Meet Michael Sharp, a Regional VP on our Global Business Sales (GBS) team. After graduating from Penn State University in 2005, Michael joined the Gartner sales team. Over the source of his 14-year career, Michael has had the opportunity to take on several roles within our world-class sales organization, working in several of our North American offices. Below, he shares his growing with Gartner story and his career advice for others considering a career in sales.
Michael Sharp knew he wanted to work in the consulting and executive advisory industry when he was an undergraduate in college. To him it seemed like thought-provoking and interesting work, helping leading executives at big companies to solve their most important business challenges. After 14 years of being in the industry, Michael has risen through a variety of sales roles and is currently Gartner’s Vice President of Sales for North America, leading a team of 40+ sales people. Michael shares with us that it has been a fun and rewarding journey, working on intellectually challenging projects, speaking with fascinating clients, and partnering with talented and inspiring colleagues every day.
Michael’s career started right after graduating from Penn State University in 2005, when he was offered a job as a business development representative based in Washington, D.C. He took advantage of this opportunity and began his career as an entry-level sales professional in a brand new city. The work was challenging but rewarding, and his new colleagues quickly turned into some of his best friends. After one and a half years as a business development representative, Michael was promoted to a business development manager role, responsible for bringing on new clients. Although only a few years out of college, in this new role Michael was able to travel the country, visiting places like Las Vegas, Austin, Texas, and Seattle to meet with sales and marketing executives from of some of the world’s best companies, discussing how our research and advisory services could be of value to them.
After two successful years in business development, Michael changed roles to work with current clients as an account executive. As most of his clients were headquartered in California, this role helped Michael achieve a lifelong dream of his, to live in San Diego, CA. After two years in this position, Michael was promoted again and played an important in building the company’s first Key Accounts organization, a special account management group dedicated to supporting the our most important clients.
After a number of years of supporting clients, Michael was ready to take on a new challenge and was promoted into Sales management. This exciting new job meant hiring a team, training them to sell effectively and coaching the team members to be their best. In this role, Michael started to learn how to lead people, analyze a business, and execute a variety of sales programs and business initiatives.
Today Michael is a Vice President of Sales, leading a group of six sales teams, bringing two of Gartner’s products, Gartner for Sales Leaders and Gartner for Customer Service Leaders, to market across North America. He shares that this is his favorite job yet, getting to think more strategically about how our products and services are brought to market, inspiring large groups of people to be the best they can be and developing the next generation of leaders.
Reflecting on his career, Michael is most grateful for all of the development opportunities Gartner has afforded him. The company helped to sponsor his M.B.A. degree at The Wharton School of Business and has nominated him to participate in a variety of leadership development programs. He is also grateful for all the fun experiences Gartner has provided, like getting to see the world by qualifying for eight sales incentive trips to places like the French Riviera, Florence, Italy, Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean. He is also grateful for the mentors he has met within the company, and hopes to play a similar role for others within Gartner.
When asked to give advice to anyone considering a role at Gartner, he shared that everyone at Gartner tends to share three characteristics:
- Learners. People who are very smart, intellectually curious and really enjoy learning new things.
- Results-Driven. People who have to win, no matter what they are doing.
- Collaborative. People who aren’t afraid to ask others for help, and are proactive in offering help to others.
Michael feels extremely lucky to have found a place so early in his career that provided him great growth opportunity, amazing colleagues and intellectually stimulating work. If you have these characteristics, he hopes you explore a career at Gartner and see how great it is for yourself!
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