It seems we just couldn’t stay away from Amsterdam. This week, Under the Infrastructure is going back to the Venice of the North to introduce you to yet another one of our incredible SLayers.
Say hello to Valentine Che, a global sales representative for new accounts. He’s been with us for three years, and if you’ve ever digitally reached out to us about what we offer in Europe and the Middle East, you might’ve had a conversation with Valentine.
Let’s meet him.
SOFTLAYER: What’s a day in the life like for a new account representative in global sales?
VALENTINE CHE: New account reps principally target new business coming in via online chat, email, and phone calls—it varies from day to day. I am the digital face of SoftLayer. From the guy in the development world who saw an ad for $500 off a cloud server and jumps into chat hoping to get a check to the IT executive who is seriously contemplating a move to the cloud and wants to configure his cloud infrastructure on the SoftLayer platform, I interface with these vastly differing characters and represent the brand.
While manning the online chat and answering incoming calls, I also work tickets created by existing customers and seek avenues to solve an issue a customer is facing.
SL: What does it take to be successful in a global sales position?
CHE: When you interface with dozens of people with different personalities through various communication tools over the course of a day, it is easy to get bogged down. The ability to discern a sales opportunity from this maze is a vital attribute. It is conventionally said that seasoned salespeople can sell ice to Eskimos, while some cannot sell a life jacket to a drowning person.
In all honesty, the SoftLayer value prop already sells itself. Global sales mostly does what we call “telling.” In “telling” why a customer needs to be on the SoftLayer platform, reps need to be digitally polite and enthusiastic. Obviously, it will be difficult to communicate enthusiastically and exude confidence if you do not know the product or service you are selling and cannot show a customer how it solves his or her problems better than the competition. Hence, product knowledge is crucial.
SL: What’s your travel schedule like?
CHE: I travel to trade shows within Europe and the Middle East with the events team about three times per quarter. During these events, I have the opportunity to meet prospects and existing customers face-to-face. I like these face-to-face meetings because you can read the body language of the person you are talking to and the person cannot just disappear (as is often the case with online chats). Also, I carry an iPad and can demonstrate the modularity of the SoftLayer offering. I show prospects how to customize their server to meet their particular needs. It is a fun experience.
SL: What do you like the most about your job?
CHE: The interactions with “characters of the world” are interesting. In a three-year period, I have had a conversation with someone from at least two-thirds of the nations of the world. I pick up cultural cues from these interactions that truly amaze me.
If I did not become a salesman, I would have been either a lawyer or a preacher (mum says I love the sound of my own voice).
SL: Would you rather have a dinosaur or a dragon for a pet? Why?
CHE: I do not believe in pets. In my world, animals should stay in the wild. If all the money spent on pets was diverted toward helping humans, there would not be a hungry soul on the face of the earth.
Did we mention our SLayers have heart, too?