“You might not believe it, but that’s where Indiana Jones comes in!” 

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Gunnlaugur Bragi Björnsson
Communications Associate
March 25, 2021
Alberto Bruschi, or Indy as his friends call him, is a 10th generation Milanese who joined Milestone six years ago, after holding various positions in engineering, sales, and business consulting. In this interview we wanted to hear about what makes a salesperson tick and how Alberto, our Regional Sales and EMEA Community Manager, describes a regular day at the job.   
When I leave for a trip on the bike, I know that I can’t give up until I’ve reached my target. Which, in a way is my philosophy in life and cycling helps me keep that in mind.
Alberto grew up with parents who both were entrepreneurs, a brother and three cousins. His father was a promising indoor cyclist and a member of Italy’s Olympic team, although sickness in the family ultimately prevented him from competing at the Olympics 

The interest in sports didn’t skip a generation, and Alberto is not only a sports fan but also quite the cyclist himself.  

“A passion I certainly got from my dad,” says Alberto and explains how cycling gives him an opportunity to both enjoy the outdoors and open air while setting ambitious targets that he’ll do everything in his power to reach. Just like in other aspects of life.  

However, his approach to cycling has changed drastically through the years.  

“In the past I only focused on speed and endurance, cycling 150-200 kilometers with a speed of at least 35-38 km per hour. Nowadays I see cycling much more as a possibility to visit new places, go unusual routes and see different landscapes, while speed itself is not that important. Today, I wouldn’t even consider trading all the things you see while biking for more speed.”
A chance to put things back in their right place
Alberto’s view on life has also changed over time, especially during the past year as Italy, like most of the world, has had its share of serious difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic 

“The past year has had a strong impact on us all. I always do my best to see the glass half full and accordingly I think the challenges we’ve been going through have given us multiple learnings we need to treasure for the future, says Alberto, who lives with his wife Anna and their two kids aged 16 and 11. 

As a family, we’ve had to adapt our daily life to a different reality. A new way to work, study, do sports, relax, and so on. We basically had to learn how to coexist when spending this much time at the same place.
He adds that it was quite a change for four people with different routines and needs to suddenly be at home at almost all timesBut for Alberto, relocating from the office to home was not the only change; his job used to involve a lot of travel.  
 
“I was used to traveling a lot and sometimes I was on the road four to five days a week. I must admit that it was very strange to suddenly go from that to working from home all day, every day. Honestly, I had never thought that could happen!” 

After a full year of different routines, restrictions and various challenges, Alberto says that despite everything it can be a good opportunity for us all to rethink our lives and our real priorities.  

“I’ve realized that the speed we were used to has sometimes made us lose what is really important. This unexpected and shocking slowdown has given us a chance to put things back in their right place.” 
Indiana Jones or inventing a time machine
Alberto studied Electronic Engineering at the scientific-technological university Politecnico of Milano and later Sales Management at SDA Bocconi School of Management. 

“When I was young my dream was to become an archaeologist,” Alberto answers when asked why he chose this path and adds with a laugh: “And that’s why I studied electronic engineering!” 

“Joking apart, on one hand I’ve always had the passion for history, ancient cultures and undiscovered mysteries, and on the other hand I’m fond of innovation, technology, and business. So, you could say that I jumped from the dream of being Indiana Jones, which is why my friends call me Indy, to trying to become a crazy inventor of a time machine!” 

After university, Alberto started working in the security sector.  

“I started working for Telea, first as a solution engineer and later I became sales manager. From there I went to Cieffe, a small manufacturer of the first digital recorders and IP cameras, in 2005. There I became sales director which meant travelling the world was a big part of the job.” 

In 2007, Cieffe was acquired by March Network. There Alberto became VP of EMEA Sales, focusing on creating a strong sales organization, and later VP of Business Development.   

I left March Network in 2011 and joined Dallmeier for a couple of years. After that I decided to become a business consultantfocused on helping small Italian companies to launch their business abroad and to develop their sales organization.” 

