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Meet a ServiceTrader

Get to know some of the individuals at ServiceTrade, their career paths, and their insight into working at a fast-growing SaaS company.

Adam Gurley
Customer Success Manager
Steve May
Director of IT
Dorothy Westall
Senior Account Manager
Jamale Smith
Manager of Implementation for InspectionManager
Marc Asato
Quality Assurance Engineer
Taylor Everhart
DevOps Specialist
Eric Burns
Senior Software Engineer
David Varnedoe
Director of Customer Training
David “Trey” Wood
Sales Development Manager
Adam Gurley
Customer Success Manager

How did you get started at ServiceTrade?

I came to ServiceTrade in October of 2019. I’d worked at Apple previously, where I met a bunch of people that are now my co-workers. When I left Apple, I decided I wanted to try teaching. I had gotten my degree in English with the idea of teaching English, so I taught seventh and eighth-grade students for about three years. And then realized, you know, I don’t know that this is for me. I loved teaching but not a lot of the stuff that came with it.

I ended up reaching out to David Varnedoe who I’d worked with at Apple. I knew he had started at a new company, and I missed the technology stuff. I missed working with electronics and applications. So I reached out and had an interview, and the rest is kind of history.

I think I was employee 40-something, and I started in frontline support. Then I moved to tier-2 support, then into the training support specialist role, and recently helped start a new department at ServiceTrade, Customer Success Management.

As a Customer Success Manager, what’s the typical day like?

One of the things I love about my job is that no two days are the same. Some days I’m in meetings with a customer analyzing their workflow. Other days I’m on-site with them, training their techs and office staff. The next day I might be talking with Sales about a ServiceTrade process that would improve a customer’s day-to-day operation.

And then there are days I’m deep-diving into support tickets, customer emails, or phone calls and investigating. I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and track down an obstacle, roadblock, or problem, and I help the customer into the next phase of their ServiceTrade journey.

What would you say is your favorite thing about what you do here?

So many things. I’ve really enjoyed being a resource for my co-workers for almost three years now. I know a little bit about ServiceTrade, and I love being able to share that. I’ve become passionate about it. I love what we do and the space that we do it in. So, whether it’s being a resource for my co-workers or teaching customers how to get the most out of ServiceTrade—getting to interact with them and hang out in their spaces—there’s a lot to love about ServiceTrade.

Do you have any favorite memories?

Oh, man. My brain is just running through all of the fantastic things that have happened to me since I joined up with ServiceTrade. I know that in previous Meet a ServiceTrader conversations people have mentioned the nerf fights. I’ve got a story about that. I was still fairly new at the company. I’d only been here a couple of months and still had preconceived notions about what it meant to have a corporate job and work in an office.

And so, I was at my desk one Friday afternoon, and James Jordan points a nerf gun out of his doorway, looks at me very conspiratorially and says: “Do you think I can hit Mims from here?” And James Jordan, now Chief Integrations Officer, shoots a nerf bullet across the office and hits Shawn Mims, at the time the Director of Marketing.

That was a very foundational moment for me. I’d been in morning meetings where there were some jokes made and we hung out. That was awesome. And there were some water cooler moments at the office, talking about our hobbies and interests, but that was it, that one, seemingly inconsequential moment that all of these preconceived notions that I had about what it meant to have a corporate job and to work in an office kind of fell away. It was the sudden realization of, oh, I can be comfortable here.

And we put in a lot. It’s hard work that we do, but we also play hard. And that was one of the really rewarding things for me, finding a company that wasn’t just all about the work but also about rewarding the work that was done with a ton of good times.

What advice would you have for somebody that wants to work at ServiceTrade or another software company?

Don’t sell yourself short. A lot of people—myself included—hear “software company” and think “software developer.” You may think your resume doesn’t line up with what a software company is looking for, but you know, I’ve got two degrees in English and I’m working at a software company. The idea that you have to be techie or the stereotype of what a software developer looks like is a complete and total fault.

We don’t just need developers. We need people who write things. We need big dreamers who can imagine things and can think about things, putting aside the technical aspect of it for a moment. There are hundreds of things to do at a software company, and it takes all kinds of skills, not just the technical ones. So don’t sell yourself short.

There are hundreds of things to do at a software company, and it takes all kinds of skills, not just the technical ones.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I enjoy reading a large variety of things. I play music. I’ve got my family, my wife and two kids and we live on a farm in rural North Carolina. We’ve got two horses, 10 to 15 chickens, two cats, and a dog. So most of the time, the family and animals and gardening and that kind of thing take up most of my time. But when there is time aside from that, you can usually find me reading a good fantasy or sci-fi novel, playing some music, or video gaming with some of my ServiceTrade co-workers.

Which ServiceTrade value do you like the most?

We all love working at a company that values weirdness. And we love working at a company that feeds us (the lunches are great). But for me, it really is the collaborative nature of the job and company. On face value, that’s just a good corporate slogan. A lot of companies value collaboration between departments. And from an internal basis, we do collaborate, and I love everybody that I work with here. But then ServiceTrade takes it a step further, collaborating with our customers, too. To the point where a customer will make a suggestion and sometime later, that shows up in the application.

Collaboration is a philosophy that runs deep here. And because of all the different viewpoints, the workplace is better and so is the product.

Steve May
Director of IT

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

Originally, I was recruited back in June 2015 for the project manager role by Aaron Shoemaker (Director of Customer Success) and Wesley Cox (Technical Account Manager), who were some of the earliest employees. I was doing managed IT services for businesses who usually weren’t big enough to have their own IT department. Aaron said I should look into working here and that it would be sort of like going back and working in support but also a little bit of project management and onboarding. It would be a little bit of a mix bag because we were such a startup then. I was intrigued and decided to do it. That was a career change for sure.

I left ServiceTrade in January 2017 when one of the companies I’d worked with just ballooned and asked me to come help set their IT up, so that’s what I felt was the right move at the time.

But then the same thing happened again. ServiceTrade ballooned and realized they needed internal IT. I was like, “you know what, I’ve got my old client in a good place, and they’re basically on autopilot, and I have a replacement trained. Yeah, let’s go do this. Let’s build out ServiceTrade again.” So I came back in August 2021.

What do you do as the Director of IT?

Right now, we’re really just building up the system. We’re building processes and some automations. This might sound strange, but I was very impressed with the way the ServiceTrade app works. So, one of the things that I brought back to all the other IT I’ve done since I’ve worked at ServiceTrade support is the concept of recurring services, which become jobs to our IT workday. They’re tickets in a ticketing system that constantly resurface on a schedule and can be dispatched to the given techs working in IT today. Like services in the ServiceTrade application, they have specific steps that must be done and verified before they can be closed or marked as solved. Essentially, we’ve taken large parts of the office workflow in the ServiceTrade app and made our internal IT work very much in the same way.

So I’ve built this really robust foundation that isn’t just for me but for the team as we grow. There’s going to be an enormous amount of structure in place for how to do things and how to maintain things. Some of these recurring services are things like backing up and maintaining the various cloud services that we utilize internally to run the company – like the ServiceTrade application, our internal IT is 100% cloud-based. The other recurring services are much more personal, like following up with people and checking in even on an individual level.

