Rajesh Vora is the Director of Inside Sales at SiteCompli. SiteCompli is a SaaS-based compliance and automation tool that helps New York City-based property owners and managers reduce enterprise-wide cost and risk. Raj was nominated by his Vice President of Sales, Zach Ciliotta-Young.
In Zach’s words, “I’d love to highlight Raj Vora. Raj has worked for me for the past fifteen months. I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing him crush his targets over the past several quarters, one of which included a whopping 300% to goal result! Raj has an exceptional ability to understand exactly how to read any sales scenario and build value. He has the emotional intelligence it takes to sell that can’t be taught. Raj has performed as such a high level that he was recently promoted to a hybrid role where he both sells directly into large accounts and manages our inside sales team. Raj is the definition of a true Quotakiller!
We had the opportunity to chat with Raj and are happy to share his story!
Quotakillers: Tell us about your company – SiteCompli.
Rajesh Vora: Anyone who is a building owner or manager within the boroughs of New York City understands that there are very stringent compliance regulations that come with operating their property. Many things need to be maintained in accordance with specific building and city codes. SiteCompli is a software platform that property management companies can utilize to reduce the risk of fines, violations, and exposure to city compliance penalties.
QK: Can you describe your role?
RV: I started off here as a Sales Director. This was an individual contributor role where I was hunting new business. Recently, I transitioned into a leadership role, and my title is now Director of Inside Sales. I’m responsible for a team of five reps.
QK: Is there a specific quality or characteristic that you think successful salespeople tend to have in common?
RV: I’d imagine many folks would cite tenacity or something along those lines. I think I’d boil it down to bravery though. There’s something to be said for having the gumption to be able to ask tough questions. And, it can take some time (and leadership’s emphasis) to develop this trait in early-career reps. It took me about six years to build the amount of professional courage that I have today. “Standing eye to eye” with a C-level executive you’re negotiating with takes guts – because you both know there’s an inequality at play. But, knowing you have a genuine reason to be calling on them (and that that reason that could add value to their operation) can can help you to stay strong and be brave. I spend a lot of time trying to develop this confidence in my reps.
QK: Where do you see your career going in the future?
RV: I’ve approached the transition into sales leadership with caution. I’d been an individual contributor my whole life previously, and was doing well. Over the past six months that I’ve been managing people, I’ve really developed a passion for leadership, and would even say that I’ve discovered I seem to be better at it than I was at being a seller. The shift in career direction has given me a fresh set of eyes – a new way of looking at things, if you will. I see things that I ignored as an individual contributor. Where is my career going to take me? Somewhere down the line I’d like to have a sales consulting business. I want to help small companies (preferably technology-oriented businesses) to hire and train great salespeople, formulate their go-to-market strategies, and prepare for scale. I know that may be a bit premature only six months into a leadership role, but ideally that’s how I see my career playing out.
QK: What tools or technologies help you to be great at your job?
RV: I’ll tell you one of the funny and ironic things about my transition – I was a nightmare as a sales rep. I was the worst because although I brought in the deals, I wasn’t a big fan of logging calls and keeping up with activities and tasks in Salesforce. I didn’t see the point of it. Now, being on the flip side of things as a manager, I embrace what technology can do to improve a sales organization. I’m now the one looking into what various tools could do to create efficiencies and make day-to-day tasks easier for my sellers.
QK: How do you stay up-to-date on sales trends and improve your knowledge of the game?
RV: I’m a big fan of Sales Hacker. Their email alerts have really great value-added content. I can read them on my phone, and the tips are almost always something I can actually use to make myself or my team better at our craft. I also recently found out about Hubspot, and attended one of their events in New York. I loved the “event concept” as a vehicle for learning. The conference didn’t come off as a sales pitch, but I’ve since engaged in a number of demos nonetheless. Other than that, I’m devouring articles every day – wherever I can find them – and whether I agree or disagree with the authors’ points of view. Finally, I like to keep my own “work-in-progress” sales training deck – this includes everything of value that I’ve picked up over my six years of selling. It’s a true amalgamation of what I’ve learned from articles, books, personal experiences, etc. It’s a great tool to use as I bring new reps onto my team.
QK: Can you walk us through one of your most memorable memorable deals and what you learned from it?
RV: Not too long ago, I was targeting a huge landlord in New York. Our company had been working with them on and off for the last six years. This particular client had been switching between us and a major competitor every year. During one of their contracts with us, a door opened to go for a more permanent win when we learned of a newly hired executive (who was very familiar with our solution). The visibility into this personnel change showed great collaboration between the account management team (who identified the contact) and the new business sales team. It also showed the value of holding a true relationship with our clients – which can also often lead to referral business. On this particular deal, I was able to sit down with the new executive outside of the context of our roles as seller and buyer. The result of this open conversation was actually quite surprising – we learned that the company’s board mandated “trying alternative solutions.” Aware of this internal directive, we were able to re-structure the deal in a way that would allow us to be a more permanent partner. This win was possible because I was brave enough to directly ask this new stakeholder to tell me the real reason why his organization was an “on and off customer.” It reminded me how important it is to ask the tough questions and really dig in to uncover a customer’s true motivations.
QK: Do you have a professional mentor?
RV: I have two professional mentors. First, my current VP of Sales is my mentor for all things sales management-related. He’s been extremely valuable in helping to grow my people leadership skills. From a broader perspective, I have a mentor who is an alumnus of my law school. Like myself, he’s from the United Kingdom. We initially connected simply as two fellows from the UK living in New York, and since then I’ve met with him at various stages of my career. He’s been a sounding board and a giver of great advice – whether I was in crisis mode or whether I was evaluating opportunities. Some of the best advice he’s given me is to always to set goals towards which to aspire and to never forget to “step back and smell the roses.” Six months can seem like a big deal today, but it’s all a part of a bigger experience that’s shaping your career.
QK: What do you like to do when you’re away from the job?
RV: I’m actually a pretty boring guy, haha. I’m a big fan of experiencing whatever the city or country that I’m living in is best known for. When I was in London, it was the history, the museums, and the architecture. Now that I’m in In New York, it’s been the food! Other than that, I love to get out of the city and explore, whether it’s a last minute trip to Montreal or San Francisco – I love to travel and experience new cultures.