Tech Sales is for Hustlers Podcast

Episode 05: Eric Doerr

Episode 05: Eric Doerr – Support Our Salespeople

Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful. Prior to Eric Doerr’s successful high-tech sales career, he served in the United States Marine Corps for four faithful years. After serving, Eric graduated from the University of Central Florida and made his way to memoryBlue in 2010. While many people try to avoid hard work, Eric embraces what the Marine Corps instilled in him as a professional differentiator. And that will to go the distance is a major reason for his outstanding performance now as an Account Executive at QTS Data Centers.

In this episode, Eric recounts his time in the military including his transition to professional sales, why he recommended his younger sister work at memoryBlue, and his advice to SDRs looking for their next role.

Full Episode Transcript

Name: Eric Doerr
Title: Account Executive
Company: QTS Data Center
Exit Year from memoryBlue: 2010
Months at memoryBlue: 8
Alumni Path: Hired Out

***Introduction***

Eric Doerr:
I’m honestly a normal guy who works really hard. I just outwork everybody. I may not be the fastest, the smartest, the strongest guy in the room, but I’ll stay late. I’ll work weekends. Hard work is not something I’m afraid of.

Marc Gonyea:
Eric Doerr, Account Executive at QTS Data Centers is with us this week. Eric served in the US Marines prior to coming to memoryBlue, he talks with us about his military service, why he encouraged his sister to come work with us and his cast-iron work ethic.

Marc Gonyea:
Hi, I’m Mark Gonyea.

Chris Corcoran:
And I’m Chris Corcoran and you’re listening to Tech Sales is for Hustlers. Tech Sales is for Hustlers is a podcast where we catch up with memoryBlue alums and reminisce about their start in high tech sales with us.

Marc Gonyea:
Let’s go get some Corcoran.

Chris Corcoran:
Gonyea. You know, I’m ready.

***Episode 05: Eric Doerr***

Marc Gonyea:
Eric Doerr in the house.

Eric Doerr:
What’s up?

Chris Corcoran:
Corcoran and I are super excited you’re here.

Chris Corcoran:
It’s great having you back thanks for coming in.

Marc Gonyea:
It’s been awhile. I think you bounced in 2010. Almost a decade in the wild. All right, well let’s get going. So Doerr, we’ve got our listeners, people who work here now people who want to come work here, people who don’t know you. So what we want to do is kind of start off with where you’re from. Where you were raised, where you’re from, and we’ll kind of go from there. So tell us a little about yourself.

Eric Doerr:
Sure. So first of all, thanks for having me guys. This is fantastic. Always good to be back in the office. I love the energy here, man. I was walking in, I saw the guys on, LinkedIn, there’s a lot of collaboration going on. “Hey, can you share that document with me?” I was like, “Oh, I love it.”

Thanks for having me in. Yeah, so I grew up in Florida, land of the sunshine. I was on the space coast. About halfway down the East Coast, right on the beach. Tough, tough living, growing up there. We loved it. After high school I took off and joined the Marine Corps.

Chris Corcoran:
So walk us through that, why you decided to enlist in the military and why you decided to choose the Marines.

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, good question. So I think all my family looked at me and asked the same question when I was doing it. A lot of my friends thought I was nuts. They were like, Eric you don’t listen to anybody. How on earth are you going to pull this off? And I think that’s why I did it. Honestly.

I guess my entire family, all the males in my family, have been in the military. Interestingly enough, we’re sort of like Lieutenant Dan’s family, except we all survived. Every male in my family as far back as the Civil War has served not only in the military but in the time of war. It’s actually quite a legacy.

Chris Corcoran:
Thank you for your service.

Eric Doerr:
Well thank you. I’ll tell you when I enlisted, it’s not like some of the young guys now, who war was a reality at the moment that they enlisted. Bill Clinton was president when I was enlisting, there was nothing going on. It was pretty quiet. But obviously things changed shortly after.

Chris Corcoran:
So you joined essentially the family business.

Eric Doerr:
That’s right. Yep.

Marc Gonyea:
I do want to disclose a couple of things. So my dad was an infantryman in the Army and Chris’s dad was a helicopter pilot in the Marines, then a lawyer in the Marines. So Corcoran is going to be more biased to the Marine Corps. How much did you consider college right away, because you mentioned you went to Central Florida. But did you decide Marines right away or did you weigh the two at all? And if so, how much?

Eric Doerr:
No. I was all in on military.

Chris Corcoran:
And your family business, was it always in the Marine Corps?

Eric Doerr:
I was the first Marine, actually to this day, I’m still the only Marine.

Chris Corcoran:
What was it about the Marine Corps?

Eric Doerr:
You know, it was a challenge. It really was. When I thought about the word Marine, I thought like this big scary, gorilla of a man, right? And that wasn’t me, but that was kind of how I wanted to perceive myself and what I wanted to kind of turn myself into. So I just kind of dove in and said, let’s go, let’s go do this. I never even picked up a gun, and I showed up and it was funny because I got my ASFAB scores.

Chris Corcoran:
What is that just for the listeners.

Eric Doerr:
Yeah. So the ASFAB is a written exam that you have to take sort of like your high school competency exam, to show that you’re not a complete moron. So I’m not even sure what the acronym stands for, but essentially it’s a written exam that that they use to gauge what you’re best at, so that they can try to guide you toward what job you know is best suited for you in the military.

Marc Gonyea:
So what was yours?

