In this episode, Michael Gardon chats with Danny Leonard. Danny is currently a Co-Founder at Ramped. He's also a sales advisor, consultant, and investor with over a decade of success at various VC-backed startups. He's built sales teams from scratch, bringing them through initial traction and onto scale/profitability. He's closed deals upwards of $2M on his own and managed all sales functions. Currently, he's a Co-Founder of Ramped, a career discovery platform for early-career sales talent.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
- Danny’s background
- Why sales skills are important - even if you aren’t in sales
- Danny’s thoughts on the challenge of figuring out what to do after college
- How belief and alignment can benefit your career
- The most vital traits that are important for a career in sales
- The keys to high performance
- The importance of written and verbal communication skills
HELP US OUT!
Help us reach new listeners by leaving us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts! It takes less than 30 seconds and really helps our show grow, which allows us to bring on even better guests for you all! Thank you – we really appreciate it.
BOOKS AND RESOURCES:
- Danny’s company Ramped
- How to improve your communication skills
- Adapting to virtual selling
- Connect with Danny on LinkedIn.
Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.
Michael Gardon (00:00):
Hi everyone. And welcome back to another episode of CareerCloud Radio. I'm your host Michael Gardon. I'm on a mission to help job seekers build thriving careers of their choosing. And to do that, I try to have interesting conversations with people that approach the idea of what a career is a bit differently. Today's guest is Danny Leonard. Danny is the CEO of rant, a completely free career discovery platform for early career sales talent. He's also a sales advisor consultant and investor with over a decade of success at various VC backed startups. He's built sales teams from scratch, bringing them through initial traction and onto scale and profitability. And he's closed deals upwards of $2 million on his own and manage all sales functions. In this episode, we talk about the importance of sales skills and how to get better at them. Even if you're not in the sales profession, we chat about our backgrounds coming out of college and how hard it was to figure out what to do with our careers. And we chat about how his new company ramped is trying to help that whole cycle within the sales arena. I hope you enjoy this episode with Danny Leonard, Danny, welcome to the podcast. How are you?
Danny Leonard (01:10):
I'm doing well, Mike, great to be here.
Michael Gardon (01:13):
Yes. Thanks so much for doing this. I'm going to remind our audience. You and I are talking because a couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with our mutual friend Patrick class, and I asked him a version of the question. What's one of the top skills for the future that you're seeing that's on your radar. Maybe that's a little bit undervalued. And he, he said sales and I was just a little bit taken aback. I don't know if it's everything I hear out of Silicon valley product, product product. You don't need a marketing department, whatever that might be. I was just sort of taken aback. And then he said, you got to talk to my boy, Danny. And, and so that's why we're here talking about sales. So I think I wanted to just open with the same question that I asked him and get your thoughts a little bit on where sales sits in the skills department kind of headed into the future.
Danny Leonard (02:03):
Patrick is great. I've had the opportunity to work with him quite a bit over the last year or so, and and love the guy. But that's a good question and a good prompt for, for where we're I was sales. So pretty much it's Silicon valley doesn't really share this, but everything is Silicon valley is really two things, right? It's it's product and sales or product and marketing and sales. There is a little bit of a fallacy that the product can always sell itself. Some of the best companies in the world have exceptional sales teams or exceptional salespeople. So even, you know, apple, Google squares, some of the companies that you hear like, oh, we don't have big sales teams. Maybe they don't call them sales teams, but there's certainly certainly sales. And the reason that sales is so important is because, you know, to get anywhere in life, whether you realize it or not, you really have to sell.
Danny Leonard (02:49):
So whether it's selling yourself in an interview or selling yourself for the next career opportunity at your specific company or selling a product of your own, becoming a founder, you have to sell, you have to know how to sell. So when Patrick or others say sales is the biggest area of opportunity or sales is the next frontier at one of the most important skill sets you could learn. The reason being is because pretty much everything in life will boil down to sales at any different amount of times. And it gets a really negative connotation. And that's simply because when you look around or you hear people talk about sales, or you could probably point to a handful of folks that you've interacted with in your life that have become salespeople and you don't like it sensationalized in one way. And that's like the hard driving, smooth talking Wolf of wall street, boiler room, Glen, Gary, Glen Ross type. And that's just not, not really true anymore. Salespeople today are empathetic. They're thoughtful. They drive and lead with data and analysis, the best companies, the best cutting edge tech companies are built with folks who don't necessarily have that typical sales background of, you know, somebody who's smooth talking and can talk their way into any deal. They, they are really thoughtful and they come from exceptionally diverse set of skillsets and backgrounds.
