How Commitment, Collaboration & Being Competitive Positions Team Deltek for SDR Success ─ Part 1
We're excited to kick-off 2021 with new and inspiring stories of our dedicated Deltek employees from around the globe. As part of this month’s #TeamDeltek spotlight, we interviewed members of our Global Sales team in a two-part blog series about what it takes to make it as a Sales Development Rep (SDR) in this highly competitive and results-driven industry.
In part one, we caught up (virtually!) with EJ Ballesteros, an SDR in Seattle, Washington; and Cecilia Chrisom, an Ajera Cloud Sales Representative (formally an SDR) in Woburn, Massachusetts. They shared details about their SDR experience and how working at Deltek helps position them for long-term success.
A career in sales can be very challenging, yet very rewarding. What was it about Deltek that made you want to be part of this highly collaborative organization?
EJ: Before joining in September of 2019, I researched Deltek and found the company had received a variety of different awards including Washington Post’s Top Workplaces and J.D. Power’s Outstanding Customer Service Experience, Deltek was even a finalist for the SmartCEO’s Healthiest Company award- which I thought was pretty cool!
I knew I wanted to be a part of something big ─ I was determined to work for a company that was focused on the future ─ and that valued its employees as much as its customers. Deltek checked all the boxes!
Cecilia: I joined Deltek in June of 2017. One of the biggest things that stood out to me before I even stepped in the door were all the optimistic employee testimonials on LinkedIn, along with the vast number of employees who had been with Deltek for 20+ years celebrating work anniversaries ─ it was amazing!
It says a lot when you have employees who stay for that long at a company. And shows that even as Deltek continues to grow, the company is still able to retain happy employees. After interviewing for the SDR role, it was obvious that the team members I met with had a sense of pride in working here. It was a culture I wanted to be a part of.
Being part of #TeamDeltek is definitely something special. What is it about our unique workplace culture that you appreciate most?
EJ: Deltek is the first organization I have been a part of where everyone you work with has a genuine interest in seeing one another succeed. We all collaborate on ideas to make our work fun and effective. We each have a voice and every voice matters.
Cecilia: I would say that Deltek’s passion for projects makes it a really unique place to work. We’re really invested and care about our clients’ projects, and it translates into the products and services we offer.
What our clients’ do is really cool, whether it be a civil engineering firm providing the means to bring clean water to cities and industries across the US, or an architectural firm working on the tallest building in the world, Deltek is passionate about all projects. If we can help make our clients’ lives easier with the software automation and tools we provide for them, it’s something we’re proud to be a part of.
These reasons certainly set Deltek apart from other organizations. For those who are not familiar with what an SDR does, can you share what your day-to-day is like and what you enjoy most about your position?
EJ: A typical day for me would be calling on accounts that I have prospected to be a great fit for GovWin IQ and following-up on emails. I interact heavily with my team and the Account Execs (AEs), often discussing the ways to best serve our customers. On some days, I also have the pleasure of connecting with leaders of some amazing organizations.
Cecilia: As an SDR, you are responsible for outbound prospecting, and lead generation, which fuels the pipeline for the sales reps you work for. You aren’t necessarily focusing on closing business in an SDR role, but you are connecting with as many leads as possible and determining if they’re a good customer fit ─ which is key in setting your sales rep up for success.
One of the things I liked most about being an SDR, and even as a sales rep now, is that you are running your own business. You can’t control what the customer says or does, but you can control your time management skills, your activity level, and your mindset when you’re doing your outreach. It’s a really good feeling when it pays off!
Communication is key in this type of sales role. What other personal attributes do you feel SDRs need to be successful at Deltek?
EJ: What I see with everyone on the SDR team here is their drive – I think you need that to stay motivated. It’s how you plan out your activities and stay on course to a successful destination at the end of the day. It’s also about being committed to learning and taking initiative – getting to know the process and how it all works.
Cecilia: SDRs need to be self-motivated, consistent, and coachable. I think one of the best things you can do is learn from more senior SDRs who have been in the role for a long time. It will not only lead you to a stronger relationship with the reps you support, but it can help you create more qualified opportunities that are more likely to move further through the sales cycle.
All of these qualities can help contribute to employee success! How do you see your current role as an SDR helping you achieve your career goals?
EJ: In my current role as an SDR, I have learned (and continue to learn) new ways to follow-up with prospects in a more genuine way and on a more personal level, creating a solid foundation of trust. Collaborating with my team and the AEs helps me evolve my simple ideas into valuable ones. Every new skill I learn and best practice I absorb, helps me become a more effective leader, connect with others on different teams and inspire as many people as I can to strive for success.
Cecilia: As an SDR you have to deal with a lot of rejection. So my experience as an SDR really prepared me for my current role as a Sales Rep, and equipped me to handle rejection by providing the training to develop habits that set me up for the best possible outcomes.
Everything I did as an SDR was very metrics driven and goal oriented. Having things like specific call metrics and goals to hit on a daily, monthly and yearly basis in order to over perform is something I still hold myself accountable to in my new position.
Owning your own career is how employees learn and grow at Deltek. What advice would you give to a new SDR just joining the sales organization?
EJ: The advice I would give to a new SDR just joining Deltek would be to ask lots of questions and share your experiences. One way I do this is by leveraging my weekly 1:1 and team meetings – using these forums helps me be accountable for my progress and overall work in becoming an effective leader.
Cecilia: I’ve found that being able to leverage my managers, directors, or colleagues that have years of experience in sales in the industry has probably been the best resource for me to be successful at Deltek. Not only are they willing to help out with deals or questions, but even teams outside of the sales organization are open to assisting in any way that they can.
These are great tips no matter what role you are in! But it can’t be all work and no play. So to wrap things up – this last question we ask all of our #TeamDeltek interviewees: When you are not busy qualifying leads for Deltek, what do you like to do outside of work?
EJ: Outside of work I love to stay active and I am extremely competitive – no matter what the sport! When I’m not enjoying the view with my friends on the golf course or sweating it out on the basketball court (pre-COVID), I create content for my growing YouTube channel called SNACK COURSE MEAL, “Where we find your not so everyday snacks, cheap meals, and cultural foods.” My little brother and I will try anything and everything when it comes to food.
Cecilia: I too am very competitive! I played indoor volleyball in college, but have been playing beach volleyball for more than ten years. So when I’m not busy working (and weather permitting in Boston), I love to play in beach volleyball tournaments across New England.
As for my less competitive hobbies, I like to read, travel and to try new restaurants with friends and family ─ I’m looking forward to doing all these things again in the near future!
Stay tuned for part two, where we will be catching up with three more members of #TeamDeltek to hear their SDR stories!
Want to learn more? Join the Deltek Talent Community to receive regular updates from #TeamDeltek about our culture, company initiatives, and career opportunities and hear even more about why our employees love working here!
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