SAS executive speaks to Elon students about 'the value of selling'
Nick Lisi, a member of the SAS executive leadership team, shared wisdom and insights about sales and the importance of understanding customer needs.
Nick Lisi, senior vice president of sales and field operations at SAS Institute, spoke to about 100 Elon students on “The Value of Selling” on Nov. 1 in the LaRose Digital Theatre. Lisi’s presentation was part of the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center Speaker Series.
Lisi discussed why sales professionals should focus on the value being offered to their customers, emphasizing that customers have no interest in buying a product unless the salesperson has a clear understanding of their problem and how the product will be able to solve it.
“I see our sales teams as ‘value brokers,’” Lisi explained. “We’re not just matching a need with a product, we’re matching a value proposition with a problem.”
He advised students to “become a student of your customer,” and drew from his 30 years of technology sales experience working with companies like IBM and Xerox, where he held both sales and management roles. As a member of the SAS executive leadership team, Lisi develops and executes strategies and programs for more than 2,500 sales and operations employees to ensure they are able to deliver superior value to the company's customers.
Additionally, Lisi spoke about the value of social media in sales, and how to utilize it and other tools to understand customers and their problems.
Lisi also engaged students in a question-and-answer session. Lisi fielded questions about international sales and the challenges of coordinating efforts between employees from different cultures, the importance of “selling the why,” his enthusiasm for setting up his employees and customers to succeed, and available opportunities at the SAS Sales Academy.
Lisi lauded Elon and the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center for its commitment to educating students in sales, and praised the curriculum, foresight and vision exemplified by the professional sales program at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.
Prior to his current position at SAS, Lisi served as vice president of SAS Americas, where he was instrumental in growing and developing the organization in the United States, Canada and Latin America. His other roles at SAS included vice president of sales for SAS Canada and interim country manager for SAS Brazil.
Before joining SAS, Lisi served as managing director for EMC Canada and president and CEO of AudienceView Software Corp.
About SAS Institute
SAS Institute is a multinational analytics software development company headquartered in Cary, N.C. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 80,000 sites make better decisions faster.
About the Chandler Family Professional Sales Center
The Chandler Family Professional Sales Center, established in 2008 by an endowment gift from Elon Trustee Thomas E. Chandler, owner of Chandler Concrete Company, and his family, promotes professional selling and sales management, provides high-quality instruction to both students and sales executives, and conducts research that advances the field of sales.