Aiven Blog

Nov 2, 2023

My journey to Aiven: Galo Freile, Commercial Account Executive

Meet Galo Freile, a Commercial Account Executive based in Berlin. We learn about his journey to Aiven, a recent promotion and how he became our SDR of the year!

Jen Szabo

Jen Szabo

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Senior Specialist Employer Brand at Aiven

Having a close relationship with family has always been important to Galo. His family has been his biggest influence, they provide unconditional love and push him to be the best version of himself, encouraging him to believe in all of his dreams.

Galo is the youngest son in his family. At the age of 18, he courageously decided to move from hometown Ecuador to Belgium to learn French. Seven years later, he still finds it difficult to be away from family (only seeing them once a year).

“My family never held me back and always gave me the support and love to follow my dreams, especially my older brother. We always look back at that moment and they always repeat - you were very brave to move abroad so far at such a young age, not sure If I could have done it.”

It’s thanks to this wanderlust that he’s had the opportunity to live in multiple European countries; from Belgium, to France, to Italy, and now Germany. Making friends from different cultures and languages, all of these experiences have helped shape him to be the person he is today.


Galo and his older brother Ruben in Barcelona

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I like to live my life under two mottos: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk” and “If you’re not failing, you’re not learning.”

What brought you to Aiven?

I joined Aiven 2 years ago. I wanted to be a part of the start-up hypergrowth, and challenge myself with a really cool product! I also really enjoyed the logo and the core values at Aiven.

Tell us about your career journey at Aiven.

I remember we were still under 300 employees and just a few days after we passed that mark. I joined as an SDR (Sales Development Representative) to help build the EMEA SDR team, and develop some processes to make outbound lead generation successful. It has been a rocky road, but fast forward to last Crab Week (2023) in Portugal, I received the sales award of SDR of the year for my consistent overperformance throughout multiple quarters. Learning a lot on the way, this journey led me to a promotion just after Crab Week as an Account Executive. Indeed, a pretty nice 2 year journey, and can’t wait for what the future holds!


Winner - SDR of the year 2023!

What path led you to being an Account Executive?

My journey to becoming an Account Executive has been shaped mostly by my ability to connect with people, and genuine interest in helping individuals and companies overcome their challenges. Living in various European cities and countries has helped me with my communication skills and understanding of multiple cultural perspectives.

What do you love most about your role? (and not love, we're sure it's not all good!)

What I love most about being an Account Executive is the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with clients and understand their unique needs. I enjoy being able to tailor solutions that not only address their current problems but also contribute to their long term success. The thrill of securing new partnerships and the satisfaction of seeing clients thrive because of our collaboration are incredibly rewarding aspects of this position.

On the other hand, what I find challenging at times is balancing the multiple tasks at hand and demands of different clients simultaneously. It can be a juggling act, but it's also a learning experience that continually pushes me to improve my time management and communication skills.

Tell us about a typical day as an Account Executive at Aiven.

I start every work day next to a cup of coffee. From there, I have multiple tasks to accomplish. Most days vary due to the unpredictable and unexpected challenges that arise. If I had to summarize, it would look like this:

Morning preparation (next to a cup of coffee)

  • I start the day by reviewing my schedule and prioritizing tasks (could be new or existing customers).

  • Checking emails and messages to address any urgent client inquiries or requests.

Meetings and presentations

  • Scheduling and conducting meetings with customers (mostly virtually).

  • Collaborating with colleagues, such as SAs or team members to exchange opinions on the opportunities.

Negotiations and proposals

  • Collaborate with clients to negotiate terms, pricing, and contracts.

  • Prepare proposals and quotes.

  • Follow up on proposals and provide additional information or clarification as needed.

Client relationship management

  • Build and nurture strong relationships with clients.

  • Address and resolve any client issues or concerns promptly and effectively.

  • Seek opportunities to upsell additional services to existing clients.

Continuous learning and development

  • I always try to stay up-to-date with the latest sales leaders and industry knowledge.

What is your team responsible for?

My team (and the whole Sales function) is responsible for identifying potential customers, managing relationships with existing customers to ensure their needs are met, and increasing revenue.


Galo and the SDR Team in Portugal at Crab Week 2023

What kind of person would do well on your team?

The first thing that comes to mind is someone that is able to adapt rapidly to changing environments. As there is almost no typical day in Sales, with new tasks, customer requests, and changes, someone that is able to adapt would do great in the team. Also someone that enjoys building relationships and helping customers achieve their goals. A person that enjoys challenges and is very goal-oriented. Sales is target-driven, so being motivated by and focused on achieving sales goals is essential.

As a member of our growing Sales function, what advice would you give to new Crabs joining this department?

  1. Sales is a field that is changing constantly so don’t be afraid to experiment. One of Aiven’s core values is openness which really means that we’re able to try different things and take ownership of a project from top to bottom. It’s always a great idea to share and exchange insights, ideas, and tips with your colleagues.

  2. Time-management and prioritization of tasks. It’s easy to get lost between managing existing customers, new customers, customer demands, and internal processes. So being able to have a weekly plan and tasks that need to be accomplished can help you prioritize your time in the right way.

  3. Build a strong customer relationship by having a customer-centric approach! Building relationships with customers will create trust and credibility. When customers know you, trust your recommendations, and believe that you have their best interests at heart, they are more likely to do business with you!

What are you most excited about for Aiven’s future?

Being at Aiven for 2 years, I’ve seen a lot of changes from a start-up to a scale up. Aiven’s future is quite exciting! Mainly the new direction we have taken in the platform side - expanding our services and features to match the needs and problems of customers. This will allow current and new customers to meet their goals and be more efficient.

Thanks, Galo for the insightful chat!

Interested in joining the Cast? Check out our open positions. And keep your eyes peeled (sideways) on the blog as we continue to meet more of our clawsome Crabs.

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