Welcome to the second article of our Insider series: Meet the Team. Today, we’re getting to know John Manere, our Lead of Sales Engineering. He’s been with SyncApps by Cazoomi for a few years now, and he’s had an impressive growth with the company. But we’ll let him tell you more about that.
Q: Hey, John! Please introduce yourself.
A: I’m John, and I lead the Sales Engineering team at SyncApps by Cazoomi. I started working here in 2016, and I’ve been through a few roles since then.
I started as a Support representative, then worked on supporting the Help Center Content Writing team and then moved on to supporting the Development team. Leading the Sales Engineering team is my latest feat, and I’m super proud of it.
Heading into my 5th year at SyncApps by Cazoomi, I’ve learned a lot! Working on supporting all our departments and moving both horizontally and vertically within our team has helped me get a 360-degree view of our products, so now I find it super easy to help our clients and leads as a Sales Engineering team.
Plus, moving through support, content writing, development, and sales has also done wonders for perfecting my skills in general. I don’t want to brag (too much!), but I’ve come a long way in my tenure at the company.
Q: How has worked changed for you since the pandemic started?
A: Actually, I’ve been working remotely ever since I started here at SyncApps by Cazoomi.
It has been fun as we work and travel anywhere around the Philippine archipelago with the whole Philippine team and smell the fresh breeze of the tropical islands, staying at 5-star resorts and hotels, exciting leisure activities then enjoy delicious meals as we work and travel.
This really boosted our productivity – and was ALWAYS fun!
But this was all before the “Pandamage,” as my colleagues and I like to call it. The pandemic effects have been far-reaching in our country, yet our team has remained stable and thrived in this environment.
It did not really affect my work as I got used to working at home or anywhere around the city with the team for meetings. Our company had provided us with what we need and with the luxury of staying home for work, most of the time, even before everything changed.
The only thing that was affected was the travel and out-of-town meetings as most of the places here in the Philippines are locked down and with strict policies, killing the “F-U-N.” But hey! You can still do something that won’t bore you out! And as always, look on the BRIGHT SIDE.
Since the COVID started, we only do ZOOM and SKYPE meetings for work-related stuff with the team. I have to say I miss hanging out with my colleagues in-person, and I really miss our team-buildings. Did I mention they were SO much fun? I probably did, but it needs to be repeated.
Q: Do you feel like working from home even more than before has negatively impacted your work-life balance?
A: Not really! As I said, I miss seeing my team in-person. But we’re in constant contact online, so our performance and communication haven’t suffered.
Plus, my little family is growing, so I was thrilled to be able to spend more time with my wife and my kids.
It’s not my first year being a work-from-home parent, so I know the drill. My kids do, too! They love that they can borrow my laptop and watch educational/nursery rhymes after I’m done with my shift.
The hardest part is getting them to let go of technology (I know where their love for tech comes, though, so I can’t be mad) and do some physical activity. I think it’s super important not to get sucked in by modern technology and care for your body, too. So I want to instill this in my kids as early as possible.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love helping my wife with her baking gigs. When things go back to normal, I might even surprise my colleagues with a batch of home-baked goodies created by yours truly.
When I am free, I head out to a private gym where I am a member. I told you I’m trying to teach my kids about the importance of staying fit. I want to be an example for them!
After the strict implementation of lockdowns in the country, roads are open again for biking. Our company gifted me with a cool mountain bike, which helps me stay physically and mentally healthy.
I absolutely love mountain biking! It’s an incredible sport, it’s outdoorsy, and it can be performed even when you have to respect physical distancing measures. As mentioned above, you need to sweat it out and not be a couch potato. LOL.
Q: What advice would you give aspiring Sales Engineers?
A: Don’t rush it! It’s great to be ambitious and to want more for your career, but if you skip steps, you’ll never be a great Sales Engineer.
Take your time. Get to know your products and get to know your industry. Only then will you be able to help your clients and your company thrive.
For me, moving through several different departments was of great help. I got to know every facet of the business. Now, I can help my colleagues in other departments.
More importantly, when one of our clients has an issue, or one of our leads wants an in-depth conversation about how we can help them grow, I can always help. I know our solutions in and out, so I don’t have to put the client on hold to reach out to a colleague and fish for information.
Today’s clients expect to have their problems solved in a single interaction. The Sales Engineer title implies that you should be able to do that!
Q: Do you have any tips to help our readers overcome the crisis while working remotely?
- Whatever situation comes, always look on the bright side; this will help you with your mindset. There’s still a silver lining, even if it may seem hard to see in the beginning!
- Always be in touch with your team to retain product knowledge and excitement to work.
- Sharpen your skills in your spare time.
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance. Things may blur when you work in the same space you play, but having separate areas for work and play helps a lot! Also, set work hours: when work is done, go play. Stop answering emails (unless it’s something urgent, of course)
- Spend time with your family.
- Spend time with yourself and engage in physical activities: go work out instead of staying in and staring at the ceiling or a screen.