The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 6 months ago

Land Your Dream Job in Tech Sales

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Most of us in sales didn’t wake up one day with a calling (although the ones who did are a force of nature, too).

We discovered it accidentally... or because it was the first job we could get... or by word of mouth... or because we read something about how great it was.

Recently on Sales Engagement, we featured the stories of three onetime SDRs who talk about how they discovered their dream job:

What we talked about:

  • What life was like before they found tech sales
  • Their path to SDR and beyond
  • Career advice and encouragement for new SDRs

P.S. Outreach is hiring SDRs!

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for The Sales Engagement Podcast in your favorite podcast player.
 

Welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast, this podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched outreach on outreach the place to learnhow outreach well does out reach, learn how the team follows up with every leadin record time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how outr ecwins account based plays, manages reps and so much more usingtheir own sales engagement platform. Everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do ad to outreach don io on out reach to see what theyhave going on. Now, let's get into today's episode all right. Next Epp we have StephenFarnworth, who has gone to more of a marketing route, we're going to go intosome more depth, fun kind of his path. It's pretty unique and pretty cool, butyeah. Thank you. So much Stephen for jumping on awesome happy to be herethanks for thanks, forn, vitamin HAM. Okay, all right! So we are going totake this back to before youre an SDRAND. Actually, just so everyoneknows homan, Stevhen or roommates in college, and so we go away back, butjust for the audioce talk about a little bit about your career before youbecame an str yeah, no th NK. Thank you for calling that out. I think it'simportant for people to know our you know long standin relationship, I'msure you askd about this later, but obviously I was at outreach in an SDRin the first place because the you yeah it's been a long time coming so tbefore I was in str just ride out of school. I actually went to a kind ofsleepy insurance company and was part of their kind of founding strategy team,and so I reported to the President- and essentially my team was the executives lackeys, who justowned projects that really didn't have...

...owners, but were high priority in myteam's job was to just figure out. What do we do here? How do we operationalizesome of the some of the you know, protential like problems that existed?How do we operatioiz some of the solutions? So that's that's what Ifocused on before moving into anything tech focused got it okay. So that's what you you were working in acorporate strategy and N Insurance Company, and I mean it was a decentlygood job like yeah. It was. It was a sleep insurance company, certainlycompared to, like, I don't know one of the fastest growing SASS companies, soere in America G, but it was, I mean that wasn't an easy decision for you toleave that job. I think it's important to call that out like how did you makethat decision? Had you justify that to yourself that D, You justify that toyour wife to a yeah, so, first of all, you're good salesman. So you were, youwere calling me pretty frequently saying: Hey you got to come join, youknow, join get into tech. For me, you're right, I guess I didn't view itas a sleepy insurance company back then it was a. It was a really great job.Again I had a lot of executive visibility worked on high priorityprojects. My last project I mean I was, I was kind of the lead on an acquisition of one of our primarycompetitors at this company, and so it was certainly like, like a really fun,interesting role and, like you said it was a, I mean I' made great money. FRORme it just. It felt like a really good place to be in what I struggled with,and I think it's something probably a lot of people struggle with before theyget into SDRs. We certainly saw this with new strs at out reach from fromwhere they came from. Is that in some some careers there's just not a lot ofmobility and that's kind of what I looked at at this small littleinsurance company is, I started to struggle with okay, if I'm here, fiveyears, ten years twenty years, I saw that, like the industry and theknowledge that I had was really only applicable within that very small kindof type of insurance, and so for me, I frankly wasn't that interested inbeing in SDR. But what I knew were the...

...facts that if I wanted to get into techgenerally, you get into tech by being technical ornon technical. I wasn't very technical, so if I'm non technical, the route thatis seemingly the most natural to go into, that is the most available atleast he's Sdr, and so I kind of fell into it and obviously, on the side.You'd been INSDR for a month or two longer before I joined and had beencalling me saying: Hey this: Is this company's Blowin up come, join andlearn what it's like love it and okay. So I'm going toEbarry Stephen a little bit more here he was Stephen. You went to a greatcollege, You I think. Maybe you got one grade less than an a minus and all ofcollege and Dade, this guy didn't even Stuy, so he's like favorite, smart andhe's working a this cool kind of impressive job, making a lot of moneyand then all of a sudden you become an str, and none of that matters like whatwas that experience like, and what got you through that part, because that's aI mean, that's a risk that some people are scared to take and I'm sure a lotof people are listening that are in a similar situation. What was that likefor you yeah? So I won't downplay how much of ahit it was to my ego, like that was frankly maybe the biggest piece of mything that I struggled with when I left this other company is again. I wasinvolved in a lot of the decisions hat this other company. I had a lot ofvisibility. Like I mentioned earlier, when I went and joined out reaches anSDR. You know as an Sr. You generally don't have much influence on thebusiness if any at all, your job is is to produce meetings for accountexecutives, and for me that was hard for me to be part of, and just to lookat peers and others in the company, whether it was in product or marketing,or you know wherever to know that I was just viewd as oh here's this you knowkind of entry level SDR and to have so little influence. It was really hardfor me, but I think that the positive of being an SDR is is you can createyour own kind of create your own luck...