The other major part of my job right now is security hardening. I’m finding the right balance between keeping things mostly the way they are and not making things more difficult for people but plugging some of the major holes – things like password management and getting people to keep their computers up-to-date.

What has been your experience coming back? How have things changed?

It’s been awesome that we’ve grown so much, but you have to figure out the organization because it’s so different. I enjoy it, but it’s definitely an effort to wrap your head around how everything works now. Yeah, I was here before, but there were like 15 employees, so it’s essentially a totally different company. I’m in the shoes of a new hire basically where it takes a couple of months to wrap your head around who does what and sort of how the organization works. At least we’re the size where you can wrap your head around that. When I worked for Apple, we had 150,000 employees, so no one will ever understand how everything works; it’s too big. You can only understand your little corner of the world.

Meeting everyone and seeing how everything fits together, especially coming from IT, is useful because I want to figure out not just where we’re weak or have opportunities, but I want to get the right people the right tools and get the team sharing information. A lot of times the marketing team, for example, has their way of doing things and that’s totally fine and great, and I wouldn’t even try to change that, but I would love if the Inside Territory Managers knew about this cool tool marketing uses. I love when I can say, “Hey look, you might think of this as only a marketing tool, but it’s actually really useful for other things, too.” I love tying teams together like that, especially when it means I can talk to people and share cool tricks.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is your favorite and why?

I actually really like ‘We are weird’ the most because there’s a couple of reasons – almost all the rest of the values are true and we really do live them, but you could find them at at least some companies, right? Everybody says, “the best part is our people,” but do you live it? I think we really do live these values, and I love that we just put out there that we are weird because we are definitely an interesting collection of people.

The only other experience I’ve had like this in my life was at certain sections with Apple. There was something weird about it, the people at Apple talked about it, and they compared it to companies like Nike and Disney because those are brands where you can see the logo and you know what it is, it doesn’t matter where you live or what language you speak. Not everyone’s a fan of Nike or of Apple, but there’s so much diversity in who comes and works there, and you’re like “Wow. I never would have known any of these people in my normal life, and yet here’s some of my best friends now.” That kind of magic – honestly I don’t even know how it’s possible at ServiceTrade other than our work environment – because yeah our product is cool but not many people here are like “oh yeah I use ServiceTrade that’s why I applied to work here because I love the app so much.” So we don’t have that affinity to a brand like Apple, Nike or Disney, yet we have still created an environment that I would compare to Apple or Nike in terms of stunning diversity in all sorts of life coming in.

That’s also got to be my favorite because that’s the hardest to recreate by far. I think if you told me: “Here’s a couple million dollars to start a company and hit these six out of seven culture points.” I could probably at least have an idea of how to make it happen, but I’m not sure how to make ‘We are weird’ happen.

Do you have any favorite ServiceTrade memories?

I have a funny one and a serious one. My funny ones usually go back further in time when I was on support. Support has a lot of fun, and we get the customers in on the fun wherever possible. For example, you probably hear: “Please confirm when done.” A lot of people at ServiceTrade say that, and it comes from customers asking for something, and they say, “please confirm when done.” It’s this thing that not one person but multiple people will say and since it’s been said so many times, we like to joke about it.

On a more serious note, and probably one of my favorite experiences recently was a challenge. I’ve been in the game for a while, so you don’t always run into challenges, but since joining ServiceTrade, I’m continuously challenged. I am able to overcome it. There’s always somebody or a team to help you, and I always end up learning. One of my most recent challenges has been in the areas of things like OnePassword, the IT agent, and just doing a lot of this stuff that’s good security, but also it’s not a choice. The Board of Directors says you have to do this, and they own the company. They say what to do and we do it. I hate to get to that level, but I’ve had to get to that level with some people because I’ve faced some pretty hostile resistance. My approach is usually a lot softer, but I’ve had to get on the phone and Zoom and hear people out and really try to change some perspectives because I don’t want anyone to misunderstand what we’re trying to do. So far, I’ve been able to overcome at least the known hostility towards IT changes. It’s been an interesting challenge because it’s a technical challenge with how you approach it, but it’s a people challenge, too, which is even harder.

What do you like to do outside of ServiceTrade?

I love to do outside stuff – hiking and kayaking are probably go-tos. “Long walks” is funny, but my fiance and I actually do a lot of long walks like two, three-hour kinds of things. That’s multiple times a week.

Inside – tabletop games, board games, lots of books. I’m still a pretty heavy reader. Not really much in the way of TV or anything. We do go to the movies a lot.

Dorothy Westall
Senior Account Manager

What’s a typical day like as an Account Manager?

As an Account Manager, you’re really in control of your own schedule; it’s like managing your business. With account management, there’s so many different types of meetings you can take, so you really have to manage it and be in control of it.

I always have a goal of ten high-value customer activities a week. Those are meetings where I’m talking with my customer, learning about their needs, and making sure I’m setting next steps. I act as an advocate for our customers but also just a set of ears. I’m a place for them to let me know all their needs and wants, talk it out with them, and figure out if there is a solution that fits their needs. It’s kind of like acting as a consultant, but a consultant that is constantly making recommendations to get you in the right direction.

The big rocks of account management are those high-value meetings where we demo our add-on products, talk about other services, go through their account health review, do Q&A and quick training sessions. During those customer meetings, it’s all about diagnosing the customer’s needs and making a recommendation.

Our goals are growth, retention, and expansion on the account management team.

That one time I met Sinbad.

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

I started out at REVGEN (a sales development partner of ServiceTrade) on the ServiceTrade campaign in January 2019. Two months in, Anna McMahon, VP of Inside Sales, asked me if I wanted to come to ServiceTrade full-time as a Sales Development Representative (SDR). I said, “yes as long as I can keep the training at REVGEN,” so I’d go back once a week and train with the team over there. When I first joined the SDR team, there were only two of us.

Six months after my start date at REVGEN, ServiceTrade promoted me to be an Inside Sales Territory Manager (ITM). After working as an ITM in the TOLA (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas) territory, Anna thought I could gain a lot from working closely with Lauren Rice (Senior Director of Sales – West), and she was right. I moved over to the west coast territory and had a concentration of California and Hawaii and eventually took over the southwest. Anna could see that I needed a little bit more coaching with the ITM role that I received from Lauren. It’s good to have managers that take note of that. I did this for two months until the team approached me to join the Account Management (AM) team.

There’s been a lot of transition on the AM team, and I’ve done whatever I need to do to help with the constant flux of new customers coming in, new people joining, changing territories, or changing account assignments. Now, I’m a Senior Account Manager.

We’ve had the wonderful chance to grow this team. When I came on to the team, there were three of us. Now there are eight of us. It’s been really cool to see the growth of this team and the company itself. I see myself as a very moldable person in adapting to where I need to be to help the company continue to grow at the rate that it’s growing, and I think they’ve done a good job of seeing my strengths and putting me into the right places.

