Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 | 6 min read
I love my job as a solutions consultant (SC) at Sprinklr. But, the truth is that I found the SC role by accident and only because of encouragement from some folks I respect (hat tip to Bhanu Sareddy, Emily DeLuca, and Jeff Minder). Now that I’m in it, however, I’ve really come to love and appreciate all of the opportunity it affords. It feels nearly impossible to master, but you quickly know who the great SCs are when you learn from them and, if you’re lucky, watch them work.
As I reflect on the last 5 years and dream into the future, I think there are four traits that have either been there or developed over time that really serve me well in this job at Sprinklr. Whenever I’m asked how I feel about the SC role, my response seems to always focus on one or more of the following:
You Can Have an Impact
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
This is a trait that has always been present for me. Now, I’m definitely not saying I’ve always been able to have an impact, but I’ve always wanted to. I don’t even always have a positive impact, but I always desire to. Whether it’s personal or professional, something meaningful or something flippant, playing a sport or having a conversation, I have this strong desire to positively impact the people around me.
One of my favorite parts of being an SC at Sprinklr is the opportunity to impact customers, prospects, peers, partners, leadership, other teams, etc. with your day to day work. You really sit in the middle of a lot of interesting conversations and/or problems. The trick, however, is that you have to do the hard work to be competent. You cannot skip that step. If you are not competent and you don’t understand your customer, their problem, the solution, the product, or your market, you might be having an impact, but it’s certain to not be the one you want.
In my time at Sprinklr, I’ve been given opportunities to do things I would have NEVER imagined doing. There are times I’ve questioned whether or not I was capable, but it’s the benefit of working on a high-performance team with a culture of trust. The standard is high, but one reward is that you’re given as much opportunity to have an impact as you can handle.
“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” – Gilda Radner
Embracing unpredictability is definitely not my natural state. I scored in the 98th percentile for anxiety when taking a personality test in grad school so I can’t overstate how much I want to control things. However, as I work on this particular skill set, I’ve found that my love for the SC role grows.
At Sprinklr, there is a lot of emphasis and investment in making sure SCs are ‘audible-ready’. Things can and will change fast. To be effective you have to be like the duck that looks cool and calm above the water while working furiously hard underneath it.
“The challenge of the unknown future is so much more exciting than the stories of the accomplished past.” – Simon Sinek
The SC role is hard because of the intersection it sits in. You’re expected to drive a business conversation just as well as you can drive a technical conversation. You’re asked to work with stakeholders at all levels of the organization and be equally as comfortable in each. As with most areas of life, finding this delicate balance is tough, but also an incredible opportunity to grow in a wide array of skills.
As you pursue, start, or grow in the SC role, make sure you find yourself on a team and in a culture that not only asks you to grow, but sets the conditions to help you actually do it. Sprinklr has offered me development opportunities via my direct leader, my peers, extended leadership exposure, shadowing, formal training programs, a mentorship program, and cross-functional exposure to other teams. My biggest constraint to growth is not the opportunity to get better, but my willingness to practice what I preach.
“Sometimes you want to give up the guitar, you’ll hate the guitar. But if you stick with it, you’re gonna be rewarded.” – Jimi Hendrix
If you serve your customers well, you can really drive an impact in their business and see your champions accelerate their careers. If you build a positive reputation and take care of your teammates, you may find yourself with an opportunity to advance in your career. If you stick with it, the number of opportunities available to you and the number of people you can positively impact are some of the greatest rewards the SC role can provide.
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