While a company’s entire sales organization is responsible for the sale and distribution of its products and services, it is Account Executives (AEs) who act as the primary point of contact between the company and its customers. In addition to being responsible for building strong relationships with customers, it is the AEs who use their sales knowledge and prospecting skills to attract new clients and generate more business. This is why Senior AEs like Travis Hire play such a critical role within Reciprocity’s sales organization.
Becoming an AE
Travis loves what he does. He’s been doing it for 15 years, and can’t see himself doing anything else. However, he hasn’t always been a sales executive. Travis got his start as a Tennis Pro. And while this might seem an unusual start to a sales career, his time as a professional tennis player gave him a strong foundation on his path to becoming a successful Senior AE. It provided him with the opportunity to develop and reinforce skills that are critical for any successful sales leader: competitiveness, self-discipline, teamwork, and hard-working, just to name a few.
I’ve always been a people person – if I don’t talk to people during the day, I go a little stir crazy. I enjoy getting to know people and understand what they like and what they’re looking for… With sales, it’s all about building a personal relationship, understanding what our customers are looking for, and then tailoring what we offer to what they need. That’s what I really enjoy – that’s why sales is for me!
Doing Tech Sales as a Non-Tech Person
While Travis doesn’t have a tech background, he has spent the majority of his sales career in the tech space. While tech sales roles can encompass many areas, they don’t typically require a technical background for an entry-level position. However, once you land a role, it’s important to learn as much about a company’s product, as quickly as possible.
What really helps me is spending the first few months in a new role really learning how the products work, and what potential customers will be looking for… Once you understand that, it’s all about your sales process and personality. If you have the right personality, I think you can sell just about anything. It’s just that some products are a little more intricate or more technical than others.
Post Pandemic Sales Process
It’s important that anyone interested in getting into sales understands that the sales process is continually evolving, with changes in buying patterns and customer behaviors meaning that salespeople must constantly review and refine their ‘how’ they sell their company’s products and services to remain successful. The pandemic had a significant impact on the sales process for every company, in every industry.
Sales for me has always been about face-to-face interaction. Before the pandemic, my process was much more travel based. So, I’d call a prospect, and then arrange a meeting at their office. But now, there are so many online tools – like Zoom – that I can do a lot from my home office. However, I still think it’s important to go to networking events, especially in the tech space. People need to know who you are, they need to build a relationship with you, and they need to trust you.
Advice for Someone Starting Out
Much like any career, Sales isn’t for everyone. You have to be competitive; you have to be passionate, and you have to care.
You have to believe in what you’re doing and what you’re selling, If you don’t, it’s going to show. That’s what I try to do – I try to bring that passion every day. At the same time, when you have a lot of passion, it can be really tough when you don’t win a deal. That’s when it’s tough, especially when you’re first starting out in sales. But that’s when you have to keep going, pick up the phone and make the next call or schedule the next meeting. Because it’s going to get better – it always does!
What Comes Next
Reciprocity continues to grow at an exponential rate, which is creating new career opportunities for people like Travis, who are always ready for the next challenge. We know there is much more to come from Travis, so definitely keep an eye on him – and his LinkedIn profile – to track his career!
Interested in a Sales career at Reciprocity? Check out our current job openings.