Q/A with Jeremy Bedford, Heap's General Manager, EMEA
To celebrate the opening of Heap’s new London office, we chatted with Jeremy Bedford, General Manager, EMEA, to get his thoughts on the product analytics space, why he wanted to join Heap, and the biggest opportunities ahead for the EMEA region.
First things first: What attracted you to the product analytics space?
I think what attracted me to the product analytics space is the real opportunity that we have in front of us. It’s no big secret that marketing analytics is well served in EMEA, but product analytics is still in its infancy. I’ve also always loved technology, so the opportunity to sit within a space like this and do the job better than what’s been done before is really appealing to me. Our competitors still do analytics the old way. The data-driven approach we’re pioneering—one that allows customers to reduce their time to insight from months to minutes—is still in its early stages, but it’s easy to see the major opportunities ahead. Honestly, with Heap it feels like we’re selling Teslas in the age of horses.
I’ve been really lucky to inherit such a diverse range of customers across the region. We’ve been remarkably successful in driving adoption of Heap in EMEA from home base in the US—just over 20% of the global user community sits in EMEA—but it’s definitely the right time to land and expand in London. I also see plenty of opportunities for industry education, collaborating with partners on implementation, and providing career opportunities to people interested in working for an exciting, fast-growth company.
Why did you choose Heap in particular?
Why I chose to come to Heap is easy: I love the people and the culture. Being recognized by Glassdoor as one of the Best Places to Work in 2019 is something that comes up a lot in conversations with job candidates. On Glassdoor, we literally have one of the best scores in the world—it’s higher than many successful enterprise companies.
Another thing I hold near and dear is employee advocacy and culture. Our company values are fantastic (and maybe even geeky in the best way possible). I especially love that as a company, we always “assume good intentions.” This really hits home because in any organization, there will never be infinite resources.
We all have to make choices about how to spend our time and what to work on. This particular value serves as a gentle reminder that the people we work with don’t become enemies just because they’ve proposed a different use of resources or a different strategy. So far, people at Heap seem to really live this principle out, and there’s a very evident feeling that we’re all here to accomplish the same goals.
How has your work history prepared you for this role?
What I often say is that while I happen to sell software, “selling software” isn’t what I got into this career to do. Rather, I got into this career to help people. It just happened to turn out that I’ve been best able to help people through technology and solutions. I still get excited about working with people to solve real business problems and make their lives easier.
From a tech perspective, I’ve spent significant time in the analytics space, and have worked with companies of all sizes. Lots of these experiences overlap with what we’re doing at Heap. Because of that, it’s really easy for me to see the value of our technology and how it benefits our customers.
Structurally, I’ve set up companies in the region before. I know whom I need to hire and what the specific skills are that I’m looking for. More than that, hiring people, coaching employees, and helping people improve is what I enjoy best. I’m truly excited to utilize my regional leadership knowledge and enterprise sales experience to help bring Heap to the next level.
What do you anticipate the biggest challenges will be? Opportunities?
Building momentum is one of the first challenges ahead of us in EMEA. The crux of this challenge is always in hiring—finding the right people who can do exactly what you need them to do. At Heap, we’ve been lucky to bring some really great people over to our new London office. So, the momentum of hitting the ground running and proving that people will work the way we expect them to—and then scaling up—is what I anticipate focusing on first.
In some of the other companies I’ve worked for, being eight hours out of home base has posed its own problems. With advances in technology, however, I’m far less worried about that than I once was.
In terms of what I’m most excited about, I don’t think I can pinpoint just one thing if I tried! Team building, hiring, coaching, and providing different opportunities to hard-working, talented people are probably at the top of my list.
Tell us a little about your life outside of work.
Oh, so I can have one of those? All kidding aside, I’m originally from York and I’ve been married to my lovely wife for over 20 years. We have a 16-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son who keep us reasonably busy. In whatever free time I do have, I enjoy reading, triathlon sports, hill-walking, socializing with friends, and traveling.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Only that I’m always hiring! If working at a fast-growth company with legitimately powerful technology sounds like a career match to you, check out our Careers page for open opportunities at our new London office. Also, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!