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On the Record with Rose: Duncan MacBride

image of Brightspot employee Duncan MacBride

Since joining in January 2022, Duncan MacBride has experienced various roles within the company’s sales group that now see him leading Brightspot’s team of business development representatives. Duncan manages the team to nurture inbound and outbound sales opportunities, helping to clarify how Brightspot CMS fits each company’s unique needs and ultimately drive new business. Outside of work, he enjoys Charleston’s walkable neighborhoods, excellent food, outdoor activities like golf and tennis, live music, and time on the beach.

How long have you worked for Brightspot? What brought you here?
I started at Brightspot in January 2022. I originally heard about Brightspot from John Peterson, an account executive on the sales team, and another former Brightspot colleague, Liam Modesti. I grew up with John and Liam in Arlington, Virginia, and was looking to pivot from a more marketing-focused role into sales. They made me aware of Brightspot, and that was how I got introduced to the company.

Can you tell me more about your role as Business Development Manager? What is a typical day like for you?
My primary focus is leading and overseeing the business development representatives (BDRs) on the sales team. The BDRs handle outbound sales-prospecting efforts and follow up with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) from interactions with our website. We aim to create sales conversations to determine if Brightspot can meet their digital goals. We also target accounts across various industries, using cold calling, emailing and LinkedIn messages to schedule meetings for our account executives (AEs) and sales directors. I work closely with BDRs on mock cold calls, list building and crafting messaging. We have a team call every morning and meet frequently throughout the week. My main goal is to create outbound opportunities and schedule meetings to drive new deals and bring on more customers for Brightspot.

How have you grown professionally since starting at Brightspot?
I’d say the biggest thing is developing my skills as a sales professional. I’ve had the opportunity to be in different roles on the sales team at Brightspot, gaining valuable insights and experiences. I started as a BDR, focusing on cold calling and outbound activity to book meetings. Later, I shadowed Sandeep Hulsandra (Chief Strategy Officer), working closely on opportunities like the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Associated Press. This gave me exposure to later-stage sales conversations, tailored demos, proposals and implementation discussions.

I then moved into an AE role for about a year, tasked with closing new deals. I had a quota and led my own deals, learning to qualify opportunities, move them forward and understand which Brightspot stakeholders are needed to convey why prospects should partner with us. This experience taught me a lot about the sales process and stakeholder collaboration.

Around the same time I moved to Charleston, South Carolina, I took over as the BDR manager. With my experience as both a BDR and an AE, I brought a unique approach to building out the team. I understand the whole cycle, from scheduling meetings to handing them off to AEs and directors. I provide insights on what AEs and directors need from my team and work with BDRs to be strategic in their outreach. I’ve learned a lot and feel grateful for the various roles and experiences, which have given me a strong understanding of the sales process and how to speak confidently about Brightspot with senior executives.

What opportunities are you most excited about for our company from a sales standpoint?
I think Brightspot is at a very exciting growth period in the company’s evolution and with that comes exciting opportunities to have conversations with really cool companies across a number of industries that we can provide value for.

We’re also building out our partner ecosystem and, as that continues to gain momentum, we’re going to see more opportunities coming in from our partner channel. This means more opportunities for the sales team to compete and to make Brightspot known. I think as we continue through this year and into 2025, we’re going to see more success in closing deals but also continuing to position ourselves as a key player in the CMS space.

What traits are most important to making you successful at your job?
Communication is the number one trait required in sales, especially for the BDR manager role. Our team kicks off every morning with a meeting to align on the day's activities, including target accounts and our messaging strategy. I ensure my team understands our targets and the numbers we need to hit each week and quarter. It's also crucial that my BDRs have a clear and open line of communication with me, so they can reach out for support when needed. Whether it's reviewing emails, personalizing messages or reviewing lead lists, I'm always available to help. Communication and clear expectations are key to our success.

Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Brightspot?
I was going to say the people, but since that's off the table, I really value the company culture. It feels like a family, and I enjoy working with the sales team and other departments. The culture of inclusivity and friendliness creates many volunteer opportunities. While I've had fewer chances to participate since moving, I enjoyed mission opportunities in D.C., like volunteering at the AFAC food-distribution warehouse, garden beautification day at Buzz Aldrin Elementary School and the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. These events allow employees to connect outside of work and give back to the community. Brightspot encourages and creates space for community involvement, which I think is really cool.

Among all the different Brightspot mission activities you've participated in, has one stood out to you as your favorite? Why did it stand out to you?
I’ve enjoyed all of them but if I had to pick one, I think volunteering at Boulder Crest and summer of 2022 was my favorite. Boulder Crest is a nonprofit headquartered out in Bluemont, Virginia. They provide a retreat center for veterans to recuperate, get a chance to be outdoors in nature, spend time with their families and provide support for veterans who may be going through PTSD or other traumatic events from their service. We did some yard work, tidying of the cabins, plus had the opportunity to hear more about the work they do at Boulder Crest with veterans and also get outdoors to spend more time with some co-workers and friends.

What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I play a lot of golf and a lot of tennis, so I try to be very active when I’m not working. I love to be outdoors. Beyond sports, I love live music, going to concerts and going to the beach.

As you say, you recently moved to Charleston from the D.C. area. What do you like most about living in that area? 
The city is amazing. It’s a beautiful place with really cool architecture and a lot of history. I live in a very walkable neighborhood in the downtown area and can pretty much walk or bike anywhere I need to go, which is great for quality of life and getting more exercise. There’s really good food in Charleston, both seafood and Southern cuisine. The restaurants are phenomenal. The beach is a 20-minute drive from downtown, and I try to get out there as often as I can. There are a ton of great golf courses in the Charleston area, so I play as much golf as I can. Beyond that, I enjoy getting outdoors and exploring the city and the neighborhood.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
The last book I read was Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. There's a recent Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio film, which I have not seen yet, but I’m very much looking forward to watching after reading the book. I thought the book was really engaging and super interesting. It’s a historical thriller so it’s a true account of some suspicious murders that happened on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma back in the early 20th century. It’s a bit of a whodunit crime thriller, so anyone who likes history and murder mysteries, I would definitely recommend it.

Rose Pleskow Brightspot employee
About the Author
Rose Pleskow has been working at Brightspot since 2011 as a content and quality assurance specialist. In addition to writing employee profiles, Rose has played a critical role on a variety of client projects with her keen eye for detail and Brightspot publishing expertise. She has contributed to the launch of various projects ranging from SpecialOlympics.org to Amazon Science and Healthgrades.


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