This edition of the IBM Early Professional Sellers blog series, features Nikesh Chitlangya, a young sales professional from IBM India. Nikesh is a Channels – Systems Partner Representative for IBM Hardware. In this article, he talks about the highlights of his new seller journey and how he has been able to overcome challenges.
You’ve been in the Early Professional Sellers (EPS) program for several months. What are the highlights of the new seller journey?
I joined EPS back in 2015, and it still feels young and I’m still eager to learn more. In this journey, I have grown as an individual both professionally and personally. As a seller, I have had opportunities to work with a few large companies in India spanning across different industries (IT, BFSI, Public Sector, E-Commerce, etc) and this has given me wide exposure and learning. I constantly receive help from my peers and leaders/mentors who guide me towards achieving my goals.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them?
Prior to IBM, I have sales experience in a small consumer space. But the IBM brand and its products and services cater to large enterprises. One challenge I faced was client executives not taking me seriously due to my young age. I discussed the same with my manager who empowered me to make decisions.. This helped me earn credibility.. At every point, leaders have helped me to develop new business, harvest existing business and attack the competition.
In this new era of cognitive business and disruptive technology, how do you think you are making an impact in your role as an IBM sales professional?
IBM is leading the industry drive towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Cognitive. As an IBMer, clients often approach me to share some input on AI, IOT, and how IBM can help them in driving business with new technology. Personally, being in Hardware sales of IBM, I joined late in the discussion of Cognitive solutions, but being an IBMer, we always extend an arm to support clients in every way possible. What matters is customer satisfaction and building the IBM brand.
What do you do outside of office hours?
In this role, I can say I enjoy complete work-life balance & integration. Outside office hours, I spend time with friends and family, travel and explore places. IBM clubs have off-hour activities on weekends which helps us do some good work for society, organize team activities, fun events and sports – which I am part of.
What are your thoughts around work-life integration at IBM?
I’m a person who never shy away from work. Given this trait and IBM’s employee-friendly work culture, I get ample space and opportunity to balance work-life. Our leaders understand how stressful our life in sales can be, and they always support us with flexible work schedule when necessary, so we get to balance personal life with work, and encourage us to get involved in non-work activities to make our life easy.
Having worked in three organisations prior to IBM, I believe IBM is best when it comes to work-life integration.
What are the qualities that graduates should have if they want to embark on a sales career?
Many people want to do sales, and young graduates would do well to begin their career with a company like IBM that offers a prestigious brand, learning, growth, exposure, and a great career path.. To be successful in this field, graduates must be quick learners, self-motivated, and must have the willingness and drive to win.
Watch out for our next edition of the IBM Early Professional Sales interview.
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