5 Recently Hired Sales Reps Explain Why They Joined the Team

Sales professionals from five NYC companies shared what factors drove their decision to join their current teams and how their expectations aligned with reality.
Written by Lucas Dean
December 29, 2022Updated: December 29, 2022

Sales representatives are in a unique position — one where they are on the frontline, tasked with understanding what their customers want and need, and how to sell their product on those grounds.

Simultaneously, sales reps frequently feel disconnected and burnt out due to a lack of feedback from company managers and, to put it bluntly, feeling like a cog in a machine. According to a 2022 Gartner survey, 89 percent of sellers reported feelings of burnout, while 54 percent said they were actively looking for a new job.

For sales professionals on the search for a better job, there’s no better source of information than those who work for prospective employers.

“At any other company, I’ve only interacted with my direct reports or management, but at MaestroQA, I’ve interacted with essentially the entire company, which provides different perspectives and has helped set me up for success,” explained Cole Brummund, a recently hired sales development representative at MaestroQA.

Hearing from recent hires like Brumman can help jobseekers gain invaluable insights into companies and guide their search.

“The DigitalOcean experience has blown me away so far. I wake up every single day with excitement about the product I get to sell,” said Ryan Gridley, an account executive at DigitalOcean.

Built In NYC spoke to Gridley, Brummund and sales professionals from three other companies to hear about the products, people and goals that make their workplaces special, and what drew them to these roles in the first place.

 

Ryan Gridley
Account Executive • DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean is the cloud of choice for developers around the world to create modern applications. 

 

As a sales representative, what were you looking for in your next role when you started your most recent job search?

When I started my most recent job search, I told myself there were a few key things that would solidify my moving to my next job opportunity. The necessities I searched for were: to have a passion for the product I am selling and not see a future without it, to enjoy collaborating with my teammates and manager, visibly notice the company caring about my development, to have the flexibility to work where I see fit, and have a competitive pay structure all in one.

When I finished my list of important factors, I reached out to some companies that I was interested in by searching for sales team members in my position. My goal here was to gauge the day-to-day outlook for the reps, see how their managers interacted with them, and get an understanding of how the sale worked.

 

What initially stood out to you about DigitalOcean, and how has that perception changed since you started?

The first thing that stuck out to me about DigitalOcean was just how friendly their sales team is. After speaking with a current account executive, I learned everything I needed to know about the company in order to apply for the job. The account executive, who is now one of my great friends, spent four total hours over a week answering every question and concern I may have about taking a new role.

She went over how the culture is, what her onboarding experience was like, how the sales cycle works, the passion they have for their sales development, and where the company is heading within the industry. After a few weeks in the interview process, I got the job and now have had the chance to see internally if all of that was true. 

The DigitalOcean experience has blown me away so far. I wake up every single day with excitement about the product I get to sell. I have incredible teammates that collaborate with me and help me with any questions I may have. From a cultural perspective, DigitalOcean clearly knows how to take care of its employees.

There has not been a day since I started where I’ve felt like a number to my manager and executive team.”

 

From a selling perspective, what sets DigitalOcean apart from others you’ve worked at in the past?

DigitalOcean is night and day different from companies I’ve worked for in the past. Feeling like a number is a terrible feeling when engulfed in a large sales organization. There has not been a day since I started where I’ve felt like a number to my manager and executive team. They value my opinion and respect me as a member of the team. On multiple occasions, I’ve seen them take suggestions that I have and enact those in our process. They put complete trust in me as a sales member, which makes me want to do everything I can to help grow DigitalOcean into an even bigger force. 

Another incredible part of DigitalOcean is the executive vision they share with its sales team. On my first day, I got to speak with our CEO and ask him questions. Every week, we get an email from our global sales leader about what is going on with his family and personal life and his vision for the company this month, quarter and year. I have never had that in my history of working. Talk about engaging your employees. I’m excited to be a member of this great organization and will be a happy sounding board for any other curious reps that want to know more.

 

 

Anna Kohlasch
Senior Sales Specialist • FINN

FINN offers a subscription-based service that allows users to access all-inclusive, immediately available cars. 

 

As a sales representative, what were you looking for in your next role when you started your most recent job search?

My position at FINN is actually my first role as a sales representative. During my job search, I wasn’t exclusively looking at sales positions; rather, I had the broader goal of finding a role at a growing company that had the potential for high impact. Throughout my search, I found that the most invigorating and exciting opportunities for me were typically in sales and growth positions. I found that within these roles, companies were willing to take risks on young professionals who were excited to learn and try new things.

