College vs. Career Bootcamps when Pursuing Sales

College vs. Career Bootcamps when Pursuing Sales

Throughout history, the gatekeepers of the tech industry have made the college diploma an integral part of their ticket to get in. A degree meant you had the skills to get off to a good start in the working world. And that you were competent enough to pick up the skills that would allow you to thrive in the long term.

But today, that ticket is evolving at a rapid pace, especially in tech sales. Hiring managers have realized that the overwhelming majority of degrees offered at universities do not equip graduates with the skills necessary to succeed in sales. And the universities that do offer a sales major are few and far between.

Instead, what hiring managers are starting to look for in candidates is a particular set of traits. More specifically, emotional intelligence, grit, resiliency, optimism, diligence, verbal communication, curiosity, coachability, and confidence.

So regardless of how you developed these traits — through bartending, food service, or retail — you’ll be a shoe-in in the tech sales space if you can refine these traits into sales skills through a career bootcamp like Flockjay.

However, you might still be strongly considering going to college. After all, it’s college, right? Below, we’ll show you why we believe a bootcamp can prepare you for a career in sales. Even if you are in college, went to college, or have prior sales experience, bootcamps can accelerate upskilling. Each person’s career journey is unique! Learn about your options. 

Cost

 Cost is one of the biggest differentiating factors when comparing college vs career bootcamps. 

College

With 65% of college seniors owing an average of $29,200 in student loans, college can easily saddle you with a mountain of debt the moment you get handed your diploma. Student loan payments also have interest, so if you can’t afford to pay the interest on your loans, then your interest will accrue interest.

Even if you’re looking for the cheapest option — state schools — you’ll still have to pay a pretty penny for it. State schools have been able to raise their tuition significantly more than private schools have been able to. This makes it tougher than ever to find a good deal on a college education these days. In fact, from 2008 – 2021, in-state tuition prices among National Universities.

And with the average in-state tuition hovering around $10,000 today, you could easily be drowning in $40,000 of debt right after graduation, which could potentially stall your life plans like it did for the people featured in Netflix’s Money Explained. The clip below is eye opening.

Career Bootcamp like Flockjay

If you decide to enroll in a career bootcamp like Flockjay, you’ll only have to pay deferred tuition of $7,650. That means you’ll pay a monthly installment of $425 for 18 months — but only if you land a job that pays you at least $40,000 per year. As a result, you won’t accrue any debt!

Time Commitment

Both college and career bootcamps require an investment in time. You get out what you put in. 

College

With class and homework, college is at least a 20-25 hour time commitment per week for four years. On top of this workload, you might also have to take on a part-time job to help pay for tuition or just to make ends meet.

Even if you make the time commitment and earn a college degree, though, it’s still not a surefire way of getting a job. The overwhelming majority of employers only consider entry-level candidates who have gotten relevant internship experience during their summer or winter breaks. If you don’t have this relevant internship experience, then you won’t even be able to land a first-round interview at these companies.

Even worse, most college students get their first internship through a family connection, so landing an internship can be especially tough for people who do not have family connections in the corporate world.

Career Bootcamp like Flockjay

Flockjay is a 20-hour time commitment per week for ten weeks. Our program runs Monday- Thursday from 5 PM – 8 PM PST so there will be no conflict with your full-time job.

If you meet our graduation requirements, you will be assigned a dedicated Career Service Manager who will make introductions with our hiring partners and set up interviews for you with them. From mastering tech sales to introducing you to your future employer, we’ve got you covered.

Quality of Education

College

In college, the majority of your classes will consist of a professor lecturing you and hundreds of other students. Most of these professors are also much more focused on their own research rather than teaching. As a result, they will barely pay any attention to you, let alone know your name. Additionally, your social life will take priority over learning in college, especially when attendance isn’t required.

Career Bootcamp like Flockjay

At Flockjay, you will engage in compelling presentations and interactive group activities. Our trainers are all current full-time tech sales representatives who teach after their 9-5, which earns them well over six figures, so being a trainer is much more about paying it forward than earning extra cash. We also have attendance and homework requirements that you must meet in order to graduate so there’s no skipping class to drink beer!

