Meet the team: International Acquisition Sales

People & Culture
Meet the team: International Acquisition Sales

Our acquisition sales department is present in all of our locations, with some teams focusing on local markets and some on centralized functions. Here you can meet Elina Aļeiņikova, Vilius Kairys, and Romain Ruef who share insights on how they’ve grown into the positions they’re in today and what skills they believe are necessary for success.

SDR Elīna Aļeiņikova (Baltics)

Elina is a sales development representative working out of our Baltics office in Riga, Latvia. She has worked in our sales acquisition team since February 2021. Her job entails reaching out to various companies and serving as the first point of contact for our Baltic clients, with the overall goal of attracting companies to join the 21st century revolution in logistics. Elina is eager to grow within the company, particularly in sales.

How did you get to the position you are in now?

Since the very first year of my university experience, I was always attracted to international environments and opportunities to get to know people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.

In 2020 before I joined sennder, I had the great chance to go to Silicon Valley in the USA, where I worked with highly skilled and growth-driven people from innovative startups and global corporations. While I was there I experienced a completely different spirit and work drive than I had ever seen before, so when I came back to my home country of Latvia, my goal was to keep developing myself in the field of innovation. Luckily, I joined sennder, a company that combines all the work environment aspects that are so important to me, like inclusiveness, a sense of purpose, and feeling the impact of your work. I have a friendly and supportive team, growth and learning opportunities, and the possibility of working towards sustainable development goals. I still feel that Silicon Valley drive even though I’m working from our office in Riga.

What helps you in your everyday journey with sennder?

Firstly, I believe in the necessity and value of digitizing road freight logistics. I have had a positive experience meeting and being in touch with representatives of the companies we serve in various industries. Working on something that brings value to others drives me. Obviously, my previous experience in account management, customer care, export project coordination, and research projects is a plus, but I totally believe that the key to success as a sales development representative is being self-motivated, curious, proactive, and not taking “no'' as an answer.

What is your advice for someone who wants to get into sales at sennder?

Proactive communication is important for anyone interested in applying. You should not be afraid to pick up the phone or make a call, and you should be eager to work in a dynamic environment.

I believe that sales at its core is about communication, creating relationships in order to bring value to your customer, keeping your word and delivering on promises, as well as taking ownership of projects that you’ve taken on. For a sales development representative, I’d suggest focusing on pitch polishing, effective time management, and becoming an active listener. It’s also important to be able to reflect on your previous results and set small daily goals in order to constantly improve your performance.

Team Lead Sales Acquisition Vilius Kairys (Baltics)

Vilius is the team lead of our Baltics sales acquisition team and has been with sennder since May 2021. He works remotely from Lithuania, but occasionally goes to the Riga office in Latvia. Leading a team of three, he is responsible for setting the team’s strategy, monitoring performance, and ensuring success through team motivation.

How did you get to the point you are in now?

I have a huge passion for sales, and I worked to reach a team lead level through patience and discipline.

When my journey started, I was in my last year of university and wasn't particularly interested in sales. My passion came from just interacting with different people, cultures, and experiences.

I was twenty-two years old when I closed my first big deal at my previous job. It felt amazing. So I became addicted to doing more and more. This helped me get noticed in the company, and I was offered a manager position. My drive to become an expert in my field and know everything about the product I am selling helped me build my professionalism, confidence, and sales skills. And these skills got me where I wanted to be, which is surrounded by young and hungry people who want to grow. When I became a manager I had a lot of responsibilities, from managing a team to business trips, but the outcome always needed to be focused on bringing sales turnover.

After five years at my previous job, I felt like I needed a change. Something was missing. Out of nowhere, a sennder recruiter asked if I would be interested in the team lead position here at sennder Baltics. I remember debating if I should take the leap or not, but from the first call with the Baltics general manager, I understood that this is a company I want to be a part of. The genuine vibe from the general manager and the recruiter encouraged me to challenge myself in order to move forward in my career.

What is your advice for someone who wants to get into sales at sennder?

For a simple sales position or starting in sales, I think motivation is all you need. I firmly believe that skills can be taught later on as long as you’re passionate about growing and have basic communication skills.

What are three skills you think are important for this type of work at sennder?

I think it's important to understand that just because you are a great salesperson, it doesn't mean you will automatically be a great manager. However, I think to be a great manager you need these three skills:

  • Understand what your long-term strategy is.

  • Learn how to use the strengths and weaknesses of your team members as an advantage.

  • Manage people's expectations.

Of course, there are more than these three points, but I think they are the most important.

France SDR Team Lead Romain Ruef:

Romain is the team lead of our French sales development representative team and leads a team of three SDRs. He has been with us since August 2019, back when sennder France was Everoad. Part of his responsibilities are managing an SDR team, managing lead generation, and pushing his team to create more opportunities for sennder.

How did you get to the point you are in now?

My journey in sales started four years ago in Athens, Greece. To be honest, I didn’t have a sales background at all when I started as a sales agent at Webhelp, a French call center. It was cold calling B2B prospecting for small and middle-sized businesses, and the first company I serviced as a sales agent was Everoad. It’s from that moment that I realized that I was good at it and really into it. So I worked a lot to learn and catch up on all the skills that I didn’t know at that time. For example, this is where I learned how to pitch to people who didn’t want to talk with me. This is one of the most important tools that an SDR should have.

It took me four months to become a top performer and six months to have my first team lead position. So I was managing two people, and still producing.

After a bit more than one year at Webhelp, I took a position with sennder (Everroad at the time) in Paris. That was my first real SDR position. Since then I’ve been working hard to learn new skills and techniques. I study the market and business trends a lot, and I became a top performer shortly after I arrived. After two years, my managers offered me the French SDR team lead position.

To conclude, I maybe wasn’t originally from a sales background, but I fell in love with this job. And with a lot of work, perseverance, and a bit of luck I finally got the position of team lead.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into sales at sennder?

I recommend anyone who is curious to just try. My own example is a bit original and hopefully it can push someone else to give it a go. Even if they don’t have a traditional diploma or degree. sennder decided to trust me even though I never went to any business school. So a career in sales is always possible if you have a lot of motivation and curiosity.

What are three skills you think are important for this type of work at sennder?

I think that for an SDR role there are three main skills to have:

  • Sales pitching: An SDR should have strong communication skills to be able to convince people who initially might not want to speak with you.

  • Motivation and perseverance: 80% of an SDR’s typical day is “NO.” To get a “yes,” you might need to get 99 rejections. So you should always keep going even if it’s difficult.

  • Organization: Calling eighty different companies in a day can be challenging. You need to be really precise with each one of them to understand their pain points, needs, etc. So being organized is a key aspect of being a successful SDR.

If you’re interested in learning more about sennder, our culture, and open positions, go to our career site HERE.