Name: Marlene Lopes
Job Title: Inside Sales Representative
What do you do at BitSight and when did you start?
I started in May 2019, so it’s been almost a year. I started as a sales development rep (SDR). As an SDR, my role and my focus was to find the best potential prospects for my representatives. I was looking in the UK market and in South Africa. Basically, my goal was to find not only the right people, but also the right companies and organizations to connect with. I didn’t want to waste my rep’s time with a call that wasn’t worth it, and it was quite a challenge in the beginning because I didn’t have a tech background and I had to learn and study a lot.
Of course you want to speak with the CISO, CTO, and CSO, but sometimes you have the ESOs who are really cool people to speak to as well. You have to balance all this when you’re doing research. In the EMEA market it’s a different approach from what you guys do here in the US. You need to be very polite, keep some distance — these are small things that can cause the other person to react differently, so I try to tailor my communications to get them to open my email or answer my call.
What is your background and how did you get into cybersecurity?
Funny story — my background is actually in marketing. I worked in a marketing agency for almost 10 years, and that’s how I lived here in Boston. I wasn’t even doing sales at that time, but then life happens, and you want to try something new. I was a little bit close to a sales position, and everyone, even my husband, was saying you should try it!
So you just got promoted — how does that change what you do?
Now I’m going to have someone to help me find opportunities. I have a target to achieve every month, and I’ll be the one working on these opportunities and trying to bring money to BitSight. I think that the change is that as an SDR, I wouldn’t have as much control of the opportunity, and now I’ll be the one that decides if we’re going forward or not.
What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?
Probably a trip or a house — I just bought a house, so probably that’s what I’d do.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I don’t even know how to say it — it’s a very typical Portuguese dish. It’s a little bit like chorizo, but different. It has a lot of meat, and fat, and it’s very, very traditional up in northern Portugal where my family is from.
Do you have any hobbies outside of work?
I’m very, very boring. One of my favorite things to do is to build puzzles, which is a big concern for my husband because it’s all spread on the floor. He just got me two for Christmas. Other than that I’m a very quiet person.
Before working at BitSight, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?
When I was working in marketing I made a lot of cold calls, and I had to call many, many venues. I think the weirdest thing was talking to restaurants, because they would tell me to go to many places that were pretty impolite. I gained a thick skin from that. I also worked in a company that hosted conferences for private equity players, and it was cool to speak to people from so many different realities. It’s so interesting to be able to talk to those people and know more about them. It wasn’t weird, it was just fun.
What advice do you have for someone first getting into this field?
I think my biggest advice is to relax. As an SDR you are part of a big team where you’re compared to others, so it’s very easy for someone who is new to be really stressed, anxious, and excited. Just relax, and everything will be fine. Just be yourself. If you relax and do things your own way and use your own approach, at the end of the day you will feel more comfortable, so it will be easier to pass on your message and the person on the other side will see that.