How I Launched My Sales Career (And How You Can Too!)

November 26, 2018

“There’s an understanding here that if you work hard, G2 will put their time, effort and support behind helping you reach your potential.”

I joined G2 in March 2017. In my first 18 months with the G2 family, I was promoted three times.

I know what you’re thinking: that sounds like a dream. I feel incredibly grateful to work with the folks I do today, so I wanted to share my experience with you all in the hopes it inspires you to lean into your strengths as well.

When I got my first job out of college, I discovered that one of my biggest strengths was talking to people. I’m inquisitive by nature and love hearing people’s stories. I soon found out how important that is as a sales skill. So I jumped into sales at a fashion company.

Fast forward nearly a year: A friend worked at G2, and they encouraged me to apply for an opening. I was happy with my employer and reluctant to consider it. But he kept saying how much I’d love the company, so I decided to go ahead and apply.

When I was called in for an interview, everything changed. I left thinking, “I want to work here really badly!” The same thing happened when I came in for a follow-up. I kept meeting these very open, honest leaders. They were totally upfront and exceptionally smart. They were selling me on working at G2 Crowd.

They succeeded!

The people I met even terrified me in a good way, because I could see how new, different, challenging and exciting this line of work would be. They described the opportunities to learn and advance.

My employer at the time expected me to stay in the same role for years. I realized that there was no comparison. I had to take this opportunity. So I did, and I’ve never looked back.

G2 helped me learn and grow

Our leadership understood what it was like for someone new to come into this startup, and they walked me through it. I asked a ton of questions and shadowed sales calls. When I started making calls, I made plenty of mistakes. No one at the company gave me a hard time about it. They knew I’d learn from it.

From my managers up through top executives, G2 Crowd offers mentorship. One day I sent a message on Slack to our VP of sales. Not only did he write back, but he soon sat down with me and answered all of my questions.

This same spirit applies to the culture of G2 Crowd in other ways as well. While some companies have cutthroat sales departments in which representatives are always competing with each other, we have a more positive atmosphere.

We collaborate. There’s a sense of teamwork.

So, sure, we want to achieve our own individual metrics. But we also root each other on. That’s super motivating.

G2 advocated for me

There’s an understanding here that if you prove yourself, work hard and advocate for yourself, the company will advocate for you as well – investing time and effort in you. Executives will give you honest feedback and help you pursue new opportunities.

Fortunately, G2 Crowd likes to promote from within. Five months after I was hired as a Core BDR (Business Development Representative), I was promoted to Enterprise BDR. After another five months, I became a BDR Team Lead. Later that year I was promoted again, to Growth AE (Account Executive.)

G2 listened to my feedback

Just as employees want to build our own careers, we want to help build our company. So one of the things I appreciate about G2 is that our leadership listens to our ideas and concerns. We have a voice.

That’s particularly important in a startup like ours. We’re disrupting an industry and creating something new – so while we have a lot established, there can also be ambiguity and new questions all the time. Working somewhere in which your views are considered and heard is important.

G2 is helping me reach my potential

Working for a startup requires you to take on multiple tasks, be nimble and work quickly. Sometimes, you have a lot on your plate. But the payoffs are so much bigger than at other companies.

I think about what I knew when I arrived here and what I know now. It’s night and day. And I know people at other companies who are miserable in their jobs. I’ve never once been miserable at G2 Crowd.

Of course, the sales process itself can be challenging at times. But doing it in a place that supports and appreciates you changes everything – I really feel like I’m able to reach my personal and professional potential at G2.

I actually look forward to coming to work. I can’t think of a better place for someone starting off in sales.

Here are some key takeaways from my experience, which you can use immediately to advance your career, no matter what field you pursue: 

1. Say yes to opportunities that scare you.

I spent a lot of time weighing the pros and cons of moving into a selling role, and was very afraid that If I did I would fail. I took my name out of the running for an account executive position a few times. Then, our sales VP told me that no one is ever 100% sure of anything – and that you just have to do it.

Once I started having faith that I would figure out whatever came my way, I was able to accelerate my career path. I wish I had started doing this sooner.

2. Use benchmarks.

I always break my bigger goals down into smaller, more tangible goals. Doing so allows me to chip away at them and monitor my progress on each one along the way. It makes them more manageable and helps keep me on track.

3. Be curious.

When I started at G2, I knew nothing about the industry, and nothing about the job really. So I spent my first month here asking as many questions as I could, shadowing team members and reading books, articles and blog posts. I have continued to do this throughout my time here. It helps me keep getting better.

4. Expect excellence from yourself.

I think the biggest thing that has helped me is that I have always pushed myself. Every month is a new opportunity to be better than I was the month before. I’m always pushing to set new personal records. That helps me hit and surpass my goals and accelerate my career.