Not only is this picture beautiful but I credit Lauren for molding me into the sales person I am today.

What’s helped you be so adaptable?

It’s always been about growth potential. I saw that when I was on the REVGEN team for ServiceTrade. You can think of REVGEN like you’re in high school trying to figure out what college you want to go to. All these people are wanting to go to these big schools or these big companies. I was thinking yeah they sound cool like a fun party school. But, I saw that there was so much more room for opportunity coming to ServiceTrade.

In my original interview, I said I plan on staying, and I eventually would like to manage a team and am open to other opportunities. When I came on, I saw myself on track as SDR, ITM, and then eventually what I wanted was to manage the SDR team. But I was in the ITM role, and it didn’t go as expected, which can happen. I was discovering that there was another role I could give a try and see if I’d be better at it. I was actually excited to be given the opportunity. They were like, “ok we believe in you.” The people in this company really care about more than your professional growth; they care about your personal growth and your personal well-being.

You hit your yearly sales goal in 2021. What’s helped you be successful?

There’s a lot that goes into it. I say manifestation is a big part of it. I write out affirmations every single day. Two “I am” statements, one “if this, then that” statement so if something goes out of my control, I think of how I will handle that, which helps put the frame on my day.

Another thing I do is I break my day into quarters just like I break my year into quarters. That gives you the opportunity to reset if something happens that is not quite what you expected.

The other thing is that the hustle is constant. I really don’t stop. If I have a hole in my time in which I can fill it by helping somebody else then that’s what I’m going to do. From that, I tend to grow and learn because there’s a lot of times people ask me questions that I don’t know the answer to, and then I can go find out and come back and tell them. I’m like, “Thanks for asking questions. I didn’t know that, but now I do.”

I think it’s because I have the hustle from the SDR role is a really big part of it. With that SDR role, you gain so much structure and how to handle calls – how to roll back, how to push forward, how to get into that SPIN selling, how to begin the challenger sale, how to feel/felt/found. You really learn every single sales skill you need. It’s about not forgetting that when you move from role to role. You’re not exiting one to get rid of the responsibilities you had, you’re exiting that one to take on more responsibility for your own business.

Do you have any favorite memories from your ServiceTrade career so far?

My favorite memory is when we did a sales karaoke night at a Korean karaoke bar. We had our own room, and there were lots of people singing and giving it their all. There were a lot of great performances, but the best performance of all time was Maribeth Steffen doing “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. To this day, every time I hear that song, I hear Maribeth singing and I see Maribeth dancing to it. She’s quite a performer. Number one ServiceTrade memory right there.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I am teaching myself American Sign Language. I like to sign to music to help myself learn and remember the words. I have a podcast. It’s been really cool. I didn’t know what I was doing when I got into it, but it’s helped me improve myself as a person.

I have my dog. I hike with him all the time. I’m quite the singer. I don’t do it in a way that I’m performing for other people, but I love it. My number one work break is probably a singing break.

I love to cook and make artsy crafty cooking projects that are tasty, too. It’s not just about what it looks like, but it’s also about the overall flavor. I did a tuck and roll eggroll party – had Cuban egg rolls and steak taco egg rolls.

Wu and I love hikes. This picture is from my birthday party last year, where I gathered a group of people to hike to the top of Hanging Rock.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is your favorite and why?

Mine is ‘we are weird.’ I think it makes perfect sense if you know me because the more you get to know me, the weirder you find that I am. Like, at first glance, it’s like “Oh, that’s a very normal person.” But, no.

Everything is weird. Weird is not bad. Weird is unique. What you find at ServiceTrade is unique mindsets, and it’s from those that you have creative ideas and great collaboration.

I remember when we were about forty employees and we had our Christmas party. I looked at Maribeth and said, “Let’s take a look around, right now, and really soak this in because we can very honestly say that we like everybody that we work with, and as the company continues to grow, we may not be able to say that.” Well, we’ve more than doubled in size, and I can still look around and say I like everybody at this company. It’s pretty cool. It’s just because we’re a bunch of weirdos hiring a bunch of other weirdos.

Jamale Smith
Manager of Implementation for InspectionManager

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

I’m a part of the small set of people that went to the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. While I was going to college, I worked at Apple. I was at Apple for about five years and transitioned my roles while I was there. I was an inventory specialist in the backhouse then went to a more customer-facing role, becoming a Genius. Then, I got hired here at ServiceTrade in 2017. There were twenty employees when I first was hired, and there were six of us on the Customer Success team.

It’s definitely been a journey. I was on frontline support when I started for three months then was promoted to a project manager. I was a project manager for a little less than three years then went to be a project manager for ServiceForms when that product was being created as a proof of concept. It was initially Aaron Shoemaker, now Director of Customer Success, and I trying to figure out the process. I was the first one solely dedicated to that project, and now we have a team of four.

I learned a lot from Aaron, James Jordan, and G Singh in terms of project management. We have been able to streamline the project management process as we’ve grown as a company. It’s been really eye-opening.

I had an internship at a large Fortune 500 company and have friends who work for large corporations; it’s definitely different working for a company that’s transitioning from a startup to a scaleup. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of something that is kind of grassroots—at the beginning stages of the company. I have been able to see how much effort it takes to start from humble beginnings and go through growing pains. One good thing is we haven’t had a lot of turnover for people who have been here for a while.

Go Tarheels!

What is your typical day like as a Senior Onboarding Engineer?

I am the Senior Onboarding Engineer for ServiceForms, so I am showing customers how to get the most out of one of ServiceTrade’s add-on products, ServiceForms. The ServiceForms product is in partnership with another app called Device Magic. It takes more of a design element where we take in the paper forms or PDFs that the customer is currently using, like their inspection forms, and create a mobile-friendly form for the technicians to complete.

A lot of service contractors use PDFs or some software that basically generates PDFs for their customer to read, summarizing their inspection. We either take that PDF and design a mobile-friendly form that is as close as possible to what they’re currently using or we use our starter kits to design forms tailored to that customer’s information.

As far as the workflow with the mobile device, the technician has the ability to fill out a mobile form on a mobile-friendly application that then turns the information they entered into a PDF that automatically integrates with ServiceTrade.

As a Senior Onboarding Engineer, we design the elements for the work templates through Device Magic’s platform, then in the background, we code the different elements within the form to create and update assets and deficiencies, attach pictures that a technician might take through the Device Magic mobile app, and have all that information land on that ServiceTrade job in the ServiceTrade application. There’s a lot of automation that takes place that we manage and streamline for our customers.

We take all the design and coding work for all the house of cards to stand up for our customer to present the information in an easy way to their customer. We do all this coding using Javascript, so it helps to have Javascript skills as an Onboarding Engineer in order to be able to read, edit, and write code in order to effectively have the middle piece work between the Device Magic and ServiceTrade integration.

What have been your favorite memories so far?

Before we were in the office that we are now, we had cop desks. If you’ve seen pictures of the old office, the desks were facing each other as soon as you got past the kitchen. A lot of great memories of talking over each other, saying jokes, and just being in the cop desks.

