A Week in My Life: Henrique Aragao, VP and General Manager EMEA at G2
G2 is a user reviews site for the B2B global software market with over three million users and over 750 thousand reviews.
The platform identified international growth as a key priority for 2019, and in support of that, the company opened its first international office in London at 22 Tudor Street.
So Henrique Aragao, the company's new VP and General Manager for EMEA, shares what his working week is all about...
Monday 10 June
This week is hugely exciting at G2 with the opening of our first international office right here in London.
It’s a busy few days ahead as we’re also attending four technology events. I spend the first hour of the week reviewing the calendar and making sure we have everyone and everything we need for the week ahead.
Firstly, two software vendors have invited G2 to be at their customer event with a ‘review booth’. I love these because we get to engage with real users and encourage them to write reviews on the G2 marketplace. This year at G2 EMEA we have decided to partner with a non-profit called Girls Who Code UK and this means that every time we're on the ground gathering reviews, we will make a $10 donation for every review submitted. It is a great way to encourage participation on the ground and partner with our customers to close the gender gap in technology.
Secondly, we are sponsoring SaaStr Europa in Paris, an exciting B2B software event running over two days in Paris.
Thirdly, we are one day away from our London office grand opening event. Our customer marketing team has done a phenomenal job and I am amazed at how little is left to do. It will be the first time our US colleagues come to our new offices so I’m carving out a few hours today to make sure they get settled in and can make final preparations to receive our 50 VIP guests tomorrow afternoon for the launch event.
Despite all this activity, I do make sure we are still managing the business and that key activities do not get postponed. Every Monday I have a set number of key tasks and today will be no different. One hour spent on reviewing our recruitment pipeline (we are rapidly scaling our team and with 15 roles to fill), two interviews and two reference calls as we continue our efforts to find the best and brightest to help us scale in Europe.
Then some weekly meetings with our team members to ensure we are aligned on our priorities and everyone has the support they need to achieve their goals, followed by a forecast and pipeline review. Our forecast calls with the US take place on Monday afternoons. I tend to review our European forecast on the Friday before so that we have all our business updates ready to discuss.
The afternoon is spent tracking down my US CEO and CRO’s arrivals into London and finding a good spot for dinner. We catch up on how the European launch activities are going, new hires, and key meetings for the week ahead.
Tuesday 11 June
This Tuesday was not a typical day in the week. Today we are launching G2 Europe to the market and it is the culmination of many months of hard work by some incredible teams both in Europe and in our US locations. I feel empowered and fortunate to work with such smart and high energy people. Finished up late last night aligning on our go-to-market strategy with two of our co-founders who are in town this week.
In the morning Godard and I meet with our investor Accel. I still cannot fail to be impressed at how much the SaaS market in Europe is picking up pace. After a great meeting, I have to get Godard to Sky News’ central London studio as we have been invited to talk to Ian King live on Sky News about the launch of our first ever Top 100 EMEA Software Companies List. As part of our go-to-market planning, we poured over 66,000 software user reviews published on G2.com and rated the top companies based on user satisfaction and market presence. It turns out that the companies that made the list have focused on user experience above and beyond functionality. They have built products that users love, pure and simple.
It is actually quite revealing that in the last two weeks, there have been two major acquisitions in the business intelligence software space with Looker and Tableau being acquired by Google and Salesforce for a combined $18.7B, and both companies top the G2.com list for self-service business intelligence. Customers love these products and it seems that this is reflected in their attractiveness as an acquisition target.
Later that afternoon it is back to the office where we reconvene with the team. Whilst I have been away, our team has been on site with one of our customers at their London user conference. I learn that we gathered over 60 reviews for them and raised $1,000 for Girls Who Code UK!
It is now almost 5pm and we all get ready to go down to the lobby of our new London office and welcome our guests to our VIP launch party. We have leaders from some well known, long-established companies in the UK like Oracle, Salesforce, New Relic, as well as leaders from others that are just arriving. Salesloft, Talkdesk, Pendo, and Clari also join us and no doubt I will be at their launch events in a few weeks‘ time! I am also really lucky to have some amazing leaders from Kimble, SalesTrip and Zymplify join me for a Q&A as we toast to their success driving growth through customer advocacy on G2.com!
