Elaina was working three jobs and miserable when she discovered Prehired’s tech sales career launch program and lifetime membership. Today, Elaina is a business management consultant for Royal 4 Systems, and she shares how Prehired seamlessly transitioned her into a job she loves with practical sales skills and insight. Plus, Elaina offers advice for succeeding in the sales world and how she’s helping to increase women’s representation in her new industry.
What motivated you to make a career-change into tech sales?
Before discovering Prehired, I was a dance teacher, a student, and serving at two restaurants. I was so busy and absolutely miserable. Eventually, I dropped out of school and became even more miserable working three jobs at $3.25/hr. I had previous experience selling health and wellness products, so when I came across Prehired, I was interested, but thought there was no way I could get into the program and get a good job in 12 weeks. I also knew I wasn't where I wanted to be and that Prehired was an opportunity that would change everything for me. That’s when I decided to take the leap.
What was the application process like for Prehired?
I was nervous when I applied. Prehired only accepts 2-3% of applicants, so when they picked me, I knew it meant something and was excited about it. The application process started with a consultation with an Advisor. They took time to discuss my life goals with me, where I saw myself during and after this program, where they could help, and if Prehired would be a good choice for both of us. Once I was accepted, I had to go through a basic program to prove I was committed to finishing the program to be successful.
Did you use the Prehired income share agreement?
Prehired has an income share agreement (ISA), which meant I didn't have to pay anything upfront. You don’t have to start payments until you're hired and they’re based on a percentage of your income. Living paycheck to paycheck, I would not have been able to cover the costs without an ISA. Now, I am able to make payments while still living my life and saving for my future.
What did you learn about technical sales in the Prehired curriculum?
From the beginning, Prehired focuses on the tools, skills, and workflows you need to be a great Sales Development Representative (SDR). Each module offered in-depth detail of how to use and be successful with tools like customer relationship management (CRM) systems and automation. We also learned about workflows, including how to use them to land a job, and how to use them to become a top salesperson on the job.
How were you able to balance Prehired with your work schedule?
At the end of each day, I would put in one or two hours listening to the program and taking notes. Plus, my mentor was always available to me and would quickly respond anytime I reached out. It took me six weeks to complete the program.
Did Prehired’s teaching style match your own personal learning style?
Yes! The program is set up like a podcast, which, compared to my previous experiences with school, was enjoyable to me and not stressful. Since the content is online, it was easy to watch and take notes. It was almost relaxing! There was also accountability support. We used Huntr.co to log our job applications, which my mentor would review and consult with me on each prospective job. That way we could both see how many jobs per week I was applying to.
What kinds of projects did you work on?
Two of my favorite projects were email sequencing and learning to use LinkedIn. Email sequencing is sending personalized emails to prospects in an automated fashion in order to reach more people while maintaining personality. I now use email sequencing every day on the job. The module on LinkedIn taught us how to use filters to connect to specific people. Before Prehired, I hadn’t considered using LinkedIn that way and found that module really helpful.
Being an online program, were you able to collaborate with other Prehired members while you were in the program?
Yes, I was able to connect with many members! Our Slack channel was the most efficient way to ask questions and be informed on job opportunities. I still keep in touch with my mentor.
My mentor helped me perfect my resume. For my LinkedIn page, he gave me tips on how to stand out. Prehired also sent me daily emails with new job opportunities. After I graduated, I would talk to my mentor once a week about jobs I had applied to and interviews I had coming up, so he could help me prepare.
You were on the job hunt during a pandemic! What job search strategies worked best for you?
I graduated in the worst of the COVID pandemic, so I was scared I wouldn’t find work. My mentor kept me accountable, motivated, and committed to my job search, encouraging me to persevere. Since most people were home, reaching out to people on LinkedIn was my best bet. I mostly felt qualified for entry-level SDR jobs after graduating from Prehired, so I reached out to SDRs who would then talk to their managers. This helped me create close network contacts.
What advice do you have for tech sales bootcampers who are on the job search now?
Be patient. Don't settle for a job you hate. Don't compromise if you aren't passionate about a company’s mission or product.
Congrats on your job as a Business Management Consultant at Royal 4 Systems! How did you get the job?
Prehired actually connected me with Royal 4 Systems, which is one of their partner companies. Right after finishing my coursework, Royal 4 Systems considered me for a position, but they had just hired someone and weren’t ready to take on another new hire. A couple months later, they reached out to my mentor, who suggested me as a candidate, and that’s how this ended up being my first tech sales job!
What team and what types of projects are you working on at Royal 4 Systems?
Royal 4 Systems is a supply chain management software solutions company. Our prime focus is enterprise resource planning, warehouse management systems, and third-party logistics (“3PL”) software. I currently work on the warehouse management needs of the coffee and cosmetics industry. I live in Washington where coffee is life, so I love this role! Another initiative I’m working on at Royal 4 is getting more women on our sales team. Getting more women into sales is important to me.
Are you using what you learned at Prehired or did you have to learn a lot on the job?
I have had the most seamless transition from Prehired to my job at Royal 4! The tools we learned at Prehired are what I’m using on the job, including the Hubspot CRM. I've used every Prehired workflow module I learned and followed their advice for every email template. I go back to my Prehired notes daily at work and keep adding to them and rewatching the program. I'm new in the industry and 21 years old, so I’m always learning!
What does a typical day look like as a business development consultant?
I've been mainly focused on prospecting new clients in the coffee and makeup industry. I’m regularly putting out 80-100 touches a day, and prospecting on emails and the marketing campaigns we use on HubSpot. I also follow up with prospects before and after our first meeting.
What was it like to onboard remotely?
Onboarding was easy — technically, I still am! Royal 4 has made their online training super compatible with what I’ve already learned. I've never worked from home before, but it’s fun. We're a collaborative team, which means I never feel too lonely.
Have you brought any skills from your previous career as a dance teacher to your tech sales job?
Having discipline in dance has transferred to having discipline at work as well as being able to take corrections in order to learn and grow. Being on stage and in front of others has helped with confidence when talking to people I don't know.
What qualities do you think make a good tech sales person?
Focus on clarity over closing. Providing clarity to your client means helping your client understand the value of what your company provides even if the client decides your product may not be the best fit.
Follow through. Do what you say you’re going to do!
Don't blame others. People go farther in life and in sales when they work on bettering themselves first.
What has been your biggest challenge in your new tech sales career?
The hardest thing for me is cold calling, which is picking up the phone and calling someone I don’t know. Prehired helped me figure out how to face rejection on cold calls. If someone says they’re not interested on a cold call, instead of giving in and hanging up, Prehired taught us how to work through that resistance and follow-up with a question to keep them on the line.
Looking back, was enrolling at Prehired worth it for you?
Absolutely! I’d do it again. I’m no longer stressing about school. Now I get up every day doing what I love. I’m setting up for my future. I also still teach dance on nights and weekends and feel so blessed that I didn't have to give that up. My favorite part about Prehired’s lifetime membership is that I can always go back to the course as many times as I need as well as reach out to my mentor for life!
Jess is the Content Manager for Course Report as well as a writer and poet. As a lifelong learner, Jess is passionate about education, and loves learning and sharing content about tech bootcamps. Jess received a M.F.A. in Writing from the University of New Hampshire, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.
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