”I hadn’t heard of Siteimprove before I started working here, so I started checking it out and I really liked that it was a tech company and it seemed like a great place to work.”

Ida's always ready to advise her customers on their digital strategy

In 2016, one of our talent acquisition specialists reached out to Ida Lønn Barvik about a sales role at Siteimprove. At the time, Ida had a position as an account manager in another company that she’d been in for a year. Prior to that, she had studied Political Science and lived in London for two years. Even though she hadn’t heard about Siteimprove before, Ida was attracted by the fact that it seemed like a great place to work, so she decided to take a leap of faith and accept the recruitment offer.

Ida was quickly convinced that she’d made the right choice: “I immediately understood that this was the place I wanted to be. Both for the product and the environment. Now we’re 10 people in Oslo, so it’s been quite a journey!”

Having joined as a business development manager (BDM) back in 2016 working in Siteimprove’s local office in Oslo, Ida has since taken on more responsibility and been a driving force in growing Siteimprove in the Norwegian market. “Ever since I started, I’ve felt that I’ve been given a lot of responsibility, and I’ve also been taking it,” Ida explains. Her promotion from BDM to senior BDM in 2018 was a direct result of Ida’s personal development, performance, and the central role she played in growing the Oslo office from three to 10 people. “Development-wise I have learned a lot of new things, I’ve been given exciting opportunities, and I’ve been recognized in my role since I started,” she continues.

Today, Ida is working with new sales, being the second point of contact for new potential customers after they’ve had an initial talk with one of Ida’s colleagues. Her responsibilities as a senior BDM include meeting clients, introducing them to the Siteimprove solution, and conducting product demonstrations. The second part of her job is taking care of existing customers and collaborating with the customer success team to make sure that all their Siteimprove users are happy.

Three years after Ida first heard about Siteimprove, she’s the most experienced Siteimprover in Norway and a top performer globally. There’s no doubt about it: Ida has cracked the code to being successful in sales. Let’s see if we can extract those secrets from our Norwegian Sales Superwoman!

You’re one of the top salespeople at Siteimprove and have been for a long time. What’s your secret?

Ida: I’ve been asked that question a lot and people expect me to say “I do this, I do that,” but, in fact, the answer is that I’m a person that focuses 100% on the customer need. For me, it’s important to be an honest person that my customers can trust and connect with. I always take an advisory role when I’m meeting customers and try to find the best solution for them. Using my large network and experience with web editors, I can easily provide recommendations, not only on the Siteimprove tools, but also on who they could learn from. I try to give them something extra and I think they notice that.

Not only are you a Sales Superwoman, your whole team in Norway is doing great. What’s your secret to a great team performance?

Ida: Of course we support each other and make sure to keep the team spirit high, but we also tend to avoid competing too much internally. We focus on lifting each other up and compete with the other countries instead. We act like each other’s cheerleaders in a way. We know we are in this together and don’t stick to our own areas. The team spirit and helping each other out is a big part of it.

What has your role been in the success of the Norwegian Siteimprove team?

Ida: I’ve tried sharing as much as my experience as possible. I know that the knowledge I have after being here for three years isn’t easy to get if you’ve been here for six months, so I’ll happily spend some extra time talking to a colleague, help them with their contracts, or join them in meetings. I know nothing is impossible in this company, you just need to talk to the right person and have the confidence to do so, and I try to do that on behalf of my team mates as well. I hope and believe that they would probably say that I’m a problem solver.

 

Ida and her team in Oslo

Working in sales and having to achieve a budget can be challenging for some. What’s your secret for handling the pressure?

Ida: It’s important to always think ahead. Make a plan for the whole year and then make sure to have more than just your budget to give you some uplifting experiences. If you have a slow week, call up some of your customers that you have a good relationship with. On top of planning ahead and setting goals, you need to be inventive. If you aren’t having the best month, start thinking about new initiatives that can help you. Maybe host an event or go on-site to meet someone.

You seem to have a special relationship with your customers. Can you describe that relationship?

Ida: Well, I have more than 100 customers, but I hope and think that they would say that they know I would go every step it takes for them. I’ve signed most of them myself, so I feel responsible for their happiness and make sure to make myself accessible for them. They know that they can always contact me, and I think they value that a lot.

What’s the most common feedback on our products that you get from your customers?

Ida: I love that I can see their excitement the first time I meet them, and they understand that this is actually something that will help them. I know that our tool will make their workday and workflow better, and it gives me great happiness and a lot of adrenaline working with a product that I believe in 100%. Our customers smile and say “this is amazing” when I tell them that they can use our tool to show the good job they’re doing. “What would we do without Siteimprove?” is also a comment I’ve received countless times, which is amazing.

We’ve launched a number of new products over the past few years and you always seem to grasp them quickly. What’s your secret to getting familiar with a new product?

Ida: I’m a curious person! I’m super curious about new products and curious to learn, but I’m also really interested in how it will work for my clients because I know about their needs. Recently we’ve launched Ads and SEO Advanced, and those fields are bigger than just our tools, so you need to understand the business around it. That way, you can advise on strategy and not only show the tools to your clients. It’s really interesting to me as I love learning new things. That’s one of the things that makes this job exciting – we always learn new things.

What’s your favorite product to demo? And why?

Ida: Analytics and SEO Advanced. It’s super interesting to talk to customers about their data when going through Analytics, and I enjoy discovering new things together with them and showing them how easy the product is to use. Some people are really into analytics while others need our guidance and I feel our tool works for both. I love SEO Advanced because it challenges me to prepare for customer meetings a bit more than with other products. So those two are my favorites, but I love the whole platform!

Ida and her colleagues at a trade show

Ida and her colleagues at a trade show

Finally, what’s your favorite thing about working at Siteimprove?

Ida: The customers. Can I only choose one? Because I would like to say both the customers and the work environment. I really love my colleagues and I love visiting the headquarters in Copenhagen. There’s such a good vibe. And then the third thing is that I feel challenged all the time here.

Ida joined Siteimprove in April 2016 and is currently a Senior Business Development Manager, working in the Norwegian market. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in International Politics. Ida is based in Oslo, Norway.