As a digital-first and data-led business, we’re building a digital salesforce fit for the future. But what does a digital salesforce look like, and how do we empower our people to succeed in this modern era? Kevin Noe, Sales Manager at Westcon-Comstor, tells us more.
Thanks so much for joining us, Kevin! Can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I joined Westcon-Comstor in September as Sales Manager for Belgium. I have a long background in distribution, having spent 15 years leading the Cisco business unit at another distributor.
I get a kick out of bringing in big deals – or any deals – that help towards overachieving our goals. Of course, none of that would be possible without the many passionate people in the business who make a difference every day. They’re what is most important to me as a manager and to the company.
What does a digital salesforce look like to you?
It’s all about enabling our traditional salesforce with processes and tools to improve communication with internal and external partners and stakeholders. This way, we can cover and connect the different stages of the sales process, which eventually leads to a better customer experience and increased internal efficiency.
These tools (and the processes to support their use) centralise the information, make the relevant data available to our salesforce, and help them exchange and leverage it with our partners.
At Westcon-Comstor, our tools are evolving to add more value to our business, vendors, and partners. This includes collecting historical data with added information from various platforms (e.g., customer’s financial status, current backorder status, open support tickets).
How is Westcon-Comstor equipping its salesforce to be more digital?
We have several tools that help us be more digital on a daily basis:
- PartnerCentral: This is Westcon-Comstor’s partner marketplace. It centralises and shares information that’s essential to our partners and our salesforce, such as quotes and pricing requests, stock availability, and logistics tracking. Our salespeople can swiftly access relevant information for daily interactions, while empowering partners to look up and track the information themselves. This ultimately makes the sales process more efficient and offers partners the flexibility to choose between physical and digital touchpoints
- Power BI: Business development managers and account managers use our detailed Power BI reports to update partners on their interactions with us, offering insights like revenue trends and renewal attach rates to guide areas of high growth
- Intelligent Demand: This is Westcon-Comstor’s sales and marketing demand generation tool where we build intelligence reports based on internal and external data. These reports can be shared with both our partners and vendors to find new sales opportunities (cross- and upsell) or detailed analysis on existing projects or business markets
- Sigma: Our centralised portal for embedded support and where main interactions take place between Westcon and partner support teams. It facilitates the exchange of information and provides tracking history and reporting options
How do our partners benefit from the digital transformation of our salesforce?
It’s all about giving our partners a positive experience. Through digital transformation, we can:
- Improve efficiency and collaboration
- Harvest better data and insights
- Adapt and scale
- Increase cost savings
- Access new markets
Customer experience can make or break a business, and digital technologies play a vital role in ensuring a positive relationship between businesses and their customer.
What kind of traits or characteristics would someone need to succeed as a digitally driven salesperson?
It’s like in soccer: we’re looking for people who would prefer to play in the Champions League than the Europa League.
You would need:
- Excellent communication skills – crucial for building relationships with our teams and partners
- To be adaptable and open to continuous learning – because the landscape is constantly changing
- A partner-centric approach – to understand their needs and provide the right solutions
- To be creative – thinking outside the box
- To be goal-oriented – to set clear goals and be motivated to achieve them
- To be technologically savvy – for the various digital tools, software, and platforms you’ll use
- To be analytical – to use data and insights to better drive Partner Success
It’s also important to celebrate successes together and support each other during challenges. One goal, one mission, and one team!
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