Meet the team: Account Executive Travis McKinney

You probably know that you can get started using Stitch by visiting our signup page, and in five minutes you can be moving data to your data warehouse. Does a company with a self-serve model need a sales staff?

In fact we do, because in addition to our hundreds of self-serve customers (and many more clients on our free tier) we have an enterprise plan that we tailor to meet organizations' individual needs. We offer businesses custom integrations, custom row volumes, priority support, service level agreements, and a number of other enterprise-only features. Our sales team is responsible for talking with potential enterprise customers, learning about their pain points, and making sure that they get what they need.

Travis McKinney joined Stitch last September as an account executive. Travis says, "My main focus is bringing in more enterprise customers – selling the value of enterprise to Stitch self-serve customers or getting new logos. We have some really aggressive goals, but we're not a huge team, so we all have to do a lot of things. That means one minute you can be talking to someone on the product team about a new feature, the next you're going back and forth with support to make sure a proof of concept (POC) went smoothly, and then the next you're on a sales call. We're all pretty strapped – which isn't a bad thing."

Director of Sales Shaun McAvinney says, "When we hired Travis, we were looking for someone who could work not only in the business but on the business as well. Over the course of the past year he's been able to not only apply our sales process but also improve it."

Stitch's sales process

The typical process for an enterprise customer starts with identification. "We check a company against 10 criteria, and if they match at least three of them, they qualify as a prospect. We then set up a discovery call to find out more about the company – what pain points they have, how intense their need is, whether they have a budget, who are the stakeholders in the buying process. If it's a viable opportunity, we set up a formal presentation – a call with the stakeholders. If that goes well we'll work with them on a POC in the next few days. Along the way we're keeping an eye on how everything is going. Maybe we'll loop in support to make sure everything goes smoothly, maybe loop in someone from the product team about implementing a custom integration. In the end, if we're successful, we sign up a new enterprise customer."

A typical day for Travis starts early. "I'll fill out my planner and write out my schedule and my general to-do list. I'll spend an hour on qualifying organizations, starting with a report of new people who've signed up to Stitch. In that process I look up information about the organizations in resources like Clearbit Prospector, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn.

The Stitch sales team isn't all about making the numbers, like some sales organizations, Travis says. It's more about making sure that we can deliver services that meet each customer's needs. "One of our corporate values is 'do the right thing.' When you do the right things up front, that's how you can retain and grow your client base. We just had our first enterprise annual renewal and they're extremely happy."

Travis says the sales team is still growing and evolving, just like the rest of Stitch. "My job is to bring revenue to the company. It's a big task. There's some pressure there. But there's a lot of support. Getting the customer's signature is on me, but there's a lot that everyone contributes to."

A background in technology sales

Travis grew up in Texas, graduated from college in Kansas, and came to Philadelphia in 2014 to work for IBM as an account executive. It was a great opportunity, but "I realized early on that it wasn't for me," he says. "IBM was so big – 100,000 in the sales force – and it had a sort of a 'wait your turn' mentality. I put in the grunt work. I was making 150, 200 calls a day. But I'm a competitive person, and I felt there was more I could do."

In May 2015 Travis moved to a software startup called Curalate that helps companies to integrate social media into ecommerce. "I applied to be a sales development representative (SDR), which was a step back from account executive, but I told the CEO I was willing to do that for this opportunity. When I got the call, they asked me to be one of the first two account managers on a new team. After a year and a half I moved into a different sales role, and I figured it was time for me to move on. But it was a great experience – I learned how to talk to executives, how to present myself. I also learned that I loved startups, and I knew that in my next job I wanted to get in on the ground floor at one."

Though Travis was an experienced sales professional in the technology space, he still had to learn a lot about data analytics architecture when he started at Stitch. "Stitch is very technical, so someone coming in to a new sales role here needs to be patient with themselves in the role. It takes time to get to mastery. Customers get that. There's a lot of support and sympathy from people in the market; if you're talking to a client, they won't hold it against you if you don't have an immediate answer."

Being part of a great team

What's the best part of the job? "Oh man, it's a cliche, but I think the team," Travis says. "Stitch has done a really good job of selecting folks who will move the company forward. There are no wasted bodies here. Everyone has to be a hitter, a contributor. Everyone is extremely intelligent, everyone is a hustler. It's not a rarity to see people on Slack in the evening or the morning outside of work hours. Everyone sees value in their role and wants to contribute, and everyone is aligned on where we want to be going."

Still, "like many companies our size we don't have all of our processes set down yet. Last year, our Q4 objective was to create and implement some repeatable sales processes, but sometimes we're still flying by the seat of our pants. Sometimes we have to throw things in Slack and see where support can come from."

That doesn't lead to working crazy hours. "We're all treated like adults. How you get to your end goal is up to you. No one is checking what time you come to the office. You have a job to do and you get it done. At the moment I'm putting a lot of time into the job, but it's what I want to do. It doesn't feel like work – it feels like I'm investing in my career."

Speaking of careers, Stitch is hiring. If you'd like to be part of a great team, visit our Careers page and learn more about what makes Stitch special.