Being a business development representative (BDR) can be a difficult role. You’re the first line of defense in a sales organization and often being rejected. You need resiliency and empathy because success in this role takes a lot of hard work.
But it can be an incredibly rewarding role too. When you’re surrounded by a team of resilient and ambitious salespeople, like at Auvik, there’s always an opportunity to learn and grow.
Stephanie and Stephen joined Auvik as business development managers who lead the 20-person BDR team. They shared what brought them to Auvik, what surprised and impressed them in their first few months, and the opportunities for BDRs.
Meet Stephanie Bote
Seeing Auvik’s vision, and how I can contribute to it
When companies are growing quickly it makes me skeptical—and sparks a lot of questions. Is it sustainable growth? How is that growth affecting the workplace culture?
When I came across Auvik in my job search, these were the kind of questions I had. I quickly learned about product growth, the opportunity for network monitoring in IT teams around the world, and how they’re rolling out a ton of innovative changes after feedback from customers. It’s not just sweet talk or PR, it’s actually in the works.
I reached out to a previous Auvik business development manager before I took the role. I asked them to be honest, and tell me the dirt… and she had nothing but great things to say. I realized there’s an opportunity here at Auvik for me that’s real. Talking to employees and leaders was validating— Auvik has a clear vision of how they’re growing the sales team, and I could see how my skills added value. Having a clear purpose from the start is so important to me.
Before working in tech, I worked in insurance. I immigrated to Canada in 2011 from the Philippines. And after working in food and beverages for a while, it was my first adult job. I grew into an underwriter and then became a territory manager. I thought that’s where my career was headed long-term but learned that the insurance industry can be very slow and risk-averse. Unfortunately for minorities and women, it’s even harder to break in, because a lot of the industry is dominated by cisgender white males.
That’s what led me to work in tech sales first as a BDR, then as an account executive (AE) and now at Auvik as a BD manager. Today, our Auvik BDR team is very diverse, with a good balance of women representation in sales and leadership positions. It’s unfortunate that many companies are just now realizing the value of diversity, and I’m thankful Auvik has been on that train for quite some time. I’m proud of that and reaping the rewards of it too.
How the BDR team impressed me in two months
Stephen and I joined to lead the team and help be the glue to bring it together, and I’ve been beyond impressed so far. The ambition and drive of each team member is outstanding. They’re here to make a difference, and within my first few months I can already see the results of that.
Our Q3 attainment for meetings booked was 107%— meaning we were 7% over target. The BDR team is persistent in booking calls for our AE team! Patrick, a new account executive, recently closed a deal within his first two weeks on the job which was a record!
“Wow our customers” is one of our Auvik Way principles, and we all live by that. On a rough call, it could mean listening more, leaning in deeper, or knowing when it’s time to move on. It’s just having that empathy for the person on the other side of the line, and being vulnerable enough to say, “okay, we can stop here if needed, and I understand.”
Our BDR team has your back, and they’re not waiting around to get their quota. At the end of the day, the people you work closely with are what define the culture and your experience. Those relationships have the biggest impact on your day.
If you’re coming in to work happy and with a purpose, then I’ll feel that from you. Even when there will inevitably be issues that come up in the organization. You’re going to be my anchor. Anyone who’s looking at joining Auvik as a BDR can know and be secure that you’ll have an anchor in the team.
Meet Stephen Beh
From banking to tech sales
I worked in banking in Vancouver and Toronto for nine years before deciding to try something different.. By 2016, the tech industry in Toronto was starting to become a bigger ecosystem. I moved to a small web design agency, and then worked in sales at a financial tech startup. In those few years, I learned everything about B2B sales, the BDR role, full cycle sales, and selling as an account executive.
I tell new BDRs all the time that sales are about building relationships and being personable with our customers. You don’t need a tech sales background to start your sales career, no one studied this in school.
It’s always great to see a Canadian tech success story, and I knew Auvik had a good reputation from friends. Auvik is committed to remote work, and really values transparency, which was part of my decision to join the team.
At the time, I had a few other job offers, and Jason George, VP of Sales and Business Development (and my now manager!), was the one who solidified that this was the right decision. In the last interview, he said there was no pressure, left it open for me to ask questions, and emphasized making the right decision for me was most important. It showed me his approach to sales isn’t a self-interested hard sell to anyone. It’s about being empathic and focusing on the other person’s best interests. That’s the kind of sales leader and organization I want to be part of.
There’s no micromanaging here. Now a few months into my role, I’ve seen how you’re trusted from the start. And that reverberates down to my team. I trust them to do their work and I’m not there to manage every minute of their day. There’s a no assholes policy as part of our Auvik Way principles and I see that in action which is pretty cool.
How new BDRs are set up for success long term
I’ve worked for companies where you get thrown in the deep end from the beginning… that’s not how we onboard new hires at Auvik.
There’s an extensive onboarding process for BDRs, led by our sales enablement team, about our technical product, how to make calls, and reviewing our robust processes. We ramp BDs up quickly. After a month or two, they go from making random calls to having fantastic conversations and booking meetings for account executives. Our team is provided a technology stack to set them up for success, we use Salesforce, SalesLoft, Gong, and Vidyard to train and engage potential customers. As a result, the AEs at Auvik don’t do as many outbound cold calls because we have such a strong BDR team here.
Within their first few months, we’ve already had BDRs book meetings with recycled leads and previous prospects. This can be a much harder win, because you’re basically reviving a cold lead, rather than an inbound lead (where the person has recently said they’re interested).
There are also many clear growth opportunities for BDRs to become account executives or other roles in the organization, and there are set programs and processes to make it happen.
I know too many processes can sometimes feel like a red flag that things move slowly, but that’s not the case here. We have internal wiki pages that detail how we work that are actually updated on a regular basis as things change! There is still lots of experimenting and building that takes place in sales at Auvik, but there are also processes that are very well thought out so you’re not starting from scratch each time.
If you’re considering joining Auvik as a BDR, my advice is to treat the job hunt like a BDR: Show persistence in reaching out to current salespeople at Auvik, focus on building relationships, and do your research about our products and culture.
Read more from Jason George, VP of Sales and Business Development, about building your tech sales career at Auvik.