As the VP of Corporate Sales in the Americas at MongoDB, I’ve seen a lot of growth and positive change. When I first joined MongoDB, we were pre-IPO but the opportunity in the database market and what MongoDB was doing to disrupt it was obvious. In the three years since, we’ve more than tripled the size of the team, changed our go-to-market strategy, and increased productivity by doubling the number of bookings on average made by Account Executives.
The company, our roles, and leadership opportunities have provided unparalleled personal and professional growth for me individually as well as for many of the sales reps and managers I’ve been fortunate to have on my team. In this post, I’d like to walk through what we look for in candidates so that they too can benefit from the development opportunities a company like MongoDB provides.
What we look for in a candidate for a Corporate Sales role at MongoDB
Having some knowledge in the IT and/or database space is advantageous when applying for MongoDB, but we hold other attributes in high regard. Above all, we look for drive, coachability, and intelligence. The things we look for on a resume often include the experience you’ve gained outside of corporate sales. In line with one of our company values at MongoDB, we “Embrace the Power of Differences” and understand that greatness comes in many forms.
When evaluating a candidate, I look for things that are less about what job they’ve done and more around the person they are and how they carry themselves outside of work. We believe how people show up in their daily lives outside of their jobs will play a huge factor in how they perform in their roles. We like to know how you set and achieve goals, big or small.
When reviewing a profile on Linkedin or resume I typically take a bottom-up approach. I look for:
- Volunteer work, an exciting college major, activities in college — is this candidate a well-rounded person?
- Career progression, along with tenure per role; I like to see if someone changed roles every 1-2 years and if they’ve moved companies, that it’s been for a better opportunity, company, or role.
- Skills accumulated along the way; has this person worked in Account Management roles or did they prospect for business? We like to see candidates that have prospected and taken the same account to close. Was the person once an SDR? Having this experience tells me they’ve worked either extensively qualifying inbound leads or had experience prospecting. Being an SDR is easily one of the most difficult roles you can have in sales, and I respect that. What type of product did they sell, was it complex, technical, or in IT? Any of those three are great qualifications for us as selling what we sell, to the persona we sell to, is most certainly on the technical side of the spectrum.
Our recruiting process
We believe our recruiting process is intentionally one of the most thorough in our market. We realize it’s a huge commitment on both ends to join MongoDB. We vet deeply to make sure that each candidate will be set up for success both now and in the future. We hire for MongoDB Sales as an overall organization as much as we hire for a specific role because we take career development very seriously.
The steps in our recruiting process:
In the first stage, a recruiter will reach out to set up a call. They will seek to better understand your background, sales methodology, KPIs, and past performance in your current and previous roles. They will share more background on the role itself and how the role will contribute to MongoDB’s long-term mission. The recruiters are there to assess your skillset and to answer any questions you have. They champion you through our process from start to finish — use them as your trusted resource.
Next, we will bring you onsite to meet with the broader sales leadership team to go through one-on-one interviews where we dig deep into various aspects of the role like pipeline generation strategy, the complexity of deals, how you uncover new business, and how deep you go into customer discovery.
If it's a mutual fit after the onsite, we go to our final stage which is a Challenge Presentation. This is presented to our senior leadership team and provides you a chance to really understand what the day-to-day experience is like for an Account Executive at MongoDB. The presentation is divided into 2 areas of focus: Account Prioritization and a Customer Role Play. We look for preparation and coachability. We look at how much time you take to prepare and how you execute in the role play. We don’t look for candidates to come in and master our technology; we want candidates to be intellectually curious in their role play, show the ability to grasp our value in the market, and after, show self-awareness around where they were strong and where they have areas for improvement.
The “Can't-Miss” Opportunity in Software Sales
There are five main reasons why joining the team can take your career to the next level.
1. Personal growth
This may be one of the most challenging jobs you’ll have in your career and that’s a good thing! Selling critical software to developers while there’s a free open-source option is as difficult as it gets. The complexity makes you have a strong discovery process along with a sales methodology most software sales companies don’t teach. In my opinion, if you’re a successful seller at MongoDB, you can be successful anywhere.
2. Professional growth
We pride ourselves on development. We have a best in breed sales enablement training, including our comprehensive Sales Bootcamp, sophisticated sales training, and leadership and development programs. We like to say, “Come to MongoDB and get your Masters in sales”.
In a company that has grown more than 50% year over year, naturally, you’re going to be presented with opportunities to tackle larger roles and responsibilities. We’ve built a culture of meritocracy and I’m proud to say our best are being promoted often. We generally review candidates for promotion quarterly, and promote employees who embody what phenomenal looks like, are trusted by their peers, hit their numbers consistently with a repeatable process, and can teach others how to be successful.
Many companies have managers, but how many can say they have leaders who support them in all areas? We have a diverse group of leaders who come from different backgrounds and a different range in tenure. What they all have in common is the training and growth mindset we hold in many aspects of our culture here at MongoDB. I hope that the leaders we provide to our Account Executives are ones who can shape the rest of their professional careers by helping them grow and achieve success.
4. Product and Market Opportunity
A majority of our growth stems from the fact that the database market has legacy companies at the top, and we have a strong innovative product in our core database that can be deployed as a service. Secondly, IDC states that over the next 3 years over 500 million digital applications and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches - the same number of apps developed in the last 40 years. The runway of opportunity in our industry tied with our product-market fit makes us one of the best software companies to work for. To tie it all together, we offer an innovative solution with hundreds of engineers supporting the product around the world.
Our culture is truly driven by our Account Executives. As a leadership team, we’ve invested in ways to not only attract, hire, and develop our talent but to also ensure our Account Executives are set up for long term success and have fun while doing it. We’ve participated in boat parties, visiting local Austin music shows, and for some friendly competition, engaged in a pizza making contest.
To drive the personal growth and business impact of our employees, we’re committed to developing a supportive and enriching culture for everyone. From employee affinity groups to fertility assistance and a generous parental leave policy, we value our employees’ wellbeing and want to support them along every step of their professional and personal journeys.
Interested in pursuing a career in Corporate Sales at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe, and would love for you to build your career with us!