A Year In Sales

I have been working as a pre-sales solutions architect for nearly a year now. It is a challenging position, and it is very rewarding (financially sure, but I am talking about emotional satisfaction here). Being on the other side of sales after having spent over a decade on the customer side I can say that I am much happier selling IT solutions then I was administering them.

I have received more training, I have learned more about technology, and I have developed more technical skills then I did as a customer. I have had more focus in my projects, and I have met some truly brilliant technologists.

Plus I am much more confident due to the pride that I feel from doing my job. If you think that a person in sales is doing it merely for the money you are mistaken. Sales pays well, but it takes a lot of integrity to do it. Anyone can make one sale and milk someone for a lot of profit once. A true sales professional makes a fair profit by developing a strong relationship with clients that lasts for a lifetime.

I have also been exposed to so many different types of environments and customers that I now know that my previous employer was a bad company to work for. There are some great people that I worked with who are still there, but the upper management there was bad. In my department it was especially bad. My direct manager was excellent, but the vice president above him clearly did not know how to lead nor manage.

When I think back to how he handled business deals compared to some of the executives for successful organizations that I now work with it is obvious that working underneath that person did more to hurt my career than to help it. That might sound like sour grapes, but it is not. In a more competitive results oriented setting I have thrived and accomplished more in one year than I did in a workplace that rewarded compliance first. I will never go back to that kind of work environment ever again!

What can I say? I need to feel like I am contributing and pushing my limitations. Selling technology satisfies both of those needs. It has been a wonderful year!