Transcript from REVstars interview with Laura Palmer
Speaker: Laura Palmer,
Vice President of Sales, Americas and EMEA at Unity Technologies
Interviewer: Sydney Sloan, CMO at Salesloft

[Intro, musical overlay]

Sydney Sloan: Hello. So glad to have you here.

Laura Palmer: Nice to be here. Thank you for having me.

Sydney Sloan: Congratulations, REVStar!

Laura Palmer: Thank you, thank you.

Sydney Sloan: Awesome. Super easy question to start. Your name, so people know who you are.

Laura Palmer: My name is Laura Palmer.

Sydney Sloan: Hello Laura Palmer.

Laura Palmer: For any Twin Peaks people out there. You might recognize the name.

Sydney Sloan: There you go. Your current role, and how you would describe what you do to your parents.

Laura Palmer: Oh, okay. That’s a good one. I am the VP of sales for a company called Unity Technologies here in San Francisco. How would I describe it to my parents? I lead a sales team, a global sales team, people around the world, and we’re trying to get people committed to the Unity platform.

Sydney Sloan: I loved what you said in your pre-interview that you’re competitive, but you’re not type A. Maybe an A minus or B plus. I literally started laughing when I read that. Best line ever. But I want to know what you meant by it. And how does that manifest itself day to day for you?

Laura Palmer: I spent eight years at Google, and I joined Google in 2010. I feel lucky to have had that experience. There’s a lot of type A people, so the more you get to know and get to be around people like that, you realize there’s a lot of type A, and I always would joke that I’m not quite a type A, I’m an A minus. I have a little bit of rebel in me. I know myself very well. I know how I work the most effectively and being on every single second of the day all the time doesn’t work for me. Sometimes I just got to let things go. So that’s what I mean by it. I have a lot of rigor, a lot of stamina, but there are times when I have to blow that off and just let loose a little bit.

Sydney Sloan: So let’s transition to work a little bit. You’re talking about how you structure your day. How big is the team that you manage?

Laura Palmer: About 80 people.

Sydney Sloan: 80 people. Global.

Laura Palmer: Global. Yep.

Sydney Sloan: And when you think about the last person that you promoted into a new role, what advice did you give that person?

Laura Palmer: What I commonly see, not first… First-time managers for sure, but even people that are a little more experienced, is they need to learn to step back and let those on their team shine. I think it’s this delegation that really needs to happen. So allowing that to naturally occur is a really good thing.

Sydney Sloan: When you’re thinking about maybe two steps back in your career, not necessarily your first time as a manager, but your first time promoting people into manager positions. What did that feel like? And when you look back, would you have given them different advice than maybe you gave them at that point in time?

Laura Palmer: Well, I think this is something I’ve learned. It’s very different being promoted into that leadership role. If it’s at the current company that you’re at and you’ve been now elected from a group of your peers to rise up, that’s one challenge, which is very different than going to a new company in a new role.

Sydney Sloan: Let’s go with the first one?

Laura Palmer: Yeah. It’s not easy. And I think part of it, I go back to… We did a lot of work at Google about your personal brand. So you need to think about what your personal brand is going to be in that new role and then how you’re going to support that brand. So if people saw you as an individual contributor inside of that company and you get raised up, how are you going to shift your brand in order to be seen as a leader in the company?

Sydney Sloan: So you’re a super successful sales executive. You’re an awesome mom and you take time to watch Netflix, and eat chocolate with your significant other, which is great. And then there’s networking. That’s actually how you and I met, we met through a mutual friend and we’re out networking. How important is the power of networking to your own professional development?

Laura Palmer: Super important. So when I think… At Google, it’s such a big company, you can spend all your time networking inside that one organization. So I built a phenomenal network of people that I’m still really close with. But when I came out, I realized a couple of things. Number one is, when you get to this level, there’s not a lot of people that ask when you have questions, You’re kind of it, it’s on you. So I knew I needed to build out a network of people that are in similar roles so we can bounce ideas off each other.

Sydney Sloan: So last question. The person in your life that inspires you the most?

Laura Palmer: Well, of course I’m going to say my kids. I think that… I have a daughter, she’s 15 years old. I don’t think there are enough females in the industry, so one of the reasons I’m doing that is most certainly to try and open doors that our daughters can walk through. I think I’m inspired by my team, and like you said, seeing these young people with this talent and they’re eager and they want to learn. I really care about that. I really care about the coaching side of it and the giving back now, we’re all so lucky. We’re so lucky to be here.

Sydney Sloan: It’s not about how much money you make or the job you have, it’s how you change people’s lives. That’s for me what it is, and I think that’s what we’re… REVstars is what that’s about too, is picking people who are out there that want to do it for all the right reasons. So congratulations for being one.

Laura Palmer: I love that you guys have done that in that way too, because I don’t think you have to be that traditional… You don’t need to be a jerk. Life’s too short. I want to work with fun people and have a good time and realize we’re lucky to be here and hope to pass that along.

Sydney Sloan: And we have had a good time today.

Laura Palmer: We have had a great time today. Thank you for including me. Yes.

Sydney Sloan: Totally.