Inductive Automation Senior Account Executive Vannessa Garcia has two speeds: fast and faster. The self-described caffeine addict spends her days serving Inductive Automation’s large customer base, finding solutions that fit their needs and helping them achieve their goals. Vannessa is an automation veteran, having worked in the industry for 20 years. She’s also the second salesperson ever brought on at Inductive Automation, making her incredibly knowledgeable about both the company and Ignition.
Anyone who knows Vannessa will speak to her tenacity, efficiency, and great people skills. Says Sales Manager Amber, “Vannessa is extremely self-driven, and excels at establishing strong relationships with her customers. Whether it’s a company she’s been working with for years or a brand new customer, she goes above and beyond to ensure that they get the best experience possible.” Whatever she’s doing, Vannessa is usually ahead of the curve.
I caught up with Vannessa recently about her journey at Inductive Automation, how she remembers her biggest sales victory, and what she does in her spare time (hint: it’s not “relax and nap”). Read on to learn more about her story:
How did you get your start at Inductive Automation?
I responded to a job posting which matched my exact skill set. The job sounded like it was made for me, so I went for it! I researched Inductive Automation and was really intrigued.
“Something kept pulling me back to Inductive Automation.”
You took your role at IA having already worked in the automation industry; what made IA stand out enough that you made the switch to a comparatively small, new company?
It’s a great story actually. When I showed up for my interview, Sandie offered me an Americano and said they got Peet’s coffee beans delivered. I knew I was home.
I had three job offers and talked through the options with my parents and boyfriend (now husband). One of the job offers was with a large company I was familiar with in the automation industry. The offer included an established territory, really nice compensation package, company car, laptop, cell phone, expense budget — the works. It, at the time, seemed like a no-brainer. Something kept pulling me back to Inductive Automation. I told my family how revolutionary the licensing model was and how easy the software was to use, unlike anything I had ever seen. I was surprised this company was relatively unknown. Essentially, I sold my family so much on the idea, that they saw my passion and it became very clear where I should be. My husband never lets me forget that he’s the one that said, “I think you should go with Inductive Automation. If this company takes off like you believe it will and you’re not on board, you’ll be kicking yourself.” I jumped into the “unknown” because I believed in this company, our software, and our future.
Can you talk about your journey as a staff member at IA?
January marks my tenth year at IA. When I joined, there were just two of us in Sales. This company has grown tremendously and it’s been an honor to be a part of the journey. In September of 2012, I became a Senior Account Executive.
Can you describe a typical day in your job?
Since my accounts are all over the world, my day starts off very busy the moment I get to my desk. The phone calls, emails, and online meetings stay pretty consistent throughout the day. I love to be busy! The content of the conversations changes from customer to customer, so I’m always hit with a variety of challenges. I love to connect with these engineers that call in, listen to what they are trying to accomplish, and help come up with a solution that they can show off and be proud of in their companies.
What are your favorite parts of your job?
It sounds cheesy, but I honestly love to help people. My degree is in Industrial and Systems Engineering, so I relate to the people calling in who need solutions. I worked for a competitor before coming here, and I left because I didn’t get the sense that I was making a difference for my customers. Here, I feel like people are excited to see what our software can do for them. I’ve built relationships with people and have seen them grow their business and get promotions throughout the years. What I love most about my job is the people I come in contact with every day. This is what gets me out of bed every morning.
“I love to connect with these engineers that call in, listen to what they are trying to accomplish and help come up with a solution that they can show off and be proud of in their companies.”
What motivates you in your work?
I’m very task-oriented and love challenges. I’m motivated to complete the sales cycle and see the results of that success for both myself and my customers. Also, the people around me keep me motivated. We work as a team here.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your work here? Any other favorite memories?
I celebrate my accomplishments pretty quietly, but I’m most proud of breaking company records. My favorite memory is busting a particularly high sales goal. It was my “pie in the sky” yearly goal from when I first started — and I had reached it in one month. My assistant brought me a bottle of champagne and I’m pretty sure I teared up. She’s so sweet. I never opened the bottle. It sits on my desk as a reminder.
One of my favorite memories was sitting in the conference room at our first building. There were only a few of us on the team at the time. We were brainstorming names for the new platform we were going to release. We chose “Ignition.” Very exciting times!
How has the company changed in your time here?
When I first started, there was only a handful of us, Ignition wasn’t out yet and I was cold-calling like crazy. Some people would not hear me out and it was frustrating for me because I knew they were missing out on something great. Through the years, we’ve moved three times into bigger and bigger spaces, the phones ring off the hook, Ignition is being used in 100+ countries in every industry, including the upper Fortune 50, and I walk past people in the hallways that I’ve never seen before, who work here. I used to know everyone, including all of our customers. This company has grown exponentially since I’ve started. It’s nuts!
In your time here, who has been a mentor to you?
Steve, our CEO and Founder, has been my mentor. He inspires me. The secret to sales is matching what you offer to the needs of the person you’re speaking with. You’re very fortunate if you know where that person is coming from because then you can “speak their language.” Steve has been in the shoes of the people that call here every day. He’s fully invested and genuinely interested in Ignition. He plays with the software and still gets excited about its capabilities. It makes me more confident about what I’m selling.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out at IA?
Work hard, because it will really pay off. Make an effort to build relationships with the people you work with. Speak up if you see something that can be done better. Fresh, innovative ideas are always welcome here. Be proud of where you work. You may not understand the gravity of Inductive Automation’s role in the Industry, but take it from someone that knows what else is out there — IA is where it’s at!
What is your favorite work perk?
Can I have three? Membership to the Life Time gym, company bikes that we can borrow for the nearby bike paths, and “all-you-can-drink” espresso! I obviously have a caffeine addiction.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
Spending time with my family is my priority. My weekend goal is rest, but more than likely, it’s no rest and more coffee. I’m all about quality time with those I love. My husband and I are also very passionate about and are advocates for foster youth adoption. In 2017, we were honored to receive an award for Sacramento County’s “Family of the Year.” We spoke at the Calling Out of Names Ceremony, which is a day-long vigil held on the north steps of the State Capitol to honor children in long-term foster care who are waiting for their forever family. We adopted our son, who is the love of our life, and we have plans to adopt another little one.
Thanks for your time Vannessa! We can’t wait to hear what you do next.