Each member of our lean, mean innovation team here pairs hard work with a unique trait. Last time, we met a juggernaut of productivity. Today, we're meeting Bright Agrotech's unstoppable Farm Business Development Director.
Who is Elesif?
Name: Elesif Smith
Role: Guides large builds and heads up our sales team.
Coffee Count: "One large travel mug. Sometimes another coffee mid morning if it’s needed. I’ve become a big fan of cold brew coffee with whole milk. So delicious."
Kryptonite: Home aquaponics. Elesif has a sad history with home aquaponic systems.
"I’ve dabbled in home aquaponic systems and sacrificed a lot of fish in the process. I’m not proud of this, but it’s true. I won’t be buying fish again."
Superpower: Elesif is a mix of methodical and strategic that makes us glad that she's on our side. Her consistency contrasts the mercurial cycles of productivity and non-productivity that most of us experience.
The rest of the team described Elesif as a "sales ninja", "methodical", and as having "quiet enthusiasm." One even warned, "don't underestimate." What do these traits look like lived out? Let's take a look into a day in the life of Elesif and examine the balance of method and strategy that makes us glad she's on our side.
A Day in the Life of Elesif
8:15 - Checking emails running a quote. My day at the office usually starts a little after 8.
The mornings (once I am out of bed) are my favorite part of the day. I have a bit of time to get organized, drink coffee, meet with the team, then attack the day!
9:15 - Emailing an international customer about their pilot system and then expansion with a container load of towers. Emailing system information to a customer on the west coast who is looking to start an indoor farm in an urban location. Coordinating a tour with Haydn on Friday
10:30 - I've been emailing away. I've got several quotes to send out, I've been coordinating orders for international customers, and just sending out some follow up information from a longer call with a customer yesterday afternoon.
I also stared deeply into broccoli camels eyes for a solid 10 minutes. Those eyes suck me right in.
I check our online sales each morning and throughout the day. Looking at those now and then updating the sales numbers Rikki sent over so I will update the sales scale on the wall soon.
11:30 - A quote. I've been working in Infusionsoft for a little while now, going through tasks and looking at a campaign there. I also had a snack. A KIND bar. So tasty.
12:00 - Off to walk a Kammie!
1:30 - Right now I'm talking with a customer; I just sent them a quote this morning but it sounds like they're ready to move pretty quickly.
When someone requests a quote online they submit some key information we need in order to put together numbers for them. Most of the time I am able to get information together pretty quickly for them using our estimate generator. However, there is a whole range of people who request quotes so sometimes I need to get in touch with them to find out a bit more before I can send them numbers. We get requests from people in the early stages of research to people who are about ready to place an order and just need a few more numbers and information.
Right now probably 10% [of quotes end up being builds]. However, we haven't had this quote request form a super long time and we have a pretty long sales cycle for large builds so I expect this to go up over time.
2:30 - This afternoon we are meeting to investigate whether providing project management for our customers is feasible. We would like to help customers manage their entire system and build to make the process easier and more efficient for them. Right now, we have a project manager for once the order is placed but it would be awesome if we could expand this service and offer it to customers earlier in the process.
A lot of our customers are really busy with full time jobs or other work so being able to step in and help keep things moving forward is something we would like to provide. Right now we are just looking into the details of offering something like this and gauging customer interest.
The long term vision for this is simply to make it easier to get a ZipGrow farm up and running. It can be really overwhelming for people to get up and running when there are so many things to research and plan for. We may as well use our expertise of the industry to make the whole process less stressful.
5:00 - I’m about to wander around the building and call Carey Martin, a guest lecturer for USU. He also has some questions because he’s in the process of getting his system up and running.
I left work around 5:45 on Wednesday. Didn't want to take a chance on my car getting stuck!
My work days seem to hold a lot of surprises. I always start the day with a plan of what I want to accomplish but a lot of times that is totally derailed by things that come up throughout the day. Maybe there is a new international customer that I need to talk about with Paul or a commercial lead that requires a lot more time than anticipated. I also get to work with Nate a lot on new leads/projects which is pretty fun. These new leads are almost always unplanned for though.
Elesif's Hacks, Tricks and Tools for Productivity
How does your day start?
"Check email, update/review trello, drink coffee, scrum, drink coffee.
The first thing I do everyday is check my email. Most of the time I do this before I make it into the office to make sure nothing urgent has popped up."
What’s the best thing you do to increase your productivity?
"Try and take care of smaller tasks or projects as soon as they come up so that I don’t have to try and remember to do them later. If someone gives me a call and needs more information it’s so much easier to send it to them right away then trying to remember to do it later."
What tool can’t you live without?
"Boomerang. It saves me so much time and helps me stay on top of things without having a to-do list a mile long."
"I usually have some snacks ready to go as well. I don’t work well when I’m hungry."
How does Elesif do it?
There are several possibilities for how Elesif accomplishes all that she does:
a) She cares about the people she's helping.
b) She maintains good habits.
c) She was born this awesome.
I'm inclined to think that it's a mixture of all three. What do you think?