Continuous learning and quick adaptation
Neda Keshavarzi, Research Development Specialist, FTFT Capital Investments LLC talks on her using analytical, problem solving and networking skills as an advisor.
What made you choose sales as your professional path? How has this journey been so far in terms of achieving professional success and personal happiness?
I wanted to put my networking skills in practice for reasons that matter for businesses.In my previous career path I worked as a scientist and I observed how important it is to know how to create business ideas from purely research in academia, and that academic environments lack the ability to communicate with large audience out of scientific groups. Therefore, I decided to use my analytical, problem solving and networking skills as an advisor , to establish trust and provide a solution that links the dots between the business, challenges, and goals and build relationships that create new businesses. I feel that in my new career path I have more freedom, flexibility and continuous skill development, and a better job security since sales and business development are crucial for a company’s revenue. Working on a deal or business development project is extremely stimulating and gives me the opportunity to be creative, solve problems, build interpersonal skills and meet new people. The diversity of business engagements keeps my days interesting and I am always motivated to negotiate, advise and happy to close new deals.
Does gender matter in channel sales in terms of expectations and recognitions? What are some of the common attributes as key differences between women and men in such roles?
In general there are not huge differences between a professional male or female sales person. However, women are underrepresented when it comes to payments. Normally male sales representatives have higher incomes than women, a problem that needs to be addressed now by business owners considering that women have significant predisposed advantages when it comes to sales. Some of the key differences between men and women are as follows: women are better listeners and studies show that Listening is a fundamental skill in sales. 74% of clients are more likely to accept a deal if they realize that their counterpart is listening to them. Furthermore, Research conducted by the Korn Ferry Hay Group found that women scored 86% more than men in 11 of 12 emotional intelligence competencies which is a key factor when it comes to sales. And finally collaboration and teamwork has a significant role in modern sales strategies . The research performed by Peter J. Kuhn & Marie-Claire Villeval confirms that women prefer to work in teams, while men prefer to work alone. Moreover, women prefer team-based compensation more frequently than men do. This strong bias towards collaboration puts women in a better position to earn success as sales professionals in comparison to men.
Has hybrid work mode been rewarding or taxing? Describe your experience from last year onwards in adapting to the new normal at work? Especially as face-to-face meetings have been difficult to do, how does that impact your work?
The pandemic stopped many businesses, disrupted supply chains, and changed how salespeople interact with customers. However, the hybrid work that is a combination of physical and online interactions gives the opportunity to connect with many without being physically in the same place. In reality, when I adjust and adapt selling behaviors to fit selling situations, for example when the meeting should be held online, I did a better performance by doing the work with what is available, and by creating new projects from nothing by combining resources for new purposes I allowed my time to be flexible for having video calls, increasing focus, and preparing a clear agenda to optimize the process of building relationships with customers.
Describe some of the achievements or milestones you achieved in sales in this role as well as over your career briefly.
As continuous learning is part of the career path I learned how to adapt quickly to the new working conditions and how to use resources to reach goals that fulfills all the parties involved in the business. I managed to achieve the ability to actively address resource scarcity and integrate it by making do with what is available, improvising by recombining resources and networking.
On the road ahead in your professional journey, what are the ambitions that motivate you?
My goal for professional development is to acquire the ability to effectively utilize available resources by assessing, reconfiguring, and working to leverage them in order to meet new challenges and create opportunities.