Making customers happy and keeping them happy is down to a thriving sales team, nurturing natural curiosity, staying relevant, and delivering on our promises to them and each other, always.
My main goal is ensuring that the experience our customers have with us is a happy one. And that our team has the tools they need to deliver that experience.
That means looking after the development of our sales organization and the strategy behind bringing customers on board, and then ensuring we deliver what we promise from that point forward, consistently. That approach requires close collaboration with each part of our sales team - from new business and account management to sales development representatives – to create a strategy that provides the smoothest possible customer lifecycle.
That lifecycle wouldn’t be possible if I don’t ensure that our sales team is thriving. I love that my job gives me the opportunity to develop our people; either coaching them myself or facilitating access to expertise that will help them become confident industry experts that are proud of what they do. After all, if our sales team isn’t supported, our customers aren’t either.
As a (reluctant) night owl, I’ve always been envious of morning people. So, I’ve recently been battling against my natural instincts and setting the alarm for 5.30am to squeeze in a workout before work.
I’ll be honest, the early start is a challenge. But it gives me the opportunity to spend some time with my two British bulldogs, Margot and G, before I head to the office. Unlike myself, they’ve fully embraced the morning lay in, so it takes a while to coax them out of their beds (food always helps). They’re a truly loveable, friendly pair who would lick you to death if given the chance.
The drive to the office is my chance to switch off and be in the present before the demands of the day really start. I’ll often listen to a podcast, audiobook, or catch up on the latest sports news. One of the audiobooks I’m enjoying currently is Coaching Salespeople into Champions by Keith Rosen which focuses on how to coach effectively to achieve desired outcomes. Next up will be Gap Selling by Keenan, focusing on problem-centric selling.
There isn’t one and that’s what makes it so fulfilling. I work with different teams across multiple industry verticals and each day brings a totally different set of customer interactions, successes, and challenges. As someone who enjoys interacting with people and critical thinking, I love it.
I suppose the ‘typical’ part of my day is that I’ll always be on my toes, from guiding our team to ensuring that we’re at the forefront of this ever-changing market. I also travel a fair bit and there’s no better day than when I’m engaging face-to-face with our customers, both current and future.
Typically, customers are not in the market to buy products – they’re looking to solve problems. Every situation is unique and no one problem is ever the same. Finding solutions for these problems, as a team and in collaboration with customers, is what makes the job exciting.
People. Human interaction. That’s what drew me into the sales world. When I started, some 15 years ago, I went into corporate events and sales. I loved it, and I got a taste for working with someone to identify a need and find a solution to fulfill it.
However, events are turbulent, so I wanted to transfer my skills – problem solving coupled with a natural curiosity - to an industry I could see a future in.
I found exactly that when I stepped into the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) world as a New Business Sales Executive.
I spent a few very enjoyable years working with retail and ecommerce customers where I had the opportunity to work on some cool projects, experience product development first hand, and enable customers to become market leaders in their space.
Fast forward to 2019 when I had the opportunity to join servers.com. I could say the rest is history, but really that’s where the next chapter started.
Since then, I’ve nurtured our fantastic sales team and created a more structured approach to sales. Throughout my career I’ve worked across lots of different verticals. On reflection, this has given me a good foundation to the needs, challenges, and pain-points felt by clients. A foundation that I’m still building upon to this day.
Staying relevant. The infrastructure space and the verticals we specialize in are constantly evolving. In order to provide the right solutions for our customers, we need to ensure that we maintain our knowledge and remain ahead of the game.
This is a challenge, but it’s something I take great pride in. The knowledge, passion and expertise within our teams is incredible.
Working at servers.com is a series of memorable moments! Last year we made Isaac, our Chief Revenue Officer, ‘employee of the month’ for every month of the year, for three years (ceremoniously marked by 36 individually framed, identical photos) as a joke to celebrate his birthday. He’s not one for subtle gestures, so he enjoyed it.
All jokes aside, it’s wonderful to work somewhere where professionalism and having fun are seamlessly in balance. That’s something very hard to come by but is extremely valuable.
We’ve been on the most incredible journey over the last four years with servers.com. I love seeing the confidence within our team of what we offer and specialize in. Now we need to continue to push the boundaries of what we can do and how we can serve the industries we operate in even better.
And that means continually learning from each other and the people around us.
I’m also aware that everyone is different. Each employee, prospect, and customer needs, and deserves, a unique approach to enable their success. It’s challenging but it’s also what I love about my job.
It’s important to have a plan but it’s even more important to be able to evolve that plan.
If the last few years have taught the world anything, it’s that anticipating every eventuality is impossible. So, whilst planning is critical to success, flexibility is its best friend.
Reflect constantly. Through the highs and the lows, taking time to reflect before, during, and after execution is the key to not being left behind.
Surround yourself with good people you can learn from, but also show a willingness to learn. And be a good listener – it’s harder than it looks, but it’s so worth it.
Build up as much experience as you can. Some of the best leaders have done the job that they are leading. It helps us resonate with our teams and empathize with their challenges.
I’m a big fan of sports, so if there’s a match on, I’ll watch that (although relaxation isn’t guaranteed when you support Manchester United). I’m also a keen golfer and spending an afternoon on the golf course is my idea of perfection. To unwind in the evening, I might play Call of Duty – some say I’m the best in the office *cough* not.
Most of all though, I love going home to spend time with my wife and dogs. I’m a people person through and through so I enjoy getting to know new people and spending time with those closest to me. That’s the best form of relaxation for me.
My plan for 2023 is to become a better chef. Luckily, I already “cook” a killer beans on toast so I think I show great promise.
Self-styled Head of Fun, Steve works hard to develop our teams as experts on helping alleviate constantly evolving customer pain-points and enable growth. He’s a keen golfer and BBQ-er.