Recruiting Corner: Women in Tech - BDR Career Opportunities
Join us for an episode where we highlight our team leads, their careers paths, and opportunities available for candidates to come join us! We’ll be having a discussion about women in tech sales and how they can grow their careers at Cloudflare.
Welcome to Cloudflare Recruiting Corner. This is the Women in Tech and BDR Career Opportunities episode today.
My name is Roshni Hundel and I'm a recruiting lead here at Cloudflare based out of New York.
I have three team leads with me today from Austin.
Ana is an SF though and we're excited to talk about our roles that are available at Cloudflare and how the BDR team is growing.
We also want to highlight the position and opportunities that are available on the team because we're always hiring.
So I'll start with you, Rhonda. What brought you to Cloudflare? Tell us a bit about yourself and your team and give us a little intro.
Yeah, so I've known about Cloudflare for a while.
Ever since, you know, CDN had came about, I saw that it completely evolved when I thought about reapplying for a position here.
So the role itself as a field team BDR lead really piqued my interest.
A little bit by myself, I've been in the tech industry for about 20 years.
I actually started off as a BDR, so I completely understand the role, the position, what it takes to be a successful BDR.
My team that I manage specifically is for the Pacific West, as well as the public sector team.
Awesome, awesome. And we'll get into more details for sure.
But Ana, how about you? How did you find Cloudflare and what team do you lead here?
So I heard about Cloudflare from the head of public sector sales, John Keaton.
He actually reached out to me thinking that this would be a great opportunity for me post-college.
So I've been with Cloudflare for almost three years now, just about.
I actually worked with Roshni when I was being recruited myself.
So it's all come full circle, which is really unique. Right now, I manage the inbound, upsell, and self-serve team for San Francisco, Austin, and Latin America.
So a couple of different functions within the BDR org. But really, I think what's unique about this role is that we are definitely the front line for the sales process.
And so you get a really great glimpse into the foundational aspects of what makes a successful salesperson.
So I've been very fortunate enough to be here for a good amount of time.
And we're lucky to have you. And you as well, Rhonda.
Julia, what about you? When did you join? Tell me a bit about yourself.
Yeah, absolutely. So I joined in October of 2019. And actually, my current boss, Jay, reached out to me on LinkedIn.
And the more I started to learn about Cloudflare, I really liked Cloudflare's mission statement to create a better Internet for all.
And so during my recruiting process, in which I also worked with Roshni, it was something that was a big factor in my decision to come to Cloudflare.
And I currently manage the BDR teams in Canada, which we just opened our newest office there.
So that's very exciting to see. And then also on the East Coast, primarily in the regions of the Northeast and the Southeast as well.
Cool. So I just want to talk more about hiring and growing of teams.
And I know in our weekly meetings, a topic that comes up often is diversity.
We're big believers in hiring for diversity and having diverse teams.
And that leads to a diversity of thought and the way we solve problems in the workplace.
It's, again, something you and I discuss frequently.
So I'd like to just talk about the trends that we're seeing with our direct applicant pool.
We can't help but notice, but 20% of our direct applications are women.
And we'd love to see more women in tech and women in sales.
And you three are awesome leaders here on the team. So I want to hear more of your thoughts on this.
Anna, what about you? When you were looking for jobs and exploring industries, what led you to pursue sales in this industry specifically?
For me, I didn't know about Cloudflare or this industry in general. And so for me, what I was looking for was something that was going to push me out of my comfort zone to try something new that would challenge me.
And I would learn really important skill sets that could be transferable into different roles within the company or just in general for my day -to-day.
And so I think what attracted me to Cloudflare was a couple of the things that Julia mentioned, but also just given the breadth of opportunity that we had in our role and the growth at the company, I think was something that was really important to me.
As well as throughout the recruiting process, I felt that the team was really invested in the success of myself, whether it was at Cloudflare or just within my first role.
And so I think that was something that was really important as I was figuring out what I wanted to do was just the investment from the recruiting team and the people that I talked to showing that they were really interested in not only what brought me to Cloudflare, but what were some of my goals.
And so I think that was really an attractive point right off the bat.