If I had one memory, it would be nerf gun fights. Before we got too big, everyone was instructed when they were hired to get a nerf gun and a plant. We actually had a plant assignment that you would try to take care of while at your desk.

The nerf gun fights would randomly happen towards the end of the week. People would buy nerf guns and try to top each other. G got an automatic nerf gun that would hold thirty to forty nerf pellets. A lot of times when things would get really intense and he’d bring that out, it would kind of be the end of that because no one ever got a gun that was better than his.

That was one of my favorite memories and then I would say going to get beer on Fridays before COVID. We as a team would go get lunch at Teriyakin’ (we shorten and call it Yakin), which is this really great stir fry Asian place, then we’d walk next door to this local bottle shop, Bottle Revolution (we call “Bottle Rev”), get a beer and just chat about the week. It was like, “Ah, it’s Friday!” That was a really good thing that we designed as a team.

What do you like to do in your free time outside of work?

I had the opportunity to move to Denver, Colorado in October 2021. I like to hike. It’s one of the big reasons I moved out to Denver. I love the outdoors. Right now, it being winter here, I don’t get out to the mountains as much as I’d like. There’s some really nice walkable parks around my neighborhood.

I also like to workout and go to the gym. One of the biggest things I like to do is play basketball. I have picked up some other hobbies like reading and Lego model building in the past few years, too.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is the most important to you and why?

I feel like how accepting we are of each other. We are weird is definitely the one I gravitate towards the most. The people are what make this company so great. We have a range of personality types and interests, which makes it interesting to communicate and just converse with my colleagues on a day-to-day basis.

I also think the enthusiasm we bring day-to-day is special. It’s very rare to have a combination of enthusiasm and discernment. Being able to be serious but at the same time approach it with levity is rare. A lot of times you have people who goof off too much or are too serious, and it makes the day a drag. The eclectic personality types combined with the enthusiasm to work hard is my favorite thing about this company.

Marc Asato
Quality Assurance Engineer

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

I started in 2014. At that time, I think there were twelve people working for the company.

I’m originally from Hawaii. I was a developer for about ten years, and I just didn’t like it. It wasn’t for me. I wasn’t good at it.

My role now is Quality Assurance (QA), which is nice because I really enjoy it. I can exist in both worlds in that if I find a problem with the code, then I can actually look at the code and find any vulnerabilities.

I decided to move out of Hawaii because when you live on an island, it starts to feel like an island. I put out feelers for Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Durham, North Carolina. I was interested in those areas because I had a lot of friends who used to live there as sort of a jumping off point for a big city. I had three friends who moved to Durham and absolutely loved it, but it was too small for them so they actually moved to New York City. For me, I’m not a city person, so what they were telling me, I was like “Well, that sounds perfect.”

The other reason I chose Durham is because I went to school in Florida at Full Sail University where I studied video game programming. I loved the southern hospitality. We have the Aloha Spirit in Hawaii, and the only thing that could rival that is southern hospitality.

Brian Smithwick, ServiceTrade Chief Technical Officer, called me first, and it was such a wonderful company that I had to get involved.

What do you do as a Quality Assurance Engineer?

We try to catch the bugs before new code goes out to the customer. When a software engineer finishes their development, they hand it off to one of the QA people, and we try to break it – in any way possible.

We try to think like a customer and act like a customer. Especially since we have a large customer base, if there’s a hole, they’re going to find it. So our job is to find those holes before they do and make our software work correctly.

If a QA engineer does find a bug, then we reach out to whoever the developer was and put out a list of the problems we found. Then they fix it, put it back into our pipeline, and we work on it again.

We’re not the last link in the chainsaw. Once we say it’s good then we pass it off to the product manager, and they get one last pass at it. Because they’re so high up, you don’t want them to find anything.

What’s it been like watching the company grow so much during your tenure?

For the development side, we really didn’t grow until the last couple of years. It was interesting seeing every other team growing around us and getting to make new friends and meet new people. When we took off and started growing though, we started growing big time.

When I first started I was the only QA person for years, then another person joined who was in St. Petersburg, Russia. Now, we have two other QA engineers in St. Petersburg and one other person here in RTP who started about a month ago. Each product team has their own QA engineers, so the mobile team has one, PartsLedger, and I’m on the web application team. It’s so exciting to see people on the team that are new that I’ll get to know.

It’s been such a rapid growth. We started off in half the building where we are now. We were packed in like sardines before we got the other half of the office. In fact, three developers and I used to be in an office that was meant for only two people. We had to watch out when we backed up our chairs because if two people were backing up at the same time, they could hit each other.

I can’t see this slowing down anytime soon. I’m super excited to see where it goes. I’m in it for the long haul. I’m very happy with ServiceTrade. Billy Marshall and Brian are just great individuals to work for. To have Billy as CEO know every aspect of your life, stop by just to talk to you, and make you feel like “Oh, he knows me.” They really are two such nice people, and they really do put us first. It’s nice to have that kind of company to work for.

Do you have any favorite memories you want to share?

My favorite memories are always when we get together. When we were working in the office more, we used to have potlucks, and it was always interesting to bring a dish from Hawaii and see everyone’s reaction.

Hawaiians eat a lot of Spam. It’s one of those things that people are like “Ew, Spam,” but it’s the way you cook it that makes it really good. We put it on rice with seaweed wrapped around it. It’s called Spam musubi. It really is delicious. It’s sweet and savory at the same time. But you know, some people don’t like Spam; some people don’t like the seaweed wrap.

My parents still send me care boxes with a lot of Hawaiian ingredients. Making something from that and presenting it to somebody who has never seen this dish before is really fun. I actually really like cooking.

Another thing that was a lot of fun was the party that we had to open up the new office space in April 2019. I think everybody was kind of relieved that we had grown to that point that we took over half the building’s second floor and that we had more space to stretch out.

Seems like a lot of my favorite memories happen around food. Billy would do his low-country boil, which is a very fun time. We used to gather at the table a lot. Of course with the pandemic we can’t do that, but that’s probably where my fondest memories are.

Here is a typical Spam musubi selection at a local gas station in Hawaii.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love to walk. There’s a lot of nice hiking trails around here. I have a dog, but she’s gotten a little too old to go on walks with me.

Besides that, I’m actually involved with a lot of people at ServiceTrade. On Thursday nights, we play Dungeons and Dragons. It’s all ServiceTrade people and our significant others. I also play video games with a lot of people from work.

I do develop on the side still. I do some mobile stuff, but I’ve slowed down on that. I should pick it up again. It’s nice that I’m not burnt out from programming all week that I can program on the weekends for myself. It’s a muscle memory that I don’t want to lose. It’s nice to just be like “Hey I have a cool idea for an app” and then have something show up actually on your phone. I do have some stuff I think in the Amazon Marketplace.

My dog was a rescue from Hurricane Florence and was part of a foster organization that Shawn Mims is a part of. He brought her into the office a bunch, and I knew I had to give her a forever home.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is the most important to you?

