Embracing Ambiguity with Courtney Bannon

June 28, 2024
Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy | Rep Matters

Episode Summary

In this episode of Rep Matters, Caroline Jones sits down with Courtney Bannon, the Senior Account Executive at Revivn. Courtney shares her unique journey from JP Morgan to becoming a key player at Revivn, a company specializing in IT recycling. She discusses her decision to leave the corporate world for a more dynamic and impactful role in a startup environment.

Courtney talks about the challenges and rewards of working at Revivn, especially during the early days when the team was small and resources were limited. She highlights the importance of being adaptable and embracing ambiguity, which were crucial to her success. Courtney also delves into her experience with founder-led sales and how she navigated her way through a lack of traditional sales training.

The conversation also touches on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Revivn’s operations and how the company adapted to meet the changing needs of its clients. Courtney’s insights into professional development, networking, and in-person relationship-building offer valuable lessons for sales professionals at all stages of their careers.

Featured Guest

Name: Courtney Bannon
What she does: Sr. Account Executive 
Company: Revivn

Noteworthy: Rose from first SDR to lead all new enterprise business at Revivn.

Key Insights

Embracing Ambiguity in Startup Sales

Courtney Bannon shares how embracing ambiguity became a core value during her early days at Revivn. Joining the company as its first Sales Development Representative (SDR), Courtney had to navigate a lack of resources and established processes. She highlights the importance of adaptability and creativity in a startup environment. Without tools like Salesforce or validated email lists, Courtney relied on shared Google Sheets and manual email validation to build her pipeline. Her experience underscores the necessity of grit and resourcefulness in early-stage companies. By embracing ambiguity and taking initiative, Courtney advanced from SDR to a Senior Account Executive, feeding the entire sales pipeline and contributing significantly to Revivn’s growth.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Revivn’s Business Model

Courtney discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic forced Revivn to pivot its business model. Initially, the company relied heavily on in-person visits to pick up hardware from offices. When the pandemic hit, the business faced significant challenges due to remote work and office closures. Revivn responded by developing a new service to retrieve hardware from remote employees. This adaptation involved shipping boxes to employees’ homes for secure return. The pandemic also led to geographical expansion, allowing Revivn to serve clients globally. Courtney’s insights reveal the importance of agility and customer-focused innovation in maintaining business continuity during unprecedented times.

The Value of In-Person Relationships in Sales

Courtney emphasizes the crucial role of in-person relationships in her sales strategy. Despite the rise of remote work and digital communication tools, she believes nothing beats face-to-face interactions for building trust and understanding client needs. Courtney makes it a priority to meet new customers within the first 60 days of partnership, traveling to their offices to establish rapport. She notes that these meetings often reveal valuable insights about decision-makers and internal dynamics that aren’t apparent over emails or calls. By fostering strong, personal connections, Courtney strengthens client relationships and enhances Revivn’s service delivery, demonstrating the enduring value of human interaction in the sales process.

Episode Highlights

From JP Morgan to Revivn

Courtney shares her journey from a project manager at JP Morgan to joining Revivn as its first SDR. She discusses the challenges of leaving a stable corporate job for a risky startup environment. Courtney reflects on her decision-making process, her desire for a more impactful role, and the opportunities that arose from taking this leap.

“I kind of looked around and I think you can probably empathize with this as well. I started my job at JP Morgan to move internationally. That was my whole goal when I joined the company and to kind of honestly make my parents proud of the logo where I was working and JP Morgan definitely accomplished that.”

Career Growth and Professional Development

Courtney talks about her professional development journey at Revivn, including her transition from SDR to Senior Account Executive. She emphasizes the importance of networking, seeking external advice, and continuously learning from others. She recounts her efforts to reach out to industry peers for insights and how these connections have shaped her career.

“I connected with a woman who I really vibed with. She was interviewing me. We just really connected. We just had a lot to talk about. It didn’t feel like an interview. It felt more like a jam sesh almost.”

The Role of In-Person Interactions

Courtney highlights the significance of in-person interactions in building strong client relationships. She explains how meeting clients face-to-face within the first 60 days of a partnership helps establish trust and uncovers valuable insights. Despite the rise of digital communication, Courtney believes that personal connections remain crucial in sales.

“It’s crazy what people will share with you. It’s like you get so much information on the decision maker and the real problem. When you meet them in person, you have a beer, you have a coffee.”

Adapting to New Sales Methodologies

Courtney discusses the introduction of new sales methodologies at Revivn and how they have improved her sales process. She describes the transition to using frameworks like BANT and MEDDIC, which have helped streamline sales cycles and ensure consistent results. Courtney shares her initial learning curve and the benefits of having a dedicated sales manager.

“The most obvious one is that I learned that there’s a name for everything. Like I was doing the sales methodology but I didn’t know that it had a name. Like discovery was a term that I learned after being a seller for three years.”

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