Yeah, I know our process can be long and thorough, but I know you all believe and the team believes that we put that much time getting to know people and they interview us as well, that it'll lead to a better employee experience working here.
Right. So I'm glad that showed through for you.
Yeah. And I think it's important to not, we're testing out the water, seeing if this person would be a great candidate to bring on to our team.
But I think it's also important what I try and say is because it's lengthy and more thorough that we want the candidate to feel just as excited about Cloudflare as we are about them.
And so it is a two way street. And so I think that's really important when you're looking for that opportunity that they are reciprocated on both ends.
Yeah, yeah, for sure.
Rhonda, what about you? Why did you want a career in tech sales? Yeah, I kind of fell into it.
Me coming through the ranks, the time that I did, there weren't a lot of women in sales, especially within a BDR field.
So for me, I kind of just kind of fell into it.
Once I was able to really understand what sales was about, it really attracted me even more in terms of wanting to pursue a full time career within the industry.
What really attracted me to Cloudflare was the fact that there was our co-founder, who was a woman in a leadership position, really signified to me that this is an organization that I wanted to be a part of.
During my interview process, I actually got a chance to speak with her, and she really highlighted some of the strengths of making sure that there were a number of women within tech, that we wanted to make sure that we were hiring a number of women within the organization.
And that really stood out to me, that a leader at that level really wanted to make sure that there were enough women within sales.
And I think sometimes with women, we think of it as a man's field, and it really isn't.
I think women are just as tough as men in terms of making sure that they want to make their quote and so forth.
So Cloudflare, it really highlights the attributions that women do bring to the field, to the organization.
And so if you're looking for an organization that will really help you strive for your goals, Cloudflare is definitely the place to be.
Yeah. Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think we have a good, supportive team and a lot of enablement.
And everyone from the exact level down is very vested in your success here and wants to see you do well.
And so that's definitely cool to see. And just their involvement too, and how much they care.
You don't find that everywhere. Yeah, for sure. We really set up our team, especially the BDR organization, we set you up for success.
You come in through a boot camp, which is, I don't think I've ever been in an organization where they actually have a boot camp for you.
They just don't kind of just throw you to the wolves.
Like I said, they're setting you up for success with speaking with different departments, speaking with different folks within the organization.
And like I said, just really setting you up. It's different milestones that you hit, the time that you are within boot camp.
So that really helps with the structuring your time within your early stages within Cloudflare.
Yeah. Awesome. Julia, what about you?
Tell me a bit about your journey and thoughts on all of this. And also let's talk about why should candidates choose Cloudflare over other companies and why should people want to work here?
Yeah, absolutely. So I kind of fell into sales.
I was looking to change careers. I'd been in political fundraising and a neighbor of mine and I were actually having a conversation and she suggested that I look at sales.
I've always been a very competitive person and I think sales is a really great way to be able to measure your success day over day.
Being able to kind of work either towards a individual target or a team target is something that drives me.
And so I think we as women, a lot of us have grown up playing sports and being able to find an area to redirect that competitiveness.
I think sales is just a natural progression for a lot of women that way.
And I think candidates should look at choosing Cloudflare because it's one of the first companies I've worked at where we do look at sales as more of a team number.
Everyone's very encouraging here and we kind of embody the, we win as a team, we lose as a team.
And it's not so much driven off your individual metrics, but we always look at, hey, did North America hit their number as a whole?
When I look at Ana, myself, Rhonda, we all manage different teams and in different regions, but together we're always trying to share best practices.
And I think that's one of the reasons I love Cloudflare is that we do always feel like we have that support system in place and we want to see everyone come together towards a common goal too.
Yeah. Yeah. I definitely feel that team aspect of it. I think, you know, I have heard other companies, their teams are way more competitive and pit people against each other.
And I don't think that that's the case with our team. We're striving towards a similar goal together.
So yeah, that's awesome. And then, so Ana, tell me a little bit about the BDR role itself and what opportunities we're hiring for, what are the responsibilities and the expectations of the role?
Yeah. So within the BDR org, we have a number of different functions.
So I manage the team that is one of the first stops that most people make when they come to join Cloudflare as a BDR, which is the inbound team.
And that is a more reactive team that handles anything that is coming into Cloudflare.
