Doing great work as a PreSales professional isn’t enough to get you to the next stage of your career - you also need that great work to be visible to your manager, team, and leadership. But how can you effectively increase your visibility? Here are the most actionable insights from our recent webinar panel:
Bonnie Alexander, PreSales Manager at Botkeeper
Alicia Cruz, Senior Manager of Solution Engineering at Salesforce
Virgile Delécolle, Sales Engineering Leader of IT Management at Micro Focus
Find Your Focus
First, you need to determine where your interests are - what do you want to be known for? PreSales is very multifaceted so having a niche is key. Do you enjoy mentoring, teaching, innovating, or a specific product? It’s critical that this interest is genuine because then your visibility building will feel less like work and more like a natural extension of your passion.
Once you’ve found that, it’s time to translate that interest into action and make your interest known. You should begin with your manager so they can be your guide and advocate on this journey. You can also look for initiatives at your company that align with your passion, and start a social media presence that reflects your personal brand.
Engage Your Manager
Visibility begins with your manager. Increasing your visibility can help them make the case for your raises and promotions, and they are a valuable guide through the process as well, so getting them on board is essential.
Start by making time during your regularly scheduled 1:1s to focus on your career path and visibility - and if you don’t have regular 1:1s, make them a priority! Your manager can help you determine where your focus should be and map out a plan to get you to your desired goals.
Growing Your Network
Your network is key to increasing your visibility - and that goes for your internal and external networks.
For your internal network, your manager (and mentors if you have them) can help you build there. You should discuss your goals with them and figure out if there are internal projects or groups that can help you get to your goals. Connecting with marketing can be especially helpful as they’re experts in visibility and always looking for people to be the face of the company, so give them a call.
To build external networks, social media can be a great tool. And of course, the PreSales Collective is here to help you. Post on the PSC Slack channels and ask questions - that’s what it’s there for, and it’s a global audience of your peers. And don’t be afraid to reach out to PSC speakers as well because they’re excited to help with any questions.
The most authentic way to network is to be curious - people at all levels love to talk about their experiences. And PreSales is a very helpful community, so don’t be shy. And remember that networking should be an exchange, so determine what you’re giving that has value to others and invite them in to come along with you.
Balancing Visibility with Workload
Increasing your visibility doesn’t need to add significantly to your workload. Building a reputation begins with doing your best work in your current job - people will see that and naturally want to work with you.
But you should also take the initiative in your current role to work with other departments whenever possible. Use your passion as the driver and building visibility won’t feel like work, it’s an organic evolution that becomes effortless.
Do keep your focus clear during this process. All kinds of things will get thrown at you as you get more visible because there are so many opportunities out there, but you don’t want to get sidelined by distractions.
You might wonder what to post, or ask your network about, if you’re new to PreSales. Even though you don’t have that deep expertise to share, you can rely on others before you become an expert.
Share what you’re learning as well as what you know - the most important thing is just getting started and then staying consistent. Take baby steps and your network will grow organically over time as long as you’re someone who wants to share and learn.
If your efforts at building visibility aren’t working, ask some trusted people in your network for feedback - be humble. And look at what the most successful people are doing to learn from them and get inspired.
You should be constantly reevaluating your efforts to look at what’s working well and where you can make some tweaks. You won’t get it right every time, but as long as you’re testing and learning, you’ll be on the path to visibility and success in a way that feels right for you.
If you're a PSC member, check out the full webinar here!