Talk to tech sales people and ask any questions you have about working in the Waterloo Region tech sector. No bullshit. We promise.
Finding a way to get into Waterloo Region tech sales can be hard: What does compensation look like? Are there established career paths? Is the lingo different? Do you have to be technically-adept?
That’s why Sortable is bringing back No Bullshit Sales Talk on Tuesday, February 28 at Maxwell’s Concerts and Events. As a sales career and networking event, No BS features lightning talks from sales leadership behind fast growing tech companies like Sortable (that’s us!), Shopify Plus, FunnelCake, and Georgette Packaging. This no-holds-barred series gets you face-to-face with Waterloo Region tech, and gives you the chance to build a sales peer network over beer and wings as you hear from:
Mark Bergen, Head of Sales @ Shopify Plus
If you’re currently a new grad looking for your first post-university role, or an established sales professional looking to switch industries and assess transferable skills, this event is for you. Use event code INITTOWINIT to get in.
We’re also inviting some of our startup friends to do some light recruiting. So be sure to put your game face on — you’ll never know what opportunities could be standing right in front of you.
To prepare for the event, we reached out to some past speakers and asked: what no bullshit advice would you give to an aspiring tech sales professional?
(The responses have been edited for brevity.)
Ashly Knox, Director of Sales | Sortable
On the interview process:
Get specific about why you want to work at my company. As a hiring manager at a fast growing startup, I hear the 'generic reasons' about working in tech all the time — room to grow, fast-pace, desire to make an impact, need a challenge etc. — but those are not interesting to me. That's not to say they aren't valid. I had many of those same reasons coming from a large enterprise company myself. But hiring managers want you to articulate what it is about the company that makes you want to work your butt off.
I don't expect candidates to fully understand our business but I do expect them to WANT to understand. Don't talk in generalities about what you're looking for but instead be relentlessly curious about the company and job you're applying for — both before and during the interview.
On being careful for what you ask for:
The generic reasons for wanting to move into tech sales — especially startup — are available in spades. The pace can be exceedingly fast, your role can evolve multiple times over the first year, and the challenges can seem overwhelming. So if you're actually interested in working in that type of environment, you better be sure the specifics of the role — like the industry, the tech, sales approach, business model, comp structure — all align to what you want. If you actually want it, you have a better chance of getting the job.
Alex Hoff, VP of Sales | Auvik
On unexpected starts:
I come from a technical background. I took computer science in school. I’m 100% sure I said I’d never want to work in sales. Well, things change. Fast forward a decade and now I’m part of an amazing team with rapid growth.
I’ve done both inside sales and outside sales, with sales cycles between a few days and a few years and deal sizes of a few hundred dollars to tens of millions of dollars. You generally won’t start with the latter. With most sales organizations, you start at the top of the funnel, which is arguably the most important part of the funnel.
On selling a vision, not a product:
As your career progresses and you begin to work more closely with the prospect, you’ll find that building trust is the most important part of the role. In a short sales cycle, you’re not selling the product, you’re selling the company. The prospect has to believe in the whole organization being able to deliver on the product’s long term vision — and you’re the face of it all.
Daniel Jantzi, Technical Sales | Sortable
On hustling for something you can give a damn about:
Find a product you actually care about. A product that makes someone's life better. Learn as much as you can about it. Then share the good news and let your story and passion show through. Moving people comes in many forms. Traditional sales spikes people's radar and often leads you to the penalty box. Actually giving a damn and proving value with every interaction and letting your natural passion lead your prospect is what will move people in 2017. Bullshit won’t fly. Understanding, empathy, and value will.
Click the button to register for the No Bullshit Sales Talk
Tuesday, February 28, 2017