Reasons for being part of the APS
Selling as an activity is core to the way we live our lives, and often it’s got a bad press. Selling is also a mix between a scientific element and an artistic one. I passionately believe that we need to be more scientific about the measurable bits, allowing more freedom and focus for the creative bits. As a group, we as sales people and sales leaders do not do that well enough. I believe that, by unearthing and promoting excellence, finding true insight, we will move forward fundamentally. By establishing and promoting standards and education we can improve the skills and approach of our sales community, and thereby, improve its credibility. By improving the thinking within sales leadership we will thereby improve the stature, reputation and impact of sales for others and have huge positive impact on our customers, our organisations, our communities and ourselves.
I have been lucky enough to work in many functions and to lead others. None of the areas I have worked with are as critical to an organisation’s success, or as difficult to get right as sales (and marketing), where I’ve spent most of the last 20 years, mainly at Board level. The complexity of situation and the impact of success are so critical to a business that the pressures are inevitably higher. I’ve also worked in multinationals and SME’s, worked in b-to-b and b-to-c and lived in three countries – so seen a breadth of selling activity. I’ve run international teams and single-country ones, but have mainly worked in the UK in technology, telco and technology-enabled services. Perhaps the sale I am most proud of was the sale of a company of Vodafone for tens of millions of pounds – a complex business-to-business sale if ever there was one. That sale was the culmination of years of effort and strategy for a tight senior team.
Passion and Hobbies
I actually enjoy the business of business: it keeps me pretty busy during the week. We have two children and keeping up with activities and childrens’ social diaries keeps my wife and I busy at weekends. In my spare time I enjoy watching many sports, and participating in a couple. Rugby occupies a decent part of the watching, although by being Scottish and living near Gloucester, neither are often conducive to a comfortable 80 minutes “relaxation”. Other than that, it’s the normal balance of enjoying a social life and then making sure I take enough exercise to keep the result of if under control.