I like the weird one… well actually, let me change that. We’re curious. A lot of the developers like to create stuff on their own on the side. Like I have my mobile app. Graham McCullough has so many different things (he wires his own sequencers); everybody just seems to be doing their own projects on the side. Whenever we get together to talk about our projects, it’s just so interesting.

Vaughn Clayton is such a quiet guy, and one of my favorite days in the office was when the sales department (usually the loud ones!) had to tell him to be quiet because he built a Tesla coil and brought it into the office. He was playing music off the Tesla coil, so when the electricity was cracking, it would actually be in the note of the music.

It’s fun to see projects that everyone is working on. It always seems like everybody on the engineering team is creating, and it’s fun to see them bring it in and show it to everybody.

Taylor Everhart
DevOps Specialist

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

I started on the Customer Success team in March of 2021. I worked as a tier 1 support specialist until May, and then was promoted to tier 2 support. I was doing that until November 1st, when I transferred to Engineering as a DevOps Specialist, focusing on site reliability.

I feel like I moved really quickly. I graduated college in December 2020, so ServiceTrade has been my first job out of school. I studied Management Information Systems at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

What do you do as the DevOps Specialist?

I’m basically setting up alarms, making sure the app is running the way it’s supposed to. I work with Graham McCullough (DevOps Engineer) to scale up as we need on the back end with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

AWS is the cloud platform we use for the ServiceTrade application, and the DevOps team manages our AWS account to ensure the reliability of the application. We use AWS tools to set up and monitor alarms to keep the application running smoothly, identify bottlenecks in performance and work on eliminating those.

Site reliability is sort of like the middleman between our developers and the application, charged with making sure the application is healthy, running smoothly, and scaling up the resources when needed to power the app.

Moving from Support to Engineering, any advice for those looking to make a career change?

Go for it and be open minded to new opportunities. Because if I hadn’t talked to Graham and Adam Gurley (Training Support Specialist) at the ServiceTrade Days company meeting in July, I wouldn’t have considered this position.

I told Graham and Adam about my major and how I just graduated, and they talked to me about what they do and asked me questions about what kind of things I enjoyed doing. I told them I really liked problem solving, and they made the connection for me that I might be a good fit for the DevOps Specialist role.

After ServiceTrade Days, I started shadowing Graham and worked on a few projects. From there it kind of just snowballed. I did more and more projects and then I accepted an offer to join the Engineering team.

So be open to talking to people about what you’re interested in and what you want to do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to move to Engineering.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is the most important to you and why?

I think probably ‘we are weird’ and ‘we gather at the table’. I like both of those because I was really nervous coming out of college and into a job. I thought it was going to be scary because I’d never really been in the workplace before.

Then I got here and everyone was just as fun as the people at college, helping each other and hyping you up. I was in my first standup for Customer Success with David Varnedoe, and he was telling some crazy story, and then I was like, “oh okay this is chiller than I thought.”

I like how everyone can express themselves and be genuine. I don’t feel like I have to put on a “work Taylor,” I can just be myself with everyone here. We are always building each other up. It’s not like a cut-throat environment or anything. Everyone tries to help each other grow. It made me feel really welcomed and that I fit in almost immediately.

What do you enjoy doing outside of ServiceTrade?

I have a bunch of plants. So many plants. I probably have 25 plants in my house. I just keep getting them. I also go to yoga. I like to travel, though I haven’t done a lot of that. Before I joined ServiceTrade, I had never been to the West coast. Now, I’ve been to Utah and Washington, using my vacation days.

I really just do relaxing things. I love walking on the beach and watching the sun set over the Intracoastal Waterway here in Wilmington (where I live and work remotely.) I kayak sometimes, and I bring my cat with me who likes to kayak. I guess that’s a fun fact: my cat and I go kayaking together!

Fun fact: my cat and I go kayaking together!

Eric Burns
Senior Software Engineer

What do you do at ServiceTrade?

I’m a senior member of the software development team. We make all the features associated with the software that ServiceTrade customers use. We build everything from the ground up, we add new features, we fix bugs, we make sure it scales as we get more customers and larger customers as well as scale with the growth of the company. We’re always looking to raise the bar in terms of making the overall user experience more consistent, more intuitive, and just a better experience. Every year, we are making the app better than the year before. Hopefully, our software is growing with our customers and becoming more polished and more sophisticated.

What’s a typical day like as an Engineer at ServiceTrade?

We start the day with a morning stand-up. We are broken up into sub teams, so we meet with our team and talk about what we did yesterday and what we are planning to do today. We talk about anything that is an impediment, a difficulty or a concern, so problems get identified early and so we are aware of what other team members are working on as there might be a way for us to help each other.

It’s kind of a solitary exercise to do development work, so a lot of our day is just spent fingers on keys, creating functionality, fixing a bug, or whatnot, but, there are touchpoints where we interact. The tougher problems will often result in conversations between different members of the team. We’ll do code reviews of all the work so whenever we have something ready, another developer will look at it, and a lot of the time that will result in a conversation around how to make the code better, so the initial set implementation of the code isn’t always the final version. Sometimes there’s ways to iterate on what we did to make it better, to make it hold up better, scale better, be less buggy, or maybe we know some problems with it.

We also coordinate with QA when our code is with their team for review. QA stands for Quality Assurance. They’re responsible for testing our work and determining whether it’s ready to deploy. They find a lot of issues before our customers ever see them, so our deploys are ready to be used by our customers. We also coordinate with product managers to make sure that the business desires are being met by what we’re doing, so business questions will come up during our work.

We follow Agile, so we try to plan close to when we work. Agile is a methodology used by many development teams. It focuses on a self directed and iterative approach to managing work for a team. We want to deliver and get feedback in as tight a cycle as we can. We also give feedback to ourselves as a team every three weeks in a retro. This gives us an opportunity to continually improve. This is contrasted with older management techniques, called waterfall, where work gets planned out in meticulous detail months in advance. Agile recognizes that no plan like that holds up. It’s a way to embrace change and respond to new information, while continually delivering new working functionality every sprint.

Once a week we do a grooming, which is where we look ahead at work that is not being worked yet but might be next sprint. We do 3-week sprints right now. A sprint is like a segment of time that we plan out self-contained work. It’s supposed to be a smaller segment of time because people are better at planning during smaller amounts of time. Three weeks from now, we’re going to know a lot more than we do now, so trying to plan out 6-weeks ahead in meticulous detail doesn’t really make sense.

During the grooming meetings, the product owner presents his vision for some upcoming work – some of it might include some user experience (UX) designs; there’ll be stories with acceptance criteria on it like, ‘the user needs to be able to do this, this, and this on this page’ and then we’ll have discussions about implementation. First of all, we have to make sure we’re on the same page in terms of the business need but also in terms of implementation. The QA team is very valuable during the grooming meetings because they ask a lot of questions in terms of how they’re going to test the work, which often informs us on questions we should have thought to ask. It’s really helpful for that all to be one meeting and for everyone to be talking to each other.

