In this series, we introduce you to key members of the Sparta team. Get to know the people behind the scenes who make Sparta tick, their motivations, and the important roles they play in our operations. It’s time to shine a spotlight on these hardworking unsung heroes!
In this interview we speak with Jesse, our Customer Success Manager at Sparta. Jesse joined us in September 2022, bringing his excellent knowledge of Customer Success and Businesses Development to the team, honed through an intriguing career in the energy sector that has explored many facets.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE COMPANY?
I started in September of 2022. So, I’ve been here close to 10 months.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ROLE
I am a customer success manager. Basically, what I do is I help engage and retain our customers as much as we can. I try to be in touch with their needs and understand what they use the software for (as there can be many different uses). I also try and ascertain the value we bring to our customers to better help the sales and product team grow in the right direction by being aware of the customer’s needs. I also do sales into Latin America and a little bit in the US, finding and developing opportunities for us to grow in those markets. So, I wear a few hats if you will.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?/CAN YOU GIVE ME A RUNDOWN OF YOUR CAREER PATH UP UNTIL THIS POINT?
My family has always been involved in energy, so the energy industry is something I was always aware of from an early age. I started out as many people in Texas do in the exploration and production side of things and worked for an American company drilling and producing oil and gas in Europe. This was my first job out of school, and I learned so much about the business and myself from those around me as I later served in a Business Development and Government Relations type role for several years.
I think this was the job that really pointed me in the direction of discovering the value the right person can bring to a company when they understand many parts of the business and most importantly knows how to leverage a multifaceted team to build trust and serve a customer or a stakeholder to achieve the desired result.
The next interest of mine was in software as a service. The speed of value the right software can give to a company is incredible and has always impressed me, so I spent several years in sales and service in that space to learn more. This has then led me to Sparta, and I am very happy to say that again I have found myself at a place where I am able to learn so much from the team around me and have a multifaceted role – it has been a great 10 months so far!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING AT OUR COMPANY?
Favourite part? The people are great. I put the highest value on learning from the people I work with and the things I do, and Sparta’s been a great place for that. I’ve learnt a lot about the industry very quickly, and that’s only because of the great team we have and great customers I have gotten to work with.
I would also say Sparta is has a culture of transparency and directness but also sincerity. The culture has a lot of individuality and room for initiative that is so important, but there’s this very out in the open desire to make the best product possible while also being quite transparent about everything we do.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I think versatility. I’ve been fortunate enough to change industry segments a lot and this has meant that I’ve had to adapt and change to fill different roles and grow with them. This ability to adapt has probably been one of the most interesting parts of my career so far and I think it’s also shown me how important universal good fundamentals are in business.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OUR COMPANY CULTURE?
I’d say we’re an open book. When it comes to working with our clients or internally, we try very hard to be open about what we do and how we are growing. Everyone is there to help, and I have never been somewhere so focused on the voice of our customers. It is very much a dialogue.
It’s not like we are a vending machine of software. It’s more of an interactive process. I can call clients and try to understand what they need, what are they most interested in, what they’re finding in the market and there is an immediate effect in the company in many cases. This interaction and dialogue make the product better and more useful. We are very proactive in the sense that we are always looking for feedback.
WHAT’S ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
I play a sport called Lacrosse! I grew to love the game and it’s a small way to preserve native culture unique to North America. I am sure it is quite rare in other areas in the world.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
I’d say don’t make too many plans… and get into software. Perspectives change all the time and don’t be afraid to follow where you see the future trending in the right direction.
HOW HAS YOUR ROLE EVOLVED OVER TIME SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE?
Quite a bit, I’d say. I’ve been more involved with sales than I was previously, and I think I’ve become more of an asset to the success team as my product knowledge has increased.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS/YEARS?
From a personal perspective, I’d say enjoy more time with my daughter. I have a great work life balance now and I’m enjoying it quite a bit in these early years. From a professional perspective, Sparta is doing great and has grown so much in just my time here, but more importantly the people that use us love us. We’ve grown quite a bit and I’d say just do whatever I can to be part of our growth and staying true to what our clients need. There is a lot more to do.
IF YOU HAD THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
A lifetime supply of good Texas barbecue.
To stay in the shape I was in at 22 for the rest of my life.
WHAT’S ONE THING THAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
How freeform it is or how much room there is for initiative and creativity. It’s one reason I wanted to work for a company that was at the growth stage like Sparta is in right now and I’ve been happy to see how much trust is put in each of us and how we have the room to use our initiative and own the process of our work.
WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?
The last song I listened…this is going to be embarrassing I just know it, let’s see. It’s Tyler Childers: Lady May, he’s a country musician. I was I was driving back from my daughter’s swimming lessons yesterday and that was what was on shuffle.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING OR READING?
I’ve been reading a book on mythology lately called Mythos by Stephen Fry. It is quite good. I am one of those people that reads several books at one time… I am not sure what this says about me, but I have also been rereading Red Notice by Bill Browder as well. It is about the first VC banker to invest in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union during the privatisations in industry.
In terms of binge-watching, I’m rewatching past episodes of Modern Family and Succession.
WHAT’S ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Let’s see. A pilot’s license, honestly. I’d love to do it, but it’s just about finding the time.
Jesse is part of our client success team here at Sparta and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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