Jared Bertram ’20 — This summer, I had the opportunity to intern at Ohana Software, a tech startup in Indianapolis. Ohana offers a mobile application designed for internal communication and employee engagement. My primary responsibilities as a Sales Development intern included prospecting and scheduling demos. Working at a startup can be a very rewarding yet challenging task.
A startup is a great environment to learn and grow because there is no path to follow; you are helping pave a new and unique path. My team of three interns played a vital role in developing Ohana’s sales and marketing operations. I created and tested new sales tactics, and provided insight on specifics the company could improve on to help accelerate Ohana in the right direction. The freedom of this role allowed me to exercise my critical thinking skills, learn from trial and error, and find solutions on my own. More importantly, it taught me how to fail and learn from those failures. I definitely got my hands dirty and felt the work I did was valued and directly impacted Ohana.
A career in sales is challenging. It takes a unique, and driven individual to push through and have success! My key takeaway from this experience is the importance of building relationships in sales. I was too focused on reaching my sales quota, which caused me to sell the same product the same way. I overlooked all the critical details that actually lead to making a sale. All sales begin with forming a relationship. You must ask the right questions to understand your client and their specific needs. You then offer a solution to their problem, rather than sell a generic product. No product or service is a one size fits all!
I learned a lot about entrepreneurship and sales this summer. I also improved some personal skills such as teamwork, communication, and proactive solution finding, all while making many great connections! A big thank you to Cassie Hagan, Ascend Indiana, and the CIBE for helping me find and fund this internship experience. Also, thank you to Christina Zerfas for being an excellent mentor; I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ohana Software!