Remember to share wins.
During the day to day grind of running a software company, it’s important for business facing team members to remember that your development team is not only human, but also is inspired and excited on many of the same things that get you pumped up!
Your dev team gets excited by new customer acquisitions and account expansions. They’re pumped when customers love your product. They get super jazzed when the company is growing and exciting things are happening.
However, in my experience, development teams are often shielded from much of this business excitement. In this post I’ll try and convince you why that is horrible for everyone involved.
Sharing this excitement is a critical job at any company—at BugSplat, I call this role the Win-Sharer. This responsibility is one of the most important things you can do for the overall health, happiness, and productivity of your dev team and, therefore, your company as a whole.
The life of your development team revolves around an endless list of feature requests, bugs and support tickets. They are always putting out fires and handling difficult problems.
What this usually doesn’t involve is basking in the warm glow of success that should come with running a successful software company.
Customer-facing members of tech companies and start-ups, can unintentionally shield their developers from positive outcomes like new customer acquisition, account expansion, positive customer reviews, and legions of screaming admirers and tech reporters at popular conventions.
When I first started working closely with our dev team, I didn’t appreciate that I needed to work hard to highlight our collective successes. I wrongly assumed that they innately knew this, and that repeating it was a waste of time.
I didn’t understand that my team really appreciated receiving such information, which they typically missed getting through any other channels.
My tech team, and probably yours as well, does not pay attention to the vast majority of sales and marketing chatter. Why would they? They already have so much else to focus their mental energy on.
As their product manager, I need to pass along our successes to help lend weight to my vision for our product. If I don’t show them that we are successful, why would they want to follow my lead?
I now consider that sharing our wins—being the cheerleader or the “Win-Sharer”—is one of the most important things that I do for my team’s continued success, and it doesn’t take much effort at all.
By taking a bit of time to share our successes, I pass along the positive energy and excitement that come with success and give them some fuel to help them power through when their jobs get frustrating.
Being the Win-Sharer is easy.
At BugSplat I make sure that my team has important information about new customers and prospects every week.
If we get a new customer that is particularly exciting I make sure to share it! I send out an email that explains what the business does and briefly pass along the story of how they came to be a customer.
Here is an example of how I share a new customer with my team. I make sure to send it out to internal support and our development team through emails so that everyone sees it.
A quick note: Doing this becomes even more critical for teams that are distributed, which will be discussed in posts to come.
Here I’ll provide a blank one for your own use. Please copy it, fill it out, and send it to your tech team the next time you get a customer.
Be the Win-Sharer. It’s easy to do and will really benefit your team.
We have a new Customer –
Customer Company Name!!
New Customers in
Number of new customers in calendar month.
New Customer Profile:
How do they summarize their business?
How many widgets did they buy?
A quick story of how they became a customer.
Screen grab of customers homepage.