...and your creat, your own sic success.So for me, Sam had been you know, helping me get the job had pitched meand said: Hey, I think Stephen will be really good, and so for me it was beingable to both meet those expectations and then exceede those expectationswhich I had full control over and so that I think Sr you have that control,and that was big for me, is to I could outwork anybody, and I knew that- and Ifelt like some of the busnics business experience I'd had before would beespecially relevant when trying to call business leaders and set meetings withthose business leaders and to have intelligent conversations with them toeven get them to agree to a meeting, and so I did feel like I had some. Youknow I think kind of extra benefit there enjoiniing s, Nsr, that's awesomeand yeah. When you talk about that, it reminds me that that was actually kindof a big Gil for me to. I haven't really thought about that for a while,but before I givean s Teroas, I was see of my own two person start up. Itwasn't that big medeal, but, like I thought I was cool and all of a suddennow in Linkeden I've, an str and yeah it was. It was definitely like a littlebit of an ego trip for me. You know in SOM way, probably healthy for me ifrbut. Your point, though you had- andthis is probably something for other EST yours to think about. Is You know if you're coming right out ofcollege or high school or whatever it is that led you to be an str, and youreally don't have any sort of relevant business experience yet, especially asit connects potentially to the buyer that you're supposed to be pitching? Iide encourage anybody to try to like put your put yourself in hos shoes ofwho you're selling to for for a period of time, because it's the end of theday like you can call and have you W, follow a script pretty well and thatcan get you. You know a long ways but being able to step outside of that andhave an intelligent conversation with someone is, is really important and Ithink it was a big part of my success at out. Reach has an SDR, based on kindof that previous experience in my...

...ability to talk to sales leaders yeah.It's really important and I think that's important too, because a lot oftimes we think about Sdr wit, yon got people who come straight out of college.This is their first job and maybe, if you're, not in that situation, you kindof Misse the boat. But that's not true at all, like a lot of the mostsuccessfulest years ever have been people who have come from totallydifferent industries and learned it from scratch. So Yeah Pret Cood, agree.There's there's I mean I think, back on a lot of the successful people at outreach Heswol some came from like recruiting, so maybe they had somelevel of experience selling before others came. You Know Er teachers orwriters, or I mean it didn't matter, but I think the point is is they usethe strengths and the experience they had to help set themselves apart? Mother, all right. So let's move. Let's move onto the direction you took after your timenesstr. You went to the marketingpath which not a ton of strs going to, but I think it's a awesome directionand I want Tou tell me a little bit about tell me a little bit about that.Why you decided to take the marketing around and how it's worked et, foratyeah, so here's what I'l say is. I was in SDR. I enjoyed my time as an SAR,and a lot of that again came from being able to create mind my own success, butI did miss some of the role that I'd had before, like being more involved inthe kind of strategy of the business and working more at the executive teamto have influence on the business. So for me I ended up for a period. Youcan't forget this and we are SDR managers together, and so I managedsome of the str team with you and for me I just felt that you know sales inbeing involved in any sort of sales motion directly was not for me, so Iwanted to get closer to more of the product and and so at out. RECI endedup actually getting involved in leading kind of outreaches integration,ecosystem and really any partner that wanted to work with us. But the thingthat I found most exciting is wasn't necessarily the relationship managementof working with those partners, but was...

