Biz Dev & Sales / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Kate Murray, Head of Sales APAC at Fullstory

Kate Murray is the Head of Sales APAC at Fullstory, a digital experience intelligence platform that helps product, engineering, and UX teams create actionable metrics.

Interested in talking about how you balance the grind? Get in touch with us here!

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

Absolutely! Over the past 12+ years, I’ve been in new business within the data/tech industry. Most recently, I’ve been focused on setting up go-to-market teams at high growth companies in APAC. 

I started out at the big end of town in global companies including Nielsen and Google. But I really couldn’t ease my thirst for the build stage in startups, specifically related to the people side of things. 

Back in 2014, I took the opportunity to join the founding APAC team at AdRoll. From there I made the leap into the world of SaaS and was a part of founding teams at Tealium and Segment. Currently, I am leading APAC Sales at Fullstory. 

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

The consistent aspect of my work day is that it starts early! Our headquarters are based in Atlanta and although everyone at Fullstory is extremely empathic to world time zones, it typically means kicking off with an early conference call. I try to sneak in an ocean swim, coffee and meditation before this takes shape.

Recently, my workday started with a CEO update meeting – where he challenges me to identify obstacles preventing us from further growth in APAC. From there, I had a 15 minute block to prioritise emails/slacks that built on top of my daily to do list. Then, straight into back to back client meetings from discovery calls to insights workshops supporting my team and solutions engineers. 

Next, 1:1s with my team for the next block. Few quick calls with clients while I grab a bite to eat & get some sunshine on skin.

Then, wrapping up with presentation prep for the next week and finishing with building my to-do list for tomorrow and clearing out the last standing to do items on the wish list! I am a sucker for the old school pen and paper to do list. Nothing better for the soul than finishing the day striking off items! 

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes, Fullstory is a remote working organisation. It means my HQ is at my beachside Coogee apartment, so grabbing a quick swim to de-stress or a longer afternoon coffee with a peer happens a lot more often as we aren’t face to face in the office. 

The lack of community and connection certainly plays a part, especially when in a startup, as you are all moving so fast. When not in lockdown, I often pop into colleagues’ houses or meet them at nearby lunch spots to ensure we still get that connection. We also prioritise regular team activities. 

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Work-life balance in the modern age has taken on a whole new dimension – particularly in sales organisations.

I know for myself and many of our sales hires, they are driven to roles that are autonomous and able to be executed in any location. So it typically means for sales reps that work drip feeds a lot more into traditional “down time”. The trade off though is that you are the master of knowing when you’ve delivered & can then switch off in potentially “Traditional” worktimes. 

Ultimately, work-life balance for me isn’t about competing priorities. I think it is more important to find a role/company that energises you and you’re enjoying 80%+ of the time.

From there, you can then set personal boundaries to ensure you’re balanced knowing that both working and living are important aspects to day to day life. Just like interacting with friends vs. personal time on a weekend is.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

In COVID, I’ve become dedicated to getting out of the house before I open my laptop or checking slack notifications. I used to know at some point in the day I’d get out and some fresh air, but it’s been very important to me as a routine to change up the environment before work (while working from home). 

The habit I’ve picked up is when I switch off, I don’t go back online. I used to check slack/emails throughout the evening/post dinner but I’ve made the habit, once the laptop shuts its day over. I now opt for a nice hot shower/bath and do 10-15mins of stretching to wind down before I speak to my partner. 

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Bookwise I”m a huge fan of Radical Candor by Kim Scott and Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. Beyond that, I’m pretty stock standard when it comes to podcasts – Tim Ferris, Goal Digger, How I Built This, Masters of Scale. My guilty pleasure podcast on a Saturday morning is Goop. 

Newsletters and webinars are really hit and miss for me as a subscription view – I am typically non monogamous and find myself gravitating towards SaaS platforms content based on topic/guest. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I’m a hardcore Apple girl from a hardware perpective. Outside of that, I love Miro for whiteboarding with clients/colleagues and Loopio for personal outreach video content. 

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be? 

I think all the recent founders and entrepreneurs have been pretty work-no-life balanced over the past 20 years whether it’s Steve Jobs or Elon Musk

Someone who does a great job of weaving their personal interests into work has been undoubtedly Mike Cannon Brooks. Meaning the work-life balance can become a lot more aligned and fulfilling, and most importantly allows for perspective. 

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.