The DoorDash Outside Sales Team Builds Partnerships — and Empathy — with Business Owners Across the Country

Jul 7, 2017 · 11 min read

(Cross posted from the Job Portraits blog.)

When you’re part of the DoorDash Outside Sales team, you don’t just close deals — you create long-term partnerships. We talked to Chase Gardner (Mid-Market Account Executive), Danny Polanco (Senior Regional Account Executive), Jack Momeyer (Senior Outside Sales Manager), and Cassidy Sanders (Regional Account Executive) about how they adapt to the constant evolution of a fast-growing company, how they keep in touch with colleagues across the U.S. and Canada, and why their roles at DoorDash are different from any job they’ve had before. Interested in joining the team? Get in touch with recruiting manager Ashley Davis to learn more:

First, tell us about DoorDash and how the Outside Sales team contributes to the business.

Chase: One of my favorite things about the Outside Sales team is that we don’t actually sell anything. Instead, we’re creating partnerships. Our merchants gain exposure on our platform, and we help them build their brand and business. Then we take a commission on each order we generate for our restaurants. We also give our partners operational support; they get a customized merchant portal, and in some cases we provide tablets, integrate with their email system, or even help them implement fax-based ordering. The goal is to get an organized, seamless system in place, which helps both DoorDash and our merchants scale up.

Can you talk about your responsibilities, and what your day to day looks like?

Cassidy: That daily variety is common for us all, I think. My primary goal every day is to speak directly with decision-makers and build partnerships from there. For partnerships we’ve already closed, we’re promoting and marketing our new partners. And then, of course, we’re researching leads and making new contacts. We’re free to set our own priorities; DoorDash gives us total flexibility in terms of how we schedule our day.

My favorite part of the job is listening to our partners’ stories. One restaurant owner told me revenue from DoorDash was helping pay his medical bills. Another merchant previously sold cars but always wanted to run a restaurant; now, with our help, he’s be able to open a second location. Being part of those successes — a small part of someone’s dream — is amazing.

“With our help, one of our merchants has been able to open a second location.” — Cassidy

Danny: Chase’s and my responsibilities largely align with Cassidy’s, in that we’re connecting with those decision-makers and spending a lot of time with our leads. She has a much larger lead list, though; many of the merchants on my list have multiple locations so it’s more of a strategic sale.

As far as finding that main point of contact, there are lots of ways to approach that; we can jump in our cars if we want, to visit the merchants in person. Or we can cold-call or create an email campaign. Once we get a meeting with the right person, that’s where we need to shine in terms of our knowledge and passion. We want to educate them about DoorDash, and to help them see us as part of the larger trend toward third-party delivery. That conversation is the start of our relationship; it’s our chance to demonstrate that we want to help them grow.

Left: Cassidy Sanders rocks all the DoorDash swag. Right and below: Team members discuss a new product rollout.
DoorDash’s San Francisco office, at Mission and 2nd St., is in the fastest-growing nook of the city.

How is this job different from roles you’ve had before?

I’d also say that DoorDash values us as people, not just earners. They give us a gym stipend; they provide lunch and dinner. They recognize that having happy, healthy, well-fed team members is important to everyone’s success.

“DoorDash values us as people, not just earners.” –Chase

Danny: I come from a different background than most; this is my first sales job. I was kind of intimidated entering this world, but this is such a supportive environment. Everyone is more than willing to offer advice, or to pick you up when you need it. And the whole company — from Engineeringto management to Sales leads and product managers — works hard to make the service you’re selling the best it can be. That’s extra motivation to make deals, because you know you’re not just doing it for yourself. We’re all working toward the same goal.

What’s the number one pushback you hear from potential partners?

Cassidy: Absolutely — trust is always the most important factor in closing a deal. It helps that what we’re offering is mutually beneficial. We try to communicate that if they sign with us, we’re committed. It might take several conversations to gain a given prospect’s trust; other times, they’re ready to go after one meeting. The variety keeps us on our toes.

“The whole company works hard to make the service you’re selling the best it can be.” –Danny

Chase: I try to frame it to help merchants understand that we’re offering them an otherwise-inaccessible revenue stream. We get other questions, too, like about food quality. Decision-makers want to know what their product will look like by the time it gets to their customers. So we come armed with examples of past success as well as data on the speed of our deliveries.