...more in figuring out. Okay, now that wehave some relationship with this person or some integration that's been built,how do we actually take that to market like how do we make it? Somethingthat's beneficial to literally to like reveen, to create and generate revenuefor us in another partner, and so I got really involved on to go to Marketside,which kind of naturally put me in a product marketing role over time, andthat's that's where my career has really ive kind of doubled down sincethen. I love it, and I want you to correct meif I'm wrong on this, but I've always thought of marketing is being kind of acool path for Ansdr if they want to take it because the experience of Ansdris really an the outbound in the Outbat Scenaro, you are calling people whohave no idea what that reach is and getting them from knowing nothing. Towanting to take a meeting to learn more and it seems like an experience in anintuition that would serve you well in a marketing capacity. Would you tollfeel like that was true for you, oh Tolta. I think, first of all, just whatyou mentioned of how do you just describe something in a very quick,fast way to be able to educate somebody on the pain that you solve. I think isimportant, just understanding how that works and yeah. I think that marketinggets a bad rap, sometimes for just like being so disconnected from sales andsaying things that, like they've, been hand to sales and says a,I would never say this or the ging to connect with this. So I do think thathaving that sales mentality and that experience is like a diffeerentiator inmarketing like I was the only at out reach- and we had you know over thecourse of my time in reporting into marketing for maybe three years, Ican't remember if there were more than honestly. I think I was the only onethat came from the Sales Raute and I think that was really useful and beingable to help connect to sales, because at the end of the day,obviously, marketing job is to be able to create and makesales job easy. And if people can't...

...connect to the sales, you know to thesales people of them, you know, how can you be successful? Yeah love it okay, so I guess okay. So for the last questionI want to talk about. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice,wit, starting as NSTR. What would that be? It's good question for me: It'ssomething that you did much better than I did first of all and which I wasalways jealous of is there's an element of being shameless when you're in salesof being able to take rejection and stride with trying new and kind ofexperimental things, I think. For me, I've generally lived a lot of my lifelike following the rules, pretty exactly and ike kind of the rules of engagementor whatever, and I think that something that you did and some of the otherreally successful ustrs did an out reach Wer, just kind of finding new andunique ways to connect with people and being willing to let that blow up inyour face. If it didn't work- and I'm sure you have lots of stories tha, youcould share there, but, like I wasn't as I wasn't, is willing to do thosethings, and I think that I wish I had ov a good advice. Really. This has beenreally a great conversation, really appreciated. stepen and Yeah Stevhenwent from corporate ser SDR into marketing. It's been very successfuland marking. Thank you so much steven and really appreciateit cool thanks Samappreciate. You have me on all right now we have Raberto carerhere. Riberto is an a herdat. Reach he's come up through the ranks andwe're going to talk a little bit about his path and where he has taken it. Sothank you so much for being on Reberta, Hey Sam thanks for havining right on okay. So, let's start out withwhat you did before SDR, so get just give me an idea of what your path was.What you did before and kind of how you heard about yeah, so I was actually an accountexecutive at two different companies.

The first was called the Flyer MediaGroup so actually sold direct male services, business to business and thenthe second position. I was an account executive at NBC Universal. So Iactually sold television commercials, also business to business so bit of anunorthodox path into SDR LAMD for sure Levit. So you did ae work before SDRand had you had you heard about str before you got ness Garja I did not. Idid not. I remember going home one day and just typing into Google. You knowwhat's the highest paying sales job that I could get and I saw softwaresales was the number one kno highest payin role, and then you know I saw theSdrol from there and from then I just devise a plan to get in Weit yeah. Ithink I don't think that's that uncommon of an experience. I think alot of us that are in Texh cells right now did that research and realize heylike there's. Definitely somebody to be made in tech sales and obviously like.We think about your position that you have right now. Ae is kind of where thebig money is and there's actually a surprising about of money in the SCR role which a lot of peoplethink is kind of the precursor, but and it's like a hard job and stuff, itactually pays decently. Well like what was that, like moving from ae to SDRfinancially fork, yeah, so believe it or not. I made asmuch money in six months as an SR that I did in an entire year in a a nontechrole as an AE so bit of a difference. Yeah that is pretty awesome and so yeah. Youwanted the role you wanted. You knew Tha Eculd, the upside was higher intech. It's also for me. It's also just seemed like a fun place to be. You know a hundred percent hundred percent. Imean, if we're looking at a company...

