Nine weeks ago a very talented and approachable corporate recruiter at one of the world’s top 3 enterprise SaaS companies (begins with an “A” and ends with “E”) was confident and enthusiastic as she reviewed my resume. She went on to discuss the basic requirements of the position and at the end of the candidate screening call, she articulated the granular nuances of my experience from her notes to prepare my “package” for a hiring manager.
WHY A JOB?
The brief backstory: While I’ve achieved a modest measure of professional success in business, I wanted to retire my wife: an incredible artist trapped in the body of a state government operations executive who’s responsible for a staff, $1.8 billion-dollar budget, and the politics that goes with it. She looks sexy with a blowtorch and a mask, and I love hearing her saw & hammer in her basement studio, while she loves to hear my “business rap” and coaching sessions taking place in my upstairs home office.
INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE ONE
Four days after my initial candidate screening with the aforementioned company, this exceptional recruiter messaged me with feedback via LinkedIn: “…The hiring manager would prefer to see more domain expertise.” I knew that there was no way a hiring manager could have actually looked at my resume. I’ve competed to beat them out of deals featuring their company’s flagship solutions TWICE (once as an Independent Lead Consultant and the other as an employee at Acquia) by driving SaaS deals totaling $3.5M in ARR. In fact, I was willing to share my Joint Working Plan (JWP) details of one project, my process, and key contacts. I received no reply or response.
INTERVIEW EXPERIENCE TWO
Two weeks later, I interviewed with a California-based data analytics SaaS company and presented their pre-structured case study as a slide deck before a 4-person interview panel in a virtual zoom meeting. After which, a VP said: “You’re amazing. I love how you positioned the voice of the customer. In fact, you eloquently answered a question my CEO asked that I struggled to reply to. Nevertheless, the strategy team (which included an individual with less than 2 years’ experience in the role) didn’t understand your day-to-day engagement. We’re going forward with another candidate, but I’d like to know if you’d be open to take my call to talk sometime about strategic positioning.”
REJECTION AS REDIRECTION
Within days, I scheduled a conference call with my business partners, Demond Raybon and Paul Hickey. We’re already optimizing growth at StealthEnomics, our B2C (business-to-consumer) company that caters to working professionals who want to launch a business. We have Stealth For Higher Education a B2E (business-to-education) business unit that supports the data management requirements for student enrollment services at small and mid-sized colleges and universities. And now, I was proposing we launch a B2B (business-to-business) corporate training unit Stealth Corporate Training to monetize the intrapreneurial and management consulting strategies I’ve recently trademarked as Stealth Competitive Immunity™ for Enterprise SaaS Sales Executive Engagements.
In sixty-seven days, my business partners and I…
- Created a 42-account $3M pipeline by word-of-mouth.
- We did it without a website, with no marketing collateral, no advertising budget, no video, and no social media posts.
- A CIO Innovator of the Year for 2021 and one of the best SaaS sales operations executives in the US have joined us as Contributors… and we’re not done.
They were right, I wasn’t a fit! We all have to grow.