What advice would you give to yourself back when you were an aspiring salesperson?
For anybody new to the world of sales, sometimes what you need is some sage advice from somebody with real experience.
We understand this; we all started out in a similar position, so we’ve asked some of our most successful Pareto staff and alumni to provide a piece of advice that they think would help any aspiring salesperson make a lasting impression in their business.
One of Pareto’s “Grad to Great” class of 2017, we placed Roy at BSG in 2000; within eight years he reached director level. He now holds the title of Chief Sales Officer at the same company (now called Advanced 365).
“To become an outstanding salesperson, you must have an absolute sense of mission. This means having clearly defined personal and work goals broken down into achievable milestones. Looking back, I wish I had realised this when I started out in sales.”
Mark has been part of Pareto for 11 years, in which he has had an impressive rise through the ranks. Having started out as an Executive Consultant in 2007, Mark is renowned as a closer of deals. A skill that has helped him progress to the role of Sales Director for the North.
“Figure out what your personal goals are (they may be different from your employer’s goals for you) and then set clear timescales for what you want to achieve. From there it’s about figuring out how you get there. Often this will mean realising your areas of weakness and not shying away from it; every day should be an opportunity to learn. The best athletes in the world are the best because they train the most.
Don’t waste time waiting for next week, start now.”
Another member of our “Grad to Great” Class of 2017, we placed Georgina at Fidessa in 2008 where she has gone from strength to strength and now holds the role of Account Director.
“Be ready to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on after you’ve been knocked down. Because if you can then sales is a great career full of great people that will take you all over the world.”
In his long and varied career, Neil has gone from Construction Site Foreman to building the foundations of tech start-ups in the US, and setting up multiple offices in the process. A proven leader with a passion for developing young entrepreneurs and helping them achieve their ambitions, Neil has gone one to be named the Chief Revenue Officer for global tech company Peakon, and was named as one of Pareto’s ‘Grad to Great 2017’.
“Sales is all about holding on to that insatiable appetite for winning, but keeping a cool and level head when times are tough. If you work hard, have the ability to show empathy, are humble and believe the impossible is possible, then sales can be the most rewarding job in the world.”
A member of the 2017 ‘Grad to Great’ class and currently the Sales Director for AB Tasty, a global ROI Analysis company. Tom has worked in a variety of industries from education to retail, and is still implementing the skills he learned as a Pareto graduate over ten years ago.
“I believe it’s so important to gain an understanding of how the business world works, which is an education that sales provides unlike any other. Every business needs a sales team - no sales team means no revenue, and no revenue means no business.
An understanding of the world you work in, paired with drive and determination; is a recipe for success.”
Starting her journey in sales as a graduate in 2010, Sarah has always had a keen interest in training and developing her own team, as well as culturing the aspirations of graduates. This interest led her to develop a training programme specifically designed for new starters when working her Pareto placement at PEER 1. Sarah now holds the role of Sales Director at Symmetry and was a member of the class of 2017 “Grad to Great”.
“Firstly you have to understand that this is a highly pressurised job from the get go. Secondly, you cannot be scared of the phone - if you are, this probably isn’t the career for you. And finally, recognise sales for what it really is: An incredible opportunity to learn about every element of business - Use it.”
Bryn has put his vast sales experience to use over 11 very successful years at Pareto; taking experience gained from developing, and making profitable, a property startup on the continent before joining Pareto. Bryn now holds the role of Sales Director within the Strategic Alliances division, having trained sales teams in over ten european countries, and extensively in the US.
“Focus on what your customer tells you is important as opposed to what you think may be important. There is no solution without there first being a problem, so spend as much time as possible understanding what your customer is trying to achieve and what is currently getting in the way of their goal. If you can then help them to unblock that path with a relevant and tailored solution, whilst also providing insights your competitors fail to offer, you will not only greatly enhance your chances of success, but will also be able to charge more for your services.”
As you can see, whilst even the most successful sales people have faced challenges along the path to achieving their goals, there are steps you can take to improve your skills and give yourself the best chances of success.