In this series, we share light on the life and careers of Apiax employees. This time we have Mariana Tabrea, Business Development Representative, in the spotlight to give us insight into her role and her day-to-day.
Hi Mariana! Tell us a little about yourself and what you do at Apiax.
Hello! I’m Mariana Tabrea from Romania and I currently live in sunny Portugal. I started working at the Apiax Lisbon office five months ago as a Business Development Representative for the Growth sales team.
The Growth team is responsible for setting the wheels in motion when it comes to acquiring new clients. Is the team that has the first interactions with potential clients. At an individual level, we make sure that our solution fits the needs of our prospects, and at a collective level as a team, we work together to maintain our industry knowledge; improve our approaches when it comes to contacting future clients; and be a true representation of what Apiax stands for as a company and as the solution, it provides for the financial industry.
What roles did you have before Apiax, and what led you to working with us?
A variety of roles! After graduating in 2019 from the University of Essex with a Business Management degree, I went on to work at a supermarket as a customer assistant. After that, I changed to a coffee shop as a barista. I believe these customer-facing roles are what landed me my job as a Business Development Representative (BDR) at Apiax. Comes to shows that different jobs can have a lot of common variables.
When I first started looking for jobs I had my eye on a variety of companies but when I came across Apiax I immediately got interested in the vision of making people’s lives easier. In a lot of recent news, we hear about companies being fined due to not complying and not following regulations correctly. Apiax is trying to solve this big problem and make compliance less scary and confusing, and more accessible for all-sized companies.
Since I like talking to new people, the BDR role specifically caught my eye. BDRs are in essence the “first faces” that the customer comes into contact with; be it via voice, email, or through other channels. They are fundamental for any company because they are the first interaction a prospective client has with the product.
What does a day at Apiax look like?
My daily schedule tends to be quite structured unless client meetings or other sessions pop up. Most of my mornings consist of reviewing the day ahead and sending out emails, followed by a couple of hours of calling and sometimes collecting information on new target companies.
The afternoon tends to mirror the morning in the sense that I will do some further calling and towards the end of the day I look for details on the potential people I can speak with at the companies I researched earlier in the day.
As a team we have our weekly huddles on Monday, which are longer meetings where we set the plan for the week and discuss topics and any concerns we may have. On Wednesdays, we have a shorter catch-up to see how our week is going.
And how do you think your role contributes to the company objectives?
BDRs are crucial for company growth as we start conversations with relevant prospects, which with luck and skill turn into clients. Without clients, there is no company. I think this is especially important when selling a product like Apiax’s: embedded compliance.
For example, you didn’t know how much you needed a mobile phone before having one. It’s the same thing with embedded compliance. It is something you didn’t know you needed until you realise how much time and money you could be saving and how much easier it would be to know what you should or shouldn’t do when conducting business. And getting that across in the first contact, especially in a B2B business, is very important.
How do you, as a BDR, make it known and reach out to make people realise they need this?
To make them understand what we do, I will mainly keep up with the news and the trends to see if there is something I can relate to. When discussing with prospects, referencing recent events can help them understand and emphasise how our technology works; how easy it is to use; how easily it can be implemented; how much time and cost they can save with us; and how it can benefit all company stakeholders.
Our technology is not just for someone in the company, it’s not just for regulatory and compliance teams. The business teams get to use it, the legal teams get to use it, we are essentially embedding compliance into every part of the company.
Sometimes it can be tricky to explain this because some prospects we reach out to don’t believe that what we are doing is actually possible. What I like to say is “just try it, see it in practice” and set up a call to show them the solution in action.
It can be sometimes tough to get through to a prospective client. The first thing I take into account is the prospect’s role in the company and their respective needs and objectives. What are their pain points when executing their daily tasks and where could they benefit from a compliance automation solution like ours, and I then adapt the discussion accordingly.
What do you think about Apiax company values, culture and structure?
I give a five stars review, I highly recommend it! For a fastly growing company that just passed the startup phase, the working culture is very established and an important part of the company. People are helpful, always open and there for you, and transparency is a quality I value.
The diverse nationalities also help because you can get various points of view from different perspectives. This helps whenever you have something you don’t really know how to solve. We also enjoy great team events, both online and in-person, across all our offices.
When I first started at Apiax, and without any experience as a BDR, I felt supported and welcomed with open arms. The company has grown from 4 founders to almost 80 employees in so little time and yet company culture is still so highly valued. This is amazing to see.
Apiax has a hybrid work model. How does it work for you?
Having a hybrid environment is great, you get the best of both worlds. You get to interact with your teams on the days you come to the office and enjoy quiet and focussed time at home when you need it.
I tend to feel more productive at home but I couldn’t do my work at home without the face-to-face communication and exchanges of ideas that I have at the office. For me it is still worthwhile going to the office, especially when you have a growing team, to get to know your peers better.
Going to the office also allows me to see how people from other departments understand the company and the product, which helps whenever I pitch as it opens up new and more ways I can approach a prospective client.
What would you say is your biggest takeaway so far from working at Apiax?
In my five months at the company, I can say I have learned a lot of things. About the financial sector, how to run and grow a startup, to how much compliance and regulation affect our daily lives. On a personal level, I think I have become a lot more resilient. Dealing with different kinds of people on a daily basis and getting “no” as an answer can be tough. But it’s only made me tougher!
Why should anyone join the Growth team at Apiax?
The Growth team is set on showing the world how compliance should be done in the 21st century. I believe that people who wish to join this team should have a desire to change the status quo, be outgoing and ready to interact with people that hold different positions in a company, and also have a passion for growth (no pun intended!) as the company as a whole has at its core. The growth I am referring to here is the desire to develop not only at the individual level but at the collective level, what we as a team are trying to do when it comes to the financial industry.
Why join the team? The reasons are many but here are some: we are open, helpful, and come from different backgrounds. This also means we have lots of different perspectives and will often exchange work hacks and life hacks. And although the ‘sales game’ is thought to be for individual players, the team behind you really matters. It’s like a car race, there is only one driver but without the guys changing your tires you wouldn’t cross the finish line. Apiax has been a great first “office job” at a company for me and it’s motivating to see people who gather for a common goal.
If you’re interested in a career at Apiax, check out our open positions.
What do you like to do outside of Apiax?
I like interacting with people, one of the reasons I started working here. I also love being outdoors, one with nature. And I follow a plant-based lifestyle and work my way towards being vegan when it comes to clothing and products, for I am a big animal lover.