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Are You a Great Candidate for Your Next Sales Job? with Bridget Gleason [Episode 414]

In this episode we unearth what the top sales candidates do to set themselves apart, and how you can find strategies to make your candidacy more attractive to employers.

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular guest on Front Line Fridays.

Key Takeaways

  • Bridget is hiring for the Boston office of Logz.io! Hires must be a good cultural fit in this foundational group. Account Executives are needed for mainly inside complex sales of log management and analytics to mid-level technical prospects.
  • Bridget has been using LinkedIn and in-house recruiters. One investor, OpenView, has been a great source. Bridget looks for signs of leadership on a resume. Listen to hear the other qualities she seeks.
  • Don’t be overly modest on your resume. Include leadership roles, even if not titled as such.
  • Schools indicate your background. A high GPA is positive, but not the determining factor.
  • Attention to detail on a resume suggests attention to detail in sales. Bridget looks for two to five years of experience, and if you had a job in school. She wants ambition, hustle, self-directedness, curiosity, leadership, and teamwork.
  • Bridget’s interviews: Candidates are phone screened for their narrative, then they present a mock discovery call to show preparedness and understanding. When they meet, Bridget looks for presence. The CEO Skypes each candidate.
  • Bridget explores what she means by presence.
  • Is it easy for a new salesperson to be ‘comfortable in their own skin’? How does that influence an interview? How does it relate to leadership? Bridget talks about a new hire on a non-traditional path, and how he interviewed with the CEO.
  • How do military veterans fit into the Logz.io culture? In Israel, military service is compulsory!

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul  0:35  

Hi, I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing, sales, automation, sales process, leadership management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe to help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you.This is another edition of Frontline Friday with my very special guest Bridget Gleason Bridget, how are you today?


Bridget Gleason  1:07  

Andy, I’m doing great. It’s Friday, as it always is when we talk. It’s Friday and I’m happy and ready for Friday.


Andy Paul  1:19  

So Friday, just the gateway to working on the weekend.


Bridget Gleason  1:23  

No, we’ll try to not work on the weekend. There will be some that needs to be done. 


Andy Paul  1:31  

So what are your big plans?


Bridget Gleason  1:32  

Well, I’m flying to Tel Aviv tomorrow, actually, my plans are to be on a flight. And the flight doesn’t leave until the evening so I’ll have a bit of time to decompress and do some things which I always look forward to getting outside. I’m in Boston and unfortunately tomorrow it’s supposed to be 18 degrees so it’s a bit chilly. And then I go to Tel Aviv and I think it’s 70 something


Andy Paul  1:58  

Nice. It’s just like going back to California.


Bridget Gleason  2:01  

Yeah, yeah. So that’s that’s what I got going on.


Andy Paul  2:05  

All right, well, good as you’re sitting there, luxuriating and your big first class seat flying over to Tel Aviv.


Bridget Gleason  2:10  

I know. I know. That’s what they do in startups. They like to spend the money on airlines.


Andy Paul  2:15  

Yeah. Yeah. big fancy seats. Yeah. That’s right. All right. Well, at least you have the benefit of not being an extremely tall person.


Bridget Gleason  2:23  

That’s right. That’s right. Let’s look at the pluses.


Andy Paul  2:26  

So today let’s talk about hiring because you know, you are on the frontlines. You are hiring a sales team from scratch for this company, so, you know, what do you want to give a plug first about in case somebody is listening and wants to apply?


Bridget Gleason  2:43  

So just some background is we have a sales team right now in Tel Aviv, who’s been doing the sales for the greater world. Whether it’s Europe, Australia, United States, everywhere, you know, this company is based out of Tel Aviv. So now we’re opening up the US office and the US president having a US presence. And you know, it’s really interesting when you’re thinking about hiring the first sales reps in a geography and particularly when this is an international expansion. And what a lot of when we’re interviewing and hiring, what we’re thinking about is not only can this person do the job, but yeah, we talk about a lot whenever we hire, but this this notion of being a good cultural fit, and it’s 10 X more important at this stage, when these are the first hires, this is logged xyo. In the United States, it has to be such a good fit. So I just find that I’m this core group, this foundational group is who I’m really building the US presence on, they’ve got to have, they’ve got to have a lot of headroom to grow. These are the ones that I want to be able to promote first, these are the ones that I want to be able to take on management roles. So I’m looking for people that can do this job. Plus, I always sort of look for that. 


