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Category Sales Director

Bangalore, India | Hewlett-Packard

  • Industry:
    Information Technologies
  • Position Type:
  • Functions:
    General Management
  • Experience:
    12-15 years
Job Description:
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The APJ Aruba Category Sales Director is responsible for leading and managing all worldwide marketing elements required to achieve competitive success in a business category, from product/service/solution (PSS) life cycle management to go-to-market program definition and execution. This individual will lead the Category team and responsible for:

Understanding and championing key customer needs

Leading the development and prioritization of the category POR/roadmap

Directing R&D investments according to priorities

Defining and delivering all product/solution marketing requirements to win in the market

The category business teams will own and drive all global inbound product and solution marketing deliverables required to enable the region sales and marketing teams to execute successfully according to the strategic and tactical plan defined by the Category Business Manager. This ownership ranges from initial concept through end-of-sale to achieve competitive success and maximize Aruba business results.

Specific responsibilities and deliverables:

Category Planning and P&L Leadership

Customer and category advocacy (internal and external thought leadership recognized by press, analysts, and industry influencers)

Value proposition and messaging creation, within overall Aruba business context

Strategy and business plan for category, as well as supporting marketing plan in partnership with Aruba GTM team

Long-range forecast for category

Category inbound marketing budget plan and management; governance of outbound and worldwide marketing investment to target financial model

Region category quota and marketing spend negotiation and governance

Category performance reporting/business updates to executive staff, including quarterly worldwide sales flash versus target

Future Product Marketing

Competitive analysis and positioning for NPIs; ongoing competitive intelligence for category (content expertise for competitive sales tools, ownership of rapid competitive "selling against" responses to sales force)

PSS forecasting and pricing through introduction; accountability for worldwide forecast accuracy within category through end-of-sale

Engagement with region product/solution marketing and supply chain teams through end-of-sale/obsolescence to maximize business results (ongoing product forecasting, demand generation programs/promotion planning, inventory strategy planning, pricing, sales support, end-of-sale planning)

Competitive intelligence for category; delivery of competitive selling against content/tools to sales force and channel partners

Identification of target customer segments (SMB, Mid-market, Large Enterprise) for category and co-development (with GTM team who owns) of customer segment marketing plan

Heavy influence on outbound/GTM strategy and execution for category

Identification of solution ecosystems and solution alliance partnerships necessary to drive maximum success in the market. Collaboration with Aruba Alliances team to build and maintain necessary partnerships.

Education and Experience

University or Bachelor's degree; advanced university or Master's degree preferred.

10+ years of sales and progressive management experience.

12-15+ years of related technology industry experience, with a strong understanding of the networking IT space.

Demonstrated results in growing a business or expanding a market

Knowledge and Skills

Strategic Sales Planning & Implementation – Provides input to the development of strategic sales plans that reflect the company’s business strategy to advance market share/penetration and achieve profitable growth.

Budget Management & Cost Optimization – Manages within set spending parameters to protect the company’s business and sales assets, and ensures their effective engagement.

P&L Management – Sets and manages the business investments and resource allocations essential to ensuring the financial growth of business group. Should focus on balance sheet. Optimized operation to improve balance sheet position.

Vertical Industry Acumen – Develops and exercises a profound understanding of business dynamics within area of control, as a basis for informed business decision making.

Workforce Planning – Executes acquisition and development strategies targeted to ensuring workforce readiness, and market opportunity responsiveness.

Execution Management – Collaborates effectively with the company's BUs and value chain partners to ensure operational responsiveness to challenges, and alignment with business imperatives. Acts decisively once decision is taken.

C-Level Partnering – Contributes to enduring executive relationships that establish the company’s consultative professionalism and promotes its total solution capabilities at the highest levels of the client’s organization. Acts as the escalation point for customer issues.

Competitive Positioning/Strategy – Uses competitive intelligence in account planning and sales activities to develop counter strategies that will neutralize competitive influence on the customer’s buying decisions.

Solution Selling – Approaches selling from a business solution perspective to ensure that company products and services accurately address the client’s true business need in terms of type, scope, level.

Business and Financial Acumen – Exhibits authoritative business and financial acumen to develop meaningful business recommendations; Understands the portfolio aspect of the company’s products/services and how the businesses work together. Understands the balance sheet drivers of channel partners and balances with company requirements.

Change Management – Acts as an advocate for innovation and change across the organization.

Problem Solving – Approaches problems in a rational manner using sound strategies that ensure comprehensive understanding and effective resolution.

Global Presence – Represents the company on global accounts with the cultural sensitivity and business maturity appropriate to the high degree of corporate access and level of responsibility involved.

Leadership – Able to lead effectively in a complex and matrix environment, and deliver results; Able to influence without direct authority; Able to balance between competing priorities and be flexible and creative; Able to drive team performance to best in class; Able to create and build highly effective sales teams and organization; Able to communicate effectively across multiple levels in client organizations, the company and the industry.

Leadership qualities at Aruba HPE

Conduct themselves in their working life by the 4 key values

Customer First, Customer Last


Bias for Action


Ability to operate successfully in a matrix organizations

Strong networker and builds great stakeholders relationships (build and nurture)

Able to operate with ambiguity – i.e. leverage what useful, respects what’s legal, create new routes when there are none.

Act with diplomacy while cutting through bureaucracy – gains consensus

Lead with passion and motivation

Feeds and supports “success-breeds-success’ within Aruba HPE, identifying and sharing ‘wins’(i.e. customer success stories, breakthrough technology etc.)

Grow, nurture and leverage talents

“can-do’ attitude – gets into details and is able to add value through greater depth of knowledge, able to deliver tactically, can talk to the product across all levels in the business


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