December 9 by Russell Seifert
Apttus’ CEO, Kirk Krappe, likes to describe our rapid-growth company as a rocketship as we hurtle full speed ahead towards our goals. And that’s exactly what it has felt like since joining Apttus, a 3G blast-off in an accelerated and exciting new trajectory. It has been a whirlwind, but in the best way possible. As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said, “If you’re offered a seat on a rocketship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” So when I got the job offer over the phone, I dropped what I was doing and got on-board.
My experience with the Apttus Academy is a unique one. I’m not from California. In fact, I had to abandon my entire life as I knew it to embark on this journey. Furthermore, I didn’t have any prior job or educational experience that directly relates to cloud computing, enterprise software solutions, or the tech industry in general. Essentially, I was leveraging my future on the chance that this company would be able to turn me into a salesperson and equip me with adequate knowledge of my product and the tools I need to position it effectively.
It was in mid-July that I first spoke with Beaugart Gerber, current Business Development Representative Team Lead and member of the Inaugural Sales Academy. At the time, I was still residing in Kentucky, but had already completed the interview process and was essentially waiting to receive a job offer. I was tentatively slated to start at Apttus on August 25th, and the recruiter whom I had my original interview with put me in touch with Beau. The purpose was to ask any questions I may have and to, more or less, ease my mind about the month I had ahead of me.
Beau was in the final week of his Academy when we spoke. We had a short conversation, but it covered a key topic that I would soon find out really resonates in the halls of Apttus. We talked about culture. We talked about how teamwork and a family-like environment is what retains quality employees, motivates people to work, and drives individuals to be successful. I assumed that a company who was hiring salespeople by the dozen was probably creating a gauntlet-like atmosphere – one where a group of cut throat, young upstarts would be pitted against one another in a survival-of-the-fittest type fashion, leaving the less impressive to be discarded. Beau quickly laid that thought to rest. “No man, these people are my friends. We help each other grow.”
Skeptical? Sure. Nonetheless, I heard exactly what I hoped to hear – that this company is committed to investing in their people and empowering them with the tools and knowledge to succeed. And it works! During the 8 weeks I spent in the Apttus Sales Academy, I was amazed on a daily basis by the people I work with. Diversity, intelligence, optimism, motivation, selflessness, and a desire to succeed as a unit.
Those characteristics, time and time again, proved to be genuine and consistent. This is largely in part due to the tutelage of Becky Elenez, Academy Director, and the staff underneath her. But it’s more than that. It’s the philosophy by which the company works. Apttus isn’t looking for specific backgrounds or areas of education. Apttus hires people who possess the traits I’ve described above. Then, the entire company opens their doors. Everyone lends their expertise, everyone helps, and everyone genuinely wants everyone to succeed.
It’s been an amazing journey thus far, one that I’m really just beginning. This is a company that’s growing the right way, together. I’m very optimistic, not only about my future, but for the future of my team. I’m excited for the opportunities ahead and extremely confident, both in our products and our people. The Apttus Academy is the foundation on which all of this will be built, and I’m fortunate to have been a part of it.
Join the Twitter Conversation: “If you’re offered a seat on a rocketship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” – @sherylsandberg | http://goo.gl/vU9SWf