Meet Margarita Pantoja-Barnes, SDR at Renaissance Electronic Services
Employer: Renaissance Electronic Services
Job Title: Sales Development Representative
Education: BA Psychology Double Minor in Criminal Justice and Spanish
Hometown: East Windsor, CT
Current City: Carmel, IN
What led you to your getting into tech and this occupation? What was your first job in tech?
My interest in the Indy tech community was first sparked by the daily conversations with my husband who has years of experience in the tech space. Through initial conversation and discussion I determined that this was the industry change I was looking for. With the help of my husband I began to look for positions to apply where my unique people skills in combination with my hunger of being a continuous learner could be applied, unfortunately those opportunities were met with many closed doors due to not having any previous experience in the tech industry. I was referred to the TechPoint Sales Bootcamp as it was a reputable program with great success in helping career changes like myself transition successfully into the Indy tech community. Upon acceptance and completion of the program I accepted my first role as a full time Sales Development Representative (SDR) for Renaissance Electronic Services.
What has been your career path so far?
My career path to this point was primarily in the social work field immediately after graduating from college at Western New England University. I began in elder services as a Case Manager, and was promoted within a few months to another department, and felt my calling with helping others. However, I soon packed up my life and moved to Indy in 2012 to live with my wonderful fiance and start a new beginning in this friendly Hoosier state. I re-entered the field of social work and fulfilled my desire to help others through another 6 years in the social work field. I reached a pivotal point in my career where it was time to move on and make a decision that would be in the best interest of my future career goals and for the betterment of my family.
When you think of a day in your life, what are the main work activities you do or responsibilities you have?
The typical work day begins with a hot fresh cup of coffee (double pot if you ask my co-workers they will tell you how I prefer it)!
Nonetheless, each day I turn on my computer and pull from a few CRM data lists that are often generated from a variety of sources; public information, marketing efforts/campaigns and a few of my own self prospected leads. The majority of my day is outbound cold calling, sending emails, completing follow up calls, a mixture of discovery calls and research. I also seek to engage with prospects in a variety of ways through social media. I seek to be a brand ambassador for Renaissance Electronic Services so that future customers can see that I believe in my company and what it represents for the dental industry.
However at the end of the it comes down to numbers and sales. The main purpose of my role as an SDR is to make that initial discovery call, seek to understand, guide them down that pain funnel to help them become comfortable enough to admit what problems they are facing in their office and provide an opportunity to speak with my account executive to view our solution/product and close the deal.
Help us picture your work environment.
The work environment at Renaissance Electronic Services is very unique. Our sales team up until recently was in a totally separate building from the rest of the company. With the continuous growth, increased collaboration and cultural change taking
Thanks to our amazing leadership our culture is what sets us apart from other tech companies, we have the grit passion and work ethic of a startup with the support, encouragement
My individual work space is spacious, equipped with a standing desk and two very large desktop monitors that allow me to run multiple applications at any given time. The wireless headset are fantastic (we don’t have to worry about possibly pulling the phone with us as we walk away)! As a sales
Sales leaders conduct weekly 1:1
You can always expect the unexpected on our sales floor from; random oversized Jenga games to soul train break dances no two days are ever the same and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What do you love about the work you do?
What I love most about the work I do is the opportunity I get to build trust, genuine conversations, and make a few friends along the way from the simplest form a single cold call. It doesn’t come without its challenges however it’s amazing to me everyday that there is so much to be gained from picking up that phone and making that call.
Renaissance Electronic Services provides many opportunities to its employees to build a culture that is encouraging, and empowering. The open door policy stands out and resonates with so many employees to know that leadership cares and truly values you as a person and not just an employee. I love that my sales director trusts us to be adults in our day to day, and really takes an extra moment to figure out how to best help you reach your goals.
The number one recommendation provided to me by a manager while in the TechPoint program said “Choose your manager not the company”, and to this day I am proud to say that the leadership at Renaissance is one of a kind and that helps me to make the most out of my job each and every day.
Which personality traits, interests, and abilities are important or common for a person to succeed in and enjoy this occupation?
Traits to succeed and enjoy
– Have a growth/continuous learner mindset
– Be coachable
– Accept and apply feedback when provided
– Accept that failures will happen, there will be a time where you don’t hit goal but you keep going
– Be curious
– Know when to put your head down and get the job done!
– Be open to learn from those around you
– Don’t be afraid to ask for Help
– Keep dialing
Which tools/technologies or technical skills are particularly important for a person in your job to be proficient in?
The tools I use on a daily
– Microsoft Dynamic CRM
However, being able to learn new skills, new platforms and be a team player is particularly important in any sales role and can set you up for success.
Now that you’ve been in a BDR role for some time, what do you know now that you wish you knew before you started?
I wish I knew how important the initial first month of building my pipeline would impact me later down the road. Having the repetition and making the larger amount of call upfront really help to build your confidence in your pitch. Listening for pattern recognition doesn’t come at the drop of dime but rather in sheer volume and consistency in your calls.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as you started your role as an BDR?
The biggest challenge I faced was myself as I started in my role as a SDR. I had to retrain my brain to think and process differently. I had to learn to restrain myself from reverting to my comfort zone and over-talking in situations. Lastly, another challenge I faced was not sticking to the process and trusting the process.
Which soft skills (aka general business skills or employability skills) are particularly important for a person in this occupation to be proficient in?
Player: As an SDR you and your AE are a team, and learning how to set your AE
up for success helps both of you succeed. A team player knows when to build
people up for success.
Active Listening: Recognize when to stop talking and let the customer explain.
Time Management: Set goals for yourself, rewards that help to set you up for success on a daily basis.
Be open: Be able to be open to new ideas, suggestions on areas to improve and allow yourself to be coachable.
Which resources, people, books, websites, etc. would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?
-Selling The Sandler Way
-TED Talks Daily
– Extreme Ownership
– The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
– Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
– Radical Candor
-Prepare Yourself for a Career in Sales
– Inside Sales
What encouragement or advice would you offer to others considering this occupation or wanting to stand out amongst others?
Always put the best you out
there. Be genuine and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions (someone else
in the room needs the information also).
If you have never networked before, this is a great opportunity to build your network, ask people for coffee and learn from their experiences.
Use Matt Nettleton as a resource, as well as the TechPoint Team!