Job Title: Account Executive
Degree Path: Media & Public Affairs (SPEA), IUPUI
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Current City: Indianapolis, IN
What led you to your getting into tech and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?
During undergrad at IUPUI, I lived in the thick of downtown Indy and it was impossible to ignore the tech momentum. My degree focused on politics and the impact that media has on the political landscape, and that was fun to study, but I have always thought of myself as a salesman.
Knowing that I wasn’t as good with computers as I was with sales, I looked for openings in Software Sales. Once I graduated from IUPUI, I was lucky to have had the opportunity to be introduced to the TechPoint Sales Bootcamp by a few peers.
Naturally, I am a bit biased towards the impact that the program had on my career path, but the 6-week bootcamp taught me the techniques and skills that eventually convinced Frank Dale to take a chance on me here at Costello.
What has been your career path so far?
Early on, I worked extensively at a local restaurant selling seafood even though I’m allergic to shellfish. I figured if I could sell that pretty well, why not try to get into professional sales?
I participated in the TechPoint Sales Bootcamp for 6-weeks at local tech companies PERQ, Angie’s List, and Delivra. Upon completion of the program, I began my tech career at Costello and I remain employed there today almost 2 years later.
When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?
On a day-to-day basis, my responsibilities and activities may vary due to the fact that Costello is growing so rapidly, but a few things are the same every day. Each day I spend at least an hour prospecting new business (cold calling, emailing, and researching potential customers), and as an Account Executive I guide potential customers through the buying process and I help onboard new customers.
Help us picture your work environment.
Here at Costello, we are fortunate to work in the Union 525 in Downtown Indy. Our new space gives us the ability to all work in the same area that offers both quiet office spaces and the opportunity to interact with the entire team.
What do you love about the work you do?
Being able to work with some of the worlds-fasting growing companies means we get to work with some of the world’s most talented sales professionals out there. The best part is that we get to do it here at home in Indy.
Which personality traits, interests, and abilities are important or common for a person to succeed in and enjoy this occupation?
Naturally, most people outside of the sales world think that you have to be this super outgoing, talkative, and friendly person to be in sales. While that may be true for some, sales is about trust, authenticity, and your ability to solve problems for your customers.
Which tools/technologies or technical skills are particularly important for a person in your job to be proficient in?
Obviously, I think Costello is the best tool to be proficient in! All jokes aside, tools and technical skills can be taught, having an open mind and strong work ethic are the keys to success in sales.
Which soft skills (aka general business skills or employability skills) are particularly important for a person in this occupation to be proficient in?
In sales, soft skills are critical to success. Typically, I would list them all off, but a better answer to this question is to go buy the book: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. This book explains the high-level skills that will make a sales professional successful.
From your experience with new grads applying for and beginning jobs in this occupation, are they missing any particular knowledge, skills, or experiences that hold them back? Please describe.
While sales can be taught in the workplace, it would be helpful if more universities taught the basic fundamentals to what sales even is.
Which resources, people, books, websites, etc. would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?
Never Split the Difference (book by Chris Voss), Make it Happen Mondays (podcast by John Barrows), SalesTuners (podcast by Jim Brown), Ogilvy on Advertising (book by David Ogilvy), and most importantly… the TechPoint Sales Bootcamp.
What encouragement or advice would you offer to others considering this occupation or wanting to stand out amongst others?
If sales is a career you’d like to pursue, treat it as a craft that you want to perfect. Study, listen, and most importantly, have conversations with other sales professionals to learn what type of sales suits you best.