Four reasons why senior professionals should choose the startup life

September 1, 2020

Our CRO Mark Truman explains the benefits of startup life.

This is me working in between meetings in York!

After reading Sab’s blog about why grads should choose startups, I started thinking about why I have joined EdgePetrol and what I am getting out of it.

I’ve worked at medium and large sized companies for the majority of my career. This experience has been very valuable in learning and developing my skill set. My seniors and peers for have always taken the time to teach me and-for the most part-it has always been a rewarding experience.

I’ve known Gideon (CEO) since I was young. We grew up in the same area and had similar circles of friends and when my wife told me he had started a really exciting business, I got back in touch.

I heard the words “oil” and “data” and knew this was right up my street. I spoke to Gideon and we had a few sessions to talk about what he was working on. At this point I was just interested in what he was up to and my main focus was finding a new job for which I had 3 or 4 interviews, most of which at FTSE100 organisations.

The benefits of an established organisation are well known. Typically, they pay better and have more resource to give you the equipment to do your job. There are benefits and perks, pensions, share schemes and bigger bonuses. Marketing budgets are bigger, and the brand is better known, so generating revenue is a straight forward and comfortable task.

But I couldn’t stay away from Edge and eventually Gideon and I decided to team up and it’s probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Why was it such a great decision? What do I get from a start-up that I haven’t got elsewhere?

1.  Creativity

Having gone into many mid-level roles in previous jobs, I was always taught exactly how to sell the product. There was a formula and it worked and whilst there is some freedom to experiment, typically the more you deviate from the process the less deals you do.

There was nobody to tell me how to sell EdgePetrol. I had to work it out for myself. I had to build and create a sales strategy and implement a sales process. This was a totally new skill to learn and one I believe I can now replicate across any product. Sales skills x 1000.

Best part of this is, that with every member of the team that has joined, this process has been the same. Sarah (VP of Customer Success) has had to put in place the Customer Success process, Ben (VP Enterprise Sales) has had to establish a strategy to engage with large customers in new markets and Claire (Marketing Manager) has had to work out how to build up the EdgePetrol brand. Everything you see at EdgePetrol has been built from scratch through the creativity of these individuals.

2.  Responsibility and accountability

Having a bad quarter at an established company? Well, there are 20 other sales people who can keep the business afloat. Chin up, next month is a new month. But at a new company, no sales for you means no sales. Period. Haven’t shipped the new feature? Then there are no new features.

In other words, your contribution matters. A lot. Without it, the business fails. This is why start-ups need hungry people who are motivated by their own achievements as opposed to money, benefits and big shiny offices. Their success is the company’s success as they have such a large impact on the overall performance.

3.  The exposure

I’ve always worked in sales. In one job, the product team was thousands of miles away. In another, I never even met the CEO.

At EdgePetrol, I’m exposed to every part of the business. Marketing, product, implementation, support, integrations, channel management, fundraising, accounts. It’s all part of the gig.

Account based marketing, APIs, Jira, Intercom, Ruby on Rails, Xero, Trello, SLAs. The list of business-critical apps, processes and procedures that I never even knew existed before goes on forever. Our engineers are exposed to CRMs, solution selling and closing. We all have a much deeper understanding of how a business truly works and this allows us to all work towards the same goal. This breeds success.

4.  The satisfaction

As somebody truly motivated by self-actualisation, this is the best thing I’ve found from a start-up. If Edge continues on its growth trajectory, I feel like I can take a big chunk of the credit for its success. It sounds arrogant, but if this works, I know that I have done a good job, as it couldn’t have done so without me. This is exactly the same for everyone in the team. We are all important and everybody likes to feel important.

I fell into the job at EdgePetrol by a chance meeting with Gideon. Now that I’ve made the jump, I know I could never go back.