Now Hiring: 9 Chicago Companies Looking for Top Sales Talent
The art of sales is an endless endeavor.
It doesn’t just live in the confines of the office or within the window of a Zoom meeting. It’s woven into our lives through everyday actions. Convincing friends to try a new restaurant you thoroughly enjoyed; going on a first date in hopes of being asked for another; planning a family vacation and pushing the most appealing destination. We as a society are consistently trying to identify a need, provide a pragmatic solution, and benefit both parties at the end.
But the common denominator throughout each of these situational equations remains the same – not selling for the sake of selling, but genuinely trying to make a difference in the end user’s experience. And that’s exactly what the following nine Chicago sales professionals aspire to do for their companies every single day.
“Prioritizing quality in every consumer interaction is the key to building loyalty,” Trina Graham-Hodo, SVP of enterprise solutions at GoHealth said. “This type of selling experience will resonate and create a marketplace differentiator.”
Built In dug into the local scene to find out exactly what makes these pros’ teams unique, what valuable lessons they’ve learned throughout their career journeys, and the latest tech helping them make a difference for their clients.
Logiwa is an integrated WMS and fulfillment system that makes it easy to run a digital warehouse.
What makes Logiwa’s teams unique: “Togetherness – this is genuinely a collaborative effort,” Lopez said. “Sure, teamwork has a presence in most sales teams. But here at Logiwa it is ever-present and even required. I have the product team I can bring in for demos, as well as onboarding engineers and even our CEO. All of these resources are at my disposal in order to bring deals over the line. Having these resources and team members ready to help out gives me confidence throughout the entire process of the sales cycle. I go into every deal, big or small, complex or straightforward, knowing that as a team we can provide the right solution and bring on another happy customer.”
Valuable lessons: “I’ve learned to be responsive and widely available for my prospects or customers, even if I can’t answer their questions on the spot. I make sure that no matter the size of the deal, I reply in a timely manner and acknowledge my prospect’s time. With software, certain questions can get very technical. Responding as soon as I can lets them know their question has been received and they can expect an answer sooner rather than later. This tactic helps me build confidence and trust with my prospects and customers. They know from the very beginning, no matter what question they might have, I am only an email or call away.”
“I have seen the success of this tactic from very early on. It has certainly helped me close most of my deals and as a result, has become fundamental to my sales approach.”
GoHealth helps consumers and small businesses shop for an insurance plan that best fits their respective needs.
GoHealth’s culture: “We genuinely value diverse experiences and thoughts,” Graham-Hodo said. “We see differing perspectives and opinions as an opportunity for new ways of thinking and eliciting new ideas.”
Valuable lessons: “Prioritizing quality in every consumer interaction is the key to building loyalty. There is nothing more important than assessing our customer’s needs by consulting on what is most important to them and then offering a product that best fits. This type of selling experience will resonate and create a marketplace differentiator.”
Motorola Solutions creates communication solutions and technology designed to create safer communities and cities.
What makes Motorola’s teams unique: “Without a doubt, it’s Motorola Solutions’ purpose – to help people be their best in the moments that matter most,” Lonnett said. “Our sales organization, along with every person at the company, understands and appreciates the fact that our solutions serve as the ‘lifeline’ for protecting our first responder customers and the citizens in need of their help. That ‘mission-critical’ connection with our customers transcends what most people think about as sales and puts us in a position of true partnership to solve problems with them.”
Valuable lessons: “Early in my career, I heard someone say, ‘The smartest person in the room never learns anything.’ This quote has served as a wonderful reminder that while it is important to establish knowledge and expertise with customers, listening and understanding their needs is ultimately the most important sales tool. I find this lesson to be especially relevant and valuable in complex technical solution sales, and I encourage others to be active listeners as well.”
