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Imposter syndrome or just an imposter?

Hey WR,


I need some no nonsense advice so please be brutally honest.


I got into sales by accident (shocking, I know) started in Cars, saw some success, mainly luck but then I got into automated marketing, shit the bed because I partied constantly, moved away got a chance from a director who was a manager where I was a shitty employee.


Crushed it, grew the revenue/team, they closed the office, some issues happened internally, moved to outside sales, but there was a lot of contention.


Have hopped around a bit now with short stints as it feels like so many places lie to get you in the door and then its a shit show once you're onboarded, and I have an issue where the second I feel slighted, I lose any drive to work for them.


I try to just suck it up and sell but it eats at me to work for people that I can't trust.


I feel like now my resume looks shitty af because not only is it short stints, I don't perform too hot after the initial 6 months or so because some shit has happened or they treat their customers like shit and I don't feel good selling it, but maybe that's just an excuse I tell myself, idk.


Do I need to just suck it up and start back at square one as an SDR and work my way up?


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19
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
My honest opinion...and I'm not going to sugar coat it...

The most difficult aspect of sales is staying motivated

It's not a matter of "sucking it up", it's a matter of figuring out your issues with motivation/mindset. It almost seems like you look for ANY issue at a new company and the second you feel like something has been overpromised, you throw in the towel instead of trying to make the best of a situation. (This of course never applies to truly toxic environments!)

This comment is in no way meant to be mean or harsh, but I've seen this with reps in they past...and this mindset will never produce long term success in sales. Try to remove the "grass is greener" thoughts from your mind and figure out what you're looking to gain from a sales career.
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+8
SaaS Eater
Ya this was going to be my feedback as well. Not everyone is out to get you and the grass isnt always greener.Β 

No one will advocate for you better than yourself but no one is out to get you or break your trust either. Stop looking for reasons to not trust your company, embrace the aspects that you appreciate and value and go sell the fuck outta whatever you sell. You're not a quitter so stop being one.Β 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Can't wait for dms to open. Be prepared.
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Full_Send
Valued Contributor
+3
Mid Market AE
Honestly I think you hit the nail on the head.Β 

A part of it is that my first AE role I truly felt fulfilled, I believed the product was absolutely pivotal for the success of businesses and I knew some of my leaders truly cared about me and my success, and I've struggled to find that since.Β 

What have you seen be successful in altering outlooks and mindset around this?Β 
SlinginSoftware
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Maybe the problem is exactly what you're saying above... You're living too much in the past and romanticizing about your first AE role as being "perfect". My guess is that it was far from perfect (you mentioned thatΒ  there was some contention when you left). Try to be more forward thinking and try to find what will provide you with sustainable motivation.

Another thought: I'm picking up vibes that you may be a fan of instant gratification (I could be totally off the mark on this...). Maybe look for an SMB role with short sales cycles that are more transactional. These types of roles offer bursts of motivation frequently as you may be closing 10+ deals every month.
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poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Can you close?
Full_Send
Valued Contributor
+3
Mid Market AE
Absolutely.Β 

I sold for an S&P 500 and i had 20-30 year vets in my training that were coming to me for help on certain aspects of their pitch and presentation.Β 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Then why entertain going back to be an SDR?

You're letting things outside of your control dictate your performance. Focus on you, and what you can do, and the rest will follow. Feeling slighted? Go close some business and put the blinders up.
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SaaSam
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
I feel this so much man. Especially the hard hit to your motivation the second you feel you've been betrayed. My best performance in my career was when I was working for a company that I knew had my back 100% and the boss was a "no bullshit" kind of guy. I loved it there. I'm currently trying to get back into a similar company.Β 



I've found that early stage startups are most likely to have the kind of environment I am looking for. The fact that the company is still figuring stuff out means you will have a hand in deciding company culture and direction. Plus when it's a new company with a small team everyone benefits from each other's successes so a win for you will often result in a mini celebration across the whole team/company which feels cool.

Staying motivated regardless of the situation is difficult. My pops taught me to earn my keep. There have been times where I've had to remind myself to stay motivated and do my best work even when I've decided it's time to move on and start looking for other places of employment.Β 

One of the big upsides of being in sales is your output is directly reflected in your bank account which does wonders to get my ass back into gear when I feel less motivated.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
The feelings you experience are pretty normal. Keep selling, assume you're going to get fucked (you're going to over and over again), listen to @poweredbycaffeine nearly always, and try to detach the emotional from the financial (I still struggle with this).
fidelcashflow
Valued Contributor
+4
Account Executive
I think you might just need to find the right company. Here and there when I have a bad call or lose a deal I ask myself "Am I really a good salesperson or do I just think I am"? Regardless, I just tell myself that I need to get better or change my process or whatever. I can do this. Because there is no way in hell I am going to get into some bs like recruiting or enablement. The only place where the money is, is Sales and Engineering, and I ain't no fuckin engineer! You have a mid-market title which means you probably make ~$200k. No way in hell you are going to slash that in more than half and be an SDR. FIGURE IT OUT. You got this my man.Β 
RealPatrickBateman
Politicker
+8
Amateur Butcher
LOTS of good advice in here already from those that have been there. All I can add is that this has been a problem for me in every role i've had (sales or not) and my only way around it was to remember that at the end of the day, my paycheck is the only "thanks" I will ever get.


