Sold on sales: What these 6 NYC sales pros love most about their jobs

by April Bohnert
July 18, 2019

Successful tech companies don’t thrive on great products alone — they also have a talented and motivated team of sales pros helping to get those products in front of the right people. It’s a career positioned at the forefront of a company’s growth, and for many, that comes with both the opportunity — and the resposibility — to make a serious impact on the business. 

We talked to six local salespeople to learn more about what attracted them to the industry and what gets them excited to come to work each day. 
 

PolicyGenius sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via Policygenius.

Policygenius makes it easy to learn about, compare and buy insurance — of any kind — online. We talked to Sales Associate Nick Ricciardi about the fast pace of the business and tight-knit team culture and how that drew him to his current role. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

I have always had a passion for sales, specifically in an environment that is growing rapidly. I think getting into a fast-paced, constantly evolving industry and taking on an archaic business model is exciting and challenging. When you can mesh a well-trained sales team with the tools and technology to solve a problem for a client and make it look easy, that’s a huge win! This is one of the many reasons I chose to come to a booming startup like Policygenius.

 

It takes grit to be great, but it doesn’t take a lot to fit into our team.”

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why?

It takes grit to be great, but it doesn’t take a lot to fit into our team. We have a group of intelligent, passionate advisors working on solving clients’ needs every day! We work hard but also play hard. It’s always exciting to see the new monthly competitions and join in on the team outings, like baseball games and bowling. This is my first job where I didn’t run out the door when work was over. You can always catch team members hanging around in the lounge catching up or going out after work to grab a bite.

 

Snap sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via Snap.

Snap is transforming the way people use their cameras, giving users creative ways to communicate and express themselves through video, photos and messages. U.S. Head of Verticals Brett Wein gave us a glimpse into his career journey and why he loves where he is today. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

I pursued a career in sales mostly through happenstance. I was in a rut with my first sales job in the fashion industry and I was miserable. It was the late '90s and the first dot com boom was just starting to ramp up. I had a love of media, music and culture, and digital was just starting to make its mark across all of it. I stumbled across the New York New Media Association website and applied to a bunch of jobs and heard back from three different companies in a matter of days. I took the plunge with a little-known search engine called Ask Jeeves (does anyone remember the butler?), and the rest is history!

 

Most of all, I love having the opportunity to help build an amazing company.”

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why?

There are so many things that I really love about what I get to do that it's hard to name just one. I love the creativity needed day in and day out; I love the pace of the advertising world; I love my internal teammates; I love mentoring; I love learning every day; and I love seeing people use Snap’s products out in the wild. But most of all, I love having the opportunity to help build an amazing company.

 

Tessian sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via Tessian.

Tessian’s machine intelligent email security platform helps businesses protect themselves and their employees from cybersecurity threats like spear phishing, misdirected emails and unauthorized emails. Business Development Manager Jesse Yu said the autonomy of a sales role combined with the high-growth environment of a tech startup have kept him excited about his role since day one.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

There was a combination of factors that drew me into the tech sales field. First and foremost, I've always wanted to be in a fast-paced, high-growth environment, which a cybersecurity tech startup like Tessian fully encompasses. Second, coming from investment banking, I wanted to challenge myself to bring in my own business, rather than rely on senior members of my firm. Sales gives you the opportunity to define your own strategy and, ultimately, 'eat what you kill' from day one.

 

The best part of my job is that, since we are still a growing company, each deal has a significant impact on moving Tessian forward.” 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why?

The best part of my job is that, since we are still a growing company, each deal has a significant impact on moving Tessian forward. The sales team at a growth company is what keeps the lights on — and people are depending on you to make sure the product (that's taken thousands of hours to build) gets the recognition it deserves. I also love that I straddle both the technical side of cybersecurity as well as the business side. I need to understand our product and educate others on it, but also learn the inner workings of how different firms operate so I can navigate the politics within.

 

Collibra sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via Collibra.

Collibra helps teams maximize the value of their data with data governance and catalog software that makes it easy for users to discover, analyze and manage critical business information. Ryan Bishara, Collibra’s regional sales manager of emerging enterprise, took a somewhat untraditional path to sales, leveraging both his tech talents and his passion for helping people. 

 

What prompted you to pursue a career in sales? 