Then, the other part of Agile that is really important is once a sprint is complete, we’ll do a retro. We’ll get together and talk about what went well and what didn’t go so well in the past sprint. The goal is to not point fingers about the bad things, it’s completely forward-facing about how we make the next sprint better than the last sprint or what was good about this sprint that we want to keep doing for the next sprint. We want to always get better as a team.

What has your ServiceTrade journey been like?

I wasn’t hired by ServiceTrade. I was hired by DunnWell. I guess technically I was re-offered my job, and I accepted when we became ServiceTrade. I came on to be an employee of DunnWell, and this was sort of an nascent spark within the company where DunnWell had created this software for itself, which was the first version of ServiceTrade’s software. We call this LSN, which stands for Legacy Service Net. Service Net was the name of DunnWell’s product. There was some thought of maybe we could market it and sell it to other people in our space – in DunnWell’s space. Brian Smithwick did just about all of the software work. He created this thing. He made that first product that showed what was possible. Because it was so good and was so effective for what DunnWell was doing, the idea was “hey wait a second, let’s start from scratch and build this from the ground up, using best practices and make something that we could sell to other companies. Let’s get really serious about this.” So they hired Billy Marshall to lead that effort.

So, I was one of the initial people in the room. We were like, “oh ok, we’re our own company now.” I thought, “oh gee, I hope this works out. I’ve got one small child and the other on the way”, but fortunately, it did work out. We were able to develop the product to the level where we could get customers. Those early customers really elevated us because not only did they trust something completely new for their business, but some of the feedback they gave us was so critical to our success.

It was interesting times. I’m really happy it worked out. It’s been a fun ride.

What’s it been like to see the company grow from zero to more than 100 employees?

So, the engineering team was originally a little footnote in a larger company, and then we became a very important part of a new company. It was kind of on us to get this product ready – fast enough – so that we could start making money before we ran out of money. We were a small team, and we were tiny for years. It really wasn’t until last summer when the partnership with Frontier Growth and Bull City Venture Partners started – that’s when our team started growing really fast. We used to be a really small team trying to be really effective with really senior people – but not many of them – working together and collaborating closely on one single team. That’s changed for us; there’s two teams for the application now. There’s a team for mobile and a team for integration. And, it’s going to split off into more teams. We’re growing, and the teams are going to get too big to be a single team and with that will come specialization for teams.

We’re in a time of enormous change right now. We’re hiring more junior developers than we have before. We’re open to different levels of experience than we had before, which is cool because it gets kind of boring with mid-career people. It’s great to bring in fresh blood and younger people with more energy. It makes things more interesting for everybody.

Which of the ServiceTrade culture values is the most important to you and why?

I think collaboration is important for everybody, and it’s important for Engineering. We collaborate with each other a lot; we collaborate with other teams like Support, and the fact that at ServiceTrade, there’s an assumption of respect – everybody at the company has credibility and standing – like in terms of someone speaking within their field. For example, if a QA person says, “this release isn’t ready.” That’s taken seriously. If a developer says, “we can’t do that in 3 days. We’d have to rebuild this in order for it to be the right architecture,” they’re listened to. I can’t think of an experience in my professional journey where there has been less push-back when someone speaks in their expertise. Just in general, it’s important to us as a company that people are valued and respected and that we focus on communicating well, respecting people for what they can do, and not getting distracted by other foolishness. Everyone who’s been in the workforce long enough has had bad experiences where some of the other stuff gets in the way, and we’ve been very successful so far about not letting that happen here. We really value and respect people.

But having said that, I think even more important to our team is curiosity. It’s easy to do something the way you know it can be done. If we’ve done something like that this way, and if we squint, we can sort of do it the same way here. I mean that’s the easiest thing in the world, but it’s not always the best thing in the world. We want to take our time and reexamine our past decisions. We’ve got a 9-10 year codebase at this point, and if we just keep doing things the way we always did them, then it wouldn’t take long for that to catch up to us in a bad way. We always want to reexamine what we did and whether there is a better way to do it. Not only do we have people on the team with that attitude and with the attitude that they want to learn more, but we have support from management to do that, which is incredibly rare in my experience.

There’s manager buy-in to go back and rework stuff, and it’s like “ok we want to make the page work the exact same way it did before but better behind the scenes.” That will make it a little faster, it’ll definitely scale better, it’ll be easier to work on, but the user won’t right away notice anything that’s improved. And for projects like that to get prioritized and to get minimal push-back, it’s fantastic. It’s a great environment to work on if you like to take pride in what we produce as a team because there are a lot of other environments out there that are so feature-focus that it catches up to them. If you’re always making features and you’re never going back and working on technical debt, you end up having a really poorly performing app with a lot of bugs that costs a lot to change, so ultimately, it’s the right decision. It’s not always the easy decision, but it’s the right decision, and it’s very gratifying as a developer to have that kind of support.

As a veteran ServiceTrader, any advice?

Yeah, for those junior developers, every senior person you work with was junior at some point, and if you stick around, you’re going to be senior. Don’t limit yourself. If someone is talented and they’re excited about learning, they can improve very quickly – both in general and in terms of learning the specific code environment of the company that you’re in because when you join a new company, that’s a big deal.

Whenever you join a company as a developer, you learn the stack and the codebase, and that all comes with time. Look for opportunities to be taught how to fish and not receive a fish. The people that we look for already have that in their DNA and their mindset. We want people that really want to understand how things work. “Ok, how do I do this? Ok why?” Ask those “why” questions. If someone gives you help with something and you don’t understand why the thing they gave you helped, don’t let them in the conversation until they explain it to you.

Be self-directed, too. Don’t depend on managerial guidance to make calls all the time. If you know something is an issue that needs to be looked at, maybe you’re the person that needs to speak up for it or you’re the person that needs to look at it. That’s the kind of spirit we try to have on our team. We do have management – and management does matter and does help – but we don’t want to completely lean on management. We want to be self-directed and proactive. If something seems a little off, we want to investigate it without necessarily waiting for someone to tell us to do it. We also want to be dependable; that kind of mindset is something that if a junior developer gets, they’re going to learn very quickly. That path is going to lead them to maturing very quickly in their craft.

What do you do in your free time?

Oh, well I play the guitar very badly. I do a lot of board games; I’m a big board game fanatic. Our family has a board game night once a week. Back before COVID, we had a board game club during work. We still kind of do, but we haven’t worked out the online board game playing. Yeah, I love board games a lot. I spend a lot of my time playing them and reading about them. Those are my two main hobbies other than having two kids.

I read a lot, too. I like reading SCI-FI and fantasy. I read a lot of Jack Vance, and my vocabulary improved from the experience.

David Varnedoe
Director of Customer Training

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

It has been seven years. Seven great years. I was originally hired to create an online training curriculum because I have a background in audio and video engineering and editing, and I most recently had worked at Apple for seven years as an HR Manager. I was a part of the team for Apple’s global retail training exercises, helping to create the training that all new hires get when they enter Apple retail.

