From Sales to Service: Five Keys to Success When Making the Jump

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After two years in the IT recruitment sector, Joe Swyny joined Gartner’s office in Egham, U.K., as an Associate Client Partner in May 2018, where he now serves clients across the technology and marketing practices. Below, Joe shares how his experiences in a sales-based environment have led to a successful first few months in the Gartner Business Services organization.

In many organizations, sales and service teams often pitch themselves as very different from one another, and as a result there are employees who see their careers as limited to one or the other. While the two environments may seem almost entirely contrasting to some, many of the skills required to succeed in a sales-heavy environment can be put into practice to great effect when building a career in a services organization.

Target-driven mindset: Those in a sales-heavy role will be all too familiar with targets and KPIs, whether based on performance output or revenue. Working in a post-sales role means that we are not tied to any monetary figures, but we are still closely measured on performance output and the amount our clients benefit from the products and services available on their subscriptions. In GBS, we operate with a “mission over metrics” ideology — we recognize that the value leveraged by the clients we serve is the top priority in everything we do.

Creativity: Successful salespeople will be used to doing the hard work required to get every potential deal through the door — and sometimes that requires a certain amount of flexibility, ingenuity and creativity about their approach to different clients and situations. Service associates require that same level of creativity to mitigate the tougher situations in our roles, ensuring that the value clients receive from Gartner far surpasses their investment in our services.

Collaboration with sales partners: As part of the GBS team, you will be expected to work closely with your sales teams — across account management and business development — for your respective practices. Having an understanding of the sales process and the methods of working within this environment will make the partnership with your sales team members much smoother. It will also enable you to identify opportunities for growth and upselling when handling different clients, which can then be passed on to your sales partners.

Accountability: As with many sales roles, you are afforded a lot of autonomy when it comes to managing your working methods and how you prioritize your day-to-day tasks. Organization and time management are vital skills you’ll have no doubt learned to keep your pipeline full, and when dealing with client numbers that run into the hundreds, the ability to prioritize and work smart will prove invaluable. The best piece of advice I’ve received since joining GBS was that everyone has to “paddle their own canoe” to make the very most of their time in this team.

Growth mindset: Fast-paced atmospheres with huge opportunities for change and professional growth are often the environments that attract the most successful sales talent to an organization. Within GBS, we have experienced unprecedented growth from a team of three to a team of 24 (and counting!) in the past 12 months. The most successful members of our team have been able to not only cope but thrive under the pressures of massive growth and change, with some even taking on additional responsibilities and practice areas while continuing to deliver tangible, high-quality value to our clients.


Are you interested in joining Joe’s team? Search for an available position here.

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