From Solutions Architect to Enterprise Account Executive: How Julian Storz is Growing His Career at MongoDB
August 25, 2021
MongoDB empowers employees to transform their careers by growing in the direction they want. One of the ways we do this is through our many internal transfer opportunities. Hear from Julian Storz about his transfer from Solutions Architect to Enterprise Account Executive and how he became the inspiration behind the MongoDB Lego person along the way.
Jackie Denner: Thanks for sharing your story with me, Julian. To start, how did you come to join MongoDB?
Julian Storz: I worked at a management consulting firm in the financial services industry before joining MongoDB. By chance, I was invited to a wine tasting in 2018 where I got to know Anton Rau, Regional Director at MongoDB, who was an Enterprise Account Executive at the time. We had an interesting conversation about current trends in the market, technologies that he saw emergings, and MongoDB not only as a technology but also as a company. I was familiar with MongoDB from my studies, loved the technology for its simplicity, and knew that they had IPOed recently, but I wasn’t thinking about a role in tech back then. Consulting and banking was what I learned and knew; thus I did not fully comprehend the potential of a career in the tech sector.
Anton and I met again a month later, and by then I had done further research on the business model and took some time to ramp up my knowledge on the current state of MongoDB’s technology. During our second meeting, I agreed to kick off conversations and later accepted a Solutions Architect role within the Presales organization at MongoDB. This marked the starting point for an incredible journey at the company.
JD: Tell me about your journey from presales to sales.
JS: The main driver for me joining MongoDB was the technology. I always enjoyed programming and entrepreneurship. As part of the Presales team, a Solutions Architect is responsible for guiding our customers and users to design and build reliable, scalable systems using MongoDB. In this role I worked closely with one of our Enterprise Account Executives, Oliver Wedell. We paired up as a team for the Accounts in southwest Germany along with Austria and Switzerland, working on big deals with clients. This teamwork provided me with a profound insight into the sales role. After one and a half years as a Solutions Architect, I decided to make the move into Sales.
JD: Why did you decide to make this move from presales into sales?
JS: My role as a Solutions Architect also provided me the opportunity to work with many additional sales representatives from different regions, learning about their styles and approaches. I fell in love with the idea of building a business from the ground up and learning how to develop customer relationships by solving their problems systematically. In essence, the role of an Account Executive at MongoDB is one of a real businessperson. You are in charge of your franchise. You have a vast number of topics you can address with the technology, and it comes down to understanding the customer’s business, the current situation they are facing, and how MongoDB can add value for them. I’ve realized that it’s similar to working in consulting. The difference is that it’s not about services, but a product solution.
After one and a half years as a Solutions Architect, I decided that I wanted to take the opportunity to learn the sales craft and gain the knowledge of all the inspiring people who are part of the Sales organization at MongoDB. My motivation behind this is to take the knowledge I’ve gathered and help smaller companies grow their businesses in the future. The complexity of growing an organization effectively requires a mindset that I feel can be improved upon in Germany. I am very thankful for this opportunity and the ability to tackle a new challenge.
JD: What training was provided to you to help you transfer from a presales to a sales role?
JS: During my transition period I received very close coaching from our Regional Directors. They supported me in analyzing my accounts, defining sales campaigns, identifying the right targets, training my pitches, and organization. At the same time, Oliver was promoted into a Regional Director role and became my manager, so I was thrilled that we would continue to work together. On top of that, the Central Europe team has weekly sessions organized by our Regional Vice President and the Leadership team to address specific areas of development for the whole Central Europe organization to allow for continuous development.
JD: I hear that you’ve recently played a role in one of our field marketing campaigns. What's the story behind the MongoDB Lego set?
JS: The MongoDB Lego set was part of a regional field marketing campaign for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH). The purpose was to promote MongoDB Atlas and its multi-cloud clusters, which enables a single application to use multiple clouds. The campaign was a raffle in which you could enter to win one of the 33 Lego sets MongoDB designed. I have always collaborated closely with our Marketing team, speaking at global and local events such as MongoDB World, webinars, and meetups. When the Marketing team decided to create this Lego set, they wanted a figure that people could relate to. It seems like this was my reward for almost two years of great collaboration because they decided to model the Lego person after me!
JD: Tell me a bit about your team and culture.
JS: One of the reasons I joined MongoDB initially was that it is all about personal growth and performance. The company culture is very open-minded and goal-oriented, which comes with a strong focus on development. As a team, we understand nobody is perfect and that we can all learn from each other, so this is what we do! We have weekly calls sharing our experiences, reflecting on how we can become better and deepening our knowledge on our sales processes and approaches to ensure that we can serve our customers effectively.
During COVID-19 things have been different. We used to do a lot as a team and met at least once a week in-person. This obviously was not possible anymore. We adapted to remote work by having digital team events and working together via Zoom. As of July 2021, things are gladly easing up in Germany which means we can begin meeting face to face again!
JD: Why should someone want to join your team? What would you like a candidate to know about life at MongoDB?
JS: If you are interested in technology, like working with people, enjoy problem solving, and want to grow, MongoDB is a remarkable place to be. It may not always be easy, but it is more than worth it! The best part is that we have an outstanding leadership team, strong growth and market opportunity, and an open-minded culture - the perfect soil to plant the seed to a stellar career.
Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!