You had some pretty drastic changes in your family’s life before joining Crossover. How did those lead you to ultimately find out about Crossover?
My wife was forced to leave the United States in May because of an immigration issue that required her to move back to Brazil. She is required to go through the Green Card process from the consulate in Brazil instead of staying in the United States. I was willing to stay with her at any cost. As it turned out, the cost was my job.
I was working remotely as a Salesforce consultant when we found out my wife would have to leave the country. At first, my employer was okay with the arrangement of me working from Brazil instead of Minneapolis. My Air Force Reserve unit even agreed to let me report once every quarter so I could fulfill my duty obligations while living abroad. However, the day before we left for Brazil, my civilian employer emailed me to let me know that I would no longer be allowed to maintain my status as a full-time employee. I was crushed for so many reasons. So now I was leaving my country and I had no income. The next several weeks would prove to be the most trying and stressful of my life.
It is at this moment in life that I found Crossover and went through the rigorous application process. I consider myself truly blessed to have come away from that situation with what I consider my dream job because of where I believe it will lead me now and in my future sales career.
Aside from the opportunity to work remotely, what appealed to you about Crossover?
Personal and professional growth opportunities are always what end up making my decision to apply for and accept a new employment opportunity. I know that in order to become a leader among the best that I have to surround myself with the best. I knew during the rigorous and unorthodox application process that I wanted to work for one of the many opportunities available in Crossover. There was a sense that if someone could be accepted after that process that there would be a wealth of experienced and driven people on the other side waiting to come together to be the best.
The remote working culture also motivated me to go through the application process because of the exposure it would provide to international business minds. I am originally from the Minneapolis area of Minnesota and I always thought that the smartest and most talented people to run large corporations like Target, Best Buy, and US Bank couldn't possibly live within 20 miles of that city. In order to gather the best talent, a company has to find the best way to bring them together to produce the best work. Removing the physical barrier to this equation has blown open opportunities for young professionals like myself to learn from the top people in our industry from Silicon Valley to India.
Please tell us about a time at Crossover when you successfully completed a seemingly impossible task.
The month of September was going to be a difficult month for our sales team to meet our goals. This is because I was out on military training for two weeks and other members were absent from regular sales activity while they attended a sales convention for almost a week. We were understaffed for every week except one, but we still had to meet our goal of 2.5 new accounts per sales representative per week.
We helped the team reach the goal by old fashioned work ethic. My team worked extra hard covering more leads and making more calls in my absence. I had to do the same while others were at the sales convention. I was able to make one sale while I was on military leave because I had scheduled a few sales meetings during odd hours for those weeks I would be away. I think I am the only person to ever make a sale at Aurea (Crossover’s client) while wearing my Air Force uniform! However, it was that kind of effort from the team that got us to our goal.
Tell us about your team. How have your colleagues (teammates, managers, direct reports) helped you grow?
I owe my success to my team and my manager. I had the raw sales skills from previous positions, but they were the ones who put in the extra time to step away from their sales duties to teach me our processes, product, and best practices. I spent several hours with different members of my team on sales calls and peer coaching calls to learn how we position our product to different types of leads. I was very confident when it came time to make my first cold call.
My peers have continued to be supportive as I continue learning and improving. We still spend time daily talking about best practices and new methods for doing things. Our discussions range from things like new sales scripts to teaching each other how to build new list views in Salesforce. There is definitely a culture of giving to each other of time, knowledge, and support.
In what ways have you grown professionally during your time at Crossover?
I have grown mostly in the actual skills that are required to perform my job well. I worked in banking for five years prior to joining Crossover so I knew I had matured enough as a professional to provide impact within the organization. I realized right away that the fast paced work environment mixed with the high performance standards would require me to step my game up to the next level beyond just being a polished professional.
My skills of cold calling, closing sales, conveying value propositions and returns on investment, generating new leads, and opening up new business relationships have improved immeasurably since starting with Crossover because of the resources and people available.
The first thing I noticed was the uncompromising commitment to knowledge sharing across the team and organization through collaborative chat groups and regularly scheduled meetings. The meetings struck me because they are run by those of us that attend. It's clear that the meetings exist so we can inform our leaders on what is working and what opportunities we have to improve. For example, our sales team has a weekly meeting with our lead generation team so they know which campaigns seem to be producing good business development conversations. In that meeting, we are expected to tell them our opinions. This meeting format is not to be overlooked. It is clear that this works to both give our team better sales leads, as well as to keep us engaged while in our daily work tasks because we know we have a lot of influence over the outcome of our efforts.
Lastly, Crossover has leaders, not managers. I have been in the military for ten years and worked for several large financial institutions, and I can say confidently that the mentorship and feedback from leaders at Crossover is second to none. Our team consistently receives individual feedback from our sales manager about how we are doing, what we are doing, and how we are feeling about the outcomes of our efforts. The feedback is always framed in a way that promotes growth instead of causing people to shut down. This is illustrated in our weekly sales meetings where we review the sales performance from the previous week. Everyone sees where everyone else ranks from first to last. It is never a stressful meeting though because our leaders ensure to address those that have fallen to the bottom in way that puts the ownership on the sales leadership as well.
Has your compensation at Crossover impacted your lifestyle in any meaningful way?
Absolutely. I live in Brazil where the exchange rate is almost $1 to every 4 Brazilian Reais. My wife and I would not be able find sufficient employment opportunities without Crossover. The opportunities for employment in Brazil are already limited, and the fact that I am an immigrant who struggles with the language would severely hurt my opportunities.
Because of Crossover, my wife and I have been able to help her parents pay their utility bills and support the cost of living. Her father is retired and her mom is underemployed like a lot of other Brazilians. Crossover is responsible for the well-being of all four of us, and I'm not sure how things would work out otherwise.