Accepting the Challenge to See Transformative Opportunities

by Valerie Nadi
In May 2018, Salesforce completed its acquisition of MuleSoft, one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks. With MuleSoft, Salesforce can accelerate their customers’ digital transformation efforts, enabling them to unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps, and devices. In this blog, we feature Salesforce Sr. Business Development Representative Jonny Lambert, who works out of the London office.

When he graduated from university, Jonny Lambert knew he wasn’t ready to jump into the workforce. So he travelled. When money ran out, Jonny took a job at an English language centre in Shanghai recruiting teachers.

Soon, it was time for a greater challenge. Intrigued by an advertisement for MuleSoft, he took a closer look at the company. He found it was intellectually stimulating with a supportive, team-oriented workplace culture. After completing remote interviews, he left Shanghai to join MuleSoft’s London office.


Integration is part of every transformation

As part of an account development team, Jonny identifies promising leads and helps them see the opportunities for transformation that may exist beyond solving a single business problem. 

“Integration touches everything. I could be speaking to the head of marketing, HR, or sales — any part of an organisation that needs access to data benefits from integration.” 

Within large organisations, it’s common for business units to know little about what’s going on outside their individual function. A partner like Salesforce can show the business how they might operate more holistically, leveraging synergies between groups and the data they consume.

For example, Salesforce was working with 10 lines of business (LOBs) within one company to address integration challenges. And many of the pain points were the same across all the LOBs.

“We see so much relief on their faces when we tell them, ‘You’re not alone. The other LOBs are trying to solve the same problems.’”

This revelation often leads to groups pooling resources and budgets to address the common challenges together.

When in doubt speak up — ask for help

Jonny didn’t meet his goals during his first six months at MuleSoft. Eventually everything clicked — he prioritised solving customer needs instead of focusing on quotas and to his surprise, his metrics skyrocketed. The experience made him very attuned to the struggle other new hires may face when tackling a new sales approach.

“A man joined our team who was going through something similar. For four or five months, he wasn’t hitting his number.”

Jonny helped him. He shared the mindset shift and tools to improve workflow. They discussed how to target and keep tabs on promising leads.

“He’d been spending a lot of time pursuing the wrong people. And losing track of the ones who were important.”

Two months later, his colleague broke the record for the biggest one-month sales number in the UK. Jonny defers most of the credit, but was happy to contribute to such a positive reversal of fortune.

Jonny feels that knowledge sharing is ingrained in the Salesforce culture.

“There’s so much potential all around you. You can reach out to almost anyone globally and they’ll respond.”

Even a casual conversation with others across the business can help people transform their everyday jobs. 

“A good example would be the services team that’s onsite with the customer building a solution. I talked with them and a whole world opened up. The realities and details of the projects we’re implementing was all knowledge I could use when speaking with a customer.”

The lesson: Don’t go it alone. Take advantage of the richness all around you. Always ask, “Who can help me solve this problem?”

Combining emotional intelligence with “radical candor”

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to guide thinking and behavior and manage emotions to adapt to changing environments. 

Jonny shares that, “EI is critical in sales. But, we also have a concept we call ‘radical candor.’ And sometimes radical candor can be temporarily upsetting because it forces people out of their comfort zone.”

Radical candor is the idea that often what you need to hear is not what you want to hear.

“I’ve had many meetings with my managers where their criticisms upset me. But after I had a chance to process what they said, I realised they were right. When you care, you will criticise in a way that’s constructive and encourages personal and professional growth.” 

The application of radical candor is not confined to internal company interactions; it can be applied to customer relationships as well.

“You can and should challenge customers. But it’s about how you present it to them and how transparent you’ve been with them throughout the relationship. There must be trust.”

Wellness — make time for yourself

Jonny is passionate about his work and acknowledges he can easily let the job consume him. Early on, he was an admitted skeptic when it came to the Salesforce emphasis on wellness and healthy work-life integration.

“I was surprised to find that having wellness ingrained in our language made me more aware of how I was balancing my life. And it made it acceptable to prioritise wellness.”

Now, when he feels overwhelmed and needs to decompress, he’ll take time out.

“If I’m not working effectively, I can take a couple of hours to just go for a walk or to the gym. Something just for me.”

Closing a million-dollar deal

When asked what he sees in his future with Salesforce, Jonny’s quick to point out one of his major goals: closing a million-dollar deal.

He admits it’s an aggressive goal, but that just boosts his enthusiasm. You can hear more from Jonny and other Salesforce employees in our webinar, Disrupt Your Career Trajectory with Disruptive Technology. You’ll learn more about the MuleSoft acquisition and the opportunities its created across the company. And, if you like what you’ve read here, you can apply for a role today!

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