Expectation vs. Reality: The Truth Behind Sales Careers at 3 NYC Tech Companies

Sales professionals from leading firms like ZocDoc, Yieldmo, and Own Company revealed how their expectations aligned with the realities of their roles.

Written by Lucas Dean
Published on Jan. 11, 2024
Expectation vs. Reality: The Truth Behind Sales Careers at 3 NYC Tech Companies
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Life is full of moments where expectations and reality collide: a long-awaited movie turns out to be a letdown, an unassuming restaurant surprises with incredible food, and a blind date blossoms into an enduring relationship.

When it comes to career decisions, the intersection of expectation and reality is a well-traveled yet consequential point. 

These choices are guided by a blend of hope, ambition and the allure of potential. However, the true nature of a job can starkly differ from one’s initial perceptions — sometimes testing resilience, other times exceeding the wildest of dreams.

The adage, ‘Man proposes, God disposes,’ dating back to the 15th century, suggests that the ultimate outcome often remains beyond one’s control despite careful planning. Likewise, it proves that reality checks are a longstanding aspect of human experience.  

Still, there are ways to minimize uncertainty. Before leaping into a new job, current team members offer something far more reliable than a crystal ball’s premonitions: lived experience.  

Sales professionals at ZocDoc, Yieldmo and Own Company discussed why they joined their teams and how the experience met their expectations. 

 

Own Company
Own Company

 

Matthew Sellers
Account Executive, Commercial • Own Company

Own Company enables companies to protect and leverage their SaaS data, offering data availability, security, compliance and insightful analytics in partnership with ecosystems like Salesforce, ServiceNow, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.

 

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

Growth is very important to me as someone younger in their sales career. When looking for my next role, being in a position where leaders and winners surround me was extremely important. This directly correlates with a line I live by, “ You are a product of those you surround yourself with.”

In addition to being surrounded by people I can learn from, I was also looking to join a company that is a leader in its industry. The last critical piece for me was being a part of a company that had a great culture. Own checked all these boxes for me, and I am happy to be part of a great team and a place where I can continue to succeed and learn each day.

 

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

The success that Own has had so quickly since becoming a company was something that immediately stood out to me. On a higher level, they have plans for the future, growth and a company with a great culture. The first thing I heard people saying when I toured here was, “We take our work seriously but not ourselves.” I laughed this off at first, but since being here, this truly is a place where you get your work done and do it well and then can still be yourself and have fun with colleagues.

 

The biggest differentiator between Own and other places I have seen is the teamwork involved in our selling process.”

 

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

The biggest differentiator between Own and other places I have seen is the teamwork involved in our selling process. From the SE’s involvement in the early stages to having higher levels of leadership join calls, you are never on your own — no pun intended — here throughout the sales process.

 

 

Gabrielle Valentini
Enterprise Senior Sales Executive • Zocdoc

Zocdoc aims to empower patients by offering a comprehensive healthcare marketplace that simplifies finding and booking care across the United States.

 

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

I think of my job searches in three key areas: learning opportunities, earning opportunities and security. My new role as an enterprise senior sales executive at Zocdoc hits all three buckets. 

I’m constantly learning here and appreciate that a growth mindset is ingrained in the Zocdoc sales culture. I have regular one-on-one meetings with my manager and an active coaching plan to help me hone my skills. One of our core values is “Learners before Master,” and that resonates with me because it acknowledges that everyone in the organization has more to learn. Being in sales, I’m also money-motivated and feel lucky to have found a competitive compensation package where my targets are ambitious but achievable. 

Lastly, job security is huge in today’s tech landscape. While nothing is a sure thing, Zocdoc’s continued success and stability over the last few difficult years in the market speaks volumes for the security of this business and industry as a whole. A nice plus is that our HQ is located in Soho, one of the best NYC neighborhoods.

 

Zocdoc’s continued success and stability over the last few difficult years speaks volumes for the security of this business and industry as a whole.”

 

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

I am considered a “Zoomerang” at Zocdoc — someone who previously left and came back. Fun fact about Zoomerangs: I’m one of many. Finding a company with a mission as special as “giving power to the patient” is hard to beat. My first impression of Zocdoc was that it was a company with a conscience that truly cares about helping patients easily access quality care. 

This perception has evolved since 2018 alongside Zocdoc’s own evolution. We have grown our user base significantly over the last five years by changing our business model from subscription to variable revenue, helping us reach more users, which means more patients served. Ultimately, my lasting impression is that you can have a business focused on making the world a better place and on its success. When the incentives are aligned, as they are at ZocDoc, incredible things can happen, and it’s easy to give 110 percent effort every day.

 

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

Believe it or not, my background is in education. I went to school to be a high school English teacher — a far cry from sales. Despite leaving the education space, I still have a passion for teaching in some capacity: leading a team, offering my guidance, being consultative and so on. 

When interviewing at Zocdoc, it became apparent that you can be a successful individual contributor and still be a leader, which is the best of both worlds. I’ve found opportunities to coach and mentor internally and am eager to continue to seek out these opportunities. Anytime we have a new project or emerging segment of our business, I’m able to raise my hand as a guinea pig and then share what I’ve learned with my team afterward. This isn’t true in all sales organizations, especially ones where reps are encouraged to stay strictly in their own lane.

 

 

Jessica Marks
Senior Director, Sales • Yieldmo

Yieldmo, a digital advertising and attention analytics firm, enhances ad inventory value through its smart exchange, contextual analytics, real-time technology and more, optimizing campaigns without relying on audience data.

 

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

When I was looking for my next role, I had a couple of musts in mind. I thrive on being challenged, so I wanted to work in a role where I was continuously learning and growing. I also wanted to work for an organization that values company culture and people. And lastly, while I love being an individual contributor, I also wanted to continue in a managerial role as a player-coach.

 

I thrive on being challenged, so I wanted to work in a role where I was continuously learning and growing.”

 

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

The culture and people at Yieldmo stood out to me as I was interviewing. Everyone I spoke with, from recruiters to sales leaders to sellers, was incredibly genuine and welcoming. While we are fully remote, teams still have a sense of camaraderie. Additionally, there is a huge level of transparency in the company, which is always of value. I have yet to change my initial perceptions.

 

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

From a seller perspective, Yieldmo is great because there is open communication across teams, and everyone from engineering to marketing to ops is open to feedback and growth for the good of the company. Yieldmo is very forward-thinking, which is great for sales given the always-changing ad market. Additionally, the sales team is less competitive and cutthroat compared to other organizations, and is more supportive and friendly, with everyone helping each other succeed. There’s a level of empathy and balance, which is refreshing, given how demanding sales can be.

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Shutterstock and listed companies.

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