This week we spent some time chatting with San Francisco-based Account Manager, Samantha Howard. Samantha has some great experience working in software sales and truly believes in the Nuxeo Platform; so much so, that she brags about it constantly to her family and friends. Just imagine what she says to prospects and clients.
Here’s Samantha’s story.
Q: Your university studies were in Communications with a minor in Marketing, but you work in Sales.
SH: I always thought marketing was interesting, and sales and marketing go hand-in-hand (they always have to work together). I knew I wanted to do sales, but I thought that marketing was a good place to get started.
Some people going into sales have a business degree, but I felt communications would be a better route to take. You learn more about interpersonal communications and organizational communications, which was my focus, and I think those are core to sales.
Q: You worked for EMC for a few years. Did you join straight out of college?
SH: I did. I joined six weeks after I graduated. I joined them because I wanted to get into technology and they were a big company who had a lot of success. They were supposed to have good training, so I thought it would be a good way to get into the field. It’s a little cliché to say, but technology is the way of the future and I wanted to be involved with it.
After being there for awhile, I realized I would prefer to be with a smaller company. Smaller companies just have a better way of working and communicating. They seem more efficient - and fun.
Q: You said your dad is an environmental scientist, yet you and your brother are both involved in software sales. What drew you to technology as a career?
SH: You want to make sure you have a stable reliable future. To do that you have to project and see what’s still going to be around, what’s going to be growing. Obviously the way things are moving is towards technology and some jobs aren’t going to exist anymore. I believe this one still will.
Q: Why did you decide to leave EMC and how did you learn about the position at Nuxeo?
SH: It was actually a funny story. I had decided that I was done with software sales because I was burnt out by it. With EMC it was really hard to connect with people to get things done. I wasn’t even looking for another job in software sales. And then I stumbled across this one post and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to apply. So I applied and I had my first call with Brendan (Coveney - General Manager, Americas, APAC), and I realized, this is someone I want to work for and learn from. So it was really Brendan that kept me in software sales and I’m really happy he did. I am very happy here at Nuxeo.
SH: There’s a lot of interest in Nuxeo, so it’s me reaching out to people that are looking for answers, researching our solution, getting them the things they need, arranging demos, etc. My goal is to ensure they have everything they need to move forward with us, help them along the way.
I spend a lot of time in email and on the phone. I call partners, customers. Another thing about being in a smaller company is that when you have customers, you talk to them almost on a continual basis. It’s very normal for me to just call them up and see how things are going.
Q: Do you do any regular training for your position?
SH: With a product like ours, which is always growing, it’s important to keep on top of what the new features are, what’s coming out next. Luckily we have a tight team, so if I have a question, I don’t have to try to figure out whom to ask or wait twenty-four hours for a response.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the platform?
SH: I was impressed by how easy it is to use. I was able to go in the first day and fiddle around. It was very easy to navigate. It’s the first time I’ve worked with a software solution I really believe in. When I talk about the Nuxeo Platform to my friends or family members they can see how confident I am in what we are doing..
Q: What’s it like to work with Brendan? What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned from him so far?
SH: It’s really fun. He is very good at what he does and I have a lot of confidence in him. But he’s also the first one to crack a joke, or tease someone. It makes the day a little more interesting.
The main thing I’ve learned from Brendan is that we aren’t trying to trick anyone into a buying something they don’t need. We’re trying to find the people that need this and want this and help that come to fruition. We’re never trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. We’re just doing what we’re supposed to be doing and it’s worked out really well.
Q: Have you ever worked with difficult customers?
SH: There are some people who hear open source and they think “free”. And the software is free, but that’s if you are willing to do all the work. If you want support and maintenance then you have to pay for it. Some people don’t understand that and they want to ask you how to do absolutely everything.
Q: How do you qualify who’s a good lead to take to the next step?
SH: We talk to them and figure out what they are trying to do. We really want to understand all their requirement and try to get a user story (what they are trying to do from start to finish). We want to make sure that fits appropriately with what we offer. Once we do that we talk pricing to see if this is something in their price range, something they have a team to support (or do they need consulting to build it out). We move forward from there. Luckily, in most cases our platform fits their needs because it’s so customizable and scalable.
Q: What’s your free time look like?
SH: I am on a couple of co-ed sports teams. I just recently lost my co-ed dodge-ball playoffs to a team called the “dodge-fathers”. And I am on a co-ed softball team. I live in San Francisco and I’m very much into going to live music and just exploring the city to see what it has to offer.