Moving Up the Ranks – Advice on Being a Young Leader In Sales

Camille Shaw-Pigeon
July 15, 2015

Going into sales, you can expect a pretty quick promotion rate; it’s just the way the industry works. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll be recognized with greater responsibilities as well as leadership roles within the company. For one sales leader in particular, Mimi Alperovich, Business Development Manager at Logentries, sales has been the perfect career choice and she’s become a successful leader in the 3 years since she graduated from college.

As an undergrad business student at UMass Boston, Mimi held a job selling local gym memberships. Through this, she recognized that not only did she enjoy sales and business development, but that she’s good at it. The dynamic nature of the job and the ability to meet and connect with new people was something that empowered her and drove her to work harder, leading her to meet and exceed monthly goals regularly. By March of her senior year, she had already accepted her first job offer a Business Development Representative (BDR) at Zeroturnaround, a Boston tech company. Since launching her career in the technology industry, Mimi has learned how to work as a team member as well as leader and loves what she does.

When looking for jobs, Mimi knew that she wanted to transition from selling gym memberships to sales in the technology industry because of the growth potential within many of the new and upcoming companies. She also knew that a BDR position was exactly what she wanted, “it was the best way for a young professional to begin their sales career.” At Zeroturnaround, Mimi climbed the ranks quickly and within a year and a half, she had gone from a BDR, to a Sales Manager where she was responsible for bringing in millions of dollars and managing growing teams. Today, she’s moved from Zeroturnaround and taken the role of Business Development Manager at Logentries, a high growth tech company based in Boston’s Seaport District, where she’s expanded and developed their BDR team from a small operation to a successful and growing department.

In her first leadership role at Zeroturnaround however, Mimi learned a lot. Being young, freshly out of college and a leader combined to create some challenges that her older peers may not have faced. Her biggest tip on being a young leader is to practice what you preach with your team. Looking back on her quick promotions from BDR to Account Supervisor and then eventually Sales Manager she remembered that  “I needed people to trust me that I knew what I was doing” and the best way she found to gain this respect and trust was to coach by example. “I had to prove that I was good at what I was doing and I did this by providing feedback to my team and demonstrating that advice through my own actions.” Through this, she’s become a talented leader and someone who’s not only confident in the work they do, but also very successful at it.

Her last piece of advice to anyone entering sales is to be tough but also coachable. She cites being tough as important because “there are going to be days when you make 150 calls and no one wants to talk, but you can’t take it personally.” Sales can be challenging but if you work hard at it, you’ll see the reward pretty quickly. Another tip that goes along with toughness is to always be coachable. Both in her own career and with her team, she always remembers that “you’ve got to be able to take feedback. Think before you react to it too, your attitude is what will get you the farthest.” Being able to stand tall when getting constructive criticism from a supervisor or when you’re turned down by clients will only make you a stronger sales rep and eventually a confident manager, something Mimi has proven to be true.

So, if you’re thinking about sales, keep those tips in mind and know that the potential for a challenging yet rewarding career is out there. As long as you practice what you preach, stand tall and take feedback, you’ll get ahead in the game and come out on top as a better salesperson.