Ask A Sales Leader: Jessica McClure

1.  What was it like coming from a Scientific Background to a Sales role?

I started as a lab rat. It was my responsibility to maintain the lab while running my own experiments. As the person that had once been the main point of contact with our various vendors/ salespeople, I felt that I was able to move into a sales role with relevant firsthand experience. Having been the customer myself and therefore knowing how I wanted to be sold to, I was able to craft my style accordingly and bring more immediate connection and value as well as credibility to my own customers.

2.  How did you get into the Sales leadership role you’re in today?

I moved into a leadership role relatively quickly in my career due to a variety of reasons. I started with a small company that needed someone with a strong science background to help train their salesforce. From there I found myself wearing multiple hats and as I moved from one company to another, I was afforded many opportunities to work across a variety of departments always within the commercial team. All those experiences helped mold me into the professional that I am today making the transition to the role that I have now a natural fit.

3. How do you improve the skills of your sales team?

I feel that no one should ever stop learning in any role that you are in. I encourage my team to take on new projects all the time that stretch their skill sets to help them become more well-rounded individuals and contributors to our organization. We ensure we have an ongoing series of companywide training courses as well to keep skills fresh and sharp and to allow for each person to evolve over time.Once everyone has had the opportunity to take these core programs, we add on new ones to not only maintain fundamental behaviors but also to support further advancement of those key areas.

4.  What advice would you give to other Sales Leaders?

Invest in your people. Always.And never stop doing it. Whether it is for their immediate needs or their long-term growth, it is essential that you offer a variety of options for your team to learn and expand their knowledge base. Don’t expect them to do it on their own–rather make it a requirement. It is your responsibility to ensure your team knows their worth to the company and further training them is just one way to do so. They are your most valuable asset, and the investment is more than worthwhile–it’s necessary.