Meet Celonaut Frank Barrett, Talent Acquisition Manager turned Enterprise Account Executive. From selling drinks, windows, and roofing, to selling jobs and now enterprise SaaS software, Frank has had an amazing career journey.
Here he speaks to us about his transition from recruiting to sales, why he loves working at Celonis, and provides advice for those just starting their career!
Celonis is the future. If you look at all the different industries and the direction the world is going, how digital operations have accelerated, and how we interact with the web through WebEx and Zoom, that thought is validated. If you look at Celonis, we’re sustainably accelerating all of that and putting the keys in the car, essentially, for these companies to run their business as efficiently as possible. That was a defining moment for me. It was taking a step back and looking at the direction of the world and what’s going to be relevant in the next 10, 15, and 20 years.
In 2018, I started as a Talent Acquisition Manager. The role was to recruit for our go-to-market and post-sale delivery organizations and help them grow within North America. I did a lot of outbound prospecting, pitching Celonis to potential candidates, and building university relationships to ensure we had an influx of talent. I thought it was great to bring Celonis to the market from a candidate perspective, ensuring that we got the top talent needed to have sustainable growth within the organization. From TA to BDR: Leadership saw my work ethic, how I was communicating the value proposition, and the types of people coming in to interview, some having 15 - 20 years of experience within consulting and business process improvement. This started a conversation around a potential internal move, and after a full year at Celonis, that's when I made the transition to Principal Business Development Representative (BDR).
When looking back, my work ethic, ability to collaborate with Account Executives, strategic planning and preparation skills, and understanding of our products and how to position Celonis were key for me.
From BDR to AE: As Principal BDR, my book of business was focused on HiTech and Digital Native companies on the West Coast. I did a lot of similar tasks to the Account Executives I was working with, so it was just a matter of performing to get to the next level. After a year and six months, I switched to Financial Services in BDR. When I came back from paternity leave, I explored my options throughout the organization, having specific conversations within financial services. My mentors said “you're more than ready for this, you've outgrown this role. There's nothing left here for you to learn." So finally, I said let's do it, why not? It's a growing team. So after 8 months in this new role, I was promoted to Key Accounts Executive in Financial Services. Now I own a book of business comprised of insurance, banking, FinTech, non-traditional lenders, non-bank lenders, and a few notable companies. I'm really excited to be on the sales side now, to have my own book of business and steer the conversation.
For me, it's the insight we get into these large-scale transformations that are occurring at these companies. You get to peel back the curtain to see what’s going on and then provide a hypothesis and solution to fix that problem, which if you do successfully, can result in earnings later on. Being able to look back to say “I did that, I sold them that piece of technology that drove their savings or got that result or outcome.”. When you see it in the real world, and millions of people see it, I think that’s so cool.
I would say my most recent promotion. It’s not often that someone within business development, especially within the computer software industry, makes the jump into an enterprise role selling a solution like Celonis. It wasn’t something that was just given to me or happened overnight; it had to be earned.
‘We Own It’ resonates with me the most. No one is going to force you to do the job or do things necessary to succeed. There’s a level of self-accountability that you need to have. Once you’ve mastered owning your part, you need to branch out outside of the constraints of your role and responsibilities and look for other areas in Celonis where you can help to drive value, fix a problem and provide a solution. I think if everybody was to do that, that kind of stuff is very contagious. It almost spreads like wildfire across an organization.
Selfishly, I want to say that I helped take the company public. Not only to help build an organization, including the talent to fuel the growth but then get to the other side of the business and earn the business that’s helping us to get to the next level, positioning ourselves as the market leader.
It’s also the people, the culture, and the mission. The people I work with are some of the smartest people I’ve met in my life! They continuously challenge me to be the best version of myself day in and day out, and to go outside my comfort zone, being able to learn new things and contribute to conversations that I may not be an expert in. You don’t see that at a lot of companies, there’s nothing like it on the market.
Celonis is completely different from other companies, customers, industries, and products I've seen. We're solving the biggest problem out there, and the EMS can literally be applied to any part of the business.
Why not? I mean, it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We’re leading the way, we’re trailblazers. We are not following in anybody’s footsteps. We’re going through the jungle, creating the path for other companies to follow us. If you want to be part of something like that, and you don’t want to be a cog in a wheel that's just going through the motions for a paycheck, then why not?
Successful salespeople come from all types of backgrounds, accounting, liberal arts, or even somebody who doesn’t have an education. I think the key qualification is how hungry are you? How much do you want it? This is what separates the top performers from the people who are just going about their day. Are you willing to put in the time upfront, to front-load your work, not see the immediate results, and to know if you stay on the course, follow your process, and trust, believe, and better yourself, that the results will come?
But if you wanted a cookie-cutter answer: communication, analytical, and business-oriented.
You need to be a sponge, a student. I understand you just went through kindergarten, school, and college, but learning never stops. The question to ask is “what can I do to accelerate my journey?” Look at the top performers or people who’ve been around the block multiple times, who have between 5, and 15 years of experience, and take little nuggets from them. Learn from the mistakes and successes of these people, and be conscious of this as you continue your career because we don’t have the answers to everything. But when you begin to talk to people, you find more answers to the problems or questions you’re looking for.
👩🚀 Frank joined Celonis New York in October 2018, starting in Talent Acquisition, moving into the GTM organization as a Business Development Rep, and most recently being promoted into the field as an Account Executive for Financial Services. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, grilling with friends and family, being outdoors as much as possible, and golfing whenever he can sneak in 18. —————————————————————————————————————-
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