In Conversation with Virginia Tingle, Senior National Sales Manager at Siemens
A Better Strategy for Organic Growth, Right from the Start
At Convex, we are grateful to closely partner with thousands of sales and marketing professionals each and every day. Among those partners is Siemens, the multinational technology company driving innovation in industries ranging from energy to infrastructure to healthcare. Facing ever-increasing revenue growth goals, the sales teams from Siemens fire life safety, automation and security business units teamed up with Convex in 2020 with the goal of improving their outbound prospecting motion. Two years later, hundreds of reps across dozens of branches count on Convex’s Atlas application to be the go-to resource to target and engage prospects in the field, resulting in an uplift of over 100 qualified opportunities.
Recently, Siemens Senior National Sales Manager Virginia Tingle sat down with Taj Shaw, Convex Senior Customer Success Manager, and the rest of the Convex team to share her thoughts on career growth, sales management, and what it takes to be a leader in the commercial services space. Below is an excerpt from that conversation (edited for clarity).
Virginia, tell us about your current role at Siemens.
I started working for Siemens in 2016 as a Sales Manager at the Los Angeles office. In 2020, I began my new role as Senior National Sales Manager supporting approximately 16 branches within the Pacific and Southwest Zones. As I rotate through the branches, I assist with a variety of items such as headcount, strategy, business planning, etc. One of my goals is to remove roadblocks for the Managers and Sales Executives so they can focus on building new relationships in the market.
What was the journey like to become a Senior National Sales Manager?
Once I identified I wanted to pursue a career as Senior National Sales Manager, I made a game plan. I approached the hiring manager at a conference, introduced myself and let him know that I was interested in the role. He responded with, why are you interested in the role? I let him know that I wanted to help other managers avoid the same mistakes I have made and support them in their success. My advice is, put yourself out there. It can be scary to ask somebody for what you want. Learn to be decisive in what you want.
What are your priorities for the coming year?
My main priority for 2023 is new organic growth. Most reps spend far too much time behind computers, and I would like to see them in front of customers and prospects more. We are always thinking of creative ways to get reps out in the field more. The Convex partnership is perfect timing. We need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and hit the ground running in 2023.
What are some of the sales challenges you’re seeing across the various branches in your region, and how can Convex help?
Our large branches have very large accounts that have been solid for years. They’re banking on that order intake every year and are not going out to pursue the next big target account. We’re trying to say, Yes, you’re hitting your goal and we’re growing as a branch, but it’s the same business over and over again. That’s what we’re trying to shift now.
For the smaller businesses, they don’t have that large account, and they’re geographically spread out. Take the branch in Austin: there’s downtown Austin and scattered little areas around it. When a rep looked at their whole territory, they were really overwhelmed. But when they opened Atlas and realized where the bubbles of business are, it’s more manageable to start attacking and going after their market.
You created new time for people to prospect, what are you hoping to see from this effort?
What did you all say: plan, target, engage? That is perfect!
That is really what we want from them. It’s not about the number of calls; it’s the value of calls. At a prior company, each rep made one hundred calls: fifty on Monday, fifty on Wednesday. But then while using Atlas I realized Sales Executives were making fewer calls, but they were more valuable because when we were in front of the right person, we understood more about their business.
As a sales leader, what are the most important things that you try to reinforce with your teams?
I highly enforce team/employee engagement, which should increase retention and keep your diverse team in tune with each other as time passes.
If you could create your ideal sales team, what would that look like?
Diverse. I was lucky at Siemens; my General Manager let me make my own hiring decisions. I got creative and hired 90% of my team without technical capabilities for our field. To be honest, this was nerve racking and exciting at the same time. I hired on character and was looking for team players, self-motivated, intelligent individuals with diverse backgrounds. I believe that you cannot change what motivates a person or change their character. I could, however, train a person with the right characteristics to perform the job functions and learn the technical side needed to succeed in their role.
We emphasize the hard metrics of what prospecting can deliver to the business, and you also spoke about making sure teams feel productive and happy. Which one is more important?
I would say the people part is more important because if you do not have the right people and they are not happy, you cannot accomplish anything. That happiness comes across to customers and prospects.
What has your experience been as a woman in the traditionally male-dominated commercial services industry? How have attitudes changed since you started?
I believe the attitude of women has changed overall. I think in the past women came across unconfident, shy and were not pursuing technical degrees as much as today. It is a bit about the way we have changed as women but also the way society has changed. We see more women apply for male-dominated industries; they are feeling more welcome, more appreciated, etc. The confidence in women today is growing.
What advice would you go back and give to your younger self?
I would take charge of my career at an earlier age. I would identify where I wanted to go, ask for help but overall make my own development plan and do my own. Once you have identified your next position, analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Decide what you are going to do to overcome your weaknesses and build your own plan. Too often we rely on other people to develop us, and we are not taking charge. Take charge of your destiny.
Siemens at a Glance
- Headquarters: Munich, Germany
- Service Area: Global
- Industry: Digital-building infrastructure & services
- Employees: 300,000+
Whitney is the VP of Marketing at Convex, with more than 10 years of B2B marketing experience. She’s previously led product marketing at AppDynamics and within GE’s power business. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia.
Originally published on October 13, 2022 Updated on October 13, 2022