Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable:
Becoming a Trusted Advisor to Business Transformation

David Sturley

Salesforce Account Executive (AE) David Sturley had his first exposure to Salesforce at Vodafone. He’d gone there from a previous job in recruiting where the primary tool was Excel spreadsheets, so using Salesforce was definitely a step up. He became a Salesforce super user and an enthusiastic fan — of the software and the company.

“I went down the rabbit hole of learning more and more about Salesforce. It really pushed me to want to work here.”

In this post, you’ll learn more about David’s experience after joining Salesforce and how it could help you in your sales career.


Tips for Becoming a Trusted Advisor

During his interview process, David heard about Salesforce’s consultative approach to selling.

“I thought, ‘I really like this approach if that's how Salesforce conducts business.’ Because when you're selling mobile phones, it can be a lot more transactional. It's not let's have a chat about what you want to do as a business.”

In fact, it is the way Salesforce conducts business. The consultative approach can turn “ordinary” sales reps into trusted advisors. But, to be a trusted advisor, you first have to be trusted. As the author of The Trusted Advisor explains, “there is no greater source of distrust than advisors who appear to be more interested in themselves than in trying to be of service to the client.”

David recommends getting to know customers as people while learning about their businesses. The effort to do this builds trust and lays the groundwork for more productive engagement. Prospects who are in the process of evaluating providers for a large CRM or other digital transformation project appreciate the personal touch.

“Often, I’ll hear from a prospect, ‘You're the only person that came to visit us and you brought people with you.’ Typically, we bring a Solutions Engineer and a cloud specialist from the team. We’ll do a workshop and then come back to them with a really tailored relevant demo.”

The consultative approach used by a trusted advisor puts the customer's interest first. It’s similar in this respect to the fiduciary model in financial services. And the value of the trusted advisor relationship grows over time.

“I’ve been with my largest client since they were in a small co-working space with about 15 employees. They trust that if I’m selling them a new product, it’s because I understand their business. I'm not trying to sell them something they don’t need or won’t use.”

David also suggests reaching out to the people in a company who are going to use a product every day as part of their jobs. 

“I don’t just talk to the C-level executive who’s in charge of the big transformation project. I want to talk to the customer service person who’ll use Salesforce day in and day out.”

Making that effort will earn you greater credibility with prospects and customers.

Discover Opportunities for Transformation

David has a master’s in cyberpsychology, which he finds very useful in his interactions with Salesforce customers and in how he approaches his career. He often quotes psychologist Abraham Maslow who noted, “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.” And, in David’s first weeks at Salesforce, Niall Brady, Senior Associate Vice President of Small and Medium Business in EMEA, shared the Salesforce adage, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

“Working here is a rewarding challenge. You deal with a multitude of things everyday. It’s not rinse and repeat.”

To learn more about opportunities at Salesforce in Dublin, watch our webinar, “Build an Exceptional Career (and Life!) in Dublin.” A panel of Dublin Salesforce employees discuss their experiences in the company. And, to see what roles are open in Dublin now, visit our careers site.

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