Meet the team: Wilder Parks III – leading Disposable mail’s expansion shortstop style – 10 minute mail

Wilder Parks III, US Head of Sales and Massachusetts native with experience in the tech industry, is leading Disposable mail’s US expansion and building our Boston sales team.

Growing up, Wilder was very active in playing sports – especially baseball. He owned the position of shortstop. If you’re not familiar with baseball, to be a good shortstop you need to be fast, good with communication in the field and reliable.

And this is what working at Disposable mail takes: someone that can speed up our company growth together with the pace of the cybersecurity industry, keeps open communication with teammates and drives them towards the same goals that keep us in the game.

Following the sun and finding Sales

After high school in Massachusetts Wilder followed the sun and moved to North Carolina to study Business Management. He pursued his interest in management and thought it was a good option when not being 100% sure on what he wanted to do, and eventually found himself in sales.

Wilder started his sales career working at a tile company and while it felt like the right role, it wasn’t the right industry for him. As soon as he came across his first software sales job, it all made sense:

“I felt like I finally found this opportunity that fitted me where I could execute on my strengths, talking to people and competitiveness. It gave me the opportunity to understand from early on the challenges of sales and startups.”

Selling software meant working in ever-changing environments, where one needs to focus on what can be controlled and let go of what cannot. He’s become passionate about this industry and its challenges. Wilder agrees that cloud services are the present and the future and he cannot see himself selling anything else.

Working in software sales normally also implies having a more niched target market. For most of his career, Wilder has been selling to software developers. He agrees that it’s a very challenging scenario that adds a whole new level of complexity: “It’s not for everyone and developers are mostly very pragmatic. They want to do their job right and are often hard to reach.”

He says that it’s important to take an educational approach and show them that you want to help with a tool that will support them. Transparency is also key:

“They are engineers communicating with jargon different from broader forms of sales. You may never have the same level of technical knowledge as them, but some will still be open to hearing what you say, so don’t overdo it! Be honest about how much you know and listen to them in order to help better their job.”

Growing and coaching a SaaS sales team

When he joined his previous company seven years ago, they were five sales representative and the company grew to hire over 100. He started from the bottom as a Business Development Representative, conducting cold calls and taking care of renewals and was promoted 6 months later to a team lead position. He admits that it was an intense transition as he was still very young and inexperienced but thanks to his former boss and mentor he found his true passion which is working for his team and sharing best practices: “I love being part of my team’s growth – if I can contribute to that, I am happy to do so”. He tells us that his proudest moment here was to be promoted to the first Team Lead and his greatest achievements were to grow the team and help them get promoted too.

Wilder brings with him his experience leading teams through ever-changing organizations where you cannot take too much for granted and keep the pace forward for leads and new revenue. Seeing a small team of five grow up to over 100,  he realized very early that there is a lot of uncertainty in the startup world and it’s important to adapt and change on the fly:

“I had to behave like a leader before I officially became one. I never anticipated that I was going to be a manager but it came naturally out of my interest in wanting people to grow and succeed, and my ability to roll with the punches.”

Returning to the startup scene with Disposable mail

After seven years, he felt like he learned all he could in this position and sought a new opportunity to further grow himself. He was eager to get back to the startup environment and collaborating with people who are running after the same goal. Enter Disposable mail. To him, it was a great spinoff of how the security landscape looked like. “I am not an expert in security but I knew enough to be intrigued,” he recalls, “the Disposable mail Crowdsource platform was what got me even more excited.”

He knows that it’s a challenging task for a startup to succeed in any market and above all it takes hard work, dedication and time:

“You need to put the hours and the effort. It takes open-mindedness, collaboration but above all, execution. The faster you move the more you make. Being aware of this market’s challenge is the first step, and lastly, you also have to be up for it. Being a startup isn’t a purely American thing. Most startups fail, here and everywhere else. It’s important to have a scalable product that everybody needs, and this is what Disposable mail is offering. In addition, support is quite important, especially for international companies, as this needs to scale up with the growth.”

Wilder says that his first month at Disposable mail is a blessing and he is happy to be chosen to lead US expansion:

“I am excited for and I embrace the challenge. I spent a week at the head office in Stockholm and was energized by the company culture, where everyone has a voice, is passionate about their tasks, and there is a collaborative environment. My first challenge will be finding an effective way to collaborate together with the European sales team at a distance and define processes to scale up our sales activities and market share here in the US.”

He says:

“Security is a very competitive space and it’s important to stand out to your target market. Disposable mail delivers a great product with meaning. We want to educate clients to work with security from a proactive approach, helping them to save millions of dollars rather than using it to fix the damage when it’s too late.”

