Corporate Sales Manager - Enterprise & Government
Despite it being in her job title, Astrid Groves says she’s not that focused on ‘sales’. For Vocus’ Territory Sales Manager, it all comes down to solid relationships. With 16 years’ experience in IT and telco under her belt, Astrid is realising her leadership ambitions, and she’s never felt better supported to reach her goals.
Astrid has spent the lion’s share of her career in IT sales, working across Australia and abroad. “I’ve always worked in sales in some capacity; I really enjoy building relationships with customers and partners. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping our partners keep their customers happy and their business thriving.”
Astrid’s decision to leave the IT sector and join Vocus was based on two factors; “Firstly, so many IT workloads are moving to the cloud, and I just didn’t see a lot of longevity in the niche of the industry I was working in. Looking at what we do at Vocus, there’s always going to be a need for data and information to travel from one place to another.”
The second reason was that Astrid had interacted with Vocus in a previous role, and she felt that the culture would be a good personal fit for her. The employees she engaged with loved working for Vocus, so Astrid came to know the hiring manager and stayed in touch.
When the Channel Partner Manager role came along at Vocus, Astrid jumped at the chance.
“Vocus' channel partner program was well-established in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, but was still in its infancy in Queensland. I was excited to be involved in building that part of the business. I leveraged my existing IT relationships to recruit partners, and within 12 months it had grown into a major channel for Vocus. The Queensland channel is full of great relationships and a sense of community, and I’m really proud of the impact I’ve made.”
Astrid has grabbed many opportunities since being at Vocus. She was six months into her Channel Partner Manager role when an opportunity came along to become a team leader for the Queensland Enterprise team. Astrid’s GM knew that her end goal was to develop into a leadership role, and encouraged Astrid to put my her up for the role. “There was no direct benefit to her doing that for me; she did it because she wants me to succeed. That’s the sort of culture we have at Vocus,” Astrid said.
“In my previous companies, I never felt fully supported; I always felt a bit roadblocked. It’s completely different at Vocus; we are one team - it’s not just words on a values poster. Everyone pitches in to get the job done, achieve what we need to achieve as a business and help each other progress our careers.”
When we asked Astrid about how she gets the best out of her sales people, she responded “Well I have a theory about sales. I think if we’re proactive in taking care of our existing customers, they’ll naturally come to us when they need help in their business. Then we meet our sales targets. It’s less about ‘selling’ and more about the little things we can do to help our customers every day.”
Astrid encourages her team to nurture their relationships and develop their communication skills, rather than be traditional salespeople. For her, it’s about asking, ‘What are our customers trying to achieve?’ rather than, ‘What can we sell them?’ and considering how we can make our customers successful.
Astrid says Vocus is the right environment for people who love a challenge... and those who get bored easily.
“In the two years I’ve been here, there’s been so much change. Good change! It’s a dynamic environment. Nothing ever feels stale, because it doesn't stay the same long enough. There’s always something new to deliver and execute on, and I love that.”
“I’m a person who needs to be challenged. Whether I’m at home, travelling or at work, I need my brain to be engaged. I need that opportunity for personal growth; to learn something new. I want to be the best person I can be, and help others to do the same.”
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