We talk a lot about what it’s like in Sales. I mean, we’re a Sales Acceleration Blog. In this edition of Humans of Tout, we get into the knitty gritty of what life is like on the ToutApp sales floor. Nick Feeney, a Sales Happiness Officer, talked to me about what his day-to-day entails, how he lets off steam, why he gets into the office at 6am and what he eats (at his desk).
What made you choose sales?
The challenge and the fast-paced change is why I chose to work in sales. No two days are the same. Sales provides a thrill for victory and passion. I’m not only competing with myself to be successful, but I’m truly surrounded by some of the best in the business that push me to strive for excellence. My peers and prospects not only elevate my sales career and integrity each day but also bring me back to reality around how to make a positive difference.
Every interaction I have with a potential customer contributes to developing a trustworthy relationship by not only being a trusted advisor but being genuine in my approach. The root of it is, I’m truly excited about what my accounts are doing, which is constantly looking for the next best thing to elevate their team and work to solve their challenges.
There is no defined timeline for building relationships. Too often, sales folks are impatient in exercising patience. One of my mentors always told me that you may not win much business in your first encounters, though you can certainly lose a lot!
What brought you to ToutApp and what’s it like to work here?
In my previous sales roles, I felt extremely stagnant with minimal room for growth. There wasn’t a constant challenge to improve my sales tactics and methodologies. I had a mid-twenties crisis and I knew I had to get out. What drew me to ToutApp was the people and the culture. Before joining ToutApp, I was ignorant about the tech space and how a startup like ToutApp, with a mere 10 employees, could be such a powerhouse. I wanted to be an influential part in a company’s growth and vision. I was and still am passionate about growing alongside ToutApp as a sales professional. I’ve been here for a quick year and I’m a completely different salesperson than I was twelve months ago.
A job at ToutApp is as rewarding as you want it to be. Like any other job, the amount of effort that you put in is what you’re going to get out of it. The reason I get out of bed (at the crack of dawn) is because my peers, management and overall team drives my passion for success. I’ve been fortunate enough to call some of my co-workers my best friends. It’s the culture, it’s the atmosphere, it’s the excitement – it’s what makes you want to crush it.
Nick at our Dreamforce 2014 booth.
How would you describe your job?
I’m a Sales Happiness Officer and I’m actively building relationships with new people. It’s like convincing someone to trust me with their newborns because with sales management, their reps act as their kids Monday-Friday.
My goal is to be that trusted advisor for that “family” so they can grow and solve their needs with what we’re offering. Building the value by providing a genuine partnership rather than just a tool.
We’re growing really quickly at ToutApp – how does that change your day-to-day?
The growth has been non stop craziness, but extremely exciting. I see a lot of myself in the new reps that have hopped on board the ToutApp train, as I started as a Market Development rep myself back in June of 2014. Like any other startup, when I first joined we were constantly changing our process, with a minimal idea of how to streamline success. Since then our company has grown tenfold and are continuing to propel our business daily. Those starting today are more armed to be successful based on our previous shortcomings and success that we’ve built out. It’s exciting to see the company grow because you never know with startups, it could be gone tomorrow. The beauty with ToutApp is we all have the same vision and believe in the same end goal.
How has ToutApp changed your selling process?
I’ve always been detailed oriented and on top of my work, though I came in to a rude awakening and a radically different workflow from what I was used to when I joined the company. ToutApp has forced me to think more strategically, not to assume and truly understand a persons needs before addressing mine. I’ve learned to listen to an answer, digest it before regurgitating and thoughtfully clarify, adjoin, funnel and elevate my response.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
Proud accomplishments are tough for me to relay. I think my proudest accomplishment, which I’m continuing to build is my portfolio of incredible teams I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with. It’s exciting for me to make an impact on not only a rep but at an executive level. The product I sell allows for me to have confidence. Confidence in not only my abilities to be a successful sales professional, but confidence in how this platform can positively change careers and level up performance.
You get up early, what’s it like being an extreme morning person working in the sales startup space?
If I could sleep until 3pm, I’d order in every meal and call it a day. In all seriousness, I check my email at 4:30am and I pray to the holy sales gods that I have a DocuSign waiting in my inbox or a fresh Starbucks breakfast sandwich on my bedside — usually neither of those magically appear. Instead, the MUNI suffices to schlep me into the office around 6am to get things done.
I need to get in here early to manage my day. I’m a walking stress case, so if I feel that work is overpowering me and has control over my day-to-day – I can’t be successful or productive.
My goal is to simply stay diligent, limit distraction, blast country music and do better than I did yesterday.
What would you tell yourself eleven months ago when you first started?
When I first started my sales career, it was easy to follow a method of untrustworthiness. Just lie through your teeth until you can close the deal. At ToutApp, we’re selling to salespeople and that method doesn’t work.
Previously, I was in Fitness sales, selling memberships in a face-to-face, transactional way. I was selling to every consumer, from a teenager with a dollar in his bank account to a nurse who was training for her Cabo trip. Now, I’m fortunate to sell to executives that I aspire to be like. I’ve learned to be transparent and ask the tough questions.
An anonymous admirer sent Nick M&Ms for Valentine’s Day this year.
What do you do to let off steam?
I work out everyday at 4pm. I have to block off my calendar and get out of the office. I’m sure we can all relate that after sitting at our desks for 10+ hours, we begin to translate our sales pitch in pure gibberish. Letting off steam and sweating out your frustrations in the best way to clear your head. Truth is, I’m also a violent cookie eater, and nobody wants to see what I’d look like if I didn’t work out.