Apply for Our Tech Sales Bootcamp Today!

If you want to forgo a mountain of debt and a degree that’s more of a formality than anything, consider applying for our tech sales training program! In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

Creating Space for Juneteenth and Beyond: 4 Insightful Questions Answered

Creating Space for Juneteenth and Beyond: 4 Insightful Questions Answered

A year ago, George Floyd’s unjust death sparked one of the most stirring social justice movements in American history. And today, the fruits of its labor have begun to bloom. On June 17, 2021, President Biden signed a bill that made Juneteenth — the commemoration of the end of slavery in America — a national holiday.

As the consciousness of racial injustice rises, it’s crucial that we take advantage of this momentum to echo the stories of our black brothers and sisters to as many people as possible. That’s why we teamed up with ThinkHuman and 15Five to host a webinar about the black experience and how we can show up for black employees in June and beyond.

Here are answers to four of the most insightful questions from the event. We are so grateful to each and every panelist for joining and helping to drive this meaningful discussion.

1. What does Juneteenth acknowledge to you?

“It acknowledges that we as black people are human beings. This was something that came up last week when we had one of our calls and we were talking about how companies like to say, ‘Oh yeah there’s got to be a business case for these efforts.’ Oh really? There’s got to be a business case for a human issue? There’s got to be a business case for blackness? There’s got to be a business case for my existence? When you think about it from that lens, you should really just flip that conversation on its head. Doing right by humanity means acknowledging the rich history of what has happened and what has occurred, however painful it is.” — Robert Gordon IV, Business Development at Flockjay

“We’re not just doing this for black people. Our white counterparts have to understand that this is also important to them because this is a part of their history. This isn’t just black history. There were certain things that your ancestors did or didn’t do that contributed to this very day. Recognize that. We have to embrace certain things that we love and hate. We may feel ashamed of our history. But what this helps us do is move the needle. And I’m not just talking about black people’s issues but issues with white people’s history as well. Let’s do the work. It takes both of us to do it.”

 

Hakemia Jackson, ThinkHuman

2. How do you equip our White, Latin, and Asian brothers and sisters with the weapons to speak on our behalf?

“Accept your own privilege. As a white person, you have privilege. And if you are deeply curious, the first step is just accepting the fact that you have that privilege and that you’re not going to be right all the time. You might make some mistakes, but if you’re leading with empathy and genuine curiosity, that’s a great initial step.” — Robert Gordon IV, Business Development at Flockjay

“The reality is that sometimes we just don’t want to make a 100% commitment. I was reminded yesterday that it was the one-year anniversary of everyone posting those black squares on Instagram. At least 80 of my friends posted that black square. Black, White, Latino, Asian, etcetera. But my question is what’s been done in the last year on your end? What have you done since then to show solidarity, action, and support for the community? That alone is one big question to really look at internally and understand if I’m just being performative or if I actually want to celebrate and support this community.”

 

Aaron Crutison, Technical Recruiter at Loom

3. What does it look like to truly stand in solidarity with your black talent?

“Set me up to thrive. Give me the coaching. Give me everything that I need. Acknowledge that I might not have had access to the networks that some of my colleagues might have had access to. Acknowledge that I might need additional support. That’s what equity is — the redistribution of resources. Don’t simply bring me in and then right when I’m floundering blame it on me. No, you set me up. You brought me into a situation where you’ve done no work to make the environment inclusive. You’ve done no work to make it equitable. And as a result, I am not thriving here.” — Francesca Walker, Instructional Designer & Facilitator at ThinkHuman

“Allowing space for healing, community, and celebration. Dismantling internal structures that have historically been intentional in holding black brilliant talent back from advancement. Checking your privilege at the door. Allowing us to exist.”

