Alumni Spotlight – Alex Racioppa
memoryBlue recently sat down with a number of former employees to discuss how their careers have evolved following their time with us. The goal of these Q & A sessions was to uncover their viewpoints on everything from sales as a profession to their own personal career highlights. It is our pleasure to share their perspectives and valuable professional sales experiences here.
Role: MySQL Account Manager
Company: Oracle Corporation
Tell us about your role at Oracle.
I’m working for one of Oracle’s global business units (MySQL) and I’m the MySQL Federal Account Manager for the Federal Civilian space. I conduct a range of sales activities in this capacity and my activities span from prospecting and deal inception to the end where the deal is actually closed.
Why did you choose to launch your career at memoryBlue?
I worked at another sales lead generation company that had a completely different mindset and style from memoryBlue. Although there were a number of differences, one example that stands out is that once you finished a client engagement at that company, you definitely did not have the option to work for them. The company was not interested in the development of the individual employees’ career. My manager there, who I deeply respected, ended up moving on and went to work for memoryBlue. He reached out and told me about the opportunities at memoryBlue and how I should look into them. I did that and liked what I saw, so it ended up working out.
What was memoryBlue like when you were here? How was the work atmosphere and general culture?
We were in a pretty small office back at that time (2007) and almost by chance it was pretty much all guys working there. When you came in, the atmosphere was almost fraternity-like in a sense. We were a very close-knit group and working right on top of each other making phone calls. It was a very high-energy environment, that’s the first thing you would have noticed about things at that time. And pretty much, having now worked at a few companies since those days (including my current role at Oracle), I look back at memoryBlue as almost “sales boot camp” to a degree. The training and tough nature of learning sales at the most basic level was challenging, but I’m really glad to have gone through it, as it’s prepared me well for a career in sales.
Being such a tight-knit group back then, did your close proximity to CoFounders Chris Corcoran and Marc Gonyea add to your experience in any unique ways?
Yes, definitely. Both of them were super high energy and I think the entire company reflected that as a result. Also, in the early days, the companies that we were bringing in to keep memoryBlue afloat were the result of them making direct sales calls themselves. Marc would come out and report on successes they had almost on a daily basis and it really made you feel like we were all part of the same team, doing the same things as one another. It gave me the sense they weren’t just managing us, but that they were right there in the trenches with us together.
Is there any skill in particular that you shaped at memoryBlue which you feel has served you especially well in your sales career up to this point?
Gaining the confidence to speak to C-Level executives and not place them on a high pedestal, but rather view them as my peer and someone I can potentially help. Before working there, I always felt like I was going above myself when talking to professionals at that level.
Any interesting comparisons working at a large company vs small in sales?
Working at a smaller company means there tend to be a few more steps needed when building rapport and trust with a prospect. Working at a big, well-known firm like Oracle, that process isn’t as much of a hurdle. That’s part of what made working at memoryBlue a particularly tough sales training experience. But making it through that program set me up for future success.
What advice would you give to a new Sales Development Representative at memoryBlue?
I would say that you’re going to almost certainly get paired with a client whose technology or solution you may not know very well. But, if you can dig in and get to know how it solves your prospects’ problems, and generate the three or four questions that will uncover potential pain, you’ll do very well.
Given your experience and knowledge of sales at this stage, what makes it a great profession?
Sales doesn’t necessarily fit my personality. I’m not the kind of person you would think is in sales, I’m pretty much an introvert at heart. But I like sales because I’m good at it and the unlimited opportunities in this career can provide for a pretty great paycheck. I remember going on Google at one point (before I started in sales) and just typing in, “How to make six figures in your job” and everything that came up was sales-related, especially tech sales. This is where you want to be if you want a path to large financial success.
Alex Racioppa joined memoryBlue in 2007 and put together an incredibly successful year helping multiple clients increase their new business revenue. Following his time here, Alex has excelled in a range of sales-related positions for numerous technology-focused companies. To learn more about Alex and view his full professional background, visit his LinkedIn profile online.
Kevin Harris is the Director of Marketing at memoryBlue. A seasoned professional with over 23 years of experience in public relations, marketing and content management, Kevin oversees all major internal and external communications programs for the firm. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from James Madison University.