We connected with Rorrie Mellor to find out!
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Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
To this day, my parents still own the house they brought me home to in ‘America’s Hometown’--Plymouth, Massachusetts. With the beach 5 minutes away and Myles Standish State Forest in my backyard, it was a phenomenal place to grow up.
For the majority of my life, my father was the CEO of a Managed Service Provider out of Boston, MA. My mother has been a homemaker for the entirety of my life and was very heavily involved in volunteering for whatever school or sports team I was part of at the time.
From what I’ve come to notice, it seems that young people do one of two things: (1) follow in their parents footsteps when it comes to career choices or, (2) run screaming in the other direction. Being a (somewhat) defiant young person, I didn’t want to listen to my Dad’s advice of playing into my “innate” skill set and pursue a Sales/Marketing career. In retrospect, I’m glad I came to my senses when entering the workforce.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
Initially out of high school, I attended the University of Central Florida out of Orlando. At the time, it was the largest university in the United States--I believe around 55,000 undergraduates. I loved UCF, but quickly realized Florida isn’t where I wanted to end up post-college. In hopes of building a network closer to my family and friends, I was accepted into UMASS Amherst and Bridgewater State University.
Ultimately, I chose to finish out school at BSU while tirelessly working nights and weekends as a server at a local hot-spot in town. I’m very glad I chose to do so, because this eventually led me to meeting a friend/(now) colleague who introduced me to Mimecast! There’s a group of four of us who all went to BSU, attended the business school, and moved over to Mimecast within months of one another. Five years later, I’m proud to report all of us are still happily employed here!
Following school, I took a 9-week cross country roadtrip with one of my best friends, Amanda. We packed our entire lives into the back of a Mazda 3 and took off with no real plan. I knew it was probably one of the only times in my life I’d ever have no solid attachment to anything and would be able to explore the country without any adverse effect to my future. It was one of the best decisions--and ultimately experiences--I’ve ever had in my life.
As I traveled back up the East Coast from Charleston, South Carolina, my friend’s Kassandra and Chris suggested I take an interview with Mimecast upon my return and the rest is history. I began as a Business Development Representative, moved into the Team Lead position after 10 months, followed by Manager, Senior Manager, and now Senior Manager of Global Business Development Operations.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
Candidly, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible, inspiring, driven people thus far in my career. Although my father had extensive background in technology and SaaS specifically, I didn’t come to Mimecast with much technical background. Mimecast took the time to help me develop those skills and pair them seamlessly with my existing communication style. I attribute my ability to think quickly on my feet, converse well with all types of people, and multitask to my years of serving at that hot-spot I previously mentioned.
Over the years of being both an individual contributor and (mostly) Manager, I’ve come to learn that being transparent, actively listening, being honest, asking questions, remaining organized, swallowing my pride, over communicating, giving autonomy to the people I trusted to hire, and putting my ego to rest have all attributed to my success. In the spirit of transparency, each lesson was learned the hard way at one point. If your mind, heart, and drive is in the right place, you can’t be too hard on yourself; you need to learn and reflect on aspects of your career that you succeeded and failed in.
The people you hired are smart--that’s why you hired them. As a first-line Manager, I learned that you have to lead by example and really get in the trenches of the day-to-day. Make yourself available. Check-in. Show genuine interest in the well-being of those around you. The trust that yields from this behavior can really turn into a powerful force. As a second-line Manager, I learned that you need to let go of getting into the tactical day-to-day and really tie your Department’s functions into the vision of the company. You should always be looking, thinking, and acting in ways that will uplift the entire department, make their lives/jobs easier, and overachieve against company-wide goals.
Strong leaders learn from those reporting into them and adapt. As a leader, you no longer have to be the best Individual Contributor--you have to be the best Leader.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Senior Manager, Global Business Development Operations at Mimecast?
As mentioned previously, I’ve been honored to be a people Manager for almost four years now and it’s taught me an endless amount about both myself and leadership as a whole. As of this fiscal year, I’m stepping out of the North American region and ensuring all initiatives across all of the BDR Team’s globally are aligned.
Day-to-day, I collaborate with various stakeholders across the business (Marketing, Campaigns, Digital, Sales Operations, Business Intelligence, Finance, Talent Acquisition, etc.) at various levels (individual contributors, managers, executives) representing the Mimecast BDR mission as well as the regional perspectives for our global Teams in North America, the United Kingdom, Central Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and South Africa.