Eric Doerr:
Well, interestingly, I scored really high and so they wanted me to be an engineer and I actually did sign up initially to go and be an engineer. And then as I really reflected on kind of why I was doing the whole Marine Corps thing, it wasn’t to go get a job, right? I could’ve gone to high school or college and gotten a job if that was my intention, but my intention was to be on an adventure.

To go do something different than what I had the opportunity to do if I just took a normal route in life. So I went back to the recruiter and I said, I think I want to go infantry. And the guy looked at me, he’s a recruiter and he’s looking at me. He’s going, no, you can’t do that. I can’t find people to do the job that you’re qualified to do. I can find infantry men all day. And I’m like, well, too bad. That’s what I wanna do. So that’s what I did.

Chris Corcoran:
How soon after graduation were you in bootcamp?

Eric Doerr:
Soon. It was the end of the summer. So I graduated in May. I was in bootcamp by August, Paris Island.

Chris Corcoran:
So what was that like, just a rude awakening?

Eric Doerr:
You know, honestly, I had a bit of an understanding of what to expect. It was really loud. There was lots of yelling. Like unbelievable amounts of yelling. I did the, what they call the delayed entry program. So I actually enlisted somewhere my senior year, so I signed all the paperwork and I was completely committed at that point. So you sign up and then they wait for you to graduate and then they set a date for you to ship out and go to boot camp. So, I had been participating in the delayed entry program, so basically on weekends I would go and meet up with the other guys and girls that were enlisting.

And everybody had different ship dates that they were going to go to bootcamp and whatnot. But you kind of got together and you learn some basic Marine Corps knowledge. Did exercising and different kinds of routines like that. Back to the point that of, of athletics, I was very, very fit at the time. So that is a lot of the challenge I think that a lot of people go through is you’re just constantly moving and constantly being asked to demand a lot of your body and also your mind. And as a runner and as a long-distance runner, my mind was trained to be able to pursue, push through the pain and things of that nature. So I was very well-equipped, honestly.

Marc Gonyea:
We’re all joking about how we’re not smart, a bunch of dumb sales guys. But you sounded pretty self-aware for the fact that you opt out of the engineering track and you volunteered for infantry and you kinda knew what you’re getting yourself into. So there are all sorts of types of emotional intelligence and high level self-awareness. It sounds like you had that kind of early which is good.

Eric Doerr:
Yeah. I mean if nothing else, I knew what I wasn’t good at. So, I guess there’s something to be said for that.

Chris Corcoran:
So the bootcamp was a piece of cake for you.

Eric Doerr:
I enjoyed it to be perfectly honest. And that’s not, hopefully it doesn’t come across too arrogant. I actually ate it up, man. I loved it.

Chris Corcoran:
That’s great. So after bootcamp, where did you go?

Eric Doerr:
I went to Camp Lejeune and I was assigned, so I obviously went to my school of infantry. I was a what they call it, an assault man and just to show my age a little bit more, they’ve actually completely gotten rid of that, job in Marine Corps. The weapons system that I use is been retired. They don’t even use it anymore. It was, it was an 83 millimeter shoulder fire rocket, so it was pretty epic. Oh dude, it was killer. And I did demolition, so we did C-4, dynamite, TNT and just built like the most ludicrous bombs, like Frankenstein looking bombs and just blew up stuff. It was killer. Oh, it was an absolute blast. I mean, honestly, it couldn’t work out any better for me.

Chris Corcoran:
And then you deployed?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, so my first deployment was in 2000, again before, the 9-11 disaster that the one was, was epic. That was a, what they call them men crews. So literally I was on a Navy ship where I didn’t have a job because as a Marine on a Navy ship, there’s no job for you. So I basically slept and worked out in the gym. They don’t not want us touching anything. Keep the dummies in their cages. Right. That’s pretty much how that went down. But yeah, so, and then we just, we just cruise around the Mediterranean for six months. I mean, it was literally a cruise every three or four days we popped into a new country and ported for maybe three to five, sometimes seven days. And again, with no job and I’d get off the ship, go tour around whatever city I was in and come back at night, sleep and do it all over again the next day. It was fantastic. I went to every country in the Mediterranean. It was, it was wonderful.

But then the second deployment, not so cute, right. We cut straight through the Mediterranean and, we actually shipped out on the, I can’t remember the exact date, I think it was around the 18th or 19th, of September. So September 11th happened, we were already scheduled to deploy back to the Mediterranean again on September 30th. That was our original deployment date, but then of course, 9-11 happened. And so they pushed our deployment date up by a week or two and instead of going to the Mediterranean and cruising around there, we just cut through the Suez Canal and, sat off the coast of, Pakistan to the North Arabian sea until we got the call to go in and then we went into Afghanistan.

Chris Corcoran:
Wow. And how long were you there?

Eric Doerr:
Not long. Three months maybe. Yeah, from like December to February.

Marc Gonyea:
How long in the Marines?

Eric Doerr:
I served four years. Four years.

Marc Gonyea:
Wow. And then you transitioned out, right? At some point? And then what’d you decide to do after that?

Eric Doerr:
I had in my mind the whole time a plan, right? I was going to go in the military, I’m going to serve four years. I was going to get out, I was going to go to college. So, I executed on that pretty religiously. UI got out in August of 2002 and by January of 2003 I was enrolled in classes and working toward my degree.

