When Delina Anderson opted to take a career break to spend time with her two children, she knew it was exactly that — a break.
That’s because, as Anderson puts it, “When you work in telecommunications, you’re in it for life.” And in a far cry from having been mommy-tracked, since returning to Frontier Communications in 2016, she’s seen no shortage of rapid career growth, with two promotions under her belt already. Today, she’s a Sr Mid-Market Manager, with an approach to leadership that reflects her family-oriented values of care and community.
Recently, Anderson sat down with us (virtually) and told us what helped her make the jump into her first management role, her approach to work-life balance as a leader today, and her advice to other women pursuing careers in sales.
How long have you been at Frontier and what about the company first made you want to join?
I worked in telecommunications at Verizon for about 10 years prior to the acquisition by Frontier. I decided to take a career break to spend time with my two children, and when I decided to return to the workforce, I joined Frontier in 2016 as a Customer Service Analyst.
When you work in telecommunications, you’re in it for life. I’m huge on customer service and have always loved developing relationships with others. I knew that this time around, I was ready to take my career to the next level. After about two years as a Customer Service Analyst, I was promoted to a Specialist Account Manager, and now am an Inside Sales Manager working with our mid-market accounts.
Tell me a little about your current role. What about this work excites you?
I manage a team of eight who work with our mid-market customers, who I consider the heart of Frontier’s business. When I first saw the opportunity come open for a management position, I was excited to bring my experience to the role, and to share those learnings with a team to help them achieve success. When you merge my sales experience with the customer service perspective, it has success written all over it. I’m big on building rapport and connecting with my customers, and I was ready to get into the leadership side of the business. Building those lasting relationships translates to building revenue and driving the business forward.
With each promotion that I’ve received or taken in my career in telecommunications, it’s clear that things are constantly evolving. Through the years, there have been advancements in product offerings, like SD-WAN, which allows a company to visibly see what their network is doing. We’ve gone from dial-up to this whole new world of tech. It’s also fulfilling to be able to provide products related to disaster relief, which are so essential for any business to give them confidence in knowing their information is safe.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Because I’m so family-oriented, as a leader I focus on making sure I understand and get to know each one of my team members. I want to know what they enjoy both inside and outside of work. I’ve always been an optimistic person and look at things with a positive perspective. I aim to be their main influencer in ensuring that they are seeing success in their roles.
What are a few qualities you look for when you’re interviewing a candidate for a sales role?
You must be ambitious, tenacious and willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. Having that drive and enthusiasm for your work is key.
Specific to working in an inside sales role, it’s imperative that you make yourself available. When you’re connecting with your customers, whether that’s through phone, email or video, you must be flexible and understand that everyone is in a different space.
What benefits or programs has Frontier offered you that have contributed to your success?
I was recently nominated for Frontier’s Leadership Development Academy. I love that Frontier invests in their leadership. Going through this program has helped me to identify some of the strengths and weaknesses that I wasn’t necessarily aware I had. It’s taught me a lot about myself and has opened my eyes to see that there is so much diversity at Frontier, and that it’s important to be open to connecting with other areas of the business to learn and grow.
As a working parent, how does Frontier help you maintain work-life balance?
In my opinion, Frontier is one of the best companies in terms of pushing for work-life balance. There has never been a time when I felt I wasn’t able to take time off to spend with my family and my children. I’ve been fortunate to get to take time as needed to make sure I’m there for those milestones.
Who has been your biggest mentor or supporter?
My husband. He has been in sales for many years and has pushed me and helped me in my career in a lot of ways. He has always motivated me to use my personality to grow my career and is my biggest inspiration.
Lou Mooney, my VP, is another one of my biggest supporters. I am so glad I was afforded this opportunity to work for him. He genuinely cares to understand the business, is always open to questions and gives amazing feedback. Ultimately, he really wants to see us succeed.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to elevate their career in sales?
Your journey in life begins with finding out what matters most to you. In life, there are all sorts of roads, highways and paths you can take, but your success depends on which road you choose to take. Be very clear on the path you want to take so you can make a wise choice. Don’t allow any obstacle hinder you from pursuing a leadership role. I’ve had to learn how to be comfortable in unfamiliar situations and this has helped me expedite the growth process.
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