You’ve heard of Unicorn and Rocket Ship companies, but what about people?

Jackie Woods could be one of those people. In just a few years, Jackie has gone from internships in college to running an high-performance Sales Development team at Optimizely

We were lucky enough to catch up with Jackie live at the Optimizely office, and she shares with us how she rose through the ranks so quickly and the hard-won lessons learned over the past few years as a new manager.

You don’t want to miss this one.

We just announced The Sales Development Conference 2019, August 23rd in San Francisco. Early Bird tickets are almost sold out so grab them before they’re gone right here →

Big thanks to Darryl Praill of VanillaSoft for making this podcast possible. Check out their new Sales Engagement solutions here……

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#marketingops #salesforce #tech #salestech #marketingtech #salestraining #brighttalk
#salesenablement #discoverorg #leadgeneration #accountbasedmarketing #abm 


In this episode, David chats with Jackie Woods, Manager at Sales Development at Optimizely, a platform that enables businesses to experiment deeply into their technology stack and broadly across the entire customer experience. Tune in as Jackie shares with us her amazing journey from college to sales development manager, how she manages her team, and tips for people who are interested in taking another role.

3 Key Points:

  1. Always do your research and understand what value a company provides its customers, not just the product/service they offer.
  2. It’s not just about being the best candidate for a position, it’s about being the best fit for the entire role.
  3. Motivation is partly intrinsic, but remember, as a manager, you can help your people find that missing piece.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:17 – Subscribe to our show on YouTube and review us on iTunes
  • 00:39 – Engage with leads & close deals! Go to VanillaSoft and start your free trial
  • 00:58 – David introduces Jackie
  • 01:35 – Jackie started in sales development straight out of college
    • She started as an SDR in Optimizely
    • 2 years after, she got the manager position
  • 03:51 – Jackie shares 4 tips to applicants:
    • Don’t just understand what the product is or what the company offers, understand the value that the company provide its customers
    • Share your background and past experiences that drew you to the company
    • Focusing on the value vs reciting cool things about the company
    • Do your research and speak intelligently about the market you’re going into
  • 06:36 – David and Jackie talk about the importance of reading customer case studies
  • 08:22 – Think about translating what you learned in the past to the new role you’re taking
  • 10:15 – Use resources like Google, Crunchbase, and other platforms to research about the company you want to get in to
  • 14:02 – Keep in mind that companies look for a candidate that fits the position and the team well
  • 14:39 – Jackie shares some of applicant feedback they get
  • 16:20 – Setting yourself up for an AE role requires taking stock on your skills very honestly
  • 19:51 – If you want to move into a different role, “You have to do well in your current job”
    • Depending on company culture, you can leverage manager roles into helping aspiring candidates for the position they’re rooting
    • Find a mentor in the department you want to get into
    • Understand that sometimes you will have to do a double-duty
  • 22:13 – Engage with leads & close deals! Go to VanillaSoft and start your free trial
  • 23:13 – In the last 6 months, 2 SDRs went to move to different cross-functional roles
    • Jackie shares how one wanted to get into the customer success route
  • 26:27 – Jackie answers what to do when you feel demotivated in your SDR job
    • Think about why you’re feeling this way
    • View motivation as something in your own power to control
  • 28:39 – Motivation is intrinsic, yet managers can still do something to help their people
    • Figure out the reasons with them through one-on-one meetings
    • Try to understand what they’re struggling with
  • 31:10 – “Don’t diminish your role or your value” is Jackie’s #1 tip to SDRs
  • 33:08 – Jackie talks about using the telephone strategically
    • Their team uses different structures of outreach
    • Using the phone for testing and for outreach is still relevant
  • 36:07 – “There’s so much opportunity to help and enable our SDR team to be better by leveraging any key data points”
  • 39:40 – To scale effective processes to everyone, you need to understand what you’re looking for and how it’s going to work, and a person to oversee through it
  • 41:46 – Subscribe to our show on YouTube and review us on iTunes
  • 41:54 – Contact us to discuss your sales development needs

Resources Mentioned: