According to a survey in by the HR Chally Group, the top 3 things clients want from sales people are that they “Personally manage my satisfaction”, they “understand our business” and they are a “customer advocate”. Based on the results, the authors wrote the book “Achieving Sales Excellence” in 2007.
A member of our network, Mark Greenway from Ortigo, was recently recommended on Linked-in by a client for going the extra mile to ensure the product and services they supplied actually delivered the desired results; a strong living example of the author’s point of view.
We were curious therefore to meet him and understand more about his philosophy of his sales success.
Q1 Tell me about your route into your current sales role.
I originally worked for Vodafone in the late 90’s until the heavy decline in 2002. I gained a solid understanding of data and mobile communications from the varied nature of my work.
Unfortunately, the entire centre closed and I was made redundant. I then moved to a service provider I had dealt with previously, and was given the task of taking care of their corporate clients. The decline in mobile communications continued so I moved to work in the finance sector followed by project management & merchandising for a large tool wholesaler.
I eventually went back into mobile communications for a company who provided B2B mobile solutions and realised there were much better opportunities to consider in communications. I joined Ortiga Communications in early 2012 as a BDM and since then I have gained a very in depth understanding of technology. I was promoted to Head of Sales for three main brands: Ortiga Communication, Ortiga Digital and ICT For Schools.
Q2 How have your different sales positions helped you to perform in your current role?
I took a long time to consider this question and finally the penny dropped! The great variety of areas and positions I have worked in have developed me into the person I am today. I have not just been in a single sales role, but have had the opportunity to work in almost every possible area of the sales machine; including customer service, retail, wholesale, B2C and B2B. This has given me the insight to see the sales process from almost every angle and equipped me with the tools to deal with every position in sales and management.
Q3 In the book, the authors identify four levels of “application competence” sales people can demonstrate: Specifying the right solution, installing the right solution, integrating the right solution and usage of the solution to get results. You seem to live these as everyday actions. How do you see it?
It is extremely exciting to see that at long last people recognise the true value of selling services and solutions that can really deliver. I work on many different solutions, and the most positive feedback comes from clients whose problems I have solved and then gone back to see the benefits I have provided.
This results in very valuable long term relationships. Businesses are less likely to make purchases without this approach from suppliers and partners.
Q4 How would you advise other sales people to adopt this approach, without blowing their time management out of the water?
It can be said that this approach may not fit every area of sales, but the basic concept is so valuable for any sales person that in the long term you will ultimately benefit from this approach. Ensure you will bring value to your client and make sure it is delivered and implemented. Even a simple phone call can show your commitment. Finally, look at the outcome and confirm your client is happy. Most importantly, from the start to the finish, do all you can, time allowing, to handle your clients’ expectations.
Q5 What other qualities make for a successful sales person in your opinion?
The classic desire to make money is what every sales manager and business owner would want to hear from their staff. Also, commitment, good time management, and putting in place a “power hour” every day where you focus all of your energy to make something happen. I am very passionate about my work: This can sometimes come at a price but I consider this to be part of my success.
Q6 And when you are not selling, what do you enjoy in your personal life?
I am a dedicated father to two young sons and am blessed to have a wonderful wife. I love to cook for my family as it allows me to unwind: Sales is a very challenging industry at times. I enjoy fitness and training and take my 9 yr old son with me to do Karate. As my wife is originally from Russia, I also study her language, as do my two boys.