November 23, 2023

The journey of establishing a sales team, and what it taught our Sales Lead, Pontus Alfthan

November 23, 2023
Jenny Jäntti
‍In his own words, Pontus explains what it was like to build a sales process from scratch, and what his most significant learnings from it have been.
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In his own words, Pontus explains what it was like to build a sales process from scratch and what his most significant learnings from it have been.

How did you end up at Mobal?

I had seen Jakob (CEO) and Alexander (COO) at the university, as we studied together. Not long after meeting them for the first time, I came across an article about Mobal. The signs didn’t end there when suddenly Mobal started recruiting a Sales Lead to build up the sales process and, therefore, a whole team behind it.

Together with Jakob and Alexander, we met up during the recruitment process, and instantly I knew this was the adventure I had longed for. To say that I was impressed with Mobal and its vision would be an understatement.

What was it that you were most impressed with?

They presented their idea, and I instantly noticed their centralized customer mentality, which I’ve valued ever since our first discussion. Another thing that intrigued me was their buyer-first approach, which is about placing the buyer’s needs and interests at the core of the sales process. This approach is something I’ve firmly believed in ever since I started my career as a Sales Executive. Unfortunately, more often than not, it’s excluded from the smaller organization visions.

What are you most proud of during your time at Mobal?

There are a lot of things I’m proud of. I would want to divide these into internal and external wins.

I’m proud of building up a team of junior sales executives and seeing how they develop and become these successful account executives with a significant impact on the whole company.

Especially in this reasonably new market of local marketing, it was vital for me to build up a team equipped to be trusted advisors for our buyers. With this approach, we have built a product based on our customer's daily needs and problems. Naturally, this has made selling more exciting, and I can easily claim that I’m proud of our team and its values and visions.  

When thinking about what things I’m proud of during my time here, I also have to say; our ability to open people's eyes to a new marketing channel and, therefore, find a narrative that resonates.

What is your favorite memory from Mobal?

During these years, we’ve built up many memories together. But if I had to choose one, it would be the day we moved from our first-ever office (if you could even call it that - it was more like a little box we squeezed into) to a proper office. Somehow the feeling towards our operations changed from a friend group assignment to building a successful business.

With a budget consisting of a small van and pizza, we certainly didn’t sit back and relax. Looking back at it now, I realize how much we’ve grown and established a company with processes, especially people I will never take for granted.

You are always the one taking on the toastmaster duties at our events. Where does that come from?

What a fun question. I would say it comes from the family and our childhood traditions that have continued to our adult years. Not to forget that all these traditions, such as singing these so-called “snaps visor” during meals, were strengthened during my studies. The first song that I learned was probably “helan går,” which is one of the most common songs to sing during a party.

How do you use business listings, and do you use your own experiences to sell to customers?

Naturally, I’ve become a much better user of business listings since starting at Mobal, and therefore I’ve also seen the value it brings to consumers daily. By becoming a better user of business listings I’ve been able to strengthen my thesis with personal experiences.

I’ve noticed that everyone knows something, but no one knows everything about business listings.

Most business owners and marketers know the importance of managing Google reviews and NAP (name, address, and phone number) information. Still, very few understand to what extent a well-optimized Google business listing can go. All this makes a selling process much more effective as we can bring actual value to the users of our platform (or managed service).

Ultimately, we want to know your three biggest learnings and what you would’ve said to yourself three years ago.

1. The people make the company.

Every single individual in a joint effort creates success. Perfecting processes, visions, and strategies is always possible, but without the people, you can’t get even close to success.  

2. Networking works.

I had a hard time with networking initially, but immediately when I started allocating time to it, my learning curve and success rate increased immensely. You should take every chance to learn from your peers and successful people in the field.

3. Remember to focus on the good things.

There will always be fires to put out, especially in an early stage company, but you should never forget to celebrate a win—both bigger and smaller.

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