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Why Inside Salespeople Should Be Aware Of Blue Light

According to a recent study, inside salespeople spend about 62% of their day in sales technology and 33% of their time emailing for sales-related purposes. If you’re in sales, that’s 95% of your day spent looking at a computer screen. That doesn’t include the personal time spent scrolling through social media on breaks or after work, watching television at night, and the fact that you may use multiple screens on the job. Did you know that computer screens release blue light wavelengths that can affect your body in a negative way? Computer vision syndrome is the effect you may feel on your body from extended exposure to blue light. 

What is blue light? Blue light is a short, high energy wavelength that is both in the world naturally and artificially. Blue light is released from the sun and helps regulate sleep patterns. When you’re exposed to blue light it signals the body to release cortisone to feel awake and ready to take on your day of work ahead! Then, there’s an absence of blue light when the sun sets and the body starts to produce melatonin to get ready for bed. 

Blue light is given off artificially by computer and other digital screens, too. Artificial blue light tends to be stronger and more intense to the body than the natural form from the sun and since you can be exposed to it all day and all night, it can be damaging to your sleep patterns and overall well-being.

Why can it be damaging? Salespeople spend a lot of time using online tech tools in order to do their job effectively. When you spend 7+ hours a day looking at a computer (and sometimes more than one computer at a time), the effects of blue light can begin to take their toll. Some effects you may feel after just a few hours of working are headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes. If you’ve ever noticed any of these symptoms while at work it may be caused by your screens. Over time, blue light can even cause retinal damage which can contribute to age-related macular degeneration. This is a type of retinal damage that can result in partial or complete vision loss.

How can you help yourself? If you’ve ever noticed any of these symptoms while you’re working, you know it can be painful and annoying. Computer vision syndrome can not only disrupt your workday, but your everyday life as well. So it’s important to try to take preventative measures so you don’t feel the headaches or experience problems with your vision.

Firstly, try to add blue-light-blocking tools into your life. On the eyeglasses market, you can find eyeglasses paired with blue light lenses that filter harmful rays from reaching your retina. With the retinal damage blue light can cause overtime, it’s important to protect yourself. Another tool to try out is f.lux which adjusts the light on your computer screen to be a warmer tone. Glasses and apps like this can help reduce the immediate symptoms caused by blue light. 

There are a few exercises you can start to do to give your eyes a break throughout the day:

  1. 20-20-20: Every twenty minutes, look 20 feet away from where you are, for 20 seconds. This helps your eyes readjust to the natural light in the room you’re in, reducing eyestrain. 
  2. Palming the eyes: Cover your eyes lightly with your palms but keep your eyes open. This gives your eyes a break in a dark environment to reduce the feeling of strain. 
  3. Figure 8’s: Make figure 8’s with your eyes. If you’ve been staring your computer or television, this movement can help tear production so your eyes don’t dry out. 

Finally, your diet can even help reduce the symptoms of blue light strain. Foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin are great for your retinas; they help block blue light and reduce your chances of suffering from age-related macular degeneration. Some foods that boost the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin you take in are kale, spinach, peas, squash, brussels sprouts, corn, and broccoli.

In sales, it’s extremely important to be mindful of the amount of time you’re spending on your computer and the effects that technology can have on the body. It may be impossible to control the use of digital screens at your job, but there are plenty of ways to help prevent the symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Additionally, while you use your computer heavily at work, try to abstain from using your phone or computer excessively in your personal time to avoid getting headaches and dry eyes caused by blue light.

The Role of Sales within Account-Based Marketing Strategies

For as long as enterprise software has been around, the default go-to-market (GTM) strategy was to create as much noise as possible to garner attention around your product and go after hand-raisers and high-fit prospects with a sales team. This is what some refer to as the volume lead-based model.

Though this model is not entirely obsolete, it’s proving to no longer be as effective as it once was. This is partly due to the fact that it causes many inefficiencies throughout the sales process but more likely due to the fact that, regardless of the field, most markets software organizations target are becoming overcrowded with vendors. This oversaturation is leading to a lot of noise within people’s inboxes and making it much harder to stand out to actually capture someone’s attention.

What many have proposed as a solution to this problem is an idea called Account Based Marketing or ABM for short. If you’re already working in sales or marketing for a tech organization it’s likely an acronym you’ve already heard many times before. However, it seems to have many different meanings to different people, which begs the question, what exactly is ABM?

ABM takes the traditional lead-based model and flips it on its head. Rather than targeting as many people as possible and having a sales team try and find the needle in a large haystack, this process starts first by identifying high-value clients the company would like to have a very specific focus on. Once this target list has been identified, highly personalized and tailored strategies are then put in place with messaging that will hopefully prove to be too enticing and relevant to ignore.

It is a means of finding greater success with outbound marketing & sales campaigns through more effective collaboration. There are benefits to be gained from simply improving communication among the various departments, tips for which we’ve written about before, but when that isn’t enough leaders need to consider systematic changes to their GTM strategy that can provide greater efficiencies which in turn will hopefully lead to greater revenue.

To some, this may mean simply adding digital advertising campaigns to focus on companies that the sales team is planning to go after. The additional air coverage will very likely have some impact in improving engagement results but ultimately that would only be a piece of the puzzle.

ABM in its entirety should really be a cohesive effort to have a 1:1 conversation with an organization on why and how your solution can provide value the prospect currently doesn’t have at their disposal today. There should be the same unified message being delivered across every channel used to reach these leads/prospects and this message should evolve as the sales cycle continues to develop. 