...like outreach, obviously ther, there'sso much culture. We had you know a lot of people that were my age within thecompany. You know and yeah. It just seemed like a really good spot to getinto so either recommend it for anybody yeah totally and also the other thing.I'd love about tech is just how crazy it is to have a company thatgrows as fast as a tech company is expected to grow. It is not warring hundred percent. There's always goingto be something new around the corner. There's a lot of opportunities forgrowth, which is you know what I was looking for in a new job, and you knowit hasn't disappointed by any means. Yeah Awesome, and so so tell me moreabout what the experience was like for you kind of being an SDR wos like yeah, so I always like to frame it inthis context. N, to be honest, was a little tough right, and this is why soyou know coming from a traditional media role, that was, you know, B to Band outside sales. You know there was only so many people that I could reachin one day right, so the amount of times that I would then get rejected orget told no was significantly less right, but you know, coming to you knowa high growing tech company you're using sales engagement platforms. Youryou know heavily on linked an your heavily prospecting. So I would say your rate of rejection is increasedexponentially as an SR ar and that's not something that you can get used tountil you actually do it. So I think you know the first quarter or two weretough, just mentally, but once you get over that barrier, your pay is going toincrease you're, going to grow a lot professionally and personally, and thenit's really all up from there. I love that. I think that's a reallygood point that a lot of that's not ituitive for a lot of nwsdrsis that the absolute number of rejections that you get as an str isreally really high. Yeah...

...likebut, you have to you just kind ofhave to get used to thinking about things in relative terms, like the moreyou do in any area of your life, the more bad stuff happens, but moregoodstuff happens to and so yeah. I think that's really important, likeunderstanding that the absolute number of rejections is not a reflection offailure is a big deal for a lot of people nd. So I'm glad you brought thatup. I think that's! That's super important. Yeah, absolutely okay. Sonext thing is. I want you to tell me about the direction you took after yourtime I s year. This is what there are a lot of SDRs out there who want to go to the path of an AE and how has that pathbeen free yeah. So one thing that I'll say to anyone atthat wants to be in AE. You know there might not always be a path, that's laidout for you right away, there might be, but chances are there. There might notbe right. So what I'll say is if you're in that situation, you've got to createthe path yourself and that's something that I did when I was in Sr. So I'llgive you a couple of examples right if you're, an SCR that wants to be in ayou, got to start thinking like an a right now right. What does that mean?You Know Start Teeng up good meeting. You know, take good notes, perfect yourcraft get a mentor, that's an AE. You know start doing things that an aewould do right now and that's really what I did and that's really what putme in a position to eventually get promoted, awesome and as as an ae right now,Howas it been for you happy of you took that path, a hundred percent, a hundred percent,and I actually think that you know being an SR set me up really well forbeing in AE. You know there is a specifically at outreachray t we talkdto a lot of people that are in the sales development. So it's really goodto connect the people on that level specifically, but also that the skillsthat you take as an SDR you're not...

...going to lose those as an a right. Youstill need to prospect as an ety. That's not going to go away just bygetting promoted. So that's something that I still take with me today andthen you also are going to have to interact with your SRS right you're,going to still have to partner with them, so you'r really Goin to be ableto relate with them on that level. By doing the job awesome, I love it and yeah formersdrshave a very or former at reachest year, have a very good brand as a overdarageths we've had a pretty remarkable success rate, and so there's definitelysome truth that you get really get a prospecting, especially through a salesigation platform. It gives Yeu a huge adbantage and is probably why you'vebeen able to be so successful. So that's great okay last thing is any advice that you would give yourselfwhen you're starting out as str. You go back in time. What would it be? Yeahhonestly, I think it's those the last couple things that we mentioned right.I think the numberber one thing is you've got to develop a strong mindset.Right like we talked about you know, you're Goinna face a lot of rejectionin the role you've got TA. You got to be in the right mindset to handle thosethings. You know you're going to face a lot of rejection, which youre alsogeing ta good, a lot of wins as well. So you know learn from the mistakesfocus on the winds, a d move forward from there, and then you know figureout what you want to do in the future. You know if it's the AE role and you'vegot a you got a FFORD, a path to get to that right, get a mentor start thinkinglike an ae right now. You know, listen to passdemos that you set those meetings,for you know, start doing the AE thing right now and then, when thatopportunity arises, you'll be in a really good position to get it, love itand yeah. I would eco that, and I think that Roberto is also a very good example ofbeing an allen kind of guy, like back in the day back before we were remotRiberto in order to be an a had to move all the way from Tampa to Seattle, andhe was willing to do it, he just kind...

