Image of Megan Wilson as the interviewee of Meet the World's Best Sellers #3

February 22, 2023

Megan Wilson’s Secret to Smashing Her $11M Quota? Ignore It.

Written by Karli Stone

Imagine being so sure of yourself, so utterly convinced of your imminent success, that you put on the blindfold and forget about your targets.

Because you know, deep inside yourself, that focusing on the numbers, obsessing about how far you’ve come and how much left you have to go, will only slow you down.

This is the story of Megan Wilson, a Global Client Lead at Palo Alto Networks who manages some of the world’s largest cybersecurity accounts and outperforms her $11M annual quota — without ever looking at it.

She’s one of the best sellers in the world.

The Real Deal

Oracle, VMWare, Palo Alto Networks.

World-class software companies, renowned for their cutting-edge technologies and unwavering commitment to excellence. These are companies that have set the standard, shaping the way business operates and laying the foundation of the digital landscape.

As I scan through Megan Wilson’s employment history on LinkedIn, I’m a little starstruck, slightly intimidated. 

This woman is the real deal.

We meet. 

There are references to cricket, controversial sales takes, a nonchalant reference to a 3.5 million dollar deal.

Her story does not disappoint.

The Perfect Pitch

Flashback 15 years.

A young Megan stands in the center of a bustling Oracle sales floor, a young graduate student in a sea of male colleagues. 

She navigates the crowded floor with confidence, approaching unsuspecting salesmen and peppering them with a barrage of questions, as she eagerly scouts out her next prospect. Every new piece of information, every new connection, gets Megan one step closer to achieving her goals and making a name for herself at one of the world’s largest software companies.

She’s preparing to make her first and most crucial sale…


First, she needed to land a full-time gig at Oracle.

Towards the end of her grad program, she spent all her time securing buy-ins — getting salesmen to agree to train her, convincing them to vouch for her. 

Then, she went to their managers, using what she learned to position herself as the best, the easiest, the most valuable hire they could ever make.

“I told them that this position was for me,” says Megan, “That their salespeople already agreed to train me, that I had already asked them all. I told them I could really add value, and that it was easy just to say ‘yes’.”

And how could they not?

Megan was brought onto the Oracle teams as an Application Sales Rep.

But, in her eyes, the sale wasn’t closed yet.

(One of the things I learned about Megan is that after a win, there’s no slowing down for back slapping and celebration — it’s simply onto the next.)

She went to the Oracle Account Managers. They had active opportunities, and she wanted a piece of them.

Every day, she walked around their desks, asking, “What’s your schedule look like today? What meetings do you have? Can you take me?”

“They were like go away, go away, go away.”

She pitched herself. 

“I can get your approvals done, I can write your internal business cases, I can build spreadsheets.” 

She made them an offer they couldn’t refuse, saying these magic words:, “And I won’t take a cent of your commission.”

Megan takes the opportunity to give me a tidbit of wisdom: The best way to speak to salespeople? Tie everything back to the thing they care about most: commissions.

It was the perfect pitch.

And one guy finally caved.

“He went, ‘Oh for goodness sake, I’ll take you if you leave me alone’. And I went ‘Cool I’m happy with that’,” she laughs.

It was nothing but up from there.

“Selling yourself is the same as selling a product or service…It’s about finding the gap, finding the thing that you can help them with. What are you helping to solve?”

Megan’s rise within Oracle reminds me that sales is more than the industry — it’s a lifestyle. And knowing how to sell can get you anywhere you want to go.

On to Bigger and Better

After 5 years of selling ERP applications at Oracle, Megan made the switch to yet another globally-recognized company, VMWare, where she became a Territory Account Manager.

She was still early in her career, young, scrappy. Looking back on it, she feels she was even underqualified. But, as Megan’s always done, she used her network and positioned herself as indispensable to VMWare’s operation.

“The manager that hired me, he took a chance on me and he created a role for me.”

Her biggest piece of advice is just as true as it is cliché: dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

She talked like she already had the job at VMWare. Spoke like she was the only possible option to do the work that needed to be done. Demonstrated inarguable value.

In her new role, she continued to excel at breakneck speed, prioritizing the customer over everything else.


She recalls one time where she had a significant deal due to come in in October. Everything was on track and both parties were working towards a sign date on an agreed-upon timeline.

