At Productiv, we are building a results-oriented culture which values family, fun, diversity, and mutual respect as much as earning customer love and winning big. That means learning from each other and collaborating closely with an extraordinary team consisting of new graduates to industry veterans. In this Productiv 1:1, we sat down with Ed Pagano, who shared a bit about his history in sales development and what the sales development function is like at Productiv. Watch this space for future 1:1 interviews with more members of the Productiv team. And if you like what you’ve read, check out our careers page and apply to join us today!
Tell me about your career history and what led you to Productiv?
After graduating from Johns Hopkins in 2015 (can’t believe it’ll be 5 years this May!) I returned to my hometown outside NYC where I pursued finance as an analyst at Kroll Bond Rating Agency. While I was happy to be in the workforce, I quickly realized that my skill set was better suited for an external-facing role – more often interacting with people than spreadsheets.
Just over a year in, I became reconnected with a mentor from Johns Hopkins who also first looked to Wall Street to launch his career. He shared his story of leaving a finance role to pursue a career in tech in San Francisco and how he ultimately founded his own start-up. Knowing I was looking for a change, he put me in touch with tech sales leaders in his network in SF. Having never been to the Bay before, I accepted an SDR position with AppDirect and moved to SF in July 2017.
In March 2019, I found Productiv through a friend who worked with Munish at Linkedin. Though initially hesitant to join a company pre-launch (“in stealth,” no less), I realized the massive opportunity to get in on the ground floor (employee #12!) of a company with an incredible founding team addressing a massive market need.
Tell me about your responsibilities in sales development at Productiv?
With such a large total addressable market (any company with a few dozen or more cloud applications can benefit from Productiv), my job is to speak with people experiencing the pains Productiv solves: lack of visibility into usage & spend (Shadow IT), under-informed negotiations with vendors, wasted spend, etc.
I help drive alignment between their goals and Productiv’s capabilities. If we’re on the same page, I introduce them to one of our strategic account directors dedicated to addressing their specific use case.
How does the sales development role at Productiv differ from other roles you have held?
At larger companies with defined processes and enterprise tooling/resources, the charter of an SDR is often straightforward, though still difficult — spend as much time as possible talking to people experiencing the pain your company solves and help them see that it’s worth their time to explore your offering further.
At Productiv, it’s an exciting challenge to not only spend my time speaking with prospects but also to help put the processes and systems in place to ensure my success and the success of the Sales Development function moving forward.
What are some of your favorite things about sales development?
I am very fortunate that most of my job consists of doing things that I love doing outside of work: connecting with people, listening to their stories, learning about their interests, and building relationships. I also truly enjoy breaking down complex problems/ideas into something that’s easy to understand.
How does the sales development function at Productiv interact with other functions in the company?
Sales Development partners most closely with Marketing and Sales, but we’ve also established a great feedback loop across the business where I can quickly learn of the new ways we’re helping our customers and share how it’s landing in the field.
What are you most excited about?
Neej joining as Head of Sales! We’re already executing on his plans to build a world-class field organization and it’s exciting to see the growth of our rapidly expanding team.