FAQs About My Career in Sales | Alyssa J Cori: FAQs About My Career in Sales

October 16, 2019

FAQs About My Career in Sales

Hello my friends, I hope you're having a great week! I procrastinated and didn't write this post until the night before publishing, so I feel much more real time and chatty.
Click to read now or pin to save later to learn all about a career in sales

If you've been following for a while you may know that I just wrapped up the first quarter at my new job. I work as an Account Executive at Looker, a data platform company that is in the process of being acquired by Google, and cover accounts across all industries. Before that I was an Account Executive at IBM and I have been working for a sales training company since I was in college. Also, I'm the content chair for Women in Sales Everywhere...I'm recapping all of this confirm that I pretty much live and breathe sales, every day of the week (and if you want to learn how I manage multiple jobs, check out this post).

This means that I get asked a lot of questions from people who want to pursue a career in sales, are interested in learning how to make the move from one job to another, and more. While I would love to answer every email, LinkedIn message, and get on the phone with everyone, it's getting harder and harder to manage the time. That's why today I'm putting together a comprehensive post of my most frequently asked questions. Let's jump in!

Do you have any advice for getting into the IBM Summit Program? 

For those of you who aren't familiar, the IBM Summit Program is an amazing sales program for both college graduates and experienced professionals to become an account executive or technical seller at IBM. My top advice for getting into the program is to demonstrate your ability to listen carefully, present complex concepts simply, and make sure that you take into consideration everyone's ideas on your team. Keep this interview etiquette in mind and be sure to ask this question

How can I get on the team of my dreams after graduating from the Summit Program? 

Make yourself useful throughout the entire program. You're going to have a lot of down time between trainings, so reach out to sellers and managers on the teams you're interested in and offer your services. You can help prospect, identify events sellers should have on their radar, build call plans and do meeting prep, the list goes on and on. By being an asset before you're even hired to do anything you can make it an easy choice to add you to the team when you graduate. 

Why did you leave IBM?

I love IBM. Truly. And I think if I had joined a different team after graduating from the program I may still be there today. However, I didn't ask the right questions when choosing a team. I didn't get a full understanding of the development of the products and I didn't do a good job of making a change when I realized I wasn't in the right place for me. There are so many teams at IBM and although I considered making an internal change, I found an external opportunity at Looker that was such a good fit I couldn't pass it up. 

How can you pursue an Account Executive (AE) role if you don't have the typical background or you're fresh out of school?

You'll read a lot about how being a Sales Development Representative (SDR) and Inside Seller is important before becoming an AE. There is no doubt that you can build up a great skill set in those roles...however it isn't the only way to be prepared to take on an AE role.

I was lucky enough to have sales as a program at my college and that was one of the best things that ever happened for me. But, if you know you want to pursue sales there are so many other ways to gain the skills you need. You can get a job selling Cutco, you can sell advertising for your school newspaper, you can intern with sales teams at just about any type of organization. It's all about understanding a business need and how you can solve it. 

The best advice I have for overcoming objections from hiring managers about your number of years or type of experience is to dig in further before answering. Ask what skills they think are important to be successful in the role and then explain how you've been able to acquire said skills in your previous experience. 

How can I break into tech sales?

Everyone is talking about technology and it's one of the hottest places to be as a B2B seller. Networking and going on informational interviews to make sure it's what you actually want to do is the best first step. You can also attend events and listen to interviews with sales leaders in the space (and, of course, network when you're there). WISE is an amazing organization for this.

Do you have any questions for me I didn't answer? I'd love to hear what else would be useful for you!

-Alyssa J

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