Someone once wisely said:
“Always look at the solution, not the problem. Learn to focus on what will give results.”–Anonymous
In life, we sometimes face obstacles. But with a creative mindset you can find a solution! Well, the same thing can be said in the business world. Luckily, when companies face challenges and look for a solution to reach business goals, there are Solutions Consultants to hold our hands throughout the journey. Which leads us to our April employee spotlight where we follow a day in the life of a Solutions Consultant at Planview.
As a software company, Planview offers a variety of solutions that help companies focus on the right work to achieve business success. This means we are staffed with knowledgeable Solutions Consultants that help customers find the right solutions. But today we are focusing on one consultant and traveling to Australia to meet; Mohamed Zahran. Together we will learn more about his role, how his team works together, and his views on the Planview culture. Here is what he had to say:
Explain your role as a Solutions Consultant at Planview and a few of your responsibilities.
As a Solutions Consultant my role is to support the sales team with technical expertise in their sales motions and in working with our valued customers and potential customers. My main responsibility is to listen to our prospective and existing customers in the Asia Pacific region to understand their business challenges and advise on the solution that would best fit their needs and help them succeed. Also, I provide guidance to the Planview APAC (Asia Pacific) group with any questions regarding our platform and its use cases and/or detailed technical information.
What type of meetings do you prepare for? Who do you typically collaborate with?
My meetings are typically customer and prospect centered: I get involved in solution presentations, demonstrations, or workshop meetings. I also support our partners and collaborate with other Solutions Consultants around the world to get their feedback. This ensures I position Planview in good stead in order to execute a successful sales motion.
Tell us about working from home – what are your tips for success?
Having a morning routine helps me get started each day. Because for me, having a coffee means that the day has begun, and I am ready to dive into my to-do list. My advice is to try to minimize distractions via a designated space. Sometimes distractions can happen, but I use it as an opportunity to take a break and come back refreshed and ready to work.
Tell us about your career journey to date?
I have been working in customer-facing positions for 16+ years involving consultancy services, solutions architecture, pre-sales, and post-sales support. My entire career has been driven by my passion for solving customers’ key challenges. I had the pleasure to help various customers in the South Pacific, Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa regions.
How is Planview different from other companies you’ve worked for?
I consider myself lucky to be part of the Planview family because everyone is willing to assist. I know that support/answers are just a Slack message away. Plus, we have a great culture where everyone can freely express their thoughts and opinions. In summary – Working at Planview – makes it easier for me to become a better version of myself (all day, every day).
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as you’ve moved up in your Solutions Consultant career?
It is okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.
How do you manage your work/life balance?
- Divide large tasks into smaller ones and work on completing one task at a time.
- Get enough sleep and eat well.
- Stay connected with family and friends.
- Unplug and set aside some time for activities that I enjoy doing (e.g., playing soccer and listening to music). Every day should include a bit of fun and relaxation.
As Solutions Consultant, how do you make time for your team?
There are two teams that I mainly collaborate with. First is the Global Solutions Consultants team. What I appreciate about this team is all the Solutions Consultants around the world are always willing to make up time (despite working in different time zones) to assist and support each other.
Secondly, the APAC team. I make time for them in the same way they are available for me; we just make it work! For instance, the team makes the effort to check in with each other and have a chat about work or about life!
What makes your team so effective?
We create the conditions to do great work together and we trust each other to get the job done. The team meets weekly to discuss what is stopping us from moving forward in order to help each other achieve our goals. I value that we communicate thoughts, opinions, and ideas clearly and openly in a positive and respectful manner.
We hang out (in person or virtually) and use our time to get to know each other better. This way we can play to each other’s strengths and interests in the workplace.
What advice to you give to anyone wanting to work as a Solutions Consultant?
Here are my two pieces of advice:
It’s ok to say “I don’t know” if you don’t know the answer. Also, listen to understand, not to respond.
Best career advice you have received?
It is more important to understand why your customer is buying than what you are selling.
From your perspective, why is Planview a great place to work?
Internally, we use our solutions all day, every day to confidently run our own business. It’s how we know how well they work!
There are many examples of how we use our products, so I am going to focus on my favorite ones:
- The Product Management team uses our Innovation Management Solution, Spigit, to ask our customers for ideas on how we can improve our products.
- The Solutions Consulting team uses LeanKit to gain visibility into any demo-related technical requests and increase productivity. We also use Instant Coffee to brainstorm and collaborate in our meetings.
For fun, how do you unwind when you are off the clock?
When I am not on the clock as a Solutions Consultant at Planview you can find me cooking in the kitchen, building Legos, or spending a quiet day outdoors fishing. Other hobbies I enjoy include playing soccer, watching movies (animated movies in particular), and fixing broken furniture or electronic devices that need repair.
I also like to volunteer and give back to the community. I am very thankful that we have the initiative “Planview Force for Good” for employees to help out others in need. Last Quarter, a team at Planview volunteered with Settlement Services International (SSI) to prepare Christmas hampers for the recent refugee arrivals in Australia.
Is Planview your solution?
If you are browsing the job market and want to work with other passionate teammates like Mohamed, make sure to search our current job openings and apply on the Planview Careers page. We are actively looking for talented members to join our staff!