The US markets seem to be a tough and competitive one, but Wilder is confident in the entire team and the Disposable mail Crowdsource community of white hat hackers we collaborate with. We have no other choice than to succeed:

“Personally, I think working with the white hat hacker community is very cool and I am confident others would think it’s valuable too. It’s important to share our knowledge, both internally and externally. We are also good at that. We are informing our clients and teams in order to work collectively towards the same goal: to make the internet more secure.”

Disposable mail’s US Dream Team

When looking for a new opportunity in such a competitive market, we believe it’s important to both know what it takes to be in this new team, but also, what you will be taking home with you. Hence, we asked Wilder why someone would want to work with him:

“I am very outgoing. I like to have fun. Above all though, I like to work hard. I am not a micromanager, which means I trust people to be accountable and my job is to act as a support to coach them to be better at their job. I like to challenge people but most importantly, I like to be a challenge. I’ve been in the game long enough to not need the glory, nor the spotlight. I grew a team from 5 people to a 100 that was diverse in personalities, talents and work experience and this challenged me to continuously innovate on how to manage situations from different approaches. I still have lots to learn and I am willing to learn from my team and bring a fun and passionate approach that is focused on the success of the whole team. Disposable mail is new for me too, so I think it is going to be fun to crack this nut together.”

We also asked him what it takes to be on his team. To this, he replies: “Passion and energy! I want people that are happy to come and work with me every day as we need to embrace the challenge together.”

He goes on to tell us that he wants to work with go-getters passionate about challenging a cybersecurity industry to think beyond compliance regulations, and bring automation and white hat hacker collaboration into the status quo. Overall, at Disposable mail, we look for creative minds with a strong sense of drive and leadership to help out and “Get Shit Done.”

Wilder: “At Disposable mail, you can make a difference – in fact, you HAVE to make a difference. There is no other choice”.

Q&A with Wilder:

Mac or PC? Mac
Android or iOS? iOS
What’s your #1 security tip? Better to be proactive than reactive!
Your favorite place in Boston? Fenway Park – as a good baseball fan!

If you are ready for a new challenge in the cybersecurity industry and looking for a place to wear many hats, check out our open positions to join Wilder and the US team or our colleagues in Sweden!

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Meet the Team: Emelie Andersson – Building a fast-flying sales team – 10 minute mail

Swedish west coast native Emelie Andersson moved to the other side of the country 6 years ago to pursue a career in software sales. Today she is the Head of Sales for our EMEA team, and is leading the team to capture markets with a growing interest in collaborating with white hat hackers.

Meet the team: Emelie Andersson

Sales – a challenging thrill

Emelie graduated back in 2013 in Business, Accounting and Project Management by IHM Business School. She then decided to pursue a career in sales as in her words, “Sales is the best profession there is!” What she loves the most about it is that she gets to meet and talk to different people and is always challenged to learn and improve from them. There’s a thrill that naturally comes from working with sales that’s also addictive, and she can’t see herself doing anything else.

She says, “the great thing with my profession is that it’s both a whole lot of fun, and there’s almost always one daily surprise that kind of throws you off the course you’́d set, which forces you to activate your curiosity and problem solving ability.” 

So what is it about software sales that Emelie particularly enjoys? “Software is influencing how everything around us operates and, to some extent, set́s the pace of the development of society. It kind of tells its own story, and I know I want to be a part of this development.”

From sports business to active sales in SaaS

Our Head of Sales for EMEA, however, did not always sell software. Emelie started her sales career as a Key Account Manager for a sports business company in Gothenburg. There, she learned to act as a key point of contact  for different clients. However, she truly learned about active sales and how to acquire new customers when she moved to Stockholm to join a Swedish SaaS company that offers an employee platform for compensation and benefits. She worked there for 6 years and had the luxury to experience the challenges of working in a fast-growing tech company that went from being the three founders to become a 400+ employee company in around 10 years. 

The keys to growth for the scale-up phase

During this time, Emelie learned that in order to thrive in such an environment, one has to constantly be prepared for change as a decision taken today could more or less be outdated tomorrow. She experienced rapid growth of teams, which included adding new colleagues, new roles and new ideas that constantly challenged the status quo: 

“Rapid growth is both an advantage and a challenge in a company’s development. You have to be prepared to constantly question and be questioned on the way you do things. When you’re in a scale-up phase, you should have a framework and established processes but still always make sure that you do not become too bureaucratic, as that would slow the pace down instead of bringing efficiency forward.” 

Into the world of hackers and internet security

After six years in HR software sales, Emelie found that she could do her job with her eyes closed and Disposable mail managed to catch her attention at the right time. We asked her why she decided to join our rocket ship:

“Internet security will most likely not become less important just by looking at how our society is developing. You could work with and sell IT security in many companies but what’s particularly great about Disposable mail is that we help our clients understand the  importance of keeping track of the latest security findings, and to keep up with the fast-moving threat of potentially being hacked. That’s why I think our Crowdsource community of handpicked ethical hackers is pure genius for product development.”

