We’re excited to share our latest alumni interview with Alex Boucard! He joined our team back in July 2019, and immediately focused on learning everything he could about sales. Now, three and a half years later, he’s driving success for a major sales enablement platform. He recently caught up with Jeremy to discuss his experience building a career as a remote sales development representative.
Alex’s First Step: Sales Development Rep Training
Like many sales professionals, Alex hadn’t planned on building a sales career. There were two chance events that brought him to Bandalier. In the summer of 2019, he heard about a role at a local start-up from a friend. Alex applied, and interviewed, but the timing wasn’t quite right for him to join. At the time, he was pursuing his associate’s degree, planning to explore a career with the military. He had a job as a front desk attendant at a local hotel, but the gig wasn’t always easy:
“I was working in the hospitality industry, but I wasn’t particularly happy. I was in college, so I was making due. The day I got the offer, I wasn’t having the best day. I called my dad and talked about leaving that job. He told me to put my best foot forward and stay positive, even while I was having trouble. So I went to work that day with the best attitude, the best mindset and said ‘When my first guest comes in, I’m gonna wow them – I want them to feel as good as I do bad. I want them to feel amazing.”
The person he met was visiting Binghamton. Her partner was building a business here, she was studying for the bar. She wanted to take a break to see the town. Alex was excited to help her celebrate! He offered a few upgrades to help them enjoy their time in Binghamton, and they both about their days.
What they didn’t know what that they had something in common: Bandalier. The customer that Alex helped was Jeremy’s fiancée. She texted Jeremy to rave about the experience she had at their hotel. She asked him to consider Alex for a role as an inside sales representative. But that ball was already rolling:
“We extend job offers based on client demand. We’d just had a new client sign on, and we were planning to extend [Alex] an offer later that day. Out of the blue my fiancee texts me, “There’s this guy at the front desk who’s just amazing,” and I think ‘No way she’s talking about Alex, it’s too small of a world.’ And of course she was!”(For reference, Binghamton is a small city, with a population of approximately 45,000 people!)
Bandalier University: Tech Sales for Beginners
Alex accepted the offer and dove headfirst into Bandalier University. At that time, Bandalier was still working at our office in the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, and Alex’s training experience was much different from our current remote sales training process. Our content has changed with time, but our best modules have helped hundreds of team members build their new careers. You can check out our sales development bootcamp for yourself! As Alex described it:
“Training was great, I really loved it. Matt took us through Sales 101 training, and I didn’t know how valuable it would be til later on. It was really good, and gave me a good insight into inside sales and how to do cold calling. It was a lot – we had multiple call openers, and tutorials on how to find emails. We also had the ‘How to Get through a Gatekeeper’ training, which was amazing. There’s so much knowledge in those onboardings. When you go through that training process, you realize that the tips are invaluable, and make it easier to start doing cold calls.”
Alex’s natural curiosity and inclination to build relationships made training a breeze. Within his first few days, he had his first demo on the books. But one meeting is never enough for Alex. He’s always laser-focused on the steps he needs to take to lock down his next win. Over time though, Alex realized he had more space to develop his approach to sales:
“I got my first meeting within 3 days. And then I think I slowly but surely got better at understanding, asking better questions, and really knowing the product. It tools maybe a year and a half to really understand how I can help solve pain points – I understood the product, and the solutions my client offered, but I didn’t understand how important it was. Once I understood that, I knew how to ask questions to help show the value of the product, and get people to show up to meetings. I think sales can be split into two parts – there’s a push, where you guide folks to a meeting, but once you learn how to do that, you can start asking better questions to get to know your prospects.”
Throughout his time as an outsourced inside sales rep at Bandalier, Alex relentlessly pursued opportunities for growth. Whether that meant jumping across industries to work with a new client or grabbing time with his colleagues to practice new sales techniques, he was ready to do what it took to reach the next level in his sales career. In early 2020, as our team adapted to working remotely and Alex’s role changed, he explored entrepreneurship opportunities. That summer, Alex earned our annual Kaizen Award thanks to his resilience and relentless drive to improve his sales skills.
Bandalier Leadership: Sales Team 6
For the rest of 2020, Alex kept grinding, driving results for his clients and supporting the growth of his team. He started the new year with a new role, joining our leadership team alongside Connor Riley and Abby Rudock. Alex’s enthusiasm was contagious, and he quickly built a close-knit team of all-star sales reps known as Sales Team Six. Why that name? As Alex said:
“I grew up on military bases, and really fell in love with the Navy SEALS. They have a motto: everyone’s a leader, no one gets left behind, and they always complete the mission. I said, when I become a leader, I’m gonna have a team called Sales Team 6. And I remember I sat on it for a year before the opportunity came to use it. Once it happened, that’s when I made a motto: nobody gets left behind, we hunt for demos, and everyone’s a leader.”
Alex grew into his role quickly, and from the outside, it seemed easy. But like every other aspect of his work, Alex put in a lot of work to keep improving. Whenever he had a free moment, he spent it learning more about how to lead his team. Bandalier’s Leadership 101 courses offer a great foundation, and Alex made sure his foundation was rock-solid before challenging himself further. Part of that meant leaning on his team and guiding them toward growth:
“I didn’t think I was the ideal person to be a leader – but I wanted to do it, I wanted to challenge myself. I had a team of all-stars, like Lilia and Matt. They were just amazing, and that made my job easier. They all had the Bandalier mentality coming in. I wanted them all to become leaders because I knew that they could have a major impact on Bandalier. I think it was after month three that I told them ‘hey, I’m gonna do everything I can to make you guys leaders, because I see it in you’.”
Graduating from Bandalier
With his team growing into their own leadership roles, Alex knew it was time to start considering new opportunities. In the summer of 2021, after two years growing alongside Bandalier, he found a new opportunity. Returning to his roots in inside sales was a natural next step in building a sales career. It still took a bit of adjustment:
“It was a mindset shift. Going back to a point where maybe your voice isn’t as big. You have to realize that you aren’t in a leadership role any more. Your contributions come from the meetings you book. I had to remember what it felt like to back to hunting, back to hustling, back to grinding. That’s how it is at any new organization – you have to rebuild, start over, and prove yourself.”
Even after moving to his new role, Alex’s impact on Bandalier has endured. He drove his colleagues to greater levels of success, and helped build his team members, like Lilia, into strong leaders. Plus, you’ll catch him at every Bandalier Alumni event in Binghamton. We’re incredibly proud of Alex and everything he built during his time at Bandalier – and we’re excited to see what he builds next!