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Leadership, Hiring, and Motivation with Tom Schuster

Tom Schuster is currently the SVP of Field Services at Newstore Inc. He has lead as President / CEO or headed up sales at several companies including the EMEA division of Sugar CRM.

In our interview, we get into some of the key strategies, some of which he draws from his military experience in the South African Air Force, that he has employed to grow and lead his sales teams over the years.


Here are a few snippets from the interview:

On hiring: “The maverick is inherently dangerous because they contain destruction within them.”

On making business cases internally to the CEO or CFO for investment in your team:

  1. Get them out of the office in front of the customer
  2. Create well thought out supporting materials (Ie. Spreadsheets showing numbers to make your point)
  3. Make sure you consistently deliver on promises

On interviewing candidates:

  1. Ask the administrative assistant to become involved in the interview process.  What did they think of the candidate in their brief interaction? They will often give you the most insight on the person, because the candidate’s guard is down.
  2. Quickly determine who is interviewing who. If you know the candidate is the right fit, you need to reverse the role and go into selling mode.
  3. Quoting Plato, “Know thy self”, try to see if sales people really know themselves. Are candidates realistic about their strengths and weaknesses and able to use them to their advantage?

On growth:

“You can’t just grow incrementally. You have to grow by leaps. You need to inspire people to take big leaps, because they drag everyone with them forward. But you also need the cart horses to be going steadily step by step.”

Do you know someone who would be a great interview candidate and bring a ton of actionable value to sales managers? Drop us a line.




George Vallone
George worked with Mike in sales for 4 years at Acquia starting as the first Business Development Rep ever hired at the company. After getting the program off the ground, George progressed through the company in a variety of sales and leadership roles. He runs the day-to-day operations at Linking Sales Leaders. Active in the startup community in Boston, George runs a 800+ person networking group called Hackers and Hustlers and is active in fundraising for VIC, a Massachusetts General Hospital research group. George enjoys carefully grooming his beard, Crossfit, travel, and spending time outdoors.

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