In this edition of the IBM Early Professional Sellers blog series, HyungSun Kim, a young sales professional from IBM Korea talks about his journey with the IBM Early Professional Seller Program.
HyungSun began his career as a client representative in IBM’s Digital Business Group before taking up a role as a Digital Development Representative as a step towards his future career as a sales leader someday.
In this interview, HyungSun talks about his experiences in the IBM Early Professional Seller (EPS) program, challenges he faced, and how IBM supports him. He also shares some tips for graduates interested in a sales career.
You’ve been in the Early Professional Sellers (EPS) program for several months. What are the highlights of your new seller journey?
I have had a lot of valuable moments during my EPS program. While everything has been special and helpful, I would say that “Software and Solutions Top Gun” and “General Manager Challenge” were two of my best experiences.
While it is almost impossible to perfectly cover all of IBM’s hardware and software products, the “Software and Solutions Top Gun” gave us an opportunity to directly learn about IBM solutions from sales experts around the world. Also, I believe it was great to meet other new IBM sellers from Asia Pacific regions and get to connect with them. From this experience, I was really proud to become a global, diverse, and competitive IBMer.
Second is the “General Manager Challenge” because it taught me a lot. Not only did I learn presentation delivery skills and team work, I was also able to learn how to approach newly targeted accounts and industries under IBM’s systematic sales methods.
With all these valuable lessons, I gained confidence to begin my sales career and become a professional seller in IBM and the IT industry.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how were you able to overcome them?
Knowledge of servers was one of the biggest challenges I’ve had since I started my Digital Development Representative role. Whenever I had client meetings, I will need to open 3-4 brochures and learn about the product in order to be able to answer clients’ tech-based inquiries. Sometimes I fear losing clients due to my lack of product knowledge and sales skills, but I take advantage of tapping into the experience and knowledge of IBM sales professionals who have more experience than myself and try as best as I can to understand the basics. Sometimes, I write down some stories that the clients might be interested in, and of course, references. Persistence has paid off because I am now finally waiting for my first GPU server deal to be closed.
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?
IT Infrastructure remains very relevant in this new era of cognitive business and disruptive technology. The baseline must first be improved or changed for clients to change their business models and visions, adapting to new technology and trends. As a server Digital Development Representative, I believe I am digitally enlightening my clients to be more visionary and disruptive by redesigning and reforming their IT infrastructures.
What do you enjoy most as an IBMer?
It is always best to learn something new and fresh. Before joining IBM, I never expected that I would study harder in a company after graduating university. But now I am always searching for up-to-date IT information and catching up on trends in various industries. It is sometimes difficult, but I believe I am very lucky to be an IBMer as I get to enjoy learning many valuable things from inside and outside of IBM.
What are the qualities that graduates should have if they want to embark on a sales career?
I think the first quality that a seller should have is responsibility; sellers should be responsible for clients, responsible for solutions, and responsible for what they are saying.
Another important quality would be communication. Even though sales communication seems very important, winning a deal rests mainly on the ability to communicate effectively both internally and externally.
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