We are pleased to announce we have levelled up our Leadership team with the addition of Gretchen Philips as our Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)! As a fast-growing startup, we strive to not only find the best talent to lead in innovation, but also passionate leaders who are similarly driven to help make a difference in employee mental wellbeing. We can confidently say that Gretchen Phillips more than fits the bill!
As the CRO Gretchen will drive the integration and alignment between all revenue-related functions, including marketing, sales, customer support, pricing and revenue management. Her extensive background includes 20 years of experience in sales and distribution from companies such as Prudential and ActiveOps.
Phillips will be the liaison between our Canadian and U.S. efforts as the company continues to expand, build and develop our go-to-market and growth strategies.
Continue reading for an exclusive interview with Phillips on her experiences, plans for headversity, and what she thinks about preventative mental health for the workforce.
My background started with an insurance carrier in the U.S. And although we had a lot of different businesses, the business that I spent the most time was the group benefits business and specifically in the disability product.
I led claims, I led the product line. One of the things that was very frustrating for both employers and us as a carrier is that once people went out on short-term disability, whether it was for something physical or mental health-related short-term disability, the duration of that disability ended up being longer and longer. Because people were struggling with the mental health repercussions of being on disability, and being out of work, it was very scary for them to return to in certain circumstances. So, I learned firsthand the business impact of not having preventative mental health measures. I saw a return on investment when people implement wellness programs and focus proactively on wellbeing. After Prudential I started a career in technology and worked in tech sales.
Hearing about the opportunity to address this emerging mental health crisis proactively, instead of reactively, piqued my interest. The pull for me was being part of a solution that people could access privately, and it could be customized. I jumped at the chance to combine my background in both disability and software sales.
My experiences as a leader within an organization, regardless of where I worked, I realize how impactful a person’s mental fitness was to their performance and productivity. Including my own work with HR benefits people in the disability space. That’s a noisy place to be as an HR person. I realized having a solution like headversity can make an HR person’s job a lot easier. My experience working with HR professionals as clients, knowing the challenges they face and what they’re responsible for, puts me in a great position to address their pain points.
The network of connections that I know is looking for solutions like this to introduce to their clients as an integrated part of their benefits solution. I really look forward to teaching a great Canadian sales team some of the nuances of the U.S. market.
When I think about scaling headversity and making sure that we can develop sustainable, profitable growth I think of focus. Our products are industry agnostic, but given where we are in our company’s lifecycle, we have more than enough resources, service offerings, and technology to serve a very large market in the US and Canada.
In terms of scaling for growth, let’s start where we have some great client stories and credibility and build on those relationships. We focus and grow there. Then, we branch out once we’ve reached a critical point of market share within the verticals that we’re going to target over the next year.
I think the primary challenge is having such a large market and resonant product. It’s a very good problem to have. However, we must ensure that we keep a constant pulse on the business that’s coming in the door when it’s coming through the door.
We can have the internal resources to service our clients in a way that’s made our current book of business satisfied and happy with the benefits we’ve provided to their organization. So, one of the challenges is making sure we have enough lead time to begin to scale the other resources within the organization as we continue to sell and grow the business.
My biggest goal is to make headversity synonymous with wellbeing in both the Canadian and U.S. benefits space.
More tactically, the goal is to ensure the sales and client success teams have the right resources focused on the right verticals and segments. Creating a steady pace of growth that is manageable and connected with the rest of the organization as we continue to grow and refine the product.
They’re thoughtful. The stereotype about Canadians is on point. Canadians also have a bias toward action that I’ve never experienced with an American company. People are willing to take action items and actually come back with them, like, yesterday! I know that sounds small but it’s not. We should celebrate that.
I am also delighted to attend the different conferences where people hear what we’re about. Their eyes light up because they get it! They know they need it. That is rare in a sales career. I’m also thrilled to work with a talented team and customers who need us and intuitively understand the value we can bring.
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