Blog

Olivier Boucaud: How I build my team

As Head of Sales, I manage a diverse team of 12 salespeople and 4 marketing and communications representatives.

The members of my team come from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and industries, and I believe this is key to our success.

I also believe that it demonstrates the fact that ‘your typical salesperson’ does not exist.

Let me explain this further.

Creativity is key

Having multiple cultures in a team is not only a big source of motivation; it also drives great results. A team’s performance is indeed made stronger by its individual differences, for which various cultures and backgrounds act as many enhancers.

Our differences generate out-of-the-box thinking.

This, along with the cohesion of a group that smoothly funnels thoughts down to solutions creates success.

Within a team of 16 members for 14 nationalities, creative ideas are plenty, and so are the solutions found.

Creativity is key

Within such a team, sales techniques that might initially seem dramatically different feed off each other.

Each sales style is polished by the others, and improved as a whole by the group. It does however remain very personal, and that’s the beauty of the trade. One can be successful in so many different manners.

Diametrically opposite characters and techniques can often achieve as much. French revolutionary Danton had a booming voice and Robespierre, a broken one that would only carry in absolute silence… but they could both move the largest of crowds.

I read now and then that team leaders should inspire others. However, I have found over the years that it’s way better for all the team members to inspire each other. I see my role as ensuring a good ground for this to happen.

Understanding differences as assets

When I recruit for a position, I’m interested in what makes the candidate different to their future peers. Paradoxically, the more different they are, the better they’ll fit in the team.

Since any given industry is formative of the people evolving within it, I never hesitate to recruit outside of our industry. It’s a bigger investment, because one does not always get immediate results.

However, it’s worth it because such new recruits always come with fresh and disruptive ideas. They challenge the others and secure that the team is in constant transformation.

Searching for longevity

This is particularly important for a company like ours where employees stay for a long time. We have built our success on the loyalty of our staff and the commitment level that comes with it.

On the sales front, cycles can be quite long.

It’s important for our customers to feel that we have the patience to wait for them to make the right decision. It’s always a privilege to successfully close opportunities even when they were started sometimes years earlier.

They will experience this when their account manager thinks in the long term.

This means that when I recruit, I also try to figure out what candidate will be with us for the long run, who will stay, grow with us and be loyal to our values.

The people who can commit to our mission and embrace our visions will represent Comfone truthfully, as a company that cares and wants its customers to still be thrilled 15 years into their contract with what we deliver.

0/5
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About the author

Olivier Boucaud

Olivier, Comfone's Executive VP Sales, joined the company in 2007 in order to develop sales in Europe and later led the EMEA sales team. Olivier was appointed EVP Sales in May 2015 and now drives Comfone's global sales operations and strategy.

Enter a search term