For example, if we were an ABM platform vendor the first course of action would be to raise awareness on the value of ABM in general to develop an internal need. In a true ABM strategy, there would ideally be material related to each prospect’s situation or environment to more easily help them more concretely envision what benefits they can achieve by adopting a new solution as opposed to proposing hypothetical scenarios.

Once the need has been developed, the next course of action should be to differentiate your solution from other vendors in the market. The messages being delivered here could touch on how your solution works better with the technology investments a company already has in place or superior capabilities you have over your competition. Relevant case studies and customer testimonials would also be gold at this stage in the process. 

As these conversations develop the onus to develop these responsibilities will fall less on marketing and more on sales to receive the baton the bring it across the finish line. From a high-level perspective, there should be a gradient pattern of share in responsibility where early engagements have the ball in marketing’s court and later phases of the engagement would be on the sales side.

Now as a sales professional, marketing will essentially view you as another arm or channel they can use to reach target accounts. Typically though this would be reserved for those accounts that are showing some level of interest. 

From a day to day perspective, your responsibilities won’t change in terms of how you’re carrying out your job. A switch to an ABM strategy will more than likely simply mean a switch in focus for what companies you go after and why. You’ll still need to go through the motions of qualifying your opportunities and facilitating the conversations with a personal touch to bring to close.

In summary, the true role of a sales professional within ABM should be to provide a human touch or element through rapport and empathy that’s often hard for marketing teams to achieve through their typical channels. If you’re interested in learning more please comment below and let us know what you’d like to learn more about.

If you’re looking for other sales advice you’re also welcome to check out our other articles on the Rainmakers blog. Of course, if you’re looking to break into or find a new opportunity within tech sales you can also find listings for your future job on our website at https://www.rainmakers.co/

Ways to Track and Present your Personal Sales Brag Book

Nutshell.com defines Brag Book as “a collection of testimonials, case studies, or pictures collected from satisfied customers. A sales rep can present their brag book to prospects to illustrate their prior successes and how they’ve exceeded their clients’ expectations.”

As someone in a sales position at a tech company, you know what your sales manager loves to see out of your key metrics. Those same metrics can be used when applying to future sales positions, and that’s why a brag book is an asset to your continued success.

Your brag book should contain any records, key metrics, or verifiable numbers that speak to your skills. Include items like:

  • Three years worth of sales figures, ranking reports, and awards
  • Any standout accomplishments like “#1 sales rep” in the company
  • Email examples that speak to your talent of communicating with active and prospect clients
  • Three years worth of W-2’s and YTD earnings to back up any sales claims you make

The key metrics can be broken into two categories: Quantity and Quality.

Quantity driven metrics include:

  • Accounts called
  • Leads sources
  • Emails
  • Calls
  • Connects
  • Demos
  • Opportunities

Quality driven metrics include:

  • Contacts sourced per account
  • Calls per lead
  • Unique leads called
  • Connect Rate
  • Demo to opportunity Conversion
  • Calls per opportunity
  • Connects per opportunity

The question is, how do you track those, where do you store them, and how do you present them to future hiring managers to ensure you get the job that you deserve.

We have found some tools that can help you track, store, and share your metrics in an accurate and somewhat variable way with future hiring managers as you advance your career.

Call Activity Scorecard

This call activity scorecard helps you set goals and track the number of calls you make each quarter and how many conversions, opportunities created, and wins were the result of those calls.

Weekly Email Tracker

This easy weekly email tracker helps you track the number of emails set, unique people emailed, how many new prospects are being contacted, number of deals closed due to emails, etc.

Sales Activity Worksheet

This sales activity worksheet assists in tracking metrics like the amount of hours worked per week, your weekly/monthly/quarterly goals, leads generated, the size of details, and contracts signed.

Rekener

Rekener is a sales rep scorecard software provider that helps you track leads, quotas, opportunity stages, and KPI trends.

Rainmakers

Recording your metrics is an important habit to get into that will pay off when it’s time to look for new sales opportunities. When you sign up for an account on a job site like Rainmakers.co, your numbers and sales figures are displayed on your profile for companies that are looking to hire proven salespeople.

The Progression of SDR to Account Executive

In any sales organization there needs to be at least two things: a funnel of leads that are brought in by Sales Development Reps, and a team of Account Executives to manage new clients once they come on board.

Historically the entire spectrum of the software sales process was handled by a single sales rep, but as time moved on the industry realized the value and efficiency Henry Ford’s idea of specialization of labor. As a result, the responsibilities originally held by that single sales rep were naturally broken up into three main roles: Sales or Business Development Representatives, Account Executives, and Customer Success Managers.

Let’s take a quick dive into each of these roles to help you get a better understanding of what they’re responsible for.


Starting first with the Sales or Business Development Representative, often written as the acronyms SDR or BDR.

Role of an SDR

The SDR is responsible for the very early stages of a sales cycle. Their responsibility is to filter through various conversations and pass the opportunities most ready to make a buying decision on to an Account Executive (AE) so they can contract out the proper terms and close business.

Now depending on the company, its product and go to market (GTM) strategy, there can be two flavors of this role. Some organizations may have both inbound and outbound SDRs while others may have just one of those.

Most organizations I’ve seen or heard about that have both an inbound and outbound SDR team structure often start newly hired reps as inbound reps and promote them to outbound reps after a little time in the role due to the difference in the nature of conversations when speaking with an inbound lead as opposed to reaching out to one cold.

