6sense’s RVP of Commercial Sales Mac Conn has lived in California for so long, he’s practically a native — and he can’t imagine living anywhere else. He loves working in sales because of the challenges and opportunities that make each day a unique experience. It’s similar to why he loves being a parent of two children, and trying new things with them.
With more than 10 years of sales experience, Mac’s BDR days are far behind him. But he still looks back on those days fondly. He recalls learning about the sales process and witnessing how his efforts played a tangible, integral role in it. Today, he’s eager to give back and share what he’s learned by coaching and mentoring others.
Mac’s appreciation for BDRs, and his passion for passing on his knowledge, shines through in this Q&A:
6sense: How did you get into sales? Was it something that you intentionally did? Or was it a happy accident?
Mac: It was a happy accident. After school, I had no clue what I really wanted to do. I got into my first selling job in the world of finance. Financial sales, essentially, institutional equity sales.
I entered the market in 2007, and shortly after, the economy collapsed. I kept my job for four years because I was a super cheap employee, and I wasn’t horrible at my job.
But I soon saw people getting into this world of technology sales. I started putting some feelers out and found a great company back in 2011, took a massive career shift at that time, and started my career of technology sales as a BDR.
What were those initial months like? What was your first impression?
The first three months were a whirlwind. I loved it. I loved every second of it, but it was so different from what I was doing at my other job.
The one thing I really loved was the energy. Not just the company’s energy, but the energy with the other BDRs. It’s a tough job and so much of it depends on the people around you. I really built some lasting relationships in that BDR role.
What’s kept you in sales since then?
I really like challenges. I’ve played competitive sports my whole life and I really like to compete and win as a team. I constantly look at three things when I’m evaluating where I am in my life and my working life. And it’s three buckets: the people, the product and the opportunity.
The companies, and here specifically at 6sense, the people we work with across all the departments, every week we bring in new people who’re better than the people before. We have such an incredible group here. So people, we got that.
Now on the product. We’ve got a killer tech. And the opportunity? It’s a great market. It’s great to work at a company like this and have a product that we use every single day. My commercial business unit was built out of 6sense, the tech, not just the company.
It’s kinda funny, looking at all the BDRs today. I’m like the curmudgeonly old guy now. When I was a BDR, we didn’t have all these fancy tools. We had it a lot harder. I say that with a little smile on my face. I know the pains of being a BDR, and (6sense) can help alleviate all those pains. I wish I had this technology 10 years ago.
What are the benefits of being a BDR at an ABM company?
Most BDRs want to elevate their careers beyond their current role. But how do you get successful and promoted? If you’re a BDR at a company that has the best technology to make you successful as a BDR, that’s a pretty cool thing to be doing. It just propels you to that next stage in your career faster.
But I do want to say that the lessons learned as a BDR are lessons that you will take with you for the rest of your career. It is an incredibly difficult job.
If you can figure out how to operate efficiently, effectively, and be successful as a BDR and not let the down times get you down and elevate the highs, I have no doubt you’ll be the next CRO at another company, or whatever you want to be. I can’t stress that enough. The BDR role is one of the hardest roles, if not the hardest role, in sales.
When you were a BDR, what kept you coming into work every day? What’s that thing that continues to drive you?
When I was a BDR, what drove me was the competitive collaboration. We challenged one another. Who’s going to be the best today? Who’s going to be the best this week? Who’s going to be the best this month?
But we didn’t do it as individuals. We did it as a team. We’d share best practices. I believe BDR teams form bonds that other teams can’t form or don’t form. That was really what drove me — the people and us constantly pushing one another.
What’s something about being a BDR that you wish people knew?
I wish people knew how hard it was, and I wish people could empathize with the job a more. It frustrates me when people don’t show respect to BDRs. I wish everyone had to sit in a BDR’s shoes for a month. Everyone would appreciate them quite a bit more then.
What’s one of the cooler things about our 6sense’s company culture that really sets us apart?
I think it’s the humanized element of everything we do. You don’t have to leave your egos at the door here because there aren’t any big egos. We have a very humble team. I love that.