In today’s world, branding is vital. That’s true for big international corporations - and it’s just as true for individual PreSales professionals. And as leaders, it’s also vital for us to create positive brands for our PreSales teams. But what’s the best way to make that happen? In our recent PreSales Leadership Collective Executive Summit, we held a session on this topic hosted by:
Kevin Mefford, Head of Community at PreSales Collective
Tristan Tao, VP of Solutions at Iterable
What a Brand in PreSales is
Kevin notes that branding in PreSales is not just about how you’re seen externally - there’s also a brand you have within your organization, as an individual and a leader. Your brand is the perception that people have of you, and you need to cultivate that as you go about your work every day.
For example, Kevin’s brand is helping people and training, and he’s worked hard to build that in every organization he’s joined. His new role with the PreSales Collective is an extension of that effort - he’s here to help other PreSales professionals build up their brands and their careers.
Finding Your Brand
To find your own brand, you need to be intentional. Begin by defining your personal goals - write them down, and make them real and concrete. The following questions can help you get started here:
Where do you want to take your brand?
What does being a leader mean to you?
What are you striving for?
What sets you apart from your peers?
What do you want people to think about when they hear your name?
What are your passions - the topics you can talk about endlessly, personally and professionally?
Next, you need to write your own story. Think about the qualities you’re trying to define - the ones you have and want people to see, or the ones you want to develop. How can you present these qualities as something that you have? This process can be easier (and more fun) with an accountability buddy - and the PreSales Collective is a good source for finding one.
Finally, practice, repeat, and share this work over time. We do this all the time in demos - your brand is no different. Work out stories of how you can present these qualities to people and promote your brand, organically and as opportunities arise.
The key to developing a strong personal brand is thinking about how you want people to perceive you and working towards that - it’s not something that just happens on its own.
Tristan says that your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. People in his company think of him, and use him, as an “ex-failed founder,” “problem solver,” and “roadmap escalation machine,” among other brands. How do people in your organization tend to describe you? And when do they come to you asking for help? This is your brand.
This personal brand also blends into your organizational brand.
Organizational branding for leaders comes down to what the perception of your PreSales team as a whole is. Having a strong brand for your organization can enable everyone to do business more easily - other teams will know exactly when they should bring you in and what your team can help them accomplish.
This strong, clear branding also allows you to transcend the PreSales brand from simply a sales resource to a resource for the entire company. If you’re trying to transition your team from being seen as demo jockeys to deal messiahs - this all starts with your brand as the org leader.
Personal brand is an amplifier for both your own career and your entire PreSales organization. We have a responsibility as leaders to pursue it and own it. But it can be challenging to find the time to work on this strategic, thoughtful brand creation. What’s one thing you’ve been putting off that will help you build your brand? Do it today - and you’re already closer to your goals.