This week’s ROTW is Jennie Xu, a recently promoted Associate Account Executive at Yotpo. Yotpo is a content marketing platform that integrates with clients’ ecommerce shopping carts. Jennie was nominated by her manager, Joshua Hezghia.
In Josh’s words – “Jennie is a great rep who raises the bar and always exceeds expectations. She’s a delight to work with and her attitude and team-player mentality are a pleasure to be around. There really isn’t much that Jennie can’t do!” Since joining Yotpo as an SDR in June of 2016, Jennie surpassed quota in nine of eleven months – this run included whopping finishes of 165%, 231%, and 199% to goal!
We had the opportunity to chat with Jennie and are happy to share her story!
Quotakillers: Tell us about Yotpo?
Jennie Xu: Yotpo is a content marketing platform that integrates with a client’s ecommerce shopping cart. We help customers collect content and leverage it across various search and social channels. It’s important to note that Yotpo’s product is a revenue-driving tool, not just a “nice to have.” Our headquarters is in Tel Aviv but our sales team is predominantly based in the New York office. Our CEO, Tomer Tagrin, is moving to New York soon, which signifies the importance of the sales organization to the company’s success moving forward!
QK: Describe your role?
JX: I started with the organization in June of last year as an Outbound SDR. This is my first company post-college and I’m loving it! Our goal as SDRs is to set demos for the sales reps. When promoted to a team lead role, you also get your feet wet and start to prepare for a future sales role by doing demos for some of the less qualified prospects.
QK: What would you say separates you from other great salespeople?
JX: I’m an economics and politics major who had never been in sales before. I think my analytical mindset helps me to zone in on things I’m having trouble with and quickly identify ways to improve. When I started at the company, we were in a transitional phase. I was fortunate to have been given the creative freedom to explore different methods of outreach once I had proven I was capable of delivering results. I developed my own unique method, and I’m proud of the fact that a lot of it eventually became best practice. My initial directive was to go after the marketing department. But, I realized this wasn’t always the best way in – especially with smaller companies who didn’t have “defined marketing organizations.” I thought that we should be targeting the actual users of our product. And, regardless of size, every company that has a shopping cart has someone in charge of it. I began targeting these people, and results quickly followed.
QK: How do you deal with failure?
JX: I’m very fortunate (knock on wood) that I haven’t had to deal with too much failure thus far in my young career. I know that I’m responsible for my own destiny and I try to keep a positive mindset – in a world with a lot of variable elements, that’s the one thing you can always control. Everyone will eventually have a bad month or quarter – you can’t let it get you down.
QK: Where do you see your career going in the future?
I began my career at Yotpo as an SDR and went on to become a team lead in that group. Recently I was promoted again – this time to the position of Associate Account Executive. I believe in the vision of Yotpo and love our company and culture, so I see myself here for a long time. I also have a real passion for sales development and would like to eventually move back into that world as a leader. Before making the transition however, I think getting a good amount of actual selling experience is where I’m focused in the short-term. I believe understanding the entire sales cycle will make me a better manager of people in the SDR group when I’m one day ready to take on that responsibility.
QK: Do you have any particular words of wisdom you’d like to share from the perspective of a young woman in a sales career at a start-up?
JX: Speak up and don’t try to emulate male sellers. Acknowledge that there are innate differences between men and women, and play up your strengths instead of following a cookie cutter sales approach and trying to “fit into a box.”
QK: What inspires followership?
JX: I think it’s easy to buy into people who can instill a belief in their vision – not just from telling, but from painting a holistic picture that gets people on board. Someone who sees the big picture and “explains the why” without getting too tactical can be very motivational to me.
QK: Do you have any advice for new college grads starting their careers in an SDR role?
JX: It’s so important to come across as “human” on the phone. Appeal to peoples’ needs and present the overall product and what it can do for a prospect as opposed to feature dumping. Also, even though SDR is an individual contributor position, it’s incredibly important to build relationships with your account executives. Your success will depend on them and vice versa. And, people who like each other and get along tend to go the extra mile to help each other win.
QK: What tools help you to be great at your job?
JX: For CRM we use Salesforce. Two other technologies that make our lives easier are Tableau and SalesLoft. Tableau is incredibly easy to use to digest and manipulate data and discover trends. SalesLoft is used to manage our outreach cadence. We typically make around sixty calls and send forty targeted emails each day.
QK: What was the most memorable deal you’ve ever signed?
JX: Two months ago, I closed my first-ever deal that included our visual marketing product – this is our top-tier package. This was while I was a team lead in the SDR group. It was actually the first demo I’d ever given that included that product so I was kind of just “winging it.” I think more so than anything I won this deal because I came off as authentic. It was even sweeter because it happened on the last day of the month and I was happy to contribute to the team hitting goal!
QK: What advice would you have for an SDR/BDR looking to become an Account Executive?
JX: The sooner you accept the fact that you aren’t the smartest person in the room, the sooner you’ll be able to become a sponge and start learning from everyone around you. Be open to taking advice – it will really help you to grow professionally.
QK: What were your first three jobs?
JX: When I was fourteen, I was a volunteer historian at an adult care center/orphanage where I did data entry work. My next job was as an intern for a startup called Love and Water Designs. It was a cool company – they would create a t-shirt design and fifty percent of the proceeds of its sale would go to charity. Unfortunately, they are no longer in business. My third job was as an intern at Bessemer Trust, a wealth management company. I worked in the municipal bonds department.
QK: Three dinner guests?
JX: Ban Ki-moon – I saw him speak once and was so impressed – I’d love to pick his brain. Talyot Swift – I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I love her. And, James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem. I saw them last week in Brooklyn and I’d love to talk about all the interesting things he’s experienced coming to prominence in the music industry.
QK: Away from the office, what are your favorite hobbies?
JX: I recently started taking spin class and I’m loving it. I enjoy hiking in upstate New York – I actually just went a couple of weeks ago with my parents. And, I recently purchased my very own throwback N64!
QK: What is your favorite TV show?
JX: Game of Thrones. My favorite character is Tyrion Lannister.
QK: If you were on death row and could have one final meal, what would it be?
JX: Cashew Vegan Ramen (despite the fact that I’m not even vegan) from Setagaya in Williamsburg – it’s amazing!
Please like/share/comment to congratulate Jennie on her success! If you are a sales leader who’d like to nominate one of your staff for a future installment of Quotakillers’ Rep Of The Week feature, you may do so here: http://quotakillers.com/blog/nominate-sales-rep/
At Quotakillers, we’re building the premier online community for top-producing sales professionals. Register today to access content written by salespeople for salespeople and to be kept abreast of how we can help to fast-track your career and your earning potential. Don’t worry, we won’t spam you! We’re building a movement and we need your help. Follow us on Twitter @Quotakillers