In the PayNearMe Spotlight Series, we shine a light on the people that make our company thrive. In this month’s interview, we sat down with Jill Conrad, Senior Director of Sales, to chat about her role in the company, why she loves working at PayNearMe and her life outside of work.
Q: Can you tell us about your career journey and what led you to PayNearMe?
Jill Conrad: I spent about 21 years in mortgage servicing doing back-office work including cash and payments operations. When it was time to make a career shift, I went to work for one of the vendors that I partnered with at that time. That company was acquired by a payments company where I moved into a sales role, helping clients maximize their payments.
During my time there, I had some colleagues and friends that moved to PayNearMe, and they recruited me to join in an enterprise sales role. Since then, I’ve progressed to a leadership role, managing the lending sales team.
Q: Have you always wanted to pursue a career in Sales?
JC: No! I went to school for business management, and I loved my operations role, but over time as things changed in the mortgage industry, I decided to make a change.
I didn’t think that sales was for me, but I learned that I could draw on my operations experience to connect better with clients and help them solve some of their biggest challenges. Being able to draw on that experience has ultimately created some really strong partnerships with many of our current clients.
Q: How has PayNearMe helped you in your career development?
JC: When I joined PayNearMe, I brought a wealth of leadership experience with me from my previous roles. The company helped me leverage that experience and develop my sales expertise, ultimately blending the two roles and advancing my career.
Q: Do you have any advice to share with those who are just getting into the fintech industry who might want to join a company like PayNearMe?
JC: It’s important to be flexible. When you are a part of a fintech or startup organization, you’re often filling gaps between positions and helping the company to grow. The best advice I can offer is to have the ability to wear multiple hats.
Q: What are some of your favorite things about working at PayNearMe?
JC: The people. PayNearMe is made up of a talented group of people that face challenges head on, roll up their sleeves and figure it out together.
I also appreciate the ability to share your thoughts openly without fear of retribution at all levels of the organization.
The promotion of work/life balance is also a great attribute. The leadership team at PayNearMe is proactive in making sure that team members take their time off, encouraging people to decompress and take care of their mental health.
PayNearMe is a very employee-centric company. They care about their employees and their personal growth.
Q: Let’s shift the focus to your role. What does a day in the life of a Senior Director of Sales look like?
JC: First and foremost, I’m focused on bringing in new business so that includes helping to support my team of Account Executives, negotiating contracts and moving deals through the sales cycle. I’m also focused on driving pipeline, so I partner with our marketing team to determine what’s important to our prospects to position our messaging and advertising to attract the right client base.
As a sales leader, I also focus on helping my team grow in their current role to be the best version of themselves.
Q: Let’s talk about remote work. How are you able to stay connected with your team virtually?
JC: We have standing meetings throughout the week with various groups and 1:1s. We’re also a camera-centric company, so the majority of the time, everyone keeps their cameras on to keep people connected and engaged.
Our People Team is also great at planning and executing employee engagement events to keep everyone in the company connected.
We also take advantage of Slack as a way to not only communicate with each other about work-related issues or projects, but also to get to know each other on a more personal level. We have different channels for people to share what shows they’re watching, books they’re reading, share pictures of their kids and pets and so much more. So, you might have a team member that lives across the country from you, but you can bond with them because you’re both binge watching the same Netflix series!
Q: What are some things that you’ve learned about yourself while working at PayNearMe?
JC: Because of the team environment and leadership support at PayNearMe, I’ve learned that you don’t have to do it all on your own. I’ve learned that I can rely on others and it’s not perceived as a weakness.
Q: So what about you—what kinds of activities or hobbies are you interested in outside of work?
JC: Well, I recently got married, so we do a lot of fun social things with friends. I’m also a road cyclist and a runner, so I spend a lot of time outdoors biking, running and walking our dog. My husband and I also love to tackle projects on the house.
Together with my husband, we have four children, so we enjoy spending time with them and watching them grow into young adults.
Q: If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?
JC: It would have to be something with animals. I love dogs and puppies, so any time spent with a dog is a great day!
Q: Do you participate in any volunteer work or have any organizations you’d like to shine a light on?
JC: I’m involved with the Iowa Bike Coalition that supports safe and enjoyable bicycling in Iowa.