Sales Managers at CDW have a lot of responsibility. From partner relationships to exceeding profit goals, Sales Managers like Erin Thor, Sales Manager - Financial Services, and JC Kim, Sales Manager - Small Business, directly impact the success of our organization, while bringing value to the thousands of customers we help daily. See how they began at CDW as Account Managers, their journey and what they look for in candidates.
How did your career start out at CDW?
Erin Thor (ET): I was hired in 2011 as an Account Manager in CDW Healthcare, calling on organizations providing patient care. This ranged from small regional Doctor’s offices to large national Hospitals. About one year in, I was offered the opportunity to transition to a newly-formed team calling on Corporate customers. I jumped at the opportunity and ended up selling on that team for 4 years. After 4 years, I was promoted to become the manager of that very team! I’ve been in management for 2.5 years now within the Corporate Verticals – now covering Financial Services customers.
JC Kim (JC): I started my CDW Career in October 2011 as an Account Manager in Chandler AZ, supporting Los Angeles for about 5 years and developed into an Executive Account Manager on our Corporate team. I spent a little over 2 years afterwards as the Sales Manager – Academy in Chandler, working with every new sellers in specific segments and during this time won President’s Achievement for 2017. Since October 2018, I’ve been managing Small Business for Southern California.
What do you look for in an Account Representative candidate?
ET: Candidates that stand out in the interview process have a competitive spirit, are passionate, and have demonstrated adaptability in the face of change. They can apply lessons they’ve learned in school or previous jobs to a future career.
JC: I’m always looking for a combination of personality, drive, confidence, intelligence, coachability and strong communication skills, all wrapped around a coworker’s strong work ethic. The ideal candidate would come to CDW with a strong moral compass and a genuine passion for delivering good and helping others. In an interview setting, I’m also looking for those rare candidates that clearly did the research on CDW and the IT Industry and expresses a genuine desire to grow a long-term career in Sales.
What makes a successful Account Representative?
ET: The best Account Representatives are self-starters. They don’t need someone telling them exactly what to do every minute of the day. They love to learn and don’t mind making a few mistakes along the way. They also understand that success doesn’t come over night. The work they put in at the start of their career will pay dividends in the long run!
JC: As the Sales Manager – Academy in Chandler for over 2 years, I’ve had the pleasure of helping onboarding 90+ new Account Representatives into our business. When I look at some of the most successful sellers out of that group, every single one shares the same combination of drive, confidence, coachability and communication skills. But above all, it is the Account Representative’s work ethic and GRIT (i.e., the ability to remain resilient despite multiple challenges over a long period of time) that jump out the most.
What advice would you give to candidate pursuing the role?
ET: This is an amazing company to work for with a strong culture and passionate coworkers. The first year or two won’t be easy, but if you’re willing to put in a lot of hard work, you’ll find success quickly and hopefully have some fun doing it. The Account Representative role is best suited for the person who is in it for the long-haul.
JC: Study the role as much as possible, and look at it as a minimum 2-3 year commitment. Understand that this role has a ramp up period for good reason due to the complexity of the industry and the long term earning potential CDW offers, and we are more invested in our seller’s development than any other company in the industry.
What do you wish you knew starting at CDW?
ET: I just wish I would have taken advantage of all the amazing opportunities CDW offers sooner! For example, I didn’t get involved with any of our Business Resource Groups until 3 years in – this would have been great for me to do right away in year 1.
JC: I only wish I found CDW earlier in my professional career.
What was your favorite part of being an Account Representative?
ET: Being in control of your own destiny. Want to make more money? Make more calls, fearlessly pitch solutions without fear of rejection, and find ways to stand out from your competition. If you do the things you’re “supposed to” do, success will come. You are in control of just how fast it happens.
JC: Transitioning into and learning about a completely new industry was very exciting for me when I first started. I came from advertising sales, where it was sometimes hard to find tangible value to deliver to my customers and I immediately fell in love with how CDW can deliver value in so many ways to our customers. The coaching that I received along with getting to know the many different PEOPLE that positively influenced my career beginning during the first month at CDW are standouts for me personally.
"CDW is an incredible place to build a lifelong career. The company truly cares about its coworkers, has an outstanding culture, and offers opportunities for limitless growth. I truly look forward to coming to work every day, and that’s not something I take lightly," shares Erin.
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Erin Thor & JC Kim