March 31, 2017
In this blog series, women at Datto will post stories from their interviews of each other. This week, Datto’s Andrea Granahan, Partner Accounts Team Lead, and Alexis Granahan, Sales Growth Representative.
Our stories are very simple. Two girls who grew up in a small town in Connecticut that spent more time playing sports and being outside together than they did with electronics. Two girls who, after splitting up and going to separate colleges (one for Social Work the other for Communication), found their way back together to work for an IT company, Datto. These two girls just so happen to be my twin sister, Alexis Granahan, and me. Before you ask, no, we do not look alike (well to us anyway). While our personalities (and hair colors) changed over the years, what remained consistent was our values and friendship.The same can be said about where we are at Datto today. While she may be working in Sales and me in Finance, our jobs, like us, are uniquely similar.
Sales has always been something that Alexis has been innately good at. I chose to interview her, not only because I found an interesting metaphor between our roles and our relationship, but mostly because she’s a rockstar. In the little time that she’s been at Datto, she has moved from a Sales Development Representative, working with the hunters helping to generate leads, to a Growth Rep who manages her own book of Business. I admire Alexis’ drive and her ability to continue to exceed expectations set for her. As someone who doesn’t consider herself a “tech person,” how did Alexis end up falling for a tech company? When I had asked Alexis what drew her to Datto, she said, “I had heard from a few friends how great this company was to work for. From my phone interview to walking into the office, I could just tell that this was a good cultural fit for me.” I then asked Alexis if not having a technical background scared her, “I think not having technical experience did scare me in the beginning. Technology is always changing, and I think what drew me to want to sell it is the challenge.” I could relate to this sentiment as I had little to no experience working for a tech company before I came to Datto. I know what you’re thinking, why would you need tech experience working in Finance? To understand how our products bill, you need understand their ins and outs. While I’m not selling the products, I relate to Alexis’ drive to want to take on the challenge of becoming fluent in our technology.
Our family has always had deep roots in Sales (our competitive nature translates well in the role). Growing up, we learned all about what it’s like to work in Sales from watching our Dad work in various sales roles. Although I know Alexis very well, I never knew what drew her to a career in Sales. As a kid, Alexis was the more timid twin. So, I was very shocked to hear what she likes about the role and how she got to where she is today.
“Honestly I think the excitement of having conversations with different people and being friendly drew me to Sales. In my current role, I’m working with a book of Partners who I speak with on a regular basis, and these are my people. Establishing relationships is really what I like to do. I was shy growing up and I think cold-calling in my previous job at Penske helped me break out of my shell.”
This is an excellent example of how alike Alexis and I are. With my degree in Social Work, I really learned how to engage with people and listen. Establishing relationships is something I love to do as well. I treat the Sales Team and the partners who reach out to me as my own book of business. Forming relationships with them and fulfilling their tasks is what really drew me to my job.
As someone who deals with multiple personalities in a day, I asked Alexis how her personality helps with her job.
“First and foremost, I’m competitive. I’ve always been competitive playing sports my entire life and having that team atmosphere. That itself helped shaped my personality. I strive every day to achieve goals for myself that have been set for me. I’m also very easy-going and open-minded individual. I think that Partners can really pick up on that in our conversations which helps with our relationship.”
Those exact personality traits are what help me also succeed in my Finance role. Being relatable and easy going allows me to easily interact with Partners looking to get answers about their invoices. Playing sports along side of Alexis my entire life, I also tend to be competitive with myself. While it may not be in a Sales sense (needing to close a deal or hit your number), the competitiveness in me is saying, I need to finish all of this or I need to do this as fast as possible with everything I have.
The key to success in any role, according to Alexis, is “don’t be afraid to ask questions and be confident in your skills. If it’s the right fit for you, it will happen.” As women with no background in technology, making the career decision to join Datto was intimidating. However, we knew that the only way for us to grow was to keep an open mind and step out of our comfort zone. While that’s not always the easiest thing to do (Alexis even mentions she should take her own advice sometimes), “It’s important that you keep your mind open and get to know everyone when you’re stepping into a role that’s new to you because everyone is here to help you.” Alexis and I never could have imagined that we’d be working for the same company, let alone a company focused around technology (our parents couldn’t either). Although our jobs may differ, where we are today is a lot like Alexis and me, similar but different.
The Women in Technology blog series is coordinated by Customer Experience Innovations project coordinator, Rachel Powers.