We fired up the camera to interview and get a glimpse into the life of a WorkTango Regional Sales Manager (RSM), Erik Germain. Erik and has been with WorkTango for nearly 2 years and leads our North American clientele.
Find out for yourself what it’s like being in Sales by reading the interview below.
How did you get started in Sales, specifically SaaS Sales?
Erik originally went to school for computer science but found that during his studies, it involved more than just playing video games and the type of work done by those in the field didn’t interest him. Erik has always worked in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) organizations but landed in sales through his previous roles supporting senior sales staff as a product specialist and sales engineer.
“I was the geeky person helping and supporting account executives, and then moved on to regional sales managers. I eventually discovered that I enjoyed the work and could do it myself, so I decided to have a crack at it and make the transition.”
From his technical background and years of industry experience, Erik is able to disseminate tough technical terms into easy-to-understand pieces of information which prospects can easily understand. A key skill he developed from his support roles.
This has served him well throughout the last 5 years in Sales, allowing him to not only effectively diagnose a problem, but also present an easy-to-understand solution in which the client is able to fully realize the value being presented.
Erik enjoys the engaging conversation that comes through one-on-one interactions and the questions and discussions that arise from large group presentations. Regardless of the audience, he loves presenting a solution that makes the client’s life and business function more efficiently.
Book a demo today to see WorkTango’s solution for yourself.
What happens in your typical week?
As a member of the Sales team, Erik spends a portion of his time each week providing demonstrations of our platform to interested prospects and fielding any questions they may have. This information gathering also takes the form of a request for proposal (RFP). In which Erik helps to formally answer a prospect’s questions and platform requirements through a document that is submitted to the organization.
Whether through a formal proposal or a casual chat, Erik is WorkTango’s first line of communication.
Although Erik spends a chunk of his time providing prospects with information about our offering, it’s not his number one priority. His number one priority is to function almost as a customer success manager (CSM) by nurturing leads after an initial interaction, to ensure WorkTango remains top of mind.
Periodic emails, calls and follow-up activities are always on his “to-do” list to make the certain one point is driven home:
“We set the tone that we are a company that cares. We care about you, your people, and your business. So, our communication comes from a place of authenticity.”
Finally, once all of the potential clients are taken care of, Erik focuses his attention on researching competitors and updating sales collateral so that the next conversation can be more effective than the last. Every day Erik has customers on his mind and is always thinking about the best way for them to see the value of WorkTango.
What are some of the difficulties of being in sales?
To be an effective salesperson, you need to manage multiple moving parts at a time. Conversations are all at various stages and each potential client’s needs are different from the last.
“The daily cadence of following-up with clients can be time-consuming”, Erik notes. Just waiting on the phone for someone to pick up can take a few minutes, which grows exponentially with every call he makes.
But when it comes to talking to a prospect, Erik shares something positive from operating remotely:
“People are getting used to speaking remotely and turning on their cameras, which is a big difference for me since I am on so many calls. Seeing their facial expressions is important because it lets me know how the pitch is going.”
Besides managing each prospect, Erik says minor communication barriers arise as a result of remote work. Ensuring each client has a successful survey launch is a top priority for both the sales and customer success teams, so a meeting to brief the account manager on the new client’s story is important. But, this can be time-consuming when launching many clients in only a few days. What would be a quick chat in-person, is a scheduled meeting between the salesperson and the CSM remotely. This presents a slight internal hurdle that wouldn’t have existed if we were in an office but is critical to ensure the success of each client.
What do you enjoy most about your sales position?
“I love interacting with new people every day. And while I can be repeating some of the same content, I get new interactions, conversations, and the chance to build relationships. I get to know the organizations that want to better themselves by listening to their employees.”
Organizations that want to listen to their employees usually begin with a single pulse to get a baseline of their current situation. The goal for all organizations is to move towards an active listening model where the feedback and improvement cycle is being continuously prioritized throughout the year.
In his interactions with prospects, Erik is able to quickly diagnose their base-level survey needs but can take it a step further by introducing them to an active listening model. This is really where the value of WorkTango is realized since it comes down to the results after the first survey to truly see if the employee engagement activities were successful for the organization.
Erik enjoys interacting with new people every day, but really gets excited when he is able to help organizations effectively listen to their employees through a robust active listening approach
How is WorkTango different from your past employers?
“The thing that impresses me the most is the fact that we ‘drink our own champagne’ and leverage our own tool to its maximum potential. Leadership cares about their employees and if they see low scores or a dip in the score, they will action it! This quick reaction and seeing internal change as a result is awesome. I find it’s making a positive difference in my own level of engagement.”
Erik is also a member of WorkTango’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) committee, which started as a result of feedback received from internal surveys.
This was one of WorkTango’s differentiators for Erik, the fact that we do our best to improve, or create new internal processes and activities which truly engage and improve the (work) lives of everyone here. You can even download the DEI learning guide the committee put together during their time.
Walking the walk is what really differentiates WorkTango from other employers, according to the salesman.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Erik is a family man, so when he’s not chasing down prospects, he enjoys spending time chasing down and playing with his kid. He also likes playing ultimate frisbee in his free time and before the pandemic hit, he was playing in a local league weekly. Now the field is more like a backyard, but he hopes to get back into it once restrictions begin to loosen.
Outside of physical activity with his family, Erik enjoys playing video games and taking it easy with his loved ones. All that hard work is tiring, so a relaxing night in is something he enjoys just as much as a night outside throwing the disc.
It’s the simple things that keep Erik busy outside of the office.
What are five words you would use to describe yourself?
Energetic – because no matter the time of day, he’s always got that spark.
Pseudo funny – because he thinks he is funny although in reality… maybe not.
Cheeky – because who with kids isn’t?
Customer-first – as all WorkTango’s are.
Bad Hair – Pandemic life has led him to cut his own hair.
Check out our guides on workplace culture, employee engagement, and employee surveys. Learn about every aspect of a successful employee voice initiative!
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