VP Global Business Development
Sat Sanghera is a member of:
Sat Sanghera's Experience
Head/ VP/ GM-Technology(IT)/ CTO
Datapoint, London, UK
Essential qualification required
Having completed a business management degree at University, I really wanted to enter the IT sector. I always thought that it would be difficult for me to enter the IT sector without a technical degree. However, I attended a job fair in 1999 and met a senior executive at a very prestigous global systems integration company. This particular executive told me that he studied a degree in Oceanography but then led a very successful career in IT. This was a great turning point for me; as I realised that a degree proves that you have the capability to learn but it is ones own attitude, focus and determination that provides you with a platform to pursue a career of choice. This is something I maintain to this day, especially when interviewing other people for a job.
The biggest trend that we are seeing in the Unified Communications and Contact Centre sector is 3 fold. Firstly, the demand that end users are placing on having the speed of technology and applications at their fingertips is driving great innovation in the communications sector. Users are expecting their workplace environment to provide the same level of technology that users have access to at home; thus the drive around Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives in the work place. Secondly, organisations are no longer making large capital investments in technology and are looking at newer models of procurement such as Cloud based services or Communications As A Service. Thirdly, mutlinational organisations now want a single provider who is able to advise, design, deploy and manage their communications environment globally.
Handling new territory
Entering a new territory is always a diffcult task for most sales professionals; especially if representing an organisation that does not have a global brand or a sought after product. Successful penetration of a new territory requires a well built and tested plan before entering a new market. There are a number of factors that come into play. 1) We need to ensure that our sales team has a proposition that they can take to a new market; factoring in all local market conditions. 2) There must also be a clear strategy in place based on whether we choose to sell solutions directly or through channels. This is dependent on the scale that one would like to build. 3) If reselling other vendor technology, it is important that the vendor provides marketing and go to market support; especially if entering a new territory in a new continent. The key however is to ensure that the value being offered in a new territory is clearly differentiated from the competition.
Effect of sales on an organization
Sales is absolutely critical to all organisations. If there are no sales, there is no business. However, an organisation can have the best sales people in place; but if there is a weak proposition and poor business support in the background a company will always be found out by the market. The best recipe is to ensure that the sales team are equipped with a good proposition and good support resources to assist sales. In todays highly competitive and complex sales process; the sales team are highly dependent on the support of consulting and technical resources to help build value through the sales process and ultimately make a key contribution to the success of a sales teams win ratio in the marketplace.
Firstly, I would say I have been fortunate to work with some exceptional people and organisations on my corporate journey. I have also been fortunate to work in a number of different roles which has helped to shape my skills in different areas of business. The things I have been most proud of is having the priviledge to build excellent teams around me who have managed to win very successfuly in new markets. This has spanned responsibilities across building sales teams, marketing teams and product development teams.
Becoming good marketing professionals
A good sales professional is successful because they have found the ability to understand a problem or a gap in the market and therefore facilite a process to find a solution to that problem. This is a critical skill required to connect an organisations capability to the outside world. The transition from sales to marketing is more about building better facilitation skills. Typically in a sales environment the sales persons focus is on achieving their sales targets so they can receive their commission payments. Therefore the focus of the salesperson can be seen to be one dimensional. In a marketing role, one needs to develop a degree of selflessness as the new role requires one to think more strategically for the good of the organisation. A marketing manager needs to be working with the core of the sales team and have the ability to facilitate a process and plan that connects that corporate strategy to the go to market plan. The bit in the middle is based on creativity.
Importance of brand image
In today's technology environment the brand is absolutely critical. By brand I do not mean the company logo or the colours used on a brochure. The Brand is the spirit of the company which is embodied in it's greatest asset; it's people. It is the employees in the company the are the brand. The very people who interact with your customers and suppliers. A good brand should represent an organisation that is high in integrity, always strives to deliver an exceptional service to it's clients and always strives to recruit, develop and retain great people. It is these qualities that make a brand. So when someone does see the company logo - the first thought that comes to mind is they are a class act. A good example would be an organisation like Apple. Their logo is recognised worldwide as a bi-product of the brilliance of their people and the amazing products that they develop and take to market.
Motivating team members
Motivating team members would fall into the category of leadership rather than management. The greatest skill in leadership is the ability to understand people and mutually work together to achieve a common purpose. Taking the time to understand your team members is key. It is important to understand their personal and professional needs and work on a plan to tie these personal aspirations to the common purpose of the organisation. If there is no way to connect these two things then the best advice is to change the people. When you have the right people in place, it is importnat that they are kept in the process. Outside of their salary, team members need to be motivated by ensuring they understand the plan of the company; but more importantly the critical part they play in achieving the company goals. Communication, education and support delivered in the right way provides a good platform to motivate teams. The leader must stand strong and act as an example in the tough times!
Developing a country
India is populated with incredibly talented people; and a great pool of people with the desire to be successful. It is the responsibility of professionals to help share their knowledge and provides advice or routes to success for those that are aspiring to enter a professional career. I would like to see some of India's larger corportations offering work experience schemes for kids in High School so that that they can be exposed to the professional world earlier in life to give them something to aim at. It will also provide the corporations with an opportunity to spot and offer jobs to talented kids early in the process. Long term and sustainable development always comes from sharing and spreading skills..........
Current Job description
I am currently responsible for driving Datapoint's strategy for global business development; which includes planning and executing a go to market plan for taking new solutions and services into new markets. I also hold responsibility for planning and managing Datapoint's global strategic vendor and alliance relationships; enabling Datapoint to offer its capability and propositions across the globe.
There should be a willingness to learn, a desire to work hard, a passion to express ones inner talents. All these skills combined with having a love of working with people provides all of the ingredients for success.
My advice to upcoming professionals
Don't try to second guess what is required to get into a field. Feel free to make contact with professionals already working in the field and ask for help. Be daring and feel free to reach out and ask for help. Picking up the phone and asking a professional for advice immediately shows your willingness to succeed. You will also find that most people who are asked for help will tend to respond positively. You never know, the person you call may be so impressed with your approach, that they may offer you the opportunity that you are looking for.
My family background
I am born to parents of North Indian origin who came from a long heritage of land and farm owners in the state of Punjab. My Grandparents and Parents moved to the United Kingdom in the 50's and actually set up and ran one of the most successful retail textiles business in the UK. I am the eldest of 3 siblings and now have a 21 month old daughter of my own.