Alumnae in the News - Claire Thomas Class of 2002
We would like to congratulate Claire Thomas on winning the Professional Services Category at the Women in Sales Awards 2018. Claire was up against nominations from 12 countries and a panel of 33 respected senior executives within sales.
Claire is the Business Development Director for Hitachi Consulting and avid supporter of Wycombe High School. We look forward to welcoming Claire back to school on Monday 25 March for the Year 12 and 13 Inspire and Career Talk. Read about her exciting career journey:
I don’t think I’ve ever heard a young person answer the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” with the answer, “I want to work in sales!”. Having had such an incredible eleven years so far, I feel I owe it to others to share my experiences so more people consider sales roles in the technology sector and get the opportunity to have as much fun as I have. My career journey hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Very early in my first role, my manager told me that he didn’t think a career in sales was for me as he didn’t see my passion for it. Having someone doubt my determination for something I believed I could be good at made me even more focused on succeeding, so I took the feedback on board and made changes quickly. This was also my first lesson in resilience, a key skill for any salesperson. Fast forward eleven years and here I am, winner of the Professional Services category at the Women in Sales Awards 2018!
After a fantastic 5 years with Microsoft, I decided to find a role selling technology related professional services to give me the opportunity to get closer to my customers. Joining Hitachi Consulting was a great move. I’ve learned so much, met some amazing people and helped clients improve the experience for their customers and employees using modern technologies. I’m blown away by the dedication of the people I work with in the utilities sector to supply clean water to us, protect the environment and provide power at the flick of a switch. It is an honour to work with these individuals and companies who are providing a key service to our society. Having a career so well aligned to my passion for helping others has led to many years significantly exceeding sales targets and I love simplifying the complexity of a professional services sale to make the intangible value you create tangible.
After hearing I’d been selected as a finalist for the awards, I contacted everyone who had supported me with my nomination – my manager, my MD, my customers and my family - to say thank you. I put a lot of effort into preparation for the judging day, thinking about how I am different to the other high calibre candidates, so I’m absolutely delighted to have won. Taking part in the awards has given me the opportunity to reflect on the Business Development Director achievements in my career so far and remember the amazing teams I have worked with to win new opportunities. Key to award success – mentioning your Mum inspiring her classroom of students by talking about you being part of the awards!
In my one minute pitch, I gave my commitment to encourage more women to consider a sales career. We can all do our bit to spread the word to as many women, men, girls and boys about how fulfilling sales can be, so that more people actively plan to enter our profession and the technology sector. I’m already pencilled in to go back to my all-girls school for a career talk! I will also be asking senior leaders across Hitachi group companies to promote the Women in Sales Awards and will be driving further focus on the importance of diversity for organisational success.
I couldn’t recommend taking part in the awards and sales summit more highly. I’ve met some truly inspiring people, gained insight into the neuroscience behind successful sales and learned more about myself. For any company sitting on the fence about getting involved – a nomination for one of your team will do wonders for motivation, give your company a great opportunity to support women in sales and is quite simply a no brainer! And for anyone considering a career in sales…Henry Ford said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do”, so go do it!
Thank you to everyone who invested their time to make the Women in Sales Awards 2018 such a success. It was an unforgettable experience!
Follow this link for the judging day video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_VogsEzPEk
Follow this link to see the winners: http://wisawards.com/2018-winners.html#.XCeCB1z7Q2w
Follow this link to read the Women In Sales Awards Europe December 2018 Magazine: https://issuu.com/zarsmedia/docs/wisa_e_2018_magazine_web_pages