A M Howcroft

This story is far more autobiographical than I would ever wish. The events took place quite some time ago, but are still fresh in my mind. The story was written in two halves, a year apart, each within a few days of the end of the events described, then left for five years or more before I came back with a different perspective to edit.

In England, for some reason, the role of sales has always been considered a negative, viewed perhaps slightly above real estate agents and traffic wardens, but not exactly loved as a profession. I never expected to change that perception, but in some small way, I did want the story to show a more nuanced view of the pressure that sales people operate under. As an enterprise sales person for several years, I know only too well the huge effort and resource that goes into a major sales opportunity, of which you may only have two or three a year. At the end of each deal, your pay, and often your job, depend upon the outcome. In every sales deal, there may be three or more sales people from different firms competing, and only one can win (and frequently, none of them win as the client changes their mind or decides to ‘do it themselves’). This story is dedicated to all of those that have chosen that career, and even more so, to the technical guys that work with them under extreme pressure. A sales person is nothing without their ‘wingman/woman’. Ian, Umair, Matt, et. al - this one’s for you!

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