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About This Episode
We’re wrapping up this month’s episodes by observing Women’s History Month. You’re about to learn from some of the best insights by female sales leaders who we’re proud to highlight on our podcast.
Celebrate with us by listening to these selections from 4 of our standout guests (and check out their full episodes for more excellence).
Today on Sales Engagement, you’ll hear from:
- Jessica Breslav, Chief Customer Officer at Index Exchange
- Ryann Leonard, Senior Director of Global Restaurant Operations and Enablement at Slice
- Colleen Manning, Vice President of Sales at Clora
- Nieka Mamczak, Sr. Manager of Productivity and Enablement- Customer Success at Drift
P.S. This is part 2 of a 2-part series. You do not want to miss part 1.
Let’s dive right in!
Jessica Breslav on Confidence
Jessica: I’ve definitely been the only woman in the room many, many times. Earlier in my career, I was probably less comfortable with it than I am today. There are some things that I try to stay true to when those situations arise.
And the first part is I’ve earned that seat at the table just as much as everybody else at that table has. Most people in the room typically feel the same way. Instead of approaching the situation where I felt I was coming from a place of adversity, I’ve tried to think about it as everybody in that room brings certain qualities and values. We all have insights and perspective to bring.
Like anything else, life is about being prepared. When you’re going into a big board meeting, or you’re going into a big presentation, or a sales pitch with a really big client or you’re meeting with customers, whatever it might be, just taking the steps to be prepared and really knowing your materials. You’re speaking from a place of competence, and you’re the expert. Coming in prepared makes a really big difference.
Everybody has to get comfortable with who they are as a person. What I would say for anybody out there who sometimes feels that doubt, even if you’re a man in a room with 10 other men, you’ve earned that seat at the table.
Ryann Leonard on Owning Your Career Progression
Ryann: Younger employees who are early on in their careers, where they want to be a manager, or they want to take on more responsibility, they focus all their time on doing listening sessions and other types of management responsibilities, but then they don’t hit their sales goal.
What I did is I got to the point after doing that job for so long, I was really good at it. I didn’t need to spend as much time on cold calling as maybe someone else would, because I was a cold calling pro — I knew what I had to do.
So I always made sure that I not only hit my goals, but overachieved my goals, and I was able to then do that a little bit more easily than it would have been in the beginning. So that’s my priority. That’s how I get paid. That’s what I was asked to do, and that’s what I was going to do. But then while I’m hitting my goal, I was able to manage my time and figure out, ‘Alright, I’m working on this initiative with the account management team, I’m going to be in meetings, doing X, Y, and Z with them during these times. So I need to make sure that I make more calls in the morning so that I can take off that time in the afternoon,’ or whatever it may be.
I think it’s important to always keep your primary job as your priority and ensure that you’re doing that really well and not focus on things that you’re not necessarily being asked to do.
Colleen Manning on a Balanced Lifestyle
Colleen: I realized when I did make that jump from a senior AE to a manager, I was passed over a few times. And I learned from that because number one, my managers didn’t think I was ready at that time. Even though I was really good at my job. I haven’t been doing it long enough at that point, which I now understand why.
There were other people who started at the company after me, or who I didn’t think were as qualified as me who got the job before I did because I wasn’t vocal enough in the beginning. I learned early on, if you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be no. My dad has ingrained that in my brain since I was a kid. But it’s hard to put that in practice when you’re so early on in your career.
So I then went to my manager, and this is the first conversation we had about it. What’s going on? I thought I was gonna get that job. That was when we really sat down and talked through, this is what I needed to work on. That was a great learning lesson for me, because I realized I should have been not just sitting there assuming that because I’m doing a good job they’re reading my mind and knowing, ‘Oh, Ryann wants to be a manager.’
Nieka Mamczak on Team Engagement
Nieka: To the struggle with enablement, it is hard. Someone once told me that my job is equivalent to herding cats. How do you get this disparate group of people together in one universal language that they can feel energized about?
Movement gets people excited, because once they start to accomplish things, they’re super proud to come back and say, I just did this, and I just did that. And then it becomes infectious. Because the energy level in your body, obviously, after you move is different.
Objective number one is to bring the socialization back. We were all just on zoom, just to get the work done. And the joy and the fun out of collaborating together was gone. Let’s fix that. Let’s make sure that there’s some common language of movements and accomplishments associated so that when we get together, we can start off by having that conversation, so much so that when I run enablement sessions now, I will actually join the meeting a few minutes earlier. And I will always ask people to share a story as it relates to their environments, and something fun. It’s bringing us back together as human to human.
Number two, for me, it’s energy. Energy is still important, all the time. But when you are experiencing what our world is experiencing right now, it’s just a constant wave of emotions. If you can feed off the high energy emotions and bring people up to that level, my goal is always wherever someone came from before interacting with me, they’re leaving up on the high note. That is my mission and my goal for everyone to leave with a smile, to feel energized, to feel like they had extra caffeine.
Problem number three was just to take that energy up for people and help them to be more efficient so that they didn’t start working longer than they should in a day.