Andy Paul  4:39  

What is this job though? Are you looking at SDRs at ease?


Bridget Gleason  4:43  

Oh, it’s a log management and analytics platform. So it’s a very technical sale. It’s selling to developers. It’s selling to you departments, it’s selling to engineering departments. It’s selling to security departments. So it’s very technical. And this is it, I don’t want to say it’s purely an inside role, but we do. We do a large part of it on the inside there is some downside, but this is not like a feat like out in the field handling fortune 500 companies, our sweet spot is more kind of the mid level right now. And so we’re looking for people that are good, like have sold into it before, understand a technical buyer, have an aptitude and interest in technology and just kind of enjoy that. It’s not transactional. It does require a lot of herding cats in a way around giving engineers a sort of grouping and understanding and wanting to use a particular log management platform.


Andy Paul  6:10  

Okay, so welcome to this episode will give people the ability to learn where they can contact you if they have that skill set. And then they’re based in the Boston area. So hobbies other than advertising on this show. How are you recruiting? 


Bridget Gleason  6:35  

Yeah, yeah. So fortunately, we are using LinkedIn. We’ve got in house recruiters that we’re using. We use some outside but pretty limited and what’s been our best sort of source for this has been one of our investors’ open views. This is something that they offer, so they do the sourcing, they do the first interviews. They have a great network here in Boston, and we’re getting really great candidates from them.


Andy Paul  7:12  

So what does a great candidate look like on paper?


Bridget Gleason  7:15  

A little bit of what I mentioned somebody that’s sold into it before, has familiarity with the space.


Andy Paul  7:26  

Less thinking, more maybe in this case, more intangibles. Yeah, what do you do when you’re looking at a resume, I mean, yeah, they got the experience and so on. But what if it was an experienced recruiter experienced hiring manager? One of those things you’re really looking for, let’s say when you first get the impression on this resume that maybe people aren’t really thinking about that are important.


Bridget Gleason  7:47  

Some of the intangibles, it’s hard to get on from a resume.


Andy Paul  7:50  

But you look at a resume that maybe it just isn’t purely about, you know, I knew one person, you know, hey, he’s the type if everything wasn’t lined up perfectly and formatted properly. Yeah, just throw it away. I mean, what are you? What are the sort of things you have similar to that? Just say, yeah, this person who has that attention to detail or something else that we’re looking for, in addition to what’s obvious in their experience?


Bridget Gleason  8:20  

I look for leadership. So I look for signs on the resume of leadership. Have they been team leads, oftentimes, they’ll see people that have moved to team lead or they’ve progressed quickly. In a particular company, they seem to get tapped on the shoulder to go move up and do something different. I look forward to it.


Bridget Gleason  8:49  

I was an English major, so I do pay attention to grammar and I pay attention to just even look into the resume. I always like to see a picture, not because I necessarily care what the person looks like, but because it tells me something a little bit about how they sell and how they think about it. But even when you’re doing it online, having a picture really helps create that greater connection.

Andy Paul  9:24  

And I think the thing with the leadership, but somewhat the same way as I know, some people may feel perhaps too modest, perhaps to list some things that, this wasn’t a formal job. Hell, it’s just that I was the team lead. But that’s important that they put that out there.


Bridget Gleason  9:46  

Super important. I mean, I look at that a lot. And it’s super, super important.


Andy Paul  9:52  

Yeah. So don’t bless those people. Don’t be overly modest.


Bridget Gleason  9:55  

That’s right. That’s right. I agree with that. 


Andy Paul  9:57  

I mean, don’t falsify obviously, but if you had, you know, you were serving as a team leader saying put it on there.


Bridget Gleason  10:03  

Absolutely. Put it on.


Andy Paul  10:06  

Put it on, watch your grammar and watch the formatting.


Bridget Gleason  10:12  

Yeah, what else..I look at schools.


Bridget Gleason  10:19  

Most of the people that are looking particularly for right now are you know, less than five like in these two to five years experience for right now. And I look into schools. Not that I rule anybody else out because of the school, but I like to see where that is, what their background is and where they’re coming from.


Andy Paul  10:51  

Do you look at grade point average?


Bridget Gleason  10:53  

No, that’s not usually on there. If they have a high grade point average that to me just says: But there’s maybe a base level.


Bridget Gleason  11:07  

It’s not a strong point. It’s positive, but it’s not a oh, you’ve got to have this in order to get this position.


