Current location: Greensboro, NC
Current gig: EVP and Director of Marketing at The Brooks Group
One word that best describes how you work: Results
Current mobile device: iPhone 6 Plus
Favorite to-do list manager: Evernote
Tell us a little bit about what you do now & whether or not you currently work as part of a sales function at your company.
I oversee our marketing department, which is focused mostly on inbound lead generation. We’re heavily digital and rely to a large degree on content marketing to generate demand for our sales training initiatives.
How did you get your start in sales? What was your first sales role?
Director of Sales at The Brooks Group
How did you get the job?
Ours is a family business and I joined shortly after graduating college. My career progression internally began with a copywriting role which then led to a sales role. I’m naturally “wired up” as a sales and marketing guy, so selling was a much better fit for me than writing.
Did you picture yourself working as a salesperson before you started?
Based on the fact that I grew up and around my family’s sales training company, I knew that I would be in sales at some point.
What do you wish you had known before you started selling?
I feel pretty fortunate. By no means did I ever reach a mastery level in sales, but I didn’t struggle like many do. I was exposed to the idea very early that using a customer focused, non-manipulative sales process would make things easier for me (and the customer). From my very first call, I used our in-house process and found success early.
Do you have a story to share about a mistake you’ve made as a salesperson? What did you learn from this situation?
All of us have made mistakes in selling. I can’t remember a truly horrific blunder I made (although I’m sure I made them); however, my general mistake was to neglect my pipeline. I would become mesmerized by a couple of huge deals I had in the works and lose sight of the need to prospect and nurture my smaller deals. I ended up with lean months because of this.
Have you ever encountered the “sleazy salesperson stereotype”? How do you respond to this?
I’m going to approach this from a different angle. In my current role, I field many sales calls and unfortunately, there are still far too many reps out there who want to cut corners and rush to the solution instead of talking with me about my business. The “sleazy” stereotype isn’t one I see on a regular basis (at least in B2B sales); however, I do see self-focused reps who waste my time because they don’t seem to care what I’m trying to accomplish.
What is one tool or resource without which you would not be able to do your job?
What are you currently reading?
Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert?
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“You know if it’s right and you know if it’s wrong; if it’s wrong, don’t do it.” This advice has served me well both personally and professionally.
Will Brooks is Executive Vice President and Director of Marketing at The Brooks Group, a global B2B sales training and assessment organization. Will has spent his entire career in sales and marketing, and is an avid researcher of the science of improving the dynamics between buyers and sellers. Brooks is passionate about connecting motivated sales leaders with The Brooks Group’s best-in-class sales and sales management processes and systems to improve revenue generation.