DataGrail’s Employee Spotlight series highlights the person behind the professional, digging deep and discovering what drives our team members.
Chris Martens recently joined the Customer Success Team at DataGrail, bringing with him his experience as a leader within the SaaS space. Chris has prior experience leading Customer Success teams at Logikcull, DoubleDutch, and World Courier.
What excites you about joining the DataGrail team?
There are a number of things that excite me about joining DataGrail. Number one is the impact of what we are doing; data privacy is an interesting space that has been unregulated for such a long time. Many recent policies – such as GDPR and CCPA – mandate the need for consumer protection and we’re helping businesses comply. Number two is the team itself; during the interview process I met with a number of people across different teams, and the same characteristics rang true, they believe in the mission, enjoy what they are doing, and have fun doing it.
What’s your role at DataGrail, and how do you see yourself growing over the next 2 years?
My role is Senior Implementation and Customer Success Manager. Over the next two years, as DataGrail continues to grow and the CS team expands, I hope to evolve my knowledge of the data privacy landscape while further developing my CS and leadership skills. Long term, I’d like to grow into a key contributor on the strategy and direction of the CS team.
How would you describe your leadership style? How has it impacted your work, and has it changed over time?
I would describe my leadership style as being more on the Affiliative and Democratic sides. I always put my people first and do everything I can to advocate for them to ensure they are happy in their roles. I’m also a strong advocate for teamwork and collaboration; everyone has different skills, it’s important to understand one’s own limitations and work with the greater team to achieve the best possible outcome.
My leadership style has most definitely changed over time. When I was younger, my first glimpses of leadership were in retail and cafes. As a leader in those environments, the expectation was that, as a manager, you know everything. As I continued my career and moved into the SaaS world, I quickly learned that knowing everything is impossible and had to humble myself to accept that everyone excels in different areas. A good leader knows how to take the best bits of everyone and create an unstoppable team.
What has been your favorite project or challenge you’ve worked on in your career?
I enjoy anything related to process and efficiency. At my previous company, I was tasked with creating and managing a new branch of the customer success team – onboarding managers and solutions architects. Using our existing tools, I had to figure out an efficient, and ideally automated, way to keep information flowing between the pre-existing sales team, the new onboarding team, the existing customer success managers, and the new solutions architects. In the end, I came up with a task management system that helped customers seamlessly flow from signing phase, through training, and onto relationship management.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Anything musical. You’ll catch me singing any chance I get – I just wish I could do it well. I also love the idea of being able to play a musical instrument. In middle school I played the trumpet, and have fantasized about taking it up again as an adult, just for fun. I also recently purchased a DJ controller but have yet to learn how to use it.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I know it’s a bit cliché, but travel is my number one activity. I can normally be found on a plane at least once a month, travelling far and wide. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to live in 3 different continents in my life, and have taken every opportunity to see the world.
Outside of that, you’ll probably find me playing in a random social sports league, such as ultimate frisbee, kickball, dodgeball, soccer, etc.
Enjoy this piece? Check out our previous spotlight featuring Bradley Young, Senior Implementation Engineer!