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Beyond Selling – How Intel’s Salesforce brings you tomorrow, today.

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Below is an interview I conducted with Karla Renteria, who works as a business development manager in Intel’s Sales and Marketing Group (SMG). While trying to understand what it is like to work in SMG, Karla explained to me how her job goes way beyond “just selling,” and how she enables the amazing experiences that Intel’s cloud solutions make possible.

At the most basic level, what do you do as a business development manager (BDM)?

What I get to work on is pretty exciting. As a BDM, I work with customers to understand what they are trying to make possible in the future. Our customers are working on numerous things that will impact the digital experience of millions of people. It’s my job to help enable their vision with use of Intel cloud technologies and solutions.

How do you feel like your job enables you to make an impact?

Many people think my job is “just sales,” but it’s not. By understanding how businesses are trying to serve their own customers, I help define Intel’s cloud platform of the future. Depending on the need, I have to help facilitate many solutions: How can we make sure the solution is fast and responsive? How will the client app be made available on a mobile phone? Ultimately, I help facilitate all the things that Intel helps deliver with their cloud solutions. The real exciting part is I get to understand how companies like Pinterest, Facebook and VMWare are trying to change the game in their respective fields. In doing so, I get to play a role in creating the experience of how everything is going to connect – from the cloud to client devices. My work in this space is going to help our customers create those amazing experiences that will truly ‘Wow’ people.

How precisely are you enabling these capabilities?

We listen to what our customers are requesting. Once we understand their needs, we will typically present a few solutions that will work to create the experience they are looking to achieve with their customers. The fun part is we can also introduce something new, like CPUs for video support, cognitive computing, Machine Learning – something that will improve the platform and experience beyond what they currently provide for their customers.

Learn more about our opportunities in sales and marketing.

Can you tell me about a specific solution you helped bring to market as part of your work with some of your customers?

So I can’t tell you what I’m specifically working on right now, as it’s not public yet. However, members of my team in SMG have partnered with Facebook to help enable the Open Compute Project (OCP). It’s these partnerships that are really making a tangible impact on the industry. (Editor’s Note: The OCP is an organization whose mission is to design and enable the delivery of efficient server, storage and data center designs for scalable computing.)

Tell me about the SMG Culture? What do you like? What should people know about it?

Oh, let me tell you about this team. Everyone is taking risks. Everyone is customer oriented and—as you’d imagine in a sales organization—they are very results oriented as well. They are all highly motivated and qualified people who support each other on their team, and whose ultimate goal is to deliver high end results to their customers. From a “great place to work” perspective, we believe in giving back to the community and participate in volunteer events as a group.

Anything about the compensation structure in SMG that you like or find beneficial that others may not know about?

I've been in sales for a long time, and the one thing I do like about sales at Intel is that you define with your manager your goals for the year. I find that in doing this collaboratively, the goals are challenging but realistic. It's very important for me to have say on my yearly expectations.