August 23, 2023

Climb Hire Perspective: Matt Magallanes’ Transition from Car Sales to Customer Success

Matt Magallanes is a Customer Success Consultant at Simplus.

Early in my career, I used to sell cars. Over the years, I noticed that there were two distinct styles for how to “make a sale.” There was the old school transactional model and the new school relationship-driven model. The old school salesperson would typically advocate hard for the car that would make them the most money. The clients’ needs and wants were not a part of the equation. Predictably, these clients would never become repeat customers. On the other hand, the new school salespeople would see their clients come back over and over again.

I was a part of the new school sales, and that came with building relationships. I would look for solutions that fit the clients’ needs and find the product that was right for them. I would build value and empower my clients throughout their buying process. I didn’t make the most money per car, but I made up for it by having a strong referral base. The new school way of selling was more sustainable in the long run.

As much as I loved selling cars, I wanted to go back to school. In the car business, I worked days, nights, and weekends. I needed a set work schedule to be able to fit in a school schedule. I was fortunate enough to find a job where I worked the day shift, Monday-Friday as a security guard at a tech company called Dropbox. There I noticed that in San Francisco, you’re either in tech or you are working to serve tech. My dream was always to break into tech but I didn’t know how.

A year ago, a friend told me about a new organization starting up called Climb Hire. It was a non-profit that taught the Salesforce Administration Certification, alongside the soft skills needed to work in corporate America. I had no prior experience in Salesforce. All I knew was that Salesforce was a “Customer Relationship Management” tool and that their building eclipsed the Transamerica building in San Francisco. I wanted to learn more about this in-demand skill. So, I jumped on the opportunity to be a part of the very first cohort at Climb Hire. In retrospect, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Not only did I learn how to navigate the Salesforce platform, but I also gained a stronger understanding of why building relationships mattered the most. Our motto was “we are a community, not a class.”


Matt (right) with a fellow Cohort 1 Climber.


Matt’s former clients at City Toyota.

However, I started to wonder about how I was going to break into this industry when I lacked experience in this field. “How can I possibly compete with other candidates?” But luckily, Climb Hire prepared us for that reality the whole time. We regularly had volunteers who worked in the industry that helped us with our resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and conducted mock-up interviews. All while building relationships in and of itself. What we as Climbers lacked in experience, we made up for through building relationships with people in the ecosystem.

I met Joe Carr, VP of Talent, and Dan Child, Director of Talent, at Simplus at Dreamforce in 2019 through Climb Hire’s introduction. Simplus is a Platinum Salesforce Partner and the leader in Quote-to-Cash implementations. Before meeting Joe and Dan, I was informed that Simplus was not hiring and that this was an informal interview. Regardless, I still wanted to make a good impression. My goal was to build relationships rather than instantly seek out employment (transactional).

During the informal interview, we connected on a personal level. I shared how I overcame some of life’s most difficult challenges and how they made me stronger. I was held at gunpoint, I nearly went blind because of cataracts, and my severe respiratory problems caused shortness of breath because I was overweight. Joe shared his story about losing his father to alcoholism and overcoming his own battle with alcohol abuse.

We also addressed my greatest barrier, which was my lack of hands-on experience. They told me that they would rather hire someone who has the willingness to learn over someone with experience and credentials but an arrogant or poor attitude. At the beginning of 2020, Joe offered me a bootcamp opportunity with Simplus in Salt Lake City, Utah. Then COVID plagued our world. Like many companies, Simplus implemented a hiring freeze. I stayed close with Joe and he mentored me during these dark days. I never let a month go by without touching base. In the meanwhile, I continued to pursue my Salesforce certification and became a Fellow with Climb Hire — where I helped the newest crop of Climbers learn how to build social capital and master the Salesforce platform.


Ten months later, Joe reached out and said that Simplus was finally hiring again and there was one Customer Success Consultant role! I interviewed with Grant Acosta, Senior Customer Success Manager, and Bridget Buckley, Regional Delivery Manager. Both put me right at ease during the interview process. Two weeks later, I got a job offer! This opportunity was made possible because Joe and I stayed connected and built a meaningful relationship.

I’m excited to start this journey with Simplus as a Customer Success Consultant. In this role, I will continue to build connections. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without the relationships I’ve built along the way. With Covid, now more than ever we are disconnected. I’m happy to be working in a role where I can help people stay connected and trust in others again.

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