Early years and where you came from?
Half Portuguese and half Brazilian, I grew up around the world: Portugal, France, Egypt, Spain, Chile… and I came back to Portugal 7 years ago.
How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?
7 years ago, when I was living in Lisbon, I was able to attend a couple of events. Since I moved to Porto, I’ve been quite isolated from that world.
Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.
I’ve been working for 9 years for a French SaaS company. I started off as an account manager, but as in every start-up, one ends up doing pretty much everything in their power to help the company grow. I did sales, marketing, support, … We started off with one software (YoolinkPro), but it didn’t work out and 2 years later we decided to launch noCRM.io, and I’m happy to say that after 7 years we have been successful at implementing it in over 3k companies, 80 countries and in 7 languages. We started off being 4, we’re now 20 employees and continue to grow steadily (50% growth rate in 2019) and that, without any external funds.
Since I’ve always preferred working with humans, I’m now Director of Customer Success.
What part of what you do, you love the most?
Being confronted every single day with new challenges and have the freedom to think of and implement new projects/strategies to make things better.
Also, I love being in touch with customers, understanding their needs, and find out how we can get better, to help them achieve their goals with our software.
How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?
I don’t work in the Portuguese tech industry, but I hope my background and knowledge will someday have an impact. What I can say is that although I’ve only worked in one SaaS company, I’ve had 2 opposite experiences: that of selling a service that is a “nice to have” in a single market (France) vs. that of selling a service that is actually solving a real problem and that was launched worldwide straight away. Both experiences have taught me a lot in terms of marketing and sales strategies, support & customer success strategies, how to dealing with customers in different countries and most importantly: how to be everywhere (80 countries), without being physically anywhere (we’re 100% remote).
What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?
I had no idea I wanted to work in tech, and it was totally unexpected. I wouldn’t even know where to start. I applied for the job, and here I am, 9 years later, growing alongside the baby I helped build.
But from what I observe around me, here in Portugal, I’d say that networking is key. Attend tech-related events and don’t be shy to put yourself out there. Don’t aim at starting big: starting small, learning, and progressing should be the way to go.
Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese women in tech.
A day in my life as a Portuguese woman in tech would look like this:
7 am: wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, wake up the kid, and get him ready for school. Take the kid to school.
9 am-5 pm: Go home, have a coffee, and open my computer. The first thing I open is our IS with numbers of customers & their health, then set my 3 goals for that day and do everything in my power to achieve them.
A day involves many calls with the team, with customers, with partners. Lots of planning and moving forward on our projects.
5 pm: I turn off my computer and go pick up my kid from school, and enjoy my time with him until he goes to bed.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be scared to fail. We all learn from our mistakes. Go for what you believe in, and if that doesn’t work, try again.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Notion, YoolinkPro, Intercom, G-Suite, LinkedIn, and of course, noCRM.io!
Any links that you want to share? In what are you working on…
👉Find Mariana on LinkedIn