Three Questions with Robin Barde, Global Sales Enablement Manager at SailPoint
Not many people start their high-tech careers at the symphony, but for Robin Barde, Global Sales Enablement Manager at SailPoint, that’s where her career in tech and sales began. To get to that point, though, we must step back in time a little further.
Growing up, Robin loved to sing. (Fun fact: she’s a trained opera singer!) Pairing her passion for music with a love of teaching, she found herself teaching elementary school music and later, high school vocal lessons. Summer break is not something many of us get once we leave school, but as a teacher, Robin took the opportunity of school breaks to take on a little extra work. That is where the symphony comes in. A summer job in sales at the Austin Symphony led to a full-time career shift into the sales world. During her first onboarding training, things clicked. Seeing her onboarding trainer in action, she knew she could be in this profession (which, as it turns out, she was very good at) and teach.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Many cold calls and eight years later, Robin serves as Global Sales Enablement Manager in our sales organization. Though she would never have predicted that she would be a member of a sales operations organization, she feels right at home at SailPoint.
That is why sat down with Robin for this week’s Women in Identity post.
If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
This is a tough one because I believe my life choices, right and wrong, are the very reason I landed at SailPoint in a career that I love. If I had not moved to New York after college to teach, I would not have realized how much I love my hometown, which brought me running back, never to move away again! If I hadn’t moved back at that very time in my life, I might not have fallen in love with my husband and had our two crazy kids. If we had not been planning a wedding, I might not have taken that first Sales position. The major steps in my life have led me here, and I’m grateful. Now that said, there are things I would have changed in the story that got me here … I would have negotiated bigger salaries, said “No” more often, stood up for what I believe in even when the conversations were tough, and I would have gone to more happy hours (is that possible?). In other words, I would have stepped outside of my comfort zone and welcomed different opinions more openly and without defensiveness, while standing up for what I believe in. Probably the most significant difference between when you’re first starting and ten years later is knowing how to balance between humility and steadfastness. I don’t know it all, but I know what I believe in (and I know what I DON’T know – and can actually admit it now)!
2020 has been an interesting year. What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past six months?
That I need a supportive team more than I ever thought I would. I’ve been #blessed working with great teams before, but this pandemic has brought my fabulous team closer together, in a way that working in an office never could. We send Marco Polo videos, we share our honest emotions, we ask each other for help and support, we have each other’s backs, extend a lot of grace to each other, and we LAUGH a whole bunch.
Another discovery I’ve made is that I can actually be (gasp!) alone! I’m generally a very social person, so quarantining was tough on my psyche for a while there. I was on more virtual happy hours each week than I ever went to in person. Now, months later, I’ve found my groove. I can focus for hours at a time. I know when I need a break and I take it. I turn work off and play with my kids. I lock my door and binge Netflix. These strange times have made me more confident in my abilities to make decisions and take charge – although I still Slack my amazing boss Barrett to make sure I’m not off-base fairly often.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a leader in your role?
It really goes back to believing in my own abilities. Imposter syndrome is REAL, y’all. It takes a good six months for me to feel truly confident in any new role, and as the Global Sales Enablement Manager, I’ve taken on a lot of responsibility very quickly. Being on-camera in front of 40 new salespeople to lead a 7-day virtual onboarding didn’t come as natural as leading a live training for 300 in person, but these are the times we’re livin’ in. There’s no “faking it till you make it” – you just MAKE IT. When your team needs you, you just do. That’s what coming to SailPoint has meant in my life. Through struggles and challenges, at the end of the day, my team and my number one customer, Sales, are counting on me. I have had to prove to myself and to them that no matter what, I can and will step up to any challenge and own it. I got this!
Robin Barde, SailPoint’s Global Manager of Sales Enablement today (left) and at her senior recital (right).