5 Colorado Sales Teams and the Skills That Define Them

It can be difficult to find a sales job that fits you perfectly — Built In Colorado is here to help narrow the search.

Written by Avery Komlofske
Published on Dec. 20, 2022
5 Colorado Sales Teams and the Skills That Define Them
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One in ten employed people reading this are in sales.

That’s according to the United States Department of Labor, which states that roughly 111 jobs per thousand in Colorado are in sales and related occupations. That number means Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of sales jobs in the country, according to the same report.

Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of sales jobs in the country.

 

It can be challenging to find a job that fits you perfectly in a field that large — especially one like sales, where a strong team culture is critical for success. To help narrow that search, Built In sat down with sales leaders from five Colorado tech companies to learn what makes someone successful on their team.

Salespeople at Uplight, Teamwork, Scaled Agile, Red Canary and Duda all need different skills to succeed, and each team offers their own unique support and training to new hires — all of which is indicative of their larger sales culture. If any of these teams sound appealing, you can check out their open roles.

 

Uplight office front lobby area with logo sign
Uplight
Eric Martin
Regional Vice President, Midwest • Uplight

Uplight provides technology solutions for the energy industry with over 15 products that address customer demand, energy efficiency and more. With so many options for customers, it makes sense that a mindset of continuous learning is key for its salespeople.

 

What is the number one skill you think new hires need to be successful on your team?

The thing I look for most is for folks to be humble and ready to learn. 

Every utility we work with is different — with different goals, challenges and regulatory environments. We need people who want to come in and hear what challenges our utilities are facing and really work to solve those problems. We have a broad set of products, and it’s critical that our sales team take the time to learn each product set, how it helps utilities and how it can be configured for each utility’s unique situation. We want confident sellers, but we need those sellers to be genuinely open to hearing what our customers need as opposed to pushing solutions that might not be in the customer’s best interest.

 

How can sales candidates demonstrate that skill in a job interview?

The things I’m looking for most in an interview is if I can relate to you. 

Is it an easy conversation? Are you someone I’d feel comfortable taking into a meeting with some of my most important customers? To me, relatability means you’re inquisitive, curious and present. Having that type of conversation with me tells me you’ll do the same with our teams and our customers, and those traits will result in customers trusting you and sharing more about what keeps them up at night.

Relatability means you’re inquisitive, curious and present. Those traits will result in customers trusting you and sharing more about what keeps them up at night.”

 

What kind of training do you offer sales team new hires to set them up for success?

We have a series of product certification courses for our sales team. These were developed by our product and implementation teams as a means to getting clear on what our standard offering is. Keeping our sales as “on-the-truck” as possible is important so our development teams can focus on innovation and roadmap. 

Beyond that, we have weekly Deal Desks where each sales director gets a chance to share an update on the week and crowdsource feedback on any issues or blockers they might be facing. We have an incredibly collaborative group, and that knowledge-sharing is key to the success of the entire organization.

 


 

Mark Rosato
Director, Regional Sales — US West • Scaled Agile, Inc.

Scaled Agile’s product focuses on enterprise agility, helping businesses improve systems, engagement and outcomes. To help other companies be agile, Scaled Agile team members must first be agile themselves, which is why Mark Rosato places emphasis on critical thinking.

 

What is the number one skill you think new hires need to be successful on your team?

I always believe critical thinking skills are a key element of success. 

Business to business sales is a complex profession, especially when you are dealing with more strategic and expansive selling motions that have consequential effects to a business. The complexity can be in the diverse nature of the solution across an enterprise, spanning multiple business units, aligning multiple decision-makers, engaging a partner network or evolving large scale change to business process, culture or people.

There are both buyer’s journeys and seller’s journeys — becoming well-versed in both is critically important. The buyer’s journey is the decision-making process and buying process that any seller needs to understand. The seller’s journey is the steps and interactions within the company that you are balancing to align with the customer and ensure that you are moving through both processes to relieve any risk and ensure levels of predictability for a mutually beneficial outcome. Connecting the dots for the customer begins the formation of thoughts, details and a framework of a plan. 

