Hey there! 👋 Another month, another member of the Drift team here for you!
I know you’ve already met Fernanda Lavalle, Shannon Donovan, Mary Mitchell, Catherine LaMacchia, Nadine Shaalan, Kahlil Trocmé, Britnee Laughlin, Sam Boyd, Allison Betito, Carolina Caprile, and Michelle Ai, and Frank Schepps.
In this edition of Inside Drift, I am so excited for you to meet Tate Knapp. Tate is an Enterprise Sales Development Representative (SDR) who joined the Drift team as an intern and was later hired full-time – all while he was still a student at Suffolk University in Boston. Around the office, he’s affectionately referred to as Tatte (a nod to everyone’s favorite neighborhood coffee shop).
Ready to meet Tate? Let’s go ⚡
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kaitlyn Martins: To start, can you tell me a little bit about what you do at Drift?
Tate Knapp: I’m an Outbound Enterprise SDR. I’m focused on engaging and converting buyers from enterprise-size companies. I work directly with two Enterprise Account Executives, and I meet with each of them weekly to analyze our pipeline, study our book of business, and align on our prospecting strategy. I’m so lucky to have close relationships with my AE’s – they’re encouraging, collaborative, and committed to helping me learn as an entry-level sales professional.
Kaitlyn: What does your day to day typically look like, and how has it changed since we started working remotely?
Tate: My routine changes daily. It consists of a combination of research, prospecting, writing emails, cold calling, recording videos, building demos, driving live chats, LinkedIn outreach – you name it. I juggle a ton of different channels and focus my time on some more than others depending on the day.
In terms of my work, not much has changed since working remotely. I’m lucky to have all of the resources necessary to perform a high quality of work even being out of the office.
Kaitlyn: Tell us a little bit about your experience joining Drift. How has it evolved as you’ve taken on new roles and responsibilities?
Tate: I joined Drift in June 2018. I was recruited by Drift’s VP of Customer Success on my college campus at the end of my sophomore year of undergrad. As an aspiring marketer and tech startup fan-boy, when I was introduced to the internship opportunity at Drift, it was a no brainer. I worked on Drift’s Company Success team for the summer, helping streamline our candidate experience as Drift experienced major growth.
At the end of my internship, I transitioned to Drift’s Customer Advocate team. This was an awesome opportunity for me to get my hands on the product and talk to customers daily. I learned so much on this team – from technical skills to teamwork, to training and onboarding new hires, and to engaging with executive-level industry personas.
In July 2019, I became Drift’s first Conversation Development Representative (CDR). This was a brand new role at Drift, focused on driving conversations with inbound website traffic and generating qualified pipeline across all of our business units. Throughout my year as a CDR, we defined and streamlined the CDR role, quadrupled the team, and I officially fell in love with sales.
Then in June of 2020, I graduated college with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing – and I joined Drift’s SDR team the following week.
I’m extremely lucky for the opportunity to have been able to explore my interests and grow with Drift throughout my college and post-grad career.
Kaitlyn: Wow. A lot has happened in only two years. How did you manage being a full-time student and a full-time employee?
Tate: It was a lot of work, but it was worth it to me. I love having a busy schedule, and I love to learn. The transition from work to school was easy because I got to action my learnings at Drift in my marketing courses at school on a daily basis.
Work-life balance was a big priority for me. My philosophy was to focus on four areas: work, school, social life, and self-care. If I ever found myself getting overwhelmed in one of the areas, I’d make sure to cut back and refocus in another. I’m lucky that both Drift and Suffolk were flexible with my busy schedule and gave me the resources I needed to be successful.
Kaitlyn: How has Drift helped you in your professional development?
Tate: Drift has taught me to be a problem solver. Often, entry-level professionals are conditioned to feel intimidated to share ideas or identify challenges at work. But when you’re on the front lines, entry-level professionals can spot challenges that leaders can’t. At Drift, I’ve been encouraged to share my feedback on what’s working, what’s not, and have a bias for action. It’s taught me the importance of speaking up when I encounter workflow challenges, have the courage to surface them with the right stakeholders, and help drive a solution that will improve things for everyone.
Kaitlyn: What’s a fun fact about you?
Tate: I love to paint 🎨 My grandma was an artist, my parents are both artists, and my sister and cousins are artists too. Safe to say it runs in the family. I love to paint in my free time. Acrylic and watercolor are my favorites.
Kaitlyn: Have you picked up any fun hobbies or discovered any hidden talents during quarantine?
Tate: Oh yes – cooking! I’ve loved to cook for a while now, but quarantine has inspired me to experiment with some really fun recipes. I’ve made spring rolls, shakshuka, soba noodles, meatballs, homemade pizzas, and most recently, a delightful truffle risotto.
Second to cooking, at-home yoga has been a fun way to unwind 🧘♂️
Kaitlyn: What is your favorite part about working at Drift?
Tate: Gosh. There are so many awesome parts about working at Drift. I’d have to say my favorite element is having the opportunity to sell a product that I truly believe in. As a self-proclaimed startup fan-boy in my pre-Drift days, I’ve followed the industry pretty closely. Drift caught my eye because it has disrupted a lot of trends in martech and created a new category that’s solving critical marketing and sales challenges. The roots of our platform are innovative and as we expand we continue to impact even more metrics, strategies, personas, and industries. It’s been cool to watch Drift’s strategic vision grow – and the authenticity behind our solution makes it a pleasure to sell.
I also love Drift’s culture. The team is diverse, passionate, and talented. I’ve met so many awesome people here and have built really meaningful relationships. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the most authentic version of myself at Drift and to work with a team that shares my values.
Kaitlyn: Finally, what advice do you have for prospective Drift candidates, particularly those who may be just starting out in their careers?
Tate: Be open to opportunities. As an entry-level professional, you have a lot of time to explore your interests and develop your skillset. In every role, there are transferable skills that you can take into other departments. When exploring career opportunities, be open to unique positions that you might not have considered previously. Now is the time to explore your work ethic and discover what you like and what you dislike.
Also, focus on relationships. Be curious, ask questions, and rely on your network. I’ve never had a coffee date that didn’t inspire me or result in something awesome ☕️