Meet the Team – A Q&A with Laura Sanderson, Client Solutions
- September 14, 2022
- SponsorPulse Staff
Tell me about your background and what led you to SponsorPulse?
I come from a very different background than the sponsorship space. I had been in the hospitality industry for my entire professional career and honestly, loved it. It also allowed me to pursue dreams of mine. For example, I was able to live and work in Bermuda, where I gained international experience and lived where people vacation.
It was my husband's job that brought us to Toronto, and I continued working for the same hotel that I was working for while in Bermuda. As a result of personal changes taking place in my life, I took a step back to evaluate how I was feeling in my day-to-day and realized everything was feeling really heavy. I knew I was ready to start thinking about what’s next.
My start with SponsorPulse was very organic and a bit random. I was speaking with my sister-in-law who works for the recruitment firm AIP and shared that I was starting to think about exploring beyond hospitality and asked if she had an idea what other roles might be a good fit. She told me about SponsorPulse, and what an incredible team they were building. She thought it would be a good idea to start a conversation with them and see where it went.
Shortly after I had a call set up with Neal Covant, who is our CRO, and Adam Mitchell, our CEO. I was extremely nervous and spent a ridiculous number of hours doing prep work to learn what the heck a SaaS company even was but from the first call, I felt we clicked. I really loved the passion they had for the business, and we had a really good conversation. I knew I could bet on them and wanted to help this business grow. From there, things moved quickly, and I started full-time at SponsorPulse in December of 2021.
What does your typical “day-to-day” look like?
No typical day, which is the good news, it’s always changing. For myself, I try to start my day the night before. That way I can stay on top of my priorities and if anything new comes in, it doesn't completely shake me.
More specifically, the day could include anything from developing and executing new outreach efforts to nurturing our existing customers. We also conduct live demos to showcase our suite of products and check in with new and existing customers to ensure they feel supported. We want our solutions to be something that gets regular use to help answer a sponsorship-related question. It’s not a "thanks for the business, see you in a year" type of business model.
What is the number one challenge customers are faced with and how does SponsorPulse help solve it?
Like any big investment, people want to know if they’re spending their dollars in the right spot or if there is somewhere new that they need to be looking. And when they spend the money, is it even working? There’s always a new category out there but does it align with their objectives? What we do is support our customers by showing them how to navigate through the clutter to make fact-based sponsorship decisions based on consumer-driven results. It allows them to create or support strategic plans, knowing that they have backup that speaks to their key objectives or maybe their target audience.
What’s important is that we have solutions that supports everything from discovering new opportunities to partner with or when there is a need to evaluate potential partnerships, through to businesses that have already invested in sponsorship and now need to measure whether it worked. That's how we're able to solve these challenges, by having a solution that spans across the entire sponsorship journey.
It's also interesting the way sponsorship has changed. It has gone from being a very traditional medium at one point, and now it's different in its delivery and how it impacts people. For a lot of businesses, they’re focused on wrapping their heads around those changes and figuring out if they are prioritizing the right things and how to optimize it.
Our business approach is all about simplifying, so that customers can go into meetings with confidence and say, “this is what consumers are saying, this is why we should align, or this is why the partnership is beneficial.” On the other side, they can identify when a sponsorship doesn't make sense for them.
What do you enjoy about working at a fast-growing company?
There are so many things I can list here. For one, it's constantly changing, and a fast pace might not be for everybody, but there is always a feeling of excitement, ongoing effort to improve, and to evolve for the better. I think it's so exciting to be able to listen to people who are so much smarter than me and come up with some incredible solutions. The team is truly experts in their fields and they're so incredible in the way that they approach people, business and the way that they listen to one another as well.
Nobody feels off-limits at SponsorPulse. I’ve certainly been in a position where it felt like you were never getting the full story and it starts to shake the trust. It's very much collaborative, everyone works together and shares opinions. Even though we're moving fast, we have a team of very, very passionate people, which positions us well for growth. I also just think our team is really cool.
What's the last book you read?
That is such a good question and I'd love to tell you I'm a huge reader. But I'm bit more of a podcast listener. Shout out to my husband for constantly trying, he's always tagging pages of these really great sales books, but the book collection on my nightstand has been collecting dust.
One of the podcasts that I really enjoy listening to, especially as a woman who has made some career changes in her life is called “Second Life.” The host, Hillary Kerr, interviews women who've been very successful in one area and then decide to throw caution to the wind and try something new, something that they were truly passionate about. I think for a lot of people, it really resonates whether you’ve made a change or think you want to but have doubts. Not saying that everybody needs or wants to be a CEO or an entrepreneur, but just the idea the path is not always a traditional one and we can start over.
It’s inspiring because you don't always realize your value and how many different skills you bring to the table until you're put into a situation that tests them. It’s a worthwhile podcast for people who have been sitting static in their career or thinking that the time is right to make a change. Personally, it was the best decision I could have made.