Q&A Session: Camila Borda Kaul
Camila Borda Kaul Q&A Session is happening on January 6th 2021 at 10:00 AM PST (1:00 PM EST)
Camila Kaul is the Head of Sales Development and Strategy at Google and also Founder of her own company Just a Squiggle.
Camila has worked with hundreds of Global Top brands and has experience managing marketing and digital strategies for clients in over 10 different industries in 8 countries.
In her current role, she leads a team that enables sellers to be customer-focused first and create best in class selling experiences for Google’s sales force.
She also leads her company, Just a Squiggle, dedicated to helping organizations & individuals unlock their hidden superpower and turn their biggest problems into possibilities through the power of creative thinking.
Camila is a long time Googler, an international speaker, a social advocate, a creative thinker, a goodness seeker, a proud mom, and a digital marketing expert. Her background is in International Business, Marketing and Neuroscience honed during her time at Harvard Business School of Management, Kellogg School of Management, The Wharton School, and IE Business school.
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Camila Borda Kaul – Transcript
AMA with Camila Borda Kaul @ Google
January 6th, 2021
Hi everyone. My name is Camila Kaul. Thanks for having me here. I’m looking forward to answering as many questions as I can.
I am the founder and CEO of Just Squiggle, a creative thinking studio to solve unsolvable business problems; and I am also the Head of Sales Development and Strategy at Google, working to innovate the way we think and approach sales at our company.
Hi , thanks for doing this. when you onboard a new sdr, do you have them go through a “video course”, now that most training is done remotely, before putting them in a live-zoom?
We do have a very spedcif process for onborading but reality nothing beats having a buddy and doing the work in real time. We dont want to practice with our customers but we encourage live experience
At such scale, how do you decide what adaptations to marketing will actually result in sizable growth?
we always work marketing focusing on a north start. A single metrics tat defines growth for our company.
What made you want to start Just a Squiggle, and what is your eventual goal with this venture? (Full-time lifestyle biz? Big company?)
my vision is to revolutionaze how organizations in the world solve the worlds biggest problems and I am in love with creative thinking. Its the best superpower we all have to change the world
Welcome ! Thanks for taking the time. I have a question about marketing specific features vs benefits and results. I think particularly in tech there’s a tendency to highlight features with the assumption that a more technical audience prefers that – is that a successful strategy? Or what have you seen as the most successful approach?
Always market the benefit. Sell peace of mind not a lobotomy. Its more impactful to tell a customer what is the problem, what is the promise and then what is the process.
Hi! When you are building out the entry-level sales organization, what are the key skills that you look for in new hires? What traits or tendencies among SDR/BDRs have lead to their overall success?
A combination of soft skills and hard skills is always a great idea, but it ultimates depends on the role. At Google we believe in having skills like adaptability, leadership, team work, but also a great base of your core expertise.
How can a mid sized agency get agency support for LSA?
Agencies are cornerstones for our customers and Google, there are different types of support models for agencies. I would recommend reviewing the Google certified agencies guide to give you additional support and steps for different support models
What is your advice for a digital marketing team who wants to be able to improve the user experience of their websites, and SEO strategy but is vastly limited due to the CMS our site is built on and limited development team support? Especially with regards to the technical SEO actions
UX form a SEO or SEM perspective is crucial. Always focus on seamless, fast, delightful and value-based experiences for your customers. That will be what ultimates increase your chances of success.
Welcome, What changes are the Google Sales teams observing as a whole? Anything notable in the product consideration phase, or style/frequency in customers engagement as compared to before the pandemic?
We have seem 10 years of change in 6 month in every way. The way customer behavior changed and the way companies are adapting it has never seemed before. I suggest to go to Thinkwithgoogle.com to find out more about what this changes have been in the last 6 months
How do you keep top performing sales people motivated? Assuming compensation is competitive, uncapped.
Burn out is common now, the is no magic pill for it but a couple of things we have done that has helped both my business and Google is to rethink priorities, what are the top 3 things a person should focus on, and increase focus by deprioritizing tasks. Also well-being practices as a daily routine,
Hi Camila – Is there any overlap with DEI initiatives and Sales at Google right now? Do you have any favorite projects or projects in the pipeline centering around DEI and sales?
Absolutely, Google’s commitment with DEI is total. I am personally engaged with the DEI committee for sales and I am part of several ERGs like Women@Google. Our ideas and voices will always be heard as long as we create mechanisms that help us speak up.
What are the skills/abilities you look at most when you partner up with someone or they have to join your team? What are the metrics or KPIs you check the most and why?
