SalesTech Star Interview with Sheila Aharoni, VP of Global Sales at CloudShare
Tell us about your role at CloudShare, the team you lead and the technology you work with.
As CloudShare’s Vice President of Global Sales, I lead the entire Sales team, which includes enterprise Sales Managers and Sales Engineers. The role includes hiring, training and developing the pre- and post-sales teams that pursue, grow, and manage enterprise accounts commercially and technically.
CloudShare leverages various production technologies. This includes a cloud-based CRM, Sales Automation, search and quote tools, as well as platforms for customer service, collaboration, business-oriented social engagement, and analytic insight. Our team is agile and forward-thinking – we’re always willing to try new technologies and adopt or make changes as needed.
Our driving goal is to provide clear internal and external communication, documentation and historic data, serving customers and partners quickly and effectively to ensure they have a positive experience. We want each interaction to be valuable to them. It’s not just client satisfaction, it’s about client success. We see ourselves as an extension of our customer’s teams – we’re partners and their success is ours.
How did you get into the Sales side of the business? What inspired you to go into Sales?
Frankly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I graduated from college, but I targeted blue-chip companies that would provide me with a solid career foundation. I was hired onto General Electric’s Commercial Leadership Program, a valuable two-year developmental program for engineers with commercial acumen.
I had rotational assignments in Product Marketing, Technical Sales Support, Sales Operations, and Marketing Research. This exposure to Technical Sales, as well as encouragement from some amazing leaders, inspired me to become a Sales professional. One of my rotation leaders hired me into my first sales job, which brought me to California. I have to admit, I had misconceptions about working in Technology Sales, especially in the area of personality types that were the best fit. However, with the profession evolving from “golf and sell” to a solutions sales mentality (solving problems and meeting client needs), and as I gained confidence, it turned out that my curious and creative inclinations have been a good match. There are all kinds of sales jobs out there and it is not a one size fits all profession – but enterprise consultative tech sales have fit me perfectly.
One of the most appealing aspects of Sales is that I can drive my own financial destiny. For the most part, sales compensation is a great equalizer. Goals are clear and pay for performance is blind to gender, ethnicity or age. It’s empowering and motivates me to achieve.
What does CloudShare do for Sales teams and how do you differentiate it from other B2B Sales Technology platforms?
CloudShare’s cloud-based Sales Enablement solution enhances both the demo and POC stages of a company’s sales process, which empowers teams to showcase their software solutions on-demand and within minutes. Our platform also offers an end-to-end invitation, tracking, and management dashboards, providing visibility into a prospect’s engagement in real-time. In fact, SalesTech Star shared some recent news regarding updates to our Sales Enablement solution.
Sales Engineers and Sales teams don’t have time to be bogged down with administrative tasks. Our Sales Enablement approach eliminates friction throughout the sales cycle, allows potential customers to understand the value of complex solutions more powerfully while giving Sales team tools that free them from mundane and repetitive tasks.
What is CloudShare’s Sales Culture and Strategy? Why is it important to build a Sales-focused culture for any business?
CloudShare’s Sales and Culture accentuates:
- Helping customers solve problems and achieve goals – versus just selling them stuff;
- Ensuring a positive customer experience and ultimate success with our solution. If they’re winning, we’re winning, and the relationship grows; and
- Adding value to the customer experience by providing technical and commercial “trusted” advice and thought leadership – we can escalate their vision of how to more effectively do business in the cloud.
Overall, being nimble, effective, productive and thoughtful are all part of our culture and DNA. However, we prefer to be aligned strategically and tactically with clients, which I believe is essential for any business to succeed.
If other organizations are looking to build a healthy Sales-focused culture, they need to ensure they practice:
- Clear and transparent communication;
- Accountability – if you hold yourself accountable, you might be surprised how strongly clients reciprocate; and
- A place for continuous learning, improving and proactively raise the bar for your people, solution, and customers. Learn from both your successes and failures.
Can you share some advice with other Sales professionals in the software and B2B industry?
There are many things to consider for those pursuing a Sales career in Software and Technology Sales. It really depends on so many factors: your stage of career, aspirations, capabilities and personal preferences.
Initially, focus first on learning. Find a company and leadership team that will help you learn Sales fundamentals and skills. Midsize and enterprise companies with strong Sales leadership have more resources to develop and mentor emerging sales talent. Many have Sales Development programs and formal training. Plus, you’ll learn about various sales methodologies that will set you up for your entire career. You can also learn a lot in early-stage companies where you may be asked to wear many hats, but the learning will be less formal.
As you refine your skills, pay close attention to what your learning style is so you can own your process and outcomes. Ask lots of questions. Tinker with things. Talk it out. Experiment. Try to be as self-aware as possible – what are your strengths? Areas for growth? Weaknesses? There are many different Sales jobs out there; Solutions and Consultative Sales, Hunter roles, Account Management, Inside Sales, Customer Success, Business Development. You may want to try different ones until you find your spark or experience a few of them and move into Sales leadership.
Additionally, use Sales tools and technology as an additive, but understand that you are the key ingredient! Work hard, learn, make a difference, build relationships, and meet your numbers. Performance is critical to advancing in the same company or elsewhere, and connecting with and impressing others can impact your career forever.
CloudShare is dedicated to bringing real value to both business and IT professionals, making it simple and intuitive for you to enjoy elastic scalability, infinite reach, and increased productivity through the cloud, without worrying about the details, because those – are on us.
Our team shares common beliefs and energies. Nothing is more important than our customer success who we consider to be our true business partners. Our energies are spent on caring and bettering – so our employees innovate to deliver great solutions and find their place of work to be their second home.
Top-performing sales executive with 25+ years delivering on quota in enterprise consultative Technology Sales and Business Development. Especially adept in early-stage startups introducing emerging technologies to new markets as well as in challenging problem solving within large market bellwethers. Thrives in fast-paced and rapid-change environments. Customer-centric and performance-driven.
Consistent success based upon keen business acumen, authenticity, an ability to hire and develop strong teams, expert hunting, and closing skills, honed negotiation skills, tireless work ethic, intellectual curiosity, empathy, and a strong will to make an impact and succeed.