HubSpot is on a mission to help millions of organizations grow better. But we wouldn't be able to do that without the remarkable employees who work to support and help solve for our customers around the world. We're excited to share their stories of success and career journeys in our new Q&A series, Career HubSpotlights.
Meet Hannah-Rose Farrington, an Account Executive on HubSpot Dublin's Corporate Sales team. Hannah has worked in sales for 11 years across telecoms, digital advertising, CX/UX research and is now an Inbound Evangelist. Originally from the beautiful coast of West Cork, Ireland Hannah trained as an actress in Kinsale, Co. Cork and is still passionate about all things in the arts. You'll often find her out at the theatre, cinema, concert, walking the halls of a gallery or museum or else outdoors in nature with her daughter Esmae.
We asked Hannah-Rose a few questions about a day in her life and advice she'd give to someone transitioning into a career in sales. Check out what she had to say.
Tell us a bit about your background and journey to HubSpot.
Prior to joining HubSpot I had worked in sales in digital advertising and also in CX/UX research. All my previous roles had involved extensive travel around the UK and Ireland, sometimes not being at home for days at a time. As a full time single Mum to my 8 year old daughter, Esmae, this was incredibly challenging. I had figured this was what life as a senior sales person was like and kept pushing on through exhaustion and missing out on important moments. In August 2018, I got a call from a recruiter telling me about HubSpot and that the inside sales role was primarily office based whilst still working in the corporate sector.
It was a big decision coming to HubSpot as not only did I need to move home, but I would be bringing my 8 year old daughter with me and moving away from our support network in Cork, Ireland for the position in Dublin. So, I did a huge amount of research to make sure I was making the right choice and I think this ultimately helped me get through HubSpot’s extensive interview process. I read The Culture Code, I researched the recruiters, read any articles they had written, researched my hiring manager and read numerous HubSpot blogs with tips on preparing for their interview process. Everything was convincing me more and more that HubSpot was the right fit for me and would ensure that I would have the work/life balance I had been seeking, without compromising my pay cheque! This was exactly the job I had been looking for and in September 2018 I was offered the role of Corporate Account Executive for UK/Ireland market.
Can you tell us a little about your role at HubSpot?
Becoming a HubSpot Account Executive has been a huge learning experience for me. I had 11 years of sales experience, but I was predominantly a field sales person. I knew that moving to an inside sales role and also taking on HubSpot sales methodology meant I would need to learn a new whole approach to selling. I would recommend for anyone coming into HubSpot, whether you’re coming from the field or inside, outside or inside of tech that you need to forget everything you've ever learned for the first few months, learn to sell the HubSpot way and then bring yourself back into it once you’ve got the basics right.
Can you walk us through what a typical day looks like for you?
My day to day is filled with variety. I’m usually speaking with senior level stakeholders in enterprise organisations and no organisation is ever the same. More often than not companies are at different levels of maturity in regards to their tech stack and the development of the teams can vary drastically as well. This keeps my role really interesting as I’m often working with a number of different people in HubSpot from consultants to engineers and sometimes with partners to ensure that we can deliver the vision of what our prospective clients want and that their goals can be achieved.
What are some skills you both think are important to have to be successful in your role in corporate sales?
A number of my skills are put to the test on a daily basis. I’ve had to hone my negotiation skills to not only negotiate with prospects but also internally to help push barriers on what is and isn’t possible as regards HubSpot’s software, limitations around our terms of service and our security protocols. I would also say that whilst resilience is a characteristic rather than a skill it is something that you can build. This characteristic for me is continually being made stronger as I work through deals where roadblocks can suddenly appear and you need to find a way around them.
What advice would you give to somebody looking to break into corporate sales?
My entry into corporate sales was probably quite different to a lot of HubSpotters who may have moved up the ranks internally. I moved into corporate sales by moving roles from LivingSocial into a CX/UX research company called Global Reviews who specialise in research for some of the best known logos in the UK and Ireland. This experience was invaluable and I won that position by asking for help! I knew it was a big move from where I was in LivingSocial and that the only way I would be considered was if my business plan presentation blew it out of the water.
So, I looked into my network and found a contact who was an MD for a large national newspaper and presented my business plan to him. It was torn to shreds! I was told it was too salesy and didn’t have any big picture thinking. He was right. That 90-minute session changed my view on business and on sales and whilst I had to take some pretty tough criticism it ultimately won me the job that I knew would be a game-changer for my sales career. If you want to get into corporate sales then you need to take yourself out of your comfort zone and find the people who have the experience to help guide you there.
What makes working in corporate sales great?
It’s one of the best moves I ever made getting into enterprise sales. It’s extremely challenging and no two deals are ever the same. I love helping multiple teams knit their vision of excellence together and providing them with the solution that is going to drive better performance as individuals, as a team and ultimately help their company grow better.