Sheila Ahi knows how to get a lot done in the first few months of a job. She’s a Growth Manager at Segment, a company specializing in tech stack integrations for businesses. As a Growth Manager, Sheila is part of Segment’s SDR team. She was hired at Segment through Betts Recruiting, and within just a few months has sharpened her expertise in her field, gotten a promotion, and organized an event for women in sales with a colleague from her company – quite a journey for a new employee!
We sat down with Sheila to learn more about her experience working with Betts, succeeding at Segment, and the event she organized.
Talking Sales and Recruiting with Sheila Ahi
Betts Recruiting: Thanks for talking to us, Sheila. Can you start by telling us a bit about your work at Segment?
Sheila Ahi: Sure thing. I joined the company about six months ago and started on the inbound team. That first role was a really good chance to get a lot more knowledge about the product. The role is a little bit more technical than you might see in SDR roles at other companies, and a bit more consultative in terms of the sales approach, and I thought that was really cool. I was able to get on the phone almost every day with multiple people and just be talking about the product and their needs, which was great.
After a couple of months, I was promoted to the commercial outbound SDR team. There were a couple of reasons for this. One is that I quickly became a top performer on the team, which I attribute a lot to the opportunities I had to learn a lot about the product and the company’s needs during the interview process and in my first role. Another reason is there was a business need: Segment needed more reps on the outbound team, and thought I was a good fit based on my previous experience in an outbound role.
“The role is a little bit more technical than you might see in SDR roles at other companies, and a bit more consultative in terms of the sales approach.”
Sheila Ahi, Growth Manager, Segment
BR: Congrats on the promotion! What about the women’s event you organized at Segment? That sounds like a really cool idea. How did you start it, and what were the intentions behind it? What did the event consist of?
SA: The event was called Women and Allies in Sales, and it started when my teammate Christine Hernandez and I were discussing how women are underrepresented in the sales field, especially in tech. And internally at Segment, we wanted to promote inclusion of women in sales and the sales organization.
So we put on a panel event comprised of some really awesome panelists: several women in sales as well as one male ally, which was fantastic. We got a big turnout with a lot of company support all the way up to the executive team – our CRO introduced the event. At the panel, we talked a lot about what it’s like to be a woman in tech sales and the journey of being an ally to women in sales. It was just us two who kind of first started out, but I like to try and call it an avalanche effect. It was just a small idea that snowballed into something really big. I felt the support of the company, and this was definitely an initiative that was top of mind.
“We put on a panel event comprised of some really awesome panelists: several women in sales as well as one male ally, which was fantastic. We got a big turnout with a lot of company support all the way up to the executive team.”
Sheila Ahi, Growth Manager, Segment
We’re now thinking of following it up with a workshop. For now it’s just Segment-specific – we first wanted to keep the focus internal, and then eventually expand it to external people who are interested in being a part of these conversations. At the end of the day, belongingness and inclusivity are things that I value, and that Segment values. I want to be a part of that however I can.
BR: How did you first come into contact with Betts Recruiting?
SA: Before Segment, I was working at Oracle. For some time I was feeling good about where I was and where I stood with the company, because they’re really established and have a great sales program for new college graduates. But eventually, I started to think about where I wanted to see myself in about a year, and began feeling that what I really wanted was to be at a high-growth startup. Right around then, Parisa reached out to me and introduced herself as a recruiter from Betts – it’s almost like she was reading my mind!
BR: She’s got a sixth sense for recruiting!
SA: It’s true! She really knew how to make it feel like we were partners and that me getting the right job for my career was a goal we both shared. We’d meet in person, we went out for Happy Hour once – it was great.
BR: So going beyond the relationship side, what about the process side? What was it like working with Betts?
SA: When we got started, Parisa explained the process of talking to multiple companies through one recruiter, and how Betts would be able to provide insight and resources throughout the entire interview process as well as just being a support system. I got the sense she was working very closely with a lot of the HR teams at the companies that I was interviewing for.
She would say “Hey, these are some resources that have been provided for you to look over before the interview,” or provide helpful resources about what these interviews are like for candidates in the past that she’s worked with. So just kind of things to give me some insight into what to expect going into the interview, the kind of things the companies were looking for, so I could sort of tailor my approach. And she was really on it in terms of finding openings and connecting me with people.
“Parisa really knew how to make it feel like we were partners and that me getting the right job for my career was a goal we both shared. We’d meet in person, we went out for Happy Hour once – it was great.”
Sheila Ahi, Growth Manager, Segment
BR: Once you got to the interview, then, did it meet your expectations? Or did anything catch you by surprise?
SA: I had a solid understanding that they were looking for highly-driven, highly-focused people in sales, who are able to make do with the resources that they provide you. We have these four core values: tribe, drive, karma, and focus. A lot of the interview process is around those four core values and being prepared to answer how you fit best in those values. There was also a technical aptitude portion and a mock call.
One surprising thing was that the onsite portion of the interview was 5 hours. I thought only really senior roles had onsites that long. There was the mock call section, and the section on technical aptitude. And then there were a couple of other sections in terms of meeting with the manager, meeting with the Sales Director, and our core values interview. So you got to talk to a lot of different people at the company and not only were you interviewed, you get to interview them and see if this a really good culture fit.
BR: Sheila, it’s been great talking to you. Thanks for taking the time!
SA: Of course, it’s my pleasure!