Based on Nadia Rashid’s long life in sales, selling a wide variety of products ranging from oil and gas to marketing technology, you would assume that she was always full of passion for selling. But she actually came into sales, as she puts it, “by accident.”
“I didn’t grow up aspiring to be in sales,” Nadia said recently, “but I saw it as an opportunity to make money by dialing the phone.”
But after more than fifteen years in sales, most recently as the Area Vice President of Sales at Marketo, Nadia has grown to embrace the industry, and has seen success in serving as that coach and mentor she was initially seeking for herself. We sat down with Nadia, Seismic’s new Vice President of East Enterprise and Commercial Sales, to learn more about her sales management experience and the challenges she is ready to take on at Seismic.
How did you get your start in sales, and what did you learn early on?
My first sales role was at an oil and gas company, and through some early success I ended up managing people more than double my age. I learned a lot of hard lessons around how to manage and coach people, and how to be the best leader I can be – people will do more for you if you treat them with respect. If you put 100% in, I will empower the hell out of you.
I can’t wait to apply that mantra to Seismic.
What do you like the most about sales?
There are a few things I really love about it. First, I love the competitiveness and the fight of it. I know we all have areas of improvement, but the competitiveness and level of effort you apply to it are the most critical factors. I don’t like to lose!
I also love the accountability. It may seem odd to some, but I’m the first to raise my hand to say that I want my team and I to be held more accountable and responsible for driving more revenue and leads than we have in the past. Sales is all about accountability, that’s the stuff that fuels me.
What inspired you to join Seismic?
Seismic Area Vice President Tony Benvenuto, who I have known for a long time, called me after I had been considering a move from my previous company. He had an excitement in his voice that isn’t natural to him, and said I needed to take a look at the company. When I did, I saw the potential for the product and I was immediately excited. As a seller, I was truly living with these issues that Seismic solves – an inability to find content, a lack of insight into buyer behavior, a lack of confidence in my materials being up to date. Seeing the way Seismic solves those problems made me very interested.
Then when I got on site, I knew I was going to love the culture here. I was attracted to Seismic President and Co-Founder Ed Calnan’s commitment to what he believes in – he wants hard workers, but he also sees the value in building a diverse leadership team with a lot of perspectives. Lastly, I wanted to build my sales team from the bottom-up, and seeing the commitment and energy in everyone here convinced me that I would be able to do that.
Now that you have been at Seismic for a few weeks, what are your first impressions?
There is so much passion with the people who work here, and I truly love that. They will run through a brick wall for this company and their teammates, and that inspires me. That gets me really jacked up. As I said, that competitiveness and that fire is the first ingredient.
I also see a ton of opportunity in how I can apply my skillset to help in Seismic’s sales execution, which is very exciting for my role. With the right parameters and success criteria, we can get even more deals over the finish line.
What do you think your biggest challenge will be?
I am responsible for core sales, enterprise, and commercial business. Each area is already really strong, but my goal, and probably the bulk of my work here, will be to figure out how to get those teams humming. How can we align with marketing to be sure we are using content in the best ways? How can I make sure my team is continuing to learn and grow, through training and enablement efforts? I want to get our process nailed down to make everything as smooth and effective as possible.