Q & A With Corey Baker, Sales Representative

Corey and his wife Suzy

Q: What is your job at GEO Jobe, and what does it entail?

A: Typically, it’s business development activities related to our Enterprise Team.  However, as my mind tends to work, I usually find other opportunities for other teams within the company, as well.  My day usually starts with a semblance of a structure, but depending on what comes up I usually quickly have to pivot.  However, to sum it up, my core focus is figuring out how we help more organizations with our products and services.

Q: What has your career path at GEO Jobe looked like and what attracted you to joining the team?

A: This is actually my second tour of duty at GEO Jobe.  Therefore, it’s a bit atypical from probably what others have experienced within the organization.  My career path has been very much that business development role but also encapsulating other areas of the organization.  I like to think I’m a franchise player.  As we continue to grow, I’m sure that my position will morph and adapt as needed to best fit the needs of the company. As far as attraction to the company, it was really seeing the metamorphosis that had taken place since I had been there half a decade ago.  I was here when Admin Tools was first released as a “freemium” product to the market and I saw the first 1,000 free organizations sign up; now our products encompass more than 8,000 organizations.  I needed to figure out what had happened since I was there the last time, and I know GEO Jobe needed some depth from a sales methodology perspective.  In short, it was a great fit and the timing couldn’t have been better.

Q: What jobs and experiences have led you to your present position?

A: My first W2 job ever was detasseling corn in Illinois for a large-industrial agriculture company over the summers at the age of 12.  However, I had been helping out on the farm, moving plumbing supplies, or mowing grass since probably I could physically do those things.  I continued to do that throughout high school while also being the savant of a deep fryer for a drive up.  None of that taught me anything about technology, but it did teach me that if you work hard and do a good job you can obtain money.  From there I went out to the military as there were a couple wars going on and I really had no interest in going to college.  School was always very boring to me.  After the military, I had the realization that I should probably get a college degree as no one in my immediate family had done so.  So I did, and I ended up getting a B.S. in Geography with an emphasis on Geographic Information Systems.  As luck would have it, there was a company called Esri that just so happened to make the software I was using in college, and right before I graduated they had an open position in San Antonio, TX for “inside sales”.  I ended up getting that job and moved from Arizona to Texas, and consequently that kicked off my path in sales.  Remember the beginning where I talked about hard work and earning money?  Turns out it doesn’t only apply to those first jobs I had.

Q: How do you feel about GEO Jobe’s future?

A: Really optimistic.  We have a great blend of products and services that offer us stability within our organization that I really haven’t experienced in quite some time.  Also, we’re always monitoring new and emerging trends in technology and understanding how and if we should pursue those within the organization.  Again, we wouldn’t be able to do that to the degree in which we do if it weren’t for the stability that we have.  I feel like there is an opportunity to capture something within the market. At least, we are going to have the opportunity to evaluate it within the organization opposed to being too inundated to do so.

Q: What particular skills or talents are most essential to be effective in your job?

A: Preparation and listening.  It continually amazes me in the age of information and google the world has access to, that people still get on meetings and are completely unaware of anything about the person and/or company on the other side of the table.  Take the time and do some prep work prior to getting on that first meeting because it’ll help you connect some dots a lot faster.  As far as listening, actively try to be better at that.  It’s a natural human instinct when you have an idea or insight (or if the need fits what you have) to just start talking.  Let them keep talking and actually listen to what they’re saying as opposed to taking what they’re saying and applying to your internal narrative.  You’ll learn so much more and trust me it’ll help you out in the long term.

Q: Any advice for recent graduates entering into the job market and aspiring to a similar role?

A: Read books and articles.  You’re going to find that no matter where you end up that the “training” is either non-existent or few and far between.  A lot of what happens throughout the span of this role is on-the-job-training (OJT).  However, if you read books or articles on how to ask questions, how to listen, psychology, attitude, or just general sales methodologies you’re going to notice your game going up.  Take ownership of your own success.  Furthermore, apply what you have learned and gauge the results.  The knowledge is great and all, but the actual application is everything.

Q: What technologies and strategies do you use in your day-to-day work that are key to success?

A:  As far as technology is concerned, if you’re doing any sort of business development or account management role then a CRM is a must.  So, I’m in there quite a bit.  Additionally, if you’re in a role such as mine then being glued to your email seems to be a thing, as well. As far as what is key to success, then I would have to say an ability to stay organized.  I prefer to use OneNote for note keeping and I’ve been using it for probably 6 years.  Also, in this role you are going to have ideas, thoughts, and random information thrown your way.  A way to capture and archive that information for later use is going to pay off years down the road.

Q: What would you like to learn more about or incorporate into your daily work?

A: I think the focus here is really trying to be better at everything that I do within my role.  During our weekly sales meeting on Wednesdays, I encourage new topics (all related to business development) to be brought to the meeting.  We discuss these in an open forum, and are then challenged to use these in real-world situations with folks we’re talking with.  The objective of this is overall betterment but also mental expansion through new ideas or methodologies.  Additionally, the more you bring a topic to the forefront of your mind the more likely you are to action that information.  Some folks within the sales industry  are still leaning on a sales training they ever had from 10 years ago.  Albeit, there are aspects of that training that are still applicable, we all need to address that there has also been changes within that time period.  Also, who doesn’t like a meeting where the objective is to make everyone better?

Q: On a more personal side, do you have a favorite newspaper, magazine, blog, or sources of inspiration?

A: I’m not certain that I have one newspaper, magazine, or blog that I regularly look at that I would say provides, “inspiration”.  For this question, I would point back to a book that I picked up about 6 years ago and then a subsequent book (by the same author) that I picked up a couple of years later.  The first book was, “Extreme Ownership”, and it’s basically a book to challenge your thinking on leadership.  I encourage everyone to give it a read, and if you have a big ego get ready for a dose of humility.  The second book was, “Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual”.  Because I was in the military I think the idea of field manuals of “FMs” really resonated with me.  I like this book because basically you can pick it up, open it anywhere, and just read a passage within.  It’s a great way to find “inspiration” but more importantly a great way to stay on track when you’re not feeling like it.  I actually think the words on the back of the book are the most impactful and applicable to most things people face – “There is no shortcut, there is no hack, there’s only one way, so get after it.”

Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual:  Back Cover

Q: What kind of technology do you prefer and why? (Mac or PC, iOS or Android, and other cool tech)

A:  I use a PC.  However, I wouldn’t say that I have a preference. It’s just something that I was introduced to early and Macs were always so expensive.  That being said, I can run a Mac as I had to learn to show my wife how to use hers.  For a phone, I do rock an iPhone I think most because of stability of use.  Do I get annoyed that there isn’t much you can do in the way of configuration compared to an Android?  Yes.  However, I had an Android platform for a couple of years and I felt like I spent more time making it work than was warranted.  With that said, there is a video from 10 years ago about why someone wants an iPhone 4 vs. any other phone that is absolutely hilarious.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

A: I pretty much enjoy anything that gets me away from my computer or my phone.  If anybody knows me, they know that it’s hard for me to just sit around (sitting for work is actually really difficult for me).  I always need to be doing something.  That being said, I like to workout in a gym that I have setup in my basement, and I always seem to have a home project either in the planning stages or in flight.

Corey’s Basement Gym

You can connect directly with Corey and the GEO Jobe team, via connect@geo-jobe.com.

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