Andy Paul  11:14  

No, I always found the people who put the grade point average on their resumes are fine. The people put grade point averages on resumes. You know, they do it because they’re proud of it. And those that don’t don’t want to come up as the first level of or the first order of conversation.


Bridget Gleason  11:30  

Yeah, that’s true. And how do you look at it?


Andy Paul  11:33  

A lot of what you talked about in some of those similar things as, for me, attention to details really important on the resume, because in a sales position, it’s attention, you know, to detail oriented jobs. And to me, it just talks about basic instincts as you talked about what the picture is that if someone thinks, hey, this is good enough, then send out yeah, there may be errors, but I couldn’t be bothered to spend enough time to make sure That corrected the errors. Then, to me that says something about somebody don’t wanting that person representing me out in the field. And they have sort of a casual relationship with detail.


Bridget Gleason  12:19  

They need to have good attention to detail. I looked for all so if it’s like I said, some of them have two to five years experience. What did they do while they were in? What did they do while they were in school? Like were they working? Do they have a job? Where are they? Are they hustling in a way, like I look for, I look for signs of ambition I look for and a lot of people have to have to work while they’re in school. I was one of them. So again, it’s not any one of these things. But I’m just trying to get a good feel for it. who they are. And I know in this particular environment is probably pretty consistent with any person who I hire regardless of where I am or what company I’m working with. It’s just looking for somebody that’s got that ambition and that hustle and that self determination and self directedness and curiosity are they doing different things and interesting things and somebody that’s leadership I look for leadership I look for being a team player, like did they play on sports teams? Are they part of a were they acting and part of a group that I look for those intangibles also.


Andy Paul  13:48  

So let’s let’s shift over them into the interview itself. So okay, that you know, again, you’ve got your said cultures really important. You know, you’ve got these first few hires who are the people you want to have. Basically they’ll build the team on people standing on their shoulders, so to speak. Yeah. And so when you’ve had a good interview, what has stood out about the individual?


Bridget Gleason  14:13  

You know, a new crest?


Andy Paul  14:13  

Yeah. You know, obviously, we’d already talked about the resume but the other preparation, personal parents, it’s how they conducted, how they conducted the interview. You know, one of the things that you really, really walk away from thinking, Okay, yeah, they did a great job in these dimensions.


Bridget Gleason  14:31  

Okay, so Andy, I hired some people recently, and there was a group of us with the new people, four of them. In fact, we’re here at the office yesterday, and they were laughing, poking fun at the interview process that we went through here, and how it was, you know, that was great, but I’d like you to meet just one more person. Okay, that would well be how about a panel interview with four people you don’t know. I mean, like, we’ve got to get the process more refined. It’s not yet but there are different things that I learn and look for at the different pieces of the interview that I asked them to participate in. For example, there’s one just sort of a phone screen then there’s a presentation. It’s like a mock discovery call. We have them. I have them. Our CEO right now likes to meet everybody. So how did he sometimes I mean, those of he’s here sometimes I’m not so I look for feedback. 


Andy Paul  15:47  

Now two things: those meetings with the CEO are those always if he’s not there, then it doesn’t virtually always happen in person?


Bridget Gleason  15:54  

So he likes Skype calls. I mean, but it’s, you get so much more when you’ve got that other dimension of them, even on a Skype call that you can see them. It makes absolute sense. So the things I look for, if it’s with me, I’m going to talk about, like three different types of interviews. So the one just the initial screening call. I listen for their narrative. When I talk about their background, their previous jobs, what they want, what they’ve done, what worked, what didn’t, why they are moving on. I listened for the story that they tell because all we’ve got really and hear the stories we tell ourselves. And so I want to hear how they think about their own life and are they a person that takes responsibility in this narrative? around the Earth a victim. So when they so I listened to that that’s that’s a big one for me. How do they tell the story? Then when they do a presentation? I look for a couple things. How prepared are they? Did they listen to what I said in the instructions? Are they listening? Are they listening? And are they able to translate what they hear into action? Are they able to? How do they handle topics that they don’t know? They don’t know the product and I’m asking them to pitch it super uncomfortable. How do they handle things that they don’t know? How do they handle being in uncomfortable situations? So that’s more like okay, you’re in an uncomfortable situation. How do you handle that? And then the third like let’s say it’s just Alright, you’ve done those two, I meet you in person. I look for a presence. Look for how they conduct themselves. This is somebody that is that you want to be with, that you want to work with that has that more than emotional IQ, how are they going to connect with other team members? How are they going to connect with prospects and customers? So I come to look for different things.


