Meet the Team!

December 8, 2021

Meet AJ! 👋

AJ is a Business Development Representative at Vanta. He’s been here since June 2020.

Tell us about your role at Vanta

My role revolves around top-of-funnel sales, which is a glorified way of saying that I generate opportunities for our talented Account Executives to close. I was the first hire on the BDR team, which was one of the reasons that Vanta initially caught my eye.

Day-to-day looks different, but is founded on prospecting and cold outbound (another fancy term for calls and emails to contacts who I think would make great Vanta customers). Generally, this leads to further conversation, learning about the prospects needs, articulating how we help with those needs, and being someone who can help solve the problem.

Working at Vanta, there’s also a constant learning curve for how to discuss our product and solution. Not only have we made incredible developments, both prior to me starting and since, but by nature we solve a very complex problem.

How did you get into this career field?

As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve wanted to be in sales since middle school. Selling lemonade turned into sneakers, then a family grilling spice, and now software. There’s something that I really love about winning, and the competitive nature of sales fuels me to be better… it also makes for an entertaining workday. I get to work alongside some incredibly talented AE’s and BDR’s, watching them kill it makes me want to as well.

Why did you decide to choose Vanta over other companies?

Vanta was not on my radar until I bumped into one of our Sales Managers in a coffee shop during college. She introduced me to the team, and the rest was history. I’d know that I wanted to take this career path for a while, so it was really a gift to find that perfect fit from such a coincidence.

It’s also worth mentioning that I was really attracted to the idea of being the first BDR - I was promised plenty of autonomy to let my creativity flow, and that’s what I got (plus so much more). The strategies that I implemented early in my career are now being used in onboading for new hires, so I’m thrilled to see a tangible impact internally.

The Vanta crew at SaaStr

Why are you excited about Vanta’s mission?

Vanta’s mission to secure the internet is so far from being fulfilled. Right now, we produce a software product that automates compliance standards, but I see a future at Vanta where our business expands out of that, being so much more than a SaaS platform… though I’m not really sure what that would be, securing the internet is such a massive task, and I know our team wont stop at anything to get it done.

Some of the customers we serve now need to check a box for a variety of purposes, like requirements set by external stakeholders. But down the road, the entry fee might be so accessible that it becomes table stakes for software companies. We don’t own a ladder tall enough to reach Vanta’s ceiling any time soon, and the direction we’re headed is such a fun ride to be a part of.

If you could work from anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Somewhere in Europe - probably Bordeaux, France. I’m lucky to have gotten the chance to study there for a term in college and have wanted to return since leaving.

Since the pandemic started, Vanta’s Sales team has transitioned to remote-first, so this is actually a reality. It makes sense… demos are fully virtual, fast sales cycles, and so on. Vanta has a huge market in Europe with our ISO 27001 and GDPR product offerings, so to sell over there exclusively sounds like a cool challenge.

“Vanta's expert team helped analyze our compliance requirements and shared what was needed to complete a SAQ-D. Because of this, we accelerated our timelines, saved hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in costs.”

Klas Hesselman
Co-founder  |  Flow Networks
Vanta automates security compliance.
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