It’s Monday morning and Tom Sims, our inside sales manager, is sidling up to you.
The first words out of his mouth—we can almost guarantee this—are going to be “How was your weekend?”
He expects a detailed answer. Then, and only then, will he tell you what he really wants.
We caught up with Tom shortly after his one-year anniversary at WELL—where he’s built an unstoppable enterprise team—to ask him the secrets of his success, his proudest achievement, and his advice for newcomers to the business world.
We forgot to ask about his weekend.
What’s your role on the WELL team?
I oversee the team responsible for creating pipeline—the top of our sales funnel—which feeds account executives high-quality opportunities to close business.
The business development team is our organization’s boots on the ground. It’s almost like a sourcing and filtering mechanism for the marketplace, so we’re able to communicate with anyone who could potentially benefit from WELL.
How did you get there?
I actually started at WELL as a business development representative. I came into the position with some solid experience in sales, so it was at best a lateral move from my previous role. But I was so passionate about WELL, and there was so much opportunity to contribute and add value, that it was a really easy decision.
I was able to be successful in the job and set up some really good opportunities, so I was promoted to head of the business development team. At the time, I only had one representative to manage, and we scaled up from there. It’s been a wild ride.
What’s new in your life?
I’m getting married in May! However it won’t be much of a traditional wedding—we’re having a small ceremony at a nature preserve and then a little shindig at our house after. And I’m a recent homeowner, that’s a big one.
What’s a typical day in the life?
Step one when I come in in the morning: I’ve got to get my hands on some caffeine. (The coffee doesn’t stop until about 3pm; that’s when I transition to kombucha.) Then I can make my rotations around the office, say hello, ask about people’s weekends—I know I’m famous for asking this, but I’m genuinely curious.
From that point, each day is a little different. I tend to be hyperproductive in sprints during the day, so when it’s time to grind it out and get a lot of work done, I have to really optimize it. Then there’s typically a combination of one-on-ones with my team, sitting in on demos, call coaching, that kind of thing.
If the energy’s getting low or someone books a demo, I’ll get down on the ground and do a few push-ups to keep the blood flowing. Ultimately, I spend my day making sure that my team is happy and they’re able to be successful.
Where can we find you when you’re not at WELL?
Santa Barbara is a pretty awesome place with no shortage of fun to be had. Maybe the beach on Saturday and the links on Sunday. Or maybe vegetable gardening while listening to my favorite podcast (right now it’s Stuff You Should Know). I’m convinced I have a natural green thumb, but I’ll have to grow more than a few succulents before I’ve earned my stripes.
Or I’ll play some billiards at the local watering hole, Elsie’s. Scoundrels only.
Your top pet peeve (or three):
Verbosity. People like the sound of their own voice, and there’s an epidemic of people saying things in ten words that could be said in three. People waiting to talk as opposed to listening. Having conviction without having gone through the mental exercise of validating your belief. Mind you, I’m guilty of all of these.
Proudest achievement, personal or professional?
For me, college was a really big one. I was never really a great student: I got through high school with straight Cs, went to a community college, ended up leaving the country, traveling and working abroad with minimal hope of going back to school. It was one of those things my peers had done that I never had, even though I knew it had a lot of value.
Long story short, I ended up graduating from UCSB. I had something of an academic awakening: I discovered that I had a real affinity for academia and for learning.
The people you admire most are:
There are so many badass people in the world, there’s no shortage to admire. Without naming anyone specifically, I really admire “doers.” It’s one thing to have the capacity or the potential to do something, and an entirely different thing to actually do it.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?
Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It’s part of any job, especially sales. If you didn’t get your dream job or you never got an email back, that’s the best time to get scrappy and be persistent. ♥
Talya Meyers is WELL’s Health Editor. Talya began her career in academia before transitioning to writing full time. She has written for Smithsonian Magazine online, BBC Future, Refinery29, and the Los Angeles Times, among other venues. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University.