How I got into sales and what I've learned so far
For my first post in the Mentorship Community, I thought it would be valuable to share how I got into sales and some key takeaways from being in the profession for the past 3-4 years.
Baseball was the main focus of my life from the time I was 4 years old, and remained that way up until I was 22. I was blessed with the chance to play both collegiately (UC Santa Barbara) and professionally (Milwaukee Brewers organization). As with a lot of college and professional athletes, life after athletics wasn't at the forefront of my mind while I was playing. Sure, I knew baseball wouldn't last forever and I'd sometimes ponder what I wanted to do once I hung up the spikes, but as a competitor you're conditioned to believe you'll play for a lot longer, so dreaming about corporate life wasn't too common when compared to dreams about playing in the MLB.
So, when I got the yips in pro ball (I recommend Googling what the yips are if you're not familiar) and was released, I knew the time had come to finish up the last year of my degree and get serious about life after baseball. I was drawn to sales because of the way it would allow me to draw on my strengths of connecting to people through conversation - both verbally and through writing.
My first introduction to the world of sales and software was working part-time as a sales recruiter at a tech company in Santa Barbara while I finished up my college education. After graduation I moved to LA and began my full-time sales career, starting out as a BDR and worked my way up to Sr. BDR - Team Lead, then finally to Account Executive and have been in AE roles for the past ~2 years. I've had some successes, way more failures, and have learned so much in these past few years. Some key learnings below:
-Ask as many questions as possible, to both your teammates and your prospects
-Pipeline over everything. It's not always the most skilled reps crushing quota, it's the ones with the most pipeline
-Remain even-keeled. SaaS sales, especially in a start-up, is an emotional rollercoaster. Don't get too high or too low
-People want to be heard more than anything. Let your prospects talk and be an excellent listener
-Have fun with it. Find a teammate you want to be better than and compete against them each day/week/month/quarter
That's all I got for now. I'll try to keep it a little shorter next time :)