It’s never too early to get into tech sales. At least that’s what we believe here at Dataiku. But really, how could you think differently when surrounded by passionate sales professionals who give their all to help our current and potential customers find ways to solve problems — from the mundane to moonshots?
As we rapidly scale (with more than 1,000 employees, 500 customers, and 60% year-on-year revenue growth) and plan for the future, we knew we’d need to hire several talented Business Development Representatives (BDRs). It is one thing to reach our ambitious hiring goals, but another to onboard, train, and enable all the new Dataikers to ensure they are set up for success. To do this, we are proud to give you a glimpse into the Dataiku BDR Program, a U.S.-founded initiative that provides foundational sales and data science skills necessary for our customer-facing teams. This regional program is an addition to our core BDR hiring initiative where we consider applicants from all backgrounds to generate the best possible global team.
The great news is that we’re hiring for the second cohort already! So let’s pause a second to reflect on the program’s highlights and hear from those who played an active role in making the BDR Program a success for our first cohort!
Building a Program That Fits the Unique Needs of Our Sales Organization
Any scaling sales organization faces challenges. At Dataiku, one we encountered was successfully hiring business development talents with the right level of AI and data skills. We're in a rapidly maturing domain with a high level of complexity, but we realized pretty quickly that most business developers that come from other organizations and industries had a skill set that could translate well with our needs. Still, we saw our new hires struggling with the complexity of enterprise data science and AI. By hiring high-potential individuals early in their careers and honing their skills in analytics and sales, we are able to grow our next generation of talent much more effectively.
The BDR Program has three core components:
- Technical understanding of the data and analytics ecosystem, including both our product offerings as well as the major infrastructure and strategic partners in the space.
- Foundational sales skills to be a successful contributor to our BDR Program and customer-facing teams.
- Value adds across Dataiku. Associates are plugged into several different efforts across teams, including developing go-to-market messaging and providing account support.
As a former Sales Associate and now Account Executive, I'm very excited about the future of the BDR Program at Dataiku. Alex Gavlick (who leads the initiative) embodies servant leadership and his first class of the BDR Program all have proven themselves to be fantastic additions to our sales team. I see this program as an intelligent investment for a fast-growing company like Dataiku and an amazing opportunity for ambitious graduates to kickstart their careers.”
-Benjamin Parsons, U.S. Commercial Account Executive
Growing a Winning Together Mindset From Day 1
We consider our BDRs an essential piece of our sales machine. BDRs are the driving force behind connecting our Account Executives with the relevant enterprise decision-makers to build the sales pipeline. We also strongly believe in the power of collaboration and have always encouraged and developed a sales culture that favors accountable camaraderie and learning from each other (both part of our core values).
At Dataiku, we win as a team and recognize the impact of all team members. During the program, associates are able to shadow and learn from a wide variety of teams based in our New York City office. This includes supporting account executives, sales engineers, and BDRs. In exchange, these teammates have become some of our biggest mentors and supporters of the program. We also guarantee movement into a BDR role upon successful completion of the program, minimizing unnecessary competition between associates and further fostering those meaningful relationships.
Dataiku’s BDR Program is great! The opportunity to delve into the AI landscape from the front lines of the space, while learning important sales skills, is invaluable. You’re also with a small cohort, which facilitates an engaging learning environment. That said, the best part is Dataiku’s culture. Spending the work day at an international company filled with smart, generous people, passionate about their work is a treat.”
-Karim Oliver, Dataiku U.S. BDR Program Associate
Playing Our Part in Diversifying the B2B Tech Sales World
Just like we’re working on helping diversify the pipeline of data science talents with scholarships (see our work with Saint Catherine’s University or ESSEC and CentraleSupelec), we’re also looking into building a more inclusive tech sales environment. In a recent HBR article, we could indeed read that, although women make up more than half of the global workforce, they represent fewer than one-third of all B2B sales and one-quarter of all B2B tech sales roles. And when it comes to the coveted top sales jobs, women hold only 12% of those positions. We are convinced that home-growing our next generation of Dataiku talent will enable us to tap into a much wider and more diverse pool of candidates who are eager to get a foot in the door to the data science space. And it’s for the best!
When hiring Business Development Representatives at Dataiku, we consider applicants from all backgrounds to generate the best possible team. Through this unique program, we’re bringing in high-potential individuals with little professional experience. However, they have a strong sales instinct and an interest in advanced data analytics, combined with a drive to succeed and hunger to learn. We provide the training, foundational knowledge, and individual coaching to turn their potential into performance. Investing in early career talent is crucial to our organization’s success!”
-Christina Kalletta, RVP Business Development, Americas
What's Next for the Program?
While we’re still hiring BDRs from all backgrounds throughout the year at a global level, the U.S. BDR Program is expanding in 2023 and currently seeking high-potential individuals to join the next TWO cohorts in February and July.