Welcome back to Inside Drift, where we introduce you to all of the people that make Drift such a great place to work.
So far you’ve met Shannon Donovan, Mary Mitchell, Nadine Shaalan, Britnee Laughlin, Carolina Caprile, Michelle Ai, Frank Schepps, Tate Knapp, Zareena Javed, Stacy Chen, Lillian Frost, Miles Kane, Josh Perk, Fiona Heaney, Moe Lawson, Richard Wright, Andrew Jones, Sara Miller Blanc, and Carter Stepanovsky.
Today we’re introducing you to Ezinne Ogbonna, an Enterprise Sales Development Representative at Drift. Ezinne joined Drift in December 2021 and works directly with our enterprise customers on a daily basis. When she is not doing outreach to future Drift customers, you can find her helping out with our FirstGen at Drift employee resource group (ERG), at a concert enjoying Afrobeats, or at home cooking up new recipes.
Ready to meet Ezinne? Let’s go ⚡
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kaitlyn Martins: Hi Ezinne, thanks for chatting with me. Can you tell me a bit about what you do at Drift?
Ezinne: Hi Kaitlyn, I’m glad to be here. I’m an Enterprise Sales Development Representative here at Drift. This means that I prospect to, qualify, and do outreach to outbound leads. The work that the sales development representative (SDR) team does is crucial because we are responsible for Drift’s pipeline. Essentially, we bring in the money.
Kaitlyn: What does your day-to-day typically look like?
Ezinne: I’m not sure if there’s anything typical about my day-to-day because my role requires a decent amount of flexibility 😆
On a daily basis, I am responsible for making cold calls, email outreach, and other tasks. The goal of these activities is to engage, nurture, and eventually get a meeting booked with a prospect. There are also meetings and training that occur during the week; for example, as a team, we do call coaching, email reviews, and video reviews.
As a result, I’m always doing a balancing act of being present while also accomplishing my responsibilities. I also make sure to schedule enough time to eat lunch and get a few minutes of outdoor time. Being an SDR is one of the toughest jobs so it’s important to prioritize balance and self-care.
Kaitlyn: Can you tell us a little bit about the structure of the SDR organization at Drift?
Ezinne: There are three main segments of the SDR team: chat, mid-market, and enterprise. I currently work on the enterprise team where I prospect into large accounts, pitch the value of Drift, and collaborate with account executives (AEs) to book meetings. Each SDR meets regularly with their AEs to pick the best accounts to work on and strategize the best outreach into these accounts.
We collectively meet as a team for training and individually with our respective managers for in-depth coaching. The entire SDR organization is headed by our Director of Sales and Business Development, Michael Iannuzzi.
Kaitlyn: You’re involved in one of our employee resource groups, FirstGen at Drift. Can you tell us a little more about the group?
Ezinne: Certainly! My wonderful colleague, John Cole, founded the ERG. In fact, we were in the same onboarding class and had kept in touch. When he brought up the idea of starting a FirstGen ERG I was excited because I’m a first-generation American and college graduate myself. Those experiences have shaped my journey in the professional world so I know how important it is to have a community of supporters along the way.
John and I spoke more about the mission behind FirstGen at Drift and shared some of our experiences in a conversation with Drift co-founder and CTO, Elias Torres, which you can check out here.
Kaitlyn: What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?
Ezinne: Most people don’t know that I’ve competed in a beauty pageant and won before.
Kaitlyn: When you aren’t working, what can we find you doing?
Ezinne: At a concert 🎶 I absolutely love Afrobeats so, whenever an artist comes into town, I’ll be at their concert. So far I’ve seen Fireboy DML, Adekunle Gold, and Wande Coal.
I also enjoy cooking and creating new recipes that fuse my Nigerian and American cultures.
Kaitlyn: Tell us a little bit about why you chose Drift and the career growth you’ve experienced here.
Ezinne: If I had to name the three biggest reasons why I chose Drift, it would be the mentorship, culture, and growth opportunities.
I’ve always carried an “everyone wins” mentality, which is something I think Drift and I share. I’ve never been in a professional environment where my managers are so supportive of my career goals and willing to meet regularly to make sure I’m on the right track. And it’s encouraging to be in a space where my team and I mutually support each other.
Drift is also a company that seriously values diversity and inclusion. I love that there are so many ERGs to support people’s both personal and professional identities.
Kaitlyn: Finally, what advice do you have for prospective Drift candidates?
Ezinne: I would tell prospective Drift candidates two things.
- Be open to feedback. Drift is the perfect place to learn and grow in your career. This requires you to not only be receptive to feedback but to also take action once feedback is given.
- Be excited! I think this one is a bit self-explanatory. But seriously, Drift is an amazing place to be, so bring on the positive energy ☀️