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Profile of a Top IBM Salesman

vivek_gupta_ibm.03.jpgI came upon a fascinating article in Fortune about, Vivek Gupta (right), the top IBM salesrep in the fastest growing market in India.

So many articles in the mainstream media about sales people or selling sound like they have been written by journalists.  Fortune’s Jessi Hempel has either been in sales or is a heck of a quick study.  The piece worth your time.

Gupta has the profile of the ideal big-ticket sales rep we all wish we had working on our team.  Business-oriented, driven, fearless, able to thrive in a complex organization (IBM and his customer Vodafone), Gupta’s a winner. “I don’t remember a single deal in my career which I pursued and I lost,” he says.  I believe him.  (But I also believe in “trust, but verify.”)

I love this, from the article:

Overcoming such resistance has always required IBM salespeople to be part teacher, part psychologist, part glad-hander. But Gupta’s generation must also be part diplomat, part entrepreneur, part inventor. He’s not just selling products from an IBM catalog; he’s sifting through the company’s vast research labs and inventing new combinations of goods and services tailored to each customer. He’s not just selling you chips and mainframes; he’s selling you the call center that your customers use and the software that automates your billing. He’s selling you the security login that your employees need to enter the building and the intranet page that they see when they log on to their computers. He’s selling you the engineer who will oversee your cellphone towers, and the researcher to dream up new services that you haven’t even thought of yet.

By the way, there is a wonderful slide show about IBMers comparing the 1930s with today.

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