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Melissa Ebrahimi has always been interested in exploring different aspects of healthcare. She began learning about the many barriers that exist within our healthcare system in college, along with the impact it’s had on racial and ethnic health disparities.
This ignited a passion to eliminate these systemic barriers, and ultimately led her to Spring Health.
We sat down with Melissa to talk about what it’s like to be a Business Development Representative (BDR) at Spring Health, how she's overcome the many obstacles facing women in this field, and her advice for other women and people from marginalized groups who are just starting their careers as a BDR.
Tell us about your background and how you got into Business Development.
My background is in Public Health, and I gravitated toward the BDR role because I’ve always really loved doing outreach. It’s the fastest and most impactful way to create a ripple effect of change within the mental healthcare space.
The core of the BDR role is to advocate for a mission-driven company working toward eliminating all barriers to mental healthcare, which seemed very rewarding, and it has been ever since I joined.
Can you share some of the obstacles you’ve faced as a woman in the Business Development field, and how you overcame them?
There are unique obstacles in sales whenever there’s an intersection of identities—being a person of color and a woman—including the lack of representation within the field. Being a first-generation Iranian American has also posed various challenges professionally, such as understanding workplace culture, navigating social pressures, and building a community of co-workers with similar backgrounds.
Recognizing these obstacles, the BDR team has made DEI a priority by implementing various initiatives, ranging from sales-specific unconscious bias training to planning team outings to share knowledge about other cultures.
It’s imperative to become aware of our biases, and spark a continuous evolution of our team through a DEI lens, that will hopefully encourage and empower underrepresented groups that it’s possible to have a career in sales.
Although these obstacles are imperative within the sales field, our team at Spring Health is quite unique—more than half of them are female. It’s empowering to learn and develop alongside talented female sales professionals.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of a BDR.
My role involves identifying and nurturing potential business partnerships, as well as supporting sales efforts. It's a role that requires a combination of strategic thinking, strong communication, and building relationships with a variety of stakeholders.
The hurdle of balancing these different skills can be challenging, but it's also incredibly rewarding.
BDRs play a critical role in driving growth for the company by generating leads, developing relationships with potential customers, and collaborating with other teams. To balance multiple tasks throughout the day and stay on top of our sales pipeline, we utilize sales software and calendars to stay organized and on track.
Additionally, we often work cross-functionally to bring a well-rounded approach to our work and drive optimum results for the company’s growth.
For continuous learning, the BDR team hosts workshops for cold calling, account nurture strategies, and content writing. These workshops create consistent collaboration, and time for individual improvement and learning best practices.
It’s great to be part of a team that values consistency in collaboration and coaching to help build on our skillset.
Can you share any advice for women who are just starting out in the Business Development field?
Identify your strengths and lean into them. This is a dynamic and tough role that requires a unique set of know-how. However, there isn’t one way to be successful as a BDR, and it’s crucial to lean on your team and mentors to navigate how to thrive (which is pretty easy to do at Spring!).
For instance, I faced various objections when I first started the BDR role at Spring Health. My first manager, Kate Ham, was a truly supportive figure, helping me identify my strengths and find my rhythm and success.
I'm a believer that we are all students of life. If you are just starting out in the BDR role, hold yourself accountable to continuously learn new tactics so you can expand your aptitude and knowledge for customers.
Asking for help in the process is key to continuous learning, and a gateway to understanding the valuable experiences and lessons others have had in the role.
Interested in joining our Sales team? We’re currently hiring for a hybrid position in New York City.