What I Do in IT Sales
“Sweetie, can you help me get my printer to work?” my mom called from the kitchen while I was visiting for Father’s Day last month. “Umm, I can try?” I stammered. These scenarios with family and friends have become commonplace since I began my IT career five years ago. I’m sure other people can relate—when you work in IT sales, for some mysterious reason, so many people think you can fix their printer, laptop, or broken iPhone.
“So what do you do?” I might be asked by an older family member. Here’s what I say:
1. I am constantly learning.
In my first week of training as an Account Executive, we focused on an overview of networking, speeds and feeds, port counts and what things like “single-mode” and “POE” meant. Over the years, as Myriad has expanded, our training program has grown to cover systems/storage, security and cloud, and network services. (Alas, still no training on how to troubleshoot a printer…) All kidding aside, much of my knowledge has been tailored by the clients that I have the privilege of working with.
Many of the companies that I work with are service providers who have extremely demanding SLAs and require immediate solutions since they are the people responsible for ensuring there are no issues with their office’s internet. As a result, I’m constantly listening to what the best and brightest companies need to keep their IT departments running smoothly and helping them fill that need. Over the last few years, I’ve seen across the industry that security (specifically surrounding ransomware and DDoS attacks) is of paramount concern to these companies. Introducing clients to our Engineering team—who can design a client’s environment that solves and prevents problems—is extremely gratifying and one of my favorite parts of the job.
2. I build relationships.
Without a doubt the most exciting element of sales for me is landing an initial order with a new client. Typically getting in front of a new company takes a multi-pronged approach leveraging shared connections and referrals. One of the most dynamic parts of sales is discovering shared interests with a client in addition to their goals and deal-breakers. Candor on both sides regarding strengths, areas for improvement, and measurements of success are fundamental to a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Additionally, in the sales industry specifically, there is always staff movement, typically a salesperson moving on to a different role or being promoted to a manager. Those excited and committed to sales offer stability to our roster of clients. The ability for a customer to know that you will be their main point of contact for years to come is invaluable since no knowledge transfer is ever complete. Just like with any person you get to know, each client has particulars that are unique to them and tailoring our service to those specifics makes our business relationship stronger.
3. Above all, I help!
The dynamic nature of sales and how each day presents new scenarios and challenges makes the job of a salesperson especially rewarding. Making real connections with clients and being able to be helpful while being yourself translates to a camaraderie that transcends time zones and miles. I work with people who have incredibly stressful jobs that keep them on call ‘round the clock. Being able to respond immediately, effectively and with empathy to let my client know that we are working on whatever they need together makes the burden for my clients feel just a little bit less heavy. It’s in those hard moments that meaningful, long-lasting business relationships are formed. Anyone can be there when you sign the deal for that new circuit or ship that shiny new router, but making it through and helping to solve customer challenges is something I am proud of when it comes to my team.
And there you have it! While I might not be the first person to call when a printer breaks (sorry, Mom!), I’m thrilled to be standing with my team at Myriad, helping each other and our clients forge the right path in this brave virtual world.