Two years after graduating from the Yusudi Sales Academy we sat down with Joseph Njane, Senior Business Development at Salaam Technologies to talk about sales and career growth.
As I spoke to him, one insight stood out.
You are the most valuable asset in your portfolio. You need to learn marketable skills and acquire the relevant experience that makes you stand out in the job market.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your role.
My name is Joseph Njane. I am a graduate with a bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in Project Management.
I started my sales career at Salaam Technologies in 2020 which I joined through Yusudi’s Sales Academy. I work as a Senior Business Developer where I am responsible for growing sales and business with a focus on financial institutions such as banks and cooperative SACCOs.
What drove you into sales?
In all honesty, it wasn’t my intention to pursue a career in sales. I stumbled upon Yusudi’s idea of training, coaching and placement by coincidence. My first thought was to just try my luck and see where it goes.
However, after finishing the program, I have come to appreciate the amount of growth and improvement in self-confidence I experienced by learning how to sell.
What do you enjoy about sales?
Getting to experience customer satisfaction from initial engagement to when the customer interacts with the product is what I enjoy because it means I have been able to do my job well.
What are some of the myths you had about the sales career and how have they shifted now?
I always had the misconception that sales was about “kupiga guu mchana mzima chini ya jua kali na kurejea nyumbani kama viatu vimeisha.”
I thought that it was a very hard career to pursue. However, now that I have experienced sales as a career, I have come to understand the critical role that sales plays in driving financial growth in companies.
The two things I would say about sales now to anyone is:
Sales is not hard.
Sales is easy when you understand what your client wants.
How has your career developed since you graduated from the Academy?
When I joined Salaam Technologies, I was an Intern. Since then I have been able to transition to a Junior Business Developer and am now a Senior Business Developer about to lead a team of other tech sales professionals.
I would say my expectation of where I want to be career-wise has been met. I have experienced a lot of growth within the last two years.
What is the difference between trying to start a career alone versus having a partner like Yusudi?
In my last month of campus, I applied for about 53 jobs. For the few jobs that got back to me, they were rejection emails.
However, getting an introduction by Yusudi to a hiring company builds a lot of confidence for the employer as the employer knows you have been trained and you can be relied on as a professional.
On a personal level, being trained on how to write CVs and having consistent mock interviews helped me become more confident in my skills and my ability to sell. A proud moment for me is when I got interviewed for two rounds by Coca-Cola. Even though I didn’t get the job, it was huge progress for me after experiencing silent rejections.
What would you advise graduates who are hesitant about sales?
I think everyone at some point, even if you aren’t selling a product or service now, should understand sales is a must-have skill.
Sales does not equal hawking. You should get the real sales skills of communicating, creating value and building relationships.
Sales skills are skills everyone needs no matter your industry.
Tell us a funny story you experienced as you explored a sales career.
When I joined Yusudi, my parents were hesitant because they also held the misconception that sales is hawking. In my second week of training with Yusudi, my parents asked me to sell to them pens and cups within the house to test if I am actually learning.
Now my parents are seeing the fruits of being in a sales career and are even trying to encourage my younger siblings to pursue sales.
What are your future career plans?
From the experience I have had in the tech industry, I would like to venture into project management or consultancy work for ICT projects once the sales process is complete.
Explore a career in tech sales with the Yusudi Sales Academy.
Learn directly from experienced sales trainers to fast-track your sales career with Yusudi. Our career coaching, inbuilt sales projects and paid placement program will open up new career paths for you in the sales industry, no matter your background.