Erik Kostelnik is the Senior Director of Global Sales at Wrike. He has 10 years of experience in sales leadership and SaaS software. We spoke with him about his job here, and how our sales organization leverages Wrike to increase visibility and save time.
What’s your role here at Wrike, and what does your day-to-day life look like?
I’m in charge of the sales side our revenue operations. If you call Wrike and speak with a sales rep, that person falls under my umbrella. That includes our SMB team, our Mid-Market team, and the Enterprise team.
My day-to-day can vary quite a bit. I usually spend mornings talking to our international team based out of Ireland, and during the U.S. hours I spend a lot of time trying to bring talented people to Wrike. There’s also a lot of projecting, and developing training programs to make sure our new hires know the product and can provide the positive service experience our customers expect.
What’s the biggest challenge of managing that organization?
For a little perspective, I came to Wrike a little less than 2 years ago, and at the time we had 4 sales reps — all very talented — but basically in the same position. So adding structure, defining roles, growing the organization, and developing those reps was a big task.
Now we’ve got 75 quota-holding reps in 3 offices worldwide, and I think my biggest challenge is making sure our new hires are getting the one-on-one time they need to be successful.
How does using Wrike help make that process easier?
The value of using Wrike for onboarding new hires can’t be stated enough. We have folders in Wrike that serve as templates for each position. “Account Executive Onboarding” for example. So if we hire a new Account Executive, I can duplicate that template, and assign it to the new hire. Then I get updates as they complete those tasks or ask questions. At the end of the week, I can run a report to see what they’ve done and what they haven’t, so we can follow up if needed.
Basically, the big picture here is that we ramp new hires and have them closing deals within 30 days. The standard for sales teams at other companies is 90 days. Using Wrike for training and onboarding doesn’t just save time, it actually boosts production from reps.
How do you leverage Wrike’s Salesforce registration?
The Salesforce Integration is a big part of our workflow, and makes it possible for our sales team and consulting group to work together. It gives reps visibility into each consultant’s workload, and allows them to delegate services to the person who has the best availability. If we didn’t have this in our toolset, we’d probably need another operations manager. The fact that it relays updates back to the reps in real time, without the need for them to leave Salesforce, helps them stay focused on selling. It makes everything really easy.
How does your use of these tools benefit our customers?
Anytime we can eliminate delays from our process, we’re able to serve our customers faster. Whether it’s scheduling a training or consultation call, or helping us follow up with a support ticket, the speed on our side makes us a more effective service and sales organization.
How would you recommend other sales leaders use Wrike?
In addition to onboarding reps, I recommend moving your legal and contract process into Wrike. Wrike’s revision tools for documents can show you who made what change and when. So if we’re redlining paperwork with counsel or reps, it’s easy to make sure you’re all looking at the most recent version.
I also recommend creating a feedback channel between your sales and product marketing teams. Your sales reps spend more time talking to customers and prospects than anyone, and giving them a place to pass and discuss that feedback is a good way to ensure your product development is in line with the market.
How is Wrike different from other companies you’ve worked at?
I think the visibility we have here makes this company very different. If you want an answer, you can search Wrike and find it. We don’t waste a lot of time waiting for permission to execute. Everything you need is right in Wrike.
Also on the sales side, our culture is amazing. Those 4 reps I mentioned earlier are all still with the team and in leadership roles, and having that kind of backbone keeps us all grounded. It also doesn’t hurt that we have an amazing product, because the value we offer to our customers is very real.
What’s in the future for the sales organization at Wrike?
Good times! More hiring, more opportunities for our reps to grow professionally, and more chances to make a big difference in the lives of our users. The future is very bright!
If someone would like to join our sales team, where can they learn more?
Our Careers page has a lot of listings for people at all experience levels, including recent grads. We’re hiring in Dublin (Ireland), Mountain View, and San Diego, and would love to hear from you.
Check out opportunities to join our sales team on Glassdoor!