When Danielle Satterfield attended a PowerToFly networking event with cloud-based observability platform New Relic last December, she wasn't actively looking for a job.
She was, however, looking forward to hearing from the event's panel of women and learning about potential new opportunities. Years of working in technical sales meant that it was rare for her to have a chance to network with other women in her field. "It's hard as a woman in a male-dominated field to find opportunities to be around other women who are just like me," she says. "I was really excited to hear the women speak about their experiences."
Four months later, she joined New Relic as an Enterprise Sales Executive.
We sat down (over video chat, that is) with Danielle to hear about her path from event attendee to a new employee, how New Relic is managing her onboarding during a pandemic, and how she's nurtured her career over the years by investing in out-of-the-box development opportunities.
Being open to change
Danielle had been to a few PowerToFly events when she saw one with New Relic was upcoming and it piqued her interest. She'd told a friend that she was interested in learning about new opportunities, and he'd suggested she check out New Relic. She wasn't ready to take a new job—she had a few big deals in process with her then-employer, and she didn't want to leave her customers and prospects in the lurch—but she was looking forward to seeing what New Relic was all about.
At the event, she enjoyed hearing from the panel of women and the openness and honesty with which they addressed questions and shared their experience. She knew that if she were to switch jobs eventually, she wanted to find a culture that was supportive and a product she could believe in, and the panel made it seem like New Relic could provide both. When a PowerToFly recruiter reached out on behalf of New Relic after the event, Danielle was flattered—and interested.
She didn't interview right away since she wanted to finish out the quarter with her company. But when New Relic's recruiting team reached out to touch base a couple of months later, she was ready.
Danielle went through the interview process completely remotely, since San Francisco, where New Relic is headquartered, was shut down due to COVID-19. "I must've had ten different BlueJeans calls. The last one was with Sara Coady, the GVP of sales, who was actually on the panel at the event that sold me on the culture of New Relic," says Danielle, smiling. "I was just thrilled with the opportunity. It was clear that they really invest in their people and that they're investing in women."
Joining a new company during a pandemic
When Danielle officially joined New Relic in April, two things were immediately different from her previous job.
First: the whole remote thing. Every April, New Relic has an annual sales kickoff event in Las Vegas to coincide with the start of their fiscal year, but this year, it all had to be done virtually. Danielle was immersed in learning about a host of new products, joining training, and getting to know her team.
Since the end of the conference, she's split her time between onboarding and getting up to speed on her accounts, all from home. She has a weekly call with her training specialist to check in on her onboarding process and up to "four video calls a day" with her team and new colleagues as she settles in.
"It's actually enabled me to get a lot more done in the day," says Danielle. "I was just telling one of my coworkers yesterday that not having to get up and do makeup and hair and then commute saves me probably two to three hours a day."
She explains, "It would be nice to be in the office to be able to ask people questions directly, but I've got those three hours back that I can do more. So I think it's worked out as best it could."
The second new thing? The chance to work with other women.
"On my new team of six, two of us are women, and my boss is also a woman. That's the most I've been around women in my career," says Danielle. "At my last job, I was one of 30 salespeople and only two of us were women."
Danielle says that she's happy to be working for a company that so clearly prioritizes diversity and inclusion. "Women are out there," she says. "You just have to find them. But when you take the time to do so, like New Relic has, you can find good people."
Nurturing her career by deepening her technical knowledge
Danielle hadn't always planned on going into sales. She studied finance in college, but an internship with Morgan Stanley turned her off of that field. Her first job after graduation was as a network analyst for a voice over IP (VOIP) company.
"That's where my love of technology started," she says. "I realized that was definitely what I wanted to do."
Subsequent job opportunities took her to San Francisco, and as she moved up in her career and took on more and more responsibility, she realized she wanted to invest in her technical knowledge.
"I realized that having a foundation of how everything actually works would help customers have a bit more trust and confidence in me as a rep because I'd taken the time to go and get those certifications," she says.
Danielle went to Colorado to take a 10-day course for her Cisco Certified Network Associate renewal exam. She was the only salesperson in the entire class—and also the only woman.
"People asked me, 'Why are you taking the exam?' and my response was always, 'Well if I understand everything down from the physical layer all the way to the application layer and how it all interacts, I can sell better. I can ask deeper questions and help troubleshoot potential issues,'" says Danielle. "And it's really helped me throughout my career."
Danielle now has her CCNA and CCDA (Cisco Certified Design Associate) certifications and encourages other women in tech sales to take those classes, too. "It sets the bar a little bit higher. Start with some courses and see how you like them," she recommends.
Looking to the future
Danielle is still getting up to speed with New Relic's products and her accounts, and for now, it looks like she'll continue to do so from home.
"New Relic had us fill out a survey about what we thought about potentially returning, and I think the majority of the feedback was 'let's take our time,' especially since a lot of us live outside of the city and use public transportation. Their approach seems to be 'it's better safe than sorry.' And we're set up for it—our customers are more than happy to jump on a video call," she says.
It's not just her customers. Danielle has been reaching out to colleagues across New Relic, including in engineering and product teams, to get to know them and start building relationships. "I must've had 30 meetings like that so far," she says. "Not one person has said, 'Oh, you know, I don't think I have time.' Everyone is just so helpful and going out of their way to make me feel welcome and part of the team already."
If you're interested in becoming part of the New Relic team, take a look at their open roles here, and feel free to ask Danielle any questions in the comments!