Emerging tech: “Our sales organization is very proud of an in-house tool that is designed to provide a better understanding of our customers and the technologies they currently have in order to help navigate sales conversations. The in-house tool has been especially valuable as we expand our portfolio into new fields of play. Understanding how our customers are evaluating technologies to meet their operational needs, and therefore, how our mission-critical ecosystem can meet their objectives, is a fundamental step for sellers to prepare and plan for effective customer meetings.”
Envoy Global is a global immigration service provider that offers a proprietary management platform designed to help companies hire and manage an international workforce.
Envoy’s culture: “Collaboration is a word you hear a lot at Envoy,” Karmel said. “We’re not just individual contributors; we are encouraged to leverage the skills and subject matter expertise of our colleagues. Whether it’s bringing someone in from a different team to lend their knowledge during a sales call or sharing what is and is not working within our team, collaborating with other coworkers across the organization enables us to share different perspectives while building culture.”
Valuable lessons: “Listen and engage with what your prospect is sharing with you. And, as our CRO always says, ‘Read the room.’”
“To be an effective account executive, listening is one of the most important skills to have. What we do at Envoy is not a one-size-fits-all solution. When you really listen to your prospect, you can take on a consultative role to truly assess how Envoy’s approach can be beneficial to their organization and arm your prospect with the tools to make this change happen.”
Kin Insurance is a home insurance technology company that covers catastrophe-prone areas.
Kin’s culture: “Insurance is typically considered a commodity in which the sales process can be a ‘high frequency, low touch’ sales experience,” Burggraf said. “Kin has approached selling insurance differently in which we treat each customer as uniquely valued. We try to help a customer feel a connection to their agent in an effort to make the experience more personal and customized.”
“To ensure happy, cared-for customers we apply the same approach to our growing team of sales agents. We regularly recognize performance. Leadership at Kin is very accessible and works at maintaining transparency through bi-weekly all hands meetings, newsletters and a ton of team-oriented, energy-building Slack channels where everyone can interact together. We are all Kin!”
Valuable lessons: “One thing that amazes me is the intense passion so much of the staff has for Kin’s growth. We have the lowest turnover of any sales team that I have experienced and I attribute this to the fact that everyone feels they have a personal stake in the company’s success. In just four years, the sales team has gone from a single person to nearing 200.”
“Maintaining an inclusive, collaborative culture as a company scales is not always easy, but Kin believes we are stronger when we make room for many people to be not just tactical, but also strategic contributors. Each day I consider what can I do to make the company more successful.”
Emerging tech: “We have recently implemented a conversational intelligence tool – Observe AI. Many companies have call recording software, and certainly in insurance, it is required. However, taking the functions of the tool and then leveraging it to improve our ability to service customers and become even more sophisticated sales professionals requires discipline and engagement from everyone. Just two months live in the tool, we have taken our learnings to guide our approach to training and coaching techniques. Our team is very excited to find even more ways to harness the power that this tool will give us.”
Echo Global Logistics is a software tech company that provides clients with technology-enabled transportation and supply chain management services.
Echo’s culture: “Although sales team members at Echo may take part in some healthy competition, we believe an individual is never as strong as the entire team,” Rodriguez said. “We know that teamwork is the fuel that allows us to achieve results that we never could have achieved alone, and we demonstrate this through one of Echo’s core values, ‘Carry the Load Together.’ By celebrating big career wins and life events as a team, we’ve created a tight-knit atmosphere that encourages our team members to feel comfortable and do their best.”
“When you are new and just starting off in sales, it can feel like you’re sinking at times. However, when you are a part of a strong team, you have life rafts in your teammates and can help pick each other up. As a sales manager, I get to know all my team members on a personal basis because I don’t believe in managing everyone the same way.”
Valuable lessons: “I’ve learned not to compare my achievements to others at the company, but instead focus on my own numbers and personal growth. If you are constantly looking at what others are doing and comparing your numbers to theirs, you’re unintentionally making their current achievements your goal. You’ll find yourself shooting to hit their numbers and losing sight of what you need to accomplish.”
