Get to Know: Joe Zelinskas, Sales Manager
What is your role at Everbridge?
I’m a sales manager for the Corporate Sales team. There are currently six people on my team, who are all sales reps focused on new businesses in the U.S. Each of them is responsible for mapping out their individual territories that they cover, scoping out new accounts, then prospecting and eventually closing new business to those companies. Our team has a nice mix of people who’ve been here for a while and people who are new, so my time is split between strategizing with senior members of the team, coaching newer members, and hopping on client calls. My day to day changes quite a bit, which I love. It keeps everything fresh.
Why did you decide to join the company?
Two main factors helped me ultimately choose Everbridge. The first is that it’s easy to be passionate about what Everbridge does, because our product truly matters to people. Everbridge is a critical event management platform that helps large organizations stay in touch with their constituents in critical times, including during terrorist attacks, severe weather events, or business-critical emergencies. Everbridge literally helps save lives — that’s as rewarding as it gets.
I experienced our mission firsthand during my second week here, when the Boston Marathon bombings happened right in our backyard. That was an intense experience, but it also solidified my commitment to work here, because it was obvious that what we do makes a difference. I knew right away that I’d made the right decision. Every day, we get to see our product helping corporations and governments protect their employees and their residents.
The other factor was the senior management team’s vision for the company and their track record of success. When I joined four years ago, Everbridge wasn’t as widely known as it is today. But even then, the leadership had a clear vision for where they wanted to be, and I trusted them to see that vision through. That paid off, and it’s been impressive to see that vision come to fruition. We’ve quadrupled in size just in the last few years and had a successful IPO last fall.
Everbridge literally helps save lives — that’s as rewarding as it gets.
What does coaching and training look like on your team?
I meet with each of my team members weekly, for about an hour. We go through the previous week and discuss what’s going well and what I can do to help them. We also take a look ahead and map out the upcoming week as best we can. We communicate throughout the week, too, but those one-on-one coaching sessions are always blocked off for us to talk and strategize together. We want to make sure our team members are getting the support and tools they need to succeed, especially our newer team members who are ramping up quickly. We also do hands-on training, where new hires can shadow calls and do dry runs to practice presentations and outreach. Obviously, we want our salespeople to hit their quotas, but we also want them to be comfortable and confident about what we sell and who we sell it to.
Can you tell me a little bit about your background and how it influences you as a leader?
I knew early on I wanted to be in sales. I started as an individual contributor for a telecommunications company, then was promoted to a sales manager role. Many of my team members at that company were young — some of them straight out of college — so that was a great way to get management experience early in my career. After that, I was an individual contributor at a network security company, where I was promoted again to a manager role prior to making the move to Everbridge. So going back and forth from an individual contributor and manager really helped gain me some valuable experience and helped me appreciate both roles and what it takes to be successful.
At Everbridge, the Sales team isn’t isolated from the rest of the company. Here, we work well across all teams.
What are the opportunities for growth on your team?
I’ve been fortunate and able to grow my career here, and that’s not unusual; my colleagues have had a lot of growth and development, as well. I joined the team as an Account Executive. Then I was promoted to Senior Account Executive and Team Lead, where I managed three people but also maintained my own accounts. Last year I was promoted to a full manager role, which is where I am today. For people just joining the team — we aren’t slowing down anytime soon. We still have plenty of room for people to advance and that’s exciting.
What sets Everbridge apart from your past work in sales?
One of the first things I noticed at Everbridge was that the Sales team isn’t isolated from the rest of the company, which you often see other places. Here, we work well across all teams. The company understands that the more we collaborate and communicate, the more successful everyone’s going to be. No single individual or team can reach its goals on their own — it’s a company-wide effort.
What teams do you collaborate with most often?
There are several. We work closely with Product Development; they help us understand what products and enhancements are coming down the pike. Then there’s Business Development, who will pass along leads on potential clients. We also work with Engineering, Professional Services, Marketing, Implementation, Account Management — and the collaboration goes all the way up to senior leadership. They’re available when we need them to join meetings or sit in on calls for specific deals. Everyone is generous with their time and willing to go the extra mile to help out.
The company understands that the more we collaborate and communicate, the more successful everyone’s going to be.
What challenges are your team facing right now, and how are you handling them?
We’re growing rapidly, which is great, but also challenging. Staying on top of sales targets, scouting new business, and training new salespeople can be a tough balancing act at times, particularly at this fast pace. So over the last year or two, we’ve reorganized our entire onboarding process to make it more streamlined and help new hires get up to speed more quickly, and that’s working well. We’ve also gotten much better at finding candidates who are a good fit and truly enjoy working here.
Why is now a good time to join Everbridge?
We have a ton of momentum right now. We’ve recently released several great new products, including Safety Connection, which shows clients where their employees are in real time. The Sales team is especially excited about that one because it’s a big differentiator for us competitively. We’ve also made some recent acquisitions, like Crisis Commander and IDV Solutions, that are helping us expand as a full-enterprise platform. Our Product team continues to be well ahead of the curve in their vision and execution, and that’s hugely important to our success in Sales. So I’m excited to see the company keep growing, and to help my team members develop as we go.