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Advice from an Account Executive: Kickstarting Your Sales Career with AI

Salesforce Careers

March 13, 2024

There’s no denying AI is shifting the sales landscape. In fact, according to Salesforce’s Generative AI Snapshot Research Series, three out of five workers currently use or plan to use generative AI, with 68% agreeing that generative AI will help them better serve their customers.

While starting a new career during a major technology shift can be intimidating, it also offers big opportunities for go-getters ready to upskill. We sat down with Account Executive and Salesforce Boomerang Michaela Williams to chat more about why she’s excited to be working in sales in the age of AI.

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AI is the future of sales

Salesblazer Michaela chose to pursue a career in sales because she wanted a path that aligned with her entrepreneurial spirit and leaned into her love of connecting with others. She discovered Salesforce through a World Tour event — global events for cutting-edge Salesforce learning, connection, and inspiration — and knew it was where she wanted to be.

“What attracted me to Salesforce was the fast pace and just being on the cutting edge of technology and the tech space. Seeing all of the different innovations that Salesforce was working on was something that I wanted to be a part of.”

 

Headshot of Michaela Williams, Account Executive
Michaela Williams, Account Executive

Williams, who has been at Salesforce for a total of three years, is one of our many Boomerangs — meaning she left Salesforce and then returned. Her reason for coming back? Salesforce’s ongoing commitment to innovation, particularly AI in our productivity and collaboration technologies.

“It was a no-brainer to come back,” Williams said. “Salesforce is leading the next CRM revolution with cutting-edge AI. It is embedded in our CRM. It's embedded in Slack. “It's going to help our customers take quick actions based off the data that resides in their CRM today and make the best decisions for their customers and their employees.”

 

Upskilling in the age of AI

For Michaela, that commitment to AI is not only evident in Salesforce products — but also in how Salesforce employees are upskilling.

“[AI]’s here to help change the way that we work, the way that we think, the way we approach our accounts and our customers,” shared Williams. She credits Salesforce’s robust onboarding process for empowering Salesforce sellers with the skills they need to advance their careers.

“What separates Salesforce from other tech companies as a seller is that we have all the resources,” Williams shared. “From day one, you are assigned a sales buddy, someone that you can connect with along your enablement journey.” That buddy then helps to share resources and tools — including Trailhead trails, or free, online courses, that focus on Salesforce technology and AI.

 

Logo of Einstein.Looking to upskill in AI for yourself? Take a look at some of our most popular Salesforce trainings, like our Get Started With Artificial Intelligence training.

 

For Williams, learning to take advantage of Salesforce’s AI integrations has been an exciting journey. “It’s something that we're seeing on a day-to-day basis change the way that we are approaching our new customers.”

Words of wisdom for up-and-coming Salesblazers

Looking to break into a sales career yourself? For Williams, the trick to succeeding in such a dynamic environment is to evolve with it. “Be a sponge,” Williams suggests. “Do your research and make sure you have that tenacity to come in here and take on new challenges.”

Sales is also a naturally competitive industry, so it can be tempting to feel like you need to be the best at everything — but Williams says the best advice she ever received was to focus on one area and excel at it.

“You might not be number one in every category, but if you focus on your craft [for a specific skill], you will get better in multiple areas as a seller … You may not be the best at closing that large enterprise deal on day one, but maybe you can be number one at making the best prospecting calls and having the most connections with our customers.”

Above all, Williams encourages you to find a company with a culture where you’ll excel both in your work and in finding your community. For her, that means being involved in Salesforce’s Equality Group, BOLDforce, as well as onboarding new team members as she continues to shape the future of her career ... and the future of the company.

“Salesforce does a great job in creating a culture around its employees so that everyone feels has a sense of belonging and a sense of being at work,” shared Williams. “What excites me about my future here at Salesforce is being a future leader of more sellers that are coming into the organization. I am very passionate about our newcomers that join our team and are just getting their foot in the door, starting their career.”

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