“When you start to focus on improving yourself based on your own goals, that’s when I believe you’ll experience success and growth. Every day, I focus on being better than I was the day before. In sales, it’s important to focus on where you want to be, take risks and get uncomfortable.”
Emerging tech: “Every day, my team and I utilize a data intelligence tool that tracks the progress of individuals as well as our team as a whole. We can also view leaderboards, performance metrics and mode breakdowns for the team and individuals. Plus, the platform creates visuals that outline month-over-month progression. This allows us to recognize areas of improvement as well as extract information on a per-client basis to better assist our clients with continuous improvement.”
“At Echo, we offer our clients access to EchoShip™ – Echo’s self-service web portal that consolidates and simplifies shipping by enabling customers to quote, book, ship, manage invoices, and track shipments in real time. EchoShip eliminates repetitive workflows and speeds up shipping with a four-step process. This technology not only benefits clients, but also streamlines operations within the sales department as well.”
DAIS is an information technology company that aims to empower agencies and carriers with a proprietary software platform designed to handle the complexity of insurance.
Dais’ culture: “We see our sales team as representing the voice of the customer,” Larson said. “They are a key influencer in the company roadmap and focus. We routinely seek input and feedback from our sales team. They’ve been the source of some of our best product feature ideas.”
“We also make sure that our sales team understands how to use our product, which means that they can actually build insurance products themselves for demo purposes or fun. We’ve had some pretty entertaining products built as a result, and one of our sales team won our ‘storefront carving competition’ last Halloween!”
Valuable lessons: “Referrals are extremely beneficial, so consistent delivery has helped us greatly. Referrals work especially well when people understand the speed and flexibility of our product. When we awe a customer with work that used to take quarters or even years and get it done in just a few days or weeks, people like to share that with their colleagues.”
Emerging tech: “This is probably the most exciting area. Dais 2.0 is reinventing our approach in sales because it fundamentally redefines how insurance can be done, from beginning to end. Our new product appeals to carriers, MGAs, reinsurers and agencies. We are looking for a sales leader that knows how to wield power tools in the marketplace. We are looking for a leader that can take software-as-a-service to market in a big way.”
Consumer identity management firm Infutor Data Solutions provides brands with customer data to help them make informed marketing and risk mitigation decisions.
Infutor’s culture: “Something very rare about the Infutor sales team is the willingness to help teammates hit goals,” Calomeni said. “Other organizations are very competitive. At Infutor, we share leads, make introductions and share advice on how to attack a problem to close a deal. Winning is a team sport and we have the support of every person within the organization.”
Valuable lessons: “‘Always understand why.’ If you can relate the data back to your client's client, you will be more effective in closing the sale. Buyers need to be reminded of the benefits of the data: How is it helping them? How is our product making a difference in someone’s life? We ask this question before each call – it helps us to stay relevant and close deals faster.”
Emerging tech: “At Infutor, we leverage Gong. It allows new sellers to come up to speed faster, allows reps to go back and listen to what the prospect has said in the past, and allows other team members to understand the deals. Clari is utilized to help improve visibility into forecasting; account executives are held accountable for their forecasts.”
Ensono provides hybrid IT solutions, including cloud infrastructure, and mainframe service and support.
Ensono’s culture: “We have a unique go-to-market model for a service provider working with enterprise customers,” Doebel said. “We have an acquisition team run separately from the account executive team that works exclusively with existing customers. This model enables us to focus our efforts and expertise so we are better able to serve our customers. It also requires consistent communication and collaboration.”
Valuable lessons: “The acquisition team has a robust methodology to rate potential prospects, leading to a world-class conversion rate. That enables the team to remain highly productive. It also attracts high quality talent because they know they will be supported through a process and methodology that drives results.”
Emerging tech: “We recently started to use a Salesforce capability called Quip. Quip is a collaborative account planning tool integrated into Salesforce. We are finding it is very effective when we have to work with cross-functional teams on key account actions.”