Welcome to our Q&A series where we introduce you to the people powering Sparta’s success. Join us as we highlight each team member, aiming to discover what fuels them, what they’re all about, and perhaps uncover some hidden gems along the way!
Today, we’re introducing Silvia Lanzuisi, our Head of Customer Success. She’s here to assist and guide customers through everything related to Sparta. Her remarkable journey includes experiences at GE Energy, HSBC, Total’s London trading, various roles in the mining industry, and accomplishments at Calls and Cargo.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE COMPANY?
Just over a year. I started in June last year.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ROLE
Of course! I’m the Head of Customer Success. Customer success is a relatively new concept, coined about 20 years ago. It involves answering customer questions, resolving challenges, and providing solutions to maximise the value users extract from the Sparta platform.
The main goal is to build a relationship with our customers, so they become advocates. Essentially, it’s about ensuring customers get the best possible experience and achieve their goals with our tool, allowing us to both increase retention and expansion opportunities
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?/CAN YOU GIVE ME A RUNDOWN OF YOUR CAREER PATH UP UNTIL THIS POINT?
Well, my career has predominantly revolved around the energy industry, with a few exceptions in the years leading up to my time at Sparta. It all started when I joined GE Energy while still in university, focusing on corporate finance. From there, I made a move to HSBC where I briefly explored a stint in Investment Banking.
Afterwards, I seized an opportunity at Total’s trading branch in London, where I worked in Risk for their Gas & Power Trading Division. Continuing my professional journey, I assumed various roles in the mining sector, dedicating nearly five years at BHP to both operational and commercial capacities, working with coal and metals.
Seeking a new challenge, I decided to try my hand in the start-up environment and joined Zencargo, a SaaS business. I spent two and a half years there, honing my skills in customer success. Eventually, I progressed into Customer Success management, taking on diverse roles before embarking on my journey with Sparta.
Each step of my career path has contributed to my growth, equipping me with a unique perspective and a solid foundation to excel as the Head of Customer Success at Sparta.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING AT OUR COMPANY?
I would say the culture. Everyone is super nice and approachable, and I get to be involved in various projects that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do in a larger organisation. The culture is very action-orientated, with no egos or politics. It’s a great environment to work in.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
Building my team. I’m really proud of how they’ve grown and developed since joining Sparta.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OUR COMPANY CULTURE?
I would describe it as an open culture, with no egos or politics as already mentioned. It allows employees to be involved in various projects and have a deep understanding of the company’s strategy.
WHAT’S ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
This is quite a funny one, I guess. When I was a kid, I was so into football. Being Italian, I was a big, big football fan. AS Roma’s my team.
While no one knows the football stuff, I’m all about tennis these days. I always go nuts when Wimbledon is on. Even though I’m still crying all over Roger Federer for his retirement last year.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON HERE?
One of the most exciting projects was the release of our new vertical, Diesel, back in December. It was a significant milestone for us, as it introduced a completely new customer base and brought a lot of anticipation and excitement.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Oh wow, it is a difficult one. I would say don’t overthink things. Trust your instincts and do what you believe is best for you. Spending too much time overthinking can hold you back from taking action and pursuing your goals.
HOW HAS YOUR ROLE EVOLVED OVER TIME SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE?
Well, when I first started, I was asked to build a customer success function. Back then, I was the only one in customer success. There was no one else, so I was dealing with all the customers and trying to build all the processes and hiring people at the same time. Now, the team is a bit different. I’m still dealing with customers and still building processes, but we have the foundation set, and I have a team rather than just being one person.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS/YEARS?
Work wise, it’s to keep building our team and becoming even better at what we do, making sure that our customers are happy. Personally, I want to keep traveling and enjoying life.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I wish people knew what customer success was sometimes because it’s a relatively new concept. Most people don’t really understand what it’s about. Is it about customer support, customer service, or account management? I wish people had a better understanding that it’s about driving value for the customers.
WHAT’S ONE THING THAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
How varied our customer base is. Even though we are selling one tool, people extract value from the platform in many ways. The fact that you can extract value depending on what kind of customer or what kind of trader you are, or what kind of user you are, you can adapt and use the platform to suit your needs.
This isn’t often the case for most SaaS platforms, normally you use a tool and there’s a value cap on it because it can only be used in a certain way for a certain purpose. This isn’t the case for Sparta’s platform, our customers keep finding new ways to use it, bringing more and more value. There are infinite avenues for them to explore.
IF YOU HAD THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Three wishes…obviously health for myself and my loved ones. I guess that’s the main one. Happiness forever, and I don’t know, bottomless fine wine
WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?
Oh, it would be a song by Bruce Springsteen, I saw his concert in London not too long ago.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING OR READING?
Anytime I’m free, I’m into documentary films. Anything by Louis Theroux or Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
WHAT’S ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Visiting as many countries as possible. If you want me to be more specific, I can say I want to visit all the countries in Southern Africa over the next couple of years. Namibia is next!
Silvia is heads up our client success team here at Sparta and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sparta is a live, market intelligence and forecasting platform that enables oil traders, refiners, banks, hedge funds and wholesalers to have access to real-time and global actionable insights to capture market opportunities before others.
To find out how Sparta can allow you to make smarter trading decisions, faster, contact us for a demonstration at email@example.com