Our Sales team works hard to identify and contact prospects, deliver sales presentations, close deals, and manage existing partner relationships. This month, we chatted with Eric Freeland, who came to ShowClix with 10+ years of experience in all aspects of Sales and Business Development.
Eric started his career in ticketing with StubHub in 2005. He worked mostly on the business development and marketing side of a high-growth company. In 2010, Eric left StubHub and began a new role as the VP of Business Development at Qcue, a demand-based software platform that helps venues and organizations price tickets more accurately. After almost four years at Qcue, Eric stepped away from ticketing and started a company in the health/sustainability/food delivery space with a long-time friend. Finally, he joined ShowClix as our Director of Sales for the Midwest region.
Having just reached his first anniversary as part of the ShowClix team, Eric continues to close deals with amazing event partners through collaboration with the rest of our sales team. He couldn’t be more excited to witness the growth we’ve seen since he joined our team, and he’s not alone in his excitement for what the near future will bring!
Walk us through an average week as a Director of Sales at ShowClix.
While each week presents different challenges and goals, there are a few that are necessary to successfully reach goals, both immediate and long-term. First off, prospecting is key to being successful in sales. This requires a significant amount of research on existing and emerging verticals and industries. I try and carve out two blocks of time every week to research potential leads (possible partners) as well as leads that are generated by our Lead Generation team. The continued maintenance of relationships with partners I have signed is also very important. I carve out an hour each week to check in on these partners to make sure they have everything they need to succeed. And, of course, working to close new deals with prospects is key for our growth as a company.
As a Director of Sales, you get to demonstrate the ins and outs of the ShowClix system to prospective partners on a regular basis. What feature do our partners seem to enjoy the most?
In my experience, prospective partners want to know what differentiates us from “traditional” ticketing companies. The conversations we have with event organizers about how to look at their events as a multifaceted ecosystem rather than just selling tickets for an event are usually quite eye-opening for them. When we show them the analytics tools such as Timelines, and efficiency tools such as Agent and Live iOS, the reactions are overwhelmingly positive. Some of the coolest reactions (on multiple occasions) are when we show people these tools and they just break out laughing and say, “I can’t believe you can actually do that!”
You work remotely out of our Denver, CO office. What do you do to maintain strong collaboration between other teams like marketing and client services, which are mostly situated in Pittsburgh?
Keeping a relationship with other departments is absolutely crucial to our job. Having worked remotely for companies in the past, I try to first and foremost put myself in their shoes. This allows me to reflect on what may be wanted of me rather than just what I think I need to do. Also, Slack is a big part of the equation. The more face time people can have together the more likely it is that they can build a relationship based on trust by actually seeing the person in lieu of just a phone call.
You have a dynamic career background. From the food & beverage industry to the computer software industry. How have these experiences influenced your role here at ShowClix?
While my experience in the ticketing software world is an advantage due to the relationships I have, having co-founded a company in the past has also been a huge benefit. When starting a company you have more things to do than there is time to complete. Learning how to prioritize my time and understand the potential outcomes of spending time on different issues helps me be as efficient with my time as possible. With regard to sales, I’ve done everything from prospecting door to door, to making 100 cold calls in a day, to giving presentations to C-level executives and managing a team of employees. All of the lessons I’ve learned along the way help me to continue to grow as a professional.
You have spent five years living abroad in the past. Can you share some thoughts on what you learned from that time?
Mostly how to be resourceful. I was making peanuts for money so things were pretty tight. Whatever I had left after rent and food was usually spent traveling on a budget. Trying to find cheap rail passes or restaurants that had special deals was eye-opening and weirdly fun. There was once a time when we were in Albania when my group (three Americans) was being watched by the mafia as a potential target. Luckily I spoke fluent German, as did the hotel owner where we were staying. He was able to negotiate a deal with them where they ended up watching over us for a few days. The next day we hitchhiked over the Albanian/Macedonian border. I look back now on those days and wonder what the heck I was doing, but it sure was fun at the time!