 

How can sales candidates demonstrate that skill in a job interview?

Developing a new account is tricky business — it requires research, creativity and curiosity. The same is true when interviewing for a role in sales. 

Developing a new account is tricky business — it requires research, creativity and curiosity. The same is true when interviewing for a role in sales.” 

 

Take the time to do research on the company and the persons with whom you will be interviewing. It illustrates a strong desire to get the job — but moreover, it helps the interviewer understand the level of preparation you would put into engaging with an enterprise customer. Use what you learn about the company and their values to craft questions and make sure your answers to an interviewer’s questions align with the role’s responsibilities. Putting on the company lens will help align your engagement with the company interviewing panel.

When the interviewer asks questions they are assessing fit in the team, ability to perform in the role and where investments would be targeted to on-board or develop a new hire to completely fulfill the responsibilities. When you ask questions, it gives the impression that you are curious about an outcome that aligns with your career goals and the company’s present needs.

 

What kind of training do you offer sales team new hires to set them up for success?

At Scaled Agile, there are three defined areas of focus when onboarding. 

First, we make the new sales member feel welcomed in our team, and within the collaborative culture of the company, with social and team interactions regardless of the location of your home office. Second, we provide a comprehensive training plan that includes key people to meet and highlights key areas of information to start learning about our company and its products. Third, we provide a mentor that will help guide a new sales professional through our systems, tools and sales materials with plenty of chances to shadow sales calls and participate in customer visits.

Our objective is to quickly get new employees assimilated into our culture, feeling productive in the team environment and developing a sense of satisfaction with their interaction with customers.

 


 

Red Canary office people sitting in small video chat rooms
Red Canary
Dennis Hon
Senior Vice President, Sales • Red Canary

Red Canary describes itself as a “security ally,” helping security teams manage their detection and response. Like the systems it helps protect, it’s important that sales team members at Red Canary be resilient.

 

What is the number one skill you think new hires need to be successful on your team?

Resiliency. 

In sales, you are going to get turned down, battle competitors, encounter surprises and be challenged on every level, but your ability to overcome obstacles and setbacks — and what you learn in the process — says a lot about you. 

A complementary element to resiliency is problem-solving — one’s ability to creatively devise solutions to problems and challenges is critical to attaining success. Lastly, a person needs to be constantly seeking information through conversations and meetings. Conversations lead to understanding, alignment, opportunity and ultimately, achievement.

In sales, you are going to get turned down, battle competitors, encounter surprises and be challenged on every level, but your ability to overcome  says a lot about you.” 

 

How can sales candidates demonstrate that skill in a job interview?

Resilience can be demonstrated through sharing prior challenging situations or difficult deals, and how they learned or overcame that challenge. It can also be demonstrated through a history of career growth or adaptability in a changing role, company or market. Problem-solving is at the core of overcoming challenges, along with tenacity in pursuing conversations that lead to better decision-making.

 

What kind of training do you offer sales team new hires to set them up for success?

We have an incredible sales enablement team that provides a full week of “flight school” that provides new hires with ideal customer profiles, value propositions and key differentiators. You can read more about our enablement team in a piece Hannah Ensler-Rivel did with Built In Colorado last year.

 

 

Beau Brooks
VP, Worldwide Sales • Teamwork

Teamwork provides a SaaS platform for client services. In his conversation with Built In, Beau Brooks provides a key example of why coachability is important on his team.

 

What is the number one skill you think new hires need to be successful on your team?

Without a doubt, coachability. 

In a fast-paced startup environment, the ability to learn quickly is a must. We like to have people with experience, but even more important is the awareness that you don’t know it all and need to be open to learning and willing to ask for coaching.

