Employee Spotlight: Chad Sjursen
Meet Chad Sjursen, the leader of the YOTTAA business development team.
Chad Sjursen loves to help eCommerce brands reach that “Aha!” moment when they realize their performance and experience issues are complex problems with an easy solution: YOTTAA. He’s a born leader, that truly enjoys guiding his team to success. With a professional chef background, Chad is a natural at making his audience’s mouth water: now it’s just over conversion rate increases instead of Cordon bleu! Continue reading to learn more about Chad.
What is your role at YOTTAA?
I am the Director of Business Development.
How do you help eCommerce brands?
The biggest way I help is by driving awareness around the tools that can help brands save time and money and show them how to use those tools efficiently. My role in business development is really defined by driving awareness in the marketplace. It’s letting these retailers know that there is help out here for them, and we’re the ones that can enable them to hit their business goals.
What is your favorite part about working with eCommerce brands?
Going back to the awareness piece, I love being a part of each brand’s eye-opening experience – like when they first see one of our Snapshot Reports. This report helps brands realize how many errors are on their sites, or 3rd parties they didn’t know they had running.
Brands often have this “Aha!” moment and will insist, “I need to meet with you guys, like right away!” Watching that moment of realization after we send them some of our data and content is so satisfying, and naturally lays the foundation for a strong working relationship to come.
What did you do before YOTTAA that has helped you most in your current role? How is your work at YOTTAA different from your previous jobs?
My career in sales is different from most, and similar to some. It’s two-fold.
I started my career as a trained chef from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Working in restaurants gave me a strong work ethic, people skills, and opportunities to constantly be communicating with people. As a chef, you are always trying to uncover what is going to please the public. It’s all about getting feedback and adapting. You may think one special is really going to be flying out the door and then it tanks. But then, you come up with another one, maybe a secondary option and that one ends up being a success. You never know what is going to work so you always have to be looking for that feedback from your customers and engaging with your regulars. In my restaurant in Brookline, I worked both the front end and the back of the house, and I learned how imperative it is to engage, suggest dishes, wines, or drink pairings. Those experiences really helped build up a background before diving into sales.
When I got into sales in 2005, I started as a BDR (Business Development Rep). Switching careers in my early thirties was both exciting and scary because I didn’t know what was going to be in front of me. But once I really got out there, I realized the importance of having conversations with people about their needs. When it came to needs within the technology space, doing those high-tech sales was fun for me. It was similar to talking to someone about wine, but instead of wine, it was an eCommerce solution to help optimize websites. I think the combination of working in the culinary industry for most of my life helped me develop people skills that I use in every aspect of what I do today.
What do you like most about your job at YOTTAA?
I think my favorite part is watching the BDRs develop and grow. Watching them come in as college graduates or recent graduates and watching them start their careers. They may not know that much about sales or have limited exposure to sales, but experiencing and guiding them through their growth process is really special. By the end of their training, they gain a full understanding of our technology and are able to talk to important customers and convey the benefits our products can provide. That’s my favorite part about the job: watching my team succeed through evolution and process.
What brief advice do you have for others wanting to enter this profession?
My favorite line is “Be a sponge.” You have to be a sponge when you get into sales because you learn a lot that way. But you also have to be able to hold yourself accountable. There is a level of accountability that comes into play. When you are out there seeking knowledge, become a student of the game and hold yourself accountable – you will be successful!
Having experience at other companies, what about YOTTAA makes it a great place to work?
I would say what makes YOTTAA a great place is that it is a truly collaborative environment. I have the benefit of working across so many different departments. I work with Marketing, Sales, Product, Customer Team, Sales Representatives, and Sales Leaders across SMB and enterprise on a daily basis. I also work with the BDRs and negotiate meetings with our customers. When my team needs help or we need some new collateral, everyone is truly open to helping. There are companies out there that say they want to do that, but we truly do that here. I think that is the best part.
What do you do when you’re not at the office?
Most of my time is spent with my daughter and wife. My daughter is really good at softball, so I spend a lot of time with trainers for hitting and fielding. When we aren’t there, then I am playing trainer, because she truly loves it.
The rest of my time is just spent cooking. I still love to cook and am really good at it. I can say I have confidence there. In the summer I am relaxing and barbecuing by the pool. In the winter I am sautéing, baking, and roasting something. I am not a gamer or anything like that; I really just love spending time with family and creating good food for family and friends.
Want to meet Chad’s team, and learn more about how YOTTAA can speed up your eCommerce site? Contact us today!