Rose sits down for a chat with Brightspot sales team member John Peterson to learn more about his perspectives on working with customers throughout the sales-engagement process, plus what excites him most about delivering innovative solutions for each new prospect.
How long have you worked for Brightspot? What brought you here?
I started at Brightspot in February 2021. After graduating from college, I moved back to Arlington, Virginia, just when everything was crazy in the world because of the pandemic. When I began looking for jobs, I was looking for a role in sales—because I like talking to people!—and wanted to work for a company involved in media. I have a passion for writing, so I thought the idea of working for a company that handles content would be perfect. When I did more research, I discovered that Brightspot was an innovative company at the top of the market. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Can you tell me more about your role in Brightspot's sales department? What is a typical day like for you?
We have a lot of prospects that want Brightspot because it's a such great product. My day consists of speaking to people who are facing challenges managing their content, their website, or any digital channel. Sometimes I am talking to people with whom we have ongoing conversations, who are considering purchasing Brightspot. The other part of my day is spent finding potential customers who might be interested in using our product. Overall, there's a lot of conversation and exploration. There's a lot of searching—which in sales we refer to as prospecting. On top of those two things, I also spend time getting all of the resources together internally and talking to other teams to ensure that our customers get the best possible experience when first starting with our product.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job here at Brightspot?
I think the hardest part is navigating how to help people feel comfortable talking about the various challenges they may be facing. In sales, a lot of people think that I am just trying to ask for things from them—their money, time, whatever it may be. I think figuring out how to frame a conversation so that it is actually collaborative is crucial. I need to let them know that I am simply focused on listening to their challenges and not just trying to get them to choose Brightspot. These conversations can be challenging at first, but also really rewarding and fruitful.
How have your grown professionally since starting at Brightspot?
My understanding of the whole software industry, and then specifically the content management system market, has expanded tenfold. I've also figured out how to conduct myself in professional settings, such as during internal work meetings or external calls with people who might be interested in Brightspot. Learning how to communicate in those settings has been a positive step forward for me.
What traits are most important to making you successful at your job?
Compassion, communication, persistence, curiosity and confidence.
What's the best piece of career or life advice that you've ever received?
Be comfortable falling on your face, making mistakes, and messing up. You can't learn unless you fail a few times.
Besides the people, what is your favorite part about working at Brightspot?
Probably the free lunches—just kidding! Though that is one of the perks I really enjoy! I like the office space and being able to come in and see people on a daily basis. I also like working with some of the most respected brands in the world. It's fun to know that we support the infrastructure of such huge, successful, and innovative companies. It feels like we are doing really solid work for really solid people and making life easier for all of the teams that use Brightspot. That makes it very rewarding.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies to do outside of the office?
I like to exercise a lot. The thing I probably like to do most is to spend time with friends. My friends and I have recently taken up bowling, playing pool and throwing darts. Also, I like to read a lot, so you can find me with a book in my hand at different times. I also like spending time with my family.
What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?
I read multiple books at once. One I finished recently was called AMORALMAN: A True Story and Other Lies by Derek DelGaudio. The title is a play on words. A magician wrote it and he shares about the early stages of his life and how, as a magician, he was always trying to be sneaky and pull a fast one on people. Eventually he realized he didn't like living his life that way. He wrote this book to come out fully and tell his whole story. I would definitely recommend it. He also wrote a very good play that was made into a film.
If you could have any superpower, which would you like to have? Why?
I'd like able to fly. I've skydived a few times and that was an exhilarating experience. It would also make transportation a lot easier if you could fly instead of just getting stuck in traffic.