Marc Gonyea:
That’s great. Yeah. And then what, what was that like? Cause I always wonder about that. I mean people talked about taking their gap year and I have mixed feelings about that. Unless you’re doing something worthwhile and you do something really worthwhile for four years and then you’re back on a campus, four years later. What was your perspective and take where you’re like, okay, I’m going to treat this like I’m right out of college? Maybe you did. You and I have never really talked about it. But like now what was that like being back 22?

Eric Doerr:
That’s right. Yeah. So, I had the itch man, I was watching at the end of my list, I was watching all my friends graduated from college. Right. And so I was starting to feel like I was behind the eight ball. So, I was like, I don’t have time for messing around or I don’t know, doing silly college, antics. I made that my job. I took it very seriously. I was not a good high school student. I was a very good college student.

Marc Gonyea:
Why was that you think? Cause your perspective? It’s time to be more serious about academics.

Eric Doerr:
Oh, absolutely. The intention was to get a job as quickly as possible and get up to speed and do as best I could to kind of catch up to my peers as far as I was looking at the picture of my peer group, I was behind them. Maybe other people didn’t see it that way, but that’s the way I saw it. I was ready to ramp up and get things going as quickly as possible.

Marc Gonyea:
And then you majored in finance?

Eric Doerr:
I did.

Marc Gonyea:
Did you work? Did you just go to school?

Eric Doerr:
I did work. I had to pay the bills. The GI bill is good back then it wasn’t quite as good as it is now. They changed it pretty dramatically actually. I got my college paid for, but in terms of living expenses, that was on me. Right. So, when you’re 22, 23, 24 years old and you’re going to college, you’ve been out of your parents’ house for, six years now, you’re an adult, you’re living on your own. The rent man doesn’t care if you’re going to college. He still wants his rent money. So I went and got a job and I waited tables. I worked at a furniture store. I mean I did door to door sales. I did furniture sales. I worked in restaurants.

Marc Gonyea:
Is that when sales start to creep out, so Chris and I are both finance majors and neither of us did it when we got out of school. When did the sales things start to kind of pop his head in cause go join the Marines isn’t really sales oriented or sounds like maybe you were dabbling in that a little bit when you were going to Central Florida.

Eric Doerr:
So sales is always been kind of where I saw myself honestly. From a young age, I was getting together my buddy and you know, doing whatever we can do to earn money. We’re making pies. What kind of little 11 year old dude with his buddy from a couple of houses down is making pies? We were taking orders and making pies. We’d go to the dollar store and buy a bunch of cheap ingredients and make pies. We go to Sam’s Club and buy big boxes of candy and I’d sell them at school for markups. I’ve had the sales and entrepreneurial bug, from very early stages.

Marc Gonyea:
So you were at Central Florida a major in finance. And working jobs to make ends meet. When did you kind of figure out what to do after that? This is where it gets kind of hazy. How did you end up with us.

Eric Doerr:
It’s little hazy for me as well. I think you guys found me on LinkedIn. Okay. And you know, it’s funny. So, one of the reasons that you guys probably found me is, I played the system a little bit. So, I was living in Florida at the time, so my sister and her husband, lived up here and he was wildly successful in tech sales. So I saw him work. So, I was watching him and my sister and they’re buying big, beautiful home and, you know, driving nice cars and they had the kids and, the suburban family that lifestyle that I was kind of, after.

And also, it fit kind of what I was looking to do anyway. Right? Sales. You guys probably remember right when you start thinking about your career in terms of, okay, I’d like to do sales. And then the next step is, well, what the hell am I gonna sell? Right? What do I know about that? How am I gonna execute on this strategy of sales? Right?

And so, I was fortunate enough to at least have somebody to watch and, and to see, Oh, okay, here’s a niche. Here’s a market that I can maybe go capitalize on. So, what I did, in terms of gaining the system, I actually put my sister’s address on my LinkedIn profile. I basically presented to everybody out there that I was already living in the Northern Virginia area. That this is where I wanted to work. So yeah, so I think that’s probably where you guys found me, was I think on LinkedIn.

Marc Gonyea:
So you went through the interview process. Remember any of that?

Eric Doerr:
I mean, it was, it was pretty nerve wracking, honestly. Yeah. It was my first big time career type interview and being that I was I don’t remember how old, 29-ish at the time. I knew I had to nail it. If this doesn’t work, I gotta go back to the drawing board. I can’t start over at 30. I feel like I had a plan. So, yeah. So I, I felt a lot of pressure on myself just to make sure that I executed. It was a little nerve wracking.

Marc Gonyea:
Who’s your recruiter? Was is Tiana?

Eric Doerr:
No, Tiana actually was hired after me. Chris reached out to me directly. And it’s so funny because I actually talked to a lot of the current memoryBlue folks and they don’t have nearly the interaction that I did 10 years ago. You guys have just grown so tremendously that you’ve got, this huge team, that just didn’t exist at the time. It’s amazing to see where you guys have grown this business.

Chris Corcoran:
We’re coming up on 18 years in business. And so Marc and I, whenever we talk about the biggest sales that we’ve ever made in the 18 years in business, 100% of those conversations are about selling people to come work here because that’s the most important part. And so I don’t get to do it as much as I once did, but that was my favorite part of the business.

Eric Doerr:
You were tremendous at it. I’ll be honest.

Chris Corcoran:
Go on.

Eric Doerr:
You saw the vision, man and I was reading, I do a lot of, well, I say reading, I was listening to a book. I don’t read as much as I probably should, but I do a lot of audibles and a lot of podcasts. And I was, I was listening to something the other day and there’s entire books on how to build a vision and then sell that vision. But you were doing that before these books even existed, right? Like you were selling, not only here’s what we can give you in the here and now but here’s what, here’s where our company is going. Here’s the role we’d like you to play in that. And then, Oh, by the way, here’s where your career can go, after you leave us.

