Claire Gibson (Head of Sales, Coastal), together with the Mint Coastal sales team, has been part of the growth of the Cape Town office from four employees to a team of more than 50 in just four-and-a-half years – a testament to the exponential growth in sales in coastal areas since taking up the position.
She is a firm believer in the use of technology to solve business problems, with a focus on customer-centricity. Claire has the kind of resilience, drive and determination needed to succeed in a career in sales and management. When not at the office, she spends time with family and friends or taking on gruelling endurance challenges.
Multi-talented Sports Lady
She has completed multiple Ironman events, the Comrades Marathon, multi- stage trail runs and a Robben Island crossing. “Training for these events gives me something to focus on and strive for, and completing them gives me a great feeling of accomplishment.”
Her career success mirrors her success as an endurance athlete. At her first job at a mechanical engineering company, she moved quickly up the ranks, from reception to internal sales and then joined the sales team as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sales representative. The company provided her with a bursary to study marketing and then offered her, at age
21, the opportunity to run their Cape Town branch.
A few years later, she joined the plastics industry, where she held various management positions and completed an MBA (Cum Laude). After several years, she felt ready for a change. “I was seeking an industry with more innovation that could adapt to change quickly and for a role that was more of a challenge and faster-paced. She found it in the IT industry.
Claire believes the Mint Group’s success and the strength of its brand lie in its values. “I absolutely identify with the Mint values. The most important to me is integrity – doing what we say and saying what we do, which speaks to credibility and trust. What better foundation is there to build client relationships?”
When it comes to sales success, teamwork and persistence hold the keys, says Claire. “I would not be successful without the talent and skills of my colleagues. I see myself as a facilitator of opportunities. To succeed in sales, carefully qualifying opportunities is essential and ensuring one’s time and effort are put into opportunities that have a high likelihood of closing. And once closed, providing the delivery team with the support required to ensure the promises you have made to your clients are met. Happy clients almost always bring in more business.”
Claire is a board member of the South African chapter of Girls In Tech, a global non-profit organisation that seeks to eradicate gender inequality in high-tech industries through engagement, education and empowering women passionate about technology. She believes there should be stronger female representation across IT, from developer to executive-level roles. “Our vision is to inspire more young women to join the IT industry. There are wonderful opportunities in this industry for girls to thrive and have meaningful and impactful careers.”
Her advice to women wanting to get into IT sales: “Go for it with confidence and don’t be intimidated. You don’t need to be technical to succeed in sales. I am a testament to this.”