 

Robert Gordon IV, Business Development at Flockjay

4. If an organization wants to establish Juneteenth as a holiday, how should they go about that?

“Start having conversations with your black team members. Part of taking this step is having those uncomfortable conversations internally and checking yourself at the door both from the perspective of leadership and the perspective of the thesis for your company. Just diving headfirst into those uncomfortable conversations and making sure that you’re just being extremely intentional around the why. Extremely intentional around the support. And extremely intentional around forward momentum in progress.” — Aaron Crutison II, Technical Recruiter at Loom

“Speaking to the why and intentionality of celebrating Juneteenth, one thing that’s really important is that when you’re rolling this out, it’s not simply that everyone just takes the day off. You need to acknowledge that there is work to be done here and there are some of us in this country and in this organization that still have work to do. Consider attending workshops where you can explore these systemic issues and the ways in which racism is at the root of it all. Take the day to reflect and get the education that you need. Don’t just take the day off.”

 

Francesca Walker, Instructional Designer & Facilitator at ThinkHuman

Watch the full Juneteenth webinar

Ready to further your understanding of how to create space for Juneteenth and beyond?

Watch the full webinar recap here.

Learn more about Flockjay’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging here.

From Life as a Translator to a Career in Sales

From Life as a Translator to a Career in Sales

After working as an assistant manager at a wine shop in Brooklyn, Oriana De Francesco decided to take a leap of faith and launch her own language services business. Being fluent in both French and Spanish, Oriana started translating for attorneys who worked in the immigration space and were aiding asylum seekers. It was the most rewarding job she’s ever had.

Within four years, Oriana’s business was generating enough revenue to make ends meet. But then suddenly, everything came crashing down.

“The pandemic shut down my entire business,” says Oriana. “Most of my clients canceled their projects, and I was basically left in this void of existential crisis. I needed to find a new path in life.”

Oriana decided to leave New York, a city ravaged by COVID-19, and move back home to San Francisco. While relieved to be in familiar surroundings, the reality of her situation began to kick in: “What was she going to do now?”

Discovering an Opportunity at Flockjay

A few weeks later, Oriana stumbled upon a feature article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Raven Winchester, a former janitor who completed Flockjay’s ten-week tech sales bootcamp and landed a job as a Business Development Representative at LaunchDarkly, a company whose offices she used to clean as a janitor.

“Her story really inspired me,” says Oriana. “If she could make that drastic of a change in her career, maybe I could, too.”

After doing some more digging, Oriana realized that a career in sales had the job security she was looking for, and the tech industry is one of the most stable spaces around. She applied and interviewed for Flockjay’s tech sales program and was enrolled into their ninth batch of students.

“I interviewed with Nagieb, one of Flockjay’s Admissions Advisors, and he was great. He wanted to know about my background and my goals. He’s just so good with people,” says Oriana.

“I was also able to ask him a lot of questions. I wanted to learn more about the program and how I was going to be able to complete it and come out of it with a job. He was very thorough. I really enjoyed my conversation with him.”

Mastering Sales Through Flockjay

As Oriana progressed through Flockjay’s program, there were two components of the program  that blew her away:

  1. The ease of building community with her classmates or “flockmates”
  2. The mentorship and coaching provided by Flockjay’s trainers

Flockjay’s Community: “The first part of the program that I loved was this amazing comradery that was built up between me and my classmates. We were all trying to transform our lives, which is obviously super challenging, but I never felt alone during this process because I had all of these other people around me supporting and lifting each other up. They were these amazing, brave, and courageous people, and we were all in it together,” says Oriana. “We even gave ourselves a team name, ‘The Mighty Ducks’”.

Flockjay’s Coaching and Mentorship: “I would have one‑on‑ones with a very learned and diverse set of instructors, (Lauren Lovelace, Kevin Uong, Justin Solis) and it was so incredible to get all of these different perspectives on how to approach the Sales Development Representative role. They would also just give us a ton of fundamental advice about sales. I’ve never worked in sales or tech, so I’m really a novice. Having these instructors was hugely helpful.”

After graduating from Flockjay with flying colors, Oriana’s dedicated Career Service Manager, Gino Calavitta, made introductions to a number of Flockjay’s hiring partners. In a flash, Oriana was getting interview requests left and right. Eventually, she was getting so many that she had to turn some down. And as someone who was unemployed for the past year, she felt overwhelmed with gratitude.

