Career Path: Shawn Colbert, Sales Manager at Drizly
What do the career path and day-in-the-life look like for a Sales Manager at Drizly?
We connected with Shawn Colbert to find out!
Also, Drizly is hiring! Check out all of the company’s job openings to the right!
Where did you grow up? What did your parents do for work?
I grew up about 45 minutes southwest of Boston in a town called Holliston. Both of my parents worked for New England Telephone Company (Verizon), it is where they met each other in 1983. My father was a foreman and worked on the telephone poles. My mother was in Accounts Receivable and performed a number of administrative duties.
Where did you go to college? What did you study and what were some of your initial jobs out of school?
I took a bit of a non-traditional route. I attended MBCC and The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth studying Business Administration. I knew I wanted to manage people and I got into Food Service management for a while- this is where I really “sharpened my saw” and learned how to manage folks from all different backgrounds. After a few years of that, I realized I wanted to learn something new and follow my passion- creating relationships and leading people. I was fortunate to land a sales role with ezCater a few years back and once I got there, I never looked back.
What has attributed to your success thus far and has helped propel you to the position you have now?
I think one of the main things for me is learning from mistakes and keeping a positive attitude as often as possible. I have a couple of corny sayings that I try to live by “attitude is everything” and “if you don’t win, you learn”. I try to take something out of every single experience in life. I would also attribute my people skills, natural leadership and emotional intelligence to my success.
Can you share the high-level responsibilities of your current position as Sales Manager at Drizly?
On a day to day, I help to make our process as efficient as possible whether that be implementing new technology, using analytics to make informed decisions, building up our cross department communication, coaching my team or giving my team more value to sell to our partners. I like to be a hands on manager that is fully invested in both my teams professional and personal development so I am always communicating with them. I am constantly trying to help them overcome their own struggles in their jobs and giving them advice on how to proceed forward. I also work very closely with the higher ups at Drizly to make high level decisions on the direction of our business. One of the things I love about working at Drizly is how empowered I am to do whatever it takes to take this company to the next level.
Any tips for someone considering a career in Sales?
I know this is going to come off as cliche but I truly mean this, Work hard and bring a positive attitude. Be a sponge and learn your product and company inside and out. Don’t wait for someone to hand you knowledge, seek it out. Review your losses. Review your wins. I know that every product is different, but for the products my team sells- it’s all about being personable, knowledgeable about our industry and trying to build a relationship. There is no one size fits all way to work in Sales. I find it comical sometimes when I see folks on LinkedIn making these broad statements about sales. It depends on what you’re selling. Start there and work your way out. Lastly, as Wayne Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.
Day in the Life
Coffee, tea, or nothing?
Coffee (iced, black)
What time do you get into the office?
I try to get in around 8:30am
What are three things that motivate you in your role?
- My job and team directly correlate to the overall success of an entire company
I enjoy helping people to success. There is nothing better than watching a team member overcome something they’ve been struggling with. The look on their face is why I show up everyday
Selfishly, my own success. I try to follow my own advice and learn as much as I can about our business and I feel as though its preparing me for anything and everything that can come my way in my career- this is simply put, invaluable
Every day is different, but can you outline what a typical day looks like for you?
See productivity hack #1. The days are jam packed and I try to allow myself time to work on side projects or new ideas we are trying to implement. Every single day is different- to attempt to give anyone an hour by hour run down of what I do would simply not be possible. I try to be everywhere, involved in as much as possible, every single day. I always joke with my team if you tied a string to my back for a day, there would be a web of string all over our office.
What time do you head out of the office?
Typically between 5pm-6:30pm, it depends on what is going on
Do you log back in at night or do you shut it down completely?
I do log in at night, I’m sort of always checking my emails or slack messages. If something comes to mind, I have to do it right then and there (or tell slackbot to remind me tomorrow). I will add, this is something I am working on slowing down as I believe it is important to have a “life/work balance”--I preach this to my team and I strongly believe that it makes them more productive professionals.
Any productivity hacks?
My calendar is everything
Slack and slackbot are a lifesaver
CRM- any CRM you use, use it right and use it often. The data will lead the way.
What are the 3 apps that you can’t live without?
Drizly :-), other than that I’m pretty sure I’d survive if Instagram fell off the map.
What professional accomplishment are you proudest of?
I have been promoted at almost every company I have ever worked for. I’m not one to boast but I do feel as though this says something about my work ethic, leadership and the value that I can bring to a company or team.
Who do you admire or call upon for professional advice?
My Director, Blaine Grinna and I have a pretty solid working relationship- we are able to bounce ideas off each other and make the best decisions we can. When I’m in a pinch over something, he is the first person I go to. I think it is important to have an external person to seek professional advice from. I honestly talk with my wife quite a bit about work and strategy- she balances me out. Additionally, Drizly offers a great service with Bravely where we can reach out for professionally advice anonymously with a 3rd party that has an in depth understanding of our company culture and goals.