A day in the life of an Adobe business development rep — and where to go next

A photo of Josh Caile and Erica Yock together.

When Josh Caile graduated from college, he thought he’d go into finance. Erica Yock was considering a career in politics. But after a bit of exploration, these two old friends both found their way to roles they hadn’t expected—business development representatives (BDR) for digital experience (DX) at Adobe.

Before coming to Adobe, Caile had a couple of positions in sales. “I love talking to people,” he explains. “So sales is a big passion of mine.” A little over two years ago, when a friend suggested that he apply for the Adobe BDR role, the idea piqued his interest. He was already familiar with the company’s products and he’d always loved technology.

Not long after he joined Adobe, Caile convinced Yock to apply, too. “I was familiar with the Creative Cloud side of Adobe, but I didn’t know much about the DX side, so that was exciting to me from the beginning,” she says.

A day in the life of a BDR

So what, exactly, does a BDR do all day? “It varies, but typically, I’m following up on leads, reaching out to prospects, getting creative, and working with colleagues,” says Yock. “Mostly, I’m talking to people. Even if someone isn’t going to buy because the use case doesn’t fit, or they don’t have budget or timeline—I still want the prospect to leave the call thinking that it wasn’t a waste of time, and they got all their questions answered. That’s my favorite part of the job—just meeting and talking to new people and helping them.”

The BDR role also gives Yock and Caile an insider’s view into the latest trends and challenges in DX, which keeps things interesting. “I’d say the biggest challenge our customers are facing right now is how to create content and get it in front of customers in a way that feels personal to them. We can help them by segmenting their outreach and helping them offer dynamic content based on what customers are already looking at,” says Caile.

Getting to know Adobe’s culture

Even though Caile and Yock have been working remotely for most of their time at Adobe, they both feel connected to their team across Seattle and California. “Our org has an awesome culture,” says Caile. “A lot of sales jobs can have a culture of competitiveness. And, of course, there’s healthy competition. But we’re one team. If you find a strategy that works, you share it with the whole org because it’s a lot more fun when everybody’s hitting their goals. It’s the most connected I’ve ever felt to a team.”

For Yock, the relationship with her managers set the tone for her experience with the team. “My managers did such a great job getting to know us. We can go to them with any problem, small or big, which really makes for an inviting culture. And since both of my managers knew I was interested in a solutions consultant position, they’ve been actively helping me to get there. It’s the same for a lot of people I know. Managers are really trying to help you build your career.”

The many career paths of a BDR

There are a lot of directions to go from the BDR role at Adobe. Yock became a senior BDR during her second year, and she recently took part in a new, 13-week Solutions Consultant (SC) Associates Program. The program included weekly meetings with a mentor and training in the technical and soft skills required to give a software demonstration. With the training now under her belt, Yock just accepted a solutions consulting position.

Caile, who’s now a senior BDR, agrees that there are a lot of different opportunities at Adobe. “The nice thing about Adobe is that you have a lot of autonomy about the path you want to take. Many BDRs stay in sales, whether it’s a closing role (like an account executive), a nurturing role (customer success), or a pre-sales position, like Erica’s new role. I’m figuring out if I want to continue on the sales path. A lot of BDRs also break into marketing, and the organization gives me the tools and resources to be successful if that’s what I choose to do.”

As one of Caile and Yock’s managers, Jennelle Schmidt, explains, “We know that each person’s career goals are different, so we coach them for the next steps in their own journeys.”

Insider tips for future BDRs

According to Schmidt, the best BDR candidates are driven, goal-oriented, coachable, resourceful, and good communicators. “I look for someone who raises their hand when they have a question, who’s transparent about their areas of improvement, and who learns from previous failures.”

Jennell Schmidt, Sales Development Manager, Adobe

“I look for someone who raises their hand when they have a question, who’s transparent about their areas of improvement, and who learns from previous failures.”

Jennelle Schmidt, Sales Development Manager

Looking back on the days when he was first considering a move to Adobe, Caile has this advice for others: “Depending on the role you’re applying to, know about that industry. Get to know marketing and Adobe’s products, and understand the major players in the game. Then start networking on LinkedIn and reach out to leaders in the org you want to join.”

For new BDRs, the secret to success is taking in everything you can. “Always be eager and ask questions,” says Yock. “Network, learn the best practices. The best way to ramp up quickly is to figure out what’s working for other people and emulate that in your own work. Ask your manager for help when you need it, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’re going to learn from them.”