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Get to Know Veera Pennala, Cobalt's Account Executive

Veera is part of the EMEA sales team, working as an Account Executive in the SMB segment. She meets with new clients almost every day to assist with their pentesting needs.

Welcome, Veera! Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're based.

I’m Veera, an Account Executive at Cobalt. I’m currently based in Berlin, but originally from Finland. I joined Cobalt in September 2018 — so, I’ve been around for some time already.

Before moving to Germany three years ago, I completed my Master’s studies in Global Sales and Marketing in Austria and the US. After completing my studies I was looking for an entry-level position in sales/marketing and that’s how I came across the MDR role at Cobalt, which was the position I started with.

What do you do here at Cobalt?

I’m part of the wonderful EMEA sales team, working as an Account Executive in the SMB segment. I get to meet new clients almost every day and help with their pentesting needs. I make sure each client leaves the meeting with a good understanding of what Cobalt is all about and how we can help to improve their current pentest process. In short, I own the full sales cycle, from prospecting to closing deals.

On top of that, I have the pleasure to work with several different departments at Cobalt, whether it’s my BDR, our Sales Engineers, or our Legal Department, all contribute to helping our clients.

How will customers and partners feel the impact of the work you're doing?

Overall, they will have a smooth(er) and fast(er) pentest process! They’ll get to work with our talented and highly vetted Cobalt Core pentesters who will detect the vulnerabilities that exist in their applications, API, and Networks. With our centralized platform, they’ll be able to manage their entire pentest process from the very beginning to sharing results. My goal is to make the pentest experience easier and time-saving, and so far the feedback has been positive.

What motivated you to enter into the field you’re in? What motivates you now as an experienced professional?

My dad has influenced me, he works in sales as a Key Account Director. When I was younger I admired all the places he got to visit for business trips and conferences and even take our family to the US for 4 years.

I’m a very goal-oriented individual, goals keep me motivated. After a successful first year in sales, I only wanted to improve for the next one. The drive for sales is built in me but it’s also my colleagues and managers who support and motivate me to always keep improving.

I would lie if I didn’t say bringing the deal home motivates me. Every deal is different and has its own story, some come easily, some require a year of work in advance. As I hand off my client to their dedicated Customer Success Manager, the most important thing for me is they have a good understanding of our PtaaS solution and the value it will bring to them. Seeing and speaking with happy clients motivates me the most!

What attracted you to the role? What are you most excited about over the next 6-12 months?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as an MDR, equivalent to our BDR role today. My goal was to become an Account Executive one day and see how I would do in a sales role. Before that, I was a bit unsure if I wanted to focus more on marketing or sales. Having been an MDR for about a year I really wanted to work more closely with clients. I felt I was good at relationship building early on and it was annoying that I had to hand off the clients to Account Executives to continue the work. I wanted to be that Account Executive and help clients through the sales cycle.

Over the next 6-12 months I’m excited to help onboard new colleagues to the EMEA sales team. There’s a lot of opportunity in the EMEA region and I’m happy to support in any way I can.

Cobalt has been unbelievably supportive when it comes to building a career and family at the same time. I’m super excited to start my second maternity leave with Cobalt around mid-November.

What's your ideal superpower?

If I could have one superpower it would be being able to teleport myself and my family to places. Living away from family and missing out on important occasions is something I would change if I could.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Thank you to all who I’ve had the pleasure to work with thus far, whether you're a Cobalter or a client!

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About Caroline Wong
Caroline Wong is an infosec community advocate who has authored two cybersecurity books including Security Metrics: A Beginner’s Guide and The PtaaS Book. When she isn’t hosting the Humans of Infosec podcast, speaking at dozens of infosec conferences each year, working on her LinkedIn Learning coursework, and of course evangelizing Pentesting as a Service for the masses or pushing for more women in tech, Caroline focuses on her role as Chief Strategy Officer at Cobalt, a fully remote cybersecurity company with a mission to modernize traditional pentesting via a SaaS platform coupled with an exclusive community of vetted, highly skilled testers. More By Caroline Wong
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