Additionally, out of dozens of open roles, sales roles were the most flexible in terms of a candidate’s future career path and ambitions. As a recent college graduate, sales roles were the perfect fit for my aptitude to learn new skills and interact with customers, in addition to my ambition to have a high impact at a company with a clear trajectory for growth and development.

 

What initially stood out to you about FINN, and how has that perception changed since you started?

During my job search, I knew I wanted to work for a startup or early-stage company where I could make a significant contribution to the growth of the business while learning from experienced leaders and peers. When I first interviewed with FINN, the company had a fairly established customer base in Germany but had just begun to set up structures to launch in the U.S. This seemed to me to be the perfect opportunity to join a stable company with an established business model and org plan that was also at the beginning of a new venture, providing the opportunity to get in early without much of the uncertainty and risk typically associated with early startups. Since joining FINN, this balance has proven true, and I have been able to experiment and take risks in my role while being able to fall back on established processes and principles. 

When joining, I didn’t consider how much this business setup positively impacts the company culture and employee attitude. What I love most about FINN is working with a highly-skilled group of individuals who support each other in taking risks and experimenting, while holding each other accountable to a shared set of norms and expectations.

What has been so exciting about working for FINN from our U.S. launch a year ago until now has been seeing customers’ dispositions transform.”

 

From a selling perspective, what sets FINN apart from others you’ve worked at in the past?

Particularly in the U.S. market, FINN offers a highly novel and unique product offering that, while innovative, is new to most customers. As a result, sales representatives must pitch not only the company but the service itself, explaining to and convincing customers why a car subscription is the best decision. Customers come to the table with experiences with and expectations for the car-buying experience that must be reshaped and leveraged to introduce them to a new model. In my experience, this creates a dynamic and challenging sales proposition that must be customized to each person and adapted at the moment to meet the customer’s needs. 

What has been so exciting about working for FINN from our U.S. launch a year ago until now has been seeing customers’ dispositions transform. As we have grown, our model has become more familiar to consumers, transforming the sales process from one of convincing and soothing anxieties to one of feeding already existing excitement and reflecting enthusiasm. Building a flexible and fluid sales approach to match this growth has been an extremely rewarding challenge that I expect to continue to transform as we grow into new markets.

 

 

Dataiku team members at a conference.
Dataiku

 

Jessie Andres
Strategic Account Executive • Dataiku

Dataiku is the platform for Everyday AI, systemizing the use of data for exceptional business results.

 

As a sales representative, what were you looking for in your next role when you started your most recent job search?

When looking for my next role, I knew I wanted to join a fast-growing company in the data space, so I tested my customers. They’re the source of truth! I learned from key leaders that AI/ML was top of mind, so I began exploring AI/ML companies. 

I made a list of what I was looking for: innovative technology, culture, DEI and market potential. One of my leaders from a previous company joined Dataiku. When I learned that there were multiple female leaders across the company, I was propelled as it aligns closely with my passion for being an advocate for DEI. I’m thrilled to work for my former leader and continue learning from her as I like to be in a growth mindset.

Needless to say, all things checked off my list, and discussions with Dataiku happened organically. I was able to speak to different people — AEs, sales, engineering and customer success teams — across the company. Everyone’s feedback was consistent and their excitement and passion were infectious — I knew I had found my new home. Today, more than 500 companies worldwide use Dataiku, including more than 150 of the world’s largest enterprises. The opportunities to onboard new logos and expand our customer install are endless!

 

What initially stood out to you about Dataiku, and how has that perception changed since you started?

What initially stood out for me about Dataiku was the technology. 

I was curious about the tagline “Everyday AI, Extraordinary People” and what it meant in practice. As I did my homework to explore Dataiku’s capabilities, I quickly realized that the platform can — and is designed to — be used by everyone and not only data scientists. One of our top differentiators is the ability to have users from multiple skill sets — analysts, data engineers, or business users, to name a few — leverage our platform in diverse ways — from predictive maintenance to supply chain to marketing optimization and several other areas to understand the customer experience and drive revenue. 

In addition, our technology is unique as we do what others don’t, which is to support the end-to-end analytics and AI lifecycle across all profiles. The strength of the technology is validated through multiple industry awards, such as being named to the Forbes Cloud 100 and Forbes AI 50 lists, Data50, Inc. Best in Business, and Snowflake’s ML/AI partner of the year for the second year in a row.

