Our Fireside Fridays series is where we have the opportunity to sit down with top B2B revenue leaders for 7 questions and get a behind-the-scenes look at their recommended best practices, their background, and factors that have contributed to their success.  This is our interview with Monica Telles, Vice President of ZendeskSell at Zendesk.  

Give us your background in sales

I began my career selling ad space in the classified section of San Diego Business Journal. One of my clients, a Value Added Reseller, recruited me into technology sales. I later went on to work for Oracle where I held several different individual contributor and leadership positions. After Oracle I joined AWS where I had a lot of autonomy to build and run different teams. That opportunity led me to Zendesk running our Global Sell team for the Commercial Enterprise space.

What’s both your personal, and professional, superpower?

I would say resilient for both personal and professional. I’ve had my fair share of failures and without those failures I wouldn’t have the successes. I’m a true believer that your failures are just as important if not more. You need to figure out how you will take each one of those failures and learn from it. As far as my personal life I’ve been Type 1 diabetic for majority of my life and I believe that gave me no other option than to be resilient which luckily I carried into my professional life.

What is the biggest challenge today facing a sales professional, and how would you recommend they overcome it?

I think salespeople are faced with a lot more challenges and COVID is making it increasingly more difficult. It’s no longer a relationship sale. You have to constantly think about business value and not the product you’re selling, but how your solution will solve for your customers, customer.

What companies, brands or influencers in the industry do you follow and/or respect most, and why?

I read TechCrunch every morning to see what’s new, who got funding, and what are the latest market trends. I listen to Robinhood Snacks because they do a great job to make financial news digestible. Lastly, I was never a big Tony Robbins fan until I had the opportunity to attend one of his seminars when I was at Amazon and that made me a believer.

What’s the best advice you’d give to someone just starting a career in sales or revenue overall within B2B tech?

Patience! I say this because it’s what I’ve always been told and something I always struggle with. When you think about your career over time the little things you get hung up on or the things that might not be happening soon enough are truly little blips in the grand scheme of things.

Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales or B2B tech?

Everything is going in the direction of AI and predictive learning that a lot of industries will be disrupted. You think of companies like Automation Anywhere which allows organizations to automate an entire process that used to be done by humans. We will continue to see a lot of jobs being automated.

Piece of advice or quote that has stuck with you in your professional life?

Being from Amazon I would say it’s “Good intentions never work, you need good mechanisms to make anything happen.” That statement has held true with me and I really didn’t learn the art of mechanisms until I started AWS. It’s something I will implement anywhere I go, because it’s so true everyone wants to do the right thing but we all still need guidance, structure, and metrics.
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