There’s so many places to go, professionally speaking, once you’ve developed a set of core sales skills: more senior sales roles, marketing, and accounts, just to name a few of the possibilities. Recent Satellite alum Dillon Brown is an example of just how flexible a sales foundation can be — and not only in the long term.
After graduating from the Satellite Career Accelerator, Dillon received an offer for an account manager position at Tenstreet — a company in Satellite’s growing employer network that sells recruiting software and workflow solutions for the trucking and transportation industry. The role allows him to leverage the skills he developed during his sales training while tapping into his past experience as a Genius Bar associate at Apple. Read on to learn more about this self-professed people person’s Satellite experience and how it’s going at Tenstreet so far.
Before pursuing a new path through Satellite, Dillon knew that he wanted a consistent 9-5ish schedule above all. As a part-time associate at his local Apple Store’s Genius Bar, Dillon was used to working nights, days, and weekends, with the specific hours shifting from one week to another. The unpredictability took a toll on his personal life, as Dillon found it increasingly difficult to spend quality time with family and friends.
“I have a toddler, and before my new job at Tenstreet, there were often stretches of three or four days when I wouldn’t see him at all,” he says. There were many weekend outings with the in-laws that he had to pass on as well.
Beyond the need for a more consistent schedule that allowed for greater work-life balance, Dillon also wanted more opportunities for growth.
“With just a couple of Apple stores in the area, there’s only so far I could grow if I wanted to stay close to my family and in-laws,” says the Tulsa native who relocated to the area in June of 2020 after a stint in Houston. “It became increasingly important to me to work for a company that wanted to invest in my development as an employee and see me move forward both personally and professionally.”
Like many Satellite learners, Dillon knew he was ready for a change before he knew exactly which form that change could take. He had pursued religious history in college but no longer felt a desire to put that degree into practice. Nor did he envision turning his freelance design side hustle into a full-time gig. He wasn’t immediately called to sales, but after hearing of Satellite through LinkedIn and his connections at Tulsa Young Professionals (TYPROs), he was curious.
“I felt energized after several initial exploratory conversations with Chris Waldron, Satellite’s co-founder and CEO,” he says. “I quickly saw that an SDR role was about relationship building, listening, and making a case for solutions.” In other words: not entirely dissimilar from what he was doing at Apple.
During his eight weeks of sales training with Satellite, Dillon further realized just how well his past experience at Apple could translate into his new path.
“I’m definitely a people person, which served me well at Apple,” he says.
At the Genius Bar, Dillon learned how to strike the right balance between asking questions and actively listening, in addition to building rapport with customers. Satellite’s curriculum showed him how to further draw on these instincts: “So much of sales is about the questions behind the questions, and knowing how to extract valuable information.” His passion for technology — and, more specifically, its potential to make life easier and simpler — helped him to dive in and embrace the curriculum as well.
The Satellite sales training structure, which balances independent learning and reflection with group discussion, resonated with Dillon’s learning style.
“I’m able to engage more deeply when a class uses a variety of formats. Satellite is structured in a way that allows you to flex different muscles and use different parts of your brain.”
But it’s perhaps the relationships Dillon developed during his eight weeks with Satellite that he took away from the experience above all.
“Being able to see how other people are approaching universal sales challenges is invaluable,” he says, giving a shoutout to his mentor as well as Satellite’s lead trainer Nicole.
The connections he made extended beyond his cohort and the Satellite team. The Satellite Career Accelerator is designed to expose our students to as many perspectives on sales as possible, and Dillon loved participating in the program’s AMAs (Ask Me Anything) with sales professionals outside of our network. In fact, one connection he made through an AMA even hopped on a Zoom call for some resume workshopping when it came time for Dillon’s job search.
“I hadn’t flexed my networking muscles in a while, and Satellite helped take any anxiety out of that.”
Dillon joins a growing number of Satellite Certified Talent who landed a job with a company in our employer network within three months of finishing the program. While many pursue an SDR role, Dillon found that an account management position best suited his strengths and goals — and the skills he cultivated at Satellite are no less relevant to this path.
As an account manager at Tenstreet, Dillon makes sure the company’s existing clients are satisfied with the product, addressing their needs and concerns, sharing new offerings, and coordinating training. While the role aligns well with the consulting he did at Apple, he still feels that he’s constantly growing in a new direction.
“I love the team and the job itself,” he says. “I’m learning every day, I’m being challenged every day, which is what I need to thrive, and what I was missing before.”
After college Michael was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma working as an account executive for an electric vehicle charging station company. He liked the company and enjoyed his colleagues, but felt stuck from a career and income growth perspective.
The role of sales development representative (SDR) is the perfect starting point for a successful career in tech sales, especially for anyone who may be transitioning into the field from another path. Just ask Robert Dyer, a Satellite mentor and Head of Sales Development at Suplari who launched his sales career as an SDR after more than five years in retail.
Christina will always hold a very special place in the Satellite community. A member of our first cohort, she was also the first Satellite graduate and the first alum to be placed in an exciting sales role at a tech company. These days, she’s quite busy crushing her quota as a business development representative at Firstbase, but she’s still deeply connected to Satellite and has inspired many of the students who followed in her footsteps. Read on to learn more about her professional path before and after Satellite. A career in education — and a life-changing battle with breast cancer.