What is your role at CONTEXT?
Head of Sales & Marketing – to support structure and process development for CONTEXT sales and marketing to drive top-line growth and scale. After all, sales represent the engine of growth!
What attracted you to CONTEXT?
I re-connected with Jeremy Davies, CEO, after 30 years which is exciting. The opportunity to join a rich data-asset driven firm that is on a growth path and developing added-value solutions represents a very attractive proposition. The selling environment has radically changed since 2009, so this is a wonderful challenge. In addition to that I had heard that Context has a special, warm, ethical, culture which has great appeal.
Where were you working before?
I have spent over 30 years with a number of great firms in the ICT space – Xerox, DataQuest/Gartner, IDC – and most recently Outsell. Outsell is a specialised agency that serves the intersection of Information and Technology domains. I was head of Global Sales and supported their CEO Leadership program: a problem-solving forum for leaders across the Information industry. Significantly – single biggest CEO headache? Sales optimisation and sustainability!
What do you think the main challenges are in the technology industry today?
Well, to be certain, digital transformation will continue to re-shape the tech landscape creating opportunities for innovators and disrupters alike. That said, I strongly believe “millennials” are set to change many things about our industry, although old-fashioned values such as brand power, sensible profitable growth and customer-centric strategies will continue to be the foundation drivers of the industry.
What is the best business advice you have ever received?
Be hard on issues but soft on people!
What never fails to make you laugh?
Playing tennis in the rain in England– no one seems to notice!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I’m a fan of horse-racing. There are 59 tracks in the UK and I have only been to 27, so the journey continues.
What are you reading at the moment?
“The Culture Map” by Erin Meyer. It provides insight into better understanding of protocols and behaviours of different cultures,- a never ending educational journey in my view.
If you had your time again, what would be your next choice of career?
I have always been intrigued by diplomatic services. I doubt I have the right attributes, probably the illusionary way it is portrayed in films is the appeal!
What do you think are the key ingredients to success in Business Development?
Three crucial ingredients:
Firstly, planning and organising a call
Then, managing an outcome, next steps
Finally, learning to talk the buyer’s language – after all, its all about them!