For both Google and my own business, here is what I look into candidates: Grit, open mind, adaptability, immense curiosity, the ability to learn fast and fail fast, honesty
We are constantly trying to integrate the Sales team and Marketing (for years now) to prove to the teams how effective that could be (lead passing, funnel conversion, etc.) in terms of our business goals yet our sales teams are incredibly resistant and keep going back to same old, same old. What would you recommend to achieve this change?
Great questions, silos kill organizations. From a creative thinking perspective aligning all the organization to a single growth, metric is key. That growth metric or north star as I call it has to have 4 components to work for any organization and there needs to be a commitment from leadership. You can go to www.justasquiggle.com to learn more about this north star or shoot me an email and I am happy to send you the guide email@example.com
How do you keep top performing sales people motivated? Assuming compensation is competitive, uncapped.
Compensation helps, but its really about their intrinsic motivations, what they want as long term goals, do they have a psychologically safe place to work, are they being challenged or are they left to be comfortable, are they growing? Those are the things we focus on to make sure people are driven by more than just compensation.
You mentioned having a north star metric in an answer to someone else – can you give some examples you’ve used on different projects?
A north star is a single metric that defines growth for your company, it has 4 components. It has to be simple, it has to reflect the change in the consumer journey, it has to correlate to revenue and it has to provide value to your users. Examples are: airbnb is nights booked. They organized everything aroun dthat metric , sales, marketing, finances, etc
In my social feed for #justasquiggleaway juts shared some tips on it, happy to help
Hi! how closely does your team work with the marketing team at Google? And what (if any) challenges have you faced when working with marketing teams at Google or previously?
My team works a fair amount with Marketing, we have the same company goal in mind. We consider them our partners in crime and we identify areas of synergies annually and projects that we can both contribute to. Our KPIs are different but we complement fairly well when it comes to achieving overall goals. As long as we can identify common ground we can work cohesively.
What are some key things that you look for a strategy, and what are some key things often missed in a strategy?
key things in a strategy: Clear goal, clear milestones, clear owners and responsibilities, clear KPIs, and clear definition of success. What we generally miss is asking what needs to be true for this strategy to be successful/ anticipating roadblocks and scenario planning
I have a question, what has been the hardest thing you have faced during 2020 when it comes to change in your business and how did you solve for it?
Not sure how many questions I can ask, haha. Here are a few!
- Have you experienced challenges as a woman in the tech industry?
- If so, what would your advice be to other women founders or team leaders?
- More related to Just A Squiggle – what helps you get into a creative-thinking mindset?
As many as you want…. 1) Actually NO. I have found the tech industry especially on the sales and marketing side a very welcoming and encouraging place for women, especially at Google. I was previoslu at the fiannce world as a trader and that was a very different harsh world
My advice is to aim high, have your own voice, be true to who you are, negotiate every time, be clear about your goals and your values, work-life balance is hard when you are a woman especially with kids but there is no reason why you cant handle it if you have a strategy in place, lean in into other peers male and women, take advice from other women leaders and have a mentor
We need to get out of shortcuts mode and use PROVOCATIONS. our brains need provocations to think differently, it’s like brain food, and a provocation can be something as simple as a question, as a different exercise, a walk in the park. I have my top provocations in my website, feel free to use them for you or for your team. They will work guaranteed!!!.
Are you measured by the success of your strategies?
I am measured by the success of my strategies, they are established by clear OKRs and KPIs, specific results to hit and milestones to accomplish.
On the small chance you happen to work with Jack Lawson over at Google, say hi for me!
Ill look for him and I will
Answering your question to Jack for my company, we are a recruitment company so hardest thing we faced was jobs disappearing across the board in some of our key markets and internally, our entire business working from home when we were not equipped to do so from a tech perspective. We essentially went after any job we could whether it was under one of key specialist sectors or not and fortunately we have an excellent IT Director who saw it coming and had already started talks with Amazon to roll out Amazon Web Services so we could work from home.
Thanks Kelsey, I am sure it has been hard. Thank you for sharing. in retrospective would you have done anything different to prepare for it?
That’s an interesting question. I think from a company perspective (global company in 33 countries), we did the best we could do re. the former. To stick to continuing trying to get jobs in markets that become non-existent would have been inefficient not to much terrible for staff motivation.In terms of the latter and our company being massively unprepared to working from home, yes i believe the company could have been better prepared and that comes down to the culture and mindset of the leaders….From a marketing perspective, our team didn’t pivot fast enough…
Interesting, well the beauty of this is that from constraints and challenges we always learned and creativity flows, this iwll help you be ready for the next challenge. Hang in there, it will get better
What are your thoughts on the trends with cold outreach for sdr teams?
