Hailing from Madison, Wisconsin, marketer-turned-BDR-turned-Commercial Account Executive Paige Haefer currently lives in San Francisco. She loves working in sales. She’s also a big fan of snowboarding and coaching a girls’ local running program.
Coaching plays a big role for BDRs, too. Successful BDRs are coachable and have a learning mindset, Paige explains. They’re always looking for ways to hone their skills — and thankfully, the opportunities to learn are practically endless on the job.
Here’s more of what Paige had to say about her transition from field and content marketer to sales rep … and the positive experiences as a BDR that motivated her to move up in her career and become an AE.
6sense: How did you get into sales?
Paige: I spent about four years in event marketing and was laid off due to COVID. I was reflecting on a career pivot, and I asked myself, What do I love about marketing? And a big part of what I loved was working with potential customers at events, working with the sales reps, thinking of creative ways to kind of get folks’ attention, that sort of thing.
And that made me think about how sales can be really valuable to teams.
I just kind of fell in love with [6sense’s] philosophy on what the sales role should be, and felt like it was the right fit and the right place at the right time.
The biggest thing that struck me about what [Ernest Owusu, 6sense’s Sr. Director of Sales Development] told me early on was that the BDR role is a partnership role. You’re partnering with your AE, you’re partnering with your rep to find meetings, and to find potential prospects. It’s not just a numbers game. He really focused on how you add value and how we can be creative as individual contributors.
What were the first few months as a BDR like?
They were super positive — and they also moved really quickly! BDRs here aren’t handheld in a way that makes them feel entry-level. They’re very much given a lot of autonomy at 6sense.
I got to work with my AEs, who were awesome about sitting me down and talking to me about what my potential goals were and finding ways they could creatively help me learn outside of our day-to-day work. The team element was also great. Everyone was very collaborative.
You were promoted from BDR to AE. What keeps you here? What keeps you in sales?
It’s collaboration, team first, and partnership. Obviously, we all have individual numbers and goals we want to hit, but they very much emphasize the team element here. I appreciate that. Sometimes, in a quota-caring role, it can feel isolating or too competitive. And just seeing how folks celebrate each other’s wins here has been like the biggest motivator for me to stay and keep striving for that next step or opportunity within the sales org.
Also, the emphasis we put on mental health breaks here, and actually taking PTO, is really important. Managers walk that walk here.
When you were a BDR, what was your favorite thing to pitch about 6sense as the first point of contact in a sales role?
I love to pitch how we affect pipeline. That’s just like a super powerful metric that resonates across an entire go-to-market org. Even just being able to see folks get excited and interested with how we improve pipeline 40% or improve one company’s quarter-over-quarter by 25%. Those are shocking stats. A lot of folks are just looking to improve by 5% quarter over quarter.
So the fact that we can make that much impact is definitely a good way to reach out and get folks on board and excited to learn more.
What’s something about being a BDR that you wish people knew?
I wish people knew that BDRs don’t just follow a script, or just dialing a list of numbers, at 6sense. We really use our platform to be strategic and dig into account research and really learn about the go-to-market pains of our customers.
BDRs can really be that first make-it-or-break-it impression for your company. So when BDRs feel valued, that’s going to set the tone for the entire sales cycle. And I think we do that really well because of our emphasis on partnership with your AE, and our emphasis on “drinking our own champagne,” if you will, to get the job done.
What’s one thing about 6sense’s all-hands meetings that you think really sets us apart?
It’s that our C-suite feels so present (in these meetings) and wants to make jokes and talk about things in their personal lives. They show up in a way that feels super authentic. It doesn’t just feel like a list of updates; it’s like you never know what you’re going to get with [CMO Latané Conant’s] energy, or [CFO Rob Goldenberg’s] fun facts and pop-culture trivia.
The C-suite models that “bring yourself to work” energy makes that all-hands fun and worth the time. Great energy.
What’s the greatest lesson from being a BDR that you bring to your current role?
It’s that the work you do now affects the job you can do in a couple weeks down the line. Even the smallest tasks can impact the money you take home and the kind of success you see in your job.
I’ve seen that really pay off for me as an AE. I have a really strong process for prospecting and sharing the 6sense message. Even doing little touchpoints make a difference; they can pay dividends six weeks down the line.
Have a process, keep refining the process, and be super protective of your time.