What else is challenging about Outside Sales?

Jack: Learning how to build trust with people from very different cultures is also a fun challenge. I actually went to the United Nations International School for high school, so I had friends from Armenia, Turkey, Senegal, and Germany. I feel like that experience has helped me in this role.

Cassidy: Yeah, I like figuring out how to tailor a message that can resonate with anyone. That can mean choosing words carefully to build trust, or meeting in person where you can lean more on body language.

Left: Chase Gardner enjoys a sunset in the countryside. Right: Chase and his team members keep warm by the fire.
Calling on potential partners often takes Chase into downtown Dallas.
The Dallas office decor: Scrappy yet functional.

Can you talk more about the autonomy in your roles? What are the pros and cons?

“Your teammates help you take a step back, remember what’s great about what we are offering, and go back out there with confidence.” –Jack

For people like Cassidy and Chase, who are based in offices with other Sales colleagues, that sense of teamwork is more immediate. We’re now in more than 500 cities in the U.S. alone, so some people are taking on a territory by themselves. For those sales people, we try to go the extra mile to maintain their connection to the sales team. We have different Slack channels where we celebrate wins; everybody chimes in with kudos there. Our mentorship program is a big help too. We match new hires with more experienced team members, to make sure they don’t feel like they’re alone even if they’re the only one selling in their territory.

How does compensation work within Sales?

Danny Polanco (left) at the DoorDash offices overlooking downtown L.A. (right).
There definitely isn’t a granola bar in this bag.
Left: Team members Andrew Susanto and Joseph Oh. Right: tea time.

What are the opportunities for growth like on in Outside Sales?

“We want someone’s role to reflect what they care about most.” –Jack

Those are two traditional options, but we also have folks moving between departments, or into a role that didn’t exist before. The first sales rep DoorDash hired, Brian Sommers, is actually an example of that. He started selling locally, and as he helped build partnerships as well as the Sales team, he discovered that his passion was in training and mentorship. Now he’s a full-time sales trainer. We encourage that kind of movement; we want someone’s role to reflect what they care about most.

How do you measure success?

Left: Jack Momeyer leads the Outside Sales team, despite his questionable beverage choices. Right: Cassidy and Jack prep for an afternoon meeting.
In the alley next to the San Francisco office, cofounders Stanley and Tony celebrate DoorDash’s 4th anniversary with a foot race.
Left: Jack and team member Christina Zhang talk shop. Right: After the race, Stanley, Jack, AJ Jain, and Andy Casey (left to right) celebrate with a toast.

What have you learned in your role?

“If you’re dedicated to understanding it, data is an invaluable asset to boost your pitch.” –Danny

Cassidy: I’ve improved as a salesperson in several ways since joining DoorDash. I feel like I’ve developed more empathy from interacting with restaurant owners and employees. After seeing them grind so hard every day to run a good business, I will never be rude to a waiter! Another skill I’ve learned is adaptability. First because my job is different from one day to the next, and second, because DoorDash itself is constantly growing and changing.

Jack: Being inspired by and internalizing DoorDash’s core values has taught me a lot. One of our values is to assume good intentions. We won’t always agree, but we debate from a collaborative, cooperative place. I’ve learned that you can’t move forward without listening to the other side, and finding a solution that makes sense to everyone.

Do you feel you’ve been able to have an impact on DoorDash as a company?

Cassidy: Because I’m out in the field, I appreciate the way I can help be an extra set of eyes and ears for the company. I might see a new restaurant pop up, or a line out the door at a merchant we’re debating whether to pitch. I can also bring information back to our Product and Engineering teams, which helps them plan new features.

Chase: Yeah, and the cool thing is that we’re able to see our contributions and impact firsthand. If I exceed my goals, that has a tangible result — our market grows because of that work. It’s an incredible feeling to know that a merchant I brought on is now generating revenue for the company, not to mention themselves.

Interested in joining DoorDash’s Outside Sales team?

Your moment of Zen: Stanley (left, who rarely exercises) seals victory against Tony (right, who is an avid runner). Oh, the injustice!


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