Women in sales share their biggest challenges and solutions

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By Adobe Life Team

Posted on 02-25-2021

Last month we spoke with a few of our talented women in sales about what they love about their role and advice they had for women looking to kickstart a career in sales. In the second of our two-part series, we spoke to more of our women in sales across Asia Pacific and asked them what their biggest challenges are, and their top tips for being successful in software sales. Their answers ranged from building trust, to dedicating time to learn something new, and more. Here’s what they said.

What are your biggest challenges working in sales?

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Suzanne Steele, ANZ vice president Sydney

“The biggest challenges are prioritizing where to spend time, whilst at the same time ensuring you are available for ‘outside the deal’ conversations with customers. Sales is all about building trusted relationships–this takes time to cultivate.”

Suzanne Steele, ANZ vice president Sydney

“When I started in Adobe back in 2017, it was a steep learning curve. The first few quarters were challenging as I had lots to learn about the products, Adobe’s story and my customers. Numbers were low at the beginning, but I had to keep my head strong, persevere and keep believing in myself.”

Serena Nguyen, senior sales account executive, Singapore

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Javeria Mishra, senior manager, enterprise sales, Sydney

“Finding the right mentor and advocate that is not only in tech sales but has also had a similar path as a female, sales professional and parent can sometimes be challenging. Additionally, while we have figured out for the most part how to work virtually, I miss walking around the office and hearing a great conversation over the phone or kitchen! Missing out on those chance interactions can definitely be challenging.”

Javeria Mishra, senior manager, enterprise sales, Sydney

“The end of the quarter is always challenging. It is a consistent challenge, and it is more art than science especially with large enterprise customers. Striking a balance and juggling expectations internally within Adobe, and externally with my clients is something I always learn from. I’ve realised that consistency pays back a lot, and I tell myself, ‘winners don’t give up.’”

Anna Goh, senior sales account executive, Singapore

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Fay Koo, solutions consultant, Sydney

“I think one of the biggest challenges is building trust. Being a trusted advisor requires more than just having others listen. I always remind myself to be genuine and authentic. I focus on solving problems and try to solve them better than anyone else.”

Fay Koo, solutions consultant, Sydney

“There is never enough time in the day to get everything done!”

Carla Cook, manager, product sales and solutions GTM, Sydney

What are your top tips for being successful in sales?

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Serena Nguyen, senior sales account executive, Singapore

“You have to care about your customers and their needs and do the right thing for them and your company. You must be hungry and curious. It’s important that you have a ‘can do’ mindset, to be relentless about learning and to have the energy, persistence and resilience to see things through. Selling is a team sport, and it usually takes a village to successfully close an enterprise deal. Learning how to leverage the unique skillsets of every member in your account team is a valuable part of the selling process for maximum success.”

Serena Nguyen, senior sales account executive, Singapore

“Be authentic and ensure that you are adding value to your customers. And above all, be honest and build that trust.”

Suzanne Steele, ANZ vice president Sydney

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Anna Goh, senior sales account executive, Singapore

“Sales is a pre-mediated sport. That tagline has been nailed in my mind since my early days of selling. It’s maybe also the reason why I love my role. Practice, practice and practice. Measure and set goals.”

Anna Goh, senior sales account executive, Singapore

“Leverage the resources you have to win a deal. Win and lose as a team. Dedicate time to learn and develop your knowledge. Whether it’s training, listening to podcasts or watching the news, find 15 minutes out of your day to learn something that will benefit your customers or prospects.”

Javeria Mishra, senior manager, enterprise sales, Sydney

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Carla Cook, manager, product sales and solutions GTM, Sydney

“Preparation is key–whether it’s for an account strategy or a client meeting. Even if it doesn’t go exactly to plan, your preparation gives you confidence to course-correct. Prioritize accordingly–understand that what you spend your time on is directly related to your outcome. Most importantly, be mindful of when you are spending too much energy on the wrong opportunities.”

Carla Cook, manager, product sales and solutions GTM, Sydney

“It goes without saying that salespeople must be able to build rapport. Work on your interpersonal and communication skills. Also, always do your research and be prepared before a meeting!”

Fay Koo, solutions consultant, Sydney

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Topics: Career Advice, Brand, Adobe Life, Adobe Culture, Adobe Life – Asia, APAC, Celebrating Women

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