Now sure, I get kudos and awards here and there for a job well done. But I couldn't give a shit. Your job is a means to live free'er lol, not your mother or your therapist to pat you on the back and say "job well done". Change the paradigm of what you expect from your job and you will change your life, *super cliche* ON GOD.Β 

My two cents... Stick it out, embrace the suck, and work through it to change the narrative of your resume. Become a Victor not a Victim.Β 
Full_Send
Valued Contributor
+3
Mid Market AE
Honestly needed this, thanks dude. Gotta stop being a little bitch sometimes
RealPatrickBateman
Politicker
+8
Amateur Butcher
Always, keep crushing. And if it’s revenge you seek, then Success is the Best revenge πŸ€‘πŸ˜ˆ
be
bellaccione
Member
+4
Sales Consultant (principal)
I went through this EXACT same thing.

Like, to the letter. Except I didn't sell cars, it was mortgages. Otherwise all exactly the same. With the partying etc.

I sat for a year in that hole of despair, not getting many interviews because of my choppy resume etc etc etc taking any sales job that would have me (further contributing to choppy resume when I churned).

The thing I *did* have going for me was a 7-year run of sales success in a really tiny esoteric industry. Since I wasn't getting calls to be an SDR much less an AE, I went into CONSULTING.

I used my 7-year run as a case study (here's how I grew revenue for this one firm, you're in the same space let me do it for you, too). Had a couple successes doing that - and even during the failures I was getting paid like a fulltime employee so could still eat.

Point: starting as an SDR and working your way up is an option but it actually betrays a victim mindset, where you are down here and somebody UP THERE will give you something.

I changed my mindset from this to "I have value, and very specific value around doing X, I'm gonna go sell that value like I'm an SDR FOR MYSELF"



Ch
ChrisSellsHisSoul
Fire Starter
+1
Owner
Yep. Most sales processes are a mess.

When I stopped expecting them to be good and focused on selling myself, my life got way better and I found myself more open to advice from others.
goose
Politicker
+12
Sales Executive
Who you work for makes all the difference. Both company culture and leadership matters. Many times a good manager can make all the difference. Some companies lure you in with promises but they get burned so many times by bad hires that they treat everyone as a potential bad hire and never invest in good people. I feel your pain on this and would urge you to slow down, find the right place with the right situation and stay there. The only thing that can fix a shitty looking resume is a good place with some longevity. Then you can say β€œman, it was rough but I made it through” and things get better.
cw95
Politicker
+6
Pricing Executive
If you have genuine proper reasons and can explain them properly in an interview I don't see it as a problem. Just someone searching for what they want!Β 
Irishman
Good Citizen
+2
Business Consultant
The problem is you aren't a fit for those companies - you need to find something where the culture fits you. Easier said than done but start putting a list together of companies you feel would be good to work for, then start talking to as many of the employees as possible to get a real feel of the culture there. Work for a company you actually care about and believe in, motivation is a lot easier
dcarb
Good Citizen
Account Manager
I think for starters...that it depends on what industry you ultimately want to be in.Β  I'm an old fart now so I would never consider working for a startup.Β  I did that once and there is just is too much chaos, drama and bullshit and they hook you in with the appeal of "you can get in on this at the ground floor and we're all going to be fucking rich".Β  The reality is that most startups fail so at some pointΒ  your paycheck is going to bounce like a rubber ball.Β  Not fun.Β  Also there is always some young douche bag who has 2 years of sales experience and since he was in the Boy Scouts with the equally young and douchy CEO he is appointed the VP of Sales.Β  I've worked for that guy before and let's just say it didn't end well.Β  I don't need someone 20 years my junior trying to tell me how to close a deal.Β  πŸ™„

Personally I would avoid the SDR route if you can.Β  I would rather do inside sales at a place where I have an opportunity to move into outside sales.Β  You might also try your hand at Account Management.Β  Much less stressful in my opinion.Β  You work a base of accounts and try to go deeper and wider into those accounts.Β  Places like Staples or Grainger are setup like that.Β Β 

Personally I would avoid giant companies unless you are willing to put up with a lot of corporate oversight.Β  However, if you are still in your twenties it might not be a bad idea to work for a company like IBM or Dell who have REALLY structured/formal sales training.Β  That will be valuable to you wherever you go in the future.Β  If you go that route you might have to do a stint as SDR/BDR.Β 

I would also talk to people you know that are also in sales and find out what they think of their company.Β  It's not WHAT you know but WHO you know.

Hell, you can ping random sales people on LinkedIn and ask them "hey I'm thinking of applying at your company, what do you think of it?".Β  If someone did that to me at my old company I would have said "Fuck no bro, ruuuuuuuunnnnn!" πŸ˜‚ Sales people will talk to anyone and happy to help out fellow sales bros just like on this forum.Β Β 

Don't give up.Β  Find something that YOU think is interesting and figure out how you can sell something in that arena.Β  You feel me, dawg? πŸ‘ŠβœŒΒ 
ot
ottersnacks
Senior Sales Executive
Honestly, I have had this issue too! After my first company (which I was at for forever) my imposter syndrome got worse. I found that I didn't want to be in sales that required way too long of sales cycles, I preferred the quick-wins because that is what makes me confident. After 3 years and 3-4 other failed jobs I finally found a place for me! Just keep searching. I didn't keep all of them on my resume/linkedin either, especially if they were super short. Just say you took time off.
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