In every organization there are unspoken heroes. Many times these heroes are the men and women that fuel the engine of the enterprise – sales leaders. This series is an attempt to share written portraits of these amazing humans that bring together a passion for moving the business forward with data, technology, and a few other ingredients that might surprise you.
I was excited to meet Aline Brasil, Sales Director at TIBCO. It’s always such a pleasure to amplify diverse voices within the sales profession. Read on to learn Aline’s story and maybe a thing or two about sales.
She’s been at TIBCO for almost a year and leads a team that is the growth engine for the company – they focus on large enterprise accounts with a small TIBCO footprint and an interesting mix of companies in the West region. I asked Aline how she found herself in sales and her story is one in a series of interesting twists and turns. Her first foray into being in front of an audience was as a TV journalist in Brazil. Her drive for adventure took her to the UK to pursue a master’s degree where she met lifelong friends and knew she wanted to stay longer but, with visa limitations, was forced to search for a job. The job market in 2011 wasn’t kind with the financial crisis looming, so it proved challenging.
A lucky strike put Aline in the path of Andy Sadler who started a brand new program at BMC to train sales leaders. The only requirement? A master’s degree. Aline fit the bill. She describes a very nice hotel, a harrowing interview process with 300-400 candidates, and a promise of 6 months paid training in Houston, Amsterdam, and Dublin. Her response to this value proposition? “Ok!” Her last interview was with the now-famous Jeremy Duggan and she made it. He told the 8 (!!!) finalists that they would never look for a job again after this program. He was right.
After 6 months of learning MEDDIC, how to understand a customer’s business, and the importance of the right activities to success, Aline returned to Brazil an account executive with BMC, thanks to Jeff Klenner, a leader who saw her potential. She got a territory with the weakest accounts and grew them into the region’s largest accounts. From there, she moved to the US, got her visa, and began moving up the ranks. Starting as an account executive and consistently winning deals and growing territories, she landed the title of Director.
I asked Aline about her philosophy as a sales leader and what I received were a few gems of wisdom. The first one: “You build things – you start with an idea and you bring your customers onboard and take them on the journey. The two companies coming together and putting an effort together is exciting! Sales move everything — they make an impact on how the world works and push things forward. Nothing is impossible to a good AE”.
Next, Aline spoke about being “consciously competent” which in essence anchors around the principle that you need to have the data and understand what makes you successful, so you can repeat that success predictably. Lastly, she brings up the lesson learned early on from Andy that the most valuable thing in sales is where you spend your time – it is what makes you truly successful.
I started seeing a pattern with Aline of intelligence, innovation, and bravery. We touched briefly on how she manages being a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry. Her response at first is with a low, quiet voice; “you know, when people see me, it’s not what they expect”. Then she carries on to talk about how using empathy to understand people and their motivations is an asset and part of the reason for her success.
Finally, I asked where People.ai fits in her equation and the answer was poignant.
“In my region, we share with each other, we discuss how things are going and have common metrics, performance, and insights – it takes a little bit of the guesswork out of being a leader and understanding of the business. Sales is a combination of art and science; data – activity is what you can see, context – how many people are AEs are talking to, quality of the activity with quantity, how they perform when meeting with someone important, coaching – how do you prepare for this meeting, how you present yourself, the company, how you guide the customer through the journey – I evaluate all of those, how conscious you are about the steps, very good sales people know exactly what they are doing and why, and specific steps for outcomes — I’ve been evaluating more and more to help focus my team.”
What does all this mean for TIBCO and Aline’s team? TIBCO is challenging itself and its customers to build a new way of doing things – consciously competent, combining the art and science of doing business. For Aline, she reflects on how important it is to be empowered by your leadership – the guidance and trust from her leader Pedro Diaz, VP of Sales at TIBCO meant she stepped into a management role sooner than she imagined. And now, her team is among the top sellers of TIBCO’s new platform globally. This tells me Aline has found her recipe for success.
Learn more about how TIBCO puts data at the the heart of sales coaching.