The importance of Emotional Intelligence in SaaS Sales

Posted by Adam Richardson - 13/12/2023

Recently, on our Scale with Strive Podcast, we spoke with Alexandre Pierrin-Neron, who is the RVP of South EMEA for Lacework. 

During the podcast, we focused on Emotional Intelligence and the importance of certain traits when hiring for your GTM SaaS team, with some of the key takeaways being:

💡 Turning underperforming reps into star players.

💡 The different types of Emotional Intelligence and how they present themselves in Sales Reps and Leaders.

💡 Alex’s thoughts around the importance of ‘Learn, Earn and have Fun'.

We encourage you to listen to the Podcast in full to get the most value, but in our blog today we explore three of the top Emotional Intelligence traits discussed and why Alex believes these are important.


 Let’s Dive In!


Self-Awareness & Confidence

 As Socrates said:

 “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom”


Alex discussed that the differences between self-awareness and arrogance can sometimes be a fine line:

 “I don't want to mix up knowing yourself and being confident, with being arrogant - and for me the difference between them is respect. I like to be respected, but to be respected I need to respect others.”


Alex’s Views on why Self-Awareness and Confidence are important traits:

  • If you don't have any self-confidence, you will never push yourself out of the box – you will naturally lean into what you know / what is easy, as you won’t be confident enough to try something new or risk failure.
  •  By being self-aware / knowing yourself, you know your foundation - if you want to build a high skyscraper, you can only do it if you have solid foundation. That's the same thing with your career and with yourself – if you don't have solid foundations, how come you can become the person you want to be.
  • If you're confident enough, then that's the moment you can say no to someone – whether that is a customer, colleague or manager. But you can explain why you are saying no and maintain respect.

 “I would say self-confidence is something that is key to me - and again, don't mix it up with arrogance. I don't think I'm arrogant, I'm open to everything. But I know who I am, the good and the bad and I will never compromise with the fact that I know who I am. If there is someone that is telling me something that I disagree with, I will say it.”



 Alex’s Views on why Self-Management is an important trait:

  • It is important to manage and regulate your emotions, but also to be empathetic:

 “You need to be emotional, but with a limit, and the limit again for me is respect. I can be emotional, but I will always try to be respectful with people in the environment I am in, because sometimes I don't know the people. I don't know how they kind of react. I don't know their past. I don't know their story. I don't know a lot of things.”

  • Ensure your empathy doesn’t cross the line and be perceived as weakness. Perhaps empathy can be best summed up as having an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’ – i.e., the ability to come down hard when you need to, but also having the soft touch when needed.


 Social Awareness

 Alex’s Views on why Social Awareness is an important trait:

 “By default, I'm a curious person. When you're curious you want to want to understand everything. I want to understand who they are - because if you understand who they are, then you can understand their strengths, their weaknesses, what will drive them, how you can can guide them to a direction.”

  •  As a leader you need to guide your people. You need to explain to them the why when you ask them to do something and then and then you can they can agree or disagree. Typically, this is even more important with salespeople, because if you think about your stereotypical salesperson in terms of their personality traits, they typically like to be in control of situations, so when you take away that control without allowing them to understand and be bought into it, it can create a lot of resistance.
  • Social awareness can eliminate the ‘lone wolf’ A Player – a successful rep will use their ecosystem to their benefit.



 Want to know more? 💡

 🎥 Watch the episode on YouTube 

 🎙  Listen on Spotify 

 🎙  Listen on Apple Podcasts  

 Connect with Alex

 Connect with Adam

 Learn more about Strive


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