This is our interview with Jeff Ruby, NA Small Business Sales Leader at LinkedIn. You can follow LinkedIn at @LinkedIn.
Sales Assembly: Give us your quick background in sales.
Jeff: I started in sales right out of college and quickly got thrown into a management role where I had to learn my way. I woke up one day and thought - I never want to be a manager who hasn't 'mastered' sales. So, I left my current company to go back into sales here at LinkedIn where I found myself back in management after a few years.
Sales Assembly: What's your biggest accomplishment in sales or sales leadership?
Jeff: I have never missed a quarter at LinkedIn and have been to five President Club trips.
Sales Assembly: What's the best piece of sales advice you ever got?
Jeff: K.I.S.S. - Keep It Simple Stupid - My Dad.
Sales Assembly: What's the biggest challenge facing a sales rep today, and how would you recommend they overcome it?
Jeff: Thinking on their feet. There are so many books, courses, etc. on sales that I see reps turning into robots. I recommend throwing yourself into uncomfortable situations...often.
Sales Assembly: Do you currently have a mentor when it comes to sales, or have you ever? If so, what did they teach you?
Jeff: Yes, my mentor works at EMC and what he has taught me most recently is to formulate "guiding principles," aka what you are known for. Also, he has pushed me to be a bit more risky in my career, specifically taking on a new team this year. That has a lot of upside but also a lot of risk.
Sales Assembly: What's the best sales book you've ever read? What are you reading now?
Jeff: GRIT by Angela Duckworth. I am not currently reading a book, but am listening to many podcasts.
Sales Assembly: Best sales or business related articles, podcasts or newsletters?
Jeff: I'm listening to Master of Scale, Sales Success Stories and SaaStr. I also tend to focus on industry related podcasts/articles.
Sales Assembly: What's the best advice you'd give to someone just starting a career in sales?
Jeff: I have never seen someone who works hard and fails!
Sales Assembly: Do you see any interesting future trends as it pertains to sales?
Jeff: Sales automation, for better or worse.
Sales Assembly: What is the best sales quote you have heard?
Jeff: "Bad salespeople have skinny children." I am had a kid last March, so this is relevant!