What Sales Reps Need to Know About Landing a New Gig

One rep shares her best tips on how to sell yourself in an interview without being “sales-y.”
Written by Adrienne Teeley
October 13, 2021Updated: October 18, 2021

The job market is booming — but that doesn’t mean landing a new gig is a walk in the park. Even in a candidate’s market, preparation and sharp interviewing skills are still a must-have if applicants want to eventually sign an offer letter for their dream job.

Danielle Hurwitz would know — she recently went through the process of accepting a new role as a business development manager. At the start of her search, she knew she wanted to help companies grow their e-commerce presence. When she found Stackline, an all-in-one e-commerce platform, it felt like the stars were aligning. The only thing left to do was nail her interviews. 

But when you’re applying for a sales role, Hurwitz said, interviewing can be deceptively challenging. 

“An interview is essentially a sales pitch of yourself and your candidacy,” Hurwitz said. “But no one wants to come off too sales-y in their conversations, which is why building trust is so critical when interviewing for a new role.”

To learn how Hurwitz sailed through her interviews and ultimately accepted her position at Stackline, Built In Seattle connected with the business development manager. She filled us in on what was important to her when job searching, her best tips for connecting with prospects and interviewers alike — and what she’s enjoying most about her new role. 

 

Stackline company photo
Stackline
Danielle Hurwitz
Business Development Manager

What attracted you to apply for a role at Stackline in the first place?

In my previous role, I led the digital transformation initiatives for several large, established brands. I learned firsthand how the right software can unlock incredible potential for brands and manufacturers. By partnering with these SaaS companies, I realized the outsized impact that I could have on more businesses by helping them navigate the emerging e-commerce landscape. 

Instead of working at all these businesses internally, I realized the potential impact I could have if I was able to provide them with the data, software and digital automation to grow these channels themselves.

I chose Stackline because its signature data measurement platform, Atlas, is one of the most popular and powerful intelligence platforms in e-commerce. Our technology activates data, automates execution and optimizes e-commerce performance in a seamless fashion. We can provide our clients with actionable insights derived from proprietary data to help accelerate their growth strategies. Our results are awesome: Those who use our tools and services grow 42 percent faster than those who don’t. 

 

Which skill or experience do you think helped distinguish you during your job search?

Three skills that distinguished me during my job search were my ability to tell stories, my commitment to building trusting relationships and my experience architecting successful e-commerce channels. 

The average person sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads or brands a day. With that level of bombardment, people often tune out. The best approach to cut through this noise is to tell a story. Stories connect to the part of us that data and analytics can’t reach; they can invoke emotional responses that open people up to a conversation. Data can persuade, but it cannot inspire people to act. To do that, you must wrap your message up in a story that sparks the imagination.

Recently, a prospective new client asked me, “Why is your tool right for my business?” Since I was new to their account, I replied, “We might not be right for you, but if you tell me more about your business and strategy, I’d be happy to help discover the answer to that question together.” Sometimes, when people are talking to someone in sales, or in an interview, they expect to be sold to. When you can break that preconceived notion, you can more effectively collaborate to solve their problems. 

Finally, the last skill that’s distinguished me is the ability to build e-commerce channels. I’ve been in the position of the clients that I now sell to, which inherently makes me empathize with their experience. I know the kinds of challenges that they are facing, and the questions they ask are all too familiar. Because I’ve been in their shoes, I can better navigate the conversations, predict their needs and propose potential solutions. 
 

I know the power of our tools, but I also have the expertise to know when a client’s need is outside of our product solutions.”


What do you enjoy most about selling Stackline? What do you find most challenging?

I enjoy being a trusted partner to Stackline’s clients. I’m not here to sell them a product, but rather to provide them with the tools and data that will help them make better decisions. I know the power of our tools, but I also have the expertise to know when a client’s need is outside of our product solutions. By providing my advice and informed perspective — especially when the problem they’re facing is one I have been through myself — I’m able to quickly build an open relationship with my client partners. By fostering that trust, they’re more likely to turn to me when Stackline’s solutions can help with their business challenges. 

It is understandable that people sometimes have their guard up when they speak to someone in sales. To break through this resistance, I reinforce my commitment to better understanding the challenges that they face. Every client has a unique circumstance: some people are under budget pressures while others are under sales target pressures. I love that I can help a client through supportive conversations and actionable recommendations.

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