Guest Speaker Series – Lewis Chawko – Solutions Manager at Superscript

Aug 13, 2021

“Sales ops is the engine oil and you’re the cog” 

 

Lewis Chawko was president of the Judo Club at Northumbria University, where he studied mechanical engineering, but he found the degree didn’t provide many opportunities to interact with people, which became a weakness for him. However, this didn’t stop him from growing over his career and developing relationships. At Innovation Enterprise Lewis felt like he was learning for himself for the first time, as a Global Delegate Sales Executive and he began exploring outside the day to day in sales, becoming in tune with data. 

 

Cyber security and Friendship 

At cyber security company Tessian, Lewis built strong relationships and believes it’s not enough to just do your current role, you also need to learn from those people around you. Though he didn’t recognise it at the time Chris Ritson, SaaSLeads COO pushed for Lewis to work on building internal brands and relationships. 

 

Lewis’ Top Sales Tips 

Think of your career as a pyramid. If you have a narrow base (skillset) you will topple over. It’s all about the foundation. You have to have a solid foundation before progressing and always think about what you can do to do better. 

Selling abroad – 

Take opportunities to work in different territories if you can. It can be difficult to navigate the time zone differences, but remember that it won’t be forever and you will gain significant insights. Lewis had a 5am call, got up early and prepped for it, but they didn’t show up. After doing this for a while it can lead to unhealthy habits that can affect your wellbeing. Having open and honest conversation with your manager will hopefully curve this. The trick is to have a plan, as well as set boundaries and goals. 

Negotiating salary 

Lewis went from 3 years in an entry level sales role as a SDR to a hybrid-manager role and reminds us it may not work out how you imagine. He has found if he didn’t have extra skills he wouldn’t have had extra selling power or been able to negotiate on salary. He understood global sales engineers and sales opps and had more to give to the role and the company and encouraged us to think more outside of our own roles. 

Feedback 

Your own anecdotal feedback is valuable, but Lewis has been guilty of recency bias. Remember to be self aware, but also ask those around you for feedback too. 

Start anew

Lewis had his own bias of the best way to get a high success rate, but learnt you can’t always take what worked with you at one company to another, because it may not work for different prospectuses. 

 

What is sales ops?

Lewis has found that people that aren’t usually interested in sales ops, or even aware of what it is, but there is a correlation between the two and succeeding. The goal for sales ops is to build new processes that seem small but can be impactful and raise productivity to make you feel like you’re working better, saving time and increasing visibility of the sales cycle, as well as shine a light on things that your team doesn’t think to look at.  

 

How sales ops can help you

The world of tech works very fast and we’re all cogs chipping along. You need to observe and understand what each person is doing on your team and how you connect to them. It’s useless if there are 5 of one person – instead have a variety to tick more boxes. Also identify the value you can add to a company problem to generate turnover and offer a solution. 

 

The wild world of technology 

For Lewis data is information produced by you or your company – use it and continually find out how to use it better. Listen to the data and keep in mind it will be different per company. Also try different things and pull together multiple data points and work together with your team to come to a conclusion that will move the company forward as a result of your findings. 

 

Tools – the double edged sword

Tools have phenomenal benefits. Salesloft is great for speeding up trends and Hubspot can help you understand trends and get helpful insights. a/b testing can be very useful to discover how to improve discovery, take a slice of the audience and encourage the audience engagement. On the other hand, there comes a sobering point when you realise your company could go on without you if they have tools and systems in place. 

 

Lewis’ Final words 

Enjoy what you’re doing and build your career for the future, but throw in a meme on Slack every now and then. 

 

Key Takeaways 

  • Build relationships and go the extra mile outside your role
  • Sell abroad and use your marvellous skillset to negotiate your salary
  • Tools are pretty great, but humans are better 
  • Enjoy the ride, but plan for the future
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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