We heard from Josh Dhaliwal, a Sales Manager with over 20 years in sales. He is currently managing sales in iPresent, a fast-growing SaaS sales enablement platform. Read on to find out more about Josh’s role.
1) How did you get in to the sales industry?
I have been in Sales for 24 years, but it’s not something I set out to do. I moved to London in 1995, straight after University. I was 21 and I wanted to work for one of the big advertising agencies. After several interviews with one of the biggest and most reputable agencies I received a rejection letter stating that they felt I came across over-confident during the interview process. A few days later, while flicking through the media ads section of The Guardian, I came across an ad stating that they required confident people – I applied and got a job working for a free London newspaper. Now I’m in the fortunate position of selling a Sales Enablement solution, so I can use my passion for sales to help other salespeople improve their sales processes and close more deals.
2) What does a typical day in your role look like?
My day starts and ends with my inbox. Email is how the majority of my clients choose to communicate and on waking up and before I leave home I will have replied, filed or deleted anything that lands in my inbox overnight. I use filters so non-urgent emails or internal emails are filed away from my inbox to be dealt with later. I operate a zero inbox, which means by the time I leave for the day my inbox is empty.
After email, the second most important part of my day is my Outlook calendar, which has entries for all my off-site meetings, demos and calls logged for the day. I spend 2-3 days a week on the road visiting clients and meeting new prospects so my days in the office are usually packed with back-to-back online demos and calls with prospective clients.
Towards the end of the day I will check in with customer services and my US sales colleagues to get an update on progress with new business and anything I need to be aware of in terms of issues with existing clients.
3) What do you love about your role?
There is so much I love about Sales. I love meeting new people, I love building relationships, I love listening and hearing about their experiences and sharing the experiences of our clients and how they have overcome similar challenges. I love the responsibility that goes with Sales – someone is entrusting you with their money, their reputation because you’re going to deliver real value to their business in exchange. We also can’t talk about Sales without mentioning the rewards. It can be an incredibly financially rewarding profession but it doesn’t come without sacrifices — I work long hours but ultimately, I do that because I love sales.
4) What sort of qualities does a person need for this role?
There are three qualities that I think are often overlooked when people think about good salespeople. Everyone thinks that salespeople need to be confident, convincing, brash, extroverted – but some of the best salespeople I have met tend to be very well organised and extremely hard working. An average salesperson can go a long way by working hard – an excellent salesperson doesn’t get very far if they’re not willing to put the hours in. You also need to be a good listener – someone who talks faster than they can listen is always going to miss buying clues and opportunities.
5) What advice would you give to someone looking to move towards a role like yours?
Longevity in sales comes not from being a good salesperson, but a good person. Setting what you sell aside, people do business with people they trust, so be the kind of person that people like, that they trust and people will want to do business with you. In order to build trust be open with your customers and prospects, be honest, show a genuine interest in them and their business, keep any promises you make and make them feel like the most important person in the relationship.
Group interviews are used by large employers who are aiming to fill multiple vacancies. They are frequently used by sales firms when selecting a new intake of trainee sales executives, graduate recruits and telesales professionals, for example.
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