BigPanda blog

Meet Erika Streib: new enterprise account executive, Northeast

Erika Streib BigPanda

Sales have always been a part of Erika Streib’s life. Growing up, things were always for sale. Quads. Cars. Fishing poles. Her father tended not to hang on to things for too long.

“I thought, ‘This is so weird. Why can’t we keep anything?’ But he taught me that selling things was a way to make money, and that you can’t hold on to anything for too long because then it loses its value.”

Understanding value and helping others find what they need eventually became a career in tech sales. Streib joined BigPanda in August 2022. Streib previously developed her tech sales expertise at Datadog where she worked for four years, rising from a sales development representative to a senior account executive. Streib’s strengths combine technical knowledge with a keen understanding of the importance of creating and building relationships.

Streib’s first job was with the rental car company, Enterprise, where she took the company’s management training program. “I was passionate about sales because of what my dad had taught me. I liked the idea of controlling my own destiny and that I could drive my own success,” she said.

Streib said that first job helped her understand the importance of relationship building. Every day, she talked to strangers to understand their needs and to help ensure they had a good experience.

“I knew that Enterprise had a good reputation for their entry level sales program, and I thought it would be a good foundation and building block to my sales career,” Streib said. “Enterprise has a lot of pride in customer service. And I learned that fostering trust and building good relationships can breed brand loyalty and translate to growth for the organization.”

In 2017, Streib left Enterprise and joined Datadog in tech sales. Streib took to tech sales like a fish to water. Her natural curiosity, willingness to learn and ability to forge relationships immediately began to pay dividends.

“I’m not really afraid to ask questions. I’ve always been willing to learn, and asking questions is part of that process,” she said. “Datadog had an environment and culture where you could really learn a lot.”

Switching to tech sales was not without risk. Women historically have been underrepresented in sales—and specifically tech sales. Women represent only about 25% of tech sales teams compared to 33% of B2B sales teams in other industries.1 A contributing factor might be that women only make up 12% of tech sales management.

“I never had a lot of female leaders because it’s just not as common in tech and tech sales,” Streib said, adding that, over time at Datadog, she did work for women and had more women peers in sales. She said she worked well with men but also felt that women could help bring about a different perspective.

“The women in the room always had a different idea or approach to getting a deal unstuck,” Streib said. “They always had a slightly different perspective. I think it’s good to have diversity in sales because, in my experience, women naturally think about situations in life a little bit differently.”

Streib said that part of why she has enjoyed success in the field is that she does not fear failure. Rather, she views rejections as part of becoming a better salesperson.

“You’re essentially not doing your job if you’re not getting no’s,” she said. “The more conversations you have, the better.”

Although Streib enjoyed her time at Datadog, eventually, she reached a point where she felt she needed to make a change. She took a job at FireHydrant, a company in the incident management space. After a year at FireHydrant, she saw the opportunity to join BigPanda.

“I trusted that BigPanda had an experienced foundation of leadership and a really strong product,” Streib said. “To me, leadership is very important.”

Streib said her work in tech sales helped prepare her for her role at BigPanda. Although there always is a learning curve when joining a new company, she wouldn’t be learning a foreign language. She could already talk the talk.

“The other thing that drove me to the company is that I believe developer tooling, in general, is so necessary for companies to continue to innovate and essentially stay alive,” she said.

Streib said she was struck during her interviews by the mission-driven culture of BigPanda. She said everyone was telling her the same thing and was on the same page.

“Everyone at BigPanda, regardless of their team, is chasing the same mission,” Streib said. “Everyone is helpful and wants to know what they can do to support you. It’s a very empowering culture. I’ve never been at a company that is so driven by everyone working together.”

1https://mashable.com/article/are-we-not-there-yet-on-women-in-tech-sales