The business model just made sense, right? Like, come here, get trained get your foot in the door with organizations that maybe never would have given you a look, kind of standing on your own. Then additionally, the recruiting and staffing side of the business, right. We’ll actually place you with an employer after your time here is done during it, right? Or during it, right? I mean, I was here eight months.

Chris Corcoran:
So what’d you learn from the military?

Eric Doerr:
Oh, that’s a good question. What did I learned from the military? Nothing is easy. And you’re not always going to know the people that you’re put in a room with and you have to figure out how to work with them. I mean, that was probably the biggest thing is how to manage a room full of completely different personalities and not kill each other and actually achieve a goal versus, potentially doing some infighting and things of that nature. Yeah, I think that was probably one of the biggest takeaways. My kids are getting to the point where they’re starting to talk about military service.

Chris Corcoran:
So looking back, what advice would you give yourself the night before you started at memoryBlue?

Eric Doerr:
Oh, good question. Go to bed early, drink plenty of water cause it’s going to be a grind and it requires all your attention, focus and energy. I would say that’s probably the biggest thing. And this is a little bit more micro level but map your route. I don’t know if you guys remember I was like 30 minutes late on my first day of work. I didn’t know the area well enough. I’ve just moved up here and so I got an apartment out in Lansdowne if anybody knows where that is out in the suburbs out by Leesburg and it’s right off of route seven.

So, when I leased the apartment, the leasing agent goes, where are you working? I go, I’m working at Tyson’s corner. She says, Oh. I was like, yeah, like sorta right off route seven Leesburg pike. She goes, you’re on route seven. I said, sweet. She goes, it’s a 17 miles that direction. I go, all right, no problem. So I go 17 miles, I go 45 minutes, should be plenty of time. Hour and a half later, I’m calling Marc and I’m going to be late. I can’t get fired on my first day. Right?

Chris Corcoran:
Was being an SDR at memoryBlue harder than you thought it was going to be, or easier than you thought it was going to be?

Eric Doerr:
I would say it was it, it was tough. It was tough. I’m not going to lie. It was tough. I wouldn’t say that it was mess necessarily harder than I expected it to be. But it was as hard as I expected it to be. Is that a good answer?

Marc Gonyea:
What do you remember from the first couple of weeks? For a couple of months, if anything?

Eric Doerr:
Training, getting used to hearing myself and doing the call reviews and critiques. That was not something that came supernatural. Hearing yourself talk and listening and critiquing and then having other people critique you. When you’re already a little bit self-conscious. Right. In the beginning stages there can be some added pressures of that. I remember spending lots of time doing the critiques and lead write ups. Spending, lots of time doing the lead write ups.

My dad is an English teacher and loves to read and write and taught me a lot of the same skills. The problem is I’m not quite as good at being concise. So when I did those lead write ups, I would have like pages, pages, and I was like spending hours on a silly, really write up. Not silly, but I made them silly. I made them much bigger than they needed to be. And, so I remember spending lots of time on those.

Marc Gonyea:
Who are you with? Do you remember any of the SDRs you worked with or we called you AE’s back then.

Eric Doerr:
You know, people like Mike Daversa, John Parrott, Ryan Battle, Stuart Dyer, Matt Herr. Oh, you know who I see a lot now, Troiani Meyers bro. So it’s crazy. My son goes to school in Reston he’s friends with a kid in his class, whatever. Right? So I go to drop him off for a sleepover. So I go to drop him off at his friend’s house and it’s quaint little neighborhood in Reston and it’s evening. It’s like sundown time and it’s a weekend. So everybody, all the neighborhood guys are all out and you know, kids are all out running around having a good time. I pull up they’re playing cornhole, which I love, right? And then Troi is out there, playing cornhole with my son’s friend’s dad. And I’m like, what are you doing here? What’s going on? Yeah. So I’m in that neighborhood pretty regularly.

Marc Gonyea:
That’s a good crew there. Yeah. Cause you know, Herr’s managing a team, John and Stu are doing their thing, Battle’s quite successful in his line of work. Troi’s doing phenomenal. So you were with a group of people who, who excelled. Did you learn anything being together with a group of people? Would you kind of learn more on your own?

Eric Doerr:
I mean the environment is very collaborative, just in general, you know, like just by nature. So yeah, I mean, I learned a lot from a lot of those guys. Working together, critiquing, sharing. Like I said when I walked in here, you guys are still doing it, right? You guys agree to very collaborative work environment and there’s a lot of value in that man. I saw that value and I tried to capitalize on it for sure. So yeah, I learned a lot. I mean, in terms of pinpointing something specific, I don’t know if I could necessarily do that, but I could say that, just working hard and pushing each other. I think that was something that, we had some really big camaraderie in the office.

Marc Gonyea:
Yeah, that’s important too. When you’re new and you’re making cold calls for a living it helps to have people who can kind of help you.

Eric Doerr:
I mean, if you’re going to draw parallels, you’re rights it’s sort of like being in the trenches, right when you’re, when you’re going through something that’s tough. It’s nice to have other people that are going through something of a similar experience. And also that you’re all working towards something greater and you need somebody to remind you of that sometimes cause it does get tough. There’s a lot of work, there’s a lot of pressure. It’s a different type of pressure than maybe most people coming into it are accustomed to.

