We heart Boston tech: 9 Boston tech sales gurus on why they love their companies, and their jobs

by Kelly O'Halloran
July 22, 2019

It’s not always about the money.

Well, it’s still partially about the money because #sales. But for the following nine sales reps from Boston tech, opportunity to grow, company culture, product impact and the overall enjoyment of coming into work each day rank higher than commission when it comes to loving their jobs. 

 

rapid7
image via rapid7

Before joining cybersecurity firm Rapid7, Katrina Krause sold marketing services to B2B technology vendors. Fascinated by cybersecurity, and curious to experience working for a tech company first-hand, she joined Rapid7 nearly two years ago as an account executive. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

I had always wanted to experience being on the other side, working at the tech company as opposed to just selling to them — especially in cybersecurity. I knew Rapid7 was experiencing substantial growth and expanding their sales team, so I went in for an interview. It was clear there was a huge opportunity in cybersecurity software sales given the increasing threat from hackers and the need for a quality, easy-to-use solution. 

 

What aspect of your current role do you love the most? 

I love listening firsthand to the security challenges my customers are facing and being a trusted resource to help solve their problems. Hearing feedback from customers that Rapid7's solutions were able to detect a breach before it caused damage is very rewarding. I also love working in an industry that is constantly changing. Between different competitors emerging, new breaches regularly occurring and Rapid7 evolving its solutions, there is always something to learn.

 

klaviyo
image via klaviyo

Account Executive Mitch Gruber joined e-commerce marketing platform Klaviyo three years ago, ready to work for a company solving hard problems. He said this is the first time in his career that he has been given the opportunity to grow. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

Tech is constantly changing the way people interact with each other and I’ve seen that first-hand working with brands in the e-commerce industry. Learning how they interact with their customers and seeing what makes them successful is what inspired me to come to Klaviyo. Brands that do this well aren’t just able to drive more sales. They build deep, meaningful relationships with people who were complete strangers at one point. This isn’t the easiest thing for brands to do well because many don’t have the data they need or know how to use it effectively.

When I joined Klaviyo, I was looking for a place that was trying to solve hard problems. We tackle things like this day in and day out, and it’s really cool to see how we’ve helped brands grow their businesses as a result of learning how to use their data to more effectively connect with their customers. 

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most?

Klaviyo’s given me an opportunity to grow, and that’s something I haven’t had in other jobs. I started out as a business development representative (BDR) three years ago and I’ve been promoted three times as the company’s grown. We’re continuously learning here and I’m constantly challenged to be the best I can be every day. This comes from being surrounded by great people and I think that’s my favorite part. The people who sit next to me are the very best at what they do and that’s inspiring. On top of that, I work in a sales environment in a company that does things differently. We have a lot more autonomy in our roles than most tech salespeople have. We become product experts and we have the opportunity to help brands grow their businesses every day. That’s really rewarding. 

 

ezcater
image provided by ezcater

EzCater’s David Goldsmith gets to relish in his love for food and innovation in his role as a sales manager for the online catering marketplace. He said he thrives on trying to be the best manager his team has ever had. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

I mean, I love food. That one was easy! Really though, I love innovation. I love being able to say “okay, this works, but how can we make it better?” That is very much the ezCater way. One of our key culture ingredients is “aim higher and make it better.” Growing up as a hockey player, it didn’t matter if I was a good goal scorer — the goalies were always working on their game to make it tougher to score. So, I was always trying to find those little ways to get better. That same energy drives me in tech sales. The game is always changing, so we constantly need to think about how we can stay ahead.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most? 

I love the impact that being a manager can make. Think about the best manager you’ve ever had. They helped guide you, yet granted you the autonomy to figure it out. Their expectations were realistic, yet challenged you to push yourself. They were your biggest advocate, yet weren’t scared to have a tough conversation with you. Everyone wants to have an amazing manager. That’s a pretty big weight to carry and expectation to live up to — and I absolutely love it.

 

smartsheet
image via smartsheet

With a liberal arts degree in the bag and a keen interest in the business world, Sarah Stewart ventured into tech sales following her graduation from Boston College. Today, she serves as a senior client development manager for work execution platform company, Smartsheet.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

An early career in sales would offer me insight into how businesses make decisions. This, plus being a part of the tech world, would expose me to the problems faced by various organizations and offer me more of an inside look at the way technological advancements influence and disrupt the way businesses operate. Specifically, the collaborative work management space was attractive because it is widely relevant – connecting people, places and ideas in a meaningful way.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most? 

As a member of the client development team at Smartsheet, there are two aspects of my job I love the most. First, I love the enthusiasm our customers have for Smartsheet. Smartsheet is a value-driving application, and it’s rewarding to hear the positive business results our customers are experiencing. Second, the culture. Smartsheet leadership makes a point to be present, and as an organization, the emphasis on hiring the right people for the right roles is palpable. 