But, with the quarter ending in September, she started facing pressure from above to bring in this deal — stat.

Her response?

“No. Flat out, not going to happen.”

It took a lot of guts. But she had built a customer relationship on trust and nothing was going to compromise that.

“We’re asking for our benefit, not for the customer’s benefit,” Megan said, “It is not moving. It’s coming in in October.”

This is what she means when she says: “I approach sales like cricket, I always play with a straight bat.”

Honestly. Fairly. No underhanded tactics. Even in the face of intense pressure from superiors.

It’s no mystery how she got where she is today — a Global Client Lead, the only one in her role in the JAPAC region, at Palo Alto Networks, the world’s leading cybersecurity provider.

Prioritizing Customers Over Quota

The title “Global Client Lead” is just as impressive as it sounds.

Today, Megan oversees the cybersecurity accounts for some of Austrailia’s largest multinational companies at Palo Alto Networks, a multi-billion dollar organization with 85,000 clients.

Think of the most enterprise of all enterprise account executives. 

That’s Megan.

And at Palo Alto, she continued to approach her work the way she always had: with a complete and utter devotion to the customer.

“I think of myself as their advocate and I never try to push for anything that’s not the right fit.”

But, how does a Global Client Lead balance prioritizing the customer with hitting an 8-figure quota?

By ignoring it.

“I never look at my quota. I never focus on my quota. But I’ve hit it so many years in a row because I’m so aligned with my customer.”

I blink in disbelief.

She goes on:

“You should already be trying to make the deals as big as possible. You should already be trying to find little gaps in what it is that they need and come up with alternative ways to position solutions. If you are putting in the work and you are building those relationships and you’re building opportunities and you’re building your pipeline, and you genuinely know when things are going to close, in my opinion, your target is as good as hit.”

So, Megan Wilson, a top salesperson at the world’s premier cybersecurity company, conqueror of an $11M quota, ignores her numbers because it’s enough to simply do her job and do it well?

Yes. Yes it is.

Megan’s Sales Strategy for Success

Most salespeople will tell you they’re all about the customer. 

It’s common sense, a generic best-practice: put the customer first and the sale will follow.

But for Megan, being customer-focused isn’t a buzzword — it’s highly intentional action.

She begins her sales by identifying the customer’s end goal, working backwards to show them how she can help them achieve it.

30% opex savings? 50% reduction in downtime? 60% increase in identifying security incidents?

Megan maps out exactly how her product will create their desired reality.

“I ask them, ‘What’s your business case that goes to the board? What’s important to you and your business?’ And what I provide for them is all within the context of the outcome they’re trying to achieve.”

And her logic is simple:

“Unless we can show the value and the value to their business as well as some cost savings, why would they pick me over the person next to me that’s got pretty much the same thing in their eyes?”

She utilizes her pre-sales engineer to help her manage some of the technical aspects of accounts at scale.

“He knows what he needs to manage from a technical points of view and I manage relationships from mid to senior managers up to executives.”

She jokes, “He and I speak almost more than I speak to my own partner.”

Not her business partner, mind you. Her romantic partner.

I’ll say it again — this woman is the real deal.

As deals progress, Megan finds every opportunity to connect with people on a human level, getting on planes to meet people face-to-face or taking them out for beers to get to know them as a person.

“Because if we are going to spend all this time together, we have to like each other.”

She talks with her clients like she would a friend, being her genuine self and listening with empathy.

“And I tell other salespeople, like actually LISTEN,” she adds, “Don’t just nod your head and go yeah, yeah of course, I’m just going to sell you this.”

Even Megan’s extracurriculars revolve around serving her community and serving her customer. 

In the face of all of her success, I ask her, “How do you reward yourself at the end of the day?”

“I run Palo Alto’s volunteering program for Australia and New Zealand. I saw an opportunity a number of years ago to set that up locally and have a real focus on it here for our people here. We’re starting to look at doing activities for our partners and customers, which I have been begging to do for so long…It’s the big reward I get out of work, seeing our people happier.”

With that kind of dedication, who needs to obsess over a quota? 

It’ll just come.

Nominate A Seller

Do you know a “World’s Best Seller”? Send ‘em my way! Email karli.stone[at] with your nomination.

We’ll see you next week for our next issue of World’s Best Sellers, only from your friends at

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