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She Leads: Phyllis Ferrantello Is a Regional Sales Manager at CrowdStrike

How CrowdStrike’s top-performing sales executive created her own path to success

Phyllis Ferrantello
Photo courtesy of CrowdStrike

This article is part of InHerSight's Partners in Diversity series. Discover companies partnering with InHerSight to better support women in the workplace.

When Phyllis Ferrantello graduated from State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam in 1975 with a degree in computer science, some people suggested she’d never work a day in the business world. Thankfully, she proved them wrong, not once but twice—first as a sales system’s engineer for 25 years and later as a decorated sales executive. In fact, fast forward to 2022 and Ferrantello is CrowdStrike’s all-time top-performing sales rep and the first person at the company to reach $100 million in sales.

With more than 40 years of professional experience across business, tech, and sales, Ferrantello has a lot of wisdom to offer to rising talent in the industry. Learn how she was able to achieve success, what advice she has to offer the next generation of talent, and how she plans to pay it forward.

Phyllis Ferrantello

Regional Sales Manager at CrowdStrike 

Tell us about your journey to CrowdStrike and why you joined the company.

I came to CrowdStrike about five and a half years ago after being pursued almost relentlessly by CrowdStrike’s founder and CEO, George Kurtz, who I knew from 2001. I knew CrowdStrike was an amazing company, but I always had another job that I enjoyed so I wasn’t interested in making the switch. It was only when I was getting ready to retire that George was finally able to convince me to come and work here for what we agreed would be “just a few years.”

Coming to CrowdStrike turned out to be a great decision. The amount of success I achieved here is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my past roles. It’s the first time in my entire career that I am working for a company with a product that people are interested in. Anyone in sales knows how important it is to have a product and a brand you can stand behind, and that’s the case at CrowdStrike.

Since I joined I’ve hit a lot of milestones: I was salesperson of the year two times in 5 years; I was the first person to hit $100M in sales for the company; and George is forever flattering me by introducing me as “the all-time highest sales rep” at CrowdStrike.


What’s that you say? A remote-first company that has 800 open jobs? Well, step right up. Cybersecurity tech company CrowdStrike earns top scores for Ability to Telecommute, Learning Opportunities, and The People You Work With, and they consider remote capability to be a “competitive advantage” for their company and their customers. Click to explore CrowdStrike’s profile, reviews, and open positions now! 

Learn more ›

What do you think makes for a successful sales career? 

First of all, it takes a personality to do this. The life of a sales rep has dips and peaks like you wouldn't believe. You have to be willing to be knocked down and the next day, wake up in the morning, pick yourself up, and start over again. You need to be able to handle the volatility of our job.

Another thing people often miss is that the job isn’t just going out and selling to a customer. It’s selling to senior management and the sales management team. In my case, I also have to sell to engineering management. In every deal, I have to get the legal team on board; I have to loop in procurement and finance (from both the customer and CrowdStrike); and get the deal desk involved.

My job is really to be the quarterback of a sale in both the outward sense, as it applies to the customer, and the internal sense here at CrowdStrike.

$100M in sales in just 5.5 years is an incredible achievement. Why do you think you’ve been so successful?

There are a lot of factors that go into a person’s success. Sometimes people ask me what my secret is and I have to tell them: I've been in the business a long time. I know a lot of people. When I call people, they call me back, and that’s a big contributor to my success at this point.  It takes time to build those relationships and establish your reputation.

That aside, I think my success can be attributed to a few rules that I created for myself and followed over the years:

Rule number one: Be persistent. I really do think people who stick to what they're doing, who jump in, who commit—they can be very successful. So that’s the first thing.    

Rule number two: Under-promise and overdeliver on everything. If I know I can get something to a client by tomorrow, I set a deadline two days from now instead and then deliver a day early. Customers appreciate that. It shows them that  they’re important to you.

The third rule is to be organized. That’s one of the most important contributors to success—being organized. Find a system that works for you to keep everything straight. The details of the deal, your product, your relationships, all of it.

And finally, number four, tell the truth. Don’t say the product can do something that it can’t.  That one time overpromising will come back to haunt you.

Can you tell us more about how you’ve built solid relationships throughout your career?

It goes back to being honest. People want to connect with you as a person, and for that to happen, you must be authentic.

When you’re honest, you start building a relationship. I engage my customers in my life. They know about me on a personal level, what I like to do, how I spend my time. And I know about their lives too. I know about their interests and their families. I'm a big proponent of calling people on the phone, talking to them in person, wishing them a happy weekend, finding out when they have a big life event, like when someone has a baby, and saying congratulations.

That might seem obvious but not everyone does it—and not everyone does it just on a human level without any ulterior motives.

What do you like about working at CrowdStrike?

That’s a good question, because when I first agreed to join the company, I made a deal with George Kurtz that I would stay for three years. Well, here we are, going on year six and I’m probably going to stay a few more even though I’ll be 69 this summer.

There are things about the company that make it very enticing to stay. Besides the fact that we have a phenomenal product and we’re stopping breaches, right now, my big reason is that we just launched the Phyllis Ferrantello Falcon Scholarship. This is something beyond what I ever thought would be possible and came about because George and I made a side wager: If I brought in two new cold accounts, then he would give me an incentive of my choosing. Honestly, I have enough material things; I don’t need any more things. But what I wanted was to give back.

Back in 1975, when I graduated from SUNY, I was told that the only career I could have was as a teacher. Obviously, I proved that wrong on every level. I’ve had a remarkable career as an engineer for 25 years and then a second career spanning more than two decades in sales. In both cases, I was working in a male-dominated industry, but I held my own. 

In any case, I told George that if I landed the accounts—and I knew I would—I wanted to pay it forward and have the company offer a one-year scholarship for a female student in STEM who is going to SUNY Potsdam. When I got the business, George made good and pledged one year’s tuition. I contributed one year as well and so did 15 other people.

When I think about how important that is for students, I start crying. It's giving back at the best level that I can imagine. And I've gotten other people to give back with me in the company. I've achieved a personal goal that I didn't even know I had. It's a personal best, a wonderful feeling. 

Ready to achieve your personal best? Browse the open positions at CrowdStrike and take your career to the next level with a company on a mission that matters.

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