From SDR to AE: Sales career progression at Glean

James joined Glean in 2021 as an SDR and has since climbed through the ranks of our Sales team, creating a playbook of best practice that has fuelled predictable growth along the way. Here, he shares insights from his experiences, alongside the learnings that have shaped his career so far.

Clock 2 min read Calendar Published: 7 Jun 2024
Author Jacob Goodwin
From SDR to AE: Sales career progression at Glean



Tell us about your time at Glean so far and your journey from Sales Development Representative (SDR) to Account Executive (AE).


My time at Glean so far has been a whirlwind and the last three years have been a blast!

From day one I felt at home, and knew I was in a place that would push me to reach my career goals.

After being an SDR for 10 months, I was promoted to Senior SDR, where I mentored new team members, whilst doing a secondment with Customer Success, and I loved that challenge.

I’ve had the opportunity to travel to LA, Boston, Cleveland, Berlin, London, and Manchester for conferences, where I was able to meet prospects and customers in person, as well as to learn first hand about the impact Glean has on students. 

What interested you to apply for the SDR role at Glean?

I’ve always had an interest in Sales, as I really enjoy the social aspect of the job role.

It was as a student that I used Glean’s first product, Sonocent Audio Notetaker, and so when I got a message on LinkedIn about the role, it was a real full circle moment for me.

Naturally I jumped at the opportunity and haven’t looked back since!

What top three things do you think have made you successful in your career at Glean so far? 

Hard work: Sales isn’t an easy job. It takes a lot of perseverance to reach your targets, but it is incredibly rewarding.

Thinking outside of the box: I have always put an emphasis on trying to find new ways to talk about and promote Glean to a variety of different audiences.

Collaboration: Glean has an incredibly talented set of people, and working with people across different functions, as well as learning from their experience, has definitely helped me develop.

Do you have a specific project or achievement you are most proud of?

It has to be expanding our SDR team with the arrival of two new Gleansters!

Creating a playbook of best practices, training, and then watching our new Gleansters turning into experienced SDRs that smashed targets!

One of which is now the SDR Team Leader. 

How would you describe the culture of the Sales team here at Glean?

We’re incredibly close, everyone has the same drive and ambition to succeed.

We’ve always put an emphasis on teamwork, we all care about our team's target, and it isn’t the stereotypical sales environment in that sense (which I love)!

We have two priorities: hitting sales targets and beating each other at GeoGuessr. 

What have been your biggest learnings through your career journey at Glean?

“Trust the process” has become my mantra for my career.

In any line of work, so many things can happen that are out of your control. This is particularly the case in the Education sector.

But trusting in your ability, believing in Glean as a solution for students, and staying resilient is crucial. 

And finally, what are you most excited about over the next 12 months? 

The AHEAD Conference in July in Baltimore, it’s a week of meeting the incredible people we work with in the US and Canada.

Not forgetting our famous annual AHEAD Party!

Interested in working for Glean?

At Team Glean, we're always on the lookout for talented people to join us.

To learn more about working with us, and explore our latest opportunities, follow the link below!

Visit our careers page
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