So any web forms that are submitted, any inquiries on our web pages from live chat, anything that's coming from our phones.
And so this team is able to answer really tough technical questions, handle any frustrated customers dealing with support, or be able to qualify really important enterprise level deals.
And so that team, they have to be super on top of it in terms of being organized, being able to respond quickly to customers and think on their feet because you're dealing with real time issues or questions.
So they have to be able to high level speak about all of Cloudflare's products and have important industries and use cases that they're able to speak to and kind of match a lot of the issues that customers are facing or prospects into something that Cloudflare can offer to them.
So that's one of the teams within the BDR role. Another team is the outbound team, which focuses on net new acquisition.
And within that segment, you have the field team, which Rhonda and Julia manage, as well as the mid-market team that deals with mid -market accounts.
And then I also work with two other teams, the self-serve team.
And within the self-serve role, we have a really unique, which I think makes Cloudflare attractive to not just people to work here, but also to customers as we have a self-serve model.
So we have a team that focuses on nurturing those relationships and trying to, one, they feel ready and comfortable and there's a need for them to upgrade to enterprise.
We have a team that works on that.
And then another BDR function is our expansion team.
So focusing on expanding our existing contracted customers. And so working closely with that expansion AE group as well.
That's just kind of a rundown of the BDR, within the BDR org and the functions.
And so what's really unique, kind of what Julia touched upon, is that it is a super collaborative environment.
So you have people from the self-serve team that are sharing best practices with the inbound team or with the outbound team.
And anytime we're seeing trends on inbound, we want to give an alert to the outbound team because that's what they should be focusing on in their outbounding effort.
So I think what's really unique about the role is within the BDR team, we have a bunch of different growth opportunities and stepping stones in order to kind of create that foundational understanding on the inbound side and then go use that to your advantage to bring in more customers from the outbounding side.
So I think some of the expectations that, or just qualities, that make successful BDRs would probably be people that are super collaborative.
People that are very curious in terms of, you know, why are you facing this problem?
Why do you need this product? Always asking questions, whether that's internally or externally.
And then I think people that are, as you said, we're not pitting our BDRs against each other, but it is important to have that competitive aspect.
So whether that's doing internal incentives or SPIFs or, you know, giving shout outs to people that are overachieving, I think that's something that obviously drives competition, but healthy competition.
So I think that I kind of just went on a tangent, but that's kind of the rundown of the BDR org and some of the things that I look for when we're talking to candidates.
Yeah. Yeah. Those were great details. And there is a lot of structure in place now and all it's good to hear about the different functions within the org itself.
Rhonda, what do you think when someone is interested in a position, like how can they go about learning more about our products and prepare for interviews and learn more about the technology?
And do you think it is important that they do prep, right?
I think the answer is pretty clear, but we do see candidates that don't.
And so we want to make sure that all do. So yeah, tell us a little bit about that.
Yeah. So during the interview process, yourself and John A prep the candidates to just let them know, especially when it's coming down to the technical portion of it, that they need to essentially go to the website and prepare.
So with Cloudflare and our website, it provides so much detail in terms of the number of products, the number of suites.
It just gives you case studies, current customers.
It gives you a really high level overview in terms of what Cloudflare is, what we do, what our value props are.
So when they're preparing, and we can tell if you prepare for this, because although we're a very technical product, but what we're looking for is that if you can just give us sort of an overview in terms of what the products are, just the core products.
So by just going to the website, really doing some research, kind of understanding who the competitor landscape is as well, that really stands out for us.
But as evaluators, when we're having conversations with candidates, just having a high level overview of what Cloudflare is, what we do, what they can bring to the table in terms of a candidate as a BDR, that really stands out as well.
Another thing that Ana kind of touched on in terms of what we're looking for candidates is someone who wants to be challenged, right?
This BDR position is a challenging position.
There's a lot of things that are expected of BDRs, but it's a rewarding position as well.
So if you come in with the intentions of rolling up your sleeves and wanting to get in there and work with your group, and just making sure that you're wanting to be challenged on a day -to-day, that's something that I personally look for when I'm interviewing candidates, someone who is looking to make their last day better than the day before.
But to your point, or to your question about preparing, just going onto the website, really taking the initiative to really understand who Cloudflare is, and again, what they can bring to the table as a new BDR.
Yeah, definitely important to kind of go through each one of those product pages, use all the content that's on there to learn, do your homework.
It's a job interview, you should definitely come prepared for it.
So Julia, what makes a successful BDR here?
What are some of the skill sets that we evaluate for when you're hiring for your team and we're hiring for this BDR work?
Yeah, I think both topics that Rhonda and Lana have touched on, I think product knowledge is huge.
Many people that are joining Cloudflare as a BDR may not have a technical background.
It's very rare do we see someone that was an engineer. So being able to learn the products I think is a huge one, but I really look for people that show me they can run their patch as an entrepreneur.
So some of that hustle and grit, because when you're writing these emails or you're making phone calls, you're sending messages on LinkedIn, inviting people to marketing partner events, you're going to get out of that type of sales activity what you put into it.
So if I see someone that says, if I can make five more phone calls today to get a meeting, I think that makes a successful BDR.
Someone that not only sets individual goals for themselves aside from the company goals, but someone, to Rhonda's point, that wants to do better each day.
I know for when I was a BDR, I knew if I didn't get my two meetings a week, I wasn't going to be happy leaving on Fridays.
So I think that having that hustle, grit, that own interpersonal drive really makes a successful BDR.
We do look at the BDR org as the recruiting arm for Cloudflare.
And I think most people come in and they want to know where their next career path is going to be at Cloudflare.
And the ones that come in pretty determined to get there right out the gate, they're the ones that we usually see being the most successful BDRs.
Yeah. I've helped hire so many BDRs and all of you as well, and nothing makes me prouder is to see people growing within the org.
Even William DeCuna yesterday said some of our best mid-market AEs or enterprise AEs are people that started as BDRs as well.
So I think that speaks volumes. I know people that have gone into infrastructure or marketing.
So there's even other functions that you can get into.
But on that topic, Anna, what are career paths at Cloudflare for BDRs and how can you grow your career here?
And what's your personal experience? Yeah.
I think one of the building blocks or just pillars of the BDR org is being an incubator for talent, not just within sales, but across the company as a whole.
And so as well as generating revenue and focusing on building that pipeline, it's really important that we're also building talent across the company.
And so to Roshni's point, we have promoted BDRs into almost every department at Cloudflare globally, which is really exciting.
And I think it's a testament to the people that are the candidates and reach out to Cloudflare and as we grow them throughout their time as a BDR.
It also is an exciting relationship to have that cross -functionally and have that trust from your colleagues that they want to bring BDRs into their org because they see them that they are competitive hustlers and really understand Cloudflare as a whole.
And so I think that's a testament to growing our stellar candidates that then want to go work outside of just sales.
So we have a trusted and pathway to the AE route, and that's typical of what our BDR team goes to.
I think that throughout the time as a BDR, you take things almost up to that closing point and being able to sign the deal on the docusign.
So for BDRs, it's really exciting for them to be able to take it to that next level and be able to do the full life cycle.
So most of our BDRs do go to the AE route or stay within the sales department.
We've also, as Roshni said, promoted to infrastructure, security, CSM, XAM.
I'm probably forgetting a few, but it's throughout the entire org, which is really exciting.
Yeah. I know people that I hired in London that moved to Singapore.
We had someone from San Francisco move to London to lead the BDR team there too.
So there's definitely international opportunities as well when we can travel and move around again.
So I know Cloudflare is very supportive of that.
And on top of just like, I wanted to also mention, the team here looks not only for the hustle and the drive and the competitiveness, but we've also found that BDRs that are super data -driven and have a problem-solving and thoughtful analytical mindset also do really well here, just because you do have to get pretty deep in with the knowledge and the customers and their needs.
So that's definitely also something that we look for in a profile.
Rhonda, what do you think about building a career at Cloudflare?
Yeah. So with Cloudflare, it really provides the employees the ability to expand their career, specifically within a BDR organization is a really good example that when you come here, like I mentioned before, there's a bootcamp that you're put in for a couple of weeks.
What I tell candidates is that you really have the mobility to move within this organization.
Once you're in the BDR role for a good 12 to 15 months, it really helps build a foundation in terms of your success within the organization as a whole.
