"I always ask myself, how could any salesman not use this tool?"
Can you tell me about your role and responsibilities at Symantec?
I started working at Symantec in June 2010 when I was in Lisbon. That’s where I’m originally from. My boss at the time challenged me to move to Dublin last year. It was quite a challenge, not only moving countries, but also going from a team of eight, to now I work with over 980 people. But I love the atmosphere of Dublin.
What are some of your favorite things about the city?
When I first moved here it was very difficult. Three out of every four weekends a month I would spend flying back to Lisbon. Soon I realized I was missing out on the true Dublin experience. The weekends here are amazing, with so many things to do and such a diverse group of people to do them with.
One of my passions is running. My favorite place to run here is Phoenix Park along the River Liffey. Every morning I run for a few hours, it’s the highlight of my day. Last year I was lucky enough to run in the Lisbon Marathon, Dublin Marathon, and Valencia Marathon. This year I’m hoping to run in five or six other international marathons (Tokyo, Liverpool, Bali, Berlin and Porto).
How has getting LinkedIn Sales Navigator changed the way you sell?
Sales Navigator is a valuable tool. The insights and information I get are organized and clear. It makes it easy to keep track of the people that matter most. For example, recently I was alerted that a saved lead had moved to a new company.
After a few phone calls, I asked if we could approach his new company with our solutions. He was open to the idea and informed me the account was valued at $375,000. My team was doubtful we could land the account, but what they didn’t know was that I had been building a relationship with this lead for nearly a year. We landed the account in 3 months, which is very short for Symantec.
Can you tell me how you use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to generate new business opportunities?
Everyday I block out an hour to work on Sales Navigator. It’s the first thing I do in the morning. I use this time to learn more about my prospects on an intimate level. If I see a prospect I don’t know much about, I’ll save him as a lead. I’ll have access to the information he shares on LinkedIn, the topics he's interested in, and the news he's talking about.
The minute a lead shares a post or connects with someone in my network, I see it and there’s no risk of missing it like I might on my LinkedIn feed. This is more information than I’ve ever had.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your sales role?
The biggest challenge I have is the economic difficulties of Portugal. It’s not easy selling in that market. It forces me to rethink all my strategies in selling Symantec as the best IT solution.
It’s like the difference of a BMW and a Fiat. Symantec is a BMW, and the competitor is a Fiat. Both are cars, but there is a difference between the products. That’s usually my pitch. Symantec is the top breed of the market, but we aren’t the cheapest option.
Do you help other members of your team use LinkedIn for sales?
I’ve made it a habit creating posts every week with news about Symantec. I push my colleagues to do the same, but sometimes they tell me it’s difficult to find time.
I encourage them to use our Sales Navigator subscriptions. I think some people don’t understand how powerful this tool is. So my main message to colleagues is, “Use it.”
What kind of articles or content do you post on LinkedIn?
I use alerts to keep up with important information. Anything I find relevant, I share with my customers and partners. A few weeks ago I shared information from the Worldwide Mobile Conference in Barcelona. The post was filled with insights and information offering a great summary of the event.
Several hundred people checked out the post, but the number wasn’t the most important thing to me. My goal is to make sure I’m active every week and my network sees it.
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What does success mean to you?
Success is about hard work. There are a lot of Fernando’s around the world, so if I want to be different, I need to wake up every morning and be special. This reminds me of a saying we have back home, "Nothing comes from the heavens.” Everything requires hard work.
But helping others is also an important part of success. Recently I decided to turn my passion for running into something that can help others. So last year when I did the Dublin Marathon, I ran on behalf of a Down Syndrome Foundation here in Dublin. I collected €1,200 from colleagues here at Symantec. Hard work and helping others, that’s success to me.