Viktoriia West shares more on her career pivot and learning SaaS sales while on Furlough in this Aspireship.com review. Brunette haired woman smiling with an empty city street behind her

I cannot say enough great things about Aspireship and the impact it can have on your professional development. Viktoriia W., 2020 Aspireship Grad and Pro Member. 

The pandemic and its disruption of women’s careers has consistently made headlines on every news source: CNBC, NPR, The NY Times and more. Between layoffs, furloughs, and juggling home schooling, women are facing a career crossroads: Do I stop working? Do I take any role I can get? Or do I learn something new and try to pivot?

Today’s Aspireship success story highlights 2020 graduate Viktoriia who chose option 3.

Originally from Ukraine, Viktoriia quickly found a path for herself in hospitality sales working for hotels and supporting corporate accounts with their global travel in DC area and Minnesota. And then it happened. Overnight, the hospitality industry faced it’s biggest hurdle in history: the Coronavirus. Viktoriia, a top earner and achiever, and many of her sales peers were furloughed.

While juggling motherhood and her unplanned career pause, she filled open time in her schedule by learning SaaS sales fundamentals and becoming an active member of the Aspireship and Thursday Night Sales communities.

Here’s what she shared about exploring the world of SaaS sales.

On Having Sales Experience and Trying Something New

Aspireship: Prior to the Aspireship, what was your background in SaaS/sales?

Viktoriia: I have been in hospitality sales for over 10 years, in both on property and field sales roles. I had no idea what SaaS was prior to finding Aspireship!

Aspireship.com is a great resource for hospitality professionals looking to pivot into SaaS sales. This photo of a young woman with brown curly hair reading a book is on the Aspireship site under a recent student success story

Aspireship: Did you always know you’d be in hospitality or sales? What did you dream of doing when you were younger?

Viktoriia: In looking way back, I actually wanted to be a detective! I loved reading detective novels (I read all the books about Sherlock Holmes at a pretty young age). It was so fun to put the pieces of a puzzle together in a story and see if I can figure the plot out before it reveals itself at the end. In a way, a sales path fulfilled that since I get to hunt and uncover new business opportunities.   

Aspireship: How were you spending your time prior to finding Aspireship?

Viktoriia: I had been on furlough for about 3 months and most of my time had been spent on maintaining my physical and mental health while keeping up with 2 young kids (1 and 3 years old), and trying to figure out the direction of my career at the same time.

On Learning SaaS (Software as a Service) Sales

Aspireship: What surprised you the most about the new vocabulary, videos, quizzes and content?

Viktoriia: Coming from hospitality, I was surprised by how many things in SaaS sales are actually similar to what I do.

The biggest thing for me personally was learning that in SaaS you are helping customers solve their problems, and not trying to sell anything to anyone. Building long-term relationships and connecting with my clients is something I pride myself on, so it was great to realize that it is possible (and is so important) in the SaaS industry too.

Aspireship.com provides free training for career changers, women re-entering the workforce and customer services reps looking to advance and succeed in SaaS sales

Aspireship: You had 10+ years of sales experience coming into the program. What were you hoping to gain out of Aspireship when you signed up?

Viktoriia: I honestly had no expectations when I started. It seemed like an interesting concept and I was curious to learn what SaaS was. I had the time since I was on furlough, so figured why not?

I definitely didn’t expect the huge impact it was going to make!

Aspireship: Were you nervous or hesitant about signing up? If so, how did you push through that?  

Viktoriia: Maybe a bit hesitant, because I’ve never heard of it, and couldn’t figure out – where is the catch? But there is no catch! You guys are truly amazing and your mission inspires so many.

On Making Time for the 20-30 Hours of Content

Aspireship: How did you manage the completion of the videos and assignments?

Viktoriia: I dedicated 2-3 hours per day to Aspireship to make sure I had enough time to digest the information before jumping onto the next subject.

Aspireship: What was your favorite takeaway?

Viktoriia: There were so many! From new prospecting methods to meeting the amazing Aspireship team and community.

The Live content is great! I love the ability to ask questions in real time, and get opinions from others attending as well.

On Other Interests Besides SaaS Sales and Learning

Layoffs in the hospitality sector have been at their highest due to the pandemic. Many travel enthusiasts and hospitality pro's are pivoting careers and going into SaaS sales. Photo of young woman in hat pointing to a map covering her desk with her laptop nearby on Aspireship.com

Aspireship: Outside of work, what are 1-2 hobbies that you enjoy? Why?

Viktorria: I enjoy traveling (I know – big surprise coming from a hospitality professional) because it lets me explore new places and cultures while connecting with people.

I also enjoy long walks (when it is not snowing in Minnesota) to clear my mind and get exercise.

Aspireship: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Viktoriia: The Aspireship team is amazing because they care so much about their candidates and support them every step of the way on their journey. Even though I am not making a jump to the SaaS field at this time – I truly feel grateful for everything I have learned and connections I have found. Aspireship actually reminded me how much I enjoy learning new things, and got me excited about the opportunities out there.

Since this story was first published, Viktoriia now works in SaaS as a Senior Account Manager for a cloud based website solution.

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