April 15, 2019
At Conga, our team culture is a core part of who we are as a company. We think Conga is a great place to work, and we want to share our experiences—and our team!—with the world. In our Employee Spotlight blog series, we’re introducing readers to the talented folks in the Conga offices, and sharing how they’re finding success on this high-growth, fast-paced team.
Today we’re talking to Amanda Lester to learn more about product marketing, her journey in tech, and how she finds inspiration.
Name: Amanda Lester
Title: Senior Product Marketing Manager (PMM)
1. How long have you worked at Conga?
I’ve worked for Conga for seven years. I joined Conga through the acquisition of Octiv (now called Conga Collaborate).
2. What’s a little known fact about you?
I can read and write Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
3. What inspires you as a product marketer?
For me there is nothing that gets me more excited than cutting-edge technology. When it comes to adopting technology, I would be labeled an early adopter—I love nothing more than trying the technology first myself, then helping to show others how it will improve their workflow like it did mine.
As a product marketer, my goal is to inspire the people around me to make their work lives easier by taking advantage of Conga’s products. I’m trying to get them to envision what their life is going to be like after they go through the process of whatever it is we’re selling or whatever it is they’re trying to adopt. Witnessing a success story is awesome. Being a part of the reason for that customer’s success is even better.
4. What is a day-in-the-life of a PMM at Conga?
Conga is one of the most dynamic, high-growth companies I’ve ever worked for. It has been one of the most challenging, exciting, and fun experiences of my life. It doesn’t feel like work. I’ve loved every single moment at Conga and couldn’t imagine a better work environment. As a product marketer, this fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment means you end up wearing a lot of hats. This job is best suited for individuals who like variety in their everyday work, are comfortable with change, and can think on their feet—which suits me perfectly. Day to day work life never looks quite the same, meaning there is never a dull moment. I really enjoy working with internal and external stakeholders to come up with creative solutions to problems and ensuring that buyers have a great experience throughout the entire customer journey.
5. How would you describe the culture on your team?
This team is unbelievably smart, supportive, transparent, and just an inspiring group of individuals. These people are less like co-workers and more like family. We work together. We eat together. We work out together. We hang out together. We volunteer together. We push each other to do better and we cheer each other on. There is a unified desire to see this company succeed and it shows in each and every team member, and because of that we share in the success together.
6. What does your career path look like? How is Conga helping you get there?
I began my professional career at Octiv, a startup in the sales technology space in the midwest. When I started I was the sixth employee. Needless to say, the startup was an “all hands on deck” kind of atmosphere. I just volunteered to assist anywhere I could. I helped implement our largest customer, fielded sales and support calls, and created and maintained the sales materials and demo resources.
As we scaled I became a marketing communications specialist, where I learned to design and manage marketing campaigns to generate awareness, worked on public relations, managed the company’s website, and started our customer marketing program.
I later pursued greater responsibility in defining the strategic positioning and messaging company-wide as a product marketing manager. Initially responsible for the messaging and positioning of the product, I now oversee the planning and execution of product launches, sales enablement, and creation of content that helps prospects make their purchasing decision.
It was through my cross departmental work with Conga’s product management, sales, and marketing teams that I realized that my true passion lies in helping to build innovative products and bringing those to market.
Conga is extremely supportive in providing educational opportunities to help me in my career development, such as Pragmatic Marketing certifications, and allowing me to take courses at MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).
7. Tell us a great customer story.
Thanks to the many roles I’ve played throughout my time at Octiv and now Conga, I’ve experienced many great customer stories. One that stands out vividly for me is Nelbud, a company that provides hood cleaning, fire protection, and grease trap services for commercial kitchens.
Like many businesses, Nelbud closes most of their sales deals at the end of the quarter. It’s a pretty busy time and they needed this one large enterprise deal to come through to hit their booking targets.
Michael Crafton, the CEO of Nelbud, was up working at 1:00 AM in the morning when he received a text message alert from Conga, that a key prospect had just opened the sales proposal and was reviewing the quote. Like any good executive, Michael picked up his cell and called the prospect immediately. He mentioned that he noticed the customer was reviewing the agreement and wanted to see if the customer had any questions about the proposal. He was able to answer the remaining questions, and the customer electronically signed the deal while on the phone with Michael.
Without Conga’s real-time insights, the customer wouldn’t have gotten their questions answered in a timely manner and Nelbud wouldn’t have hit their quarterly sales targets. With Conga, Nelbud and Michael Crafton are now able to provide a best in class buying and selling experience and ensure that customers can electronically sign agreements from any device.
8. How do you like to spend your time outside of Conga?
Outside of work I can be found traveling, skiing, hiking, biking, and kayaking. It’s a goal of mine to learn something new each month, so I can typically be found reading a book or listening to podcasts. I’m also a huge sports fan—I enjoy watching the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, and Notre Dame football games.
I am also an active participant in Nextech, a program that introduces a computer science curriculum to K-12 students so they can develop an interest in key coding skills to go into a career in the STEM field. As a college educated woman and a minority in the tech field, I feel an obligation to offer students a different perspective than the one they may have at home.
If the PMM role aligns with your career path, you’re in luck! We’re looking for a few key PMM hires who are ready to help us take Conga’s products to the next level! Check out our careers page to apply.