...of made it happen, so reberto gooddecision thumbs up or thumbs down on that decision thumbs up all the way Imean there's going to be, there might be a time in your career, where you'regoing to have to make that sacrifice right. Some positions are onlyavailable in certain places, and you know I don't rebread it at all. Youknow that the move from Tampa to Seattle was a great one. Yeah highlyrecommend taking that risk, especially at this point in your career. If that'ssituation, awesome all right thanks, so much for Berto really appreciate it andyeah have a great weekend. You, too thanks Yom, all right IAM here with Megan Dodavan.She is the sequent specialist ot thaut reach right now and we're going to talkthrough kind of where she came from at what her experience was like his strand kind of the direction Shi Exso. Thank you so much Megan for willing tojump on and chat about this with us. Of course, N. thanks for having me here,awesome, okay, so just the Level Seid. I want to talk a a little bit aboutwhat your background was before. Es Yeri tars come from a lot of differentspots. What was your background? How what was your path into it? So before I joined the outrice familyas an SCR, I was in retail sales, so I worked at large, publicly tradedfortune, five hundred companies like Nordstrom, think of America and Harts,so that's whore, my passion for sales, kind of began and, of course, helpingpeople. So I knew I was passionate about selling it. Just didn't line upwith the company values of like a larger arthogram love it. So where didyou initially hear about Strrin wherewhere? How did you get introducedto it? So I didn't hear about SDARN until Iactually put my application and for outrage, I knew I wanted to make thetransition out of retail sales. I saw...

...the sales development representativeposting on indeed for outreach and I googled the company tying to talk intothe product and what it had the ability to do and some of the company culture-and I was immediately intrigued by that Ilove it. And then why did you want the role? Did you? Why d you wantit yeah so, like I said it came from bigger Companie, so the biggest thingfor me was working for a startup, the ability for career advancement andoperating more in the sense of like a family than a large business wined upwith my own goals and values. I previously had experience selling, butI was never in a scaspe to be setting, so the SR role gave me that basicknowledge to kind of articulate how we can help other businesses withdifferent workflows and textacks and kind of get my feet wet in the Sassworld, and did it live up to your expectations?I did, I think, I'm assassor for life, I'm never going back, definitely foundmy passion, love it, and I guess what were some ofthe? What were some of the things that that were different than you expectedin good ways and maybe some ways that were not quite good so previously. In my past salesenvironments, it was kind of a everybody for themselves environment.So I was expecting this role or the SDR role to be the same as my pevias salesjobs kind of had been. That was definitely a surprise and I joinedoutreach. It was way more of a fun learning environment where everyone'sin it together everyone's got your back. So there's obviously going to be somesals along the way, but everybody kind of fails together, wincs together. Sothat was a huge surprise. I didn't...

...think it was. It was going to be thatway definitely challenging, but it helps me undoubtedly strengthen mycommunications business skills. So would recommend it no matter whatcareer, pacth, you're taking cool and then your path out of str iskind of unique into your current role. YEUR is sequent specialist. It's kindof a new role, the one that I expect will become more and more common in thefuture. So tell me a little bit about wike. I decided to take that directionand what your experience is et sure, so I definitely had a unique path.My past work experience had always been in sales, but I've always wanted tokind of move onto the marketing side of things. So after my SDR tenure, I movedonto the MDR team, which is the enbound stell track in hopes of betterunderstanding, thet, demendj, genside and marketing internally within our owncompany. After being in that role, I moved into this rore sales sequencespecialist, which it's helped tremendously, that I came from thatfrontline experience of both Inbem and outbound. So within our ORG, I am moreresponsible for creating new sales. Snippits templates sequences really anycontent that the SBRs are going to use to help drive pipeline, as well asbench marking, content performance and maintaining an organized system so thatthose frontline rets can find exactly what they're looking for Ovi a cool roll ind, an important rolefor sure and then just. Lastly, last thing I want to ask is just inhindsight kind of going through the experience of starting aains SCR.Finding this new path at all happened, really, quick. What advice would yougive to yourself, starting as NSTR from...

...scratch? If you go back in time, if I could go back? U, I probably justreally reiterate to myself that it's okay to ask for advice and help. It'stotally. Okay, if you don't know the answer to a question of prospectsasking you or if you realize, you're, not as strong on the phone as you arean emails, you just have to align yourself with those people who aresuccessful or that are willing to help and coach you. So not only is that yourmanager, but, of course your team leads and your peers as well the more you askthe harder and is free to fail love a very good advice, awesome. Well,thank you. So Much Megan really appreciate you jumping on and reallyappreciate it. Of course thank Sam. Thank you. So much to Steven, Robertoand meagan for sharing their experiences in their career after str areach is actually hiring a lot of esers right now. So, if you're interested inan SDR role, just go to average Stalio and careers and applied the SR role, weare hiring a lot right now. So Co join this. This was another episode of theSales Engagement podcast to help this get in front of more eyes and ears.Please leave us a shining five star review join us at sales engagementcomfor new episodes. Resources in the book on sales engagement to get the most outof your sales engagement strategy, make sure to check out out reached Lio theleading sales engagement platform. Se You on the next episode.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (296)