Inbound leads already have a business initiative in place and are actively seeking information from vendors to solve a business challenge or pain. Outbound leads, however, are often unsolicited and therefore have much less patience in dealing with a sales rep unless they can quickly find relevance for their product in the world of the prospect’s business or role. Therefore, a successful outbound SDR will need to have the ability to think quickly on their feet along with a masterful understanding of their company’s product to handle any objections that come their way.

Should someone be highly successful in mastering the responsibilities of proficiently sourcing new business opportunities, they’re commonly presented with the option of moving up into a role either as an Account Executive or Customer Success Manager. This is also highly dependant on the organization and their specific needs to grow and support their product. Take a moment to better understand your organization and its needs if you are at this stage in your career and looking for a promotion before starting that conversation with management.

Role of an AE

As mentioned before, the role of an Account Executive is to engage with prospects who are ready to near a purchasing decision and provide the necessary information and assistance to the evaluation team. From this, they can reach a decision resulting in the account turning into “Closed Won” business for that organization.

Though this may sound simple and straightforward, there are many nuances to this last-mile stretch of the software sales cycle that need careful attention to detail for a successful outcome. Companies hardly ever make a purchase without due diligence. As a result, deals are often competitive, even more so if your company competes in a highly crowded space.

Account Executives need to effectively understand the needs of their prospects to illustrate how their solution is best suited to alleviate those challenges. There are also often proof of concepts (POCs) that need to be taken care of to validate the value of a given product which requires a rep to once again expand their skill sets. Great Account Executives, particularly those dealing with consultative sales cycles, must be prepared to be great project managers as well as salespeople.

And of course, the actual closing of the deal is no small feat. There are multitudes of potential headaches waiting in the weeds of conversation as details around pricing and terms are agreed upon on by both sides.

Once this entire process has been run through its cycle and the company has had the fortunate news of being informed they are the chosen vendor, the account will ultimately be brought to a Customer Success Manager (CSM).

Role of a CSM

The job of a CSM, as their title may suggest, is to ensure the success of the customer with the company’s product or services. A CSM may go by other titles such as Account Manager or something else depending on the organization, but as a whole they are responsible for ensuring the customer is happy with the use and value of the product and maintaining the relationship such that the customer will choose to renew once the original contract’s term has lapsed.

The clear distinction between the AE and CSM roles are that the former is responsible for bringing in new business while the latter is responsible for retaining existing business.

If a company has various product lines or product tiers, which is very often the case with software organizations, cross-sell and up-sell opportunities can also come into play. This essentially refers to the effort of getting customers to buy additional products or upgrade their contract to a higher tier. This responsibility typically falls under the role of either the AE or CSM at the discretion of the company’s leadership team.

Moving from SDR to AE

If you are looking to break into this line of work or are already in the early stages of being in the trenches, this should give you a fair understanding of what to expect as you move forward with your career.

Based on some analysis done by the Rainmakers team, the average duration for an SDR could be expected to be about 1.5 years with an average salary of $50-55K per year. The average salary of an AE or CSM will typically be in the range of $60-80K per year. This however refers primarily to your base salary.

SDRs should normally expect to make additional commissions based on performance against their quota which are commonly measured in meetings set or opportunities qualified. AE’s and CSM’s typically get a percentage of the deals they close. Depending on the deal size at your organization, this payout can vary widely but should definitely outpace your earning potential as an SDR.

Whether you are an SDR looking to move up within the organization or are already an AE, you can always set yourself up for continued success by going the extra mile with tasks, being efficient with time, having a little grit, and by adding your personal touch.

For more knowledge and insights on the software sales industry and tips on how you can get ahead in sales, subscribe to the Rainmakers blog and stay tuned for future posts. You can also start your journey or progress your career by finding a job at https://www.rainmakers.co/




best tech sales jobs

Landing The Best Sales Job in Tech

Finding the best sales tech job is a challenge. It requires hard work, focus, and resourcefulness. The skills we will discuss do not only apply to land a job. They will help you become a rainmaker for your company. No matter what your experience in the field, if you come at this with a positive attitude you can land that great new job in sales tech.

However, a positive attitude will not take you the entire way. Nobody can just walk in the door at Apple and demand the job of their dreams. You will need to spend some time in the industry before big companies will even consider you. Don’t think that can skip the line to the top. This is your career, prepare for a lifelong commitment to mastery.

Consider this process as the first step to focusing on your craft. You may need to begin at smaller companies that don’t necessarily have the brand awareness of your dream job. In fact, starting your career at a small company with an unknown brand can be a great opportunity. If you can help a small company grow exponentially, then you will have a real victory on your resume. The more you succeed, the more leverage you will have in the industry.

Perhaps, however, you’re already experienced in sales and are looking to improve. We believe that even the experienced can benefit from going back to the fundamentals of what makes a good salesperson. Apply the lessons we will discuss in our lessons, and you’ll go from good to great.

The key here is what is the best position for you. Everybody has their own particular set of skills. The worst thing you can do is take a new position that does not play to your strengths. So we already know you have to hustle, be motivated, and know how to produce results in order to get the best job possible. Now let’s look at how to nail down that position that you know you can thrive in.

Radar

Nobody is going to hand you the ideal job. No matter how long you meditate and visualize the job you want, nothing will happen until you go out and make it happen. Part of that process is being aware of what’s going on in the industry. Make a list of companies you are interested in and learn as much about them as you can.

