TeamViewer is one of the worldwide leading solutions for desktop sharing and online collaboration over the Internet. The German-based TeamViewer GmbH was founded in 2005 and is fully focused on development and distribution of high-end solutions for online collaboration and communication. A fast start and high growth rates have led to more than 200,000,000 installations in more than 200 countries all over the world. The software is currently available in more than 30 languages. The base technology developed by the company powers TeamViewer’s state-of-the-art high performance global server network that routes connections based on geolocalization technology.
Finn Faldi first met Jeff Stibel and Peter Delgrosso nearly twenty years ago while holding leadership positions at NetZero, which later became United Online. With over a decade of work alongside the collective Bryant Stibel partners under his belt, Finn Faldi was a natural choice to lead the charge as CEO of TeamViewer Americas when Bryant Stibel partnered with the German company during their 2017 expansion of the North and South American markets. Faldi’s team worked together with Bryant Stibel to improve and spread TeamViewer’s technology platform for online communication, collaboration and remote monitoring of IT systems. As TeamViewer has grown to be one of the world’s most popular providers of remote desktop control and online meeting software, the collaborative and successful partnership between TeamViewer and Bryant Stibel is “securely connected.”
CEO, TeamViewer Americas
Q: Where did your relationship begin with Jeff Stibel and the team?
A: I have known Jeff Stibel and Pete Delgrosso for 20 years. We were part of a really successful turnaround called NetZero – which became United Online – and was probably one of the top two or three best performers during the Dot Com downturn. We were peers and leaders together in that organization. Beyond that, I have had many year relationships with a number of the Bryant Stibel people, starting early in Web.com, when I was working with other companies. I’ve known Bill Borzage, Judy Hackett, and Gonzalo Troncoso for well over a decade.
Q: How did you come to work with TeamViewer Americas?
A: Jeff and I spoke for a long time about finally somehow finding the right instance to work together again. That instance came up when Jeff called me about TeamViewer. Jeff called me in and I spent time with him and Bill and Aaron in Malibu, meeting with some of the board members at TeamViewer. Then I flew out to Germany with Judy and Aaron and spent a few days with TeamViewer out there to ultimately join on as President of the Americas here.
Q: Can you describe the impact that Bryant Stibel has made with TeamViewer?
A: You wouldn’t really be able to put into words or give enough compliments to how impactful Bryant Stibel has been with the success of TeamViewer Americas, in particular, which is what I’m responsible for. The thing with the Bryant Stibel team that is unique in any other organization I’ve worked for is that the first thing they are is listeners. They’re humble. They’re partners. They come across as problem-solvers and solution-makers. The use their experience, but they also listen to the particular needs of the business. They don’t look for quick fixes; they look for low hanging fruit, but only the ones that really solve the long-term needs, the long-term goals of the organization.
The great thing about them – one is that they are “people first, business second” because they understand that people drive a business; the business doesn’t drive the people. They take their time to understand the marketplace, the goals of the business, the goals of the people, and then they help craft a plan that everybody wraps their arms around.
Q: What do you value most in the Bryant Stibel team members?
A: Each of them has a particular skillset when you look at Jeff’s team that is really incredibly valuable and it’s like the tip of the spear for your organization.
When it comes to technology and technology decisions, Aaron is second to none. When it comes to understanding the customer, the market, how to build a plan, build a team around it, go-to-market, I’d be hard-pressed to find anybody that understands the customer lifecycle, buying cycle, customer acquisition process better than Judy. When you talk about inside sales, customer satisfaction, and growing an inside sales organization based on KPIs, roleplay, metrics that really drive the business, Bill really understands it as in-depth as anybody there is. I’ve had tremendous legal guidance from Moujan – she gets it, she listens, she understands; she uses her experience, but she also will understand that every situation is different, and she is incredible on her council.