The goal was to get me onboard, learn the ropes, figure out the application – at the time it was just the ServiceTrade core app and our mobile app – and put together comprehensive, online certification coursework. Just what that would look like was not well defined, so that was something I had to come up with. But after I learned the app a little better, I started full-time work on putting those materials together. The online learning program has changed a lot since then. I’ve done a lot of different courses and recorded tons of videos and audio and put them together. An added benefit is that I now am very comfortable with the sound of my own voice as all the narration work was me.

I’ve gone through several different title changes during these seven years. I don’t remember what they all are; honestly, my role changed about once every eight months or so, as we were constantly coming up with new things and new ways to do things. In the beginning, I think we were all called Customer Solutions Engineers if we were a part of the success business. From there, I eventually became a manager with the frontline support team reporting to me.

Since then, I’ve kind of birthed the training team as well to carry on what I started, and my current title, which I’ve held for a little while now, is Director of Customer Support.

This jacket was used in the film, Drive, and is one of my prized possessions.

What has been the evolution of the Customer Success team, and how is it structured now?

The four of us that were on the success team back in the day all had the same position; we all did everything. We handled frontline support, onboarding, remote and onsite training, and professional services work whenever a customer had a need.

Essentially, what we did at the beginning is that anyone that came onboard got the Customer Success Engineer title, and they learned to do everything. First, they would start in the trenches of frontline support where you answer every question that comes up, and that naturally gives you a window into the rest of what the team does and what you would be doing as you got to that position yourself. There weren’t teams solely dedicated to Professional Services, Implementation, and Frontline Support. None of that existed then as it does today.

It really has only been just in the last two years that we’ve started thinking about different pockets of the team. Since 2019, Customer Success has become more broadly two teams: Implementation on one side and Support on the other. It became clear that we couldn’t continue to manage everything we were doing the same way, so James Jordan, former VP of Customer Success (now CIO) moved Aaron Shoemaker to focus on implementation, and me to focus on support.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, we’ve continued to grow the support team and deepen it. We have Tier 1 and Tier 2 frontline support now. Tier 1 handles and screens all incoming support tickets and phone calls. However, when there is a bug that needs to be reported and sent to engineering, a priority issue that requires special attention, or a more complex issue with our apps, the ticket is escalated to Tier 2. From there, Tier 2 takes over and can devote more time to ensuring we get to the bottom of it quickly. This allows Tier 1 to remain agile and respond quickly to new tickets as they come in.

We also have expanded the training team, which will be the team that will grow the fastest in the immediate future. They’re responsible for our online certification course work, our Help Center, and in the future, they’ll be totally responsible for our new program we’re putting together for onsite training and continuing training and education.

What’s a typical day like as a Customer Success Specialist at ServiceTrade?

On a typical day we get started around 8am. Our support hours run from 9am eastern to 7pm eastern, so we can cast the net wide and make sure we have butts in the seats and are supporting our West coast folks. We don’t want any of our customers who are on the other side of the country to be in a deficit for support because they happened to not be where our headquarters are. We split the 8am – 7pm shifts into 2 separate shifts, so you either work 8-5 or 10-7.

Customers reach out either via telephone or through the widget that is right there on our website to say ‘hey I’ve got a question about this, or I think I’ve encountered a bug or an error.’ Then the support team reads through those tickets, figures out what is going on, then follows up to solve them as quickly as humanly possible. A lot of that stuff gets solved pretty straight away. As a matter of fact – over a quarter of all the tickets that we get in the course of a week in a month end up being what we call one-touch tickets, which means we’re able to solve them immediately, and they don’t get reopened after that – so a full-solve right away for over a quarter of support tickets.

A customer success specialist’s day is really just listening to what customers are telling them. No day is ever the same twice. You learn a lot about the product, the process, and a lot about your ability to work technically with other members of success and engineering. We interface directly with engineers to find solutions that are plaguing our customers, especially when it comes down to ‘is this a bug or is it not a bug?’ If it is a bug, you’re responsible for keeping the customer updated on what we’re doing to fix that.

You can work at a really large organization as a technician like Apple where basically anything that a customer comes in with may or may not be a bug and is being reported for the first time. You basically send it into the ether – into the oblivion – and hope it gets picked up somewhere and gets fixed by an engineer. But you know, here at ServiceTrade, you are directly interfacing with the team that’s going to fix that, which also puts the onus back on you to communicate with the customer. You can’t just wipe your hands of the problem; you have to constantly be in contact with the customer.

“Over a quarter of all the tickets that we get in the course of a week in a month end up being what we call one-touch tickets, which means we’re able to solve them immediately”

What does a career path look like for a Customer Support Specialist, and how do you foster individual’s career paths?

Most everyone that is in the Customer Success organization came in through Customer Support Tier 1. You can really go any number of different ways from there. Right now, just on Tier 1 team alone, I have someone looking to be promoted to Tier 2, which is a great move because it makes you more of an asset and a subject matter expert at all things ServiceTrade. With that kind of product knowledge you can kind of carve your own path inside an organization at some point because we always need people who just understand our product philosophically.

I’ve got a couple of people that are moving into the implementation side of Customer Success into project coordinator or project management roles. And, there’s another person that wants to go into account management and customer support post-sale, so they can continue to work with customers to flesh out their ServiceTrade experience and make them better promoters and users.

Then on the Tier 2 side of support, I’ve got people that are interested in joining the training team to become trainers. Again, that’s another place where having that product knowledge and expertise really helps you. Another Tier 2 specialist has their sights set on becoming a Technical Account Manager. And yet another is looking to strengthen their leadership skills to one day lead a team like that.

Just recently, we promoted a member of the Tier 2 team to a DevOps role in the Engineering team. When she started at ServiceTrade, she was fresh out of college and never had a non-retail job before. Within the 7-8 months she’s been here, we’ve been able to identify her skill set and say, ‘Hey you did this in school, and it directly translates here. You’re a product knowledge expert now, and what can we help you do with that?’ Her curiosity took her someplace, and that place was Engineering. It’s a win on both sides – you’ve got someone who is probably doing something they would have never applied for earlier this year when she first joined ServiceTrade, but now she has the confidence and expertise in the product that she needs to go make that happen. And then we also win because it’s just a better talent pipeline. Everyone wins because everyone is happier and doing the things they want to be doing and growing and not feeling stagnant.

I encourage everyone in Customer Support to constantly be thinking about what makes them happy and what they want to do in a role. As we continue to grow as a company, those opportunities are only going to get more numerous and interesting. There’s almost nothing more awesome in my job than helping people build careers for themselves. It’s just incredibly gratifying.

Here’s me at the best Air BnB I have ever stayed in, with downtown LA in the distance. Incredibly peaceful.

Do you have any advice for those looking to start or make a transition into a SaaS career?

I would say that more than anything, that people that are looking to make a jump into SaaS are probably more reserved than they should be because there’s lots of different jobs out there currently, and lots of companies are hiring. We spent the majority of the pandemic trying to beef up our staff to a level that will allow us to adequately service and support our customers.

