An Inside Look: Account Executive at Beekeeper

This article is an interview with Kira Leahey, one of Beekeeper's recruiters regarding open roles in their Oakland office and remote in Atlanta and Texas.

Quick Facts:

  1. Base + Commission: 50% + 50% Location: Oakland and remote (Atlanta and Texas)

  2. Tools galore: Account Executives are equipped with the best tools such as Salesforce, LinkedIn Navigator, Outreach, Showpad, Chorusand PandaDoc.

  3. Career Growth: Previous Account Executives have been promoted to Sr. Account Executives and Directors within 12 -18 months.

  4. Quota: Varies based on experience level (AE and Sr. AE positions are open). Ramp-up period is 3 months. Noteworthy: The role requires travel for in-person meetings and conferences

Hello Kira, thank you for taking the time to discuss the Account Executive role (AE) at Beekeeper. Before we dig deep into the role, can you share what Beekeeper does?

Happy to! Beekeeper’s mission is to transform the way 2 billion frontline employees work with a mobile-first communication platform that reaches every shift, location, and language through real-time one-on-one and group messaging. Today most of that workforce do not have corporate email addresses, which makes it more challenging for communication and employee engagement. With that said, the majority of the same workforce has smartphones and with Beekeeper, they can be more productive and more in-tune.

The AE role is the first person to evangelize our solution, educate potential buyers on the value of our tool and ultimately, close the deal.

Awesome, there's nothing like the rush of closing a deal. There are many open AE positions in the market right now, how is this role different?

I agree. There's a lot of B2B AE roles in the Bay Area, but this role is different because of a few reasons. First, we have product market fit in hospitality, retail and manufacturing. Our logo acquisition and retention are promising. Second, we are very customer-centric here at Beekeeper and seek to understand customers' problems which we can solve with the product. Our customer churn rate is less than 10% annually and a majority of our customers expand after the first year. We pay close attention to our customers' goals and find ways for Beekeeper to address them. Third, the sales culture is collaborative and team-oriented. We very much ensure continuous improvement over our process and sales strategies.

Yes, I can attest to the 3 differentiators you mentioned. While at the company, the sales team diligently qualified the customer before moving forward. I also agree with the team-oriented approach, which I found to be strong company-wide.

Right, I think it's because of how the company grew. From the start, it was a global company with Zurich and San Francisco (prior to Oakland) as the primary hubs. Now we have field sales all over the globe and also co-working spaces in Poland. We use our own tool every day as our preferred workplace communication platform.

In short, we practice what we preach.

That's good to hear. Not many companies use their own product on a daily basis, which I imagine helps tremendously when building new features.

Exactly! Our approach there is also collaborative since our leaders take feedback and ideas seriously. For example, we have quarterly hack-a-thons (Beehacks) and leverage Productboard (customer feedback tool) to shape our product roadmap. For AEs, this is especially important because sometimes the product doesn't check all of the boxes but since our AEs influence the roadmap, they can close that customer in the future.

For those seeking an employee-driven culture, we have it!

The Beekeeper team at the Oakland office recently held a 'Beehack', a day dedicated to exploring new ideas, experimenting with wild projects, and working on initiatives not typically part of their day-to-day activities.

That’s good to hear and really exciting! To keep things transparent about the role, can you share any challenges new AEs might face?

One of the challenges of the role is staying positive. There will be times when the sales cycle is longer than our average of 6 months or when an AE spends a lot of time on an RFP and not move forward. With that said, there are many potential prospects as Beekeeper can be used in multiple industries like hospitality, retail, and manufacturing, so they’ll never run out of people to reach out to. Also, the interest level on digital transformation has increased tremendously compared to, say 6 years ago.

A trend we've seen recently is how companies purchase software. Nowadays the customer is more informed and typically it's a 'group purchase'. There are still instances of a solo decision maker but in most cases, the AE will have to win over leaders in Human Resources, Operations and IT.

With that said, the sales department has been around since the inception of the company. Best practices and playbooks are readily available.

What is the interview process like for this role?

We have a streamlined interview process with exposure to different levels in the Sales team (AE, Director, VP). After a resume has been submitted and base-line qualifications are met, the local Sales Director/hiring manager has a video interview with the candidate. If there is a good initial fit, the other Sales Director will conduct a second, more in-depth video interview. Finally, the last stage is a case study (either in Oakland or remote) to meet more of the team and a final interview with our VP of Sales.

Any advice on how candidates can prepare?

Be prepared to share examples of how you’ve shown persistence and organizational skills. This role does have its highs and lows as I explained earlier. The more successful AEs we have continue to find ways to connect and overcome objections with the decision maker. They are rigorous in their sales process which includes meeting preparation and post-meeting admin tasks. We are also a values-based company, so we’ll have questions related to these. For example, ‘Tell me about a time when you were proactive at work’.

That’s helpful! I think potential candidates have more to work with. Thank you for sharing Kira. Any last thoughts?

Thank you, Mark! We are excited to have this open role in multiple locations. Here are the links for Oakland, Atlanta, and Texas.

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