Today we are talking with Amy Appleyard, VP Sales for Staples Business Advantage. We appreciate her time, and will make a donation in her name to a worthy cause in the Greater Boston area. Amy is active in the Boston chapter of the AA-ISP (association for inside sales professionals)
Lori Richardson (LR): How did you get into a sales leadership role initially?
Amy Appleyard (AA): I started with Staples in a Finance position, then transferred into Strategy and started working with the Business-to-Business Sales division, Staples Business Advantage. I had spent a significant amount of time with the Mid-Market sales teams, from Acquisition through Account Management, optimizing the sales model and developing creative selling strategies. My progression into Sales Management happened as a result of this – I had worked closely with the managers and leaders and welcomed the opportunity to join them.
LR: Who has championed, mentored, and / or sponsored you to succeed?
AA: My current manager has been an incredible champion for me, and is the one who encouraged me to transition from Strategy to Sales Management. I was also strongly encouraged by a woman who has had a similar career path, and felt I too would appreciate the complexities and rewards of leading sales teams – she continues to be a sounding board for me and one who I often turn to for advice.
LR: What do you aspire to do / be?
AA: I am still aspiring to be the best Sales Leader I can be – and loving the challenge. In my industry, the business environment changes so rapidly, there is need for constant adaptation and agility. This poses endless opportunities to improve the sales model and to also to inspire managers and teams to action.
LR: What has your career in sales leadership done for you?
AA: It has helped me to synthesize everything that I am interested in – finance, strategy, marketing, sales, as well as overseeing and motivating teams to excel. It has also provided the opportunity to travel and to meet new people and to learn from them.
LR: What advice do YOU have for more women getting into sales or sales leadership?
AA: If you have a sense of adventure, appreciate holding yourself and others accountable to meeting goals/objectives and thrive off of helping others succeed – you should take the leap! It is incredibly rewarding, both personally and professionally. I enjoy my managers and associates, and also the customers we serve.
Note: Do you know of a B2B sales leader we should interview for our series on women sales leaders? If so, drop us a note. Our goal is to talk with 100 sales leaders and share their stories to inspire others.
Lori Richardson (LR) is interviewing 100 women sales leaders before 2016 is over. Lori is President of WOMEN sales pros ® and CEO of Score More Sales.
email lori@WOMENsalespros.com | Lori's LinkedIn Profile