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Emily Hunter joined SciLeads in 2020 in the position of Inside Sales Development Representative (SDR), and within two years was promoted to the exciting role of European Sales Manager. The People and Culture team recently sat down with Emily to hear her reflections on her incredible career journey with SciLeads so far, how she has been able to grow within the team and her advice for anyone joining the company.
I was working for a company within the life science space in a customer service role and it was my first job after university, where I’d studied Business and French.
I wanted a new challenge and loved the sound of SciLeads. Reading the job description, I thought the role fitted well with the customer-facing experience and skills I’d picked up in my previous role. SciLeads was Born in Belfast and is operating on a global scale and the prospect of working with international clients was exciting. Working for a small company was also appealing as I felt I’d have more of an input in decision-making and really feel like a valued member of the team. The ability to work remotely on a flexible schedule was another big motivation to apply.
The SDR role involves connecting with and contacting key decision makers within target companies who would benefit from using the SciLeads platform. The main goal was to convert these leads into demos with our sales managers. Other aspects of the role included CRM management, lead qualification, and data handling via excel. I’m quite competitive so I loved working to targets and seeing your hard work come to fruition when a sale closed from a demo you had set up!
A sales manager position had opened within the new business team and my current manager encouraged me to apply for it. I was initially a little hesitant as I lacked confidence in my ability to do direct sales but with her encouragement, I decided to give it a go. Luckily the interview went well and my SDR experience combined with working alongside the sales managers gave me the skills I needed for the role.
I am much more involved with potential customers now and I do the demos rather than set them up! I like that I can build rapport with prospective customers and foster ongoing relationships with them. In comparison to the Inside SDR role, I now have more responsibility in terms of winning the account. I’ve also further developed my product and application knowledge as my role involves demonstrating not only how the platform works, but how it can help companies in different areas of their business.
One of the main challenges we faced within the SDR team was trying to find the best software to automate our processes. However, this also gave us the opportunity to brainstorm and work together to find tools that could help improve our workflows. A big reward of SciLeads is that you can get actively involved in these discussions and have your voice heard. As a result, we’ve implemented different tools such as a different call scheduling software and CRM which has made the team more efficient.
The biggest reward from the sales manager role is the ability to travel internationally and represent SciLeads at conferences. In the past few months, I’ve been to Paris (which brought about plenty of ‘Emily in Paris’ memes!) as well as Dublin and Washington, DC. I love being able to network and meet new people whilst also exploring new cities in my free time. Being given the responsibility to represent SciLeads at conferences also shows that I’m trusted to do a good job and I always get a boost whenever someone I’ve spoken to at these shows then buys the platform. We also often have parties for our customers during the tradeshows which are great fun and my colleagues and I have made the ‘Baby Guinness’ drink synonymous with SciLeads!
Remote working really fits my lifestyle. I like being able to suit my hours around my schedule and cutting out the commute means I get back time I’d previously wasted travelling to and from work. Although we aren’t in a physical office, we still have plenty of opportunities to stay connected via a virtual office and regular in-person meet-ups (our local bars are also probably sick of serving us all Baby Guinness at this point!) We even have our own SciLeads Spotify playlist where the team has added all their favourite songs that we can listen to while we work.
For me, it’s important that I like the space I’m working in so having the WFH allowance is a great bonus as it meant I could create a more personalised, comfy working environment. Having private healthcare also gives me peace of mind that should I require medical attention I’ll get seen to straight away. The birthday holiday also means I can take a day off to celebrate “the most important day of the year” (in my opinion) without it coming out of my annual leave entitlement.
It’s great to see just how much the company has grown in the 2.5 years I’ve been working here. When I first joined, I was the only Inside SDR and now they’re a team of 15+. Although, even with this expansion the company has still maintained its “start-up” feel. I’ve always felt like a valued member of the team not just “a number” and being able to share my thoughts on issues and policies makes me feel like my opinion really matters. The team really helps bring each other up and we’re constantly supporting each other and celebrating both individual and team successes, really embodying our value that we grow together.
For anyone thinking of applying, go for it, you won’t regret it!
SciLeads is continuing to grow and expand its workforce globally. If you want to join one of the country’s fastest-growing tech companies then check out our available roles here.