Wednesday 12 June
Early start for our team of eight who are heading to Paris on the 7:00am Eurostar bound for SaaStr Europa where G2 is a sponsor this year. Although we are basing our offices in London, we are truly European with no less than eight languages fluently spoken by our team. Our current customer base is also already well distributed across Europe so travel will be frequent until we open our next offices in the coming year.
Day one at the event is very busy. The opening session featured our CEO Godard Abel in a panel talking about all the great learnings he has picked up in over 20 years of building SaaS businesses. This tends to be the main thread across SaaStr - founders, leaders and builders talking about how to build and scale successful tech businesses.
We have some incredibly valuable conversations with guests on the expo floor, meet with old friends who have congregated in Paris, and also hand out badges to other sponsors.
The afternoon is spent enjoying happy hour drinks at the event. The beer quickly runs out but champagne keeps flowing. In the evening we have a lovely dinner in St German des Prés with my old Salesforce team and our G2 founders. This is what I love about building businesses with heart. It doesn’t matter where we end up, but if we do our best work with heart, we build meaningful relationships for life.
I am a big believer in taking care of your mind and body in order to perform at your best every day. To me, that means a minimum of 7hrs sleep on a regular basis. The French dine late so we finish up with fewer hours to sleep than I would like.
Thursday 13 June
It’s day two of SaaStr Europa and it turns out that we were not the only ones out late the night before. We just happened to be one of the few teams to get up and head to the event on time though. Before heading to the event, I meet up with the EVP of a major publicly traded technology company.
We manage to squeeze in a one hour breakfast to talk about how customer advocacy and review data can help them grow their install base and reduce churn. As we have over three million business software buyers coming to G2.com every month, we can proactively notify customer success teams when an existing customer is out shopping for alternative solutions or indeed looking for new ones, meaning there’s an opportunity to engage ahead of the competition.
Following a Zoom video interview on the way back to the event, we meet with four prospects about how G2 can help them scale their businesses by building their customer base, amplifying their satisfaction and generating great content they can leverage to build their brand at a global scale.
In the afternoon I catch up with our Senior Account Executive in the UK, Nuno, who is representing G2 at a speaking engagement for one of our customers at their evening event in Old Street in London, the epicentre of tech in the City. We have some great content on G2.com and we are always tracking innovations in some of the hottest software categories. Nuno is talking about one such category this evening. He’s well prepared, briefed by our research team, and the event goes off without a hitch.
At the end of the day, I run one more remote interview via Zoom and we head out for a team dinner. We celebrate an amazing week and the start of an incredible journey launching this new business into Europe.
Friday 14 June
Very happy with myself for clocking in a solid 8 hours of sleep and feeling great. My room has a lovely view of the Seine and the Eiffel Tower simmering under a warm sunny glow so I put on my running gear and head out first thing for a 10K run. No better way to start the day than getting the blood pumping.
The rest of the morning is spent following up on meetings from the last few days, and running another interview for one of our open positions. It is Friday so I review our sales pipeline and update our forecast to submit later on in the day.
As I make my way to Gare du Nord to hop on the Eurostar back to London, I update our recruitment team on two offers that are going out tonight to some amazing candidates and review the agenda of the global sales leadership meeting which runs every Friday later in the afternoon. We have a collaborative agenda that everyone inputs into throughout the week. It is a great way to share amongst leaders and bring everyone up to speed on the week before we head out for the weekend.
As we are investing $20 million into this European expansion in the next few years, we will be recruiting across Sales, Customer Success, Business Development, Marketing, and Operations. Setting up a local subsidiary is about much more than just opening a sales office, and so the focus will continue to be on building the best possible team to support the needs of the European software buyer.
This includes making the necessary changes to our platform. When we first started, we thought that if we simply translated reviews and content we would get there. The more we speak to buyers and vendors, the more we understand. Translations are great but it is actually the data that needs to be made meaningful. For example, buyers look for reviews from people that they see as peers. This means they want to filter reviews not only by role, company size, and industry but also by country - “What do other French buyers think of this product?”
Next week we have more new starters, hundreds of leads to progress from our four events this week, and two weeks left in the month to book new contracts with some really exciting technology companies that are keen to reach their potential with G2.