Inclusion and Diversity is one of the Outreach core values that I hold most dear. Exposure to different perspectives and worldviews is what makes for high functioning teams and strong interpersonal relationships and it’s a large part of why I love working with my team as much as I do. We all have strengths that complement each other and for everything I can’t do, one of my teammates can.
The hiring team at Outreach talks a lot about how to increase the diversity in our applicant pool and in talking to a lot of folks, I’ve found that many people don’t apply for roles (sales roles, specifically) because they don’t feel that they’re “sales people” and I’d like to unpack that.
So often, “sales people” are lumped in with the stereotype of “sales bro” which is a damn shame. Being in sales is about so much more than that — it’s about problem solving, having empathy for customers, managing multiple spinning plates and collaborating with teammates. I got into sales totally on accident (a very happy accident) and my hope for other folks in similar positions is that they make the intentional choice to pursue a career in sales rather than wait for serendipity.
But hey, don’t take it from me. If you’ve been on the fence about applying to sales roles, or don’t feel like SDR orgs. are for you, I’d encourage you to read these reasons from Wendy White, CMO of Egencia, on why it’s such a great start to your career!
Some background on Wendy: as a chief level executive in technology, every decision she makes quite literally impacts if the company will survive or thrive. That kind of experience lends itself to incredible perspective. Wendy was kind enough to share a few thoughts on SDR orgs. over tacos, wine and painting last week at our July Gals & SALs event at Outreach HQ. Here’s a few stellar reasons to consider:
- The SDR job teaches you resilience, how to put yourself out there without getting knocked down and how to listen to customers.
- SDRs really understand their product and company in a way that can expose new markets. Learning to be an empathetic salesperson is a huge asset in any future role.
- It also teaches people how to sell themselves, which for folks who may struggle with imposter syndrome is so important.
- Right out of college, you’re on the phone with execs. That kind of exposure polishes and matures you at a crazy fast rate. Best way to get into the boardroom is to start talking to the folks already in there.
- In Wendy’s words, “SDRs are the frontline of your organization and your main connection to your buyers– they should be viewed as specialized professionals and less like junior sales people.”
Still not sold? I’ll leave you with my all time favorite quote of the evening from Wendy:
You reach a certain age and look around and notice that you’re the only woman in the room. I remember thinking to myself, “well heck, this has got to be me, I’ve got to be the one to hype up women around me and tell them when they should go for it. Don’t wait until you can check 10/10 of the requirement boxes on a job description, go for it when you’ve got 6. It’s your career and you own it.”
So for every person out there that’s dabbled in sales or taken their name out of the ring because they didn’t fit the stereotype of what they thought a “salesperson” was like, I dare you to push yourself and give it a second look. I’m willing to bet you’re the missing piece to your next organization.
Brooke Bachesta has been at Outreach for a year and a half and in startups for 5. Her experience in SDR shops focuses on scaling teams and taking companies up market. She currently leads the mid market SDR team at Outreach.io and runs point on ongoing training and recruiting efforts within Outreach’s SDR organization. Brooke has a passion for engaging with the next generation of sales and works closely with recruiting on Outreach’s campus recruiting program. She is currently co-chair of Outreach’s women in sales initiative, Gals & SALs.