Learn about their culture and work life. See if you can determine the quality of the company before you even make an effort to apply. Find the networking events they attend, connect with them on LinkedIn or their social channels. Do everything you can to make connections and source information. Not only will this inquisitive mindset help you in getting the right job for you, but it will also help develop your skills when you’re actually working in sales.

Sales Landscape

According to LinkedIn, sales is the single most important component of a strong candidate. There are so many ways people can distract their employers from the fact that they may not be good at sales. They can decorate their resumes, lean heavily on their college degree, or even point to their numerous extracurricular activities. Always remember this, nothing compares to the ability to makes sales.

We will talk a lot about the macro level of hiring in this industry and as you read you will be achieving the goal of educating yourself on the topic. But this does not mean you can rely on this program alone. Seek out friends in the industry and start networking with companies even though you know you don’t want to work for them. Any connection is a good connection in sales and individual growth.

The Interview Process

Learning more about sales will make you see the world a bit differently. You will begin to see more and more things as a sales process. There’s something you want, but you can’t have. Therefore you develop a way to communicate what you want, a way to offer equal or greater value, and finally closing the deal.

The interview process is no different. Your potential employer is looking for something and is willing to offer something of value in return. After you decide that you are willing to accept what they will offer, then it’s your turn to prove to them you can return the exchange with something equal or greater. This is much easier said than done.

The best way to start with your best foot forward is to make sure all written communication is perfect. There is no excuse for typos here because you have plenty of time to read through your writing multiple times. Be clear and concise, do your best to judge the situation to see if slight humor or a complete dry interaction is necessary.

Research everyone you make contact with during the hiring process. The more you know the people you’re interacting with the better you will feel when you come face to face with them. If you know who they are before they know you, you will display a sharp intellect and a real desire to be a part of the team.

Like every sale, you need to be committed to the close. Whatever they throw at you be ready to meet their needs and move on to the next step. Do not procrastinate on replying to emails or sending the necessary documents. This will be an immediate red flag for them and they will quickly pass you up for someone more diligent.

25 TECH COMPANIES HIRING SALESPEOPLE LIKE CRAZY IN 2019

The economy is the strongest it’s been in years and companies know it. 2019 is a great year for getting that next great job in tech sales and that’s exactly what we will help you achieve.

One way to make sure you get the best possible job is to first be aware of what’s out there. We put together this list of all the great opportunities available in 2019. Be aware, all numbers are estimates and are not 100% set in stone.

Here are some abbreviations used:

  • SDR – Sales Development Representative
  • ADR – Account Development Representative
  • BDR – Business Development Representative
  • ISR – Inside Sales Rep
  • SMB AE – Small business Account Executive
  • MM AE – Mid-market Account Executive
  • EAE – Enterprise AE
  • MNG – Management

25. World Wide Technology

Overall ranking: #99

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Technology consulting

What employees say: “Bar none, THE BEST place I have ever worked.” — World Wide Technology Senior Consultant (Denver, Colorado)

Open positions:

24. Expedia Group

Overall ranking: #92

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Travel technology

What employees say: “Expedia is the best place to work. I have been here for 11 months and enjoying every single day. The culture is upbeat, leadership is transparent, clear on direction, very well organized process oriented company. Awesome work life balance.” — Expedia Software Engineering Manager (Chicago, Illinois)

Open positions:

23. HP Inc.

Overall ranking: #87

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Maker of laptops, PC desktops, printers, and more.

What employees say: “HP’s global footprint makes it unique in allowing you to have a BIG impact. Senior leaders are quality execs who’ve proven their mettle. Lots of opportunity to contribute given the size of the businesses.” — Anonymous HP Employee

Open Positions:

22. NetApp

Overall ranking: #82

Company rating: 4.2

What it does: Data storage solutions

What employees say: “Great team chemistry. Interesting work. This company cares about its employees a lot and there are numerous events at work and outside work which show this.” — NetApp HPC Solutions Architect (Sunnyvale, California)

Open positions:

21. Apple

Overall ranking: #71

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Computer hardware and software, and more.

What employees say: “The company is AMAZING. There are limitless advancement opportunities. You work with some very cool people and the leadership cares about your development. You may get coaching but you never get battered or belittled.” — Apple At Home Advisor (Lakewood, Colorado)

Open positions:

20. Cisco Systems

Overall ranking: #69

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions

What employees say: “Military Friendly Culture empowers and gives transitioning veterans the opportunity to learn develop self to full potential. As a Military Retiree I feel there could not have been a better company to transition to than Cisco and the leadership team is very understanding and appreciative of what we bring to the table.” — Cisco Program Manager (Austin, Texas)

Open positions:

19. Paycom

Overall ranking: #62

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Payroll and HR software

What employees say: “This is honestly the best job I think I’ll ever have. The benefits are amazing and the pay is more than I ever thought I could get. BE WARNED this job is hard. Never in my life have I had so much stress. That’s the reason why it pays so well. Be prepared to be stressed every day and have heavy daily work loads and have new procedures constantly thrown at you from management. But guess what it’s your job so you either adapt or you don’t make it.” — Paycom Specialist (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Open positions:

18. AppDynamics

Overall ranking: #58

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: App performance analytics

What employees say: “Great encouraging and supportive leadership. Promotional opportunities every quarter. Family atmosphere, where everyone has a genuine interest in you as an individual and employee.” — AppDynamics Business Development Representative (Dallas, Texas)

Open positions:

