Sam Collister is the Sales Director at Create Designs. Below, he gives us an insight to a typical day in his shoes:
How did you get into this career?
I originally began my post-university career working for a recruitment agency, specialising in procurement. In a highly competitive industry, we had challenging targets to achieve and long work hours. I was given the opportunity to head up sales and business development within Create Designs after a conversation with the Director. The company culture is very relaxed with a flat management structure, flexible hours and holiday and everyone has similar interests, despite being from very different backgrounds.
What does a typical day look like?
I begin each day at 9.30am (we’re allowed to begin later to avoid the rush hour traffic!) and start with the morning meeting with the team. We run through any active projects, new business and I complete a handover of any new clients from the previous day. The morning then consists of checking emails and responding to any inbound leads which have been received the evening before. I manage my time with my chosen CRM system, Pipedrive. This allows me to view the status of each lead, leave notes and also set reminders to follow up leads. It’s a very simple tool and it’s no-frills, so it’s very easy to manage. Throughout the day, I have to balance my time between writing proposals, receiving inbound calls and maintaining relationships with existing clients. My afternoon is dedicated primarily to researching new business avenues and building up a pipeline of clients through outbound methods.
What skills/qualities does a person need?
The most important skill is the ability to be able to multitask and remain on-focus for the tasks in hand for the day. Without this ability, you’ll be a victim of your own procrastination as the role is self-managed. Having the ability to be able to relate to the potential client and develop rapport quickly is also a key skill. Often clients will be calling through multiple agencies to get an initial quote or impression of what we have to offer. If you haven’t left a (positive) lasting impression, you won’t make the sale.
What advice would you give to someone looking to move towards a role like this?
Sell yourself and be different. Don’t wait for the opportunity to contact you if you’re actively looking for a career in sales – reach out to a company you’d like to work for. Keep the approach short and sweet and explain any previous experience and the reason you’re looking for a position. Make sure you’ve researched the product/services which they offer and perhaps include a reference to an area you found interesting. This is a potential talking point and you’re on your first step to building rapport!