Hi Alex, thanks for taking the time! Joining Checkmk and the newly founded SDR as first SDR, Alex started his career as Associate in a Fintech Platform company.
Can you please introduce yourself briefly?
I am Alex - with no last name. Believe it or not, it's the truth. I came from India to Germany almost 7 years ago to learn and enhance my skills further and I couldn't be happier than I am today. After working as an intern in sales and business development in tech firms, I've cultivated a skill set that allows me to dive into challenges and come up with creative solutions. With that in mind; after completing my studies, I wanted to take another exciting opportunity with stability to grow with the team and there I found Checkmk.
Now almost 1.5 years later, I can say that my skills have enhanced further, and my tasks have also evolved at Checkmk, which I am very happy about. I had only a general overview on how the sales department works, but after working at Checkmk, I am quite confident in engaging with clients and also have gained knowledge on cross-teams functions such as marketing, sales enablement, partners, etc.
What are your daily tasks at Checkmk?
In Sales, every day is different as every customer is and their requirements as well. We get to handle all the international customers from multiple industries to business divisions. My tasks have evolved from being the first point of contact for customers to handling and upgrading services for the existing ones. I would consider it as a mixture of days where some of the days go into researching and scheduling meetings, and some only direct meetings with customers with different needs. Last, but not least, these skills have helped me to work on some pilot projects such as Outbound initiatives, and community engagement while working closely with the community, and marketing team.
What fascinates you most about your job at Checkmk?
That's going to be a tricky one. As a sales enthusiast, I enjoy communicating with internal and external stakeholders and enjoy building a smooth customer journey by understanding the needs and building trust. Learning features about our product day-by-day and then utilizing them to build rapport and to provide an impressive first expression of Checkmk to the customers. Lastly, I enjoy new challenges and tasks that will bring value to the team, and company and also that can enhance my skills. Therefore, I like to dig deep into understanding customers’ business models to craft emails and then use them during the meetings.
You have been the first SDR at Checkmk back in Mai 2022. How is the growth in the team for you and how do you manage team work?
When I first found out I would be the first SDR, I got excited as I would be able to support, and learn the process from scratch, but was also concerned about new challenges. After joining, the team supported me from day one with the training, and onboarding plans which also helped me to integrate into the system quickly. If I look back to May 2022 today, I can say confidently that I have grown a lot professionally and personally. For example, one of my tasks that has evolved over the months also includes upselling new solutions to existing customers. This has helped me not only in learning how to start new projects and take them forward but also how to retain and upsell the services by understanding the IT projects of our current clients.
How do you address individual customer needs and challenges?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question for me. Every customer has its use case. I take time to listen to the customers, to understand what they are looking for, and then build the conversation around the specific topics or pain points they have mentioned. One main skill I have learned here at Checkmk is honesty. I am always transparent to customers from day one on what Checkmk is capable of and if it's a right fit for them or not, because we also understand the effort it takes to find a new IT solution such as time investment, learning curve, etc.
This just does not help us to be clear, but even if the features are not available as of now, but will be available in the future with new editions or versions, I will push the potential customers to contact us again which has happened a few times with me already in the last few months. For example, potential customers who already have experience with Checkmk with RAW or trial editions, tend to be curious about new features and upgrades, whereas, customers with limited Checkmk knowledge tend to ask questions like “What can Checkmk do”? Both the questions are exciting as they give me - an SDR a chance to drive and take the customer journey forward with ease and smoothly by providing them valuable insights from day one. I enjoy supporting their IT projects by understanding what helps them and how Checkmk can solve their daily IT challenges.
How so you work with the sales team to seamlessly hand off qualified leads?
My direct and most of the communication is with Account Executives as they take the IT projects further for the customers. Being an SDR has helped me to learn more about the partners, and resellers and this leads me to contact and clarify initial doubts for customers and with our internal teams. There are days when I have to work closely with the Sales Enablement team and some days with the reseller team, but during this phase, I get to know my team better and also learn a few processes on the way which will help me later in my career.
When I hand over the projects to our Account Executives, I make sure to cover and provide a general overview of all the necessary topics to customers and AEs, which will help them during the project so our AEs can dig a bit deeper during their meetings. For e.g. some of the points for seamless handover is, I make sure to tick the boxes on the key IT requirements, such as “What helps you the most", “What features are you looking for'' and most importantly “Why are you looking for a new IT monitoring tool and why are you moving from your older IT vendor”. The last question not only gets us the answer, but also helps our AEs, and pre-sales team to specifically focus on these points.