Challenges and opportunities that come with adapting to change
Smarter GTM 09.12.2021

Challenges and opportunities that come with adapting to change

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Shownotes

In this episode, David Wakeman talks about the journey to leadership, detailing his candid thoughts on having a growth mindset, the role of a sales leader, and how to drive change as a sales executive. David speaks on the challenges and opportunities that come with adapting to change, especially during the digital transformation of the pandemic, along with how he inspires and shapes his team as a sales leader.

About the Guest

David Wakeman was the Senior Director for VMware’s end-user computing (EUC) business for the Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ). With a background in technology and business systems, as well as an extensive background at VMware across EUC product portfolios, David is in the unique position of advising clients on GTM planning and execution in the APJ region.

Connect with David Wakeman

Key takeaways

  • To achieve growth, you must subscribe your salespeople to the company’s core mission and to a growth mindset. Then, empower them to take risks, make moves, and build partnerships that will allow them to achieve your goals.
  • As a sales leader, you must think about what makes you an authentic and genuine leader, how you can deliver to other people what’s important to you, and getting them involved in the journey. On top of that, you must be able to build sales strategy and numbers, as well as operate a sales team.
  • The last 12 months have forced leaders to focus on what’s truly important, like getting back to the core of our partners and our customers, supporting them in their needs and their mission to stay afloat, adapt, and change. Being a resilient and focused leader enables you to do that.
  • Travel was David’s biggest motivator as a leader, so he struggled during the pandemic, but his resilience, the ability to change, and recognition of his team’s needs were very impactful in his sales leadership journey.
  • Before you inspire others, you must be inspired yourself and believe in your purpose.

Quotes

“People will choose to follow a leader or not, you can’t make them, but more often than not, if you’ve got that belief in yourself and what you’re doing is worthwhile, you will find people will come with you on the journey.”

Highlights from the episode

What is your take on a people-growth mindset for sales leaders?

I think it’s very important to have a clear mission but also to have a passion and belief in that mission. Growth is part of that, but how do you actually achieve growth? It’s about subscribing your people to the mission and a growth mindset, then empowering them to take risks, make moves, and build partnerships that will allow you to achieve your goals. 

What is the role of a core sales leader?

Sales have a core competency of building sales strategy and numbers and operating a sales team, but it takes more to be a true leader. I’ve learned that everyone is different. You must think about what makes you authentic and genuine as a leader and how you can deliver to other people what’s important to you, getting them involved in the journey.

What are your thoughts on CSOs around the globe taking decisive action in implementing innovative practices, and driving change to address unique challenges?

Being resilient and focused is extremely important and that speaks to having a clear purpose and goal, or mission, you’re driving to as well as a passion and belief that it’s worthwhile. If you have that, you’ll be able to steer clear of many of the day-to-day distractions you encounter as a leader. The last 12 months have forced leaders to focus on what’s really important, like getting back to the core of our partners and our customers, supporting them in their needs and their mission to stay afloat, adapt, and change. 

What is a big change you have adopted amidst this immense digital shift?

We all struggle with change once in a while… I had to adapt to staying at home and communicating through video conferencing, rather than traveling the world for business purposes. Travel was the biggest motivator for me in my career, so I have struggled, but a resilience, the ability to change, and recognizing your team’s needs are very impactful. Additionally, I now do short, powerful meetings and presentations instead of long, drawn-out conversations.

As a leader, how do you inspire others and shape their actions?

Before you inspire others, you must be inspired yourself and believe in your purpose. You can’t fake inspiration when leading others to drive change. Once you have a strong belief in your mission, bring that to your team and talk about it to shape that vision. Most people want to do something with their lives that are meaningful.

Do you have any resources or advice to share with our listeners? 

Read a lot and read often, like Medium articles. Podcasts are also very informative. Analyze our culture and opportunities in our future.

Shout-outs 

Sanjay Deshmukh – Senior Regional VP at Snowflake

Callum Eade – VP of Emerging Products, Mid-Market and SMB Sales, and APJ at UiPath

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