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Celebrating International Women’s Day: Insight from CyberCube’s Revenue Operations Director

For International Women's Day 2024, CyberCube are highlighting one of our directors, Abbie Hayman who leads our Revenue Ops team.

  • 5 Minute Read

Abbie Hayman, 33, started her career as a Junior Inside Sales representative at a global supply chain management company, eventually running a team of 100 staff. For International Women’s Day, she talks about her role as Revenue Operations Director for CyberCube and shares the lessons she’s learnt during her career. 

Can you give a brief overview of your career to date?

After a six-week trip travelling around the US, I was unclear of exactly what my next move was and my career path. A friend approached me about a Junior Inside Sales role at Achilles and the company and role sounded interesting. I spent two years as an individual contributor and quickly fell in love with the fast-paced environment of a high-volume sales model. I felt a huge buzz being top of the leaderboard and felt that sales played to my competitive nature. I set myself a two-year deadline to become highly successful in this role, with the next stop being team management. 

I was asked to spend six months in Australia to lead the Inside Sales team which I said yes to without hesitation. It was a fantastic experience, living in a different country and managing a small team of four. After that, I moved back to the UK and was promoted to managing the UK Inside Sales Team. A year later, I was managing the global team — at the time, this was around 100 people working across seven countries. The imposter syndrome certainly kicked in at this point, however, I felt like I had achieved my ultimate career goal at that point. I spent five amazing years in this role, working with some brilliant individuals and growing as a professional, navigating different challenges that leadership brings. 

Why did you join CyberCube?

After 10 years at Achilles, I felt it was time for me to take the next step and challenge myself once again by doing something slightly different, which led me to working at CyberCube. I wanted my next move to be in a different industry and a different type of company, and I wanted to look at sales leadership from a more operational perspective. I wanted to experience what it was like to work for a high-growth start-up and experience the different types of challenges start-ups face. 

I was delighted to be offered a role as Revenue Operations Director, focussing on driving improvements within the Go-To-Market (GTM) team. I have a team of GTM Analysts, Sales Development Reps and Technical Support, covering a diverse range of skills. CyberCube is a fantastic place to work and I am happy that I am here to continue my personal development.

You’re used to running a team over 100 at Achilles and seven now at CyberCube. In your view, what are the key characteristics of a leader?

It is vital that you display a growth mindset and that is reflected in your team. To be successful as an individual and successful for your company, you have to want to win and have a desire to be the best you can be for yourself, your team, your company, and your customers. Setting a clear direction and vision for your team is critical - the team needs to understand where they are heading and the role they play in that journey. 

When setting a direction, it is also vital to be accountable. Be clear when communicating the plan and goals to your team to ensure you are all aligned and focussed on the same goals. It is important to accept responsibility when something doesn’t go to plan but also celebrate when it does. If you are accountable as a leader, your team will foster the same attribute, and lead by example. Be courageous and take risks, even though your decisions might not be popular or they might be difficult to make, if you are confident your decision will drive positive change then the risk will be worth it. Finally, lead with integrity. Be honest, open, and trustworthy. Your team and company will value it.

What have you enjoyed most about your career so far?

I quickly established that a sales environment was the right environment for me. I like being able to find a solution to a customer's problem but I also enjoy the satisfaction of overdelivering against sales goals. 

What I enjoy even more is seeing my team grow and progress into different roles, which is why I wanted to move into a leadership role. Career growth and development is an area I am invested in and I always want to ensure my team feels like they are supported in their growth. I enjoy watching others around me succeed and if I can support them in their success then that gives me the utmost job satisfaction. 

Your commute from home to the London office is two hours! How do you manage this and how do you balance working from home and being present in the office?

Working from home has many advantages. It allows for flexibility, improved work/life balance and at times can increase productivity. However, I believe it is vital to have face-to-face time with your colleagues. I try to make sure I am in the office twice a week and across those days spend as much face time with my team and colleagues as possible. 

From the start of my career, I have been fortunate to work with many superb professionals and most of my personal development came from networking with senior colleagues. Most of this happens by listening and observing in group workshops or those informal coffee chats where you can ask questions that help you in the early stages of your career. I think hybrid working is important so we do not lose that. Travelling for four hours is a stretch but I think the positives outweigh the negatives. 

What do you do to unwind in your spare time?

It is very important that you take the time to rest, recover and recharge to make sure you have the energy and focus to hit your goals. For me, reading the latest psychological thriller and tuning into the latest Netflix series are my normal “after work” activities. I make sure that I am at the gym at least four mornings during the week - this has always helped me to adapt a positive mindset for the day ahead. When it is time to shut down the laptop for the weekend, I enjoy trying different restaurants, and living near to the Cotswolds, I am spoilt for choice!

What career advice would you give to other young aspiring women?

It is important to surround yourself with a positive network of mentors, colleagues and role models. Never be afraid to ask colleagues for advice and support throughout your career journey. Absorb feedback throughout your career, be curious about different roles and responsibilities, as it might help to shape your career path. Focus on creating your personal brand and letting your personality shine through. 

Do not be afraid to be your authentic self, this is what your colleagues will grow to admire and value. Be the person who “gets stuff done”, it is easy to complain and list out many different problems, which is not helpful. Be the person who takes accountability and raises their hand to say: “I will get the job done”. Never be afraid to take on challenges, sometimes you will succeed and sometimes you will make mistakes. Mistakes are ok as those mistakes will allow you to learn and develop. Finally, practice self-belief and resilience, and never give up!

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