Michael Gardon (04:08):
I think that's a great opening salvo into this topic. I think to me, as I've thought about it and talked to folks, it's a very sales is a very broad sort of meta scale, and we can, we can really unpack the different sub skills within sales. And I want to do that. I want to shift real quick though, to the question that I ask everybody right away, because I'm so interested in backstories and I'm so interested in like how you, what you did and how you got drawn into sales. And we'll kind of take that arc throughout this conversation, but can you tell our audience about like your first job and that can be like as a kid or that can be high school college. Have you heard the first real job? However you want to take that?
Danny Leonard (04:53):
Yeah, for sure. Well, but first job of sticking to this story, because it's so funny, but my first job was when I was 14 years old. I, one of my best friends from Minnesota where I grew up, his dad owned a box company and I actually got my first job working in the factory and putting together boxes. So like actually like fitting a piece of a box into another piece of a box all day. That was my true first job. And believe me, I have the the battle scars to show my fingers were all cut up with cardboard paper cuts, whatever you want to call it, but that was job number one for me.
Michael Gardon (05:26):
Excellent. So, and today, if I look at your LinkedIn page, you're doing a bunch of different things, right? Can you kind of walk us through your career arc from the box company? What'd you get interested in, in college and sort of, how did you get drawn into this world of sales
Danny Leonard (05:42):
From the box company? I realized very quickly that that probably wasn't the route I wanted to take too many cuts on that on the hands. But what I did is I kind of dabbled, I think, unintentionally throughout my high school and college career in terms of what I was working on. So I'd always been interested in, in numbers. I was always interested in in the stock market. So at school, I went to the university of Michigan and undergraduate business degree program called Ross school of business. I focused on finance and I was really set on becoming an investment banker. That's what I really thought I wanted to do, frankly. And upon graduating, I graduated in 2009. The market obviously took a turn for the worst, the complete financial meltdown. There were very few jobs available. I was obviously bummed. So coming out of Michigan, they push you in a couple of directions.
Danny Leonard (06:28):
One of which is finance. I was bummed. And I thought that this was the only, the only opportunity, the only avenue for me. So after school, I actually took some time and worked at the summer camp. I grew up going to, I was a camp counselor there at a bunch of fun that summer and came home after that. And I was like, I don't know what I'm going to do. I really am confused. So I, at some level to appease my parents decided I was going to take the LSAT and go to law school. And I worked at a law firm, a friend's law firm at the time I realized quickly that law was not for me. I absolutely hated the studying portion of the LSAT. It was awful. I have two younger brothers. If you ask either one of them, when I was at my worst, they would say that time period that I was studying for the L sat.
Danny Leonard (07:12):
So it was, it was bad. And I was super confused. And then a buddy reached out to me and said something along the lines of, Hey, Danny, I work at this really cool company called Groupon. It's based out of Chicago. I was in Minneapolis at the time back at home. Why don't you come and interview here? And you know, if you like the interview process, if you like the team, you know, I'm sure he could get a job. So I was like, cool, that looks great. I checked out their website, their website had this. Like, it was kind of ahead of its time. They had this little camera that showed people in the office and nobody's wearing a suit. So I was like, okay, I'm, I'm pretty into that. So I actually applied to every single job on their job board. And like a day later, the recruiter got back to me and was like, Hey man, like you can't be applying to every job on the job.
Danny Leonard (07:57):
It's just, you're not going to get a job here, but I know your buddy, so why don't we do this? Why don't you come down and start as an unpaid sales intern, you'll launch our newest market at the time. It was Oklahoma city. You'll cold call Oklahoma city merchants. And if you do well, we'll give you a full-time position. So I was thinking, and Groupon was sitting with me at the time. I was like one deal a day, highlighting local markets and kind of rooting for the underdog. And I was like, you know what? I'm kind of into that. Like, yeah, I'll do it. So I moved to Chicago, no solid income in mind, got into Groupon and ended up just hitting the ground running and realized really quickly that I could do sales. I had no idea it was in my personality at the time and perform very well as an individual contributor ended up managing a big team there.
