Angela Mazza, Senior Vice President, Head of Cloud & LoB Middle & Eastern Europe, Member of the Senior Executive Team @ SAP, shares her experience as a sales manager in the IT industry. In this interview Angela focuses on how the Cloud Is impacting sales careers.
How is the Cloud changing your job or jobs in your company?
- Personally I find that having access to all information regarding customers, deals and my team’s performance, 24 x 7, via mobile apps, really makes my life easier.
- It means that it is possible for me to react in real time to developing sales situations, as well as provide dynamic support to my teams.
- Of course, it means that expectations are raised that we are always on top of a deal – but then we have the data and the context of the deals, and so have no excuse.
What are the top industries/LoBs being most impacted by Cloud computing and why?
- Service –related industries are seeing massive change, with their customers increasingly expecting to engage with them via alternative mechanisms, such as social media.
- Manufacturing industries can speed up their supply chains as they start to work more collaboratively with their partners.
- Retailers need to get much closer to their customers – analysing and predicting their behavior and responding speedily.
Which new job opportunities are being created?
- For me Social Selling is an extremely hot area , which is more of a skillset that salespeople need to develop rather than a new job per se.
Are any jobs at risk?
- Cloud solutions help to make sales teams more effective, ensuring they are more in control of their sales territory, their accounts and their pipeline. More transparency, access to simpler analytical tools and the ability to interact with customers more dynamically, should mean that salespeople become more effective.
- This in turn should lead to more successful sales performance and coverage, rather than any reduction in sales force.
What do you need to do in today’s Cloud marketplace to educate yourself?
- You need a clear understanding of which tools are available within your organisation to manage your sales data and take ownership for the content and quality of the data.
- Applying the old school sales skills will no longer be enough. You need to learn how to apply ‘social selling’ and build a strong social and networking profile.
What skills do you need to have to excel when working with the Cloud?
- As I said, salespeople who know how to leverage social selling will definitely have an edge.
- Combining a strong ability to network physically as well as via social networks will be in strong demand.
- Salespeople who own their own sales data will own their destinies. Learn how to analyze your customer data and adjust your behavior accordingly.
The Cloud is creating many opportunities for sales managers as well as sales people. Now is the time to use these opportunities to build your career.
Suggested Resources Suggested by Angela:
SAP Uses SAP Cloud for Sales to manage its sales pipeline:http://www.sap.com/pc/tech/cloud/software/cloud-for-sales/overview/index.html
For more opinions on how Cloud Computing may affect your Industry and/or Line of Business (LoB) – and thus your career, read here: