What do the career path and the day-in-the-life look like for an Inside Sales Technical Enablement at Nexthink?
We connected with Rory O’Connor to find out!
Interested in learning more about Nexthink? Make sure to check out their company page!
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up in Quincy, MA just 5 minutes South of Boston. My mother is a teacher and my father was in law enforcement.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As a shameless plug, I will say they were some of the best 4 years I experienced. Between the culture, education, people, and overall environment, UMass was top notch.
I was a political science major with a minor in macroeconomics. I loved political science because the classes involved discussion, thought leadership, and opinion, which has always been of interest.
In high school, throughout college, and even on the side with my first job, I caddied. Caddying to this day has had the biggest influence on me workwise. I was able to spend time with accomplished individuals for hours on end, making conversation, seeing how they carried themselves, and getting exposed to new ideas. To this day, I still keep in touch with some of them, one in particular who has become a mentor.
Caddying indirectly led me to my first job. A year or so after graduating from college, I was at a bar making small talk a year with some older golfers. Long story short, after we realized we had some mutual connections, learning that I was looking for a true first job and an “interview” over some libations, I was given a job at a boutique marketing firm in Boston.
That marketing job was the perfect first job. I gained work experience and learned how marketing operated. However once that job wrapped up, I realized I wanted something to work towards on a daily basis. This led me to look into BDR (Business Development Representative) roles and ultimately Nexthink. I read a small article in the Boston Business Journal about a Swiss startup making inroads in Boston and sent in my resume. A few days later, I got a call from the Director of the team and told him about my prior experiences (bar story included), and he loved it. I knew little to nothing about enterprise IT but I think my ability to make conversation and connect with individuals helped!
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I am a firm believer in keeping an open mind towards work. I think coming into a new job and ‘being a sponge’ is key to success. You want to learn from those around you, whether they do the same thing or not. Their experiences and knowledge will only allow you to better yourself.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as a Inside Sales Technician at Nexthink?
Some of it is classified info but I can let you in on a little… My responsibilities consist primarily of finding ways to allow the business development team to exceed. I also work with the sales enablement team. This encompasses how we pitch, the cadences, onboarding, finding new ways to get to our prospects’ attention, working through the lows and the highs, and everything in between.
Any tips for someone considering a career in your field?
For anybody who is considering getting into this, they should ask themselves if they want to work with others by helping them learn and be in a team environment. It’s all about passing knowledge on as well as seeing how you can add value to make a colleague that much more successful.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Coffee! Trenta Hazelnut from Starbs!
What time do you get into the office?
I’d be lying if I said I was a morning person... let's just say the Red Line is always ‘delayed’.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
Passing on knowledge and seeing it work, finding new ways to win/learning from failures, and watching someone excel in their development.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
I like to have a coffee and see what's happening in the news. I usually have the new BDRs do the same. It is amazing how a news tidbit can then lead to a quality sales call down the line. Then, depending on the week, I have some calls with the team in Europe to see how they are doing. Right before lunch and for the afternoon, I will do some training sessions/exercises depending on where people are at. Then there is a mix of calls with the Boston team and miscellaneous activities. It really depends where we are with new hires and the time of the quarter.
What time do you head out of the office?
Usually, we will start heading to the train around 5:30pm depending on the night and what line you take home. We have a good group in the office and later in the week, predominantly Thursdays, there is an ‘understood’ consensus that we’ll all go grab a beer at a local bar...and I'll never say no to a beer or two!
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
Very rarely. I think shutting everything down is important and most of the time it can wait for the morning. I think that if you truly do not have work to do past 6pm, then being on your work computer for appearances could be better spent with family, friends, working on oneself, or just taking a breather!
Any productivity hacks?
My boss once showed me the importance of putting time on my own calendar to get work done. It has been very helpful and prevents distractions from creeping in, but also keeps you accountable.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
I admit I have an Instagram addiction. Spotify is key, especially for podcasts during the commute to and from work. Then, oddly enough, Yelp. I love finding new food spots and bars. It always cracks me up at some of the reviews people leave, too.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
A couple of years ago here at Nexthink, I won BDR of the year. It was a great experience because the company event was in Malta, where most of us had never been, and I won it with the sales rep and sales engineer I worked with at the time. When I first started as a BDR, I was pretty bad at it and it took me a while to get it down. Eventually, it all started to click and I was able to contribute and help bring in some logos for the company. However, it was a great experience because when I see someone struggling on the BDR team, now I tell them I was no ace either… it takes a while, but eventually, if you keep trying to improve, you’ll get there.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
It would be my father. His background is law enforcement which is a completely different world from enterprise software. However, the leadership skills I have learned from him are unparalleled. Whether it is decision making and owning that decision or staying calm when things might not be going well, those are things I look to emulate and work towards.