Danny Leonard (08:41):
And then the rest, you know, was kind of methodical. So I jumped out from Chicago to Silicon valley and launched a sales team at a company called order ahead. And then I've pretty much been launching sales teams ever since. And that led me to branching off my, on my own about six years ago and building a consulting business, focusing on building sales teams for startups. And after that, I met two awesome folks. My co-founders now at ramped Mitch and Manoj, I worked with them on a project and we kept in touch and that's kind of, you know, naturally how ramped the game to form. We were tossing around ideas and, and here I am today and make it sound easy, but there's a ton of stress along the way. So it's certainly not easy.
Michael Gardon (09:24):
That is a fantastic story. You and I actually listening to you, we have a couple of interesting parallels. So I was in the finance industry in Chicago. I was, I was a prop trader in that 2008, 2009, a crazy time period. I've made several transitions if you will, in terms of what I've done, but I know the Groupon story. Well, buddy, that worked there as well and you know, who was in Chicago around the same timeframe. So that's really, that's really interesting. And the other thing I wanted to say was I almost went there. I thought very hard about going to law school as well. How was that a period of, I came out I'm a little bit older and I was 2003 ish bad economy at that point in time too. And I was like, ah, you know, my dad's a lawyer. Okay. I'll take, maybe I'll go take the LSAT dual MBA thing. And I was like, man, this isn't, I know this isn't right. There was just something like it's, it's not right. And that was one of the moments where I was like, wow, you know, there's not just two paths for me. Right. Like there's a whole world of things that I could do out there and I'm just kinda gonna go explore. And it seems like you sort of just leaned in to that as well and sort of accidentally wound up finding your calling.
Danny Leonard (10:33):
Yeah. So I would say it was, it was less intentional. I certainly had the same feeling you had of like, man, this is not right. There's a bit about this as bad. But I was, I think at that time, a little bit harder on myself. I was very much, you know, Hey, the laws in, for me banking, not working out, like, what the heck am I going to do next? Like, that was where it's at.
Michael Gardon (10:55):
So I wanted to ask again, it was sort of like a, an unintended career change for you to wind up at a high growth tech company and in sales. And I wanted to ask, what was it about sales or that position that, why did you end up sticking with it? It wasn't just the, okay. You were good at it necessarily. Like, like what do you think it is about sales that ended up clicking with your personality?
Danny Leonard (11:20):
I wouldn't even peg myself today as like a sales person, which is kind of crazy. I feel like sometimes, you know, I still don't fit that mold of, of what the perception is of a salesperson. I think what clicked right away was I'm very goal oriented and driven by numbers and not even like the money aspect, just like I see a goal and I really want to hit it. So in that respect, like when I started, I was really bad on the phones. I would like make tons of mistakes. I, we had a script to memorize at Groupon. It was a basic script, but I would read through it and I was like, this I'm just, I'm just terrible at this I'm how do I, how do I get better? And the earliest thing that I did for myself, which I turned out to be, you know, right.
Danny Leonard (12:05):
And intentional or not was like, I just saw, there was probably a hundred salespeople at the time or 50 sales figures are 50 salespeople at the time. I just saw the top of the leaderboard in terms of calls made every day. And I was like, all right, I'm going to beat that person by 10 every single day until I get better and better and better. So every single day for my first six months, I would try to beat that top person no matter what. And then what I realized quickly and got off my, you know, told you about the sales internship. I got off the internship after, you know, three weeks or four weeks. And, and then started getting on salary. I realized like one paycheck was way small and one would get bigger and bigger and bigger over time. Cause it was the one with commission. I was like, okay, I kind of see where this is going. And I knew that there was an incentive plan in place and I didn't really know that I'd be motivated like that, but I was motivated by just hitting goals and continuing to drive myself. And I, I think that performance measurement was really helpful for me early in my career.
Michael Gardon (13:03):
Yeah. That's super interesting. So I'm just going to go back to like a personal anecdote, like coming out of college again, when, when I didn't really know what I was going to do, I was interning as a financial advisor. Right. And making cold calls and I, I couldn't stomach it. Right. Like it was such a barrier for me to do that because as I found out, you know, nearly 20 years later working with a performance coach, like I need to have really great alignment around what I do. And if I don't have like great, perfect alignment, you know, I can't do it. I can't pick up the phone. Like how does a person get around that? Because there's a leading indicators, right? Like what you're talking about, making the phone calls, right. Like, yeah. Maybe it's not the greatest, most fun thing, but like, you gotta do it. Right. Like it's got to get done. And then there's the lagging indicators, which are everything else. Like I couldn't get myself to get over the leading indicator. Like I think that's such a barrier. And how do you get around that?
