Snyk Career Stories: Starting and growing your career through the Snyk SDR program

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Snyk Team
Snyk Team

November 23, 2021

0 mins read

At Snyk, our values serve as the foundation of our culture and enable us to grow. We are deeply invested in career progression and offer our teams tools, skills, and development opportunities necessary to enable our Snykers to become future leaders. One of the places we’ve seen our values in action is through our sales development program. This program offers a pathway to future Sales leadership roles through sales development representative (SDR) skill building and mentorship.

Peter McKay, Snyk CEO, knows first-hand the importance of learning and career development opportunities, especially within the SDR program and broader sales organization:

 Earlier in my career, I made the decision to switch from a finance role to sales. In my first sales job, I learned many valuable lessons that I still lean on to this day. I surrounded myself with people that I could learn from and I put in more effort than most to turn my weaknesses into my strengths. The SDR program is a crucial aspect of our business here at Snyk and much of the growth we’ve seen over the last couple years is due to the investment and commitment we’ve made in this group.

If you’re interested in a Sales role at Snyk, read on to learn how the SDR program has provided development and leadership opportunities for our fellow Snykers.

Drew Hanson, Senior Sales Development Representative


Drew was recently promoted to his new role as a Senior Sales Development Representative at Snyk! Outside of work, he enjoys getting together with his friends, running,  golfing, and fishing. And as someone who grew up in New York, he likes keeping up with the NY Giants and Mets.

Where are you based and when did you join Snyk?

I’m based in Boston, Massachusetts and I joined Snyk in February 2021.

Why did you initially apply for the SDR position and how have you grown in your role since joining?

I joined because I was eager to make a career change from teaching and wanted to join a sales team at a fast-growing company. Since joining, I’ve mentored a few of the new hires on my team, led some of the business development training sessions here, and have helped the Business Development team with outreach on some of Snyk’s integrations.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a candidate interviewing for an SDR role?

Come curious. Ask all of the questions you have about Snyk, the role, and the team.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an SDR?

Being a part of a team and contributing. It’s rewarding to see a goal that was set early on later attained in the month or quarter.

From your experience, what's something special about Snyk that you think potential candidates would like to know about?

The One Team value that everyone has. No matter what team someone is on, they’re always willing to help out however possible. We have a great culture. It makes you enjoy coming into the office and working for Snyk.

Hannah Martensen, SMB Account Executive


Hannah started her Snyk journey as an SDR and has quickly grown throughout her Sales career into her current role. Outside of work, Hannah is an assistant coach on the Canadian Women’s National Baseball Team. She also coaches in the Ottawa area and works with local committees to help grow women’s competitive baseball. In her downtime, she loves snowboarding, yoga, live music, and spending time with family and friends.

Where are you based and when did you join Snyk?

I’m based in Ottawa, Canada and I’m coming up on 20 months with Snyk. 

Why did you initially apply for the SDR position and how have you grown in your role since joining?

I had been thinking about getting into sales, but having a kinesiology background I really had no clue what sales or tech were like. Luckily a high school friend of mine had previously worked in an SDR role at Snyk, and walked me through her positive experience with the company. It looked like a great entry role to get my feet wet and see if sales was for me. Turns out, it is!

How have you grown in your career at Snyk since joining?

The three key factors that set me up for success were the support from the Snyk team, the sales and marketing tools that were available to us, and the confidence I gained to prepare for my next role in the company.

Our team had sessions with Snyk execs where they shared their insights and answered questions. We also had external speakers join our calls for training and help us build our sales acumen. When I started, the SDR process was still new. We were changing constantly but we had all the sales tools and marketing resources there to support us and there was always space for new ideas and how to improve.

Sales leaders were open to meeting for coaching sessions and peers were open to help with ideas and feedback to help with outreach into accounts. The people who were a part of that were the biggest factors in building my confidence and my success at Snyk and helped me break into some of the biggest accounts for our strategic SDR team.

Being able to work with different reps within the company and scheduling coaching sessions was highly impactful for my progression at Snyk. Learning from others and having a tonof resources behind the day-to-day activities set me up for success in the role.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a candidate interviewing for an SDR role?

Be vulnerable. Nobody is perfect, and in sales you will get rejected 100 times more than you’ll get a win. Get comfortable with failing and prioritizing your own growth, including the areas you want to work on. Not only do teammates want to work with someone who is genuine and human, but prospects and customers do too. If you can embrace the One Team and Care Deeply values we have at Snyk, you’ll fit right in. You’ll be a part of a great culture and surrounded by great leadership that will help you to grow professionally and personally.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of being an SDR?

Working with great people and a great product that is solving a real problem in the AppSec space is rewarding. It’s awesome to see how quickly people can adopt and use the tool, and the community that Snyk has built in the industry as a result. 

