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Breaking Into Sales with the EMEA Team

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The world of tech sales can seem daunting with its fast pace and competitive market. But as you’ll learn from our conversation with three remarkable sales managers from our EMEA team: Miranda Griffin, Lou Leitch, and Kaitlen Kelly, it can also be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. Join us for an insightful conversation about what led them to join the company, how they’ve navigated their careers, and what helps them to overcome challenges. We challenge you not to walk away inspired and ready to join this dynamic team.


What was it about the EMEA Sales team that won you over in deciding to join Klaviyo?

Miranda Griffin: Manager, Outbound Business Development-USMB

When I first spoke with Klaviyo, at the time I had verbally accepted an offer at another company. I felt a bit sly taking on another interview, but to be completely honest when I heard what Klaviyo was like I thought I best do my due diligence - thank goodness I did. 

Going into the interview process I thought I was just checking what else was out there… little did I know I would be blown away by the people I spoke to and their passion for what they were doing. I wanted to be a part of that. The product was exciting, the company was growing fast and the people and their career progression was inspiring. Sign me up!

Lou Leitch: Sales Manager, Lower-SMB

Ultimately the culture was one of the biggest drivers for me in making my decision to come to Klaviyo. Throughout the interview process, it was clear that there was a huge focus on collaboration, transparency on where improvements could be made and ensuring that Klaviyo had a focus on equality and equity when considering who they hire. 

Kaitlen Kelly: Sales Manager, Lower-SMB

The leadership team and culture. When first joining Klaviyo I hadn’t been at a company that had their core values intertwined to their day to day and resources that support these values as well as employee wellbeing such as the L&D budget or access to life coaches.  From a leadership perspective, every leader was passionate about the company and eager to see their peers succeed which made it a team I wanted to be a part of.  


What challenges have you faced and have had to overcome whilst working in Tech Sales?


It was a completely different career for me; moving from journalism to tech sales was not what I had expected to do. So learning an entire new industry was challenging - but exciting.  Luckily in tech sales, there are so many resources available. I became obsessed with watching tech sales influencers like Patrick Dang and Sabri Subry. Patrick’s video on A Day in the Life of a BDR was particularly insightful. 


Undoubtedly the biggest challenge has been having the confidence to put myself in situations I feel uncomfortable with. It can be easy to compare yourself to others, shy away from voicing your opinion if you feel you are surrounded by individuals with more experience or higher seniority and discount the unique value you bring. Over the years I've learned that these factors often don't matter as everyone can provide a different perspective. 

Of course, gender and age demographic has played a part in some of the obstacles I've faced in my career, but this is why I have so much respect for Klaviyo in breaking down these barriers and striving to build a workforce that is not only embraces equity in terms of gender but ethnicity, culture and background too.


Biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome thus far is imposter syndrome. Having made the transition later in my career and not having acquired the typical tech sales background it has left me at times second guessing myself and my success. Throughout the last few years,  I’ve learned to lean on my strengths and recognize my successes and the actions it took to achieve them to build up the confidence in my abilities and drive to succeed. 


How has Klaviyo supported you in your career development?


I began at Klaviyo as a Business Development Representative, moved into an Account Executive role, and now manage a BDR team. This was absolutely down to the supportive people around me at Klaviyo. Without my manager investing in my ability and areas of development, it would have been 10x harder.

Klaviyo really invests in people that are ambitious and have a desire to keep learning, which is evident in the Klaviyo Book Program and learning stipend… I’ve now always got a book on the go and have used some of my learning stipend on Harvard Management courses. 


Klaviyo heavily prioritises career development: for me personally, where i’ve felt the most supported has been the opportunity to participate in several internal projects and initiatives, giving me exposure to learn from the wider global leadership team


I have amazing peer mentors that I can lean on daily and a leader that provides guidance against what we are aiming to achieve. On top of this, Klaviyos benefits have allowed me to complete a Harvard Business School Certification to specialise in Strategic Leadership and gain access to any sales and professional development book I could think of. 


Have you ever had a mentor or mentored someone else? What was so valuable about the experience?


When I began considering management as a career path for me, I, albeit apprehensively, raised my hand to mentor new Account Executives. Helping others to close a deal, or engage that first prospect was incredibly rewarding. So the next step was to branch out and mentor more people. I set up a weekly mentor programme with two BDRs (who then went on to be in my team), which reinforced that I really enjoyed helping others excel in their career and what I was learning about the psychology of management. 

I was also mentored by my manager whilst I was working towards a manager position, which was also supported by our sales enablement manager. We have a great team dedicated to helping sales people learn methodology, best practices and other coaching techniques designed to enable you in your career. This has been highly beneficial not just when I was working towards a management position but also when I was a BDR and wanted extra cold call training. 


I think the most valuable aspect of mentoring is having a sounding board. When you’re putting yourself in a position you haven’t been exposed to before, it can be easy to second guess the decisions you make, so having someone to go to in a mentoring capacity can give you the reassurance you may need but also from a development perspective; access to advice you may not have otherwise had.


For me I look at mentorship in three different buckets from a professional, personal and internal (company) perspective. Having a mentor in all three categories helps me stretch and grow in more directions efficiently. I would say having an internal mentor within the company has helped me navigate a new industry quickly as I joined the company and gave me a sounding board to try new ideas and talk through challenges with. As a mentor, I find these relationships extremely valuable as well for two big reasons, the main is I have been through many of the early career experiences and can help guide them to succeed which is rewarding but also, with each mentee I end up learning something new and it keeps my tools sharp in my belt as well as the environment changes.


What’s the best piece of career advice you have received?


There’s a couple that I’d like to share that resonate with me. One is a quote I came across: ‘would you rather be comfortable or happy?’ I imagine most would choose happiness, which to me means sometimes you have to be uncomfortable and to push yourself or try new things in order to feel that fulfillment.

The second is ‘learning never exhausts the mind’. I personally believe that I’m never a finished product, and don’t expect other people to be either. A love of learning and striving to continuously improve is what I believe can make anyone successful. 


I think the best advice for me personally has been to accept all opportunities you are presented with regardless of your confidence level. It can be easy to let impostor syndrome take over and shy away from situations that take you out of your comfort zone but when I think about experiences that I feel most proud of in my career to date, they are ones that I was tempted to back out of!


Fail fast to learn quicker - This has been my motto since day one and always encourages me to get uncomfortable so I can keep going. If something scares me or makes me nervous then I'm going to jump straight into it so I can get the first failure out of the way since it’ll only go up from there! 


Ready to join this remarkable crew? Check out our current openings on the sales team!

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