This is our interview with Emma Galler, VP of Sales at Built In. You can follow Built In at @BuiltIn.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Emma: I became an accidental sales person. I started "selling" when I was eight years old as a Girl Scout. My Dad and I role played different girl scout sales pitches, and I set sales goals for the "season." Needless to say, I took it very seriously. After graduating from U of I, I started my first sales job at a staffing company called Aerotek. I worked there for nine years in sales and sales leadership. I started at Built In in November of 2018.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Emma: The moments that have made me the most proud over the last 10 years are really when my team is flying - individually and as a team. Promoting people who have worked for me into new roles and watching them succeed is why I come to work every day.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Emma: I had a sales director who was maniacal about "putting yourself in your prospect's shoes." He would ask me questions like: "How would you want to be sold to? If you were the buyer, what would motivate your behavior?" It's simple, but it has stuck with me to this day.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Emma: Automation and noise. Although we incorporate a ton of tools that make our lives easier in sales, there are truly no shortcuts. Great sales people take the time to have thoughtful outreach, incredible preparation and diligent follow up.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Emma: One my greatest mentors is Jodi Nuttall. She still works at Aerotek and taught me not only about execution in sales leadership, but also empathy. I also really admire our CEO at Built In, Maria Katris. She's taught me so much about business, driving results and creating urgency, all while building deep connections with her team.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Emma: Super old school book called, SPIN Selling. It teaches you the basics of question based selling and truly showing value. Radical Candor is also at the top of the list from a leadership perspective. I just finished the Trillion Dollar Coach.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Emma: I love listening to "How I Built This" and "Masters of Scale."
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Emma: Treat your sales career like a sport. The best athletes in the world condition themselves, practice, set goals, review game tapes and hold themselves accountable. Sales is such a fun "sport," and it's so important to always push yourself to get better.
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Emma: As I stated above, increased technology allows us to do our jobs more efficiently. Don't let efficiency replace effectiveness.
Sales Assembly: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to advance their career?
Emma: Be your best advocate. Sometimes, as salespeople, we forget that we also have to sell internally. Especially in the tech industry where companies can scale overnight and things change constantly, it's really important to own your career path. More often than not, there are certain expectations to get to the next level. Use those expectations to create a development plan for yourself by writing down your strengths and areas for opportunity. Speak up when you need help finding a mentor and network with others who possess strengths in your areas of weakness. Most importantly, circle back with the "decision makers," so they can see all that you're doing to get better.