until after my daughter's bedtime at 7.
Tell us about a problem you're working to solve right now.
We’re always trying to solve problems for our customers in scalable ways. The job of the Deal Desk team is to unblock and support deals in a way they solve for both the Customer and HubSpot. Right now with the macro-economic climate, we’re trying to ensure that we’re closing deals as efficiently as possible while ensuring that we’re meeting our customers where they expect us to be.
How are you solving for the customer?
I’m lucky in that my whole job is about solving for our largest and most complex customers. It’s my job to deeply understand what motivates our customers to buy and what they expect to see in their deals. We strive to provide some delight to all of the customers that touch the Deal Desk’s desk!
In your own words, what makes working in tech at HubSpot unique?
Gosh, so many things! The people are definitely one. I got advice early on in my career that went “if you’re the smartest person in the room, find a different room” - I love HubSpot because people challenge me to be better and to grow. I’m always learning and developing. Additionally, empathy is a big part of who I am as a person, I try to always lead with empathy, and to have that reflected back in the company's core values is truly wonderful.
Are there any industry trends or topics that are exciting to you right now?
My team and I are always striving to stay up to date on deal trends. I spend a lot of time researching to understand buyer experience trends. The macro-economy is by no means fun or exciting, but watching new buyer trends emerge as a result and seeing how those trends present themselves in our HubSpot deals is super interesting to watch and understand.
If you could go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
This is a tough one, there are so many things I’d love to tell my 23-year-old self. But I think I’d lead with “you are enough” and follow it up with “you don’t have to change who you are to excel”. I try not to take myself too seriously and love to inject humor into situations, early on in my career a manager told me to “not be the funny girl” as people wouldn’t take me seriously. It crushed me. I’d love to go back to that version of myself and let her know there will come a time when who she is will be valued as she is.
What do you like to do outside of HubSpot in your free time?
Like many parents, my free time is mostly taken up with family and my daughter. When not doing various kid-based activities, I love to read, listen to true crime podcasts and watch films with my husband (although we rarely agree on what to see!)