Most of the time, we’re pulling people in that don’t have previous support experience because if you’re good with people and you’re agile and adept at picking new things up, we can teach you what we know about our technology. You really can’t teach a person to be really good with people in the same amount of time that you could teach someone how to use ServiceTrade or a process or workflow that we follow. That stuff is easy-peasy compared to the soft skills that are required for this role.

So don’t be intimidated. If you feel like you would be a great fit, and you like working with people, supporting people, then there are plenty of software-as-a-service companies, including ServiceTrade, that can utilize your talents to help our customers really get the most out of our product.

Then, once you get in, you really can start charting for yourself the journey that will ultimately be yours. You can’t be afraid 1) to take an entry-level position or 2) be afraid that you don’t have the experience because an entry-level position is just that.

There are a lot of people that came in at the ground level on the success team that had tons of skills, and as soon as they got a firm handle on the way ServiceTrade works as both a company and a product, they were off to the races. That most everybody in our 30-person department came in as an entry-level position speaks volumes to the amount of opportunities that there are at an organization like ServiceTrade.

What do you like to do outside of ServiceTrade?

Lots of things. I love to eat. I’m a big foodie, so I’m usually checking out what new restaurants are opening on any given weekend in the Triangle. I’m always looking for recommendations on places to try out. I also really like bars, so I do the same thing with bars as I do with restaurants. My partner and I are both really into that, so she and I will typically do that on the weekends.

I’ve got two little wiener dogs, possibly the cutest dogs in existence. Being at home all the time and working from home has given me the opportunity to really reconnect with everything that makes them great and everything that makes them obnoxious.

I used to like to workout a lot, but that hasn’t been my focus during the pandemic. I do ride my bike some, but probably not as much as I would like. I enjoy spending time outside. I like video games. I’m a huge music and movies person because that’s what I majored in during college. I have been accused of having too many hobbies. I try to fill up my time. They say bored people are boring, and I try very hard to never be bored.

David “Trey” Wood
Sales Development Manager

What do you do at ServiceTrade?

I build relationships and motivate my team in order for us to achieve our team goals and the company goals. I do that by call coaching, interacting in meetings, and creating team games, challenges, and team-building exercises. It’s rewarding to be able to coach and guide people towards their goal and their career path and continue to grow our culture here at ServiceTrade.

My team creates value by finding prospects who are in the market for service software, providing a bit of what ServiceTrade has done for other customers, and bringing them to the plate to see how ServiceTrade can help their business. In return, we get the pleasure of being the first person that connects with our market. We talk to potential customers daily, so we hear how the market is evolving and how ServiceTrade can help.

Tell me about your ServiceTrade journey.

After graduating from UNCW and deciding to move to Raleigh, I reconnected with a current ServiceTrade SDR who was a buddy of mine from middle school. When I had the interview with ServiceTrade, I fell in love with the company culture. I started in December 2019, and on my first day ever on the phone, I booked 2 demos. I knew this was a good fit for me, and I never looked back.

I broke every record on the book, showed my value as an SDR and positioned myself to be promoted to the Territory Manager role where I could demo the product and further show the value of ServiceTrade. I really enjoyed it, but I figured out that my personality and my style of sales fit the SDR role better, so I came back to be the SDR Team Lead. I was able to still put up the numbers, but the fun part was helping others hit their goals.

My natural compassion for people on top of my success as an SDR made me know I wanted to be in management. Once the Sales Development Manager position opened up earlier this year, I interviewed and got the job. It’s been an awesome ride so far.

Which of the ServiceTrade’s culture values is the most important to you and why?

Collaboration is my number one. The reason I’m huge about that is not just because I’m a people person, but it’s said all over – and I’ve worked in many companies where people talk about a company culture and building a family oriented business – and a lot of times it’s lip service. But here at ServiceTrade, it’s action put into play. Ever since I first started, seeing the amount of people that reach out, willing to help, and who have invested their time into me and to help coach and guide me to be the most effective rep I could be. That is why collaboration has been my favorite.

Moving forward as a manager, whenever we get busy or there is frustration, it’s not just ‘here’s the guidelines’ then throw you to the wolves. There’s not just that management support, but there is also the support from the ground-level there with you. We have such a tight-knit group that people are willing to invest their own time. Having SDRs reach out to me when I was an ITM, that’s where the proof was in the pudding.

What is your advice for those looking to start a SaaS sales career?

Never give up. And learn to have thick skin. Any time you’re calling into a SaaS market, it’s going to be a high volume and low connection rate, so you have to be willing to hustle and take those no’s, but stay positive in your mindset. So when you do come across that potentially good fit, you are prepared and ready to give your 100%.

Second thing is mindset. Mindset is everything. It’s just like golf – 99% mental and 1% skill. You have to be willing to hit those 80 noes to get that 81st yes.

Last thing I’ll say is come thirsty to grow and learn. It’s about progress not perfection. A lot of times the proof is in the progress. If you set a lot of small goals throughout your path, and you’re seeing the proof in the progress, it’s a lot easier to reflect on your progress because shavings make a pile.

What’s a typical day like as a Sales Development Representative (SDR) at ServiceTrade?

First thing in the morning, we all connect, get motivated for the day, and then we dive in – 85 dials a day is what we aim for. Your calls are broken into cold calls, demo confirmations, following up on opportunities you need to reschedule, etc. but your day is basically you running your business. I give you a standard of what you need to get done for the day, and you do whatever you need to do to get it done, I’m not going to micromanage that.

I like to tell everybody – you’re an entrepreneur, but you are selling a product you didn’t come up with. So you run your business, you have a lot of freedom, but it does take a lot of discipline. When I first started, I really felt that – like I’m truly determining my success. Yo Gotti and Gucci Mane say your hustle determines your salary, and that is exactly what I love here at ServiceTrade.

What kind of career path can one have as an SDR, and how do you foster your team’s career paths?

The SDR is the farm team for opportunities in a software company. This is the grounds for getting an understanding of the industry, the business, and where your skill sets align, and then the possibilities are endless.

From our team, we do see a lot of people continue to go up in Sales, which is prospecting new business, doing demos, being an AE or a Territory Manager. The next vertical we see is that people grow to love working with current customers, which is the Account Manager side. The last vertical we typically see is the BDR role, which is more of an enterprise-style SDR position. If you really enjoy the common grind of calling and prospecting, but you want to focus on more of a specific target market or dial into larger accounts, then that’s something we see a lot of people have success in.

How I help with that is I’m here to get a good understanding of what you like, where your skill sets lie, point out your strengths you might not see, and coach and guide you to where you want to be with those. I’m going to listen to your calls, coach your calls, be with you throughout your whole process, and get you ramped up to the baseline of where you need to be, then I’m going to let you determine where you want to go. I’m going to make sure all the stars align to get you there, go to bat for you, and have your back in order to get you in contact with the right people to make that happen as well as advocate for you to get you to that point. You want to be an ITM, ok I’ll talk to Anna McMahon, VP Inside Sales, that kind of thing.

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