We helped Sabine get a promotion 💰

June 1, 2024

Meet our student: Sabine Pognon.

Sabine is a French Business Development Professional currently living and working in London. Sabine took our Cold Outreach Course and continued with 1-on-1 business development coaching.

Sabine started her business development career from scratch and reached out to The BD School to better understand her role. In less than two years Sabine got a promotion to Account Manager in her current company.

Learn more about Sabine's challenges and how The BD School helped her get her promotion.

Tell us more about you

My name is Sabine and I work for a company called TechSee. We provide visual assistance software to help customer service teams improve their workflow and increase efficienty. I got into Business Development about two years ago and before that I was working in Biochemistry.

Business development was a completely new field for me that I had to discover.

Fortunately I did a bit of research and I found The BD School and your community. I got to learn about the industry and I decided that I really wanted to focus on that and make sure that I'm successful in business development. After about two years I recently got promoted as an account manager!

How did you handle your career switch?

When you start anything new it's very scary and I wasn't sure how it was going to work for me. So it was great to have your support!

I think the main first challenge that I found was to understand what my job actually was. It's very funny to say that but even when you think you know what you're doing reality hits!

In my case, I got into a certain routine but then I felt like I wasn't showing enough of the result that I should be showing. At that point you start panicking and then your certainties fade away.

The BD School helped me to find the best routine for me, understand how I can focus on my goals and prioritise the tasks that will help me achieve them.

Another challenge I faced was to understand the industry. Business development is very different than biochemistry and that took me some time to adjust.

You need to give yourself a bit of time time and accept that you know it's not going to happen straight away. You just have to trust the process and relax! This mindset shift really helped me a lot as well.

Did you get training support from your company?

I have to say I was quite lucky because in the meantime I I've been speaking to other people in business development and most of them didn't have as much support as I had. So I am very grateful. Even though I felt like I was a bit lost at the beginning I actually did have a lot of help in terms of understanding the tools, explaining me the processes and have clear targets.

But even with all this, I I really felt like I needed to do a bit more to become more efficient. I think in anything that you do, you have to do your own research, challenge yourself and find the right way for yourself to win.

What targets did you have when you joined the company?

In terms of target everything was based on pipeline creation. On top of that there were also other activities that were not bringing immediate results, but were important for the long term goals. I think it's very important to show the organisation that you're working on the right activities even though you haven't booked meetings yet.

You need to find a way to share that your your work is valuable within the organisation even if results are slow to come.

How did you become the "Queen of Meetings"?

When I started I really wanted to show my value. But at the beginning there was a lot of trial and errors. Results were slow!

Even when prospects seemed positive they eventually stopped replying to me and I didn't understand why. I started to wonder what I'm doing wrong but I learned from you that I should be patient, follow the process and most importantly don't try and pressure the prospect.

Slowly slowly I found my own Rhythm and I ended up having a large amount of meeting booked. We had a competition with my team where we were trying to find out who would be the best person to book as many meeting as possible in a quarter.

I ended up to be the one who won and that's how I became the queen of meeting for that whole time.

It was awesome and I still have this little trophy that they gave me as a as a winner.

What did you like the most about The BD School coaching sessions?

I followed different business development courses, but what I liked the most about The BD School is the way you adapt to the needs of your students.

You understand our personal challenges and this is what makes the difference because if you just talk about the tools or tactics it's not going to help you grow.

In order to be a good Business Development or Sales Development Representative I think it's more important to have this personal touch where you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how you can work on them.

So that was what made the difference for me.

How was the process of getting your promotion?

Already during one of our last coaching sessions - when I started to have my big wins - I started to ask you what should I do because it looked like they were thinking of my career development. The company was actively asking me how I wanted to develop and what I wanted to do next!

When the proposal for a promotion actually arrived I came back to The BD School. I had many doubts about this promotion, I wanted to better understand how my role would change and I wanted to prepare at best for the negotiation.

I had coaching sessions with you and Morgan (Negotiation Trainer at The BD School) who guided me on better understanding the job and how to prepare the salary negotiation.

Since I was getting a promotion I obviously was going to earn more money. But I didn't know how to articulate that within the organization and how to explain my expectations

The coaching sessions with Morgan were very helpful because I learned that salary conversations within an organisation are normal, but you need to be prepared. You can't just go to the company and pretend more money without positioning your value.

You have to have this conversation in respectful and a meaningful way for the organisation. If you do that they will also respect you more and eventually get what you ask.

How did The BD School negotiation coaching help you get your promotion?

The most important takeaway from the session was making sure that the company understands that I'm valuable and that I want to show that I can prove myself even more within the organisation.

I learned also that it's important to express your expectations in a meaningful way for the organisation. This is really what made a difference because I followed a specific negotiation process that made this conversation easier. I think my company really appreciated me having the conversation in that way.

Did you get what you asked in your negotiation?

I did and even more. I'm actually lucky to have an organisation that is ready to support promotions as well!

What would you recommend to someone considering taking coaching at The BD School?

If you really want to make a difference in your career you do need some extra help. Go ask your friends or people in the industry, but that won't be enough. I think The BD School 1on1 coaching is the best option because it's very personalised to you, so you can grow faster.

On top of that but you also have a community with other people who are going through the same thing as you. That support is very important because being a Business Developer is not easy but it can be it can be very rewarding with the right support!

What's next in your career development?

I will keep you posted for now I'm gonna be focusing on my new adventure, enjoy it and for sure I do want to carry on progressing hopefully within the same organisation.

But I'll make sure to keep you posted and um probably sometime next year we can have another interview and I will share my progress!

Are you interested in a 1on1 business development coaching session? Book your session directly at this link