Hi readers, and thank you for coming back for what is the last interview (for now) in our ‘A Day in the Life at BigCommerce’ blog series. We really hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know some of the awesome people we’ve gotten to ask questions to.
It’s been our pleasure here at DigitlHaus to host a blog series that not only shines a light on hardworking individuals over at BigCommerce, but gives so many people in our professional circles a chance to read about different positions and how they are making a positive impact in the industry!
For our last interview, we’re asking Evan Perkins questions about his role as a Sales Enterprise Account Executive over at BigCommerce. Take a look at what he had to say, below.
- What is a BigCommerce Sales Enterprise Account Executive?
We’re a team of commerce-loving people who spend most of their time talking with merchants evaluating BigCommerce. Our job is to help them understand if we’re the right fit both for both their business and technical requirements.
2. What is your involvement with BigCommerce partners? How do you work with them?
I work with BigCommerce partners in ~80% of the opportunities that run across my desk.
Half the time, when I’m working with a merchant, they ask me who I would recommend to help them implement their BigCommerce solution.
Partners also rope me into a good number of opportunities they source when they feel BigCommerce is a great platform fit.
Throughout the merchant evaluation process, I work closely with partners throughout the discovery, scoping, and proposal phases, trying hard to present a unified team & solution to clients.
3. What is your involvement with Prospects and Clients? When does the engagement start and end?
I am often one of the first people a prospect speaks to at BigCommerce, helping to answer their questions (and I ask a ton!) to determine if we’re a good fit for their particular ecommerce project. Prospects work with me until they execute an agreement with BigCommerce, after which they become clients and work more directly with our Professional Services team.
That said, I often keep up with current clients. I still grab the occasional lunch with some of our customers to keep in touch!
4. What is the best part of your job, the part that makes you come back to the office the next day?
I LOVE working with so many different types of people on so many different types of projects. Since BigCommerce is suitable for all types of use cases (B2B, B2C, B2B2C) and all types of verticals, each project brings its own unique use case, set of goals, requirements, etc. I’m always getting to learn and meet new people / teams, which is very rewarding for my type of personality.
5. What other BigCommerce teams do you work closely with and how?
I work very closely with our Channel Account Management team. Whether it’s an Agency Partner who recommended BigCommerce for a build (so I get looped in to present BC to the merchant), or a merchant who asks me to suggest an Agency Partner, I work closely with our CAMs who ultimately own the partner relationships and have a deep knowledge of the specializations of each.
My team works closely with our Professional Services team, too. Our Enterprise Account Managers, Implementation Project Managers, Technical Account Managers, educational resources, etc. We’re in close communication as a merchant goes from prospect to client and transitions from Sales to the Pro Serv team.
6. If there was a client that keeps mentioning Shopify and how much better they are than BigCommerce, how would you approach that?
By asking lots of questions, of course! I would simply want to understand what drives that belief. At the core of a statement like that, there’s often the perception that Shopify is more mature and thus more advanced than BigCommerce. While it’s true that they are larger from a merchant-base perspective (they got a several year head-start in the industry), we’re far more capable of handling sophisticated merchant requirements vs Shopify’s focus on start-ups and small businesses. Our Open-SaaS approach means you’ve got a lot of room for innovation and scale without having to comprise on choosing the best technology to suit your requirements (vs Shopify’s approach of being a “one size fits all” solution, which any larger merchant knows is not truly possible). Lastly, 100% of our mindshare and engineering resources are centered on building the best ecommerce platform in the world. We’re not distracted with the ancillary services like adtech, lending, payment gateways, POS hardware, etc. Instead, we let our merchants choose the best periphery technology to suit their use case and don’t hinder their ability to integrate with the best technologies in the world. It’s a testament to our merchant-first, partner-friendly approach.
7. If I am a new client (prospect), what makes the BigCommerce sales process better than other platform providers (for example Shopify Plus)?
This is a relevant question because, working closely with a lot of agency partners, I hear time and time again something along the lines of, “Wow, the BigCommerce team really cares about the success of this project!” or “Holy smokes, the BigCommerce team really knows their stuff.” Many of our employees have been around the ecommerce world a long time, so there’s a level of depth often not found at the sales team level. We believe we’re a great platform choice, and rather than simply stating it as unsubstantiated fact, we walk alongside prospects and help them discover it on their own.