Marc Gonyea:
So let’s talk about this for a second. So your sister works here. So you were crazy enough to recommend her to come work here. She’s on her memoryBlue 3K holiday trip right now with your wife. So why did you recommend your sister to come here and this, it sounds like a little, I’m not looking for self-promotion or anything, but you did recommend her to come work here? Obviously she’s doing well. She went on the last president’s club trip.

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, she did. I walked by her desk on the way here. The belt is firmly around her chair. She’s doing well right now and she’s crushing it. I knew she had the capability to do that. She had the skill set. She had the drive, she had the work ethic. She was living out in Denver and, the whole family was kind of encouraging her to come back to the East coast. Her hang up was, I’ve got a good job out here and what am I going to do back there? I said I know exactly what you’re going to do. You’re going to follow my footsteps and you’re going to do it in a way that you’re going to forge your own path. But I’ve got a great launchpad for that career that we know you want. I mean, it was a no brainer, honestly.

Marc Gonyea:
I’m glad she works here too. She’s doing phenomenal. She’s a great person to have in the office culturally too. Talk to us about being on the phones. So we’re gonna keep following your career because you’ve done some great things, especially when you now and, and before. But what do you remember or not even remember what, what’s kind of your philosophy on we make a lot of phone calls here, we send a lot of emails, we do a lot of research, but Chris and I truly believe that to become a good salesperson, you’ve got to learn how to talk to people and qualify people on the phone and you can take those skills and develop them. This is really your first job being on the phone, right? What’d you learn from that? What muscle did you think you developed? How does that muscle impact you now?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, so, being on the phone is something that any salesperson in any field is going to have to do. It’s an absolute requirement of success. There’s just no other way around it unless you’re literally going to pound the streets and drive from business to business. And even then, you’re likely still spending a lot of time on the phone. Right? It is something that is necessary and I recognize that. And so if I’m gonna spend a lot of time on the phone, I may as well figure out how to be comfortable and that’s really just done through repetition. I mean, honestly and not just straight repetition, but repetition with iterations.

And that’s what goes back to what we talked about earlier with the fact that we, you guys implemented a really strong training program and do the call analysis and assessments. The techniques and things that you’re, exhibiting and you’re trying to put into practice and then honing those and refining them and constantly making, like I said, making iterations to, find, different ways. And then again, once you find a couple of things that work, just hammer it, man, just lock in on those things and make that your shtick, right, as natural as possible. Make that your thing.

And that’s pretty much what I did and what I still do to this day. There are some things that I still due to this day that I learned, at memoryBlue and I’ve been doing that same exact way for, 10 plus years.

Chris Corcoran:
Excellent. What would be one, one of those things?

Eric Doerr:
Very simply and I do this and I think I, we talked about this when I was working here and I think Chris, you may have said to me, you’re going to do this in all aspects of your life, but every single time I get on the phone with somebody, I make sure that I always ask them, is this bad time. And it’s so simple and it seems so kind of I don’t know. That’s something that insignificant, but it’s not, it gets people to want to say no, it’s not at that time, opens the door to conversation. I do it to my mom. I do it to my friends and family. Yeah, absolutely. I think people appreciate it and they’re far less inclined, to push you off the phone when you, ask for that time.

Chris Corcoran:
Do you remember what clients or what technology you called on at memoryBlue?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah I do. I worked on two accounts. One of them was the company that I actually went and worked for after leaving here. So I was hired out by that client that was Accelera Solutions. I spent almost five years there after I left here. It was a good run. Interestingly, I met my wife there. My brother worked there. My brother was the lead solution architect. It’s so funny. Cause my brother is older than me by almost 10 years and he’s a smart guy, computer guy, right? He’s a solution architect. I’m just a dumb sales guy. I walked in and he’s like, what the hell are you doing here? Like what value could you possibly add to this company, Eric? Well, I’m kind of like your pimp. I sell you to the clients.

Marc Gonyea:
What did he say?

Eric Doerr:
He did not laugh.

Chris Corcoran:
So one of your clients hired you, well, do you remember what other technologies or clients you worked with?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, we did a Juniper campaign. Juniper campaign for Merlin International. And actually interestingly enough, when I was at Accelera, I worked with Merlin pretty extensively. They had partnered with them on a lot of things. We got some really interesting conversations there. It felt very niche, at least maybe for me in the moment. Didn’t have as many conversations maybe, but the conversations when you got somebody on the hook with the pitch, they were very interested, which is always nice.

Eric Doerr:
So you ended up going to Accelera, were you an SDR? Help us understand what you were doing for Accelera.

Eric Doerr:
I was an inside sales rep. Their approach to inside sales was, I did everything that the outside rep didn’t want to do essentially. So all of the administrative tasks, all of the building quotes, closing out orders all of that processing type of stuff in addition to obviously prospecting and setting up meetings and all of that type of stuff. So yeah, it was very involved and that was an eye opener. I’ll tell you leaving here and all you do is for the most part, you’re just crushing phones all day.

So when I went there, that’s what I wanted to do. Cause I was having fun. I enjoyed being on the phone and setting up meetings and all that. And then they started throwing all these other administrative tasks at me and I was like, Oh, this is spotting me down, man. Put me back on the phone. That is part of the business. So I did that. And then after, I don’t know, less than a year, maybe around a year I was promoted and took on an outside role where I owned a set federal civilian accounts and yeah the rest is history.

