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Apprentice Of The Week: Karan Motreja

Apprentice of the Week: Karan Motreja

This week we recognize Karan Motreja at StratiFi Technologies as Vendition’s Apprentice of the Week.  Karan graduated from CU Boulder last spring and originally thought he wanted to apply his degree to app development roles.  He quickly learned through interviewing that he wanted a different challenge and thankfully we got to know him then. 

Read the rest to learn his story:

“Over this past summer, I was two and half months out of college, and up until then, [my interview process] was all geared towards engineering, specifically app development. I had interviewed at a couple places, and I got a few offers. Through the interview process, though, I realized that wasn’t something I wanted to do the rest of my life.  I have family in the Bay, and one of them said they thought I was someone who could excel in sales engineering.”

Karan shares that he had never considered this path before, as he hadn’t had much exposure to the tech sales space. “I had no idea about anything sales related before all of this. Cold calling, cold emails, how to pitch to someone was completely foreign to me, but I ended up deciding I wanted to try this out since I had the technical background.  I came across Vendition, and I felt it was a good opportunity to give this a good shot.”

Given he was new to the space, Karan worked closely with his Relationship Manager Gabriella to find the right company based on his interests. “Gabriella wanted to figure out what I’m interested in, and to be honest at the time I had no idea.  She started off giving me a few places to look into, I would go through it, talk to her about what I thought, and I think she just caught onto what I was looking for even though I myself had no idea what it was exactly.”

Karan shares that he knew as soon as he was introduced to the StratiFi team that this was the company for him. “Gabriella explained StratiFi to me–she knew that I was looking for a small team because even if I was an SDR I would still have additional responsibilities starting out. The first person I interviewed with [at StratiFi] was Chris, who actually went to the same college as me a year ahead. We just vibed.  Moving forward, after I interviewed with Akhil, I told Gabriella I didn’t think I needed to look any more, I found my place.”

Karan says that he experienced a steep learning curve but only for the first few weeks. “As an apprentice, it was nerve wracking at first.  The industry that StratiFi works with is primarily finance.  I felt that I had no knowledge of finance going into it, so the first two weeks for me were learning about the markets, proper terminology, and how to be an SDR on top of that.  At first it was difficult, but with the combination of Chris training me and Sam coming onsite to coach me, after getting through the first two weeks it was a breeze.”

Karan sheds more light on the coaching sessions he had with Sam: “In those first two weeks it was, ‘how do I figure out this cold calling thing.’ We would record my calls, and Sam and I would have weekly meetings. He would give me tips and feedback.  In our one-on-one coaching, first it was video calling, and then Akhil asked him to come onsite, and he was all for it. Those sessions were extremely helpful since it was looking at sales from a different lens.  He brought a different approach to it, and he made it fun.”

“If you tell anyone that cold calling is fun, they’d laugh at you,” Karan laughs, “but Sam made it fun.  Sam was essentially my mentor–he was the type of guy I could text or call and say, ‘hey Sam, I need help with this, you got five minutes?’ [Our relationship] was professional, but I also felt he was also a guy you could grab a drink with.”

 

Karan’s Tips for SDRs Starting Out: 

“Hang in there. The first couple of weeks will be tough, and you might be questioning ‘did i get into the right field,’ but it’s just like everything else. The more you work at it, the better you’ll get.”

“Sam told me this early on, ‘Make sure your highs aren’t too high and your lows aren’t too low.’ Learn to balance the two, and don’t get too down on yourself.”

“If you’re on a big or small team, share what’s going on in your life when it comes to sales. Earlier on when I would have a tough day, I would freak out and think, ‘Am I the only one at this company not helping out?’  Through talking to other people, they reassured me that you wouldn’t book a demo a day and some days you’d book three. It helped.”

“If you’re going through Vendition’s [apprenticeship], build that relationship with your mentor.  It makes the hard days easier.”

 

Karan’s tips are worth taking into consideration.  In his first six months at StratiFi, Karan saw a big promotion from apprentice to SDR to his next role. “The biggest thing for me was the fact that when I started with StratiFi just months ago, I know that because of the training I got as an apprentice I’ve now been promoted to AE very quickly.  A lot of my friends who work as SDRs who didn’t have proper training starting out, they say it takes one to two years, and here I am months later.”

Karan’s parting words: “Some people hesitate going for programs like Vendition because they see the initial three month salary. That was me, I thought I could probably make more doing it myself.  Now,  I can’t even explain how much it has helped me. Without Sam and without the support of Vendition, I don’t think I would be where I’m at right now.  It’s been nothing short of awesome.”

Congratulations again to you, Karan!  We’re so glad you made your pivot from app development to sales with Vendition.  There’s no doubt when you put your mind to something, you succeed, and we’re so excited to see what else comes your way at StratiFi Technologies.

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