Jessica is at the intersection of businesses and technology. Building a career that spans human resources, media, logistics, consulting, and fintech, she enjoys leveraging technology to drive business, product, and revenue growth while fostering strategic partnerships. She is presently the country director for Native Teams Limited, leading business, revenue, and product development.
Explain your job to a five-year-old.
I enable companies hire and pay their employees and contractors in 59+ countries.
You recently assumed the country director position at Native Teams. What are your biggest learnings?
That strategic partnerships are underrated drivers of business and revenue growth. I have learned to leverage collaboration over competition to scale. In-depth geographical and market research is definitely not one to be overlooked as it is largely key to successful business expansion. Regarding product development, I have learned that it is best to build products based on obtainable market realities, then iterate constantly following direct user feedback. The most interesting of them is that Nigeria is about 90% a commission-based market than subscription-based. This was quite tricky for me to navigate, but we found our way around our target audience after several pricing model iterations.
What skills would you say have been critical to your career growth and trajectory?
Quite a few. Strategic business development, for one. Then business relationship management, stakeholder management, project management and strategic partnerships.
Is there any way you think AI will play into business development?
I believe AI is already in play in core business development. Renowned BD and CRM tools are already AI-embedded and are being leveraged by big tech. However, it is essential to make accessibility to business development AI more revenue level.
What would you say are the steps companies looking to penetrate new markets should take?
Companies should not glide over the market research aspect of business expansion. Not all markets that look attractive from a numbers perspective will generate revenue directly proportional to headcount numbers.
Local and legal compliance should be non-negotiable when considering/entering new markets. An in-depth understanding of regulatory expectations and local compliance should not be underestimated.
Global expansion comes with challenges peculiar to each country and market audience. Hence companies must devise effective go-to-market strategies to navigate unique market complexities, build products to suit specific markets, and scale operations accordingly.
What would you say are your proudest achievements?
Here are three of them:
- Going from BDM to Country Director in one year is definitely top-table.
- Leading a business that is subscription-based in a commission-based market.
- Closing deals worth over $723,000 across twelve different countries.
What interesting pieces are you reading right now?
- Make Your Contact Count by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon
- How to Sell To Nigerians by Akin Alabi
- Atomic Habits by James Clear