Marc Gonyea:
Two questions. So one is you the best memory from memoryBlue?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah. I was thinking about this. UI think the best memory for me was, so I used to, I don’t know if you guys remember, I used to come in early and I would leave super late. I started coming in early cause of the traffic. I didn’t want to be late. So I come in early to beat the traffic and I’d get in, but I would also leave late. One of the reasons was I wanted to spend as much time putting in calls and make sure that I was getting to my numbers. So what I would do is I would basically just work with the time zones. Right. So by seven, eight o’clock, I’m calling California and I’m just following the sun.

Marc Gonyea:
You mean you could do that?

Eric Doerr:
So going back to one of the best memories, I was in the office late one night completely by myself, but I made quota that night and I booked the meeting that I needed to and I was there just celebrating my myself in the office. And I think why I liked that moment was because it showed me that, that the reason I was staying there was it was intentional. There was a reason I wasn’t just doing it, just to put in more dials. I was doing it to achieve a goal. And when I achieved that goal by putting in the hard work it was a very impactful moment and a great memory.

Chris Corcoran:
Validation.

Eric Doerr:
Yeah. It really was. Cause a lot of times you stay there till seven, eight o’clock at night and you still don’t get anybody on the phone or you still don’t get that meeting that you’re looking to get. But when you do and it actually puts you at quota that felt really good.

Marc Gonyea:
When you went to Accelera was there any time when you were you doubted the sales path for you or the profession?

Eric Doerr:
No. I was pretty dedicated, pretty committed to it from day one.

Marc Gonyea:
When you worked your way up the food chain at Accelera. So you were selling federal civilian. What type of stuff were you selling?

Eric Doerr:
So I was selling software, hardware and, and the services to put it all together. So it was pretty standard, VAR role. We were focused on virtualization, so Citrix and VMware were our two top software partners and then everything else was ancillary products to support that solution. And then of course, like I said, the consulting services like my brother to design the solutions and then also go and actually go on site and build out the environment. That was the total solution was really based around virtualization, virtual desktops, virtual servers.

Marc Gonyea:
What’d you have to learn to do in that job that you weren’t doing in the two previous jobs, the job with us and kinda first year doing the stuff for the rep?

Eric Doerr:
As an outside rep, managing, managing your calendar was tough. Being able to be on the road and going out and meeting clients making sure that I was still able to get all of the other tasks in. So managing my calendar and, and, and working anywhere. Because when you’re out on the road or you’re traveling or whatever work still has to get done. You can’t just like sit back and say, I’m traveling today. You’ve got to find a way to get all of that work. Being a good manager my own time was probably my biggest challenge in the end of the biggest kind of new task that I had to take on.

Marc Gonyea:
Tell us if you remember your first real deal what you consider your first deal.

Eric Doerr:
I was very proud of this deal because I closed this before I got promoted to the outside position. So, what happened is I was working, as an inside sales rep supporting a Navy rep who was an outside rep. And we had this client very interested and we were going through just variation after variation of the bill of materials and, and all of the software and products that were, going to be a part of this total solution.

So, this guy ends up leaving, right? My outside rep leads. So he quits and we’re mid sales cycle. You know, these are long, long sales cycles in the federal government. So we’re, you know, maybe six months into the sales cycle and I know still months left and I don’t have an outside rep. And it took us a few months to backfill that. But within that time, before they could backfill that, was able to get that deal across the table and that was $1 million, total deal. So that was my first million dollar deal was done in the first eight months after leaving here. Maybe even less. Something like that.

Marc Gonyea:
That’s amazing. Did you pay it on it?

Eric Doerr:
I did. My boss was a guy by the name of Jim Walker. He was such a father figure. He was just a great guy. So when that rep left, he kind of stepped in and played the role of an outside rep, but because he’s managing an entire team he pretty much watched and, and kept an eye on me to make sure that if I had questions he would answer them and things of that nature. He made sure I was taken care of on that for sure. And then shortly after that he promoted me to, he’s the one who actually promoted me.

Marc Gonyea:
So then you were doing what for the next couple of years?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, same, same job outside sales rep at Accelera and basically at that point my focus was then, so I had, we had a fairly small team. I had a big territory of assigned accounts. One agency could have three reps, some maybe more, when you’ve got multiple large agencies.

My focus was I need to whittle this down to a core group of agencies that I’m really gonna dig in and get deep and make sure that my relationships are really strong and that my presence is well known in these agencies. And you can’t do that when you’ve got too big of a territory. So really those next few years was really just spent whittling it down. And then I kind of carved out a niche for myself as the healthcare and Scientifics rep. I felt like a lot of those agencies had similar issues. And so I basically just kind of branded myself as that healthcare and Scientifics federal civilian rep.

Chris Corcoran:
So think back of all the deals that you’ve closed [inaudible] which one has been your favorite?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, I would say that first one that I did as an inside rep, I mean, I was through the roof on that. I was so excited. And the fact that million dollar number for whatever reason, just really stood out to me and I was like, holy crap, $1 million, I booked a million dollar deal for a company that only makes 40 million a year. That was incredible. I was so stoked.

Chris Corcoran:
What about the most hurtful loss? The one that got away? Any that haunt you?

Eric Doerr:
I had a deal that literally was going to pay me three times what I was making, one single deal. Not only was it the dollar amount that hurt when we lost it. I think what made it really painful was the fact that it was ours to lose. I don’t know. In the government world government agencies they have to put things out to bid, they call it, right? So they put an RFP or a request for proposal or request for quote out, and then everybody kind of competes on it. Well, they can also do different things. So if the government says, you know what, this software is the only software that really fully meets our needs, they can do it either sole source, where they can do what they call brand name justified, which means this software, this solution, whatever. This is the only thing that we’re even going to accept offers on. So we have to put it out to bid. But you can’t bid anything other than this software.

