Hello everyone! As a Regional Sales Manager for EBSCO Publishing my primary responsibility is selling EBSCO databases to two and four year colleges and universities, public libraries, and K-12 schools. I like the fact that I get to work with such a varied group of library customers and I also enjoy the fact that because I travel to meet with customers on site, the scenery of my job constantly changes. Last week I was in Memphis, TN working the Tennessee Library Association Conference; next week, I will be in Charleston, SC working the South Carolina Association of School Librarians Conference; the week after that I will be splitting time between Knoxville, TN and western North Carolina visiting college and public library accounts.
I received my MLIS from UNCG in 1995. While I was in the program at UNCG, I was focused mostly on special libraries. I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990 with a degree in Business Administration and my plan during library school was to use both of my degrees by working in a corporate library. There were not many corporate library positions available at the time though and so, during my last semester of library school, I attended a library science career fair at UNC Chapel Hill. I talked to representatives from Sirsi Corporation (now SirsiDynix) while at the career fair and soon thereafter, after going through their official interview process, I accepted a job as a Software Consultant (Trainer) with them. Other than a brief eight month stint with Lucent Technologies, I have been working for library vendors ever since. I feel strongly that I am still using both of my degrees every day. In addition to Sirsi, I worked for Gale (Gale Group/Thomson Gale) for 8 ½ years and have now been with EBSCO for three years.
With EBSCO Publishing the highlights of my job are:
- Managing database and technology sales activity (my own and that of others) in a four state territory (NC, SC, TN, KY) across the college, public, and K-12 markets.
- Keeping up with changes/enhancements in EBSCO’s product mix in order to be able to demonstrate them to customers and potential customers. EBSCO offers over 350 database solutions and ultimately I am responsible for selling virtually all of them.
- Travel – I am away from home a lot. On average I am away from home three nights per week for 10 months out of the year.
- Meeting with customers – while I am on the road I am meeting with customers. I usually have between three and five separate customer meetings per day. These can range from one on one meetings to large group presentations.
- Territory strategic planning – In sales it is always important that you spend the right amount of time in each part of your territory. You have to get to know the demographics of your territory. Where are the large clusters of libraries, where are your big accounts located, etc.? The answers to these questions can help determine how often you visit parts of your territory, but it is important that you get to all parts of your territory on a regular basis. All of these things weigh into your decision making for when you visit a specific area. It is also important to have a product strategy. Which resources are you going to focus on when you visit specific types of customers? Which resources are you going to focus on when you visit specific states? Etc. Knowing the specifics of each customer’s needs is important as well and this helps you further fine tune your product focus with each individual customer.
- Managing – One of my responsibilities is to manage all sales activity in the territory. To do this, I direct the sales activity of several other sales representatives. One of them reports directly to me, the other four do not report directly to me however I do help direct their activity. Since there are a total of six of us in the territory (four field reps and two inside reps) we work as a team to meet sales quotas.
- Meeting sales quota – With any sales job there is a sales quota. Having a quota expectation was probably the aspect of sales that took me the longest to get used to.
There is a stereotype that in order to be successful in sales that you have to be an aggressive extrovert. I do not think that is true. There are successful sales people of all different personality types.
I enjoy what I do. The job is challenging, varied, fun, ever changing, and stressful all rolled into one. Every day is different and I like that. I went to library school because I felt that providing access to information was an important role in society. As a sales representative selling information resources to libraries, I feel that I am helping my fellow librarians provide dependable, accurate, appropriate, and authoritative information to their patrons.
Regional Sales Manager
Phone: 800-653-2726 ext. 2447