It is the people that make Dataiku such a special company and product. Dataikers are some of the most brilliant people I have worked with in my career.”

 

From a selling perspective, what sets Dataiku apart from others you’ve worked at in the past?

The potential and people set Dataiku apart from other companies. The potential here is huge; we are successfully crossing the chasm into the mainstream market as companies realize that now is the time to invest in AI or be left behind. As I speak to customers about their AI and data initiatives, I keep hearing the same theme of wanting to embrace AI to transform their business. This is where we are able to shine to enable our customers to build AI into their processes and operations throughout their business because when AI is embedded throughout a company’s operations, they have achieved Everyday AI. 

All of this is enhanced by our outstanding momentum that was highlighted recently in our Series F investment by a new investor, Wellington Management. It is the people that make Dataiku such a special company and product. Dataikers are some of the most brilliant people I have worked with in my career. There is so much talent! We are all working fiercely hard while having fun to catapult Dataiku’s momentum and deliver the absolute best product on the market. I’m very happy to be on this rocket ship.

 

 

RTB House colleagues pose together in front of a fountain.
RTB House

 

Dason Allen
Senior Enterprise Sales Director • RTB House

Adtech company RTB House provides state-of-the-art marketing technology to brands through the world’s first ad-buying engine that uses deep learning algorithms to help advertisers reach their short, mid and long-term goals.

 

As a sales representative, what were you looking for in your next role when you started your most recent job search?

When I started looking for my next role, I was hoping to find a company with legitimate technology that would add value to my network. Within this space, there is a lot of shared technology with sellers that are just looking to make a quick buck. My goal was to find a long-term solution that I was proud to sell.

The peace of mind that comes from believing in what you sell makes a significant difference in job satisfaction and overall workplace quality of life.”

 

What initially stood out to you about RTB House, and how has that perception changed since you started?

The main thing that stood out was that RTB House had the ability to compete directly with the best DSPs — Google, Criteo, TTD and so on. I’ve seen first-hand many times that we’re able to deliver on the promises I made, especially delivering better performance. The peace of mind that comes from believing in what you sell makes a significant difference in job satisfaction and overall workplace quality of life.

 

From a selling perspective, what sets this RTB House apart from others you’ve worked at in the past?

The deep-learning technology works. It’s a true game changer in the digital display and video space. RTB House has a product that is much more advanced than our competitors.

 

 

Members of the MaestroQA team speaking.
MaestroQA

 

Cole Brummund
Sales Development Representative • MaestroQA

MaestroQA’s platform offers customer service managers solutions for understanding and tracking their support quality, automating repetitive tasks and coaching team members.

 

As a sales representative, what were you looking for in your next role when you started your most recent job search?

As a sales representative, what I was looking for in my next role when I started my job search was to work for a company that aligned with my interests and passions. MaestroQA is on a mission to help companies worldwide improve their customers’ experiences with better customer support. That was a mission I could get behind as I think the customer experience is often overlooked and undervalued by many organizations today. 

Helping companies change their perspective will not only lead to great business results but will also make the world a better place with better human interactions. The opportunity to sell software to improve customers’ experiences was a natural fit since I found success in previous sales roles by focusing on the customer experience to drive sales. I believe that providing a good experience is a win-win situation for the customer and the company.

 

What initially stood out to you about MaestroQA, and how has that perception changed since you started?

What initially stood out to me about MaestroQA was the people and the culture of the company during my interview process. This was an important factor in my decision as these were people I was going to work with on a day-to-day basis, and this was a place where I thought I could take my career to the next level. That perception has only strengthened as I’ve been working for MaestroQA, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I’ve learned a lot, faced new challenges, gotten to work remotely and worked with a lot of awesome people.

At any other company, I’ve only interacted with my direct reports or management, but at MaestroQA, I’ve interacted with essentially the entire company.”

 

From a selling perspective, what sets MaestroQA apart from others you’ve worked at in the past?

What sets Maestro apart from others is how much time is invested to truly understand the pain points within customer support and quality assurance today. The training process is a reflection of that process, and as a new employee, it helps you understand the customer support and quality assurance landscape. From a selling perspective, it is important to understand how your company solves these problems for customers to be able to clearly explain the value and what makes MaestroQA unique. 

At any other company, I’ve only interacted with my direct reports or management, but at MaestroQA, I’ve interacted with essentially the entire company, which provides different perspectives and has helped set me up for success. I feel like I truly understand the value we provide to customers, which has led me to be successful in my role.

 

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