There is no "I" in "Sales"

July 18, 2007

I've been working with Amanda, Daniel, Miller and Laude for a long time in a shared sales team environment. Until recently, it had never occurred to me how bizarre it is that five such independent and competitive sales people are able to drive the SoftLayer Sales Machine almost 24x7x365 as a single seamless entity.

How do we do this?

First and foremost, we get along with each other - The value of this statement only really hits home if you understand how much time we spend with one another. Splitting an almost 24x7 work-week between 5 people means that we all work a *lot* of hours. Overlapping schedules, late nights, the almost constant blackberry messaging back and forth. If I didn't love these guys, this job would be impossible.

Great management - (Clearly, a shameless effort to suck up to the boss ^_^) Lance and Steven both have very hands-off management styles. They both give us "Just enough rope to hang [our]selves", meaning that we get to do a whole lot on our own. This is why SL Sales is the most technically savvy and aware in the dedi server industry. It also means that we trust and lean heavily on one another to make sure we stay that way, and of course, don't hang ourselves.

We share everything, good and bad - Think: commission checks as well as schedules. Sharing EVERYTHING drives us in a couple of different ways. Since our paychecks depend on how well we do as a whole, each of us is sure to give 110% at all times, because what's better than a 110% paycheck if you can get it, right? Along the same lines, none of us wants to be singled out as the weakest link in the chain – competition holds us up and keeps us on our toes.

Finally, we all have different strengths and weaknesses - If you combine us all together, you have the perfect mixture of unfailing politeness & cool (Amanda), masterful jocularity (Daniel), world-renowned strength under pressure (Miller), finely-tuned professionalism (Laude), and my own studied protocol & firmness. So there's not a customer in the world who can't get along with at least one of us.

SL Sales (or “SLales” as Lance likes to call us) really works here – I can't imagine it any other way.

-Mary