Field Operations is an important team here at Elastic. They cover all go-to-market (GTM) functions related to customer acquisition, expansion, and retention. As a team, they think globally and act locally with teams covering every major international market.
Our Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) sales team is rapidly growing, so we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our GTM Elasticians working in the region and hear a bit about the work they do and why they value Elastic as an employer.
Charlotte van Dijk, commercial account executive, north EMEA
I'm in charge of small to medium-sized businesses within the Benelux region. I started my career at Elastic as a user success manager. It was one of my first sales roles, so I was eager to learn. As a user success manager, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of different departments throughout the business. It was a great chance for me to see what it’s like to be in different places throughout a company and to understand the mindset of someone who might be making decisions on the other side of a big sales deal. This insight helped make me a better salesperson and helped me move up into the commercial account executive role.
Unlike other companies where the sales journey can be heavily reliant on one sales employee, I work collaboratively with numerous colleagues. When the tech gets complex, I have a technical representative who helps demo solutions. I also have a renewal manager who helps ensure ongoing customers who already have a subscription are progressing and expanding with their use of Elastic. Teamwork is so crucial in closing a deal, and Elastic makes sure to build this teamwork into the way we collaborate with our customers.
When people ask why I enjoy working for Elastic, I say that one of the main reasons is that we’re such a progressive company. What I mean is that Elastic is a company that’s constantly thinking about how to improve based on employee feedback and what’s needed for the current moment. While Elastic’s always been distributed by design in how we work, the company has taken great care of us during the pandemic by adding regular shut-it-down days, COVID leave, a generous home office allowance and extending that to employees that traditionally work in an office. Elastic does all this and more — to make sure we’re safe and capable of doing our job with so much going on. It’s inspiring to see.
Kate Presnukhina, commercial account executive, central EMEA
I come from a small suburb of a big city in Russia. When I moved to Munich with my husband, I didn’t speak German. With so many Germans speaking excellent English, I wanted to find a job where I could be who I am, and where speaking Russian was a big plus. Elastic was there for me.
I now work in sales for the Eastern European bloc, which includes Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, and Russia. There are so many opportunities in the region — we have a lot of users, and there are many businesses interested in the solutions we provide. However, many of the companies in the Eastern European Bloc prefer to do business in Russian, even if they’ve already embraced the free Elastic product. When I came to Elastic, we didn’t have much local language support. I was brought on because of my Russian language skills, to help Elastic prospects in the Eastern European bloc, offer native language materials for the region, and also field the requests that were already flowing in. I find it thrilling to work with these big Russian companies that I know so well, see their use cases, and help them find the solution they need.
I also have an excellent opportunity to do outreach. We’ve driven a lot of interest by doing Russian-language virtual events and workshops and translating materials for local consumption. I’ve grown so much in this role, and it’s been exciting to see the company expand as well. I know there’s a lot of potential for growth in the future.
Huage Chen, principal solutions architect
I came to Elastic from a company that was using our products for an OEM solution, so I was already in love with the technology. My role is multifaceted because I can join the sales cycle at many different points. In the discovery phases or the initial call, I try to help the account executive on the qualification and opportunity side. For the customer, I try to be their number one contact person, the one they consider as a trusted advisor. My role is not to sell. My role instead is to provide guidance from that first discovery call to a good solution, that will provide a benefit to the customer.
We do what we have to do in these scenarios. The sales cycle might take four months, eight months, a year — but throughout we want our customers to feel that we’re working with them, not rushing them, to finalize a project. Decision makers are cautious these days because they know migrating from an existing product to a new one can have a financial impact, so they want to make sure they’re making the correct choice. I invest in a customer in the same way as they invest in us. It takes time and the relationship that we build is one for the long term. It’s all about simple progress toward perfection.
I think my favorite part of the job is the people, and building these relationships. I have a job that crosses multiple regions, and spending time with others, helping solve problems, is really precious. It’s what I enjoy the most.
Kathleen Gluck-Baud, public sector account executive, south EMEA
I started as a salesperson about 12 years ago. In many companies when you work in sales, you’re often working alone. Here at Elastic, though, you have a big virtual team that supports you. You have legal, your solution architect, and a user success manager who will care for the customer after a sale. They are very present throughout the process, which allows you to do your job better.
In the public sector, the sales cycle can take between eight months and a year. What’s different and excellent about Elastic is that the customer is already aware of the solution through a basic license. So when you’re animating a proof of concept and showing all the value of functionalities such as security and machine learning available through the paid subscription, you’re able to surprise and delight the customer.
When you are a salesperson here at Elastic, you are quite free to organize your schedule as you want. What it comes down to is your results. You’re often given freedom to do your job with a creative spin. I think Elastic is a bit forward-thinking in this space.
What I also like about this work is that work is never finished. You’re never just sitting in front of a white page. There are always opportunities to enlarge your impact and drive new initiatives. People listen to you when you have a great idea and help you execute on it. Elastic lives by the ethos that you’re going to do an excellent job when you feel comfortable to be yourself.