For me, having a team environment with constant new challenges is where I thrive, and Snyk is exactly that. Everyone is open to helping and the work environment is so fast paced that there’s never a dull moment; there is always a new challenge to tackle head on. The sales wins are celebrated collectively and it feeds into the One Team culture we have at Snyk — it’s awesome.

From your experience, what's something special about Snyk that you think potential candidates would like to know about?

The people definitely make the experience great, and knowing that there are people at Snyk invested in your success and willing to help is comforting. Beyond that, it’s awesome to see the scale at which we’ve grown since I joined. From 300 employees to just shy of 900 employees in my time here has been a crazy ride. Having offices worldwide means you can interact with people across the world and learn from them which has been really rewarding. The socials are a blast, and even when we had to run a virtual all-hands during the pandemic, it was a lot of fun.

Alexis Matthews, SDR Manager


Alexis first joined Snyk remotely out of Austin, Texas and recently relocated to Denver, Colorado. She also co-founded the first Snyk Resource Group called Black@Snyk. Outside of work, Alexis loves yoga, meditation, cooking and traveling. Her guilty pleasures include watching Real Housewives and TikTok.

Where are you based and when did you join Snyk?

I recently relocated to Denver from Austin to help build out the SDR team. I’ve been at Snyk since January 2021.

How have your leadership skills grown through your involvement with the SDR program?

When I applied to join Snyk, I was coming from LinkedIn as an individual contributor. I had no management experience, but from my own experience mentoring underrepresented individuals in the technology industry, I knew I wanted to help support and lead early career professionals. Many of the individuals I worked with had no experience in tech or sales, but I knew I wanted to help them find success and navigate their careers.

Snyk's sales leadership team was invested in me before I even started. I was drawn to the SDR manager position at Snyk, but I had no prior managerial experience. Because they saw my potential, my now manager worked with the HR department to create a new role specifically for me as Snyk’s first team lead. This position allowed me to learn about the company and grow my leadership skills until I was ready to be an SDR manager. Now we have two additional team leads across the globe and have created a new career path for SDRs who want to become future SDR managers.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with someone who wants to apply/interview for a sales role?

Truly understand what motivates you. The SDR role can be challenging, so understanding what’s important for you to get out of a company is critical. It’s also so important that when interviewing, you're looking for the _right_company. You don’t want to simply be a number, you want a company that’s going to invest in you. It's also important to recognize the growth potential of the company to understand how your future at the company could play out. You want an organization where you can gain experience and be given opportunities to grow and push yourself. This is what's going to contribute toward your rapid career progression and your own professional development.

What’s the most rewarding aspect about being in the sales team at Snyk and what is something about Snyk that you think potential candidates would like to know?

The most rewarding aspect of being on this team is the people I work with. Everyone is so unique and intelligent and brings so much to offer. Snyk truly has one of the best company cultures I’ve ever experienced and brings together some of the most talented individuals. That is truly the reason Snyk is such a rocket ship and has seen so much success.

How much do we truly value growth within our SDR program? Cierra Steiner, Sales Enablement Specialist, joined in January 2021 to prepare for the SDR organization for the massive growth ahead.

Over the course of this year, we have worked to build an incredible leadership development program that not only helps our SDRs excel in their current role, but also prepares them to be future leaders within Snyk.  We want our SDRs to know exactly what they need to do to advance their careers and how we are going to help them get there.

In the last 11 months, we have seen our SDRs grow into:

  • 21 Senior SDRs

  • 9 Inside Sales Representatives

  • 4 SMB Sales Representatives

  • 1 Team Lead

  • 1 SDR Manager

  • 1 Renewals Account Manager

  • 1 Associate Customer Success Manager

  • 1 Associate Solution Engineer

… and we certainly don’t see that slowing down anytime soon!

Whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re looking to make a change, Snyk’s SDR program is an amazing opportunity to build the foundation of an exciting career. And as Peter says, “This program is the feeding ground for developing the future leaders of our organization, especially our sales talent. There’s no better spot to learn, experiment, and grow.”

Interested in joining the SDR program at Snyk, an organization that is not only making waves in cybersecurity, but also truly cares about the growth and development of its Snykers into tomorrow’s leaders? We're hiring. Learn more about who we are and find the career that's right for you! It’s an exciting time to join!

Posted in:Snyk Team
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Snyk is a developer security platform. Integrating directly into development tools, workflows, and automation pipelines, Snyk makes it easy for teams to find, prioritize, and fix security vulnerabilities in code, dependencies, containers, and infrastructure as code. Supported by industry-leading application and security intelligence, Snyk puts security expertise in any developer’s toolkit.

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