employee stories

Sport and sales go hand in hand

Sport and sales go hand in hand

WORK180
WORK180Jan 18, 2021

Every time we’ve spoken to someone who works at Splunk, we’ve been blown away by how positive they are about the company, their culture and the opportunities they receive. Caelah Stanley is no exception.

As an elite athlete, both her career and her sport have been fully supported by Splunk.

I’ve never had this feeling at work. It’s amazing, and I want everyone to feel like this. Work is exciting and enjoyable every day. It’s been a great journey so far.

Kicking goals at sport and work

Caelah is in the Giant’s AFLW development squad, playing a semi-professional sport that takes up most of her time outside of work.

“Juggling sport as well, I knew I had to find a company that would support me. I also wanted to get back to sales and needed to find a product I believed in. I applied at Splunk [through a connection], and the first thing they asked me was, ‘why don’t you have that you’re a semi-professional athlete on your resume?’. Most sales people like competitive, sporty people, but they expect you to be retired so you can focus on your job. I was shocked, as previously the experience I’d had was people asking how I’d manage the workload and training. They didn’t believe you could do both. As soon as Steph said that, it was like a dream come true.”

Caelah didn’t know a lot about tech, and was honest about that in her interview process. Because Splunk knows finding the right people is the most important thing, they told her to come back at the next interview ready to demonstrate what she’d learned about Splunk and selling web services. Good companies know that you can train technical skills, but you can’t teach attitude and aptitude.

I went away and learned about what Splunk are doing. It’s incredible. You can literally ingest any data from any source, and it can give you an answer. I’ve definitely drunk the Kool-Aid.

We asked Caelah what lessons she’s learned on the sporting field that she brings with her to work at Splunk, and she shared:

  • Set yourself up for success. “I always believe that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
  • Create a supportive environment. “When you’ve been given an opportunity, you need to make sure you’ve got a supportive environment and people around you to help make it happen.”
  • Be consistent. “It’s not what you do once or every few days, but it’s what you do consistently over time that matters. All the sessions I went to lead to where I am today. When you’re tired and don’t want to go to training, it’s all mental. If you can push through, you’re getting better than that person that’s not going to training.”

Now, Caelah’s been given an opportunity to move to Melbourne for five months to train with the Richmond team. She says she didn’t even feel nervous when she rang to ask her manager for a short-term transfer to the Melbourne office. They just told her to focus on making it to the next level, and her job is secure.

“It made me tear up, and gave me this extra hunger. When I do make it on that AFL draft list, I want to showcase that I was able to get there because of Splunk.”

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Shooting into sales

Caelah has experience in sales, previously working in the industry before trying out operations and then deciding her heart is in sales, where she likes the competitive element – no surprise given her sporting career! Caelah knew she needed to be selling a product she believed in, and that’s when she heard about Splunk.

I wanted to get into tech because that’s where the world is going and where jobs are going. In sales, the biggest thing is the psychology and understanding the person you’re talking to. It’s about understanding how I can help that customer more, because I believe Splunk can help people make more money and reduce their downtime. I believe in the product so much.

We asked her who succeeds in sales, and she shared her top traits for good salespeople:

  • Competitive. “It’s all performance-based.”
  • Be genuine. “Customers can see through you when it’s fake.”
  • Be a team player. “If everyone hits their quota, then the manager does too, and that all feeds into a good culture.”

At Splunk, they have a collaborative approach to reaching targets. There have been times when her colleagues would give her sales leads because they’ve already hit their sales quota. It’s wonderful to see how supportive the culture is where everyone wants everyone else to succeed.

Bringing your whole self to work

One of the things Caelah loves about Splunk is that she has felt comfortable bringing her whole self to work right from the start. And that includes being open about being in a same-sex relationship.

She says she likes to drop in a ‘she’ when talking about her partner early in conversations to see how people react. She laughs that she wasn’t sure people heard her in interviews at Splunk because there was no reaction at all.

They literally see you as any other person. It hasn’t been a big point right from the start. In my second interview, he was asking about my partner and already knew she is a woman.

Spunk also feature diverse people in their company showcase videos – including LGBTQI+ people in their organisation.

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“You want to be able to bring your whole self to work, and that’s what I’ve been able to do from day one. I’ve never felt like I needed to hide anything. I just felt like everyone knew me, and I feel so subconsciously free when I come to work.”

We asked Caelah if she has tips for creating an environment that allows you to bring your whole self to work, and she had a couple of tips:

  • Ask questions. “At Splunk, the product is complex, and I’m new to technology. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and just get really laser-focused at the start.”
  • Be personable. “Remember peoples’ names. People will give you a lot more time back if you can just remember their name.”
  • Be honest. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned from starting Splunk is being completely honest in your interviews. If you can’t be honest in the interview process, then the job not right for you.”
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About the author

WORK180

WORK180

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