From pharma sales to medtech sales — Danielle’s story

If you're looking to transfer your knowledge and experience into a job in hi-tech sales, Danielle's got a monday U story you'll love.

When it comes to making a career shift, there’s a lot of talk about “transferable skills”. 

It’s the sense of, “How can I leverage what I’ve been doing for the past few—or even many—years to give me a competitive edge when trying to break into a new industry.” 

That was Danielle Halbfinger’s biggest question when she realized that being a pharmaceutical sales rep was not her calling, even while working at a post-pandemic pharma celeb like Pfizer. 

Talking to her friends who worked in hi-tech sales, selling software sounded interesting, but would her sales skills be transferable? What about her BA in Biology? Could that still be relevant in the tech world?

We caught up with Danielle, now a grad of monday U’s hi-tech Sales and Business Development program, and asked her some questions of our own about how it all panned out.

How did you find out about monday U?

Two ways actually, a Facebook post in one of the Tel Aviv groups, and through my brother who actually works at on the Partners team.

What made you interested in the Sales & BizDev program?

I was looking to shift my career from pharmaceutical (low tech) sales to the hi-tech sales industry and felt I needed a better understanding of how things are done. I was totally clueless about sales jargon, the B2B sales processes, and hi-tech in general.

What made you interested in hi-tech as an industry?

Hi-tech always just felt more fast-paced and I really was looking to move into an environment that had that kind of energy. 

I also love the sheer variety of roles within tech that could help me enhance and expand my experience. Seemed like a great industry where you can learn, grow, and adapt over time. 

Another thing I’ll mention is the feeling of constant innovation you see in tech. Low-tech companies don’t have the same drive to iterate and improve their processes, products, or services. 

By comparison, hi-tech companies just have an innovative culture where they’re always looking to improve — be it the product they sell or the speed of execution. And that excited me.

Tell us a little about your work at Pfizer.

I was a professional sales representative for vaccines for bacterial pneumonia and meningitis at Pfizer. My role was mostly focused on face-to-face interactions and deals. 

How did the experience of those face-to-face meetings compare to the more remote hi-tech sales experiences and skills you learned at monday U?

I guess looking back both the sales techniques are challenging. I’d say though, at least for me, I think there is an easier aspect to face-to-face sales because you’re literally standing in front of them. 

People feel possibly more obligated to let you speak and don’t feel they can slam the door in your face. That’s much harder to do compared to how easy it is to hang up the phone when someone’s calling or just not picking up.

Something the monday U Sales & Business Development program focused on, and I’m really grateful for now that I’m actually sending out cold emails, is helping you really fine-tune your messaging and get your most important points across as quickly as possible. 

Obviously, it’s still a work in progress and I’m still learning but that was very helpful to just understand how to structure a company’s value proposition and touch those pain points on a more individual level — all in a simple but fast way.

Describe the experience of doing the hi-tech Sales and BizDev program.

Definitely motivating.

Seeing how committed all the employees I got to meet are to as a product. It’s really amazing to see how much they believe in what they’re doing.

I think that’s something I’m seeing more in my new company and in hi-tech companies in general — finding people who want to work hard, not necessarily to make money, but simply because they really believe in what they do and its power to help others.

That’s why when I started looking for jobs it was very important for me to find a company that I could really relate to their product, and genuinely feel excited about selling it. If you believe something, you can sell it much better than if you don’t believe in it.

Where are you working now? 

I’m working as an SDR at a telehealth tech company called TytoCare — so I get to still use my medical education and work experience which is great! 

The program definitely gave me a better understanding of the job requirements and a head-start on how to approach my day-to-day tasks of doing cold outreach.

What advice would you give to someone considering making the move into hi-tech?

Take any course offered and learn as much as possible! Especially when transitioning from a completely different industry.

Anything else?

Thank you monday U for this incredible experience and for sharing your knowledge. It really gave me great insights and skills as well as a lot of hands-on exercises. 

More than just lessons learned, I really was able to walk away with different ideas and ways for me to be more creative within my job, so I’m never sending or saying the same pitch over and over again to different people.

Looking back, there was so much good practice we got out of the program, and that practice is a huge contributor to what will make us perfect for the field in the long haul.

Want to follow Danielle on her hi-tech journey? Connect with her on LinkedIn!

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Written by Shoshi Davis
Shoshi is a Senior Content Marketing Manager on the monday U team. She also leads the monday U Content Marketing program.