8. What are the most common platforms you see that clients are migrating off of when then are looking to migrate to BigCommerce?
At the moment, people are running from Magento in droves. The forced 2.x replatform is costly, takes 12-18 months, and the Adobe acquisition creates a lot of unknowns. BigCommerce can provide a much more efficient time to market, lower TCO, and we take over all the day-to-day maintenance of hosting the technology.
Also, working on the team at BigCommerce that handles our larger merchant accounts, I do see a good number of merchants coming from Shopify Plus. Oftentimes, as a merchant scales online from a small to a mid-market or Enterprise-sized business, they hit a sort of “ceiling” on Shopify Plus and start feeling the pains and limitations of what is truly a small business platform. Clients are often surprised and relieved when they discover BigCommerce as a real Enterprise-grade option.
Lastly, Salesforce Commerce Cloud comes up a lot, too! SFCC merchants are often tired of the bloat on the conglomerate-owned, outdated software. It’s hard to manage as a business user and thus fails to deliver on most of the promises of SaaS. We can achieve much of the functionality of SFCC but are far more agile in nature, something innovative merchants love.
9. In a few sentences, who is considered a perfect BigCommerce customer?
The perfect BigCommerce customer has a real, established online business (perhaps with an offline component), they’re growing and scaling, and thus they’re making investments in the technology required to continue to grow into the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in GMV annually. Often our ideal customer is integrating BigCommerce into a number of other technologies (ESPs, ERPs, WMSs, etc) and also offer both a B2C and B2B experience on their BC store.
10. What do you like about working for BigCommerce and what sets them apart from other employers you may have had?
My entire leadership team is very “pro merchant.” We’re all excited to help potential clients find success and fall in love with BigCommerce, and to that end, I often work closely with our executive staff who are always open to excited to meet and speak with potential clients. Seriously, I can go tap our CEO, Brent Bellm, on the shoulder and ask him to connect with any potential client, and he’ll get involved in a heartbeat.
On a personal note, it’s also a very healthy sales environment. We love to win and we’re a competitive team, but it’s not to the detriment of company culture or the best interest of our customers.
11. In your most personal opinion why would you recommend BigCommerce over other eCommerce platforms?
We’re hands down the most innovative and agile SaaS platform on the market today. Relative to our cost, we’re providing the best native functionality coupled with the openness to build on our platform in some really innovative ways. You can build the site you want, with the look and UX you need, and integrate into any third-party systems within your tech stack, no problem.
12. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your job?
The ability to learn so much. I’m uniquely exposed to a breadth and depth of clients, use cases, technologies, and ecommerce projects — few people have the kind of exposure I’ve had in my current role.
13. If you could pick 5 skills an agency partner could bring to BigCommerce, what would they be?
- Competent — a deep understanding of the ecommerce landscape, including multiple platform technologies.
- Consultative — a passion to meet merchants where they are. As all agency partners know, a lot of the job involves coaching prospects on what they want vs what the need, what’s realistic, what’s truly important, etc. Most people want help in these areas, so a partner who can provide coaching and counsel is awesome!
- Partner-focused — the desire to work alongside BigCommerce (we call it “co-selling”) and present a unified solution to a prospect, as a cohesive team.
- Trustworthy — foundational to any partnership…let’s all do what we say we’re going to do!
- Agile — requirements often change, projects get complicated, fast. The ability to adapt is key in this space!
And that’s a wrap on our round of interviews for the first ever ‘A Day in the Life at BigCommerce’ blog series. Thank you so much to Evan Perkins for taking the time to give us detailed answers about how your position positively impacts merchants and partners like DigitlHaus on a daily basis.
And also a big thank you to all of the other BigCommerce employees that allowed us to conduct these interviews—without all of your support, this blog series would not have been possible. We hope all of our readers enjoyed getting to know these amazing and hardworking individuals!
SALES ENTERPRISE ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Evan Perkins