Well I had that software locked up on registration. We had done a good job partnering with another company and sold the customer on the value of this solution. So much so that they brand-name justified it and they said this is the software we’re going to buy. I had registration on it, which means I had the discounts associated with being the first to the table with that manufacturer. And I had ridiculously low pricing, far below what anybody else was going to be able to have. Well there was a lot of other components to this solution and we had registration on pretty much everything, which is why the margins are so high, which is why my commission was going to be so high.

Well I wasn’t the one priming that deal. So in the government world, when you do contracting, there’s a prime contractor, the person, the company actually takes down the contract and then they will a lot of times have subcontractors where they say, well you do this part cause you’re really good at this. And a lot of them then they’ll kind of break it up. Well I was one of the subs on that. Because even though the main component of it was something that we were handling there was a lot of other components to it. Long story short, I think some people got greedy and try to put too much margin on it.

So when they sent the price into the customer and the proposal and the customer like literally canceled the entire RFP, they said, we’re not doing this. You guys are trying to take us for a ride here. And they canceled the entire thing and the real kicker, like three weeks later, they put it back out. Brand-Name justified for a different software Oh it was brutal. It was a kick in the teeth. It was terrible man.

Marc Gonyea:
What’s something that you think you do that you think you’re world-class at as a sales professional? What’s your superpower?

Eric Doerr:
Oh gosh, I don’t know that I have a superpower. I’m honestly, I’m a normal guy who works really hard. So I would say if I had to say anything, it’s just the fact that I just outwork everybody. I may not be the fastest, the smartest, the strongest guy in the room, but I’ll stay late, I’ll work weekends. I will put the work in. Hard work is not something I’m afraid of. That’s something that I would say it’s probably my strongest point. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, right? Because if I was smarter, maybe I could do it in less time, but at the end of the day I get the job done and it’s typically done just sheer hard work.

Marc Gonyea:
So let’s just counterbalance that. So, you’re a father, you’re married now, you got four kids. How do you balance that? And I believe you that work ethic with like balancing the hearts and minds of co-running a six person household.

Eric Doerr:
It’s 100% co-running because without my wife, there’s absolutely no way I can get it done, right. She’s a hard worker too. And I think that helps in her recognizing that, you know what, Eric’s going to work hard and I’m okay with that because I work hard too. But she’s interesting because she actually will work hard and then allow me to keep working hard and she can take over a lot of the household stuff. So she does a really good job of being I don’t even know easygoing with me in terms of not, not pushing me to do something that is maybe unnatural for me. Which is essentially slow down.

Marc Gonyea:
That’s great man. So you’re telling me what I’m hearing? So you’ve got to have a good partner.

Eric Doerr:
100%. Yeah, that’s, that’s the key to everything is, and I think that happens in all aspects of life, right? If you try to be the solo guy, I’ve seen so many salespeople and now taking it back there, right. I’ve seen so many sales guys who are really good, but they just don’t work well as a team and it’s just not sustainable. You could do it for a while, but either you’re going to piss everybody off and nobody’s gonna like you. And then I talked to my CRO the other day, he was telling me about a guy that he fired. It was the number one sales guy on the team, but he fired, cause he just couldn’t work well with others. You’ve got to have partners, you gotta be able to, to work as a team. And I think a team is what wins.

Chris Corcoran:
So you’ve worked for VARs as well as manufacturers?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah, so currently I work for a data center company. So in the data center world we are a manufacturer because we do own and operate all of our own data centers.

Chris Corcoran:
So what’s the pros and cons of working for a VAR versus working for a manufacturer?

Eric Doerr:
I’ve struggled with this and, and I think not necessarily identifying what the differences are, but which one is a preference for me. Because as a VAR you look at the manufacturers and you go, Whoa, that’s so cool. Right? They just have one product set that they have to know and they just have to be really good within their product portfolio. And oh, here, I’m VAR, I’ve got an a Citrix and VMware and this and that. And you feel like you’ve got a lot on your plate.

But then you get over to the manufacturer side and it’s like, all I have is this and I have to make this work. So it’s a different, it’s a kind of a different mindset. But yeah, I would say that was, that’s the biggest thing, right? When I was working for a VAR my pitch was I’m not going to back up my truck and sell you whatever I have on it. I’m going to work with you as the customer, and we’re going to build a solution that’s going to fit your needs. Well, now I’m the guy back in the truck and I got to tell a different story, right? Because I only have what’s on the truck and if it doesn’t fit and then it doesn’t fit, so I have to be a little bit more strategic in the way that I approach things. To make sure that I’m not coming across as the guy back in the truck up. I don’t want somebody to think that I’m shoehorning this. That I’m making something fit that is unnatural. So that’s probably the biggest difference in my mind.

Chris Corcoran:
Have you always only sold to the federal government?

Eric Doerr:
I have.

Chris Corcoran:
What’s the pros and cons of doing that? Of selling to Uncle Sam?

Eric Doerr:
I think the pros are, the deals are bigger. There’s always going to be money. You just have to find it. The cons are the sales cycle are really long. And then I think a lot of times I find myself having to coach my customers on how to buy. These people for the most part, I mean, I’m interacting with IT guys and girls, they are not procurement professionals and it requires a professional in the government to be able to get a contract done. And so, you could sell them on the solution all day, but if you can’t get the paperwork put together and it contracted, it doesn’t do you any good. It is a challenge in the government space. And also, the black hole of RFPs, right.

