Women of Qualified: Mary

Women of Qualified is a monthly blog series celebrating the female employees who make an impact to our business and team every day.

Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
December 22, 2022
min read
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Meet Mary Leonard! She's a highly successful Account Executive here at Qualified after leaving Salesforce to join our team last year. Mary took the time to chat with us about the challenges sales teams are facing in the current economic uncertainty, what she thinks sales reps need to be focused on, and why she views the Pipeline Cloud as an uncuttable budget item.

Check out our conversation with Mary ⬇️

Tell us a bit about your journey to Qualified and how you joined our sales team

Mary: I was recruited by Alison! I was reached out to on LinkedIn and it was kind of funny, I was working at Salesforce prior to Qualified and I wasn’t really looking to make a move anywhere. Last year, when everybody was switching companies and switching roles, I had a ton of recruiters hitting up my LinkedIn DMs every day and I would just delete them, but Alison’s timing was perfect actually. 

She reached out to me and sent me an email instead of a LinkedIn DM, the same day that she sent that one of my former coworkers from Salesforce, Matt Warnicke, had just updated his LinkedIn profile to working at Qualified. Matt is somebody I know and trust a lot, so I thought, “Okay, well if Matt made the switch from Salesforce where he was doing really well, this must be a pretty cool company and have a lot going for it.” 

I took the call, and after I met with Alison and Robert Zimmermann, and from there I was ready to do whatever I need to do in this interview process to make sure I get hired because I want this. 

I wasn’t looking to make a switch at all, but it was the people that brought me here, and I’m so happy they did. 

So it’s no secret, sales is a tough game right now–what are some of the biggest challenges sales teams are facing?

Mary: It’s really hard to sell during a recession. Prospects act differently than they do in a good market. I think the biggest hurdle that we’re having to overcome these days in the sales process is that you’re not going against a competitor as much as you would be in a normal sales environment. 

Now, your biggest competitor is the customer staying with the status quo or the thought of not changing anything at all because people are worried about making decisions that might negatively impact their company.

The “safe” place to stay is with what they know, so that’s the biggest blocker we’re running into in sales right now. 

What do you think sales leaders need to keep in mind heading into 2023? 

Mary: The biggest thing sales reps and leaders should be considering in 2023 is obviously the environment is much different than it was six months ago, three months ago, or even a month ago. Everything is constantly changing so I think the most important thing for leaders and reps to keep in mind is to make sure that you’re always evolving your sales process and always being flexible and not disregarding something that maybe didn’t work six months ago, because that could be something that could save your deal today. 

I think another thing that is extremely important for the environment that we’re in, and something I think a lot of sales reps don’t love to do is to be okay with disqualifying leads just as much as you’re trying to qualify them. There’s nothing worse than spending a lot of time and effort on a buyer that had no intention of buying in the first place. 

The worst decision is no decision, so being able to disqualify just as quickly and easily as you’re able to qualify can save you a lot of time and a lot of tough conversations later on down the cycle. 

Why do you think teams should be investing in Qualified as we prep for an economic recession? 

Mary: One of the reasons that I am excited that I came to Qualified when I did is because Qualified is an “uncuttable budget item.” Pipeline is an “uncuttable item.” Every customer, regardless of industry, and regardless of your performance right now, the most important thing is having pipeline. Pipeline ultimately turns into revenue and that’s how you keep your business afloat.

Qualified is purpose-built for Salesforce teams, especially for revenue generation teams that use Salesforce, and obviously, I’m biased, but I don’t think there’s really any other product out there on the market that can help you generate pipeline as well as Qualified can. 

We started out in the conversational marketing space and a lot of people see us as that still, but the mindset is changing, we’re no longer just a chatbot on your website. We’re an entire pipeline generation platform and we can help you not only get more deals into the funnel, but move deals through the funnel quicker and ultimately convert that pipeline into revenue and grow your business. 

As someone who uses our product all day every day, what's your favorite way to use the Pipeline Cloud?

Mary: I love our product, I’ve been a power user of it since I started here. I actually remember one of the first meetings I had here was with Sean and I asked him to help me get keys to the demo org because I wanted to play around with it, try to break it, learn as much about it as I could and in doing so I’ve become a power user of the product. 

I use it a lot more than what a typical Account Executive outside of Qualified would use it for, but I have to say my favorite piece of the product, something that we released this summer, is Qualified for Outbound. I work one on one with an outbound sales rep who I partner with to identify my highest priority accounts that I’m going after, and he sends them amazing personalized messaging to help drive them to our website.

He uses Outreach to do that, and the part that I love about it is I might be doing ten other things but I get an alert when somebody clicks through not just my emails, but his as well, and if it’s one of my target accounts I can see the actual email within Qualified. I can see the email they clicked, and exactly which hyperlink, and I don’t even need to ping him and ask, “Hey, so-and-so is on the website, what did you send them?” I know instantly, and that’s definitely one of my favorite features. 

Lastly, hit us with a humble brag

Mary: My humble brag would be that I came from Salesforce, I sold a mapping software so I wasn’t in the marketing tech space whatsoever. I felt like coming to Qualified was a little bit of a learning curve to understand the personas and all the different terminology, and how marketers think about the world. 

It took me a little bit to build my pipeline. I was kind of starting to second-guess myself, but something that made me really proud was the first deal I ended up closing here at Qualified broke the record for the largest transaction in Qualified’s history. That’s a little humble brag for me. 

Mary, thank you for all of your hard work here at Qualified. We're lucky to have you, and can't wait to see what's in store for 2023!

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