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Kristiina Walker, Sales Manager at Klingit, on achieving her sales goals 🏆

Kristiina Walker, Sales Manager at Klingit, on achieving her sales goals 🏆

Kristiina, as the sales manager at Klingit, what does “Communicate More” mean to you in your role?

It is really important to me, especially since I work in sales, so communication is crucial for what I do. It’s about creating understanding and interest in the recipient. It’s not just about saying the right things, but above all, listening, being responsive, and understanding what the recipient really wants. It is by adapting my communication to their needs that I can create meaningful and effective conversations.


Kristiina, as the sales manager at Klingit, what does “Communicate More” mean to you in your role? It is really important to me, especially since I work in sales, so communication is crucial for what I do. It’s about creating understanding and interest in the recipient. It’s not just about saying the right things, but above all, listening, being responsive, and understanding what the recipient really wants. It is by adapting my communication to their needs that I can create meaningful and effective conversations.

Can’t you tell us about it yourself? How did your career start, and how has it evolved over time?

My career has certainly not been a straight line, and I ended up in the agency industry somewhat by chance. My first internship was at a media agency, followed by a PR agency, and then I started working at an event agency. I experimented with different agencies within the industry and found myself particularly interested in communication in relation to design.

What is Klingit, and what makes it unique?

Klingit is a subscription service for creative services. What really sets us apart is our genuine customer focus, especially for marketing managers with a high need for comprehensive production. We handle everything from individual ads to full-scale campaigns, presentations, and illustrations. Our unique advantage lies in offering a streamlined service that includes presentation designers, motion designers, illustrators, and copywriters, all within the same package at a fixed price. Our customers subscribe to a monthly fee and can use a predetermined time across all these skill areas, completely flexible and tailored to their daily needs.

How do you communicate this to your target audience?

Many probably know us or have heard of us. However, it has been a challenge to communicate something new. People tend to want to categorize us either as a traditional agency or as a SaaS service because we have a platform. But the fact is that Klingit is a hybrid between these two. We are a service, but it is a service performed by people. Our platform is just a tool to make our work more efficient.

As a sales manager, you are commercially responsible; can you share a campaign where you have been innovative and generated high-quality leads and created new business opportunities?

A campaign can really attract attention, and we usually notice what people like and find amusing. To get good results, we use a mix of different things, like sending emails, being active on LinkedIn, organizing webinars, and talking to people in our network. It’s a mix of everything.

We often get good responses when we run campaigns related to other agencies. An example is when we shared an image of a golden egg and wrote something like: “Tired of paying for competition entries from your agency?” People seemed to find it funny, probably because they could relate. Additionally, working with traditional agencies can be expensive, and the results are not always what you need. Projects tend to grow and become larger, and there’s a reason for that.

How does your sales process work?

We actually have a team of salespeople dedicated to working full-time on new sales. We do this by actively contacting people, mostly through email and LinkedIn. Surprisingly, email has proven to be very successful for us. We have also tried various innovative methods, but the simple email channel has worked really well for us.

Our focus is on using the right resources for the right purpose and automating as much as possible. We believe in quantity as a path to quality. The more people we reach, the more meetings we book. And as you know, more meetings can lead to more deals and, therefore, more revenue. Personally, I’m also very keen on using external services, Chrome extensions, and various digital tools to automate our process. It’s a numbers game for us.

Can you tell us more about the tools you use at Klingit?

I’ve been testing a new service that allows me to experiment a bit. With it, I can find groups of people on LinkedIn and send messages to them. I can customize messages and use AI to make them more personal. This makes my communication feel more genuine. I can also keep track of what people are doing on LinkedIn to find the right opportunity to contact them. It has been quite successful so far.

How do you recruit salespeople for Klingit?

Recruiting salespeople for us is really challenging, especially since we are in an industry where people usually work as project managers, own an agency, or are account managers. Finding someone with the right resume for traditional sales of design services is therefore difficult. We are looking for someone who not only understands design and our customers’ needs but may also have experience in growth work in similar companies, worked in signage or on a marketing team, or even in a design agency. It’s a unique profile to find because these skills are rarely found in the same person.

We are now trying to communicate more clearly that it’s not about sitting in a call center and cold calling people. Selling for us means being on an exciting journey, where you not only meet potential customers but also shape our offering to fit our customers. We put a lot of effort into developing our product.

What is a lesson you want to share or a mistake you’ve made in your career?

Mistakes and lessons go hand in hand. A significant lesson for me was when I started my first business about 5-6 years ago. I had an idea to sell scented candles with an extra function but lacked a clear plan. I started quickly, had little money, and ran it while having a full-time job.

To fund the project, I started organizing corporate events and gained references to expand to other companies. I had success with this and reinvested the earnings into my candle business, but without a proper plan.

Unplanned events like a hacked Instagram account and other setbacks eventually forced me to shut down the business. The lesson is that I now know how to develop a product, encounter production problems, and run a business. Next time, I will create a clear plan and seek help where needed because you can’t know everything yourself.

Is there a project in your career that you feel particularly proud of?

It’s at Klingit, of course. I am proud of my development from a scared and insecure project manager a few years ago to now being part of our management team and responsible for our entire growth, supported by our team. I was mainly responsible for sales until about six months ago, with support from our founders and other team members who, as you mentioned, have many different roles.

Last year, I managed to bring in some of Sweden’s largest companies as clients, which is super exciting. We also ended the year with an impressive growth of 65%, which I am extremely proud of.

How do you succeed in attracting major brands to Klingit? What is the key to creating successful dialogues and getting them to actually sign the deal?

Trust is built through good communication and timing. To get large companies to want to talk to a small startup, you need to create interest, and that is the most challenging step. In the beginning, it was challenging to get these busy people to give us time, but now, with some established brands under our belt, it becomes easier.

Successfully getting the first meeting is about offering something unique that they haven’t heard before. We avoid being a regular agency that just does a standard pitch. Then it’s about maintaining the relationship by staying in touch regularly, having lunches, sending interesting e-books, and organizing events like Christmas parties at the office. At the same time, we keep an eye on what’s happening in their company, such as when they are hiring or changing leadership, and reach out at appropriate times. When the timing is right, we can have a more formal meeting and discuss how we can help them find a solution.

How have you become confident over the years in your professional life? What do you do to feel confident in tough times?

I think it’s about building confidence and supporting each other. For me, my team has played a big role in boosting my confidence by offering fantastic support. When my colleagues believe in me, I dare to believe in myself.

How do successes and achieved results, such as a major sales deal, impact the motivation and confidence of the sales team?

As a sales manager, you can give away leads, for example, if I have a specific inquiry and believe we can secure something significant. Allowing someone else to close the deal gives them confidence, and it also creates a positive spiral. In sales, it’s a lot about psyche and creating momentum to keep moving forward.

If you were to give advice to young people who are starting their careers and seeking the right path, what advice would you share?

I would say really invest in your education. Even though I was uncertain about the value of my education initially, I later realized it had its place. If I could give advice to my younger self, I would say, keep studying and do internships to try what you find enjoyable. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, and dare to take chances. If you feel unsure or unsupported where you are, don’t be afraid to change environments. Personally, I would never have reached where I am today without the help of Teddy and Rickard, the founders of Klingit, who gave me the opportunity to grow. I am truly grateful for their support and opportunities.

Want to learn more about goal-setting? Check out our OKR-guide.

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