You may know her as the resident Gaugie wine expert, but when she's not on the fast-track to becoming a world-class Sommelier, Maria Kulachkova is leading our EMEA sales team and helping some of our amazing B2B clients grow faster. Maria joined CustomerGauge a few years back as an Account Executive and she now manages the entire EU-based sales team. We’re proud Maria is bringing her passion every day to help completely transform the B2B experience landscape in Europe. If you haven’t met Maria yet you should—learn more in the article below.
What were you doing before CustomerGauge and why did you decide to join up?
Before CustomerGauge I was selling almost everything you could imagine: from eCommerce SaaS platforms, legal services to Oil & Gas Recruitment Software in the Middle East and Nigeria. As most sales professionals within the SaaS industry, I got plenty of calls from recruiters, however, nothing really triggered me. Three years ago, an executive search consultant called me with an opportunity I couldn’t refuse: join a scaling up business in Amsterdam and learn from the best in class professionals. After the first face-to-face interview, I loved the atmosphere, people and the possibilities: the market was full of opportunities and companies finally started investing heavily in complex CX solutions.
What separates CustomerGauge from the crowd?
It’s hard to pick one! Definitely, the fact that CustomerGauge is one of the few companies I know that is promoting and supporting females in business! Working all my career in a heavily male-dominated industry, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there were multiple women in a senior management team and both our CFO Erik Bierkart and Co-Founder and CEO Adam Dorrell are big supporters of gender diversity. In addition, CustomerGauge’s COO Co-Founder Camilla Scholten and VP Product Trishaala Chengappa are regularly participating in both local and international conferences and meetups to inspire and connect women in the sector.
What do you love about selling CustomerGauge?
Our people! CustomerGauge’s team is the biggest USP we have. Each and everyone is extremely knowledgeable, forward-looking, and passionate about their job and customers/prospects.
What are you most excited about at the moment in CustomerGauge?
During the last couple of years, CustomerGauge has been transforming the overall CX landscape. We are constantly innovating and educating prospects, consultants, and customers on why Customer Experience Programs should not be limited just to surveying, but focused on the future growth and strategic company goals. For a while the industry was not ready for such radical thinking, however, the time has come and 2021 will definitely be a big year for CustomerGauge!
Outside of work, what do you do for fun?
Sales Director by day, Sommelier by night!
During the last five years, I have been spending every Tuesday evening studying and tasting wines. It started during one of the business dinners with clients when I was asked by a prospect to pick wine for the dinner...and then this big and heavy book arrived called a wine cart! I was lost. That time I was saved by the restaurant's sommelier, but it made me join my first wine class and it never stopped since! Actually, the biggest secret is: if you don’t know which wine to pick, choose sparkling as it goes with everything!
Tell us a quirky fact about yourself!
The Netherlands is famous for its wonderful cheese, Heineken beer, and millions and bikes. Now, I don’t eat any milk products, don’t drink beer, and hate cycling. All my friends and colleagues are wondering, what am I doing in this country!