17. VMware

Overall ranking: #51

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology

What employees say: “Lots of smart and talented coworkers who are happy to share information you will learn a lot in a short amount of time but are expected to contribute. Slackers need not apply. If you’re a slacker you won’t survive the high stress and fast pace.” — VMware Technical Support (Broomfield, Colorado)

Open positions:

16. Kronos Incorporated

Overall ranking: #44

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: HR, payroll, recruiting, and timekeeping software

What employees say: “The culture is positive. Employees are hard working and care. Leadership cares for employees and their experience. The company also cares for their customers.” —Anonymous Kronos Employee (Denver, Colorado)

Open positions:

15. Cengage

Overall ranking: #41

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Education technology and online textbooks

What employees say: “The leadership of the company has been jaw-droppingly motivated, visionary, and transparent. They have turned a company haunted by downturns in the market into a trendsetter that is adapting profitably. Along the way they have been committed to employee growth and job satisfaction. I am thrilled with what we are doing for learning.” — Senior Cengage Systems Analyst (Rapid City, South Dakota)

Open positions:

14. TaskUs

Overall ranking: #40

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Outsourced customer support

What employees say: “Taskus puts their people first, they understand that their people are the ones who make their company! I have gone through many interviews with other companies and Taskus is the first one who truly shows it!” — TaskUs Digital Content Moderator (San Antonio, Texas)

Open positions:

13. Intuit

Overall ranking: #38

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Business and financial software

What employees say: “Incredible company that has market dominance, yet also has so much room to grow. Management constantly preaches disruption, and its reflected in our priorities and work.” — Intuit Data Scientist

Open positions:

12. NVIDIA

Overall ranking: #36

Company rating: 4.3

What it does: Creates interactive graphics for gaming and professional markets, like healthcare

What employees say: “I’ll be up front and say that it has always been my dream to work here. With that in mind, I came in telling myself to look at this place as objectively as possible to not cloud my judgement. After working here for over a year, I must say, the hype is real.” — Senior Nvidia Systems Engineer (Santa Clara, California)

Open positions:

11. Microsoft

Overall ranking: #34

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Creates computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and more.

What employees say: “Respect for the individual, constant stressing of core cultural values of letting everyone be heard, etc. Decent work/life balance, though it’s hugely dependent on the individual to enforce. Individuals are encouraged to engage with managers at any level (for example with your manager’s manager’s manager…). There’s a general high-level of passion for the products we make.” — Senior Microsoft Electrical Engineer (Redmond, Washington)

Open positions:

10. Compass

Overall ranking: #32

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Real estate agency and platform for buying, selling, and renting a home.

What employees say: “Having recently joined Compass, all I can say about the company, its mission, and the people in it is… ‘simply amazing.’ Compass is a unicorn. It is that rare company that combines passion, focus, execution, vision, and has a heart and a soul.” — Anonymous Compass Employee (San Francisco, California)

Open positions: 

9. Adobe

Overall ranking: #30

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Software development company best known for its design and photo-editing solutions.

What employees say: “Relentless commitment to customer success. This is the core of most day to day decisions and the North Star for all activity. This makes it a place to be proud to work. Incredible products. Amazing benefits and culture that draws incredibly talented individuals.” — Adobe Learning Specialist (San Jose, California)

Open positions:

8. SAP

Overall ranking: #27

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Develops enterprise software to help manage business operations and customer relations.

What employees say: “We have yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness workshops. Many invited guests from technology industries to provides you with information.
Leadership women work shops, global coaching, mentoring programs and flexible work environment.
 It is truly a top notch company that will give back to their employees.”— SAP Manager(Montreal, Québec)

Open positions:

7. Paylocity

Overall ranking: #20

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Payroll and HR software

What employees say: “Great company culture. People that really believe in what we do, and investment in technology to push the envelope.” — Paylocity Account Executive (Tampa, Florida)

6. Ultimate Software

Overall ranking: #18

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: HR software, including payroll, benefits, and timekeeping products.

What employees say: “Amazing company. It’s the only payroll / HCM organization that truly cares about the customer – and while it’s not easy – the organization has maintained an amazing culture all in an effort to provide the best support to the customer. I love that.” — Anonymous Ultimate Software Employee

Open positions:

5. DocuSign

Overall ranking: #17

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Electronic signature technology

What employees say: “We’re on a good path with no signs of slowing down and a lot of untapped market potential. This is great news. Because the company is growing fast, there’s a lot of opportunity to grow your career and step up into new roles.” — DocuSign Enterprise Corporate Sales (San Francisco, California)

4. HubSpot

Overall ranking: #16

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Sales and marketing software

What employees say: “I’ve been at HubSpot now for almost 4 years and there’s nowhere else I’ve even thought about working in that time. Why? HubSpot is a great place to work. I feel like I’m valued. I have a lot of autonomy in how and when and where I work. I feel strongly about the mission of the company.” — Anonymous HubSpot Employee (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Open positions:

3. Salesforce

Overall ranking: #11

Company rating: 4.4

What it does: Customer-relationship management software

What employees say: “Supportive and inclusive environment, clear and reasonable expectations, challenging environment, awesome corporate mission, lots of room and support for professional growth.” — Salesforce Solutions Engineer (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Open positions:

2. Procore Technologies

Location: New York City, New York

Types of jobs: SDR, BDR, SMB AE, MM AE, E AE, Mng

Compensation: $49,000 – $125,000

Overall ranking: #2

Company rating: 4.5

What it does: Cloud-based video conferencing technology

Open positions:

1. Zoom Video Communications

Glassdoor Review

Location: San Francisco, NYC, Dallas, Chicago, Irvine etc.