Danny Leonard (13:59):
So what I will say is, and it's a great point and I hear it all the time. Obviously through ramp, we train up, you know, hundreds of junior salespeople. I've trained thousands in my career. I hear it all the time. And all I can tell you on this subject is you really just have to believe in the product or you have that in your personality. I don't actually think I have that like get up and make these cold calls every day. And I really love it. I don't have that necessarily. So for me, I really have to believe in what I'm selling. And at Groupon, I believed it to my core. Like it was, I knew it worked and I knew it was going to help businesses. And I could spell out the exact use case for any business at one point in time for any business that I was calling on and why it would work.
Danny Leonard (14:44):
And again, that kind of drives me kind of the thread. There is a, it goes a little bit back to how I like to analyze things. And I was about numbers growing up. Like I could create the most simple to understand ROI case for your business. And because I could do that and see the numbers work, I was so confident that it was going to work for whatever business I was calling. So for me it was all about belief and that is really where I go, at least in my career, I have to believe. I really have to find something that I believe in, or I'm not going to be able to sell it.
Michael Gardon (15:15):
Yeah. You're using the word belief. I'm using the word alignment. Yeah, exactly. The same thing. I think I had such a hard time because I love the markets as well, and I felt fully comfortable taking risks in the market myself, but I was very uncomfortable telling anybody else, you know, especially as like a 20 year old kid, right. Like what they should do with their money. So there was this dis-alignment and I didn't believe in my results or my process or my experience at the time. Right. So I, I, yeah. I mean, alignment's just absolutely huge. I feel like in, in this world, so we talked about sales being to me, it's like this compilation of skills, right? How do you view the breakdown, I guess, of a complete sales person? So, I mean, you have people who can obviously pick up a phone, be good on the phone, be a good conversationalist. You have extroverts versus introverts. You have data, you were talking about data driven and you know, people who are really analytical, there's digital marketing, which can be viewed as, as sales. Like how do you sort of categorize all of this stuff under the umbrella of sales skills, I guess?
Danny Leonard (16:28):
Yeah. There are some traits that I believe are important though. The cross section of salespeople I've seen in my career, you know, great and poor, I can point to like some things that are, that exist for most folks, but there's also, there's always wild cars where you're, you're, you'll actually encounter like a true introvert who is a rockstar salesperson simply because they have most or all of the other traits that they need to perform really well. So I say this not to really box folks in, but to give kind of like guidance on some of the traits that I think are most successful for sales. And I would say there's a, there's a handful. So one, you gotta be determined. And what I mean by that is if you put a goal in front of you, people to go in front of, you know, somebody you're managing, they have to want to hit that goal and they have to want to succeed.
Danny Leonard (17:18):
And sales is at some level a lot about just succeeding and winning. So you really have to, you have to find that within you, sales is also about being an expert communicator. I don't think you can get away with having like a lack of communication skills. You have to have both verbal and written communication skills today, especially because cold calling while it's not dead, it has changed quite a bit. I think the days of, for most businesses like picking up the phone, dial in a Rolodex a hundred times, it doesn't exactly exist like that anymore. So written communication is a key avenue there. I think today you have to be really empathetic. So COVID especially, but it was trending this way before, like folks are getting bombarded with sales calls. It's never a good time for your prospect. They've got tons of other things that they're working on day to day.
Danny Leonard (18:07):
And I think empathy is, is critically important there. The last thing I'll say, and I'm sure there are other ones, but the last thing I'll say is analytical skills are very important for sales. So you have to be able to analyze and assess different situations, whether it's, you know, complex ROI case for businesses or the interpersonal relationships between two people at an org that you have to build consensus on, or even just creating value based on specific personas of sure you're approaching. I think all of those, all of those skills are critical and I'm, I'm sure I'm leaving some out as well.