When asked about the best and the worst job he has had, Alberto thinks for a while before answering: “It’s actually quite difficult to answer this question because, one way or another, I’ve always liked my jobs and I feel like each experience has given me some specific skills that have become useful later.” 

“But what makes a job a great one is when teams are involved, and people are motivated to achieve their goals. And that’s exactly why I love my current job where I can see and feel how my teams are growing!” 
You need to love adventures
“You might not believe it, but that’s where Indiana Jones comes in!” Alberto says when asked how to become a good salesperson.
To be successful in sales, you need to be curious. You have to spend time to discover the right roles, define goals, search for ideas and classify different activities. Turning a no into a yes is a struggle, but you also must be ready to say no yourself when you don’t see an opportunity. It’s about being dynamic and adapting to the time, act on short-term deals while being in line with a long-term strategy. In one word, you need to love adventures – just like Indiana Jones and I do! 
Now, having heard what it takes to succeed in sales, what is Alberto’s most memorable sales adventure 

“Once I had the task of negotiating the complete supply for a refinery. It was to be my first billion deal and after six months hard work everything seemed done. Then, when I came to the customer to close the deal, he asked for an extra discount, which was something I couldn’t give,” Alberto recalls. 

My reaction was something like‘Unfortunately I can’t give you an extra discount, but I can guarantee you my sincerest gratitude’ and we closed the deal!” he says and adds: “I was extremely happy with this deal, because I could fell that eventually the customer made his choice based on me, my person and professionality, rather than what I was actually selling him."  

My father was still alive at that time. After the meeting I went directly to the hospital to tell him about it and he was so proud of me. I don’t think anybody can imagine the happiness that gave me." 
The only ones who never fail are those who never take any risk
In his position as Milestone’s Regional Sales and EMEA Community Manager, Alberto is responsible for sales in the southern European region and heads our EMEA team. When asked about a regular day at the job, Alberto says: “My role is to support the team to keep its focus, work with all team members to solve specific challenges, grab opportunities and drive the results.”  

“Every day I participate in various meetings, not only with the EMEA team, channel partners and technological partners but also with other departments within Milestone, such as marketing, communication, technology group, other regions, and so on. I’m convinced that this strong cooperation between different functions is the key for the entire company’s growth.” 

He also explains his responsibility is to define the correct long-term strategy and the best tactics to implement it but emphasizes that he does not believe in micro-managing: “My focus is on growing my team and to support every single team member. I believe that as a leader I must support the growth of my employees, be a good example for others but also to be a guide that fights with and for the team.
Results do not come because there is a Ronaldo in the team, but because every team member can be a Ronaldo if the leader is able to discover and address the team members’ potentials. 
When asked if he thinks he always succeeds in being the leader he want’s to be, Alberto answers quickly:  

Of course you can fail, but if you take it as another opportunity to grow, you can learn a lot from it. The only ones who never fail are those who never take any risk! Or as Jeff Bezos would say, failure is experience.”
Milestone is a company I would strongly recommend working for
Alberto joined Milestone in 2015, but why did he decide to do so?  

“To be honest, I chose to join to Milestone because I knew it would be a real challenge!” Alberto answers with a laugh. 

At that time, Milestone was declining in Italy, for many reasons, and I saw joining as an opportunity to prove – mostly to myself – that I was the right choice to give Milestone another opportunity on the market with clear targets and the ambition to achieve them,” he explains and adds that he was also convinced that Milestone was a great company 

In his daily tasksAlberto says that his number one motivation are the challenges the job brings. “But what really brings the job to life is to be a part of a growing team where passion, professionality, cooperation, hard work and consistency bring us to our goals. 

My experience is really good so far,” says Alberto when asked about his overall experience of Milestone through his six years on the job, and adds with a smile: “Of course, not everything is perfect – but could you name me one company that does everything right?”  

“With that all said, Milestone is a company I would strongly recommend working for!