Types of jobs: SDR, BDR, SMB AE, MM AE, E AE, Mng

Compensation: Variety

Overall ranking: #1

Company rating: 4.5

What it does: Cloud-based video conferencing technology

Open positions:

How To Prepare For The Onsite Interview

How To Prepare For The Onsite Interview

The onsite interview can be an intimidating stage of the hiring process. After all the work you’ve put in, you’re finally getting a shot to prove yourself. The following tips will help you answer questions and stand out from your competition.

Research the entire organization.

There are a lot of tools available that will help you do in-depth research on the company you are interviewing for. Tools like Vault, CareerSearch or The Riley Guide will provide a macro-level analysis of the organization and the industry as a whole.

It may seem simple but, visit the organization’s website. Make sure you understand exactly what they are offering. You can determine a lot about a company culture by looking at their website carefully. For example, make sure to check out their mission statement. Are they advocating from a moral cause? Are they trying to be the best in the industry? How can you help them achieve there mission?

Assess their products, services and client base. The key word here is “assess.” Don’t just get an understanding of what their product is, but understand its faults and strengths. When discussing the product offer suggestions about what, in your opinion, could be done better. Be cautious here, they probably know more about their product than you do, you don’t want to come off as naive by making a suggestion they have written off 6 months ago.

Get an idea of where the company has been and where it’s going. Reading relevant articles concerning the companies stability and future growth will provide you with great opportunities to show your understanding of the companies destiny.

Have some questions prepared? A company expects you to be curious about the position. They want you to show interest by asking good questions they themselves might not have answered in the interview.

Presentation

First impressions are the most important. If you walk into your interview sloppy and unprepared, they will have no choice but to consider you sloppy and unprepared. At a bare minimum make sure that you’re wearing clean business casual attire that fits you well.

The default for any interview is conservative business attire, such as a neutral-colored suit and professional shoes. Some companies suggest “business casual.” Your best bet in this situation is always to err formal. It’s always best to appear a little too formal rather than a little too informal.

Iron your clothes before attending the interview. This falls into the category of presenting yourself as a clean and efficient person. A crisp ironed suit will not only look good, but it will speak volumes about your character.

Your presentation also depends on how prepared you are, here are a few things you should have ready during the interview:

  • Extra copies of your resume on quality paper
  • A notepad or professional binder and pen
  • A list of references
  • The information you might need to complete an application
  • A portfolio with samples of your work, if relevant

Closing The Interview

Ending the interview can be tricky. The last impression is sometimes the 2nd most memorable thing about your interview. To impress at the end of the interview make sure you have some in-depth questions about the company or your position/responsibilities. Questions that show that you have done your homework and are genuinely curious.

This is a good time to confront any issues you may be facing. No job is perfect, so making sure any negative aspects of the position are fully discussed and made clear. Once that’s done be sure to remind them of your skills and your passion for the position. Ask about the necessary next steps and if they need any more information from you.

End politely. A bit of wit and a smile can go a long way at the end of the interview.

Follow up

Always say thank you after the interview. You can do this through e-mail or even send an actual note. Make sure you show them you are grateful for their time. Even if you know you won’t be working there for whatever reason, it’s important to show that you are diligent in your process. The hiring process is stressful for everybody involved, it’s nice to get some positive feedback even for the employer.

Additionally, it may even prompt the employer to give you some helpful feedback. Sometimes we can have an interview and the interview never lets us know what went right and what went wrong. Getting as much information as you can is very important, this is another reason why the follow up is necessary.

Conclusion

The habits you develop during the interview process will carry over to your habits in sales. Being prepared, knowledgeable, and respectful will pave the way to success for you everything you do. These skills are more than just basic interview do’s and don’ts. They are skills that represent who you are as a professional.

Negotiating Your Sales Job Offer

Negotiating Your Sales Job Offer

You did it. You received an offer. All of your hard work has paid off, and now all you have to do is accept and reap the benefits…

Not really. The question you should be asking yourself here is, “Is this a good offer?” Instead of jumping for joy and accepting your new position, take time to read all the details of the offer and weigh the pros and cons. Like we discussed in the last article, there’s no such thing as a perfect job. There will be weaknesses in your offer, it’s your job to find them and see if you can improve the circumstances through negotiation.

If it’s lower than you expected, never turn it down on the spot.

Don’t be too hard-nosed when it comes to negotiation. Sometimes ambitious job seekers draw a line and refuse to go lower than what they desire. This could be a good thing and a bad thing. In order to draw this line, make sure you understand the value you’re providing to the company.

Do you really want the job? Are you ready to commit to a high standard of professionalism? Are you confident you will be successful in the position? How much money do you actually need? You must answer all these questions to best know what you should be paid. The market isn’t often wrong. Your value usually translates pretty clearly to a company depending on commitment and revenue potential.

Be realistic about your position in your career. This will help you see clearly when going over the terms of the offer.

Tell them you’d like some time to think about it.

If you’re having a hard time coming to a decision, ask for more time. A corporation that is pressuring you to make a decision quickly is usually a bad sign. This decision is important, you may need some extra time to make sure you’re coming to the right conclusion.

Use this move sparingly. Nobody is going to wait forever for you to make a decision. Sometimes you may not know what the right number is for your salary, or whether this company is really the right one for you. But this is the nature of the business. Nobody ever has complete certainty no matter how many excel spreadsheets they used to help them make a decision.