Michael Gardon (18:44):
So of these top traits that you kind of outlined, so being determined, expert communications, empathy, analytical skills, let's like, let's just stick with those. Obviously there's lot more. Do you believe that all of these can be trained to the level of expertise needed to succeed as a sales person? Is there anything that is innate that can't be really accounted for
Danny Leonard (19:07):
And I'll expand upon determination a bit. I think it's also in encompasses like a little bit of grit or a lot of grit depending on the person. So if you believe that you can cultivate grit on your own and you can train that, then I think the answer is yes. I do think that grit and determination are trainable. I think the others, by the way are trainable. I think you can train great written communication skills, great verbal communication skills. If you want it, you have to want it. I think you can certainly train analytical skills. And then, you know, I think at some level you're talking about determination, you're talking about grit and I think the answer is yes, but you have to find that within you, like the person you're training really has to commit to wanting to get better. And that avenue has to be aware enough to know if they don't have it that they want
Michael Gardon (19:53):
Really interesting. Yeah. I would say most of the people out there within the world of let's say leadership or self-improvement or what have you that talk maybe about grit or determination would say, yes, it's not necessarily trainable or it's very minimally trainable. So I think that it's really interesting. I mean, that gives me like a lot of, I think, hope and optimism that like people can develop the micro skills that sort of underpin this gritty attitude, right. To become what they need to eventually,
Danny Leonard (20:29):
If you're a one on the grit, determination skill, can you get to a 10 easily? Probably, no, I think that's going to take a ton of work, but if you're like a six or a seven and you're looking to get to eight, nine or 10, I think that's, I think it's doable. And I think it's just I'm by no means the expert on, on training grit. I think that there are just things that you could be doing in your life to push yourself. You know, you have to have some genuine curiosity, you have to see goals and attack them. You have to want to improve, and you have to kind of be aware of the areas that you need to improve on and then just set mini goals along the way to get to that big goal.
Michael Gardon (21:07):
So we highlighted, I kind of told the story about my big barrier, but like, what are some of the other, I guess, barriers to succeeding within the world of sales and how do people get over them? If we can train all of these things, right? How do people end up getting over some of these barriers?
Danny Leonard (21:25):
And I don't necessarily believe that sales is for everyone. So I'm not in the mindset that I think you need to get over them. I wouldn't necessarily frame it like that. I could kind of frame it like this if you're starting a career in sales, and this is a lot of what we're doing with ramp and you realize very early on that you absolutely hate cold calling or you hate putting generating lists of leads, hundreds of lists of leads, or you hate reaching out to hundreds of people and hearing no all the time. It just might not be for you. And that's okay. I think that's even better to learn at an early stage in your career than not. So I think let's take that as like, you know, one section of folks who really shouldn't be in sales because it's just not right for them.
Danny Leonard (22:11):
And that then, and that's great actually that you know that early on folks that really want sales and can commit to it, have to see that it's like a bigger picture and that there's a bigger mission at stake. And what I mean there is, you know, if you're getting into a sport like golf, right, you're going to make millions of mistakes over your career. You're never going to have a perfect ground. You're probably never even really going to hit like the perfect, perfect shot. You could do so many things wrong, but you could still play well. And you could still see constant improvement. You have to just commit to the fact that that's the game or the sport that you're playing over time. So if you're willing to make the commitment and you know that, you know, it's a slog at points and parts of the job suck.
Danny Leonard (22:51):
And yeah, nobody really likes to pick up the phone and dial a hundred times. And certainly not many people like to hear no 95, 96, 90 7% of the time. But if you can get through that stuff, the reward is so big, right? It's a really cool career path. It's a lucrative career path for those who care about that. And you get the opportunity to work on what I feel like is the most energized team at a company, right? You're building a momentum, positive momentum, you're building energy and you actually get to see your work being rewarded. So not just in terms of, you know, your own financial compensation, but every deal you close helps the business. And you can see that dollar is going into the business, helps build the company that you're working for.
