Paul Kenny

Founder, Ocean Learning

Paul Kenny has been a regular attendee at Business of Software Conference since it started in 2007 and has spoken several times before. For good reason.


Over the last 25 years, he has helped to develop salespeople and sales managers working in media, technology and the professional services sectors. Since his first talk in Boston in 2008, Paul has explored the many different approaches that you may take to developing a robust and sustainable sales effort. More recently, Paul has been running online workshops, coaching and training events for companies across the world. He is a keen cyclist and owns more bikes than there are days in the week.

“Hire Attitude – Train Knowledge and Skills”

“Hire attitude and train knowledge and skills” is an old adage, often quoted amongst sales managers and recruiters , however attitude is not one thing, it’s not easily measured and it changes over time subject to both internal conditions and external environment. What can we learn about hiring sales people that can be applied to hiring across an organisation?

Selling can be tough. The process of winning a new client or even just getting the client interested enough to attend a product demonstration or engage in a business case exercise can be an exhausting process beset with many frustrations and disappointments. To be a success in sales requires expert knowledge of the product and the value that it delivers to customers. It also requires a high level of sales skills (initiation, dialogue, demonstration, closing, negotiating etc). Perhaps most importantly, the attitude of the sales person is key. Developing sales skills and knowledge is not always easy but it is a straightforward process. Developing a success mindset or addressing downturns in confidence or motivation is much more challenging prospect and as a result is often ignored. Attitude is a more reliable indicator of future success than either skill or knowledge yet we often don’t think about it deeply enough.

In this talk, Paul will explore the psychology of sales success and in particular practical strategies for developing confidence, resilience, and self awareness that are both relevant to sales professionals and can be applied to all functions of a business.