What will make you great in your career in sales is learning how to trust intuition. Always do your due diligence, but sometimes you just have to wing it.

Prepare a counter offer and explain why you feel you deserve it.

Let’s say you decide to accept the position but you know you are worth more than they are offering. Now is the time for negotiation.

The salary they offer you initially doesn’t have to be the final number. When you have the opportunity to negotiate the deal, make sure you emphasize your ability to make money for the company. Project your anticipated long term sales show how much of a good investment you will be. Provide as much evidence as you can to prove how valuable you will be to the company. If you make a good case, it will be hard for your employer to turn you down.

You don’t need to act tough in the negotiation, simply show with facts and reason why you deserve x amount of dollars a year. If they won’t budge, you can always pursue your other opportunities.

Always mention if you have any other opportunities in play to create urgency and healthy competition.

There’s an art to tactfully mentioning that you have other opportunities available. It would be best to make that clear in the initial interview before the offer is made.

Nervously saying, “I have another opportunity that will pay me double!” will show desperation and reduce your bargaining power. Let’s say you received an opportunity after the offer was made. In that case, you can be honest. Simply tell them something better has popped up since the offer and you are considering accepting. Don’t use it as a tool to insult them, just be as honest as you can about the situation.

The increased sense of urgency may cause them to sweeten the pot to secure your position. If this happens, and you decide to accept, do it gracefully. The last thing you want to do after accepting an offer is to give the feeling of “I win” to your employer, it will color your relationship negatively from that point on.

 

Always show enthusiasm and appreciation for an offer, even if it’s lower than expected.

You never want to insult the person offering you a deal. Even if the negotiation didn’t go as planned, you showed charisma and a desire to pursue what you want. The worst thing you can do at this moment is to show disdain.

The salary you accept when you take the job isn’t permanent. If you truly got less than you wanted, use that as fuel to work even harder. Earn that next rase and make it come sooner rather than later. Prove to them that you are going to make it rain for the company. There will be no doubt that you deserve a bigger salary if you can consistently perform well.

Conclusion

At this point, you know everything you need to know about the hiring process. Again, the habits you develop here will translate into how you perform in sales. Challenge yourself to be the best you can possibly be. If you can achieve this, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Good Luck!

Becoming a Rainmaker in Your Sales Career

What Does it Mean to be a Rainmaker?

In sales, a rainmaker is somebody who brings in an abundance of income into the business. Rainmakers are A-Players that perform above any expectations placed on them by the company, and in many cases themselves. Becoming a rainmaker is nothing magical, it simply requires a clear and diligent focus on the task at hand.

The first step to becoming a rainmaker is asking the question, “How do I become a rainmaker?” Top performers in sales are constantly asking the right questions. Asking the right questions leads to getting the right answers, which is absolutely necessary to become successful.

Most rainmakers have a range of skills and abilities used to understand and form alliances, as well as challenge and push for the right outcomes to create success. Those who can make this happen are not only top performers in sales, but they quickly climb the career ladder.

The Winning Mindset

Many people think becoming successful has to do with where you are born and how privileged your childhood was. It’s a way of shrugging off their own opportunity to achieve the heights of economic success.

Anybody with the right mindset can become a rainmaker, never forget that.

Speak to people like the valuable interesting human beings they are. Often in sales people are just looking for the next client. They can only see people as wallets with feet. This is the exact wrong way to become successful. Treat people with respect and love, make connections without having the expectation of getting paid. This is why it’s very important to focus on areas that you are actually interested in.

Working in a sector you enjoy will make all the difference. Work will become a labor of love instead of a service to a soulless taskmaster.

The Skillset

To be successful in sales you need to have an understanding of these 4 fundamental skills:

  1. Listening
  2. Expertise
  3. Asking The Right Question
  4. Control

The emphasis today on personal and professional development has never been higher. There is so much free content out there that you would be foolish to ignore.

During your day while your commuting, working out, or walking your dog, you can be listening to valuable content in audio form. There are thousands of hours of books, lectures, and discussions about sales and how to rise to the top.

If you have time to read, check out these essential sales books for building a rock solid foundation in your career.

Listening

Sometimes we simply forget to listen. We are so busy trying to figure out the best way to respond to an objection that we don’t hear the individual’s actual problems. Most people will be happy to pay you if you can solve their problem, but what exactly is their problem? Locate what’s causing them the pain in their life and do your best to help. If you can’t, simply refer them to somebody who can. Use that as a stepping stone to build a network with other people in your industry who provide services you don’t.

Become An Expert

Again this is why it’s important to love your area of sales. It will be a painful journey to become an expert in something you don’t care about. Also, people in need will be coming to you for help, if you sell them your product or service, and it’s not the right fit, then you just caused even more problems for the individual.

Actually helping someone requires skill, knowledge, and experience. If you feel you lack any one of those 3 factors, do whatever you can to build on them as soon as you possibly can.

Questions

Asking the right question is the only way to truly know what your client, or potential client, really needs. Preparing some thoughts before a call can help, but you never know what somebody will actually say.

Keep an open mind, relax, and remember what you have to offer. That is the best way to allow the right questions to surface while you’re in an important conversation.

Control

Maintaining control during a conversation is incredibly important. This should come easily if you are truly an expert in your field. No client should be able to tell you how to do your job better than you’re already doing it, even though they may try. Once you lost control of the conversation the client will no longer see you as an expert and it will be harder to convince them that your service is right for them.

