Alice in Beijing: An Adjuster Working Abroad
Alice, Adjust’s Inside Sales Rep for China, has been with us for six months, but half of that time has been spent in Beijing, representing us abroad. We asked her to tell us a little about her experience, and about what she learned from working in a whole new territory.
I joined Adjust knowing that I’d be going to work in China pretty soon after I’d joined — having lived in Berlin for a little over two years. I’m an SDR, or Inside Sales representative, and my main role is to find leads, qualify them, and pass them on to our sales managers once they’re in the pipeline.
We’re growing as a company, and as each territory becomes more important (and as any business knows), having people on the ground is the difference between some growth and exponential growth!
Despite being prepared for it, the task was still daunting, because I was born in China, but I left at a really young age. So, I never really experienced what it was like to live there, or to work there. I grew up in North America, and my first real work experience was out in Berlin. China, I thought, would be a really different way of life, and way of working too.
I guess the biggest differences I saw between Germany and China was the less strict processes. As you’d think, a German company like ours is very process-driven and structured and there’s a reason for doing everything. In China, it’s much more informal, and much more about presence, talking to people, and working within a set system.
In my own day-to-day, how it works in the US or EMEA is that you have inbound leads that come in from inquiries, emails and such, but an SDR also works outbound channels, finding people’s information on LinkedIn and using other prospecting tools to source potential customers.
In China it’s completely different — the tech space is so fragmented. Everything is based on ‘Guanxi’, or ‘relationship’ in English. This means going to events, attending meetings, essentially networking your ass off as a gateway to find the best leads.
Really building out your WeChat network so people know who you are and know your face — that’s kind of how you do business and it became the most important thing for me, and the best way to meet people when I was in Beijing.
In the beginning I didn’t have that network. I knew WeChat would be central to what I needed to get done, but I was still new and had to go to more public and open events, and those run by Adjust, in order to start building traction, meeting new people, and building out a network from face-to-face meetings.
You find those events by adding to and growing a network, all on WeChat, increasing the amount of posts you’ll see in your friends’ circle, from people who post and talk about different events they’re hosting or going to — it’s really the primary communication tool. You think of it like Facebook, but on an even greater scale.
In terms of support — Adjust always checked-in, whether it was for accommodation, logistics. If there was anything they could do to help then I could rely on them — but being abroad away from HQ definitely meant having to make my own way, which was a challenge but one I worked hard on.
Now, back in Berlin, my role is changing. While China was a great three months, my heart’s still in Berlin. Our South East Asia offices need support for their markets, particularly Korea — and it’s those markets I’ll soon be helping from the Berlin office, with several trips back and forth I expect!
For now though, China is my main goal while we look for a dedicated SDR based in China.
Hopefully I’ll be going back for one of the biggest conferences in China — ChinaJoy, in July.
If you want to get in contact with me you can add me on WeChat, with the alias alicexue- or directly email me at email@example.com.