Our diverse community of students comes together from various non-traditional backgrounds to learn, reskill, and unite around a shared goal to break into tech sales as a Sales Development Representative (SDR).
As Flockjay charts our path forward in the workplace, it is with the utmost pride that we share the stories of our Tech Fellows. We think it’s important for mission-aligned hiring partners seeking to strengthen and diversify their sales teams to learn more about where our elite students come from. They are ready to make an undeniably positive impact.
Meet Anna Zhirova, a Flockjay Tech Fellow from our eighth class and current SDR for hire. She shared a few details about her journey with us below. Her sales trainers had this to share:
“It was an absolute pleasure to have Anna in our program. She is a great team player, very creative. She was able to fusion her great marketing and sales experience and provided support, key insights, ideas, and direction to her team.”
What did life look like before you found Flockjay?
I was born and raised in Yekaterinburg, Russia and moved to the United States three years ago. I learned about B2B sales and marketing by doing it, as I have 10+ years of experience working in tech in Russia. When I moved to the US, it was not easy to find a job. After one year of unsuccessful interviews, I got tired of searching for jobs and working on my own with occasional marketing tasks where I mostly utilized my data analytics skill set.
So, I began working at both the local Whole Foods Market and on the bike station on Pier 40 in San Francisco. I learned how to do repairs and occasionally sold 10 bikes from our 30-bike fleet (not a bad conversion rate, huh?). Then, I joined the sales program called Flockjay. As I was taking my classes in City College of San Francisco, those 10 weeks of class were challenging.
In Flockjay, I mastered my sales skills related to the industry. I believe that sales are an art and a science. I want to work on the front line of the business bringing more customers on board and working cross-functionally: giving feedback to the product, marketing, and other teams on a regular basis. I see myself as a trusted advisor of disruptive products. I love learning more about MarTech, e-commerce, and e-learning industries. The latter one because of my amazing experience with Flockjay’s online sales training academy. My experience as a Tech Fellow introduced me, a life-long learner, to a powerful equilibrium of human and machine intelligence.
What past accomplishments are you proud of?
1. After 15 years, I married Katya, my wife, and we started our family.
2. I have a master’s degree in philosophy! During my student years, I specialized in one of the most challenging topics: the philosophy and poetry of Martin Heidegger.
3. I dive 33 meters (108.2 feet) deep on a single breath.
4. Back in Russia, I grew the revenue of Allsoft Ecommerce’s solution by a factor of eight, from $4.3 million to $32.3 million annually.
5. I completed 60 units of classes – both the credit and non-credit – at the City College of San Francisco at the same time, working to improve my English skills.
6. I am proud of all certificates that I have. These include Marketo, Hubspot, Salesforce, Google Analytics, and EFSET English Certificate 75/100 (C2 Proficient).
What excites you most about a future SDR role?
I love to work with people and data. When I worked at Softline Group, I grew the number of partners of my e-commerce solution from 3 to 150 partners, and I enjoyed building relationships within my partners. Also, I would love to master my communication skills and learn from the best companies in Silicon Valley.
Advice for someone who wants to break into tech?
Take your cell phone. Choose the app you love. Are you excited to work there? 😉
Follow Her Journey from Tech Fellow to Elite SDR
If you’re someone seeking a new career opportunity, tech sales may be right for you.
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