Conclusion

Maintain a high degree of skill and understanding in your field will instantly attract clients. The good news is that most people won’t bother putting in the hard work that will get you to the top. If you really want to blow away your competition in sales, simply follow the basic advice above, and don’t stop working so you can confidently call yourself a rainmaker!

Finding the Best Recruiting Agency

The goal of any recruiting agency is to help companies develop an organized revenue generating sales team. Many agencies seek to achieve this goal but few know how to actually get there. When working with an ad agency you must do some research into their practices to see if they hit these basic ideas:

  1. Hiring the appropriate employee
  2. Identifying Sales Talent
  3. Focus on Diversity

Most important of all is hiring the right employee. The right employee doesn’t necessarily mean the best, the sharpest, or the most ambitious. Hiring for a position is a case by case process. The first red flag when dealing with a hiring agency is distinguishing between hiring just anybody with interest vs hiring the right person for the right position.

Hiring the Appropriate Employee

A hiring agency must be aware of the importance of Account Executives. Every company needs at least one and usually should be the first sales hire.

They will be ‘full cycle’ AE’s in that they will handle the business relationship from beginning to finish.

There are many career paths for an AE, but in this case, they will essentially be an SDR, AE, and AM simultaneously.

  • Hiring only one AE removes competition from the sales process and disables you from seeing any sort of ‘average’ in terms of performance levels.
  • Before hiring SDR’s to book meetings for your AE’s, you need to make sure you have AE’s that can close deals.

Something that makes Rainmakers.co different from agencies is their understanding of the mindset of hiring the right salespeople. Particularly for hiring for startups and other companies with little brand recognition, there needs to be a hungry entrepreneurial spirit in the individual. Most agencies are just looking for polished and refined salespeople, but this isn’t always the right approach.

Agencies need to focus on people who close deals and nothing else. It doesn’t matter what the history or experience of the AM is, if they can close deals they are hireable.

There should be a focus on improving the SDR team’s output or improve marketing efforts before hiring more AE’s. A lot of agencies just funnel AE’s into a company and then they have to divide the opportunities so much that no AE meets their quota. This is bad for moral and financially inefficient.

AE conversion rates must be clear so the company knows exactly when to hire and when not to.

By the way, hiring for SDRs is a different ballgame. Great SDRs will certainly have adjacent skills to AEs, but they are not necessarily one in the same. Make sure the agency you’re hiring has an idea of the differences here. Without this kind of fundamental understanding, the recruiting agency is just a spot filler and not a company grower.

 

 

Identifying Sales Talent

Sales talent is unique and not necessarily easy to spot. For engineers and musicians, we can always see their talent in their final product. Salespeople have to be effective communicators, socially strategic, technical, hardworking and patient.

Any decent sales agency knows how to identify the following traits:

Intelligence

Agencies that focus on straight-A students from Ivy League schools are often missing the point of what makes a good salesperson. The best way to judge someone’s intelligence is through conversation and not reviewing their resume.

To really test the depths of a person’s mind, mega-investor Peter Thiel used to ask this question.

“What is an opinion you have the most other people disagree with?”

An intelligent person will be able to give a thoughtful response because intelligent people think outside of the box.

Ability to Grow:

Commonly referred to as being ‘Coachable’ but this doesn’t always work if the company has no idea how to properly implement sales. The hiring agency needs to identify people who are looking to grow and can benefit from their own mistakes. One of the most important traits is being humble and curious.

Motivated:

Hiring agencies need to find people who are hungry are ready to work. People like this are hard to come by but this is what separates a good agency from a bad one. They need to show you that the type of salespeople they are looking for are the ones that are truly out to grow, learn, and close deals.

Focus on Diversity

We think diversity is perhaps the most important component for having a successful sales team. This has nothing to do with any kind of political agenda or hiring quota. Having gender, cultural, and experience based diversity will grant a company-wide base of human knowledge to draw from. It’s even more important for internal culture, however, as teams that lack diversity often form cliques, and the development of cliques at a startup is highly counterproductive.

We think you should try your best to hire for the following kinds of diversity when building your early sales team:

Gender diversity:

Study after study has concluded that sales teams with a sizable portion of women almost always outperform their male-dominated counterparts. For various reasons (perhaps being more empathetic generally), women are typically 5% more likely to close a deal then male salespeople.

Cultural diversity:

Having a mixture of cultural backgrounds at a company is vital to having a strong company culture. The more backgrounds there are, the more perspectives and ideas permeate the company. The more cultures you have represented within your company the wider the audience you can appeal to. This helps your sales team generate more leads and ultimately close more deals.

Experience diversity:

As we mentioned earlier it is important for early sales hires to be aggressive and hungry. This often times means hiring salespeople with less experience than usual who can ‘grow with’ the company so to speak. However, when a company starts selling large contracts to Fortune 500 companies, it most likely will need to hire more experienced sales reps who have done something similar. That being said, with a mixture (for example one experienced rep and two less experienced) the experienced rep can coach the newer ones, while the newer ones keep the experienced rep hungry and on her toes.

Conclusion

If the agencies you are looking at can’t articulate these fundamental ideas, run away. Here at Rainmakers.co we pride ourselves at hiring the perfect person for each particular sales job. Our focus isn’t on a hire’s GPA or long-term sales experience. Not because we are counterculture, but simply because that’s not what works. Are you hungry and ready to grow? Then we’re the agency for you.