Welcome to Meet the Upchainers, where we meet the people who make Upchain actually work and make next generation PLM a reality.
Catherine Feng is our Salesforce operations extraordinaire. She’s been working to keep sales teams happy by building systems they’ll actually use for years now. We chatted about when she joined Upchain and what’s got her excited about the future.
What do you do for Upchain?
I’m a sales operations analyst. Basically, I work to build and maintain the Salesforce systems that power our sales team. I try and make everyone’s life a bit easier by automating all the little processes they do every day.
I tend to think of Salesforce like a container that you can fill up with whatever workflow, process, checklists, or requirement that you want. But you have to balance categorizing and managing data with creating a system that’s actually functional. I think Salesforce should fundamentally help salespeople, not be this huge time-sink that they dread to use.
My job is to find the sweet spot between data and functionality.
Why did you want to work with Upchain?
Two big reasons. First, the culture. I’ve worked with some of the executive team and salespeople before, so I knew what I was coming into. I’m excited to be part of a team where you get to work with people who are not only smart and engaged but are also a ton of fun to be around.
Second, I like working at a place where I can see the difference I’m making. I can see the impact of my work, and I have the freedom to try new things without getting bogged down by policy or process. There’s a real culture of experimentation and a ‘fail fast’ mentality, which I really enjoy. It encourages people to say: “let’s try this and see if it works.”
What gets you excited about the Upchain product?
I like that the solution seems obvious. It’s just the best version of what it is. It’s not like we’re selling gym memberships or project management software, where one product is largely comparable to another.
I mean, I’m clearly biased but I feel like if you’re considering a cloud PLM solution, it’s more “why would you not buy Upchain?”
As a micro-example, our pricing is all-inclusive. We don’t make our clients buy ‘add on’ modules or any nonsense like that: the price you see is the price that you pay. That’s how I would want to buy software for myself, so I like that’s how we sell it.
What were you doing before Upchain, and what does the future hold?
Before Upchain I was part of a startup called Flashstock, which was acquired in June last year for $65 million by Shutterstock. I was in a similar role to here and I joined at about the same time – right at that scale up infection point. I’m used to working with a smaller team but with the goal of building something that can be used by a big one.
As for the future, who knows?
I’m excited where I am right now. Down the line, I’d like to move into more of a strategic role where I’m not just taking requirements from sales, marketing, and executive teams and turning them into a Salesforce reality, but actually driving the conversation, saying “ok, what do we need the platform to do?”
That requirements gathering can uncover some super interesting conversations, and helping people realize what they need (when they don’t necessarily know) is pretty cool.
Like what you see? We’re hiring! Check out our careers page to see if there’s a role for you.