Last year, the scalable, sustainable, and oh so trainable sales development representative (SDR) emerged as the sales industry’s newest darling. So as we head into the gooey center of 2016, we wanted to shine our spotlight on someone excelling in an SDR position. Fortunately, we found that someone in Kiasa Eriksen of Pushpay.
For those who don’t know, Pushpay, a New Zealand-based mobile app company, is one of the top mobile payment platforms in the faith and charities sectors. Kiasa Eriksen, just the second SDR to join the team, has helped build out the department to over 40 staff, and now manages a team of 12.
Despite only being with the company for a year and some change, Eriksen has already established herself as a sales leader and role model for future saleswomen. Her passion for the job and quick climb up the corporate ladder also peaked our interest, so we thought we’d invite her for a chat.
Q: How many years have you been in sales?
A: 1 year
Q: Can you please describe the “aha” moment when you decided you wanted to be in sales?
A: I decided I wanted to be in sales after I had already fell into it, accidentally. I have always been very good with people and figuring out their needs. Once I figured out how to fulfill those needs with what I had to offer, it came quite naturally to me.
Q: What can you tell us about the single biggest sale you ever closed ($, sales cycle, company/ industry, etc.)
A: As an SDR, our “sales” are appointments with sale opportunities. I have been off of the phones and have stepped into a leadership role for almost six months now, but before stepping into my leadership role, I held the record for most appointments created.
How did I obtain the record in the first place? Laser focus. It is really easy to get distracted in the “start-up” world of ping pong tables and free snacks, but I never let any of that get in the way of success. I didn’t let those things suck me in. I got there early and I stayed late.
Q: Which women in sales do you admire most?
A: The women that I most look up to in sales are the ones that don’t use being a woman as an excuse to be better or worse than their male counterparts. By being a woman and striving to “beat the boys,” it’s just as bad as the boys trying to “beat the girls,” and actually feeds into any possible misconceptions that women are weaker.
Q: If you could go back and give your early career-minded self advice about a career in sales, what would that be?
A: One word: Fight. Fight for your sales, fight for your voice to be heard and fight for yourself. I am not the sort of person to keep quiet and not call something out. Sometimes that is a potential sale’s bluff, and sometimes that is a broken system or process. That’s probably why I was chosen for leadership.
I’ve also been lucky enough to have been surrounded by encouraging and stimulating peers and leaders, and fighting is something I learned from them. I just wish I had figured that out even sooner.
Q: What advantages do you think women have in sales over men?
A: Strength. It is generally agreed upon that women have higher EQs (Emotional Quotient). This gives us an innate ability to empathize and figure out what others’ needs are.
Q: What advice would you give to men about working with women in sales?
A: Never ever treat them as anything less than an equal. Since moving to Pushpay, I have always been surrounded by men that have held me to the exact same standard as themselves, and it has helped me grow immensely.
Thanks for sharing your story Kiasa!
Let us know what you think of Kiasa’s story, and click here to subscribe to “Women In Sales – The XX Factor” series.
Other Women In Sales Interviews:
- Women in Sales with Sarah Fricke of CEB
- Women in Sales With Pia Heilmann of Attend
- Women in Sales With Jenna Cronin of VorsightBP
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Follow Pushpay on Twitter: @Pushpay
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