Guest: Amanda Kleha, Chief Customer Officer at Figma

Show Notes

When it comes to building a profitable business, Amanda Kleha has learned by doing. 

Amanda’s seven-year tenure in multiple senior marketing and sales positions at Zendesk saw the company make an IPO, grow from 12 employees to 2,000, and go from $1 million to $300 million in revenue. Now, as Chief Customer Officer at Figma — a company recently valued at $10 billion that is creating collaborative design user interface platforms — Amanda is cementing her status as a top-tier business leader.

On this episode of Go to Market Grit, Joubin and Amanda talk about Amanda’s very successful run at Zendesk, her current work as CCO at Figma, and the importance of keeping the voice of the customer in focus during decision-making.

In this episode, we cover:
  • Structured, yet open: Amanda’s strategy for interviewing job candidates. (6:14)
  • Zendesk's massive growth and how it correlated with Amanda's feeling that she was having less fun working at the company. (11:22)
  • Building experience, gaining traction, showing impact: The benefits of sticking with a company for the long term. (14:51)
  • 'This is the next Adobe': Figma's collaborative design user interface platform. (21:05)
  • How Amanda started working for Figma — and how she simplified the company's go-to-market through a combination of self-service and sales-assisted motions. (24:50)
  • Keeping the voice of the customer front-and-center during decision-making. (29:43)
  • Reflecting on negative and positive career milestones. (37:50)
  • How Amanda felt when others were hired to more senior positions before her at Zendesk — and how that experience helped her become more empathetic. (41:34)
  • Ways that sales reps at Figma stand out since quota attainment is so high. (45:33)
  • Leaders, fillers, and killers: Amanda's framework for product bundles. (52:11)
  • What the word grit means to Amanda. (1:03:07)


What is Grit?

Grit explores what it takes to create, build, and scale world-class organizations. It features weekly episodes highlighting the leaders who are pushing their companies to make a difference. This series is hosted by Joubin Mirzadegan, go to market operating partner at Kleiner Perkins, a venture capital firm investing in history-making founders.