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How to take the leap into a tech leadership role

Sareeta Balakumar is Commercial Director at ConsultMyApp

ARTICLE SUMMARY

We speak to Sareeta Balakumar, commercial director at ConsultMyApp about progressing your career in the tech industry and how to take the leap into a leadership role.

Sareeta Balakumar is Commercial Director at ConsultMyApp. Sareeta has been in the tech space for 6 and a half years, finding her passion in Tech sales. It has given her the opportunity to work with some amazing brands like PureGym, King Games and O2. Her work with CMA lets her travel all around the globe, and help revolutionise household brands as she continues to learn new lessons about the industry every day.

FIRSTLY I’D JUST LIKE TO SAY HOW EXCITED I AM TO BE PUTTING MY THOUGHTS DOWN FOR A PIECE IN SHECANCODE, A WEBSITE AND CAUSE THAT IS HELPING TO FURTHER WOMEN’S PLACE IN THE TECH INDUSTRY.

The content that SheCanCode provides young girls and women helps to break down barriers and create a more inclusive industry. Speaking of which, here are just a few of the things that I’ve learnt along the way during my time in tech.

CONFIDENCE IS KEY

Sareeta Balakumar is Commercial Director at ConsultMyApp

If it’s one thing we know about the tech industry, it’s fast. It can fire issues at you that you expected and some that you might not be always best prepared to face. But rest assured, you are capable. If you have got to this point in your career and you’re about to take that next step into leadership, then you’ve put in the groundwork to know your subject matter.

Don’t forget to be confident and flexible in order to make that leap into a tech leadership role.

A lot of what you do is very much learned as you go. You will likely be thrown into tasks that are beyond your existing skillsets but by being confident and not afraid to ask questions, you’ll be able to increase your knowledge and grow.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF YOUR OWN VOICE

Being afraid to speak out is a natural issue that we all face throughout our careers, but nothing is more important than ensuring your point is heard.

In sales, tech or otherwise, it can be a challenging sector. A lot of people claim accounts may be in their territory or make arbitrary rules to give them an advantage, don’t let them. If you know a deal is yours, or you’re capable of doing something that would usually be out of your wheelhouse, fight your corner and make sure you don’t miss an opportunity to demonstrate your strengths.

All too often, women allow louder voices or more confident (and typically male) colleagues to override their ideas – taking opportunities away from us.

HAVING A GREAT MENTOR AND COACH 

This may not be something you can influence or choose, but I would always recommend making sure that anyone looking to move into tech and take a leadership role has this as foundational support.

Having a proactive and supportive mentor, for me, was paramount to growing to where I have today. When I moved into the tech space I was incredibly very lucky to have a managing director who was super hands-on and really provided additional support for my career in sales. He allowed me to go out of my comfort zone, being thrown into new business calls within six months of starting at the company and guiding me during my sales calls where I was able to learn skills that are fundamental to enterprise selling.

Without that initial support network, I might not have been as confident to take the steps I did at an early stage in my career, and I know there are a number of really great network groups out there. Seek experience in a mentor and let them help you learn the tricks of the tech trade!

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