Mary discusses building a successful career as a Sales Development Representative Team Lead
I've always been driven to have "Disneyland success." To me, that means having a career that gives me the ability to take my family to Disneyland or on a unique vacation every year (sometimes twice) and make memories that my family will remember for years. I found "Disneyland success" when I joined sales. Sales was the first job where I didn't feel like I had to compete to succeed. The better I got at my job, the better my paycheck was. But things started to change for me as I had more success. I found that I had the funds to go on vacation, but couldn't step away from my job or "disconnect" enough to make memories. The pendulum had swung too far.
Qualtrics has given me the work-life balance that I've craved for much of my career; a balance where I can be a great boss and employee, while also being a present mom and wife.
What attracted you to Qualtrics in the first place?
I felt like I was hearing about Qualtrics EVERYWHERE and I started to have serious FOMO. When I arrived at the building 6 years ago and heard Ryan Smith speak, I was sold - but I didn't have my degree. I vowed at that time that I would never miss an opportunity like Qualtrics again and I went back to school.
What was the turning point where you knew you 'had to have the job' at Qualtrics?
After I got my bachelor's degree, I was content "staying put" in my career. I had started receiving more and more messages from recruiters at other companies and I never entertained the idea of leaving until John Hanks messaged me. When I saw he was contacting me from Qualtrics, I couldn't ignore the messages. In my mind, I thought, "Only crazy people say no to Qualtrics."
I agreed to start the interview process with the intention of building connections - and then I walked into the building. It sounds dramatic but I felt like I was breathing air for the first time in years. I could FEEL the energy and the culture in the atmosphere. People were playing basketball, working from couches, and drinking coffee in the kitchen. My recruiter, Leah, was waving at someone every few seconds and everyone seemed to know each other.
I left that interview completely panicked. I HAD to be at Qualtrics. It was immediate tunnel vision from that point on.
What is your favorite part of your role?
I LOVE the people I work with. I work with some of the most talented, kind, and driven individuals. They make work fun, they make me want to be better, and I'm constantly learning from them. I have really appreciated the diversity and getting to know people from all across the globe.
Any advice for someone looking to get into a career like yours?
If you want to get into sales leadership, you have to master sales. Mastering sales often goes hand in hand with self-mastery. Find the best seller in the room, figure out what they are doing, and make it work for you. Be disciplined and put in the time to be better. Get feedback, give feedback, and when you find success, help others find it too. There are no awards for going at it alone.
What has surprised you most about working at Qualtrics?
It's better than I could have anticipated. When you work for a company that is centered on Experience Management, expect to give and get feedback constantly. Feedback is how we get better individually and as a whole. I've also loved the constant "surprises". From lawn carnivals to cutting-edge products, I feel like Qualtrics keeps me guessing in the best way possible.
What's a favorite moment/memory of your time at Qualtrics so far?
Getting to attend and judge a sales competition in Florida while staying in one big house with a mix of leaders and SDRs was unbeatable for me. I LOVE getting to know people, and I think traveling with them is the perfect way to do it. Nothing beats riding a rollercoaster with your boss and finding out their weird eating habits. Seriously. It's the best.
What's a myth about your type of job that you'd like to bust?
You don't have to be "slimy", be perfect with your words, or "trick people" to be a good salesperson. You DO have to be a good listener. You DO have to be down to constantly improve yourself. And you DO have to be a great communicator. That being said, it also helps if you are selling a life-changing product. If you can't see the impact your product is having on individuals, businesses, or the world, don't sell it.
|Mary is an alumnus of Southern Utah University and started her career at Career Step. After having a successful sales career, Mary went back to school to pursue her Bachelor’s degree just so she could work at Qualtrics.|
September 13, 2021