Eileen Wiens defining career moment is happening as I type. Our new VP of Sales started last week, and she has already gotten our team off and running. I’m not joking, our sales reps are having ‘A-ha!’ moments on a daily basis. With a cheery demeanor and a lot of excitement, she tells me, “I think the biggest career move I’ll look back on is now. We’re in such a hot space, have high visibility, and I get the chance to sell to and meet the most influential people.” Right now, she says, “Is a new journey.”
I asked her to expand a little more on why she wanted to join ToutApp.
“C’mon Eileen (obviously a reference to the famous 80’s song), Why ToutApp, and why at this moment?
“The Sales acceleration market is an emerging space, and we’re certainly an early player...and quickly becoming a leader. I’ve also been a customer for the last year (as the Director of Sales at Hoopla), and had such a great selling experience with ToutApp. It had major stickiness with my own sales team, so I knew it was powerful.”
What does she mean by ‘stickiness’? She was sold on our product when her sales team revolted when their trial was coming to an end. “They loved it and many said ‘I’ll just pay for it myself’ if it doesn’t happen. Very few sales reps would take money out of their own pocket. I knew right then; ToutApp was a powerful and game changing tool.”
In her exact words, “I got into sales when the earth’s crust cooled.”
She’s spent the last 20 years in both inside and outside sales, and most recently, worked for Hoopla as the Director of Sales. Her first ‘sales’ role was working from the ground up-- working in Lead Gen and making cold calls. She admits, “I waited till everyone went to lunch to make my first cold call.” Quickly getting over nerves (that lasted a millisecond), she moved up to Lead Gen Manager, and on to strategic alliances and Biz Dev during the .com days. She worked for a few startups, a Fortune 500 company, and emerged early into the SaaS space in 2004.
“For me it’s always been a combination of culture, product, and challenge.” A common theme in her background is building stuff. “For me, building a team, and building a company, is what ultimately drives me.”
What does she want to build? Something simply stated, but extremely powerful:
“A repeatable sales model that exponentially grows the revenue and the value of the company.”
She brings a tremendous amount of passion and ability to motivate salespeople.
She explains, “It’s Two-Fold: One, being able to design the sales strategy, and two, you have to be a good leader to craft a sales mission. She says being a leader means having the ability to get in the trenches with your team. “It’s important to get respect from your team by getting on the phone with them.” I asked what kind of leader she would describe herself as…“ People say that I’m a nurturing coach.”
In 20 years, she’s seen sales change tremendously. “I think the biggest difference is that Sales is now an integral part of companies; companies run their entire business purely on inside salespeople.” This profession is now very much looked at as a respected role, with companies using inside sales as their go-to market sales model.”
As a leader, she gave the best answer, “It was actually a team effort for one of the largest social networking sites.” She went on to tell me an amazing story of building champions, hard work, with many hands involved. “It was a Global initiative with very specific engagement rules, and we were late to enter the competition.” Being a competitive bake-off, Eileen and another company were in head-to-head competition for the spot. “My Sales rep spent a significant amount of time of building relationships around the world. With a 90 day sales-cycle, and many stakeholders involved, our team had to continuously build champions, and we did it!” What does this teach us?
Sales is a collaborative effort.
And of-course, I had to circle back with TK, who tirelessly spent the last quarter meeting with over a dozen sales leaders to figure out who would be the right fit for our VP of Sales role. I asked him, “Why Eileen?”
“When it comes to hiring, I look for two crucial elements. I first look for a person that understands our mission and is willing to join up. We already had that in Eilleen because not only was she a loyal customer, she had already sent us a ton of referrals our way. The second thing I look for are people that are not just looking to be great at their jobs, but are looking deeply to advance the very craft they are in -- and I saw that in Eileen the very first time I saw her speak at an AA-ISP panel.”
“We’re super excited and super lucky to have Eileen on-board as our VP of Sales. I consider myself to have one job, and that is to build a crack team of bad-asses. And with all the hires we’ve made this year, we’re well on our way to dominate in this space. I couldn’t be more excited.”
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