As the vice president of regional sales, Adam Mavrikos knows his team is often a customer’s first introduction to Toast. That’s just one reason why he stresses the importance of a positive and helpful sales experience. And with the company’s incredible growth in the last few years, there are more than a few opportunities to demonstrate Toast’s constructive culture.
We spoke to four members of the sales team to learn how they approach the restaurant community and how they communicate their brand and mission.
EMPLOYEES: 1,000+ (564 local)
WHAT THEY DO: Toast is an all-in-one point-of-sale and restaurant management platform. As a cloud-based system built specifically for restaurants, Toast offers advanced functionality, including tableside ordering, quick menu modifications, real-time enterprise reporting, online ordering and labor management on an easy-to-use interface.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Boston
PERKS: Unlimited vacation days, flexible work hours and monthly events are just a few perks.
NOTABLE CLIENTS: Flour, Oath Craft Pizza and Bar Mezzana
INNOVATION IN ACTION: The engineering team at Toast is working to revolutionize the restaurant industry one transaction at a time. Learn more.
IDEAL CANDIDATE: As one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in North America, Toast is looking for hungry, competitive individuals who have a passion for restaurants and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Adam Mavrikos, VP of Sales
Adam Mavrikos helped launch the sales team at Toast. Now the vice president of regional sales, he helps run the inside account executive team.
BEYOND WORK: Mavrikos loves spending time with his two young children and wife.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’m a big believer in the servant-leader mentality. I try to be thoughtful about hiring and building teams and letting the individual super powers from within those teams drive the results.
I try to be thoughtful about hiring and building teams and letting the individual super powers from within those teams drive the results."
I’ve been impressed with my frontline management’s ability to craft fun and thoughtful sales contests for the reps that are both rewarding and align with the needs of the business. I’m lucky to have such a squad, and I know the sales associates feel the same way.
What’s the most challenging thing you asked the team to do, and how did you support them in meeting the challenge?
In our current model, our sales associates work directly with an account executive. This wasn’t the case as recently as six months ago, when the team was more round-robin. The new strategy involves a more thoughtful sales approach and an increase in clear, consistent communication with the account executive team. It’s radically different than what they’d been used to and, admittedly, a bit of a leap of faith.
I assisted by simply helping facilitate better relationships with the AE team, knowing that simple and clear communication was critical to the new strategy being successful. Today, the SAs have more of a local market mindset, and it’s the norm for the AEs to coach the SAs. Both teams are now happier and growing as a result. In fact, we had a brand new SA that just last week scheduled four meetings before lunch, all due to some coaching she received from her rep.
What does professional development look like at Toast?
As a sales associate, you can earn two promotions that each come with more pay. From there, our SAs move in a number of directions. We have a field account executive team and have had SAs move from Boston to San Francisco, Phoenix and Austin for AE promotions. We also have an inside sales team in Boston and Omaha that is growing rapidly and gives SAs an opportunity to get into a closing role without relocating. As our team grows, we’ll have dozens of opportunities for SAs to manage their own teams, as we believe strongly in promoting from within.
Amanda Barillas, Sales Associate
As the team lead for inbound sales, Amanda Barillas fields inbound requests and supports management during the weekend shift, improving processes and operationalizing the team.
BEYOND WORK: Barillas makes it a priority to cook dinner with her fiance every night.
What is unique about selling at this company?
Restaurateurs are unique prospects. Their businesses tend to operate on especially thin margins, and the market they are in is incredibly competitive. As such, selling at Toast means driving home value and ROI as much as possible in every conversation you have. Show you understand their challenges, their priorities, and their financial goals and situation, and you're on your way to selling Toast.
How involved is upper management with people on this team — besides the direct manager?
Upper management is incredibly encouraging. We receive weekly and sometimes daily emails reporting on our pace, celebrating our successes and touching on points for improvement. These emails always relate our daily efforts to company goals, which concretizes everything for us.
Toast is team-oriented, and everyone from your colleague to your manager can be a great help in improving performance."
How does your team go about performance management?
At this point, everyone knows their goals and what meeting quota means. Whenever I feel like I am falling behind, I’m comfortable going to my manager and asking her to review my calls, opportunity notes and activity to see where I could improve. Toast is team-oriented, and everyone from your colleague to your manager can be a great help in improving performance.
Charlotte Sawyer, Inside Sales Rep
Charlotte Sawyer connects with restaurant owners and managers in territories without local sales reps.
BEYOND WORK: Reading and exercise have allowed Sawyer to regulate her busy schedule.
How do you get leads?
My experience when I was an outside sales associate involved a lot of cold calling and research. I loved it and found that the more granular I got with my research, the more of a local I became. If I had an owner’s name to ask for, and a credible reference in the area, I went from being an annoying salesperson to a local restaurant expert pretty fast.
As an inside sales rep, I continue to self-source opportunities, while also being supported by an awesome SA and receiving any inbound demo requests that come into my territory. No matter what role you’re in on the inside team, the more traction you have — and the more people know your name and connect it with Toast — the better. This means that when a prospect realizes their current contract is up, Toast will come to mind before they re-sign. This lends itself to a faster sales cycle and more excitement around becoming a Toast customer. It all starts with cold calling and snow balls from there.
Other than budget, what is one objection salespeople receive consistently?
A common objection comes from a lack of local presence. Prospects often get hung up on the fact that we don’t have boots on the ground in their territory. This pain point normally stems from a past experience with their POS crashing frequently and requiring a local rep to come in and fix the problem. There is always the occasional prospect who is unwilling to trust anyone who isn’t able to show up in person. It just comes with the territory of being on the inside team. Luckily, we have Toast’s recent Stevie Award and stellar customer reviews, which normally eases their mind.
Because Toast is growing so fast, there are constant changes that create opportunities to play a key part in the growth."
How has Toast's culture helped you grow as an employee?
Working at Toast has made me comfortable with change and taking risks. Because Toast is growing so fast, there are constant changes that create opportunities to play a key part in the growth. I feel really lucky to work at a company that rewards hard work and offers so much room for professional growth. It’s my first year out of college and I have more experience under my belt than most.
Jackson Brewer, Sales Associate
Jackson Brewer is a territory sales associate covering New Mexico and Texas.
BEYOND WORK: Brewer played professional hockey for several years.
How have you grown professionally since joining Toast?
It’s tough to pinpoint one specific way I’ve grown, because I have learned so much here. Learning how to truly listen and address customers’ needs has helped me immensely in my role. Sitting down with restaurant owners for hours on end has made me understand the unique challenges they face. Every owner and GM has different issues at hand and runs their restaurant in a different manner. There is no one-size-fits-all solution within our industry, and learning and facing problems with customers and prospective clients is an important skill I’ve obtained while at Toast.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution within our industry, and learning and facing problems with customers and prospective clients is an important skill I’ve obtained while at Toast."
Which describes the type of sales you do: transactional, longer, enterprise or consultant?
We see some transactional deals that have quick turnarounds. More often than not, it takes time to learn the customer’s needs and how we can fill those needs with our system, and then make sure the price works on both ends. Whether the sales are short or long, we always try to take a consultative approach, as no restaurant is the same.
Did this role turn out to be what you expected when you first joined?
I’m wearing more hats than I expected. In many sales roles in corporate settings, you have one job, whether it be setting meetings or closing business. Since joining Toast, I’ve done much more than my job description. I’ve traveled to Albuquerque, helped with interviews to grow our team, worked with our growth team on a new feature, worked with marketing on a campaign — the list goes on. When I joined Toast I hoped to help our company grow, and I’m doing that in many more ways than I expected.