From Jewelry Sales to SaaS Sales: Steven’s Aspireship Success Story
While having a four year degree is something for many people to be proud of, it does not have to be the only factor when determining one’s success in technology. 2021 Aspireship graduate Steven Flores is a perfect example of this.
Steven postponed his college completion in favor of working full-time in retail and advancing his sales skills. His reason? He needed to contribute to his family’s household income.
While working in the jewelry business, one of his clients came in one day and started talking to Steven about careers in software sales. From there, a lightbulb went off. For the first time, Steven started seeing billboards for Salesforce and other tech companies in his hometown of Denver. He started researching SaaS sales career paths and jobs which is how he found Aspireship back in April.
He recently started his new position as BDR at Hotel Engine, an Aspireship hiring partner. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Steven and talking to him about his background in jewelry sales, what led to his decision to pursue a new career in the SaaS industry, and what his experience was like taking the course and the job placement process.
Some Background on Steven Leading Up To Aspireship
Aspireship: How did you first get into jewelry sales?
Steven: I always had a knack for talking to people. I love talking to people, creating connections, and building rapport – I love doing it. I actually got scouted for jewelry sales because I was working in clothing retail and they just liked the way that I spoke and offered me a job. There was no way I could say no to that, so I went ahead, and that is how I got started in jewelry sales, and did that for about four or five years.
Aspireship: What was the turning point for you to pivot into SaaS sales and away from jewelry sales?
Steven: It was a mixture of a lot of things that led me to pursue this career change. I took my job in jewelry sales very seriously, and I really made an effort to get to know every single one of my clients. But I had gotten to this point where I felt like I wasn’t getting the recognition that I deserved. Long story short, a gentleman came in and told me about how his nephew had gotten into SaaS sales, and that really piqued my interest! So, then I went down a rabbit hole and did a lot of research, and that’s when I found out about Aspireship. At first it seemed too good to be true, but then through my research I just saw that this is a real possibility, that is going to benefit me in the long run, where I can continue to learn and bring my own skill set while both continuing to learn.
“So I chased after this as hard as I could, and it’s been an amazing decision, definitely one of the greatest things that I’ve done and I say that with 90% certainty.”
The Covid-19 pandemic really really helped me see that I needed a change in my life, and gave me the motivation to charge in headfirst, at a thousand miles an hour, to get it done – and I did it!
Aspireship: What was it about SaaS sales that appealed to you?
Steven: The element that really caught my attention was how new this space is. I get to hop into this somewhat early, and that is great! Every other industry has been around for a long time, and there are things that evolve – but software sales is new and that really excites me! I am learning how important software sales, and software marketing are. My eyes are really starting to open up and it gets me so excited, even just talking about it.
On Learning SaaS (Software as a Service) Sales
Aspireship: How did SaaS Sales Foundations and job placement compare to your expectations going in?
Steven: To be honest it happened a lot faster than I thought it would. I was feeling very intimidated because for a while life wasn’t necessarily going the way I had planned.
“I don’t have a college degree, but I do have confidence when I speak and a decent repertoire of skills and experience.”
Steven: I got through the course a lot faster than I thought, and I know that is because I put the work in and I had the whole Aspireship team supporting me. Once I had gotten everything done they immediately reached out to me, and were always there to make sure that I was doing ok in the learning process. They provided such amazing resources that really helped prepare me for my career and beyond.
Aspireship: What was your experience doing the final assessment and simulation?
Steven: I had never done anything like that before. They teach you that you need to ignore the outside distractions, and don’t let them get inside your head. So, I just took a deep breath and turned my webcam on, and said “I’m going to do this!” So I talked to the webcam as if it was an actual person that I care about, that I have a relationship was, and it was a really great learning experience.
On the Interview and Job Placement Process
Aspireship: What was the interview process like?
Steven: It’s always nerve wracking going into an interview, especially when you’re diving into a completely new industry that you’re not yet completely knowledgeable about. But after completing Aspireship SaaS Sales Foundations, overall, I felt pretty prepared going into all of my interviews.
I received many very helpful and valuable interview tips from Aspireship, like to make sure to ask questions, research the company, etc. Because I had completed the course I also felt very prepared in that I understood what the job itself would entail, and that also really fed my confidence even more going in.
Aspireship: What was it like when you got the news that you got the job?
Steven: This was the change that I had been needing and working towards for so long; because, it’s intimidating because I knew deep inside myself that I can do a great job and I will push myself.
“I broke the door down thanks to Aspireship.”
It was was amazing to hear that I had gotten the job. I remember I was on the phone with her, for maybe half an hour after we had done my third interview, and they were like “We want you to start at the end of the month.” I was so excited I was stuttering! I was like “Yes-Yes-Yes! I really am so excited about this and will not let you down.”
Aspireship: What advice would you give to someone considering signing up for Aspireship and a similar career pivot into the SaaS industry?
Steven: I would definitely say just do the research!
“You’re not really going to progress in any sort of element if you stay within your comfort zone. You have to be willing to step out of that, and take the jump.”
Dive in, reasonably of course, and that is why I encourage people to do their research – not just when it comes to Aspireship, but the job itself too!
On Life Outside of SaaS Sales
Aspireship: What fuels you outside of work?
Steven: Family is a very big thing for me. I’m very family oriented and that is what fuels me. I’m always doing my best to support those around me. Those relationships are really what keep me going because at the end of the day, having things is nice, and having hobbies is nice, but does it matter if we don’t have anyone to share it with?
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