Profession and Career
I'm in sales - and I've been a sales person in one shape or form or another pretty much since leaving school and I worked my way up through the ranks by starting off in telesales and progressing from there to B2B (Business to Business) sales. Most of you I'm sure will have a LinkedIn account but my most complete and favourite professional profile is kept at the Profiled site which I'm linking to here.
I focus on Account Development in the IT Network Solutions and Services marketplace and this is where I've specialised for the last fifteen or so years. Account Development is probably best described as taking an existing transactional (or deal based) customer and moving the relationship to one that is more strategic by creating business value for the client, engendering trust, producing the outcomes they need and in turn making the account more profitable for my employers. This is the area where I probably I do best though I can turn my hand to straightforward Account Management and new name business. As far as the future is concerned I have little or no aspirations for being a manager (I enjoy life on the front line too much) so I guess that makes me a career sales professional, which I'm very happy to be.
The sales methodology that I favour most would probably be Power Base Selling as developed by Jim Holden (which is good for presales qualification and navigating large accounts), but sales is an ever changing environment and it's more about business acumen, situational knowledge and value creation these days than anything else.
I've worked across most vertical market segments but probably predominantly within the finance marketplace in the City and also the IT Out-Sourcer/Service Provider sectors. The finance market in the City appeals to me as it’s totally different from any other market whereas the work done for the IT Out-Sourcer/Service Provider market tends to be more business focused as you're often directly impacting their top and bottom lines with what you do for them. Probably the sector I've had least to do with would be public sector.
I'm on most of the business networking sites like LinkedIn etc and keep in contact with ex-colleagues that way, here are a few photos from a Memorex Telex reunion with some of my old buddies. :-)
Favourite Professional and Sales Related Websites
A site I like very much is The Sales Blog which is written by a chap called S. Anthony Iannarino, please see my links page. If you're in sales or sales management his site is one of the best I've found.
And my other favourite sales site is The Fox Den which is the online community for Holden Power Base Selling alumni; I've given a link to my page and you can join from there. And I've just joined a new site called Xperlink which is similar to the old Focus.com in that it's a discussion forum for business professionals all chiming in with their opinions on anything to do with business, sales, marketing, technology etc. Here's a link to my page where you can get an idea of what the site's about. For now it's brand new and is still ironing out a few teething wrinkles but if it can gain momentum and attract some experts in their fields then it could be on a par with the Focus site (which seems to have disappeared).