I recently had a new hire come in and want to prove themselves as a top rep very quickly. They took it upon themselves to learn as much as possible and build a process that worked for them, outside of the standard process. It didn’t work as planned, and improvement was slow. Another new hire recently dove in and started asking tons of questions about everything — she didn’t assume that she knew the best method, and was very vocal asking for feedback and help on how to improve. That was a fast path to success.

 

How can sales candidates demonstrate that skill in a job interview?

The strongest demonstration of coachability is sharing practical examples of receiving coaching, applying it and seeing a positive outcome. 

It’s important to remember in a job interview that a sales manager wants to understand if they can help you be successful on the team. They aren’t looking for someone to come in and do it their own way — that’s too risky if it fails. Play to your audience.

When I’m interviewing a prospective team member, I want to hear how they were struggling in a particular month or quarter — it’s ok to reveal that, we all struggle sometimes. The strongest reps will share their challenge and work through the solution with others. It’s a big red flag when a rep tries to go it alone and solve the problem by themselves. Be honest about your experiences and how you’ve worked as a team to help you hit your goals.

The strongest reps will share their challenge and work through the solution with others.”

 

What kind of training do you offer sales team new hires to set them up for success?

At Teamwork, we have three ways to train new hires for success: online training, in-person instruction and ride-along sales call listening. There are online videos combined with practical exercises to learn the product, and we use self- and peer-led product environment work. In addition to video training, you will engage by listening to sales call snippets and responding to questions about what you hear, which helps you identify the right behaviors and instill best practices through repetition. We also pair you with a sales buddy — an experienced peer on the sales team — to help you navigate your new role.

Our new hire training program culminates with a certification process where you present your skills in a mock sales conversation with leadership. The entire process is designed to prepare you for exactly what you need to be successful at Teamwork.

All of this training is set up in our learning platform, so you always know what you’ve completed and what’s ahead in your training journey. We make it as clear and fun as possible. Not all of us learn in the same way, so we tailor the learning as much as possible to your style.

 

 

Steve Guerra and Chris Geaslen
Mid-Market Account Executive and Senior Mid-Market Account Executive • Duda, Inc.

Duda provides a web design platform for companies that provide website services to small businesses. The most important skill for their salespeople: Thinking outside the box.

 

What is the number one skill you think new hires need to be successful on your team?

It’s hard to pick just one, so we’ll go with two — after all, success on our team is a product of the ability to think outside the box. 

The first skill is a tendency to be inquisitive, in particular as a new hire. That means not being afraid to ask questions and dive further into any subject — including potential customer pain points and business models — thereby driving the most meaningful impact for our customers. The second is creativity: being comfortable with ambiguity and operating freely with little structure, along with in trying new things and coming up with creative solutions for our customers. 

A tendency to be inquisitive... [and] creativity — being comfortable with ambiguity and operating freely with little structure.”

 

How can sales candidates demonstrate that skill in a job interview?

Candidates can showcase both of these skills in a job interview through the questions they ask, as well as by highlighting examples of creative solutions with previous customers. 

In a job interview, ask for deeper insights into the types of customers, current process, team dynamic and what success looks like. No two interviewers will have the same responses, so take the opportunity to find out as much as you can from each one. When answering interview questions, have prepared examples that show how you’ve stepped outside of the process to deliver value to customers. Highlight your ability to adapt to new situations and challenges, how you’ve worked through those and how you’ve collaborated across your team, partners and other departments in order to drive success. 

 

What kind of training do you offer sales team new hires to set them up for success?

We think about training as immersing yourself into Duda in order to fully understand the complexities of our product, processes and cycles. Over the first 90 days especially, we work to partner with new sales hires to have them shadow other team members, build relationships and get comfortable before they hit the ground running. We also focus on getting newly hired sales team members out in front of prospects and having or leading conversations as quickly as possible. This drives a more meaningful ramp for new hires and allows them to ultimately be more successful.

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images via listed companies and Shutterstock.

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