Jen McDonald on What Makes a Successful Sales Representative at UiPath

a photo of Jen McDonald

Everyone is interested in intelligent automation. The challenge from a sales perspective is to find a buyer within an organization who is beyond the “science experiment phase,” and understands the value to their organization and is ready to scale. Our most successful clients have top-down executive support with very specific goals for automation. Some of the best examples I have seen are, “we plan to double our revenue and want to do so without growing headcount” or, “we see automation as a $500 million productivity release and time can be refocused on high-value work, which provides our employees a higher sense of satisfaction because of eliminating mundane and manual work.”

Jen McDonald, Southwest Regional Vice President—Enterprise Sales, joined UiPath at the beginning of 2021. Jen has more than two decades of experience, both selling in the enterprise space and in leadership roles. She is a mother of three and a resident of San Diego and is passionate about building high-performing sales teams. "I knew a few people who worked at UiPath which is how I started learning about this space and what the impact of RPA could be. I quickly became intrigued and wanted to be a part of it. I had never seen customers be able to show such a large return in such a brief time. Mainly because of the tremendous value it can bring our clients." For Jen, there are three key areas that make a sales representative successful. 

Hunting skills

Let’s say one of our customers is using robots in their finance department. They are doing an amazing job using our platform and seeing a five time return. Why would you stop at finance when there is so much more you can do? Their supply chain, legal or HR departments could use our platform. Having the ability to understand the ROI and the value that UiPath can provide to different areas within our customer base. In addition, we have an untapped market out there where we haven't even cracked the door open into many large accounts. That is why hunting and pure GRIT is so important. Another example of what I look for in an Account Executive is not giving up until the meeting you want or the agenda you need is solidified. This market is still maturing, and customers often do not have a way to buy RPA yet - meaning a budget or a dept who handles it. It is our job to educate them, make sure they understand our platform, and the value it provides in their industry because it is not a commodity with simple robots. If not understood properly, programs will stall or fail and I want every customer to be wildly successful and our biggest reference!

Adaptability to change at an extremely fast pace

The pace at UiPath is impressive. We are constantly pivoting, and our competition is fluid. We need to be nimble and prepared in our go-to-market activities. Even our internal systems and the way we forecast are changing as we are growing rapidly. My observation is that 60 days at UiPath seems like a year in a more mature company when it comes to change. This change is aligned most importantly to what our customers want, which means making sure we align our levers with the customers drivers to get a deal over the line, thereby creating a win-win situation. One Account Executive refers to this environment as a sales carnival. Because it is such an awesome opportunity for what I like to call ‘deal makers.’ Those Account Executives who can work a spreadsheet and understand what success looks like for the customer will thrive here.

Rigorous sales execution

As I stated prior, the market is still fairly new in comparison to, say, ERP, and customers are not used to buying intelligent automation. It’s not necessarily a ‘budget item’ yet. I am not a leader for the faint of heart Account Executive. I am a leader who will push you to be your absolute best and ensure I coach you out of your comfort zone. I am not looking for order takers. I am looking for problem solvers and Account Executives who are passionate about customer outcomes. Which means every meeting should have a set agenda including the outcome we are there to provide spelled out, including internal calls. Every person meeting with our clients should be properly briefed. It is my opinion we are the NFL of sales careers. Therefore, my job is not to show you how to throw and catch a football. I look for professionals who are buttoned in their customer approach. At the same time, just as open to being coached (note not managed) and prefer to hear how they can improve and where their blind spots are, versus that they did an excellent job. Don’t get me wrong. I give as much positive feedback as sharing blind spots or strategies to consider but the best sales professionals want to be the best and make a lot of money and they want me to help them achieve their goals.

What I love most about my job as a coach is that I get to work with the best and learn from the best. A lot of what I do is share that knowledge across my team. I am passionate about this market and our role in it as ambassadors for UiPath. I also believe firmly in working as hard as I live life. Yes, there are late nights and stressful times, especially with quarter close, and at those moments I show up big. However, it is just as important to me to be part of a team of people who are just as passionate about family and traveling the world and of course having fun. I personally want to prove to women and working parents that you can run a high performing team while still having a high performing life.

a portrait photo of Jennifer McDonald
Jen McDonald

Area Vice President, Western US, UiPath