Building a dream team: Lessons learnt from our Paris team onsite

Written by Bojana Nedic and Felipe Soares

As a dedicated card reader paid marketing team at SumUp, we've often referred to ourselves as a dream team. We pride ourselves on working well together, prioritising team success over individual achievements, and being fiercely ambitious. When we started organising an onsite in Paris, it was a strategic decision based on the location of the former Point-of-Sale (POS) Pro paid marketing team office. The goal was to merge the card reader team with the former POS Pro paid marketing team, so we were excited to see how to replicate that team dynamic with a larger group and learn from each other's experiences.

Our trip to Paris was an unforgettable experience filled with enlightening workshops that helped us understand each other's roles and responsibilities. We tried fantastic local food and spent hours walking around the beautiful city. But what we deem as the most important thing about the onsite was the investment of time in nurturing relationships among ourselves. These relationships will prove more vital than ever before as we prepare for the upcoming organisational changes.

As the famous basketball coach Phil Jackson once said, "The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." For us, this perfectly encapsulates why good teams are so powerful. It's not just about having a group of talented individuals - it's about having a group of talented individuals who work together seamlessly, support each other, and are committed to a common goal. When a strong team dynamic is in place, people are more likely to be engaged and motivated, leading to a more enjoyable workplace, a sense of being, and, ultimately, better results for the company, especially our merchants.

In our minds, fostering this dream team dynamic was pivotal, especially amidst periods of change and uncertainty. Such times often breed anxiety and isolation among team members. However, on later feedback rounds, with a strong team dynamic, colleagues said they felt supported and less isolated during the transition, which helped us adapt smoothly and feel more motivated and engaged in our work. And even better: more agile for future changes.

Our accomplishments and main learnings

Over 2 days, we facilitated a series of workshops focusing on co-creation and defining working structure. The conclusion was the establishment of 3 core pillars: Media Buying, Media Strategy, and Media Performance, replacing our previous fragmented approach based on product divisions with the card reader team in Berlin and POS Pro team in Paris.

Through collaborative small-group sessions, we built stronger connections, gained insights into each other's roles and responsibilities, and solidified our vision for the future.

The 3 pillars

  • Media Buying: This team was created to increase our merchant base through media buying activities across all active online paid channels, in all EU markets and for our core products (POS and card readers) while aligning with the company's revenue and multi-product adoption goals.

  • Media Strategy: The second pillar enables successful media buying and advocates for the paid marketing team across SumUp by translating the company brand and strategy into advertising channels.

  • Media Performance: This team provides all the data and infrastructure to the media buyers and strategists, closely collaborating with logistics, product, and finance teams to adapt swiftly to the company's financial objectives.

The workshop

Besides helping us shape the new structure, the workshop was a transformative experience that fostered growth and improved our team in different ways. Through collaborative efforts and co-creation, we built trust and rapport with each other, which is essential for us to navigate future challenges as a unified team. By defining responsibilities as a team, we clarified our expectations, ensured everyone was aligned, and helped us work together more efficiently and effectively.

The workshop was split into 4 steps to ensure thoroughness and collaboration:

  1. Introduction and pillar time We began by introducing ourselves and spending time understanding each individual in our respective pillars, establishing a foundation of trust and shared vision.

  2. Define team mission, roles and responsibilities Through collaborative discussions, we identified gaps and overlaps in our understanding of each other's roles, which helped us define roles and responsibilities and clarify our team's mission, leveraging visual aids such as Miro boards for clarity.

  3. Define rituals This step involved identifying and defining rituals, tools, and communication cadences vital for our team's effectiveness, ensuring alignment and cohesion in our day-to-day operations.

  4. Shareback, conclusion, and team events We concluded with a feedback session, sharing our outcomes, mission, rituals, roles and responsibilities with the broader group, encouraging feedback and suggestions. We also enjoyed some fun times and fantastic local cuisine together as a team.

By coming together and co-creating, we filled those gaps in our understanding of each other's roles. We gained a deeper understanding of how each team will contribute to the overall success of our paid marketing efforts.

On the third day, we set aside quality time to work together to understand how the following years would be. By the end of the day, some of us headed back home to Germany, England, the Netherlands, or Italy, while others stayed in the enchanting city of Paris. While there's still work ahead, we're confident in our trajectory and excited to build upon the progress made this week during the onsite in Paris.

Be empowered to do more that matters

Help us build a world where small businesses can thrive

Explore open roles

Nina Etienne, Global VP of Marketing, reflects on the first offsite of the newly formed Global Brand and Marketing team, emphasising the importance of team-building and trust amidst organisational change.

Read more

Meet the team: Gioele Lai, Operations Senior Quality Assurance Specialist

Gioele, an Operations Senior Quality Assurance Specialist in Berlin, shares how he found his place at SumUp.

Read more

Meet the team: Erika Fer, Senior Product Manager

Meet Erika, a Senior Product Manager part of the Bank Tribe in São Paulo, Brazil.

Read more