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Two Ways to Grow Your Career in Sales

Appian App Icon Dalante Jackson & Ashley Butler

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The Appian Sales team is not only committed to setting you up for success in your current role, it’s committed to supporting your future career path — whatever that looks like for you. We’ve heard from our Sales team members that the growth and development opportunities on the team is one of the main reasons why Appian Sales stands out

To learn about what growing a career in tech sales actually looks like in action, we asked two employees. Dalante started as a Business Development Representative soon after graduating university, and is now an Enterprise Account Executive. Ashley started a new career path at Appian, has since worked in three different departments, and completed her Masters degree along the way. They shared their experience about how the Appian Sales team is committed to supporting their professional development. Let’s hear what they had to say!

Meet Dalante Jackson, Enterprise Account Executive

  • Located in New Jersey
  • Joined the Appian team in 2018

I joined Appian a year after graduating from James Madison University and after working rotations in the hotel industry. I was drawn to the corporate sales role on a growing team for a company where I saw a lot of potential for my own career growth. I started working as a Business Development Representative (BDR) based out of our HQ in Virginia and within less than a year was promoted to Senior Business Development Representative. Now I’m an Enterprise Account Executive and part of our New York Insurance team.  

Building in growth right from the start

Within my first year at Appian, the Sales team introduced a program to support Business Development Representatives who wanted to transition to Account Executives. I was keen to manage accounts, hitting and exceeding my targets and was selected for the program. I got training from managers and leadership on what success looks like in an Account Executive role. I learned the Challenger sales methodology, the multitude of tasks, the interview process, and got to network with Regional Sales VPs.

This set me up for success in the Enterprise Account Executive role I’m in now. My manager asked about where I saw myself in the future at Appian right from the start, and was open about additional roles on the Sales team as the company continued to grow. In the past few years, I’ve seen Appian shift to a greater focus on building out the Sales team, meaning there continues to be more and more opportunities to try new things and transition into new roles!

Developing my leadership skills 

I’m grateful to have had great managers at Appian. I’ve seen first hand how having a good manager makes all the difference in how you feel about work and how you’re able to grow. I find joy in getting people excited about the company, our goals, and understanding and communicating results to the team, which is why I’m interested in continuing to grow into a managerial role at Appian.
From working at Appian, I’ve become an empathetic leader, critical thinker, strategic negotiator , and developed a strong understanding of customers' needs. It’s hard work starting out in business development, doing cold calls and a lot of outbound outreach — but I always felt that the team and leadership were in my corner. It’s hard work, but comes with a high reward.

The Appian Sales leaders are always willing to hear feedback about how our team and the company can improve. They have their door open for people to pop in, and genuinely care about supporting your growth. That’s made all the difference, and why I see myself continuing into a leadership position myself. 

Meet Ashley Butler, Senior Sales Enablement Manager

  • Located in Virginia
  • Joined the Appian team in 2015

When I joined Appian, it wasn’t just a new company for me, it was a new career path. I transitioned from a career in sales to a career in learning and development (L&D). I always knew I wanted to be a sales trainer; and Appian gave me that opportunity despite my lack of formal L&D experience.  Looking back, I see how a commitment to helping people grow in their careers is part of the company culture.

In my five years at Appian, I’ve worked in three different departments — Customer Success, Marketing, and Sales, all in training functions. I’ve led employee onboarding, technical product training for partners and customers, and now focus on sales enablement for our partners. 

Career interests change over time: Appian supports it

You’ll notice a lot of people at Appian have been here a long time, but in so many different roles. What I’ve found unique about Appian is that managers understand that career interests change over time. We’re open to providing new opportunities so you can try new things, knowing some things you’ll like and others you won’t. 

Working in the training and development function, that’s been our philosophy and it’s so rewarding to see people progress in their careers at Appian — Dalante being one! Like him, many Business Development Representatives start out at Appian and then over time move into new roles within sales, marketing and beyond. This past year, the sales enablement team invested in a manager coaching program to train our managers how to coach their reps to help them improve their skills and get promoted.

It’s an exciting time at Appian because we’re growing as a company rapidly, which means there’s so many opportunities for people on the Sales team to grow into new roles. When I started, there was no Sales Enablement team and Appian had 500 employees — now there are more than 1,700 employees total! As the company grows, so do the opportunities in the Sales team. There’s no linear path, it differs for everyone depending on their skills, interests, and what areas they want to grow. 

Supporting my education

Starting in training and development, I was eager to learn and took advantage of programs Appian has in place to do so. The Corporate Talent Development Team runs educational programs so I joined one on executive presentation skills and became a certified instructor. I also participated in Appian MBA which is a leadership and development program that helps managers build their leadership, communication, and coaching skills.

Appian also provides tuition reimbursement, which I used towards my Masters of Education in Curriculum, Instructional Design, and Learning Technology. At other companies there can be red tape for tuition reimbursements but at Appian, it was easy to take advantage of the benefit. It was so rewarding to be able to learn and apply my masters towards my work and have my team’s support.

I’ve learned a lot in five years at Appian and am grateful for programs and support in place that fuel career growth. If you’re interested in growing your career at Appian but don’t see a role that fits what you’re into, I’d recommend reaching out to someone who already works here. And stay tuned, as the company grows, new positions on the Sales team are opening up all the time! 

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Dalante and Ashley’s stories are great examples of the growth you can have on the Sales team, but as they said — no career path is the same at Appian! If you’re looking to grow your career with the Appian Sales team, check out our Sales team careers page with current openings. 

 

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Written by

Dalante Jackson & Ashley Butler

Sales team members