 

pandorama education
image via pandorama education

A middle school teacher with a passion for public education, Taylor Doe’s transition into edtech made perfect sense. As Director of Inside Sales for Panorama Education, Doe partners with a team of sales and marketers to help schools reach their goals through the use of data. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry?

Public education has always been something I'm passionate about, which is a big reason why I started my career as a middle school teacher. What I enjoyed most about teaching was helping my students work as a team to reach goals, such as reading on grade level. At Panorama Education, we help schools use data to reach those same goals I pursued with my students. I work with an awesome team of sales and marketers with a shared commitment to our impact in helping districts across the country measure what matters on our SaaS platform. 

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most? 

New and incredible things are happening in schools and districts across the country. Our sales team has the opportunity to work closely with principals and superintendents to build social and emotional learning foundations and support their college-and-career readiness initiatives. Hearing from school leaders about Panorama's impact on their work and the excitement for our partnership to drive improvements in their districts is really rewarding. And of course, I love the people I work with. My teammates are some of the smartest people in tech.

 

leanix
image via leanix

Tiffany Harrington, a young professional eager to learn quickly, ventured into the tech industry as an enterprise account executive for LeanIX, the company behind the roadmap software for digital transformations.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry?

Boston is a hub for tech startups, and although I had no tech experience, my eagerness to learn made the move into tech easy. It was advantageous to sync up with a company that had an international presence. It’s not easy to find a company that has a great solution; that’s what attracted me to LeanIX. The dev team is one of the best, and it helps they have wonderful leadership.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most? 

I love the culture. I’ve been working at LeanIX for almost two years and there hasn’t been a single day I haven’t enjoyed coming to work. I love how sharing ideas is encouraged and leadership is extremely supportive. I also love our product. LeanIX is changing the enterprise architecture space with a data-driven approach that is extremely valuable for Fortune 500 companies. 

 

drizly
image via drizly

While working in a media sales position that connected regularly with liquor industry clients, Jade O’Donnell fell in love with the alcohol industry. Looking to work in a role that exclusively supports these clients, she found the online liquor marketplace Drizly and joined as an inside sales executive. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

The most exciting and fulfilling projects I had at my previous company were those that I built out with my clients that were liquor brands. When I found Drizly, I was immediately drawn to its unique use of technology to break through an industry that hasn't changed in over a century. It combined my genuine interests and need for an innovative and energetic work environment with vision and purpose — making it the perfect fit.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most?

I love being part of a team that is competitive and celebrates each other's wins. Each of us brings something to the table, and we are able to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate to help us reach our goals. I've never been a part of an office where I have so much fun working so hard — it's equal parts challenging and rewarding, and I genuinely look forward to coming to work every day.

 

fareharbor
image via fareharbor

Jon Lyga didn’t plan to end up in tech sales, yet here he is, an account executive for reservation platform FareHarbor for their mid-market accounts. Here’s why he has been happy ever since.

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry? 

I discovered FareHarbor while doing software research for my employer at the time. Once I learned a little more about the SaaS business and, specifically, SaaS in the tour and activities space, I was on the hook and knew it was the direction I wanted to head in. Working here is fast-paced, competitive and a lot of fun.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most?

I love being able to set my own goals and schedule. There’s also a lot of opportunity to continue to learn and sharpen my skills. I enjoy having the ability to travel and meet clients on site to better understand their operations. Lastly, my colleagues are passionate and hardworking. They help create an exciting and rewarding work environment.

 

salary finance
image via salary finance

For someone who likes teaching but self-describes themselves as “somewhat wary of children,” Salary Finance’s Charile Schaub said he couldn’t think of a better job than one in tech sales. He supports the fintech company as employee partnerships manager, teaching clients about a solution to a problem they may not have thought much about yet. 

 

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech sales, and particularly within your current industry?

Tech is almost by definition a field that changes too quickly to define in any lasting way, but that pace of change is itself about the only constant. It's invigorating to be part of something new, and sometimes challenging, as Salary Finance works to develop a new market in employee benefits, but most often very rewarding — to see the positive impact that we can have on both employers and their employees. As part of the sales team, I spend a lot of my time talking to prospective partners about unique solutions to everyday problems, or specific to Salary Finance, to a problem that they might not have thought about an employer’s role in solving: access to financial tools that enable employees to get out of debt.

 

What aspects of your current role do you love the most? 

The most gratifying aspect of my role is helping to lead a business development team. I say “business development” instead of “sales” because there really is a lot beyond pure “selling” that goes into educating someone about our mission and innovative products, and ultimately creating satisfied customers. I like collaborating with colleagues in marketing, customer success, and operations. It feels like we're all pulling in the same direction to make a meaningful impact on the financial lives of millions of Americans.

 

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