Lessons Learned From Building Cloud Computing Companies

For over 20 years, CEOs and business leaders have chosen our firm for their mission-critical hires across Enterprise Sales, Marketing, and Product Management.

Application software vendors like Salesforce, Hubspot, and ServiceNow have become thought leaders and poster children for transformation and have shaped how companies engage, market, and serve their customers. 

Another equally important transformation has been happening behind the scenes. What was once stored in a basement server room has become cloud infrastructure and the underpinnings of cloud computing. 

Cloud computing is the very heart of digital transformation and remains one of the most competitive and challenging categories to recruit qualified talent for. Whether in cybersecurity, PaaS, Virtualization, storage, SASE or Edge computing, competition for this talent remains at an all-time high.

Based on our three search practices (Enterprise Sales, Marketing & Product Management), these are the recruiting insights we’ve learned while managing searches and finding talent for some of the top cloud companies across North America:

Recruiting Sales Talent:

For anyone leading sales-driven organizations, the craft of complex enterprise sales is always a wonder to behold, especially when it's embodied in an Account Executive with the quote performance and W2 earnings which President's Club trips are made of.

While money motivates sales talent, so does the scope and scale of the opportunity and how your business is poised against others in the space. The top cloud computing business leaders our sales practice works with are always recruiting salespeople. Their approach is to continually meet top performers whether a position is open or not.

Why do they have a continually open approach? Because it ensures they are ready when a leader or industry vet is poised to make moves. This continual hiring and expansion helps to ensure their sales teams (whether organized by geography or by vertical) have the best combination of experiences, results, and skills to make the numbers committed to the Board.

Recruiting Marketing Talent:

The number one marketing function tech companies scaled in 2022 was Product Marketing. Employers have recognized that a sound GTM and Product Marketing strategy is the cornerstone of any successful product.

Due to the limited supply of SMEs specific to each product category and the demand for such skills, the investment in Product Marketing hires has increased by 15-20%.

The top-ranked candidate persona our clients have been seeking is a Product Marketer capable of delivering strategic value-based messaging over the traditional sales enablement kit.

Our marketing search practice estimates that by early 2024, the Product Marketing function will have moved closer to reporting to the leadership of the product organization, stretching the scope of most product leaders.

Recruiting Product Management Talent:

When our firm's product practice launched in 2016, it came at a time when product management was still being defined. Today, Product Management is broadly accepted as the function which has the power to make, or break, a company. 

The person who sits in the seat of CPO is expected to architect the path to monetization and determine what the company could sell if most ICPs buy. They also need to ensure that the:

  • Product is easy to use and frictionless
  • Onboarding is seamless and fast
  • Integration into other platforms or products is possible
  • Upgrade options, extra features, and subscription renews are increasing

Product is now mission-critical to a tech brand's overall success. Our Product Practice Lead, Heidi Ram recommends CEOs apply a SWOT analysis on their product organizations at this point in the year. 

The things to consider are: 

  • Has the product organization been able to scale the product ecosystem to realize the opportunities that exist in the market?
  • Are you poised to capture growth as a result of the efforts of this last year?
  • Have new companies emerged as 'darlings' that your platform needs integration with to remain modern and relevant?
  • What does the data say? Where is the friction? 

Get more insights into why leaders engage our firm with their product hires, or book a consultation with us to discuss your product hiring roadmap, industry hiring trends, and current compensation statistics for 2023.