That’s sometimes very challenging. Again, that goes back to coaching your customer and making sure that they are putting this together in a way that it isn’t just a black hole. You run into people, I do at least I run into people all the time, that are my customers. And they’re like, yeah, no I don’t, I don’t care about that. Right? Like I don’t deal with that. I just put the solution together and I put the package and I submit and that’s it. It’s like no Mr. Customer you have to understand that because I need to understand and so we need to together work on this to make sure if you really want to get this done, we can. So it takes a lot of coaching. Right. That is a challenge for sure. It’s just that the mechanics of getting a deal across the table.

Chris Corcoran:
How do you keep your skills sharp?

Eric Doerr:
I was talking about this earlier. I read a lot of books. A lot of sales books. I’m not a fiction guy. I’m a self-help and honing my craft guy. So I read lots of sales books, lots of business books.

Marc Gonyea:
What’s the favorite one? Just one. You got to recommend one. What would it be?

Eric Doerr:
There’s one call a guy by the name of Mike Weinberg and it’s called, it’s called “New Sales Simplified”. One of the things I really liked about that is he really does a good job in my mind of helping you set up your pitch essentially. He breaks it down into a really play by play of how to put together a really solid message that resonates with customers that you can repeat. So I think that was really good. That’s a great book.

Marc Gonyea:
I got two more for you Doerr. So I remember why we were attracted to you originally cause Chris and I have a high respect for the military. Both being military brats and additionally we value the perspective we thought you brought to the job after being in the Marines for four and a half years, however long it was. And I always believe that the folks who come work with us, a little bit of nontraditional background or a work background before your sister included, that work experience is going to help them even more in the next job. Cause you kind of earn your stripes.

Working here for us to kind of get into the high-tech sales game, but knowing that you’ve got that unique perspective, impatience is a virtue or patience is a virtue depending upon how it is. When you’re looking to bounce from memoryBlue what’s the advice you have for the SDRs who were looking to leave, who are all under this big hurry and they’re super impatient but you want to get close work now but they might not be ready. So what advice would you have for them?

Eric Doerr:
Yeah that’s a great question and that’s absolutely something that I could have done better. While I really enjoyed Accelera, and again I spent over the past five years or so there, I would’ve probably slowed down and it’s funny, Marc, I remember you and I talked about this cause I was I think we looked at maybe a couple of manufacturers and looked at some VARs and I was like, oh, that’d be the manufacturer assumes super glamorous, right? Like, oh I’ve got this great title. I worked for Dell wherever it is.

But I think you pointed out something that I didn’t even really understand and know at the time, is VARs pay really well. A lot of those small companies, they actually paid better than the big guys and the big manufacturers. So heading that advice and going to a seller was really good. But one thing that I didn’t know and it’s worked out for me cause I built a career, but I didn’t do a good job of vetting.

I was so excited to have the opportunity that I jumped on it. I didn’t negotiate compensation. I didn’t negotiate to even understand what my role was going to be. I walked in the first day thinking I was going to be, cause I didn’t do any of that stuff here for the most part, I was a commercial guy. Walked in the first day and they’re like, you’re a fed rep. And I’m like, what are you talking about? I have no idea what to do, what are you talking about? If I had maybe vetted that out a little bit better. Maybe I would have made that same decision. Maybe not, but at least I would’ve had the information. It definitely caught me off guard and I walked in and they were like, yeah, you’re on the federal side. I was like, Oh, okay. Well here we go. Let’s figure this out.

I would say slow down. Don’t rush it. Don’t jump on the first offer that’s really good cause that happens a lot. And I’ve been talking to my sister about that a lot too. Cause she’s coming up on that time and she’s starting to, to look and you guys are going to help her, mere over the coming months. I gave her the same advice. Slow down, don’t jump on it be patient. The careers that are going to be there. You keep your head down and keep grinding.

Somebody is going to recognize the value and you don’t have to, you are in a position of authority that you don’t even know you’re in when you’re leaving here. You thought, I thought I had to jump on this. What if nobody else offers me a job? What if this is the best I’m going to get? And I turned it down. Have confidence in yourself and the position that you put yourself in and don’t rush.

Marc Gonyea:
Good advice. Final question. We asked you this when you interviewed here, you may not remember if you could put one person on Mount Rushmore, who would that person be living dead or alive? Past, present, future?

Eric Doerr:
Probably my mother. My mom has been an absolute rock for my family. The women in my family have been the ones that are the glue that keeps us all together and keeps all the guys sane. I would say my mom for sure.

Marc Gonyea:
Doerr. You’ve done a lot of awesome stuff in 10 years, man. You were like kind of a wild bachelor making his way. Getting into tech sales in a good way. I say that in a good way. Remember we played soccer together.

Eric Doerr:
Well I appreciate that man. I don’t see it that way, but I’ll tell you it has been a really good run. I enjoyed every moment of it and I’ll tell you what the launch pad that you guys gave me and are giving people every day. Its life changing and it’s impactful and what you guys are doing is invaluable and yeah, keep at it man. I appreciate the opportunity. It was a lot of fun to be here. I’ll come back anytime.

Marc Gonyea:
Appreciate it.

Chris Corcoran:
Thank you.

Eric Doerr:
Alright, you got it. Thanks guys.