Sales Leader Interviews: Ralph Barsi (Part 1)

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The Who: Ralph is the Senior Director, Global Demand Center for ServiceNow (ServiceNow's worldwide sales development organization). Ralph is responsible for all teams located in APJ, the US, LATAM, and EMEA territories.

The Profile: Senior Director, Global Demand Center @ ServiceNow

AH: E&Y recently said "It found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken."

How long do you think it will take for normal VP of Sales/Head of HR to realize that using ultimatums like "You have a degree, or you cannot interview here" - are outdated and ineffective strategies when it comes to optimizing company success?

RB: Average...ahem…”normal” VPs use ultimatums. High-caliber VPs simply place the right candidates into the organization.

Let's steer clear from making generalizations, though.

There is a case for hiring candidates with and without university degrees. It depends on the company’s desired outcome.

On one hand are those with no degree. The best ones get added to the string of founders and entrepreneurs who literally invent their future - people like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Debbi Fields, and Gary Vaynerchuk. Others show track records of results, key relationships, and leadership by example.

On the other hand are those who’ve earned a degree. That feat alone illustrates discipline and the fruits of deep work, and comes with a rich network of fellow alums. The best become CEOs and leaders who grow to run incredible companies.

Some employers seek specific backgrounds from candidates so they can accomplish specific goals; other employers take a wider approach. “Optimizing company success” is done differently from organization to organization.

AH: How does someone new to the industry know if they are going to a good/legit company? What are the top 3 factors they should consider when choosing a company to work for?

RB: Keep in mind, what you seek is seeking you. If you want to work for a “good/legit” company, first ask if you yourself are good/legit.

Your objective is to attract (not pursue) good/legit companies to you. Think through what’s required to help your ideal employers find you, such as...

  • Does your reputation precede you?
  • Have you become well-known through your work ethic, discipline, repeatable results, relationships, and acumen?
  • How many influential people would put their own brand and reputation on the line, and refer you to potential employers?

Assuming you’re a solid, viable candidate, it means we can find examples of your work.

A mere visit to your LinkedIn profile, or your website and blog, or your YouTube channel, or your published academic papers, or recommendations and endorsements from friends-teachers-former employers-colleagues, or otherwise will inspire us to want to interview you.

As far as what defines a good/legit company, it runs the gamut. Candidates, though, should find out how a company’s customers, partners, and employees talk about the company. In fact, you could take the questions above and replace “you” with “the company” to get a feel for potential fit.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this exclusive interview with Ralph Barsi as he explains three key areas to look at when looking at attractive companies.