A mix of sales leadership, advisor, content, marketing, instinct, trusted and authentic. Strategic with there presence and open to building a community.
Before I write this piece I want you to get a feel for me, my career and my role to date.
My sales career began before I knew it. Way back when I fell out of my Graphics role in 2002. I had worked as a Graphic Layout artist for a local company in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. After completing my HND in Graphic Design at Aberdeen College, this is what I wanted to do and what I always loved doing at this time. Drawing, ideas, collaboration, projects.
Things in the business were not working out for the best in terms of revenue for the brand and customer base, so it was a case of last in, first out. I remember crying in my boss's office as he told me the news. It was devastating at the time.
So anyway, I moved around looking for work in that sector for a while, took a job in a warehouse to keep moving, but my skills had been left behind in what was a new terrain with new programmes and ways of working that I was not familiar with in my old layout role.
Then up popped a role for a Sales Executive for a well known retail menswear (at the time) firm in the city centre. So off I went and popped in for an interview and got the role.
This role would shape me as a person, trusted advisor and empathetic reliable salesperson.
Without knowing it, this retail institution was a learning curve for me and everyone that walked through the door, internal and external. Retail with first class customer service.
It took me a while to understand the methodology and process as to what we were trying to achieve here, as in my experience retail was browse, maybe buy, maybe not, no interaction needed, thank you very much.
Slater Menswear was like no other. My boss would say.
"If they take the time to come off the high street, up those three flights of stairs and into our premises, then I want to make sure we find out what they are looking for and make it so."
People came from all over town and shire to be served well, listened to and advised on what we knew, the service we gave and the satisfaction that we made them look good and want to return. Referrals and Retention Masterclass. INBOUND AT IT'S BEST!
As I left the institution on Bon Accord Street in August 2007 I left with core skills in listening, behaviours, empathy and trust so that I could now bring my game into a more luxury retail space that was opening on 247 Union Street Aberdeen.
HUGO BOSS was coming to town, with CRUISE fashion as the accompanying brand.
I was recruited to work in the BOSS BLACK MAINLINE sector of the business. The suits, shirts, ties, and BLACK casualwear department. This was a dream role for me at the time.
We had a ball. We were 'famous' for a while as the main place to work and be seen. I was the go-to guy for tailoring, suits, advice and guidance in what worked and what didn't.
I would tailor and measure directors, joiners, doctors, lawyers and anyone who wanted to spend that little bit more on the craft and cut of a beautiful HUGO BOSS suit.
Over a year in and I had met and served many customers, directors and Dave the Joiner.
I discussed a role into a new arena with one of the Director's of a new(ish) copier company in Aberdeen who were making a big noise in this sector and city.
In Autumn of 2008 I was Sales Executive at Capture Imaging. OUTBOUND TIME!
Now, let's leave the career path there as you can check my profile to read about my story and the moves I have made since then. A lot of learnings and developments across many sectors.
The process for me was like any other:
- Understand Internal Value and External Value
- Cold Calling 101
- Email Intros and Follow Ups
- Marketing Shares and Lead Gen
- CRM - Prospects Leads Opportunities Phases Deals Wins Losses Revenue Profit Targets
Keep busy, keep listening, keep learning, win business, retain business.
From 2008 to early 2020 this is what I have followed and what has given me a career.
Multi-Sector across MPS, SaaS, Subsea and Logistics.
I also had 3 great years in recruitment in Oil & Gas. That is another story of pain and a downturn that rocked my path. But that was the price we all paid in a turbulent industry.
Mar'2020 - Step forward a global pandemic known as COVID-19
I don't know about you, but this would alter my life, my career path, my emotional strength and my thoughts about any process and learnings across my sales career since 2008.
If it has not effected you or people you know, or your life and business situation then I applaud you and you are a better person than me. But we know it has. It had to.
"The tools and skills you need now can elevate your team and your business to new levels. We cannot send the same people into 2022 with 2019 skills"
THE DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR.
Who is this person? I have never seen this title before? What do they do and why now?
I use the term SALES in the middle of this title as fundamentally SALES is what flows through a business aim and manual as they launch a product or a service or build a start-up from scratch with an idea to change an industry challenge or develop ways of working.
'This key role, that will line the description of many a job spec or title moving forward is the person who is going to adopt the social and digital landscape as their terrain to listen, advise, grow and build their community and trusted network to discuss, collaborate, and win business by becoming a 'thought leader' and champion of social & digital selling in 2022.'
They will deliver timely insights into the feed,
They will deliver fresh content and guidance around what they do and why they do.
They will also discuss and collaborate across other content to build a two-way funnel of conversations.
They will develop new relationships and build on old ones.
They will start and continue conversations online and take them offline as and when this is required.
They will see those who have never seen them before in this light and start to get what it means to PULL and not PUSH.
THEY WILL LEAD A TEAM WHO UNDERSTAND SOCIAL & DIGITAL IN B2B.
A POWERFUL PERSONA and A POWERFUL TEAM PULLING THE SAME WAY.
I am not here to discount the Sales Process or Sales Director that relies on what they know. I was that guy, I was blinkered to what was going on until it hit me like a ton of bricks. 2019 is gone and the pandemic sent ripples through a tired, slow and in want of change industry that lacked empathy, emotion or trust in how we manage this process.
We cannot work the way we did in 2019. The landscape and the people have changed.
Buyers and Prospects are online and looking for you, your team and your insights!
Social Media is a loud, noisy and scary place to be. Unless you know how to manage it.
The people who adopt this will WIN. The leaders who champion this will WIN.
I say this to all the great people I meet on here and on Zoom. I keep it simple but not easy.
Change is hear. Why do you want to stop learning skills that will elevate your performance?
The DIGITAL SALES DIRECTOR is the person who creates the path for others to follow onto social and digital platforms to generate new prospects, new conversations, retention with key clients, commercial discussions and new business acquisition.
Current and future trends and discussions.
All day. Every day.
They also are human and authentic and allow you into that space
2022 is closing in. If you want it be successful for you and your team. The time is NOW!
Connect with me and we can discuss some more.