Brianna has a personal mission to help others live longer, happier, healthier lives. She ended up studying both Public Health and Business Administration in college. Her goal was to get a job where she could combine her drive to succeed with her passion for helping the public.
But she was surprised when her mentor in the office of career services at her school recommended she check out a Sales Development Program at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Although she had done sales before, she didn’t see it aligning with her personal mission—and given what she’d heard about other sales roles, she was worried that she might not be set up for success.
But now, more than a year out of the program, she’s working in her dream role, making progress toward her goals. And it’s all thanks to the learning and growth she experienced in Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Sales Development Program.
How A Public Health And Business Major Found Her Way Into Sales
Even though Brianna was surprised when her college advisor recommended Thermo Fisher’s Sales Development Program, she showed up to the career fair with her resume ready to impress. As it turned out, the company’s mission—to enable their customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer—was closely aligned with her own.
“What really stuck with me was the mission of the company,” Brianna says. “My own personal mission very closely aligned with that of the company, and listening to that, I thought, ‘Oh wow, this is so similar. This is a sign.’”
And when she learned even more—about the company’s mentorship, training, and advancement opportunities—she realized that Thermo Fisher and the Sales Development Program were a perfect fit for her.
“The mission is what stuck out to me and the fact that I could still help individuals, just from a non-traditional standpoint,” she says. “And, you know, now I’m selling products to people that are potentially curing diseases.”
How To Beat Sales Anxiety? Sign On For A Program That Won’t Let You Fail
After she decided the role was for her, she was excited. But even though she had some experience with sales and was confident in her abilities, there was also a bit of the classic anxiety that comes with entering sales: Will I really be able to build relationships with experienced professionals? What if I fail?
These kinds of thoughts aren’t totally unfounded either (although they may have been for someone as prepared as Brianna). According to the Harvard Business Review, there’s an annual turnover rate of 27 percent for salespeople, almost double that of other professions. Two of the biggest reasons for this? Lack of proper training and low performance.
However, those were the exact reasons that Thermo Fisher invested so heavily in its Sales Development Program.
“I really saw it as an opportunity to get in a company where they were invested in my growth and my development over time,” she says.
How The Sales Training Transformed Her Skill Set
The first month of the program is spent learning the basics: the company’s history, their products, and the state of the industry. The classroom sessions also focus on sales methodologies and strategies: How to identify pain points, listen with expertise, and problem-solve with the product. This approach, which combines using research-backed knowledge with interpersonal and negotiation skills, was at the core of what Brianna and her everyone in her cohort learned.
Then, it was time to start putting it into practice.
“You start calling,” Brianna explains. “Essentially, you’re making phone calls to get the nerves and jitters out so that once they put you in the field you know how to answer the phone and talk to a customer.”
After this trial period, Brianna and her fellow cohort members were each given a temporary territory.
“I was given St. Jude’s in Memphis, Tennessee,” Brianna says. “I knew my success meant being as prepared as possible for the field, so I asked to take on additional territory and account responsibilities, and my mentors recognized my drive so I was also given the West Texas territory and parts of New Mexico.”
After she took on the extra territory, Brianna kept learning. Whether it was through her manager and mentor, one-on-one coaching, or through the continued strategic education she and her peers received, Brianna was preparing to take the next step.
How She Found Her Dream Job (In Her Dream City)
Toward the end of the Sales Development Program, her manager made sure she had plenty of interviews set up with senior leaders from other sales teams. Brianna says she had about twelve interviews, with offices around the country, from New York to Boston to California, and even Dallas.
“All throughout the time, our manager kept asking what our top 3 locations were, so that he could position us and the manager to help us find our spot,” Brianna explains. “We’re investing in you with the Sales Development Program. We want you to be not only a good fit for the company, but a good fit for the job and want you to be prepared when you get there.”
Despite having so many interviews and options, Brianna says, she wasn’t nervous. In fact, with all of the training and experience she already had just five months after graduating and starting the program, she was confident she’d end up somewhere perfect.
That place, as it turns out, was Dallas. She loved the area and had great chemistry with the manager. Now, Brianna is doing exactly what she wants to do, where she wants to do it.
“You’re going to get the training that you need. You’re going to get the opportunity to shadow people. You’re going to have dedicated mentors and managers who walk side-by-side with you. You’re going to get networking opportunities. And there’s going to be different learning and travel opportunities as well. You’re going to get some of your own customer account responsibilities and ownership,” she says.
Brianna is ready to continue to grow her career and help Thermo Fisher’s customers make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. After all, that’s been her goal all along.
Ready to start your sales career with a purpose? Check out open opportunities from Thermo Fisher on WayUp!