We all know that there is no specific educational route into becoming a Sales Development Representative. That doesn’t mean that just anyone can do it though. It requires life skills, soft skills, some things self-learnt and some things taught. Above all else though, having a belief in yourself and a desire to get the job done, even when it seems like the world is against you, is essential. This is the character and inner confidence we look for. Of course, our SDRs all have these qualities in abundance but despite the common traits, they are all individuals, and they all found their own route here. That’s why we thought now was the time to gain a greater insight into some of our brightest stars.
In this instance, we asked Erik to share his story with us.
“You must always strive for continuous improvement in everything you do.”
I grew up in a small town close to Venlo in the Netherlands. It’s not very well known but if you want a reference, it’s near the German border and closer to Düsseldorf than it is to Amsterdam. I went to a school that was local to the area but chose the much bigger Venlo when it came time to go to university. I chose to do a bachelor’s degree in International Commercial Economics and my reasons for that are because it was a much broader course than the name would suggest. There was a bit of marketing, a bit of sales, some human resource management and other things but the focus was always on the commercial aspect. One thing that really impressed me though was the quality of the teaching. Not only were the lecturers really enthusiastic about their subject but they also had a lot of experience in their field. So, we could see that they really knew what they were talking about and learnt a lot from their relevant experience.
During my degree, there was an opportunity to study for one semester abroad. Most people chose to do it fairly close to home but I wanted to go to Mexico, so that’s what I did. I wanted to broaden my experiences as much as possible. I believe that when you grow up in one town and you only listen to Dutch news or Dutch radio, your world view is limited to what you watch and hear. You need to go outside that bubble to be able to see the bigger picture.
After finishing my bachelor’s, I turned my attention to finding a job that I could take on as a career. I was looking for jobs at home but there were limited opportunities at that time. Then, I found a job for a company in Portugal. It wasn’t so much the initial role that attracted me, but the fact that the company had a program where, if you applied yourself and reached the targets, you could grow relatively quickly. I was promoted to management after just over a year and in the following 2 years, I learned a lot about leadership, time-management and communication. Fast forward to this year and I was easily meeting my targets every month but there was nowhere I could progress to anymore. That’s when I found Aexus.
After what was a relatively quick recruitment process, Aexus made me an offer and of course I accepted. I’m enjoying the work; I’ve been introduced to my partners and I’m loving the training. Aexus really want to grow at the moment and I want to be part of that. It’s great to be at a company that has as much ambition as I do. That of course means that everything moves at a pretty fast pace and there’s a lot of information to take in. One of the things I really want to get good at is setting meetings for my partners. Obviously, I want to progress to BDM but for now I’m happy to learn as much as I can. That way, when my chance comes, I’ll be fully prepared for it.