Sean Erjavec is the new EVP Sales at Bridgit. As a scale-up sales leader with global experience, he is responsible for building a team to drive revenue growth for this exciting KW start-up. Now 3 months into his new role, we talked to him about why he made the move and his approach to sales leadership.
What was it about Bridgit and this role that drew you in?
- I’ve worked outside Waterloo for the majority of my career – for Toronto, Ottawa, and New York based companies. During this time I’ve seen the Waterloo tech community evolve tremendously. There’s now a rich ecosystem of tech companies that I find very exciting. The region is exploding with opportunity and I always knew I wanted to get back at some point when the timing and opportunity was right. Bridgit checked all the boxes – great local reputation, the vision and early stage execution of the co-founders and the team, and solving an actual problem. When I look at local start-ups, they stand in a unique category – they have clients, have successfully cracked the US market, have strong recurring revenue, and have great internal/ external support. With all the checkboxes, I was really excited to help scale and grow a company in my own backyard.
What has your experience been like since you joined Bridgit?
- It’s been great! The culture is awesome, everyone works hard, and everyone is committed to Bridgit’s success. No politics, no BS – just an overall desire to make Bridgit an even greater company and leader in the space. I have felt very empowered and supported by the co-founders and team in general – and we’ve accomplished a lot over the last 90 days. We’ve hired some great people, have had a record Q1 in terms of revenue/ sales growth and feel very excited for what lies ahead.
What are you looking forward to as the company continues to grow?
- In short, really looking forward to scaling across the board – revenue, team, market position, product etc. We’ve got some aggressive corporate objectives but with the foundation that we’ve been able to create, I’ve got a high degree of confidence in our ability to execute collectively. I want to be able to look in the rearview mirror one day, and say, “I was a part of that”.
How would someone know that they are a good potential fit for the team?
- Generally speaking we’re looking for bright, tenacious, and experienced people to help us scale to the next level. We’re looking for the A-players. Culture fit is important to us at Bridgit – we’re looking for people who can collaborate internally, be methodical in their approach and can think strategically. More specifically on the sales side, we’ve structured the team with Business Development who focus at the top of the funnel and Account Executives who have experience advancing and closing the sale. In terms of Account Executives, ideally individuals who have 2-5 years early-stage SaaS experience and who have demonstrated success. Looking to build a team without ego’s where everyone (regardless of title) works together to achieve the goals.
What would you say are some of the most challenging/exciting aspects about what you do?
- Bridgit has created a very strong foundation across the board which is awesome. Now it’s all about scaling and executing. We have disruptive technology, and validation in the marketplace that we do solve a problem that exists, which in turn gives us a strong sense of purpose and commitment.
- In terms of challenge, I think of it more as an opportunity. Generally speaking we sell into a non-tech savvy industry and often times our clients are either unaware that solutions like ours exist, have invested in clunky ERP solutions that do average job solving the problem, or have been exposed to lower-end solutions. So it’s up to us to articulate the value that we can provide and challenge these companies so that they understand both the personal and corporate win. Our client retention (and expansion) is extremely high which is a testament to the value that we provide.
Why do you do what you do, and what motivates you and makes everything worth it?
- It’s not for everyone, but I love being able to scale teams and revenue in early stage environments. Targets are often times aggressive, but the reward and sense of accomplishment when you look back is incredible. When you see a team, product, market position, and revenue scale exponentially in a relatively short period of time it’s pretty awesome.
Any words of advice for companies looking to scale sales?
- Really understand the market that you’re going after. Where do you fit, how big is it and create a plan that you can measure against. Everyone needs to know what their role is and needs to be accountable. In early stage companies, it’s important to set goals, measure, and most important adapt accordingly. Best technology does not always win, so if you’re serious about scaling revenue/ sales, invest accordingly!