Sales Empowerment Group Blog

SEG All-Star Alums: Hear From Gabriel Sanford and Azucena (Suzy) Gonzalez

No two BDR/SDRs have the exact same path at Sales Empowerment Group (SEG). But the ideal career "journey" for our sales professionals looks something like this: 

  1. We hire a BDR/SDR on behalf of a client.
  2. This sales professional comes to work at SEG (but their email, LinkedIn, Slack/Teams, etc. is with the client)
  3. We provide the training and they report to one of our managers for ongoing coaching and development
  4. After a certain amount of time, the client "hires away" the BDR/SDR. Moves them up to the "big leagues"
  5. We celebrate this accomplishment with the BDR/SDR, help them make the transition 
  6. The BDR/SDR goes on to keep smashing goals out of the park. They continue on with the client, moving onto roles like Sr. BDR/SDR, Account Executive, Manager, etc. 

Over the years, we love to honor our alums who put up big numbers while they were at SEG. In our version of Cooperstown, we add their plaque to our "Wall of Fame" display in the office. 

wall of fame

Recently, we were able to sit down with two of our best and brightest All-Star alums who are continuing to make us proud as they advance their sales careers.

Let's take a look at the "rookie cards" for Azucena (aka Suzy) Gonzalez and Gabriel Sanford. 

Suzy-Baseball-cardSuzy is a certified life coach who enjoys solving all types of problems. SEG allowed her to make a career switch from operations to sales after her MBA Program.
Suzy joined SEG in December of 2019 and after 8 months her partnering client, K & L Freight Management, Inc. hired her away. Now she is focused on Enterprise Accounts and was promoted from a BDR to a Jr. Account Manager.
Suzy is at the beginning of an All-Star career and we're proud SEG was a part of her rookie season!

gabriel-sanford-baseball-cardGabriel had recently graduated and was hunting for a job. When we reached out, Gabriel was doing in-store sales for DirecTV inside Costco stores.

"One day I got a call from one of the recruiters, I was able to make it over for the interview just in time and it all worked out!” Gabriel recalled.
Gabriel Sanford was hired by the client (Jellyvision) and moved up the ranks to become a Channel Sales Manager. He is now an Enterprise Account Executive at Rheaply

Alright. Intros complete. Let's hear from Gabriel and Suzy!

1. How do you overcome cold calling nerves?



Five tips and tricks:

  1. Reps. So much of the development is simply # of at bats. Don't let a few No's prevent you from trying again
  2. Be curious about the prospect's responses
  3. Training program. Lean on manager's coaching. Ask for tips on how to improve
  4. Role plays before actual calls
  5. Sweaty palms, being red in the face, having a nervous stomach ache, these are all totally normal reactions to have early on. Stick with it, the nerves will go down. And nothing wrong with a few butterflies even as an experienced rep.

2. What was the training like at Sales Empowerment Group?



Features of SEG's training program and ongoing coaching:

  1. Client on-hand along with SEG manager. Learning the value props, how to explain to a prospect
  2. Encouraging, helpful environment
  3. Weekly recaps, listen to calls, dissect how we can improve on those calls
  4. Roleplays. Practice with someone acting like they're the client on the other end

3. Any lessons learned that have stayed with you?



Couple of tips:

Always be curious about the customer, the account you're working on - Ask questions and do research before making the phone call. 

If you see someone having success in the role... copy them! - The person setting 10+ meetings a week, ask them how they're doing it. Learn their process and see what you can put into your day-to-day process. 

4. What's the most rewarding part about being a BDR/SDR? Most challenging? 



Most rewarding part(s):

"Meeting that person on the other side. Getting to know who that person is. Cultivating those relationships and networking with other professionals then helping them. That's what the sales role is. Finding a way to help the prospect and add value to whatever it is their job is."

- Suzy Gonzalez


"Getting that meeting. That prospect who you've been doing all that research on, trying to get in contact for months or weeks, you finally figure out what makes sense to them in a phone call or an email. And when you see that whole says cycle, when you set that meeting as a BDR, and then that prospect now comes on as a client, that's really big to see you delivered the value that first got the fire started to get it to where it is now."

- Gabriel Sanford

Most challenging part(s):

"The dry days, dry hours, anxiety kicks in sometimes where you wonder, 'When am I going to reach SOMEbody?' Especially during quarantine, there were all these other factors playing into it. A lot of times it's not your fault, you have to figure out the trends, when's the best time to reach them. It gets tough when it's silent on the other side. That's the most challenging." 

- Suzy Gonzalez


"The calls without an answer. We could go days and days, hundreds and hundreds of dials without someone picking it up, whether it's no one's in the office, calling at the wrong time, being able to battle through that was one of the most challenging things." 

- Gabriel Sanford

5. Do you keep up with your former colleagues from SEG?



At SEG, you work with 100+ other BDR/SDRs, but most will go on to work for a different client. So, within a year or two, people who became friends working together "under the SEG roof" are now spread out. 

Which begs the question, do people stay in touch? Do those friendships last?

"We started with 20 folks at the client, 10 got hired on full-time, I'd say 50% of those I still have a relationship with now. Text with. Happy birthday. Hey, we're getting drinks. Very close relationship. When I was working to find another job, folks were there to help me and support me. The camaraderie was something that was very big and still have those relationships today."

- Gabriel Sanford


"I remain friends with some of the people who left SEG and some of the people still there. I think it was such a great environment for younger professionals to meet, especially since we were all working different industries, we could share stories about what's working, what's happening. I definitely keep in touch with a lot of people from there. It was a great experience."

- Suzy Gonzalez

Follow Sales Empowerment Group on LinkedIn to hear more alumni stories. And if you're looking to launch a BDR/SDR career of your own, please don't hesitate to reach out. You can contact us here.

Who knows, maybe we'll be sharing your alumni video interviews here some day too! 

Tags: BDR, alumni