So that 12 to 15 months that you're in this role, it's really preparing you, being able to work with different segments within the organization, different folks, whether it be marketing, sales ops, your AEs.
Like I said, it's really preparing you for that next step within your career.
Typically with our BDR organization, they will follow the core path, which will essentially be a BDR to a mid-market AE to potentially a field AE.
But to Ana's point and to Julia, we do have the other option. So if you realize that sales is okay, but I want to try something else, Cloudflare really gives you that option of moving within different segments within a company, whether it be marketing, CSM, infrastructure, and so forth.
Yeah, very cool.
I love that aspect of our team. I think it's awesome that people grow here. And I truly do love to see the people that we hire doing that at Cloudflare and becoming the next leaders in the company.
Julia, can you tell me a little bit just about the day-to-day responsibility of a BDR and in their role and their function?
Yeah, so a day-to-day, for a lot of our outbound BDRs, that's going to be working pretty hand-in-hand with your AEs that you're assigned to.
Typically we try and have a BDR assigned to two different account executives, and that can be a mid -market field in Latam, Canada, things like that.
And you're really working with them towards a common goal of breaking into some of these companies, getting them meetings, helping to spread the knowledge of what Cloudflare is.
I think when I joined Cloudflare, we had 142 different products.
And just this past quarter alone, we released a hundred new.
So you're educating your customers, you're educating new prospects on the different types of products, how they can protect their solutions, whether it's performance, security, anything like that.
So a large part of that BDR role is staying up-to -date on the different knowledge of products, whether that's through our blog posts.
You're also connecting with these customers and prospects via LinkedIn or inviting to marketing events, working with our partner team to drive attendance to their events.
And then the other part is internal meetings.
We ask for our BDR team to give us feedback. And I think it was Matthew Prince, our CEO, who said he likes to hire curious people because they most of the time will find a problem and go out and solve it.
And I really think a lot of our BDR team embodies that on the daily.
And so a large part is just being curious as to how we can better reach our prospects, customers, and drive more meetings overall for our sales counterparts as well.
Okay, very cool. Anything to add with that, Anna?
On the day-to-day, what can people expect in the role?
I think as we've shifted to a new working environment, we've tried one of the things that I love about Cloudflare is the just ability to work closely with your teammates, whether that's in your role or outside of your role, and be in that environment where we are sharing ideas and thoughts and things that aren't related to your work, but just having a really great environment.
So one thing that we try to do in our day-to-day now is really try and foster that collaboration remotely.
So thinking creatively about how to support our team in that regard is something that we're working on as leaders and making sure that we're getting the right feedback, because what's really unique is one of the teams that I manage, we've hired remotely, they've started remotely, they've done really great in their role remotely, and they're moving on to other teams remotely.
And so I think that's a testament to not just our org, but the company being super supportive and continuing to grow our team.
And one thing that is our focus is we're not lowering the bar or we're not looking to bring on people just for the sake of bringing on people, we're continuing to kind of up -level our team, which I think is something that's really unique.
Yeah, yeah. Rhonda, any last pieces of information before I kick it back to Julia how to find our roles and where we're listing our jobs?
Yeah, I mean, if you're looking for an opportunity to learn, be a part of the bigger picture and wanting to be successful, wanting to expand your career, Cloudflare is definitely the place to be.
We highlight the BDR organization. We think they're an absolute asset to the organization as a whole.
We're typically the front of the faces in front of the prospects.
So again, if you're looking for that opportunity, we're here to welcome you.
Yeah, we're here to hire you. All right, Julia, where can we find the jobs?
Yes, check us out on Cloudflare.com slash careers.
Most of us are all on LinkedIn. Feel free to send us a message. We would love to hear why you want to come work at Cloudflare.
You can find us on Indeed. You can even find us on Built in Austin where we have a couple great articles about more about Cloudflare's culture, even done some featured write-ups on a few of our team members there.
So come and find us or we'll come and find you. But either way, go to Cloudflare.com slash careers to apply.
Perfect. Well, we've got five seconds left.
So thank you all for joining me today. Thank you to our viewers. And we're done.
Thank you. Thank you. Bye.