Michael Gardon (23:35):
Yeah, exactly. I think what you're describing is key to high-performance pretty much in any category. I mean, you, you, you gave the golf example, right? It's and what I do with my, and what we've talked about a lot is coming down to like giving yourself grace, like you're not going to bat a thousand, right. If you get a hit three out of 10 times, you fail seven times, but you're in the hall of fame at that point in time. Right? Like, so getting that broader sort of that broader perspective of where the, the numbers shake out and then giving yourself grace, like, yeah, you're going to stumble and fall, not everything's going to go, right. But you need enough at bats, right? You're going to get enough at bats. You're going to get enough dials or whatever, and you do the right things. And there's a, there's a process and you can be successful. So I really liked that. What about for the people that aren't in sales? Right. We talked at the beginning of the, of the podcast, how this is really a meta skill. Getting better at sales in general is a meta scale. And you're going to use that, whether you're in the sales profession or not, for somebody that thinks they hate selling right. Or thinks they don't need to sell, what do you see as like the, maybe the number one trait or sub skill that they need to get better at, regardless
Danny Leonard (24:49):
What I believe everybody could probably improve upon I'm clearing myself is the written and verbal and nonverbal communication skills. So even if you don't believe in sales and you just can't get over the hump, that most things, you know, you disagree with my premise, that most things in life will come back to selling at some level, selling yourself, selling for, you know, selling for somebody else, et cetera. You still will, at some point need to get, get better or improve on, you know, that communication aspect. So, and I think communication is so key and I think language is so key the way that you frame and phrase things. And it's something that I commit to, and also try to get better on throughout my life as is making sure that I'm super clear, especially when you're managing a team or a big team you're super clear with what's expected. You're super clear with, you know, how you interact with folks. And you're super clear about what, what you do and you don't say at any given point in time. So I think, I think that skill alone, if you're not going to commit to sales, you want to distill it into one. It would be, it would be the communication skills.
Michael Gardon (25:55):
Yeah. I tend to agree with that. I mean, I talk about communication skills, specifically written communication skills. Cause I run a remote company. We've been remote since well before the pandemic we're small, but in written communication, it really, really matters giving the right amount of context, like in an email, let's say that somebody isn't going to act on till, let's say the next, the following morning or at some other asynchronous time having the proper amount of context and getting the important things out there and making sure you're clear and concise is extraordinarily important. It's not just from a process standpoint, efficiency standpoint. I mean, you come across as more authoritative, more in control and so communication. Yeah. And we live in this world, right. 140 characters. And it's a little bit opposite of having crystal clear communication skills like in a business setting. So I definitely agree with that whenever you're trying to get an idea across you're selling, right. And you're getting ideas across whether you're talking or writing. So I tend to agree with, with that as being like the, I would say the number one thing that everybody can get better at regardless of their level. And it is a massive, massive sales skill. Yep. You've mentioned ramped a little bit, but for our audience, give us what you're doing right now. What is ramped? What is your mission there? What are you trying to accomplish? And who can benefit
Danny Leonard (27:24):
Right now is the place the platform for early career folks to learn about a specific career pathway, understand if they like that specific career pathway and then commit and get placed into a role in that specific career pathway. So I'll break that down. So let's talk about both your and my post-college career search. Right? I jumped around from summer camp to a law firm, thought I was getting into banking and then wound up at a tech company, right? A tech company doing sales. So the job search has not changed all that much for early career folks. They are learning at their academic institutions, a variety of things, however, most, if not all, are not applicable to what they're going to be doing right after school. And why is that? I actually don't know the answer to that. I don't know why that's still broken. So what ramp is doing is we're showing early career folks, the distilled version of what they should be doing or what they want to be doing after school.
Danny Leonard (28:28):
So we have a, you know, for instance, we have a, a tech sales track, we'll train folks on all the basics they need for tech sales. If they like it, they can double down on it. And if they double down on it and complete that tech sales track, we will actually help them find a job at a, at a great tech sales company that could do the same right now have financial services. So, you know, they could learn a little bit more about financial services, sales doubled down on it. And then if they like it, they'll get interviews at different financial institutions and same thing with pharma sales, same thing with a medical device sales. And eventually we're going to do it for all career pathways. So think of a world now where you're coming out of school, you don't know what you want to do.