“Without Flockjay, there was absolutely no way I could get a job in tech sales. I didn’t have a single entry point into the industry, but Flockjay closed that network gap for me, which is part of a larger inequality gap that we have in America,” says Oriana.

“You can be extremely smart, talented, and driven, but if you don’t know the right people, you’re never gonna get your foot in the door. Flockjay really allows those of us who don’t have the right network or experience to not only land a job but also build a career by making introductions to their hiring partners and their network of sales leaders.”

Nine interviews later, Envoy, a workplace experience software, ticked all the boxes for her.

“Envoy is extremely people-focused. They really invest in their employees, and they offer an amazing platform that’s helping reopen the global economy by getting people back to work through the hybrid model,” says Oriana.

When Oriana officially received a job offer to be a Business Development Representative at Envoy, she felt a mix of both pure joy and astonishment. “I almost couldn’t believe what I had accomplished because it was such a rapid transformation. In four months, I went from unemployed to signing a job offer. It’s unreal. Flockjay literally transformed my life.”

Change Your Life Like Oriana Did Today

If Oriana’s story resonates with you and you want to make a life-changing career move today, consider applying for our tech sales training program. In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

If you want to read more student success stories, check out our testimonials.

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

Celia’s Journey From Hospitality to Sales

Celia’s Journey From Hospitality to Sales

When COVID-19 first sent the US economy into a deep freeze, Celia Camacho-Chann got laid off from her bartending job and spent the next month unemployed. It was one of the toughest times of her life because she had always been working at least two jobs at once for the past decade.

However, flash forward ten months and you’ll find her carving a tech sales career at Gainsight, a Customer Success and Product Experience software, where she couldn’t be happier.

We sat down with Celia to discuss her journey from hospitality to sales. 

Life in the Hospitality Industry

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in anthropology, Celia wasn’t sure if she wanted to go to graduate school, so she decided to pursue a career in hospitality to make ends meet and then dabble in as many career paths as possible on the side to see what she really wanted to do.

For the next decade, Celia would typically hold down one hospitality job while working in other fields like administrative work, landscaping, and customer experience. By 2020, she was working three jobs. But when COVID-19 hit, Celia found herself unemployed for the first time in her career.

Not wanting to rely on unemployment, Celia got in touch with some contacts from college and landed a job as a Customer Experience Associate at Eko, an electronic stethoscope & telemedicine company. But after a few months of only working one job, Celia got the itch to do something on the side again. And with her newfound passion for helping and talking to customers, she knew exactly what her next move was going to be after she saw an ad for Flockjay on Craigslist.

“At first, I thought it was a scam, but once I got on the website, I saw that they have the whole syllabus laid out and they really emphasize diversity and career services, which had me sold.”

Working Full-Time While Attending Flockjay

Even though Celia had to work a full-time job at Eko and was a little afraid she wouldn’t sound as confident as she should on presentations and calls, she hit the ground running. Especially when she started going to office hours with her trainers every Friday.

Celia’s favorite aspect of the program was how tailored the curriculum was. She always knew exactly what to focus on during the week.

“Every module is built on top of each other. So, for example, I could see how cold calling relates to discovery sessions. There was also always a good balance between seeing a great example of how to do something and then having time to do both individual and group practice,” says Celia.

“Sometimes, I think that educational programs skew too much in one direction. They either give you a little spiel and then you just go off and do it in a group. Or it’s the opposite, where there’s just a PowerPoint and then no activity at all. At Flockjay, I always thought there was a really good balance.”

Celia’s Start in Tech Sales

After graduation, Celia continued to work full-time while she interviewed with over ten companies for a job in tech sales. And since she was jumping around so much from work and interviews, she wasn’t able to book as many mock interviews as she would’ve liked.

Fortunately, her dedicated Career Service Manager (CSM) through Flockjay’s program felt all the more inclined to support her throughout the interview process.

“My CSM would always stay in touch and provide me with tons of resources, like case studies and behavioral questions that they knew my interviewers would look for or ask.”

Celia eventually landed a sales job at Gainsight, a Customer Success and Product Experience software company. And she has more access to upward mobility and, in turn, a career path that she’s actually more passionate about than ever before.

“My trainers at Flockjay would always mention how being an SDR can open up so many doors for you. Gainsight really emphasizes this, and it’s crazy how true it is. I could go into sales enablement after this. Or customer success and then make a lateral move or move up to the VP position or C-suite. They’re all about focusing on sharpening the skills and working on the projects that you want to work on.”

Switching Careers from Hospitality to Sales

If Celia’s story resonates with you and you also want to make a life-changing career move today, consider applying for our tech sales training program. In just ten weeks, you’ll learn about everything from sales techniques to sales software and also potentially land a sales job at one of the top tech companies in the world, like Salesforce, Zoom, or Gong!

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?

7 Sales Development Questions Answered by a Leader at GitHub

7 Sales Development Questions Answered by a Leader at GitHub

After graduating from St. Olaf College in 2008, Keshia Hohenstein, the Global Director of Sales Development at GitHub, got accepted into the Leadership Development Program at Quad/Graphics, a commercial printing company.

For the next nine months, she would do three-month rotations in different departments of the business such as manufacturing, marketing, and customer success. By the end of the program, Keshia was convinced that she wanted to pursue a career in marketing.

However, after enough of her friends, parents, and professionals in her network recommended that she at least consider a career in sales, she decided to check it out. “Whenever people would ask me what I wanted to do, I would tell them that I wanted to have plenty of autonomy, work in a group setting with a lot of camaraderie, and have healthy competition,” says Keshia. “That’s sales in a nutshell. So after my rotational program, I decided to take the plunge. I ended up loving it.”

Keshia was gracious enough to share her time with our internal flock and lead a weekly fireside chat for current students. We host different leaders each Monday in an effort to offer our students access to authentic, successful, bold industry leaders! Keshia shared insights on everything from interviewing, to becoming a badass SDR, to being a woman and person of color in sales. Read on to see what you can learn from Keshia that will help you on your career journey.

Keshia Hohenstein’s Journey Into Tech Sales

Keshia went on to work in sales at Quad/Graphics for the next three years, where she fell in love with the art of selling. But she also developed an itch to work in an industry that could make a bigger impact on the business world as a whole.

Soon enough, she realized that the tech space could scratch it. However, since she didn’t have any experience working in tech, she struggled to even land an interview.

“I applied to 30 or 40 companies and was also trying to get my foot in the door at other companies, but I got auto-rejected by a bunch of them. And honestly, I don’t necessarily think there was a skills gap because I had some sales experience at that point, but I just had zero tech sales experience,” says Keshia. “These companies interview tons of people who have tech sales experience, so they weren’t as interested in somebody who came from a different background.”

To overcome this obstacle, Keshia decided to apply for a broader range of roles at smaller-sized companies. She knew that she only needed one company to take a chance on her and that when they did, she was going to carve a career in tech. She knew the passion was there.

In 2012, Keshia landed her first job in the tech industry as a Corporate Account Executive at ClearSlide. Seven years later, she not only rocketed up the sales ladder, landing a role where she heads up the global sales development team of over 50 SDRs in San Francisco, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Japan, but she also rocketed up the tech ladder by doing it at GitHub.

Read on for Keshia’s direct answers to the five top questions asked during our fireside chat. 

1. How do you ace an interview?

“After you do enough interviews, you’re going to hear some of the same questions. Don’t let that tire you out. I’ve interviewed somebody who had already done a bunch of interviews with our team and I felt like he had just had a super long day. It wasn’t a good interview. So always make sure to bring the energy.”

“I also try to find out what you’re telling me through your actions. Within the time frame that we’re interviewing, I’ll take note of what you say you do and what you actually do. That way, I can line up your resume with your actions and see if everything’s consistent.”

“Additionally, be your authentic self. You don’t want to get hired into a role because you faked it because now you’ve got this persona to uphold. So be you and be honest with what you want out of the company. It will shine through.”

