How do you differentiate yourself from your professional peers with the same title or same discipline?
I have always considered myself, first and foremost, a Sales Professional. I am not a former engineer, product manager, or marketing manager that has made the transition into sales or sales management. I have been involved in the business to business sales and business development environment for much of my career, with experience in direct sales, sales management, development and management of various varieties of indirect sales channels, and sales team training /development. Much of my sales management experience has been based in international settings and I thrive in challenging cultural settings. This depth and breadth of experience has given me an opportunity to excel over both colleagues and competitors.
The products I have sold have been highly technical in nature (semiconductor manufacturing equipment, semiconductor test and assembly equipment, specialty materials handling and management, and big ticket capital equipment), allowing me to develop the ability to effectively communicate highly technical information to a broad customer audience of engineers, technical professionals, and multiple levels of management.
The nature of the products and services I have sold over the course of my career in sales allowed me to develop a winning consultative sales discipline. This discipline allows me to effectively apply a repeatable and successful sales process to stand out from my peers. I have also had the opportunity to train sales teams on this process.
My experience in a new start-up company has also honed my business development skill set, as well as, coordinating product marketing, engineering, and research & development efforts with specific customer requirements. I have also had P&L responsibility for the operation of a branch office for a distributor and for a customer service center. Once again, this additional business experience differentiates my experience from others that have held similar titles.
What have you done that has caused you to stand out amongst others with your same title? Why are you in the top 10% of your profession?
My experience in training a large, international based, sales team in the application of sales as a process has given me the unique experience and exposure that a typical salesperson or sales manager would not have access to. I also had the opportunity to build a new and successful direct sales team in the Asia Pacific region after consolidation of sales channels, post merger. This included hiring new personnel, opening of branch sales offices across the region, and working closely with strategic regional customers to insure a successful transition.
What have you done that has caused your department or company to increase revenues?
In order to take advantage of the potential trends in regional growth I championed the transition to a direct sales channel from a representative/distributor channel. This was a change that internally faced resistance at the corporate level. My team and I were able to prevail based on the projected savings alone. Once the transition was in place we took advantage of focused strategic account management, localized customer service, decrease in response time, and increase in direct technical support to boost top line product revenues, as well as implementation of new service programs (and service revenues) based inside customer facilities.
What have you done that has caused your company or department to save money?
On multiple occasions, I have had the opportunity to implement programs to save money and reduce overall cost of transactions with customers. I opened a local customer service center to provide “just in time” delivery of large quantities of product to customers on a regular basis. The savings in transportation cost by bundling of orders, as well as the ability to charge for the additional service saved money through the reduction in manufacturing costs through larger volume runs. On the merger of my company with another company of equal size, but different product lines, I was charged with organizing cross training of the global sales and service teams (over 400 people) to leverage the two different product lines across our common customer base. The ability to quickly get the sales team integrated was key to a successful merger and had a direct impact on shareholder equity. During the transition to a direct sales/service channel in the Asia Pacific region we had the opportunity to reduce cost of sales by over 20%, regionally. This represented over $12 Million annually. Although this was a team effort, involving many departments (customer service, finance, field service, IT, and marketing), sales management took the lead.
What have you done that has saved time or increased work flow?
I developed a forecasting module, using Microsoft Excel and VBA, to allow automated compilation of a global 12 month rolling sales forecast on a regular monthly basis. I represented the sales department on corporate wide CRM adoption committee allowing integration of the forecast module into our SAP system. This was a large-scale effort involving over 30,000 SKUs across 4 manufacturing facilities, including international locations. I worked directly with our corporate information technology group to install a secure instant chat service that allowed sales administration, customer service, and sales personnel to communicate across the region (offices in Shanghai, Beijing, HsinChu, Seoul, and Korea) quickly and effectively.