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A Day in the Life of a ZeroTurnaround Sales Gal

The Early Gal Gets The Worm

I used to think getting up at 7:30AM was early until I started working as a Business Development Representative (BDR) for ZeroTurnaround last February. Since then, my life has changed from pretty ordinary to something my roommates and closest friends might describe as demanding; however, I like to think of it as the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

My alarm clock setting has changed drastically in order to get in touch with our global clients that are scattered across different time zones and I definitely do not log as many hours of sleep as I used to. An 11 hour day is the norm for the majority of the sales floor and the craziest thing is a lot of us stick around even longer to keep calling or grab a beer. As cliché as the work hard, play hard slogan is – we pretty much nail it.

Could you work this schedule?

When joining ZT, you aren’t just entering a job, it’s a career and lifestyle. We pride ourselves in being a part of an amazing company that is changing the world of Java. I understand that being a sales person isn’t the most glamorous thing in the world and let’s face it, sales calls have a stinky stigma attached to them that typically cause the receiver of the call to immediately hang up, become defensive or angry, or sometimes (usually 15 out of 100 calls) listen to what I have to say. The truth is, even if you’re a sales guy or gal – no one particularly likes to be cold called and we [ZeroTurnaround] get that. Our rapidly growing sales floor makes about 13,000 phone calls a week so needless to say, we have a number of humorous phone calls to share.

In order to keep things light, we like to make sure there are plenty of ping pong balls, darts, and music playing to remind everyone that the world isn’t going to end if someone hangs up on you. As Ethan, our Director of Sales, constantly reminds us, “motions creates emotion”.  He also has taught us that sales calls aren’t always positive and the biggest challenge of our job is being great at handling rejection.

Breath, relax, and call again

I remember during my second week as a BDR, I hadn’t spoken to anyone for two days. I was getting very frustrated, dialing cold call after cold call. Ethan took me aside and gave me a pep talk that it was all about that one call, that one conversation. Later that day, I booked a demo with a team that ended up buying. Not only was I proud of myself but the other 10 reps surrounding me might have been prouder, the feeling of being part of a team and celebrating with each other is now something I’m addicted to.

The hardest part of our job is connecting with someone over the phone, especially when they aren’t expecting our call. Our intention isn’t to sell to them, it’s to help and make them more efficient by using JRebel and LiveRebel. It’s about creating education and awareness and hey, the sales come with that.

One of the reps on the floor, Luke, uses sports to connect to customers. The recent ending of the NHL Lock-Out was a big opener with a great deal of customers. The saying “hockey is back” started off conversations all over the world for Luke. This connection allowed him to open up the conversation to talk with a person and not a voice on the phone.

As I’m writing this blog on the sales floor, one of the senior sales reps approached me to see why I’ve been so quiet. When I asked him to describe his experience at ZT, he said it’s three little words “print, sign and scan”.

Print. Sign. Scan.

This post was prepared by the combined sales entity Amanda Pelley and Mimi Alperovich from ZeroTurnaround


  • scott

    As a Sales Manager who has worked in high intensity, inside sales environments for other Bain backed software companies and who has no involvement with ZeroTurnaround other than being LinkedIn to a few employees, I would just like to say that this post is awesome… Keep doing what you’re doing! There is nothing better than creating and it sounds like you guys are creating something different and contagious.

  • Buzz Kill

    Typo in the headline.

  • Holy carp! (the fish): thanks for the heads up. Seemingly, the most obvious mistakes have the greatest potential to be overlooked :-)

  • Mimi/Amanda

    Scott- thank you so much for the comment! Always great to hear from others in the industry who understand the day to day life of technology sales :) . Java developement community certaintly loves JRebel and we are trying to make as it easy as possible to get it for them !