Key Takeaways: Bring the energy, make sure you can walk the walk, and be your authentic self.

2. What does the day in the life of an SDR at GitHub look like?

“It varies, but I would say you’re going to slice and dice your time between following up on emails and following up on LinkedIn. We don’t make as many calls anymore because emails and LinkedIn are doing great. So you gotta make sure that you’re sending out those messages.”

“We also have our SDRs sit in on their Account Executive’s calls to glean some best practices. Then, when their AE trusts them enough and believes they’re good enough to lead a call on their own, they let them take the reins. Their AEs will give them feedback after. And if that goes well, they’ll let them sit in on the entire sales cycle because they want to prepare them for their next role. It’s like having the training wheels on.”

“On the flip side of things, our SDRs are always learning about the product and the company. They have to understand the product that they’re selling. And since we have a multitude of products that have a lot of different industry use cases, there’s a ton of different personas and value props that they need to know. There’s no shortage of material to learn, so they need to take the time to study our solutions.”

Key Takeaways: Following up with prospects through email and on LinkedIn, sit in on AE’s calls and track prospects’ entire sales cycles to prepare for next role, and constantly learning about the product. 

3. What does a top SDR look like in your eyes?

“I’ve had some SDRs get promoted lightning-fast, like I’m talking about two rounds of promotions in three months. So these things can happen quickly if you come in and learn fast. To do this, the top trait to possess is having a growth mindset, where you constantly solicit feedback. Anytime somebody gives you feedback, take it like the gift that it is. 

It takes a lot of thought and attention to give somebody solid feedback. The best gift you can give back is to implement their recommended changes and ask for more feedback after. Showcasing that you’re hungry to learn, that you want to keep pushing forward, and that you’ve got thick skin is huge.”

“The next best trait to possess is a strong work ethic. Sometimes, you don’t want to send that extra email, but the person that does is doing what everybody else didn’t want to do, kind of like Michael Jordan. You gotta make sure that you put that hard work in every day, not just in quick spurts or binges. You gotta be consistent.” 

Read: Flockjay Grad Elise Cox Promoted Twice Since Breaking into Tech

“Another top trait to possess is a sense of urgency. You can do something tomorrow or next week, but if it’s going to make a big impact, why not do it now? Let’s make it happen. And the stuff that’s not going to make a big impact, it’s okay to leave for later. So let’s just zero in on the stuff that is making things move.”

Key Takeaways: Adopt a growth mindset where you’re constantly asking for feedback, develop a strong work ethic, and have a sense of urgency.

4. What are some of your tips for giving elevator pitches?

“Tailor your responses. For me, if I look at a company and see that they’re hiring a bunch of app security people, I’m going to talk to them about advanced security and how we make it easier and faster. Or if I see that they’re hiring a bunch of engineers, I’m going to ask if they need help onboarding — fast — and if they want them to be good from day one.”

“At GitHub, a lot of people have heard of us in the open source community, so they’ll ask us why they would ever use us for their huge company projects when they’ve only used us for their side projects. It seems risky. But that’s where we re-educate people and meet them where they’re at. So instead of giving a pitch about why they should use our enterprise solution because it has so many great features, we start the conversation off with questions about how they use GitHub in their personal life, what exactly is the open source project that they’re working on, and if it’s code that they’re going to use at work. The reason being is that I want to get an understanding of where they’re at before I give my elevator pitch. However, every prospect’s style is different. Sometimes, people will just be like, ‘Nope, just tell me what GitHub does.’ If that happens, I start at a really high level.” 

“As you all are practicing your pitch, just know that it’s okay to fail often. Honestly, that’s what it’s all about. When I first started in sales, I was like, ‘Oh, I have to say my pitch in this exact manner. I’m young, so I need prospects to see me as a mature sales rep who has been doing this for years.’  But eventually, one of my first managers sat me down and gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten: ‘Imagine you’re talking with one of your best friends over wine. That’s how your pitch should be — conversational.’ So just relax. It’s not a high-pressure situation. Everyone’s human at the end of the day.”