Andy Paul  18:23  

Okay, so, presence is an interesting word because it’s hard to pin it down what it really means right it means different things to different people. So, we talked about leadership early on. So do you try to get a sense as part of that presence sort of this leadership presence?


Bridget Gleason  18:45  

Yeah. And the two are different, but perhaps correlated. So just having presence there are certain people that  are just comfortable in their own skin.And also, when they talk, you listen. And people tend to follow more people that are like that. So I think the two are definitely correlated. If somebody has presence, they are more likely to move into a leadership role more easily. Then if they don’t, sometimes people move into leadership roles for various other reasons, but having presence makes that move, people will follow you more easily and more quickly. And that’s also really important.


Andy Paul  19:42  

I think one thing you brought up about someone being comfortable in their own skin, which hairstyles becomes easier oftentimes as you get older, and as harder earlier in your career, at least, man based on my experience and experience of other people I know. So yeah, if you have somebody that I sort of learned the lessons of relatively early in their career that, you know, the world doesn’t rise or fall based on what happens in this interview, and they get their nerves under control and the level of conversations just completely different, you know, the interchange between you and the candidate. If, as you said, they just seem very comfortable who they are. And to me, that’s a great sign of leadership. potential.


Bridget Gleason  20:25  

Definitely, definitely. And there was a guy who we hired who’s actually starting tomorrow and has had a really interesting career in the army and then he was a personal trainer. And then he went and sold. I took the leap from a personal trainer to selling a very technical product, and then had another job before that and is now coming on to log set IO. A lot of people would get sort of ruffled and defensive about this guy’s not on a traditional path to selling to developers. Our CEO was out and met him and I was in this interaction as well as an interview, and this young man was just comfortable in his own skin. And he handled it. He just wasn’t defensive. Wasn’t this just his path? And, as a result, it was a really interesting conversation, but some enjoyable conversation. I mean, he got the job. And it was a very non traditional, you look at him on paper and you would think, not sure but but part of what you also saw on paper is, wow, here’s a guy when given this challenge to learn something new or to do something, not only does he do But he excels at it. And very, very comfortable, very comfortable. Has a lot of presence.


Andy Paul  22:10  

Yeah, well, I think, for me, but kind of my career, my experience, you know, working with military veterans, not unusual, but you know, very adaptable, great team players. I will say that two of the best bosses ever had were military veterans that they had been taught. They both have gone to the school in the service academies. They’ve been taught how to manage people better than I said, any other bosses that have worked for.


Bridget Gleason  22:39  

When you think about the power culture of this company, oh, being an Israeli company. Military service is compulsory. So everybody, not everybody in the Tel Aviv office because there’s some people who are not Israeli but 90% maybe 95% I have been in the military. So again, that’s a good fit. You just see it in the discipline. If you’re telling me to do this. All right, I can ask questions, but then I just go do it. There’s discipline. There’s a rigor, there’s a routine. That is, it’s, for me, it’s a good fit. I wasn’t in the military, maybe I should have been. But I’ve got it. I can be very regimented. And it’s a good fit for the company and just culturally who we are.


Andy Paul  23:33  

Very cool. All right. Well, so now we’re at them to show people that might be interested might be candidates for this job, how they can get in touch with you.


Bridget Gleason  23:42  

Oh, my gosh, I will welcome any candidates. It’s super easy. You can always get me on LinkedIn. Bridget Gleason. That simple, or you can send me an email bridget@logs.io I’d love to talk to people. It’s really a really special company and a great opportunity. I couldn’t be happier being here.


Andy Paul  24:13  

And you get the potential of working with Bridget.


Bridget Gleason  24:15  

I know, I know whether that’s a plus or minus and you decide, you decide.


Andy Paul  24:21  

I’m sure everyone does think it’s a plus. So. All right, well, Bridget, as always, thanks for being here.


Bridget Gleason  24:27  

And as always, it’s a pleasure. Have a great Friday and weekend.


Andy Paul  24:33  

Yeah. And same to you, your friends who have listened to us here today. come back and join us again next time and Frontline Fridays with Bridget and Andy and we’ll talk to them.


Bridget Gleason  24:42  

Super Have a great week.


Bridget Gleason  24:44  

Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard, and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.com for more information about today’s guests, visit my website at AndyPaul.com