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Expert Talk: Ashley Carnes on Corporate Professional Development

Impact’s dedication to ongoing employee training and development is apparent when talking to Ashley Carnes, Director of Professional Development and Sales Strategy. Having made the jump from sales, she now focuses on creating B2B sales training courses, establishing employee onboarding initiatives and more. In this video, she discusses some of the current tools that have proved useful for training, and the qualities she believes are important to have when navigating this field.

Learn more about the roles functioning at Impact by watching the rest of our employee feature videos.

Video Transcript:

Hi, my name is Ashley Carnes and I’m the Director of Sales Strategy & Professional Development.

What were your biggest challenges when transitioning from a role in sales to a role in strategy and development?

The biggest challenge from a role in sales to a role in strategy really goes back to ensuring that theory and practice meet in the middle and that anything that we’re talking about isn’t just existing in a classroom or a board-meeting room or in an ivory tower, but that it’s practical for field application. There has to be a real-life dynamic by directional feed that’s propelling both teams to empower one another. I think making that leap was important to stay true to the roots of my background in sales and what it means to serve customers and continue to put the best product in front of customers and the best experience in front of customers, while still being able to take a step back and do head-down content development.

What trends have you seen in sales strategy these past few years?

There is a trend in automation and for a good reason. It’s efficient, you can do omnichannel, multiple touchpoints, build sales sequences, drop people in the sales queues, do video mass-marketing, use direct mail.

There are so many avenues for marketing automation that believe it or not what has become unique is the old-school eye-contact and a handshake and what’s fascinating about that is a lot of our both traditional competitors and new, emerging competitors is that that in it of itself has become the rarity, that so few people have the skillset anymore or the wherewithal, or the grit and discipline to just walk into a business and ask for a decision-maker or a business card or to shake someone’s hand or look them in the eye and have a conversation.

While there are a whole new multitudes of new trends, I would argue that it is in fact the old-school way of selling that in it of itself has become a unique selling trend. That’s one of the most powerful tools in a salesperson’s arsenal is just that personalized and meaningful and intentional outreach and communication.

What do you think it means to be a leader?

What it means to be a leader in my opinion is having somebody at the helm of the ship willing and able to see beyond the individual and cast a large vision and get everyone to rise up and work together to their own best potential and that you collectively create something that’s better than any one individual can do by themselves. Somebody that can inspire, lead by example, be shoulder-to-shoulder with their people and find the greatest amount of satisfaction and success in lifting other people up more than anything they could have ever done by themselves.