March 7, 2011 Keenan

QWEST COO Teresa Taylor on Selling and Being Sold To

This weeks Executive Series is with Teresa Taylor.  Teresa is the current COO of Qwest. She is a people’s leader.  She is approachable and quick.  She understands the value of her teams and how to motivate them.

Teresa has held numerous positions at Qwest including Chief Administration Officer, EVP of Sales and the Chief Operating Officer.

I asked Teresa her thoughts on both selling and being sold to.

As Head of Sales/EVP of Sales you are multiple layers away from the actual sale, understanding this what is the single most critical thing a head of sales can do to move the needle?  What’s the second most important thing?

To move the needle a head of sales has to make sure that they have measurements in place that actually matter -it is most important to figure out what metrics are important and what is not. Then measure consistently.  the second most important thing is to get in the field and interact with your customers and your first level sales people !

You’re staring at  the third quarter in a row of declining revenues, what do you do?

Make sure you secure your existing customers and focus on rentention and acquistion as two separate streams or work.

What’s the worst thing the head of sales can do?

Sit in their office

COO Questions

What is the something most sales people don’t do when selling to you, you wish they did?

I wish they would do their homework and at least take some initiative to figure out who we are and what we need – come with some ideas !

What is something most sales people do when selling to you, you wish they didn’t?

I wish they would not ask me the open ended question  - “what do you need?”

As the COO of a multi-billion dollar company what is the best way for a sales person that’s not a current vendor to get your attention?  What do they have to do to get a meeting with you?

The people that have broken through were first worked my administrative assistant and then did something creative that connected to our business.  For example, we had a sale event that had the theme “Relentless” – three months later a potential vendor sent me a bottle of wine called “Relentless” !

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