Key Takeaways: Tailor your pitch to the prospect’s specific situation, get an understanding of where your prospects are currently at, and talk to your prospects like you’re talking to one of your best friends over wine or coffee.

5. How do you handle objections? 

“Back in the day, I cared a little bit less about being perfect. Try to think about taking calls that way. So imagine somebody answers your call and says, ‘Oh gosh, I just stepped into a meeting or I’m in the middle of a meeting right now and I can’t talk.’ Normally, people would be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.’ But what I would say is, ‘Oh, that’s so strange. You picked up your phone during a meeting.’ Then I would let that sit for a few seconds.

Eventually, they’d be like, ‘Uh, okay. I have a couple of minutes.’ Other times, my prospects would hang up right away, so I’d call them right back and say, ‘Oh gosh, we must’ve gotten disconnected. I’m not sure what happened.’ And they’d say, ‘Yeah, okay, go for it.’ Obviously, when you do this, don’t be rude. But it’s okay to play around with prospects a little bit. It’s okay to think logically about some of the things that prospects say to you, especially the stuff that stands out.”

Key Takeaway: It’s okay to call your prospects out for giving you an illogical objection.

6. How do you manage being a woman/person of color in sales?

“Most sales teams have lots and lots of white guys, but the good thing about sales is that there’s a scoreboard. For me, I wanted to prove my worth through my actions. If I’m not at the top of that scoreboard, maybe I don’t deserve the respect that I think I do. So I hunkered down and just thought, ‘Where do I need to get to?’ I once worked at a company where there was a pushup contest on the sales floor. And while they were doing that, I was the one on the phone closing deals. I was like, ‘I’ll let you do your pushups because I’m still looking at the scoreboard, where I want to be at the top and stay at the top.’ For me, I was very focused on proving my worth through my numbers so people would take me seriously.”

“In regards to micro-aggressions, they suck. But that doesn’t mean you should interrupt back. Because that won’t make it better. Let them finish. But make sure to speak up after. Don’t just let it pass. The only caveat here, though, is that you need to know which battles are worth fighting for.

When I first got into tech sales, I wanted my colleagues to feel convinced that I could do this. But did I feel that every day? Did I feel that every minute? Definitely not. There are moments that feel so strange. Even in my role today, I second guess myself like, ‘Oh, am I really here? Is this really my job? How did I get here?’ Just know that it’s okay to doubt yourself sometimes, but make sure to take a step back, look at what you’ve already done in life, and, most importantly, believe in yourself.”

Key Takeaways: Prove your worth through numbers by working hard and hitting quota, speak up about micro-aggressions before they pass, and trust it’s okay to doubt yourself. You’ve got this.

7. How can you leverage Flockjay to make a move up in your career?

“Flockjay has more clout than you think. I’ve talked to a lot of different industry leaders who definitely know who Flockjay is. One of our newest members on the Sales Development team at GitHub actually came from Flockjay. And they’re probably a month or two away from a promotion. So lean into the coursework and lean into what you’re learning.

You might not have sales experience right now, but you’ve invested in a program like Flockjay, which is giving you that experience. So during your interviews, talk about some of the skills you’ve acquired. Talk about some of the tech tools you’ve mastered. Use these things to your advantage. You should also use Flockjay to prove that you’re dedicated because you’re actually doing something to get into tech sales.”

Key Takeaway: A lot of leaders in tech sales have heard of Flockjay, so speak to the skills that you’ve acquired, the tools that you’ve mastered, and the level of commitment you’ve given during the program in your interviews.

Thanks again to Keshia for joining us to share her expertise, and to our Tech Fellows for submitting thoughtful questions and participating during the live conversation! We appreciate you. 

New to Flockjay? Read real student testimonials to learn more about our program. 

Your New Career in Tech Sales Starts Now

Sales is the best kept secret in tech, and Flockjay will show you the way. With online classes and live instructors, Flockjay teaches you everything you need to know to be job ready in just 10 weeks. Ready for a career change?