How this senior director is helping companies improve their digital workflows

25 May 2023

Paul Turley. Image: ServiceNow

ServiceNow’s Paul Turley discusses his role as senior director of enterprise sales and his leadership philosophy.

Paul Turley is senior director of enterprise sales at ServiceNow, a software company that provides a cloud-based platform for digital workflows. Turley has more than 25 years of experience working in various software businesses across Irish and international markets.

After graduating from University College Dublin with a degree in engineering, he started his career working with Enterprise Ireland at its Copenhagen office, helping Irish technology start-ups build routes to market across Scandinavia.

In his current role, Turley leads the enterprise sales function for ServiceNow in Ireland, managing a team of sales professionals and overseeing the company’s marketing and public relations activities and partner network.

“We continue to grow our business quite rapidly, and the team has scaled comparatively quickly to meet the increasing demand for our platform in the Irish market.”

‘My philosophy is to run a team as if you’re part of it. Understand what people need to be successful and do everything you can to make those things available to them’

What are the biggest challenges facing your sector and how are you tackling them?

There’s a massive demand for people with skillsets that drive digital transformation on the ServiceNow platform. Accessing this skilled talent is the biggest challenge our customers and we face right now.

We see a huge opportunity in looking outside traditional talent pools to fulfil the demand for the ServiceNow platform. So, we launched an initiative called RiseUp which is a global career development programme designed to skill 1m people worldwide on the Now Platform by 2024.

Here in Ireland, specifically, we’re working with the refugee community to train people on the platform and then streamline them into roles within our customer and partner base.

What are the key sector opportunities you’re capitalising on?

Right now, the world is demanding that companies do multiple things at the same time. Grow revenue while reducing the cost of serving their customers. Improve the experiences of both employees and customers. Reduce risk by managing supply chains and become more operationally resilient. Modernise the systems that run their business without spending millions and many years waiting for results and outcomes. They need to simplify, automate and drive employee engagement– all at the same time.

My team and I are working with our customers here in Ireland to bring the benefits of the ServiceNow platform to them, to help them get value quickly and to help them drive these initiatives within their companies.

We work with many peer organisations in other countries, be they public or private sector, and across multiple vertical markets, to bring them on this journey and realise massive benefits. We see one of our fundamental roles as facilitating these innovative ideas for our Irish customers.

What set you on the road to where you are now?

I studied engineering in university but quickly realised that, despite the pivotal all-round training in logical thinking and problem-solving, I didn’t want to work as an engineer. I preferred the interaction with customers and was lucky enough to get accepted into the Enterprise Ireland Graduate Program in Copenhagen.

At Enterprise Ireland, I got to work with many Irish start-ups helping them establish routes to the Scandinavian market. I got the bug for business development and sales so went to work for one of the start-ups at the end of the two-year programme. From there, I ran HPE’s software business in Ireland and the UK for several years.

I love working with people to figure out how technology can help them change their businesses or their services for the better. I believe we have a unique opportunity to help organisations make the world work better for everyone. This includes working with the Government to better understand how we can significantly cut the cost of serving citizens using technology, while driving better experiences for people using those services.

‘There’s no doubt that diversity drives innovation’

How do you get the best out of your team?

My philosophy is to run a team as if you’re part of it. Understand what people need to be successful and do everything you can to make those things available to them.

The ability to communicate clearly and succinctly is another key attribute. If the team understands what’s expected of them and what they can expect from you, no one will be confused.

The modern way of working can, at times, be somewhat overwhelming. So, it’s essential to be a good listener and be able to pick up any small but potentially significant signals to support my team’s wellbeing.

Have you noticed a diversity problem in your sector?

There’s no doubt that diversity drives innovation. As a company with innovation at its core, this isn’t a ‘nice to have’ for us, it’s a business imperative. It’s an issue that everyone, in all organisations, across sectors and industries must continually work at improving at every opportunity.

At ServiceNow we are actively committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The Dublin office, which was recently awarded the accolade of Great Place to Work, is testament to this. With more than 400 employees of more than 40 nationalities, we pride ourselves on being inclusive and we want everyone to turn up and be their authentic selves – we know that’s when people are at their best.

What’s the best piece of career advice you have ever received?

Never refuse an invitation to anything you can get to. You never know who you’ll meet and what opportunities it can lead to.

What books have you read that you would recommend?

I love all of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. I recently read The Bomber Mafia and Talking to Strangers, which are both amazing books.

From a business perspective, Never Split the Difference and Team of Teams are great resources.

What are the essential tools and resources that get you through the working week?

Nothing unusual here – Teams and Zoom are both essential.

My online shared calendar has also become more valuable than ever in ensuring I have enough time to get where I need to be with sufficient head space.

Aside from tech, spending time with colleagues who are fun to work with and my friends and family, who are essential for my wellbeing. They’re the ones who really get me through the working week.

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