Wisdom – I don’t know how we would have gotten through this without Wisdom. Wisdom, in terms of looking at the budgets, understanding where we need to shift things around, how we can get more efficient, more productive. I would say there’s not a better listener or someone detailed in the numbers than Wisdom. I’ve known Pete for 20 years, and he really looks at how you grab long-term value for third parties. Gonzalo has been someone to run things by from an operational standpoint – incredibly valuable. Jeff sees through the forest and can see the individual trees, and then he can back up and see the needs of the forest. Jeff really allows you to focus on your strengths and then he molds what your goals are based on your strengths and the team around you. His council is invaluable; but his council isn’t one of “I’m telling you” from a high horse, his is really about thinking out loud with you and helping you come to the right decision – whether it’s the decision he thought in the first place or not – he helps get you down that path when you have so many things going on. It’s incredible how he helps you through that journey.
Q: How would you describe the “Office of the Chairman” role?
A: I’d say that the benefits really are that you’ve got partners who understand the trials and tribulations you’ll go through and they’re there to listen and help you navigate to solutions. They’re not credit takers – they’re not sort of “I saw that, I did that,” there’s really not a lot of that. It’s really built around a model of: we can break this into smaller pieces – bite-sized chunks – and help solve it one step at a way with you, not for you. They don’t solve things for you, they solve things with you.
Q: Has the Bryant Stibel team influenced the culture at your company?
A: At TeamViewer Americas, we are a business based on: what have you done lately? One of the things we did was we looked at the individual contributions from each group and created an incentive plan for each of those groups based on key metrics within an individual group, which all funnel back into billing. Outside someone’s normal pay, there wasn’t that high incentive positive to go ahead and reach for more. Between the help of Bill and Judy and Aaron and Wisdom, we put together what we could do in budgets, put together incentive plans for people to stretch themselves and exceed their goals, and rewarded them for that. That really helped create a situation where people are excited to come in and stretch themselves above what their target was.
Culturally, Bryant Stibel has really helped us energize. We have gone from a team that came in in the morning and left in the afternoon to being a high-performance team that challenges itself every day. The culture is one of high-energy, have some fun, be serious about what you do, but understand that having an enjoyment of working with others will drive performance – performance doesn’t drive happiness working with others.
Q: Can you point to a time when the Bryant Stibel team impressed you with their work?
A: With almost 240 million active customers, 2 billion active devices, 45 million active customers using the software at any minute of the day, over 750,000 devices being activated every day, and 350,000 new customers signing up every day, we recognized that satisfying our existing customers was key to our growth.
One of the things that we had early on was this huge amount of customer satisfaction calls coming in. Generally, customer satisfaction calls are not satisfied customers. One of the things Bill and Judy and Aaron looked at was – “hey, if we have all these calls coming in and we’re getting these people understanding the use of their product, why aren’t we upselling them on another product? Or, if they’re free users having an issue, why aren’t we upselling them on more parts of the product?” And through that came a strategy where we created a lead-gen program, which other markets adapted later on. That lead-gen program has become a couple million in business per year right now.
It was simply looking at data in the business, understanding where things point to, and where you can connect the dots. I give 100% credit to Bill, Judy, and Aaron for saying, “hey, this is an opportunity; let’s test it out and try it” and we all did, and we thought through it together, and we pushed it out collectively. What’s great is that the credit was really given to the leaders of the C-SAT (Customer Satisfaction) team, where it should be. That’s why I say there’s no egos and there’s plenty of humbleness. The point is: if we didn’t see that opportunity and understand it strategically, we would have never done it.
Q: Are there any team members that have stood out in their work with TeamViewer Americas?
A: Bill has been invaluable to the success we’ve had. Bill has literally helped rearchitect, redesign, and rebuild our C-SAT (Customer Satisfaction) teams and our inside sales teams and break them down into the different responsibilities, the different metrics – the KPIs, balance them from a resource and productivity standpoint. He helped get the teams into more roleplay, more training – those types of things have really professionalized the team here. It’s a velvet rope you get through to get the job, you don’t just get the job just because you raised your hand.
Q: How would you describe Bryant Stibel to others?
A: They listen, they rationalize, they simplify, they help you navigate, and they will help you solve. The word extraordinary is an underwhelming word to describe them. It bothers them to lose more than they like to win. Meaning that winning is an expectation; losing is something that is not acceptable.