Next up in our series on inspiring sales leaders we have Mr. Jon Hunter, a recent Chief Revenue Officer of Micro Focus with years of proven sales successes and a proponent of the No Fear sales method. Learn from Hunter about how to build an outstanding sales team and show fearless leadership.
Jon Hunter in Micro Focus
Throughout his career, Hunter has improved revenue performance by leading sales execution, improving ease of business with customers, and driving innovation using cloud and digital solutions. The core of Jon Hunter’s career was spent at CA Technologies where he initially began as a salesman. The beginning of Hunter’s career at CA is inspiring in itself; after tanking his first interview there, he wrote a paper called “Eat What You Kill,” his interpretation on the culture the founder of CA was trying to build. The company loved the paper and he got the job, and over the course of 18 years there he eventually became General Manager of North America.
Hunter went on to lead a 3,200 person global sales group for OpenText software; next, he served as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Strategic Sales at BMC information technology.
Most recently Jon Hunter served as the CRO for British multinational software and information technology business Micro Focus.
Micro Focus provides software and consultancy that helps some of the world’s largest multinational companies run and transform their businesses. Hunter’s proven track record in the global enterprise IT market and customer oriented approach helps him drive these large scale changes and deliver positive outcomes for corporations. As part of Micro Focus’ leadership team, Jon Hunter has also further honed the art of inspiring sales teams.
Key tips for building a sales team
How can other sales leaders hope to reach the high bar set by star performers like Jon Hunter?
Fortunately, this expert shared tips of the trade for how to build and lead a team of top salespeople.
- Show your vulnerability: A good leader is approachable. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. By showing the rest of the sales staff that you, too, have made mistakes and still have things to learn, you remind them that success is achievable no matter what stage they’re at.
- Show humility: Don’t be reluctant to work side by side when necessary. Be approachable and humble. Sharing your downfalls and lessons learned will make you more relatable and inspire others to be like you.
- Minimize fear: People can fear many things in a job; failure, error, embarrassment, conflict, and the list goes on. When we’re afraid our brains enter fight or flight mode, which is our least intelligent and least productive state. Hunter advocates targeting and eliminating the source of fear by creating an environment where team members can be their most confident selves. This includes being there to support your sales staff when they need you, showing gratitude and encouragement, and being careful about words.
- Make practice a habit: Being successful at most things in life takes practice and repetition, but people often don’t enjoy practicing, preparing, or being coached. Yet, if sales reps aren’t practicing internally, that means they’re practicing on clients. Not ideal! Instilling the importance of practice and turning it into a habit will help solve sales challenges and set teams up for success.
Putting knowledge into action
Jon Hunter teaches us that a great leader faces fear head-on, balances toughness with compassion, and takes a direct approach with their team.
This B2B software expert also undoubtedly recognizes the power of sales tools to help sales staff perform better — and to help leaders coach their teams. Tools like Revenue Grid help everyone become the best salesperson they can be with deal guidance, sales performance tracking, team analytics, forecasting, CRM integration, and much more.
Don’t be afraid of failure: learn from it!