Cold outreach depends if it’s the right fit for your company and if you have the right folks for that job. Cold outreach to be successful has to be as personal as possible and having folks with a high level of emotional intelligence behind it no matter what the vehicle is, is key.
- How did you started at google?
- How does google manage to develop so many thinks as with google.com?
- What are the long terms goals of Google?
I started at Google as a account manager 10 years ago in Colombia, managing a portfolio of accounts and opening the operations in that country. Best time ever!!!.
Arts experiments is fascinating at Google. We have a great time, curiosity for it, resources and a commitment to make it work
keep focusing on the most important thing of all… to provide access to the world’s information, everyone has the right to have access to information…. we will keep doing that and focusing on the user first, the rest will come
at first I was hesitant but I am a true believer of having clear OKRs at the beginning of the quarter, clear measurable metrics of success that people can see progress around them
it helps bring clarity to the teams, clarity with employees and a clear path to success. Also it helps correct course
How do you make Cold outreach and still stick to the privacy guidelines?
Always make sure you are thinking about the receiving end, reliable sources of data that are privacy compliant, double, triple check the origins of leads
Do you have any old strategies on paper that you can share? I have trouble balancing tactics and considerations when discussing strategy and putting that on paper, the effectively communicating it to my team
I do happy to share. shoot me email
Do you mind to share with us some examples of your company’s (Squiggle) short term objectives and long term objectives and what it takes to deliver on them. Thanks very much
My pleasure. Just a Squiggle is created to help untap your creative thinking suprpower to help you solve unsolvable business problems, to transform problems into possibilities. Short term I am focusing on 3 things. Online courses on how to do business transformations using this secret superpower for you and your teams. Coaching, direct workshops on creative thinking with companies to solve for a specific challenget they are facing using a curated recepie for them based on years of innovation experience, and finally I am an international speaker around creative thinking and innovation, I want to share that with the world
Thanks for doing this. I’m interested to know what is your biggest F***Up in your professional career and how did you overcome it?
Biggest F**Up was to doubt myself as a first-time manager. I thought I wasn’t ready and I thought I was doing right, I didn’t ask for help, didn’t want to look unexperienced. Fast-forward, reach out for help, have your mentors, don’t doubt yourself, we all make mistakes be humble about it.
Along those lines, would that also be your advice for a first-time people manager (who hasn’t had any training)?
As a first time manager, stay close to someone you trust, have clear goals with your teams, give feedback and dont be afraid about though conversations, believe and get yourself more feedback form your teams and others around you. Good luck! You got this
Can you make as good of money, or comparable, in sales management / development as you can as a top rep? Like +$350k.and any resources you can recommend for higher tier sales career development (Sr. level, built out portfolio, and above)?
yes you can!
I almost joined as an associate account strategist at Google. Instead, I gave my agency a try but didn‘t score too well in the beginning in the acquisition.
Would you consider building an agency yourself in the future?
What skill at Google do you think prepared you the most for upcoming challenges?
I would consider it, I would focus it slightly different than just media. The best skills that Google has given me is corporate strategy, self-development and curiosity, always be purposeful and TEAMWOK. together we do achieve more.
For someone who has just started her own digital marketing consultancy what would you recommend to focus on to be able to achieve sustainability and growth? Thanks v much
Clear end goal, define your north star metrics, have short term and long term goals, focus on one offering, one target market for one year. Good luck, you will rock it. If you feel there might be sinergies with Just a Squiggle happy to talk more about it.
Not sure if there’s still time, but do you have any advice for startups that are still finding their product/market fit? Particularly when it comes to finding an ideal north star metric?
First define your end goal: what do you want to accomplish in the long term. 2. Test and iterate strat with one product, one target market, one year and test and iterate. Define the north star only after doing this. Good luck, you got this!
Also, from a career perspective – what have you seen as the most effective ways to build your name in the marketing world? Especially with most events going virtual now and networking really shifting and changing, how do you think marketing professionals can raise their profile and get noticed? Has that been important for your personal career growth?
Super important to gain visibility but most importantly what is your own voice and message that is unique to cut through the clutter, what do you stand for. Be where your customers will be, for example, LinkedIn, communities, virtual events even if there is no pay you are investing in connections and opportunities to talk about what you are passionate about.
Thank you everyone for having me it was such a pleasure to be here with you today
David, Thank you for the wonderful invitation.
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