To celebrate reaching the milestone of supporting one million subscribers across Australia – the Xero team is turning a spotlight on some of the people who’ve made it all possible. From our earliest customers and advisors to the employees and app partners who’ve been there along the journey, we explore how they too have evolved and adapted over the years. And, in doing so, we uncover what truly makes them one in a million.
In this piece, we talk to Cecile Boulter, Sales Enablement Specialist – Training and Delivery at Xero. An accountant and bookkeeper in a not so distant previous life, Cecile tells us how she’s found her purpose in helping others to learn and grow.
When did you first hear about Xero?
In 2010, I was working as an accountant and had been searching for a software solution to help me meet my annual target. I needed something that would support in reducing my write-offs – all of which were mainly due to technology issues (from waiting on information to the hazards of being stuck on desktop). I was also looking at how I could increase my hourly rate by showing clients more value – without having to work longer hours.
I was telling a bookkeeper colleague that I needed to boost value and reduce admin and a few days later, he came back to me and said, “I think I’ve found what you’re looking for.” It was Xero. I asked the business I was working for if we could look into it and they weren’t ready at the time. So, a few days later, I quit. It was the decision of a lifetime.
Tell us about how your career has progressed in the time since?
As soon as I quit my previous job, I got to work becoming a Xero certified advisor (I certainly didn’t waste any time). After taking on a role helping a bookkeeping firm transition to Xero, I then decided to focus on growing my skills in the sales space. And, in 2012, I joined the Xero family as a Sales Account Manager.
I’ve always loved sharing my knowledge and expertise to help other people grow their skills, so I’ve been excited to transition into customer education and now sales enablement. Working at Xero has given me the opportunity to both grow as a person and explore my different interests. My career is in no way static, and that’s what I like about it.
What has been your biggest learning during this period?
My biggest learning has come from working closely with bookkeepers at a time of great disruption in the industry. Not only were they transitioning to the cloud, but they were also training to become BAS Agents. It was (and still is) incredible to witness their commitment to their industry and clients, coupled with their dedication to achieving their personal purpose.
I’ve discovered that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose – but as long as you keep true to yourself, you can achieve great results. My personal purpose is to support small businesses to grow and thrive, which of course is perfectly aligned with everything that Xero is about. I get to help people every day and in doing so I enjoy my work immensely.
What has been your biggest challenge?
As with working at any fast-growing company, my biggest challenge has been continuously adapting as Xero shifts and grows. When I first joined there were only 30 people, and now here in Melbourne we have over 600. Change is always tricky at first, and I’m learning that the fact that our culture is always evolving is ultimately a good thing.
What has been the most rewarding aspect?
The most rewarding thing for me has been the feedback. Every day, we hear about how much small businesses value their relationships with their bookkeeper and accountant, and how coming on board with Xero has changed the way they do business.
In one sentence, what do you feel makes Xero one in a million?
Authenticity. I always tell people that despite how quickly we’ve grown, Xero has never lost sight of its mission. And I hope that continues, because it’s what makes Xero different to everything else out there.