Joining Disposable mail 

Emelie goes on about the benefits of working at Disposable mail: “I love the international aspect and the fact that you get to work with colleagues from all over the world – from different cultures! Everyone working here is very humble but also experts at what they do, which is a work environment I am proud of being a part of. To top this off, you also get to work in close cooperation with renowned ethical hackers – now, how cool is that?!”

But of course, working at Disposable mail is not all roses as selling the product involves learning how to answer challenging technical questions. Emelie says the technical questions our sales representatives get during client meetings cannot be compared to those posed during her time in previous companies: “The questions I used to get are not even comparable to how much technical knowledge is handled by our sales team in Disposable mail and this new potential learning curve played a crucial role in my decision to join Disposable mail as I was eager to push myself to learn about new technologies”. 

Selling a product built upon user understanding

Emelie explains that the communication around Disposable mail’s product is a challenge in itself. “Our first points of contact are security professionals who are familiar with automated security solutions and they ask very relevant questions since they often know what they need. Disposable mail’s founders are developers themselves so of course, that plays in our advantage, as they have a good understanding of what our clients want from the product.”

She adds that Disposable mail helps organizations work with security in a more streamlined way: “We have the functionality to support smoother and efficient cooperation through all layers of working with security – from developers to security engineers, application managers up to the CIO.”

However, it takes more than that to become a key player in the cybersecurity space. Emelie says:

“The more digital and cloud-based we become, the more vulnerable things could potentially become if we’re not careful enough. At Disposable mail we service pretty much every company with a website, small and big. In the best of possible futures – Disposable mail would not be needed as the internet would be a safe place. Until then, our vision is to fix the internet that is broken and help our clients to stay secure, reducing the entry points of being hacked.” 

She adds: “We’re challenging the cybersecurity market around us with a user-friendly product that is made with the end users – developers and security engineers – in mind. We’re constantly adding new tests crowdsourced by our white hat hacker community into the system so that our clients can “hack themselves” with harmless payloads and cutting-edge security tests. We’re helping to make it easier for developers and security teams to make their web apps better and safer, so that vulnerability findings are visible in the existing workflows.”

So we’re building a fast-flying team, together!

In order to make the internet more secure, Disposable mail needs to grow and scale. The plan for the EMEA Sales team at Disposable mail is to grow by 5 times in just a year – which means that we need to hire great people to accomplish this crazy mission! 

Emelie believes that the best sales teams consist of people who are really driven by teamwork and who wish each other success. She goes on saying: 

“Having a bunch of individualists who are not interested in their colleagues’ progress is not a good formula for building a successful sales team – that would just be a group of people but not a team.”

In order to succeed in a fast-growing scale-up like Disposable mail, individuals need to take on personal responsibility, meaning that if there is a team goal to be achieved, everyone is expected to contribute their part. That is what builds trust. Emelie believes one has to give trust to gain trust. She adds that the last, but not the least important ingredient for a successful sales team, is to leave room for mistakes and make the environment feedback friendly: 

“We’re going to make mistakes – most likely a lot of them. I want to sustain an environment for my team where we can give and get feedback with each other and actually work with the feedback to improve. We will continuously learn, we will become better and we will have a team that will help each other with individual personal development. That makes the circle complete.”

SaaS security sales isn’t for everyone, but perhaps it is for you

We constantly look for new colleagues who share these same values. Since we are entering the scale-up phase now, we are looking to bring in colleagues experienced in selling complicated B2B software at high-performing startups and willing to share this knowledge to fuel our fast growth phase. Joining our sales team means you thrive in a self-managed environment, where you are constantly learning and improving your sales skills, and feel the thrill of closing enterprise-sized deals! 

Emelie is looking forward to adding teammates that want to be a part of our journey towards making the internet more secure:

 “To be in the front line and sell a great product that really gives our customers great value and to represent it – that is the reason why you should apply. What’s also cool is that tech and sales work closely together at Disposable mail and we promise to give you the best of two worlds combined.” 

Q&A with Emelie:

Mac or PC? Previously PC. But once you go Mac you never go back…
Android or iOS? iOS
What’s your #1 security tip?  Map out responsibilities within your organization!
How do you keep up to date with tech and business? Honestly… mostly I follow our internal Slack-channel with industry news 🙂 What is shared there is usually really good stuff and almost every day I’m blown away by the amount of things there’s still left to learn in the tech-world. Endless! But that is what makes it great fun to be part of it!
What’s your favorite Disposable mail blog post? Cybersecurity from an overhead cost to a business enabler – great stuff!

If you are ready for a new challenge in the cybersecurity industry, take a look at our open positions to join Emelie and the EMEA team in Stockholm! 

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