GitGuardian is a fast-growing startup with big ambitions. Recruiting the right people, and putting them in a position to succeed from day one, are essential components to our success. Everything starts with a good onboarding. To give you some insights on how it is done at GitGuardian we have asked one of our Account Executive to share his experience.
Alexis joined GitGuardian in August 2020 during an important growth phase. The following months, the company onboarded a lot of people simultaneously within different departments (engineering, marketing, and product), which forced us to improve and strengthen our existing processes to make them as efficient and enjoyable as possible!
1 : Introduce us to your role: what are the challenges you were hired for?
I am a Sales Executive at GitGuardian. Thus, I’m in charge of handling the full sales cycles, from discovery to signature, including onboarding the client on the solution and client support when needed. As you can see, the scope of the role is quite wide.
GitGuardian is growing very fast, I was hired in the context of building and structuring an effective sales team, to support the demand for the product and our customer needs!
On top of that, we had just released our second product (GitGuardian Internal Monitoring) right after I arrived. The context was all about expanding the business!
As I was hired as a junior, my main challenge was to ramp up my own level of understanding of the ecosystem and industry GitGuardian is a part of, as well as my technical knowledge of our products, and more specifically secret detection.
Indeed, you have the chance to speak to highly technical people on the client side, and are expected to be taken seriously : as a subject matter expert. Becoming credible, by learning a lot of technical knowledge in order to feel comfortable while speaking to engineers, was definitely the most challenging part of my onboarding at GitGuardian as a Sales Executive!
2 : How were your first weeks in the company?
My first weeks were intense because of a few reasons. First of all the context : I arrived at the end of summer, during the COVID situation and most people from my team were working remote or away on summer holidays. I had a huge amount of information that I had to read, ingest and understand.
It was very exciting because I could sense that I arrived in an expansion context. I had to bring myself to the level of everyone else in the company. The products we are selling are specific and technical, you have to learn quite fast in order to be fully operational and prepared for what’s next.
It was also very stimulating because everyone in the company (developers, marketers, product managers etc.) are all here to help you improve by pushing you out of your comfort zone.
You are expected to be at level and the progress I made in such a short amount of time was impressive.
It took some time for me to feel comfortable with the subject matter and in my role, but thanks to everyone’s support, after a bit, I got fully onboarded and I got to sign my first deals 3 months after I arrived.
3: How did the on-boarding help you settle in your position?
A few points were very beneficial :
- One thing specific to GitGuardian is that everything is product oriented! I had the chance to meet the many different people who participate in developing the product during discovery meetings throughout the onboarding process. This helped with quickly giving a clear picture of who does what at GitGuardian.
- Spending time with the product managers and the lead developers helped with my understanding of secret detection and, in the end, allowed me to do my job faster.
- Another element that helped a lot is that people trust that you are going to be good at your job. From the start, everyone is here to help out if needed.
In the end, I would say that encouraging me to meet my many different colleagues and spend time with them, made me more aware and respectful of their expertise and time.
4: What did you like?
The excitement of being thrown into it fast : A week after my arrival, I was already fielding sales calls! This while my colleagues where being patient and friendly, letting me ask literally any question, even the dumb ones….
Also, the tremendous amount of documentation available translates very well to the company’s mentality: we give you the right tools to succeed. As a result, you want to give back and help out anyone else joining the team.
What I probably liked the most, was seeing the prospects amazed by the value of the solution during demos calls. It made me fully appreciate the strength of the solutions GitGuardian has to offer and that I was in the right place.
5: What would you have done differently?
To be honest, nothing.. Indeed, despite the sanitary situation, I got great support from everyone: the CEO, the HR Manager and the Sales Manager, though remotely.
Soon after I arrived, my colleagues returned to the office and we managed to go get some drinks and bond quickly, in a cross-team effort.
It was a great onboarding, given the situation!
6 : After these months spent with us, how did you evolve in your job? And what are your aspirations for the coming months?
I evolved first by developing my knowledge of the industry, the product and our clients’ reality. My aspiration for the coming months would be to increase my credibility when discussing with engineers during client meetings.
I want to improve my understanding of my clients’ pain points and goals, to help them unlock the most value out of our solutions. I’m not expected to become an engineer, but thinking like one would definitely help with becoming a reference for prospects and clients, in terms of secret detection, and eventually with hitting our targets.
I feel like due to the highly technical nature of the industry and our products, we have a strong reputation to maintain and I want to be as technical as I can to maintain it.
7 : Finally, what's the coolest thing about GG on-boarding?
Discovering the product, and definitely the people! Since the very first days I had the chance to meet great people, they were all humble, knowledgeable and friendly. I also got to bring my dog! :)