Guest Speaker Series – Ali Redfern – Entrepreneurship: treating your career like a microbusiness

Mar 17, 2022

“In sales you have control over own career – you are your own CEO” 

 

Tech sales. Why is it a career you should want to pursue? You control your destiny and paycheck. If you do things the right way and build your pipeline based on data you’ll see results. Enterprise Account Executive at Envoy, Ali Redfern, joined us at the Academy and showed us just how to treat our careers like our very own microbusiness.  

 

The entrepreneur 

When you work in sales you’re not reliant on other people – you are the master of your career and if something doesn’t align with you, make a change. Some things are out of your control, but many things are in your control. Examine the controllables, like figuring out what drives your pipeline and do more of that. Sales is wonderful because you get out what you put in. 

 

The mentor 

Your WHY is the fast track to knowing the purpose that drives you. Live your core values as many hours a day as possible. Sales provides you with the opportunity to develop and base what you’re doing on your why. If you work that out and base your decisions on core values you’ll be able to identify when things step outside your core values and know if you can you live with that or if you need to realign your day to day activities. 

Gabriela Bojilova, SaaSLeads Customer Success Manager, has found that she has accelerated in every aspect that she cares about through the soft skills she’s developed working in sales. 

Have someone that’s not in management, but more senior than you to be your mentor. Have someone you respect, who will hold you accountable. Perception is reality. You can perceive how you’re performing yourself, but having an experienced objective third party to actually point out what to improve and celebrate your successes is incredibly valuable. 

 

The Chief Marketing Officer 

“You’re selling yourself, but not in a weird way.” 

 

Personal brand is everything. You market how others see you online and you have the power to change their perspective through your social channels. If you develop your personal brand well enough you won’t have to apply for jobs in the future, as employers will see your experience, your content and want you to work at their company. 

Make your content interesting and don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Engage with people on a personal level and remember small talk matters and is underrated. When it comes to posting and putting content in the public make it quality over volume.   

 

“Authenticity is your USP (unique selling point). Be who you are and your personal brand alongside compelling data points can fast track you to a promotion.” 

 

The HR Director

Take care of your personal and work balance. Work to the best of your ability, but maintain balance by doing activities you enjoy outside of work. If you keep working nonstop, after a certain point you won’t be as effective and you’ll burn out quicker than if you took breaks.

“Take time for you and go out in nature. Your career is a marathon not a sprit.” 

Sometimes not feeling comfortable is good, but not at the price of your mental health. Ask yourself what is the value you’re getting out of your tasks and prioritise. 

 

The Data Analyst  

Bottom line – back up everything with data. Everything in sales is data-driven, so stay on top of your own metrics. If you fall short of your quarter target you’ll be able to display what activities you’ve been doing to hit your targets.  

Data checklist: 

  • Quantify each action you are taking
  • Do not smash out vanity metrics 
  • Do smash out metrics with value 
  • Measure how many good conversations and conversions you got from your interactions 
  • From this qualify what works and what doesn’t work  
  • Identify what you contributed to your SDR lifecycle

Never stop developing. Don’t sit in your pride, you need to adapt and change instead of sticking with what is easy. If you’re not developing then you’re going backwards. 

 

Ali’s Key Takeaways 

  • Why is a career in sales so great? You control your destiny and paycheck.
  • Your WHY is the fast track to knowing the purpose that drives you.
  • Personal brand is everything. You market how others see you online and you have the power to change their perspective through your social channels.
  • Maintain a good personal and work-life balance. 
  • Bottom line –  back up everything with data. 
  • Never stop developing.
Lena Miah

Lena is our Marketing Executive here at Saasleads.io. She is versed in all things marketing and loves creating thought provoking, inspirational, and informative pieces for the company. 

Lena was born and raised in London. She has a passion for all things words and completed a BA degree in Journalism at the University of Roehampton. 

When she isn’t keeping the company blog in tip top condition she can be found in a yoga class or checking out the London food scene, but if the food isn’t up to par she could bake it all herself. 

You can find Lena on LinkedIn here 

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