Tech sales isn’t easy. It takes resilience, empathy, and a lot of creativity to help businesses achieve digital transformation. But you might be surprised to learn that the best thing you can do to boost your career is being true to yourself.
Take it from accomplished Account Executive Fantagbè (Fanta) Traoré. Fanta was born in Guinea and moved to Lyon, just outside of France, at two years old. She studied entrepreneurship and later accepted her first internship in France. Fanta dreamed of linking her cultures by finding a business in Europe that would create jobs for artisans in Guinea, while also celebrating and promoting African culture. But to launch a successful venture, she first needed to gain business experience. In time, her search led her to Salesforce Dublin, where she elevated her career from an entry-level role to a high-performing sales executive. This is her story.
As someone with a progressive mindset, Fanta has always been eager to learn and grow. In order to do that, she needed to be in an environment that allowed her to initiate and try new things, rather than memorizing one recipe for success. She speaks to the importance of being able to freely express her opinions while feeling valued. “At Salesforce, I can say what’s on my mind and share my ideas,” states Fanta. “People listen and want my input.”
In addition to feeling that she can be herself at Salesforce, Fanta has also been able to experience a swift career trajectory during her time there because she believes in the brand and, most importantly, the product. “Selling Salesforce is nice because I like the product. I’m convinced about what I’m selling.”
Combined with Fanta’s passion for the brand, Salesforce’s dynamic environment ensures that there is never a dull moment. “Previously, I couldn’t see myself at a company for more than two years,” notes Fanta. “But that’s changed. I’m never bored at Salesforce — there’s an interesting path ahead of me and there’s always something new to achieve.”
Tips to Grow Your Career
A more important step to growth is this: avowing your dreams. “We need to be honest with ourselves,” urges Fanta. “When we know what we really want, we begin to understand the effort required to achieve those goals.”
It is common knowledge that the critical requirement to success is hard work and perseverance. With tenacity and determination, Fanta constantly channels her vision while taking ownership of her journey. Through a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of her career, Fanta can develop an action plan to help reach her next position. As she is passionate about the growth of the Black community and those in the diaspora, she shares her personal tips with the BYP Network members
- Do your current job well.
“It can be tempting to focus on the next step,” notes Fanta. “But doing your current job well means mastering skills and building a strong reputation.”
- Build an ecosystem through mentorship and sponsorship.
“In all my teams, I try to elevate others. I’ve often had a senior role which enables me to help newer team members.” This creates a network of people who know what you’re capable of and can speak up for you when you’re not in the room.
- Listen to feedback.
“Looking at my career path, it might seem like the journey has been simple. But that’s not always been the case,” reflects Fanta. “I recall having a few difficult months as a Sales Development Representative. In sharing these struggles with my manager, I received actionable feedback.” Stepping away and seeing yourself from a different point of view can help propel you forward.
- Hone your storytelling skills.
Surprisingly, the key to storytelling isn’t as much about how you talk as it is about how you listen. “Understand your customer’s values, identity, and passions,” Fanta says. “That will enable you to share advice in their language without talking about specific products.”
In addition to helping Salesforce clients grow, Fanta is passionate about guiding the next generation. “When you start mastering your job, what makes it more interesting is onboarding others and helping them grow.” Whether Fanta’s next step is managing a team at Salesforce or making a significant impact in Africa, her journey is bound to be exciting.
Interested in bringing your talents and possibilities together at Salesforce? Visit our BYP employer page for exciting opportunities and discover what it takes to reimagine the future of selling with us.