Robert Collins, Director of Customer Success for Strategic Accounts, has been with Branch for three and a half years. He’s an active part of Branch: from influencing our product innovation, to building our culture, to running a dynamic team, Robert has touched a lot of the Branch business. When he isn’t at work, he spends time with friends and family in the Bay Area and celebrates his baby daughter’s major milestones (most recently, learning to walk)! Read on to hear how Robert discovered Branch and how he leads from the front to optimize his team.
What does a normal day at Branch look like for you?
As the Director of customer success for our strategic accounts, I support some of our largest customers from an annual contract value (ACV) perspective. This means my team and I are working on some of the most sophisticated cross-channel campaigns with the biggest brands in the world. We focus our energy on identifying ways for us to provide value for those customers. We do this by determining how they can leverage the Branch platform to maximize their use cases and ultimately drive growth and meet or exceed the KPIs that they give us. That relationship is also helpful to provide feedback internally as well; we inspire product updates so Branch improves and evolves our product over time to continue to meet our customers’ needs.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
We all have goals that we try to accomplish in our jobs, but when you’re leading and developing a team, the people are the most important component.
Yes – you can manage the job function, yes – you can manage the job tasks, but ultimately you’re managing people. And people are the foundation of the role.
Everything from hiring, to reviews, to professional development planning, to day-in and day-out support of your people is incredibly important. All your direct reports are different, which sometimes means they require different levels of support and motivation as well. I strongly believe in leading by example and leading from the front so my team can see that I’m in it with them day-to-day.
As much as I’ve learned the importance of delegating, I’ve also learned the importance of building a team that knows how to lean on each other. When you’re on a team that supports one another, managing the job function and tasks and hitting your metrics becomes a lot easier.
What do you value most about your coworkers?
People who like the challenge and lean into the opportunity to work through obstacles. As much as Branch has grown, we’re still expanding and at times function like we are in the small startup phase even though we’re eight years old. So we require people who are adaptable and have diligence to work on our team. The people who we hire are excited by that environment and flourish in it.
You’ve had an exciting year, tell us what’s new in your life!
In the last year my wife and I had a recent addition to our family! We have a baby girl, she just turned one. She is the joy of our world, a lot of fun to say the least. My entire life is focused on her.
I’m from the Bay Area, and I’m lucky to have a lot of friends and family nearby. My village is large, which is a blessing, and spending time with them is important. It’s been so exciting to introduce my daughter to them, we got incredibly lucky with her. And she just started walking so things are getting even more exciting here.
What motivates you?
My daughter. Providing an example of a good work ethic, having integrity, and taking pride in my work. I’m motivated to provide for her future and do work that makes me proud and sets a good example for her. I want to do all I can so that she has every opportunity to achieve the things she wants to in life. If my hard work can set her up for that, then I’ll continue to do it.
What do you love about your job?
The team. Branch had a great reputation when I joined. It was important for me to leverage that and say, “Is this a place I can grow?” And I’m glad I joined because my time here — the last two years in particular — have been great. I’ve seen my team grow and I’m incredibly happy with the folks who are a part of it: they’ve all hit the ground running and have added a lot of value. It’s been really great to see people flourish and lean into a company with a growth mindset.
How has Branch grown during your tenure here?
I’ve been here for about three-and-a-half years, and Branch has nearly tripled in size since I started. We’ve evolved from a scrappy mid-sized startup to a mid-market enterprise. It’s been so exciting to see people grow into leadership roles here, and, of course, the evolution of the product itself is exciting as well. It’s been cool to see our positioning and messaging develop around our MLP market leadership position, SEO attribution, QR codes, and other use cases to meet market demand and support our customers.
What made you choose to work at Branch and what makes Branch different from other places you worked at?
I was actually working in the martech ecosystem space before joining Branch. I worked for a company that focused on marketing automation, and we happened to have a ton of mutual customers with Branch – they were all using Branch links within the platform. My awareness of Branch, and the reputation it has, really started with customers. All day long I was working with customers who were referencing Branch data, or quoting what their Branch CSM had said. All of my customers seemed passionate about their Branch experience, and I realized foundationally how important that was. I was excited when I realized that Branch was ready to build out a strategic team — it was exactly what I was looking for. It was a great ecosystem and role fit and was an excellent opportunity to grow in my career.
Any parting words?
There’s another piece of advice I got during an interesting period of my life. It’s a simple quote, “Don’t let anybody steal your sunshine.”
There are going to be so many things getting thrown at us in life. If you have knowledge of self and are able to accept who you are and how you’re evolving, you don’t need to let people influence your energy in a bad way. Things are cyclical in nature, there’s always sunshine around the corner.