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Beyond the Job: Inside Sales Representative

Our “Beyond the Job” blog series gives you insight into what it's like to work at Shiftgig. Learn about different positions at the company, culture and more!

Today, we're speaking with Mike Ponticelli -- “Ponch”, an Inside Sales Representative in Chicago who has been with the company for over two years. Welcome, Ponch!


So Ponch, after being here for just over two years and having worked various roles within the company, what’s your favorite part about being an Inside Sales Rep at Shiftgig?

Oh, problem solving. At Shiftgig, we don’t have this “one-size-fits-all” solution for our clients and, because of that, there are some qualification tasks, needs assessments, and dialogue which go into structuring an agreement before we work with an enterprise user.  You inherently get to interact with a TON of different people and it really does have a direct impact on this organization’s growth, brand, and bottom line. Very empowering.

IT Sounds like you’re always on your A-Game! Can you briefly describe your day-to-day?

Alright , fun fact - I was actually Shiftgig’s first Inside Sales guy, so my approach and day-to-day activities have varied widely during my time here. Today my focus day-to-day is generating client adoption on for our Experiential Marketing vertical. I take it from lead stage all the way up to a signed agreement.

And what’s your strategy to accomplish that?

Well, a lot of networking in the form of cold calls, cold emails, connecting with industry associations, asking for referrals, pitching on the fly, digging for new opportunities at every turn, and showing people our technology. I take my job seriously and I’m passionate about educating prospects on the benefits of the ‘gig economy’.  We have an exceptionally cool mobile product and a tangible solution to deliver which makes my role very exciting.  No sale is easy by any means, but when we tell our story over the phone or via email, it’s one which people are receptive to learning more about because it is so unique and new.

That Seems like a very sound technique. Can you tell me about a memorable deal?

My most memorable deal was with Farmer's Fridge, which makes healthy snack food (mainly salad), available in vending machines. Totally point of purchase. They have standalone units throughout the Midwest.  It’s a popular product and it does well, but like any new business they’re operating on a fixed budget and marketing felt some constriction.

They didn’t have a lot of bandwidth to explore an intensive rollout or complex brand awareness campaigns. They already had their content and messaging articulated. There were already boundaries around reach and infrastructure. The logistics were fairly planned out. What they lacked was a simple, flexible solution to connect with promotional talent.  

Through Shiftgig they’re enabled to connect with really sharp, qualified, well-prepared brand ambassadors who are reflective of their audience. Moreover, they get to play on the same level as their competitors who DO have the advantage of a massive marketing budget. They now see us as a lean, flexible resource to keep sampling efforts consolidated internally and generate a positive ROI.

That’s awesome! What would you say has been your biggest learning experience in this role?

I had to get better at qualifying opportunities; quickly, objectively, and accurately.   Again, we’re playing in what’s basically an untapped market, so there’s a wealth of possibilities out there. So sizing up opportunities and being a confident decision maker is crucial. I have a saying that my team calls one of my Ponch-isms: “Choose the harder right over the easier wrong.”  

Wow, a Ponch-ism… haha! I love it. Okay, my last question: what are the key Factors for success in this position?

It’s sales, so you’ve got to have thick skin, and be diligent. That’s a given. I’d say 70% of my job is just staying at the top of someone’s inbox. The other main attributes that are applicable for any position at Shiftgig include our core values: Respect, Impact, Passion, Teamwork, Communication and Innovation. All these paired together are key for success in any position.

Does this position sound like a good fit for you? If so, you can apply here. We’d love to have you on our team!

September 1, 2016 | Tricia Cagua