I went to college in pursuit of an engineering degree, and during the program, I had an opportunity for mentorship from experts in the field. This helped me realize that, while I enjoyed the STEM field, engineering didn’t excite me and I was missing interpersonal interactions. I started researching and found a Bureau of Labor Statistics Report pointing to technology sales as a top-10 career for STEM graduates, and it reignited my curiosity in sales. I had worked in sales and held a sales management role for a brick-and-mortar and loved the personal interaction and well-defined goals. I found Collibra and the message immediately resonated with me: helping organizations “find, understand and trust” their data. I joined their sales development team, worked my way into an enterprise sales role, and the rest is history. It’s been two years at Collibra, 10 months as a field rep, and I’m loving it.

 

I’m competitive. Having a quota keeps me laser-focused and keeps my edge; it’s career gamification and I love it.”

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why?

I enjoy helping people and organizations solve problems. I love hearing about data-related problems and being able to provide a solution to alleviate that pain. Connecting with people, going in depth around what their organizations need, providing education and support, and genuinely helping them achieve their goal is powerful. 

Second, I interact with new people every day. In one day, I might speak to a CDO, a CIO, a contracts analyst and an HR Director. It’s fulfilling to have this variety of conversation, understanding their individual roles, what they're looking to accomplish and really learning something new from each discussion.

Last, I like having a specific goal to beat. I’m competitive. Having a quota keeps me laser-focused and keeps my edge; it’s career gamification and I love it. I work to beat my personal benchmarks every single day, and that keeps things interesting.

 

HyperScience sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via HyperScience.

Leveraging its proprietary machine learning technology, HyperScience automates the traditionally complex and time-consuming task of document processing, making it simple to turn documents into machine-readable data. Director of Sales Zac Moser has spent the last 10 years in sales and, now that he’s a senior leader, finds the most joy in building a thriving, collaborative team. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

Innovation is taking place at an unprecedented rate in tech, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. Just think about the changes that have occurred over the last 20 years — everything from disruptors like Uber, Salesforce and Slack to the creation of new industries with Facebook and Blue Prism. What's particularly compelling about my current role is the size of the opportunity. Documents and data are increasing year over year, and every business needs to extract valuable information and put it into a usable format. The possibilities are endless.

 

What I enjoy most is finding, training and developing a strong, cohesive team that works collaboratively to meet and exceed our goals.” 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why? 

I've been an entrepreneur my entire life. Growing up, I was always running some kind of business whether it was mowing lawns, shoveling driveways or selling lemonade in front of the house. Fast forward, and I’ve been in sales for over 10 years, with the last five years being in sales leadership positions. What I enjoy most is finding, training and developing a strong, cohesive team that works collaboratively to meet and exceed our goals. Doing that at Hyperscience — a dynamic, fast-growing company that solves fundamental business problems plaguing global enterprises through machine learning technology — is what keeps me excited. Representing a product I believe in, and that truly works, makes my job that much more rewarding.

 

SpotMe sales team culture NYC tech
Photo via SpotMe.

SpotMe provides enterprises around the world with a range of tools and services for platforms and apps that focus on live events, virtual and hybrid meetings and long-term engagement. Sales Development Representative Gerard Gallivan explained what first attracted him to a role in sales and why he’s never looked back since. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

From a young age, I have always had a keen interest in the latest technology and gadgets. While my background from college is in both marketing and law, upon graduating I felt my passion and skill sets were best suited to that of the business world and, in particular, sales.

On a daily basis, I am challenged to break my targets and push the boundaries of what can be achieved, all while meeting new and interesting characters along the way. In terms of getting into the event tech space, I fell into it when I relocated to New York from Dublin, Ireland. My interest in tech and the way it is increasingly taking a grasp on the way in which we live, I knew I wanted to work in a fast-growing tech company in NYC. I came across SpotMe on Built In NYC, and well, three months into the role, I suppose the rest is history.

 

I am learning a lot on a daily basis and seeing my work have an impact...”

What aspects of your current role do you love the most, and why?

One of the best things about my role is definitely how broad and varied the clientele can be. In my role as a sales development representative, I am getting great exposure to Fortune 500 enterprises from a wide range of industries. Every day I am having conversations with people in different departments and hearing the different struggles each of them are facing. Putting together strategies and brainstorming various solutions really adds to the challenge of the role.

Additionally, I love the free reign I am given. While I do have set accounts to target, I’ve also been given the opportunity to identify companies that I would like to target and develop strategies around how they could utilize the SpotMe platform. In this sense, I am learning a lot on a daily basis and seeing my work have an impact as I attempt to get a foot in the door with a company that I have identified.

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