My specific responsibilities include:
Managing, inspecting, and driving requirements for new and existing operational and system programs (Salesfoce, SalesLoft, Intercomm, etc.)
Working with Global Enablement on BDR onboarding strategies, requirements, and ongoing education
Identifying, documenting, and sharing new strategies for penetrating competitor accounts, enterprise accounts, prospecting strategies and programs to be leveraged consistently globally
Identifying and making recommendations for improvement in the areas of Process, Efficiency, Productivity, and Systems
Owning and reporting on all pipeline-related critical metrics
Driving and supporting Go-to-Market/BDR planning, including pipeline target setting, headcount allocation and prioritization, and pipeline projections
Reach out to me on LinkedIn and I’d be happy to elaborate!
Any tips for someone considering a career in Business Development?
Regardless of what you’re trying to accomplish in life, I’m a firm believer that one of the hardest hurdles to overcome is initially getting your foot in the door. In the spirit of full disclosure, that’s one of the main challenges and key indicators of success as a professional within Business Development--it’s in the name!
You’re not going to be fully confident in yourself and your pitch at first. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to stumble. The beauty of it all is that when you truly immerse yourself and become a student of the game, it all seems to fall in place one day. Take the time to ask that Sales Engineer the question you’re too afraid to ask, inquire about that Marketing Campaign you’re unsure about, do role play after role play until you can do your pitch in your sleep. There are so many willing and able resources around you; it’s ultimately up to you what you decide to make of it.
There’s only two things you can control--your attitude and activity. If you remain positive and give everything inside of you to your craft, you’ll set the foundation of a successful career.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Black coffee and Green/White Tea
What time do you get into the office?
Varies depending on the region/project I’m heavily supporting that day! If I’m supporting a region like Australia that’s ahead of us, I’ll work from home for a couple of hours and zip to Lexington after rush hour.
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
People, growth, and finances. People and growth are purposefully broad, as I could really go down a rabbit hole of how I’ve been inspired by the stories and triumphs of some of my coworkers. I’ve gained so much--whether I meant to or not--in just remaining inquisitive about others and what makes them tick from day-to-day. I love to challenge my own worldviews and match them up against those of others. Overall, I believe I’m just a very inquisitive and hungry person all-around and that desire to be a subject matter expert in whatever I’m doing keeps me going.
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
Ideally, I like to roll out of bed and begin the day with a spin class in the city; the music and movement help wake me up for the day. From there I commute to Lexington for work, typically check my Inbox, make watercooler talk before the day begins, and work on whatever given project is of utmost importance for the day, ranginging from forecasting, commissions, territory alignment, BDR-efficiency, recruitment, etc. etc. The list goes on.
What time do you head out of the office?
Also dependent upon the region or project I’m supporting that given day, but typically between 6:30 - 7:00. If I'm in particularly early for Central Europe, South Africa, or the United Kingdom, I try to leave by 4 and work from home the remainder of the day.
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
There’s no rest for the wicked, but I always try to be mindful of how full my tank is and when my body/mind is telling me to rest.
Any productivity hacks?
Block off your calendar once in the morning and once in the afternoon to focus on you, your Inbox, and what you need to get done. As the old adage goes, you can’t help others unless you help yourself first.
Also--if you can--get up and find the individual you’re trying to send a quick email or Slack to. Taking the time to speak face-to-face truly builds rapport and trust.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
Professionally, the Mimecast App, LinkedIn, and PolyTime. Personally, Instagram, Netflix, and Lightroom. I am a Millennial afterall.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
Growing/leading the North American Business Development Team from 10 BDRs to a group of 50+. There’s many people to thank for that multi-year process; I can’t take credit for scaling the Team by myself. Being a part of a business function that grew so rapidly and found a plethora of success along the way was an honor and truly taught me more than I ever could have foreseen.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
I have to give a nod to my Father and thank him for listening to the endless rambling over the years. At Mimecast, I have had the pleasure of working for two individuals that have guided, listened, and truly challenged me as both an individual contributor and leader--Rich Gasparian and Pino Soro. Both Rich and Pino really found the perfect balance between letting me have autonomy over the Team I was leading and delivering sound advice and direction. I can confidently say I’ll consult them for major decisions throughout the entirety of my career.