Danny Leonard (29:06):
You come to ramped and you say, I think I'm interested in sales. Great. We will show you the sales track. You will go through the sales track. You'll learn about sales. You'll start to do some simulations. You'll actually try to make that a hundred cold calls if you don't like it. And you're like, this is not for me. That's perfect because now you're learning on your own time and you're not learning at a companies on a company's dime. You are learning that you don't like sales, and then we can show you another career pathway, like an entry level law clerk, or perhaps a early career marketing associate. So now I get the opportunity to try essentially before you commit. And we think that it's a more thoughtful way to go or go about your career search. We also think it's, it's more empathetic to both the candidate and to the company. So the company is not getting somebody who's going to lead them in three months. And the candidate actually gets to really dig in to what the actual job will be, and then commit instead of what's happening now, which is spray and pray. Mass apply. Whoever gives you the interview, you kind of double down and because like, well you need a job. You're going to continue to work that interview process, even if it's not the right fit For you.
Michael Gardon (30:16):
Very cool. I would say like the number one thing that was missing for me coming out of college and trying to figure out what I want to do was just this. I felt like I didn't have a, there wasn't a good platform for me to explore all of the different and nuanced areas that I could potentially pursue in a career. Yeah. You have your career center. Yes. You have these fit job fairs where people come talk to you about this stuff and you can, you can find mentors and your dad and your uncle, you know, to tell you about some of this stuff. But like, man, it's a really big world out there. Right. And so I've always been this kind of a fan of this apprentice model. And I feel like what you're describing is you're sort of bridging that apprentice model. You're democratizing it and bringing it and trying to, I guess, create more loops even quicker. So somebody can come to ramp and look at pharma sales and do some activities and get a feel for it. Well, you know, what's a window of time. What would be a window of time where somebody would sort of get a feel for what the, what that would be like.
Danny Leonard (31:20):
So right now we will also cater the courses specific to gen Z. So they're all online. They're all digital. You can complete a course, probably in as little as three weeks. However, typically folks go through the program in about six to eight weeks and you'll know, you'll essentially know, probably you'll know sooner than that, because you'll drop out if you don't like cold calling or if you don't like generating leads or if you don't like prospecting on LinkedIn. So we make it the simulations like really mirror exactly what they're going to be doing in the real world. The courses we want to be. Absolutely no BS, because we want you to get a taste of the career. And if you don't like it, that's great. That's frankly, you should learn that before jumping into a specific career path.
Michael Gardon (32:05):
Yeah. I mean, I'm just thinking like three to six weeks, you can learn a lot about these different nuance sales positions real fast. You can get through five of these real quick and have a pretty darn good idea. And again, that was just missing. So I really, really interested in this model is your typical job seeker or the person that comes on to the platform. Are they typically still in college?
Danny Leonard (32:30):
So we actually have three buckets of folks who are coming through the platform. The first, yes, there, the let's call it twenty two, twenty three year old person who is just looking for that first job right out of school. Then there's a bucket of let's call them career switchers. So those are folks who may have worked at a nonprofit dialing for donations. And they realize like, look, I kind of like this. I want to seek out a tech sales career. You know, where am I going to get that training I'm coming to ramp. And then the third they're folks who have been in the role in another company, and maybe didn't get the support they need, didn't get the training they need or whatever reason didn't like it. And they come to us to get retrained or re-skilled and find a new employer partner or find, you know, somebody who they could work with for a long time.
Michael Gardon (33:17):
Very cool. I mean, ramp sounds awesome. How long have you been at ramped?
Danny Leonard (33:22):
It's great. I'm obviously very biased, but we think it's awesome. And we've been up and running for about a year now. So June, 2020 is when we launched officially, we launched in the heat of the pandemic. It's been crazy. It's been crazy. We're somewhat of a marketplace, obviously. So when we launched, there was no one hiring. We were like just coming out of that initial shock and now the world is opening back up and there's tons of companies hiring. So we're very lucky and very fortunate to be where we are today. And we've put about 500 plus students through the program and we've worked with 60, 70 employer partners.
Michael Gardon (33:59):
Very, very cool. I hope we can do this again and follow up on some of your progress maybe in a another year and see where you guys are at. Can you let our audience know where they can find you learn more about ramps, give out your website and all that kind of stuff? Yeah,
Danny Leonard (34:15):
Absolutely. I would love to chat with anybody. Who's either looking into, get into a sales career or an employer partner that wants to hire the absolute best sales talent in the U S you can find email@example.com or hit me on our website, www.rent, careers.com, or you can hit me on LinkedIn. It's just Daniel Leonard.
Michael Gardon (34:38):
Excellent, Danny, great to talk to you. Thanks so much for coming on and we'll talk to you soon. Thanks Mike. Appreciate it.
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